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Top Tips

 

TIP 1 – When do I need to order my Invitations?

We recommend that you send out the invitations as follows:

Overseas guests (Unless a Save the Date has been done) – 12 weeks prior to the Simcha               

UK Guests - 8 weeks prior to the Simcha

However, this may be slightly varied to ensure that Invitations arrive before Yomtovim Summer, School holidays and end of the Year holidays.

 So when should you order?

The order process require our clients to firstly check the “copy” being used for the Invitation. 

Start collecting all the guest names and addresses. 

Once we have the correct Information, we then supply a full set of proofs. Going backwards and forwards with amendments and changes can take as long as 3 weeks. 

You then must allow time for production up to 10 working days for a straight forward Invite but extra time, say an additional week when it is foil blocked or has a ribbon or something else special incorporated in the design.

So, to make ordering and delivering your Invitations a really great experience, order your invitations:

4 Months before – UK Guests on

5 Months before – UK and Overseas guests

 

TIP 2 – Should we send a “Save the Date” card?

In our experience, there are two occasions when a Save the Date card is suitable for your Simcha.

1) An overseas function

2) A function on a popular date

Popular destinations for an overseas Simcha are of course Israel and Spain.

Every year, we do a number of Wedding Invitations for venues all over Israel and Barmitzvah Invitations that are almost always in Jerusalem. The most popular Wedding destination in Europe is usually Marbella although we have also done Wedding Invitations for Majorca and Florence.

An overseas Wedding requires planning, booking flights, hotels and obviously minimising costs for the Guests. The more time, one has to book, the less expensive the prices.

GOLDEN RULE – send a “Save the Date” card!

When is a popular date?

Using January as our start line, we always find the three weeks prior to Pesach to be very busy. Lag B’Omer is another landmark and then the period immediately after the Omer. In general, people avoid the 3 weeks (Tammuz 18 – 29 and of course in the 9 days (Av 1 – 9), Simchas are forbidden.

This means the dates before and after are always very popular as are the weekends before Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot. The two weekends after Sukkot are also very popular.

In secular terms, dates for Half term and end of term are again popular. If you have a Simcha in August or September, everyone sends out their invitations before the Schools break for Summer Holidays. Finally, the busiest weekend of the whole year is always August Bank Holiday because everyone can travel to a Simcha and have an extra day.

We at Simcha Invitations recommend always sending a “Save the Date”!

TIP 3 – How do I know how many Invitations to order?

The easy way is to agree on the number of guests that you want to come to the party.

For example, take 200 Guests and then ask yourself (and the grooms family if it is a Wedding), how many of the guests will be single? If it is a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, it is usually the school friends and a handful of older guests. Typically this can be 40 Friends and 5 or 6 Adults. If it is a Wedding, it is the Bride and Grooms single friends and again a handful of older guests.

The mathematics is easy. 200 Guests less 56 singles = 144 as these are married, divide by 2 and you have 72 Invitations. Add on the Invitations for singles = 56 and you need a minimum of 128 Invitations. BUT BUT BUT always allow about 10% for spares, so on this occasion, we would say at least 140 Invitations in total should be sufficient

Use the formula below to calculate your requirements

A. No of Guests = 

B. Less number of singles =

C. Sub Total =

D. Figure C divided by 2 =

E. No of Invites is B+D together =

F. Spares (say 10%) =

Total Number of Invites required

G. is E + F =

There are just two “special circumstances” where additional Invitations should be allowed.

1. Firstly when the Simcha is overseas and it is unlikely all the guests will attend. There is always scope to ask some more friends.

2. Secondly where you have a large part of your family living abroad or a considerable distance away, it is most unlikely they will all attend. Again scope to ask more friends to attend.

Finally, do remember that it is more expensive to reprint a small quantity of Invitations than discard a few extra ones ordered with the main print run

 

TIP 4 – What essential information do I need on my Bar/Bat Mitzvah Invitation?

