How to Fix Wedding Invitation Mistakes After They've Been Printed

Misspelled your partner’s middle name? No worries—Zola has a guide on how to fix common wedding invitation mistakes from typos to ordering errors.

By Emily Forrest

How to Fix Wedding Invitation Mistakes After They've Been Printed
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

Noticed a “Septmeber” where there should be a “September”? Did that adorable photograph from your couple’s photoshoot come out blurry? Or worse—have you misspelled the names of your future in-laws?

Errors on printed wedding invitations are more common than people think. After all, humans (and machines) make mistakes—from typos to missing information to botched formatting. But, if your beautiful design came out less than perfect, don’t panic. No matter your situation, there’s a solution.

From planning tips to savvy remedies, here is Zola’s comprehensive guide on how to fix wedding invitation mistakes.

Ways to Fix a Mistake Post-Print

If a faulty wedding invitation was signed, sealed, and delivered—don’t panic. No matter the mistake, there is almost always a way to fix it. From email updates to entirely new stationery, all slip-ups can be fixed with enough time.

Here are some of the top methods, tips, and tricks for solving any wedding invitation mishap.

Full Reprints

Finally, your approved wedding invitations have arrived in the mail. But, when you open the box, you find a name typo, smack-dab in the center.

Luckily, you caught the mistake before sending out your invitations to guests (phew). But, unluckily, you are probably pressed for time. On top of that, most retailers do not offer free reprints, no matter the mistake. Now what?

Even without free reprints, most retailers could offer exclusive deals and discounts for a second round (especially if the mistake is their own doing). However, this solution works better for certain situations than others. Consider requesting a reprint if these conditions apply to you:

  • Retailer error – Even with a contract stating no liability, most retailers will usually own up to their own mistakes. Ask about discounts or exclusive prices for reprints. If the final product didn’t match your approved sample, odds are that you’ll receive some compensation.

  • Enclosure cards – If your mistake was confined to an enclosure card or insert, you’ve got a simpler fix at hand. Some retailers offer exclusive deals to reprint that sole part of your invitation suite. It could save you hundreds on materials and postage costs.

  • Enough time – Wedding plans are a marathon, not a sprint—the sooner you start, the better. Typically, it takes more than a day for you to edit, approve, and receive fixed invitations, so call your retailer as soon as possible. To really speed things up, try to contact the actual printer (not just the designer or middle man) for efficient reprints.

Follow-Up Cards

You’ve licked the seals, placed the stamps, and dropped all the invitations into the mailbox. Everything is set. That is, until your mother calls asking why your first name is spelled wrong. Uh-oh.

If you have the time, there’s an elegant solution to remedying your mistake—follow-up cards. These short and simple notes will correct any mistake in style. However, keep these factors in mind if you’re considering this solution:

  • Time – Creating a “Sorry for the mistake!” card will put you right back at square one. You’ll be designing, submitting, approving, and sending stationery all over again. Couples should take this path only if they have at least 10 weeks before the wedding.

  • Price – While some retailers may offer discounts for reprints, a follow-up card is an entirely new product—ie., you probably won’t get a discount. Check if your budget has the wiggle room for this extra step.

  • Design – Even as a separate piece, your updated card should be recognizable as part of your wedding. Try to use some similar motifs, colors, and patterns as the original invite, that way, guests can easily associate it with the first invitation.

Online Retailers

Every good plan has a solid backup in store. One quick and dependable safety net for your wedding invitations is online retailers.

Yes, you might have to switch designs from your local or boutique print shop, but many small businesses have long turnarounds and limited hours—and in a pinch, you can’t risk that wait. Luckily, online stationery retailers are 24/7. And, with their quick deliveries and affordable prices (Zola’s invitations start at just $1.99 each), they will likely save you a lot of sweat and worry.

Digital Options

Sometimes, there’s just not enough time for the postal service. If the wedding ceremony is merely weeks away, you’ll probably need to update guests digitally.

We know—pairing digital communication with paper invitations can feel informal, but if you’re pressed for time or money, then it’s a completely understandable solution. Consider these online options for a quick and easy fix:

  • Digital invitations – Don’t have time for a paper reprint? Or perhaps your invitations had a major mistake (poor photo quality, blurry artwork, etc.)? Then digital invitations might be your best bet. Ask your printer for a digital copy of your invitation design (most will have them on file). Even if it’s not your original vision, digital invitations provide guests with important facts in style—and that’s what really matters.

  • Emails updates – To correct any small typos or other minuscule errors, you don’t need to start over from scratch. If you have contact information for all guests, you can send out a formal (and hopefully stylized) e-card or email message that notifies guests of the correction. However, only choose this option for tight deadlines and tiny errors.

  • Wedding website announcements – With a personal website, your guests have an accessible information hub for all things related to your wedding—and that includes invitations. At Zola, you can easily build a wedding website to update guests on your wedding registry, dress code, and even invitation typo corrections.

