From ‘Y’all come’ to ‘You are Cordially Invited . . .’

For a couple, selecting a wedding invitation will give their guests a glimpse of the tone or the theme of their big day. Often, this is the first glimpse friends will have of just what kind of special day the bride and groom have chosen.

Most wedding professionals suggest mailing wedding invitations to guests at least six weeks in advance of the wedding date. Couples should plan ahead and order their invitations a minimum of eight weeks from the wedding date, adding more time if the wedding list or if special features will be added, such as having the addresses done in calligraphy or invitations that require assembly.

When choosing wedding invitations, professionals say the first step is to consider the design. The design sets the tone and the theme of the wedding. A unique and creative invitation will catch the attention of the guests who will appreciate an innovative design.

“There are tons of options available,” said Stephanie Bales with Dandy Lions located in the Harper Building in Maryville.

According to Bales, a trend in wedding invitations is the pocket fold invitation which is a unique style that has been a big hit with today’s bride-to-be. The stylish invitation is layered and folded and can also include enclosure cards which provide guests with all the information they need.

After couples decide on the design of the invitation, the next factor to consider is the paper stock. Types to consider are linen, vellum and smooth finish. Experts suggest using paper weight in the range between 100 to 110. This paper weight provides quality and also allows mailing the invitations with just one postage stamp which might be a factor if hundreds of invitations are being sent.

Some couples stick with the traditional wedding invitations and select unique designs for save-the-date cards. Save-the-date cards are usually sent out six months prior to the wedding. It allows the couple to keep guests informed on the wedding date far enough in advance so plans can be made and schedules cleared. There are limitless choices for unique save-the-date cards. Some couples include a photograph, while other choose a whimsical style such as a magnet card or a calendar card that feature the month with a heart around the wedding date.

For some couples, the wording of the invitation or the save-the-date card proves to be a challenge. Bales said the staff at Dandy Lions can walk the bride and groom through the process. A lot of couples opt for the traditional wording of the invitation, using the “Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter . . .”

Just as couples sometimes choose to write their own vows, some brides and grooms are also getting more creative with the phrasing of their invitations. A modern invitation may well begin with “Today, I will marry my friend…” or any expression of invitation the couple may fancy.

Wedding programs are also a must-have for many of today’s brides and come in a wide variety of styles and types. The professionals at Dandy Lions are eager to help each bride-to-be choose appropriate invitations, save-the-date cards, wedding programs and other stationery needs while also helping the couple to express their individuality on their wedding day.

Dandy Lions also offers bridal shower invitations, thank you notes and other stationery for any special occasion. For brides, Dandy Lions also offers a gift registry. Check out their web site,

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