Before you start shopping for any wedding stationery, decide on the type of wedding you’re going to have – e.g. do you want a classic or modern theme? Your invitation should reflect your theme as this will be the first introduction your guest will have into your wedding style. Through your invitations you’ll be setting the tone for the entire day, so it’s important to get it right!
When it comes to invites, there are so many wedding websites to choose from. I was overwhelmed with the choice, but narrowed it down by gathering samples, collecting photos and images that inspired me, and this is how I started my wedding scrapbook. I highly recommend doing this. I’m a fan of Pinterest, but there’s nothing like having an old fashioned scrapbook!
This was the starting point, following which there were many wedding consultations,
from the florist to the venue it was a life saver in that it kept the wedding theme together.
There are many temptations that can deflect one’s attention and it’s so easy to get lost in the planning and start agreeing to so many different things, that before you know it your entire wedding is mismatched. My scrapbook is filled with all things Pride & Prejudice combined with old, rustic, English country-inspired pictures. Yes, we’re having a Jane Austen themed wedding!
My ‘save the dates’ were kept simple - a very pale blue card with pastel pink and white lettering. These were enclosed with a Jane Austen postcard featuring different quotes from her work. The invitations were handmade by Norma & Dorothy, featuring a beautiful palette of pastel colours. The main invitation consisted of a floral pattern and had gold-coloured lettering, whilst the RSVP has a colourful striped background with the same colours and a hand-tied twine detail. The envelopes were a rustic Kraft colour, the perfect invitation for our spring country wedding! The evening reception cards continued with the pastel theme, simply featuring silhouettes of a bride & groom.
Along with your theme, work on a selection of colours, which you can incorporate throughout your wedding stationery: menu cards, place cards, order of service and even your wedding favours. My advice would be to keep the invitation clean and minimalist, e.g. with a Jane Austen theme like mine, you could incorporate lace, and other delicate features, in different places such as your table settings. It doesn’t all need to be on the invite – I would advise against overdoing things at this stage and then find you’re out of ideas for the wedding!
The size of the invitation is something else to consider. If you decide to go for modern scalloped invitations, you must keep in mind that the more you deviate from the standard size envelope, the more you’ll pay in postage. As you consider your theme, colours and size of the invite, don’t forget about the text. This is so important. The information you’re sending with the invitation is just as important as the fact of the invitation itself. If you’re getting your invitations made professionally, your supplier will be able to help you with this.
If you’re having a wedding website, the ‘save the dates’ are great place to share the URL. The main thing to remember is, don’t use light on light and dark on dark. Clarity and ease of reading is key, so also be wary of using an overly scripted typeface. You can be creative - just don’t forget to be clear!
Deciding what information to include, again, keep it simple – don’t crowd the invite. Stick to the key points, locations, times, couple’s names, dress code (if you have one), and RSVP information. If there’s anything else you want to send, put it on a separate card or another page if you’re going for a booklet style invitation. Aim for elegance in your invite and your other stationery.
First thing to send out will be your ‘save the date’ cards - the sooner the better, I say. These days people have their diaries booked so far in advance you don’t want to leave it to chance. We gave out ours at our engagement party. I would recommend that nine months before the wedding is about right. Just remember if you have guests flying in from abroad, or if you’re going for a destination wedding, the more time the better. Invitations can be sent three or four months in advance, and make sure you allow enough time for guests to RSVP - three or four weeks is enough. Too little and they don’t have enough time, too much and they’ll forget! Make sure your RSVP ‘cut-off’ is at least two months before your wedding so you can get a final head count. This will impact on tables, your seating plan and of course your caterer - they may have their own deadlines so it’s important you check.
Everything seems wonderful but for most of us our decisions are largely guided by our budgets. Invitation costs vary considerably and can very quickly spiral out of control, so set a budget and stick to it. A custom design will add hugely to your costs – so is it really necessary? You need to think about paper quality, colours, fonts, whether you’re having multiple enclosures etc. It’s so important to look into these things ahead of time, so make a list of your main priorities.
But just remember, these are only invitations, and the more you spend on them the less you’ll have to spend on that all important dream dress!
By the way, don’t forget the thank-you notes. These should be sent within two weeks of receiving your gifts. It’s a nice way to reflect on how your guests contributed to your day, and express your true appreciation – so be gracious!
Whether you decide to make them yourself or hire a professional, pay attention to details, especially the date, time and spelling. If you are going to use a professional, you can save money and time by including all your items in one order - your menu cards, order of service etc. Now is also a good time to think about your wedding favour tags and welcome bag notes.
It’s always lovely to hear from you, so do get in touch if you’d like any other wedding related topics covered. Happy Wedding Planning!