Leaving As Is

At the end of the day, who cares if “July” was spelled “Jluy”? What matters most on your wedding day is celebrating with your loved ones by your side—not perfect spelling.

In the rush of wedding plans, it’s easy to get caught up in every little mistake. Instead, we recommend stepping back and seeing the big picture. While some invitation mishaps definitely require updates (wrong addresses, forgotten names, etc.), others may not deserve the stress.

If your invitation has any of these mistakes, consider going with the flow:

  • Spelling errors not on names or locations
  • Slightly off-set patterns or decoration
  • Wrong colors or tones
  • Unexpected fonts

You’ll be surprised how few people will notice any typos (let alone design mistakes) on your invitations. Take one more thing off your to-do list and save yourself the energy.

Decision Factors for Fixing Wedding Invitations

There’s rarely one solution for a problem. Before you sprint to the nearest office supplies store, take a step back. Rushing into fix-mode is a sure-fire way to cause more mistakes.

Depending on your invitation’s mistakes, you’ll probably need a different approach. A one-word typo is a tiny issue compared to a smeared floral background. Start by weighing these factors when entering invitation crisis control:

  • Cost – Wedding stationery is no cheap venture. Paper invitations can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars for large celebrations. If you want a full round of reprints, check if that extra price fits into your budget. Otherwise, digital options (emails, website updates, etc.) are significantly cheaper.

  • Time – In today’s world of instant gratification, paper mail feels particularly special and appreciative. But when you’re pressed for time, it’s not the most practical communication path. Wedding guests should have all the necessary information at least six weeks before the big day. If you can’t deliver reprinted invitations by that deadline, you should consider more immediate options.

  • Formality – Let’s face it, an email will always feel less fancy than a paper invitation. For upscale celebrators, digital messages might feel inappropriate, even in the case of an emergency. But for more casual celebrations, go for an easy website update or e-card. It all depends on your formality level.

  • Mistake level – Forgot to include the reception venue name with the address? An easy website update or email can take care of that. But, if your photograph accidentally shrunk to thumbnail size, reprints or new digital invitations are in store. The more a mistake interferes with guest information or overall appeal, the larger a step you’ll need to remedy the situation.

Avoiding Common Mistakes With Wedding Invitations

Wedding planning is like juggling fifty plates at once. Between cake testing and floral choices, it’s a lot for two people to handle. Odds are that a few things will slip through the cracks—and that’s ok.

But with some detailed preparation, you can avoid those common wedding invitation mistakes.

If you’re in the happy position of reading this blog post before error strikes, read on to review the common planning and designing mishaps that couples make with wedding invitations.

#1: Leaving Too Little Time

Nothing spurs human error quite like a time crunch. If you’re scrambling to design, approve, and send out wedding invitations, the likelihood of making a mistake skyrockets.

Many couples underestimate just how much work goes into a wedding, let alone wedding invitations. If you start designing just three months out, you’re guaranteed to hit a speed bump. To avoid the last-minute panic attack, here are some tips for creating a smooth wedding invitation timeline:

  • Start designing now – The more time you have on your side, the better chance of avoiding (or easily fixing) mistakes. Our experts at Zola recommend starting your invitation designs at least six months in advance, which gives you plenty of room to approve a sample, release your invitations, and possibly fix any mistakes.

  • Consult experts – Don’t be caught hot-gluing crystals or handwriting every word on your invitations. Unless you’re holding a very small ceremony, you’re going to need a professional service to help create and send out invitations. Start shopping around early for expert vendors, and take a huge weight off your to-do list (Zola’s paper shop is a great place to start).

  • Send on the early side – Even if you sent Save the Dates months before, wedding invitations are not a last-minute deal. According to common etiquette, you should send invitations six to 10 weeks prior to the big day. But to avoid any mistakes, we recommend leaning towards 10 weeks, if not a little earlier. And remember—factor in shipping time for your farthest guest.

#2: Adding Too Many Details

So, you want ivy bordering… and gold-foil font… and a velvet bow… and a photograph? It’s time to take a step back.

We understand if you’re married (pardon the pun) to a vision for your stationery. After all, customization is what makes it your wedding, but the more complicated a recipe, the more likely a mistake. For the sake of successful printing, it’s best to simplify your design.

To go from over-the-top to just-right, start with these tips:

  • Colors – Unless your theme is strictly rainbow, you should probably shrink your design color palette. Most couples choose three to four shades for all visual wedding elements, from florals to banners to invitations. We suggest choosing one neutral—white, cream, beige, or grey—as your “backdrop” color so that printers have an easier time.

  • Construction – Tri-folds, gate-folds, and pockets all give flair to a wedding invitation, but unique or add-on shapes equal more room for printing mistakes. Unless you’re really set on a certain fold, stick to single-surface designs for ease.

