Invitation Advisor: What To Do If You’ve Made A Mistake On Your Wedding Invitations

September 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

You’ve made a misteak on your wedding invitations. You did’t originally catch it, but there it is. What can you about it?

Did you catch the mistakes above? They were pretty obvious, but I’m guessing you missed at least one – it’s a trick of the mind, where we fill in things that aren’t really there, and it’s one reason why mistakes happen, even on something as important as your wedding invitatons…er…invitations!

Now, this post is working on the assumption that *you* missed something when proofreading that has resulted in an error on your invites and how to deal with that situation. It won’t address situations where your stationer/designer etc. has made an error, as policies vary in those situations, and I wouldn’t want to speak on behalf of other stationers when it comes to that sort of thing. What I *can* say is that they should make it right, in whatever way possible.

Aside: Please remember, that proofreading is YOUR responsibility – not your stationer or designer. The harsh reality is that you aren’t their only client (they are likely staring at various customer proofs all day), and even more importantly, they don’t know your wedding details as well as you do. I’ve mentioned before that as a designer I really don’t pay attention to the literal names, dates and times when designing, they just become visual elements. I spend so long looking at them that they basically become gibberish. Be realistic – own up to your mistakes. I know you may be angry and upset, but that is not an excuse to place blame where it does not belong – ultimately, if you approve a proof with a mistake on it, you are responsible. Need help with proofreading – check this out.

So, what kind of mistakes are we talking about? There are basically three main issues that come up:

* Spelling mistakes – Okay, yes, spelling accommodations can be tricky…or hors d’oeuvres…or your financé’s name. Seriously, I’ve seen it.

* Incorrect information – Asking people to show up at your ceremony at 2:00pm, instead of 3:00pm – or on completely the wrong date – bad form.

* Missing information – Forgetting to include an address, forgiveable – forgetting the date, time or location…not so much.

How do you avoid making these errors? Read this and do it. Triple-check and then triple-check again. It can be an exciting time and a busy time, and you may feel like since you’ve started at it 100 times you know everything is correct, but don’t be fooled.

What can you do if you’ve already committed these errors? Read on…

Spelling errors are a tough one – they are certainly the most common, but they often are not glaring enough to consider paying to have your invitations reprinted (unless it is a mistake in one of your names, which is kinda important, right?). Unfortunately, they are also tough to really correct any other way than by reprinting the entire invitation, which depending on the type of invite you’ve chosen could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The best advice I can give you here is just make sure they don’t happen in the first place, because your choices once that mistake has been made is either to live with it, or pay up (and we’re not talkin’ chump change). No, liquid paper is not an option.

Incorrect/missing information is actually a bit easier to handle. Depending on exactly what information has been left out and when you catch it, it may be a fairly simple fix. For example, for a small piece of information (a time, an address etc.), you could consider placing a sticker on the outside of the envelope with the details (and some tongue-in-cheek wording), or even on the invitation itself depending on the style and layout. If you have a small guest list, you could consider calling or emailing your guests (no, no facebook or twitter please and thank you) and letting them know the correct information. Or, you could send out a separate small card with the correction (which is what you’ll need to do if the mistake isn’t caught until *after* the invitations have gone out) – yes, you’ll be stuck with the additional postage costs etc., but at least your guests will actually show up!

That said, the most important thing to consider is the formality of your event and the size of your guest list. If you are having a formal royal-themed fairytale wedding for 600, I wouldn’t suggest slapping a sticker on your invites or sending your guests an email. The appropriate thing to do is to send a small matching “correction notice” card letting your guests know the proper information. If you are having a smaller, more casual wedding, then a cheeky sticker on your envelope or a funny email may just be the ticket.

Ultimately, I probably don’t need to trot out “the best offence is a good defence”, “look before you leap”, “a stich in time saves nine” and a host of other idioms and proverbs to make it clear that your best bet is to just avoid having to deal with this issue altogether.

Now class, everyone pick up your chalk and write with me…

“I WILL proofread my invitations”
“I WILL proofread my invitations”
“I WILL proofread my invitations”
“I WILL proofread my invitations”
“I WILL proofread my invitations”
“I WILL proofread….



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