When to Ask Guests to Return Wedding RSVPs

I’ve gotten this question a few times recently, as people think ahead to their wedding invitations for their 2016 weddings: When should I ask people to respond by?

Customarily the return date is when your caterer or your venue needs their numbers in by, PLUS some time for you to call people who have not yet responded. MOST websites recommend two to three weeks. I recommend at LEAST three, especially if you are having a big wedding and anticipate having to track down a lot of non-responders.

I also recommend responses be requested by the 1st or the 15th of the month, where possible. I think it’s easier for people to remember to drop an RSVP into the mail that way. In addition, be sure to have the most accurate address list possible BEFORE sending invitations out to save postage and headaches. No matter what you do though, you will have people that don’t respond. It’s frustrating, for sure, and unfortunately part of the stress that is wedding planning!

In the end, you know your guests better than anyone and how responsive they’ll be. Whatever you do, I recommend erring on the side of leaving yourself as much time as possible.

When did you ask for your responses to be in by? Was it to late? Too early?


Winter Wedding Save the Date

This cold weather has gotten me in the mood for Winter weddings! Here I’ve used a mountain landscape watercolor background to announce the nuptials of Kristin and Mark. It is available as a flat card or postcard. Find it here on edenweddingstudio.com. Enjoy!

Wedding Invitations: What is a backing layer?

Nothing screams luxury more than a thick, stiff invitation. Conversely, invitations that are thin and bend easily send a message of poor quality and may reflect to the invitation recipient that the event will also be sub par. Thick cover stock is one way to achieve a luxurious feel. Another is to add a backing layer to the invitation.

A backing layer is a piece of cardstock adhered to the invitation itself. The backing layer is slightly larger than the invitation so it adds a border to the piece, creating an opportunity for an additional touch of color.

My favorite cardstock to use for a backing layer is Stardream metallic. Their 105 lb. stock can be purchased precut via cutcardstock.com or envelopemall.com, among others. I recommend the backing layer be sized .375″ greater than the invitation itself. For a 5″x7″ standard invitation for example, the backing layer would be 5″x7″ and the invitation would be 4.625″x 6.625″. This will achieve a .1875″ border all around the edge of the invitation.

The invitation pictured above was digitally printed on 100 lb. matte cover stock. It is adhered to a Stardream 105 lb. lapis lazuli (metallic navy blue) backing layer. The accompanying envelopes are Stardream Antique Gold.

Metallic Mania: Why Offset Printing Is So Expensive

Gold is everywhere right now and the demand for metallic invitations is hot. That little touch of sheen screams luxe. However, metallic printing can be pricey, particularly on a budget. In this series I’ll talk about some of the options for metallic printing, as well as provide some “cheats” to get the metallic effect without breaking the bank.

Printing in Metallic, the Old Fashioned Way: Offset Printing

Life would be a lot easier if we could go to our local Staples and buy a gold metallic cartridge for our HP home printer and be done. Unfortunately, home printers don’t offer metallic printing, and even digital printing, which is the most common option for printing invitations professionally, does not offer a metallic option. Offset printing is the only means by which we can print with metallic ink.


Offset printing is an expensive route and is generally reserved for larger “runs” (aka a lot of prints – think 5,000 company brochures). According to psprint.com, “offset printing works by transferring ink from a plate to a rubber sheet, which then rolls the ink onto paper, vinyl or other surface.” The cost for the plate, also known as the set-up fee, needs to be spread over 1,000s of prints in order to bring the cost per print down. Since the average number of invitations is 100-200, a person choosing this method to print invitations is going to pay a pretty penny.


Excellent. The “gold” standard in printing.


Offset printing is generally offered through both large print companies and some mom and pop print shops, as well as some online printers.


If your invitation consists of nothing but text, it may not be worth the price to offset print just so your text is metallic. With the actual printing so small, it may be hard to distinguish whether the text is metallic or not. You may want to reserve this option for when your invitation has a larger expanse of color, if you use it at all.

The sheen of an offset printed metallic is duller and less intense than foil printing. If you’re looking for more of a reflective effect (think aluminum foil), you might be better off having your invitations foil printed.

For more information on offset printing:


Stay tuned for my next post on foil printing.