At the top of the invitation, you should add in the Hebrew “Beis Hey”, which means in simplistic terms that “everything is with the blessing of Hashem and the word” Bar/Bat mitzvah – sometimes shown as Bar Mitzvah (both are correct).

The next information to add is the name of the Host and Hostess, usually with the Mother shown first, then the Father and it is normal to show the Surname. If the parents are divorced the name is usually shown as Zoe Levy and David Levy. 

The next piece of important information is the name of the Barmitzvah boy/Bat Mitzvah girl and usually this is shown in both English and Hebrew as well as the date of the Barmitzvah/Bat Mitzvah.

The boys/girls Parsha is sometimes added in Hebrew along with the Hebrew date. The Synagogue address follows, together with the start time of the Service and whether it is followed by Kiddush.

Now to the party (the best part). This needs to show if it is the same day or the next day, usually followed by the venue address. 

 The next detail is whether it starts with a Reception followed by Dinner and Party, a Buffet and Party or an alternative format.  The start and finish time are also important, as is the Dress Code. 

 Finally, guests always like an address so they can send presents or Thank you notes

 Do remember email addresses don’t give the Guest a clue where the parents and the Barmitzvah boy/Bat Mitzvah girl live (we will also tackle RSVP’s on a future Top tips)


TIP 5 – Dress Code

The very first decision is whether you are having a formal or an informal party.

Formal Parties are when the Gentleman are going to dress in a Suit and Ladies are in a smart dress.  Informal parties are when men do not wear a tie and ladies wear a party/cocktail dress.

We detail some of the popular dress codes below:

Formal Parties

Black Tie

Black Tie/Red Carpet

Black Tie and Cocktail dresses

Black tie – no tie

Lounge Suit

Lounge Suit and Cocktail dresses

Lounge Suits and Party dresses

 

Informal Parties

Dress to Party

Glitz and glamour

Funky Fab

Dress to impress

Dress to dance – no jeans

Dress simply Gorgeous

Party dress and comfortable shoes

Smart Casual

 

TIP 6 - The Controversial Subject of RSVP's

 Email? Text? Or Reply Card?

The primary purpose of an RSVP is to ensure that you, your event planner or caterers ensure the Simcha is suitable for the number of Guests attending.

Card

Disadvantage:

Can be considered as an additional cost

Advantages:

  • On all of our cards, we print the Guest Names as standard and have found that if a Guest can’t attend, their names are usually deleted.
  • Dietary requirements are clearly stated without the need for further communication
  • A Reply by date is clearly stated

Solution

You need a good tracking system to ensure all replies are recorded and like dietary requirements are dealt with.

A reply card can be quite fun. Our standard reply card is to have one box to tick with “Accept with pleasure” and one saying “Decline with regret”. However, some of the other comments that we produced recently were, “Of course we are coming, it’s a free bar” or “No we can’t come but we have got a really good excuse”….

 

Text

Advantage:

Cost saving

Disadvantages:

  • If one invites a large family (Say 2 Adults and 3 Children), sometimes the guest does not mention that say 1 person is unable to attend
  • Dietary requirements may be completely missed and need a second text
  • Unless a Reply by date is clearly stated, replies come in on a whenever basis
  • Predictive text can play havoc with your replies              

Solution:

You need a good tracking system to ensure all replies are recorded and items like dietary requirements are dealt with.

Email

 Advantage:

Cost saving

 Disadvantages:

  • If one invites a large family (Say 2 Adults and 3 Children). Sometimes the guest does not mention that 1 person is unable to attend. Dietary requirements may be completely missed and need a second email
  • Unless a Reply by date is clearly stated, replies come in on a whenever basis
  • You may wish to set up a different email address so your normal Inbox doesn’t get cluttered up with Simcha matters
  • Email may go to your “Junk” mail rather than your Inbox

Solution:

You need a good tracking system to ensure all replies are recorded and items like dietary requirements are dealt with.