Wedding invitations are a cause for real excitement! This is when things get real. You've set a date, and now it's happening! Your loved ones can set a date and have something to look forward to! Your paper goods are truly special, because they're one of the only tangible items that will be around after your wedding day too. Much of what you experience on your wedding day will fade post-wedding, and they will be a beautiful piece of ephemera to remind you of your very favourite day. Here's some tips to ensure that you make the most of this distinctive part of your wedding experience.
The first glimpse of your wedding day is found in your wedding invitations. The composition and feel of them will inform your guests of some very important information. Not only will they reveal the date, time, and logistics, but they will also make known the vision you have for your special day. To create a cohesive event, be sure to consider the colours, paper types, font, and embellishments.
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Your wedding invitation style hints to the formality of your wedding. You should have an idea of the type of event you're holding—classic and elegant, casual and relaxed, or modern—before you decide on stationery so you can choose an invitation style that reflects wedding design. Consider whether you are drawn to simple type-face, or flowing script. You will also want to consider the colour of font, paper and embellishments such as ribbons or wax seals. Be sure to carry these hues throughout the rest of your wedding paper (like the escort cards, menus, and ceremony programs) for a cohesive look.You should avoid having too many colours, or too many ideas. Simple is usually more classic. Having too much going on will make your invitation look busy and overwhelming.
Simple doesn't necessarily mean boring though! A well chosen, thoughtful design will show how intentional you are. Here are a few more things to think about when deciding on your invites:
Think about white space, it's equally as important as the areas that do have something. Why not try a unique way of positioning or spacing text or an illustration?
Play around with the shape and size of your invitation. For a romantic touch, you could go for a folded love-letter style that's sealed with a ribbon. A square or longline envelope might be a fun way to switch things up too!
Consider texture. Textures are a beautiful way to show quality. The feel of handmade envelopes in your hands is so dreamy! Add other textures through your chosen type of paper, or through ribbons or twine.
Choose your words wisely. There are general rules for wording your invitations. Traditionally, whoever is hosting is listed first on the invitation. Generally, you should spell everything out, including the time of the ceremony. On classic wedding invitations, there's always a request line after the host's name—something like "so and so request the honor of your presence." That being said, breaking the rules can make for a really unique and personal invitation! Using your own unique wording will create an intimate feeling that will make your invitations stand out.
Don't forget about the envelope! In all the excitement about the inside of your invitations, it's easy to forget that the outside is your guest's first impression! Since addressing is tranditionally done by hand, I always recommend having them written in calligraphy for an elegant and cohesive finish. If you do decide to forgo calligraphed addressing, be sure to give yourself several sittings to get the job done so that you avoid mistakes and sloppiness; you'll want to be sure to order some extra envelopes well in advance too! While using printed labels is an easy (and affordable) option, handwriting each address is not only more formal, it's also more personal. It shows your guests that you want them to be at your wedding so much that you took the time to handwrite (or have a calligrapher hand-letter) their name and address on the envelope. Handmade envelopes also come unglued, so a wax seal is a great way to customize your stationary as well!
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Most invitation stationers recommend the timeline of mailing invitations 6-8 weeks (or 8-12 for a destination wedding) prior to your wedding day. I like to recommend a little longer so that you have less to worry about in those last couple weeks. If you're planning on having any escort cards or seating charts calligraphed it's good to give yourself a little extra time too! Regardless of when you'd like your invitations returned, we shouldbegin discussing your design around 6 months before your wedding.
A beautiful wedding is all in the details! Don't deprive your photographer of some pretty things to photograph! We can't wait to see what tender and beautiful piece your guests will discover in what is usually just an ordinary stack of bills. Wedding invitations are a truly special tradition that shows class and thoughtfulness to those you love!