  • Photographs – Photograph invitations require some forethought since most couples schedule a professional shoot long before sending out invitations. Just remember—the key to photo invitations is formatting and high-quality printing. Consult a professional service so that you and your partner look as beautiful as you both deserve.

  • Details and ornaments – Bows, letterpressing, foil, patterns—all of these touches give a design its personality. But, if you add too many, you’re looking at a cluttered and mistake-prone print. Stick with a few recurring motifs that match your wedding venue, like red floral watercolors for a garden wedding.

#3: Pre-Buying Postage

Press pause before buying that 100-pack of stamps. Until you know the exact weight and size of your invitations, it’s best to save postage for after printing.

Many couples add enclosure cards—anything from RSVP cards to accommodation options—with their official wedding invitations. This means that invitation suites (aka, every stationery piece with your invitation) often weigh more than your typical card.

If you buy postage before knowing the exact weight, you might waste dollars on the wrong stamps. Stay patient and wait until you have a final postage price.

#4: No Proofreading

At the end of the day, most invitation mistakes are human errors. Whether you’re rushed, stressed, or just plain forgetful, submitting your design without proofreading is a recipe for typos. Usually, failing to double-check leads to:

  • Misspelling – While not as important as your marriage license, the spelling on your wedding invitations should be correct. Make sure that you confirm all names with other parties before submitting.

  • Incorrect information – Copy and pasted the wrong address for your RSVP venue? Faulty information can mislead guests, even causing inaccurate bookings. Cross-check all locations, times, wedding date, and other information beforehand.

  • Missing information – Maybe it slipped your mind, or maybe it’s a printing mistake. Either way, missing information can leave guests confused or out of the loop. Luckily, these mistakes are the easiest to fix without sending a new round of invitations.

#5: Over-Ordering or Under-Ordering

We love when couples get excited about their invitation design—but don’t put the cart before the horse. Jumping ahead of your guest list usually leads to inappropriate invitation orders.

Too few invitations, and you’ll be scrambling for new prints at the last minute. Too many, and you’re sitting on wasted money and paper. Try to finalize your guest list before placing your full invitation order.

Another general safety rule? Order 10-15 more invitations than your final guest count. That way, you have a little wiggle room for any pop-up guests (and can keep one as a memento).

Tips to Avoid Mistakes

You know the saying—hindsight is 20-20. But to avoid regret, you should test that foresight. With the right care, attention to detail, and external help, you can avoid all slipups with your wedding invitations.

Take your time to implement these mistake-buffering tips when designing your wedding invitations:

  • Use proofreaders – When we’re stressed or rushed, it’s all too easy to miss our own mistakes. That’s why you need another pair of eyes. Ask two or more people to proofread your invitation—whether friends, family members, or professional printers. It’s preferable if one has grammar expertise or editing experience.

  • Review your contract – When you order from a stationery designer or printer, you usually have to sign a contract. In those agreements, most wedding vendors add a liability clause—a statement saying they’re not responsible for any reprints, even if they made an error. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure that your plans and budget fit all contract terms with your vendor.

  • Confirm information – Addresses, dates, the last names of in-laws—all of these tidbits can easily get lost in the wedding planning chaos. Always triple-check all critical information before submitting your design. An accidental “thier” can be excused, but the wrong ceremony time cannot.

  • Order a sample card – No couple should send out invitations without first approving the end product. One way to put your final stamp on invitations is ordering a sample—aka, a physical (preferred) or digital copy of your invitation. This gives you one last chance to edit any mistakes with your printers before mailing. For a full trial, Zola offers up to five sample cards of different customized designs—for free.

  • Shake up your reading – Sometimes, it just takes a fresh perspective to catch that misspelled “Wednesday”. To reset your comprehension, try reading your invitation out loud or right to left. This unusual action will help your brain pick up on individual words and possible mistakes.

  • Over-order (slightly) – You don’t want to sit on a hundred unused invitations. But having a few extra cards is a much smaller problem than scrambling for new prints. After finalizing your guest count, order about a dozen more sets of your invitation suite. That way, lost cards, damaged invitations, or last-minute guests won’t tank your supply.

Get Your Free Invitation Sample Today at Zola

If your wedding invitations come out less than perfect, take a deep breath—everything will be ok. From minuscule typos to huge blunders, there’s always a workable solution.

The key to avoiding or fixing invitation mistakes is to come with a plan, and don’t rush.

Stuck on a vintage letterpress design? Or need a quick 50-plus invitations for some unexpected cousins? Zola can help with all your wedding invitation needs. Our paper shop has hundreds of customizable styles for all wedding stationery, from Save the Dates to reception menus. Even better? You can receive five invitation samples—all for free. With our premium selection, you’re guaranteed to find an invitation that matches your personality.

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