How to Choose Your Wedding Invitations
Your wedding stationery will play a huge role in your nuptials; from the 'save-the-date' reminders to the menu cards on the tables at the main event. Your whole wedding stationery suite is an important part of the wedding decor, and it isn't just limited to the wedding invitations. You will need RSVP and directions cards, and cards for the reception details, weekend events, and accommodations if you choose to include.
A beautiful, well-designed, and well-thought wedding stationery set will dictate the manner of the event. There's nothing more heartwarming than receiving an elegant wedding invitation in the mail to build anticipation for the big day ahead. It also is a good indication of the style of event you're planning – be it tropical, vintage, formal, rustic, etc. Unfortunately, wedding invitations are frequently one of the things left off the budget, or consigned to the "DIY" projects. Sure, you can do it yourself but in most cases that is just a recipe for a disaster. Unless you're very artistic or a wedding stationery designer, what you may end up with is a tacky clipart design.
A wedding invitation suite is all the paper goods included with the wedding invitation itself. The designing, packaging, and mailing is quite an undertaking, so you'll want to create a stationery budget that suits your needs. Read on to find out what type of stationery you will need.
Wedding Invitations and Save the Dates
Your wedding theme sets the tone and the main element of this theme is color. All of your wedding stationery should be based around your wedding's color palette. The designs, patterns, and complexity can vary, but the colors should be the same. This will help set the sage and tell your story for your wedding day. Cohesion is key; below are a few themes to get you inspired!
While the plethora of wedding invitations and collections can become confusing or overlapping, traditional is often determined by the wedding's color palette; i.e. black and white, yellow and gold, scarlet and navy, yellow and gray, a combination of neutrals, and so on. You're not opting for flashy or playful, hip, or rustic, you're interested in a classic, elegant look. Your wedding stationery set should clearly depict your wedding colors, but leave the main focus to your event details. The traditional wording and fonts will take center stage, as in this timeless stationery suite by Minted.
Most often this theme is used for weddings that will take place at the beach or a waterfront venue, and for good reason. Its energetic vibe sets the mood for a relaxed affair that will have no shortage of fun, cocktails, and good laughs. The most common color palette for nautical wedding invitations is blue and white, with potential pops of vibrant red and yellow. Select elements that illustrate the water such as knots, anchors, lifebuoys, seashells, or corals. This dusty blue beach invitation set, pictured above, channels the seas and skies of Greece, by Atelier Invitations.
If you're planning to have a destination wedding, it's quite exciting to highlight this in your wedding invitation suite. Opt for save the dates and wedding stationery that either directly portray your chosen location or set a general mood and feel for the event. The final design should subtly paint your setting and theme, giving your guest a jolt of excitement as to when and where they can plan their next vacation getaway and celebrate your nuptials. We love this Parisian inspired wedding invitation set by Shasta Bell Calligraphy. If you're hesitant about the design direction, ask your wedding planner for suggestions to capture the sentiment just right.
Outdoor/ Garden Party
Like a nautical-themed wedding, you're most likely going to select this theme if you're imagining your wedding party and attendees surrounded by nature; in this case, flowers, trees, grassy expanses and landscapes. Your garden wedding invite could very well make reference to your floral décor. Try to incorporate colors that will be visible in the garden or outdoor affair for a wholesome effect, or if you're thinking of decorating with dried florals the color possibilities are endless. Watercolor wedding stationery is an excellent choice for outdoor weddings. We love this set by One & Only Paper, calligraphed by Samantha Terhune.
Modern themed wedding stationery depicts clean lines, geometric shapes, and minimalistic design. They're ideal for bold color schemes and pattern-mixing, and easily set the tone for venues with impressive architectural structures. City venues work especially well for this type of design theme. Love Fern Design Studio's modern invitation suite above is coral and citrus inspired with a geometric envelope liner.
A rustic wedding theme and wedding invitation suite is excellent if you're planning a wedding in the countryside. It's a very trendy theme with popular settings located on a farm, in a cabin or barnyard, or overlooking a mountain range. Showing off your wedding venue's unique rural setting isn't complicated as you might choose to select invites with a woodgrain background, blackboard theme, wreath display, or that even incorporate twine to tie everything all together! These invitations are typically less formal and instead amplify a laid-back, country-chic charm. Leather accents by Amber Moon Designs above illustrate a ranch-centric celebration like no other.
What To Include In Your Wedding Stationery Suite
There are a several essentials you won't want to miss when putting your wedding invitation suite all together, and while it may seem clear what information goes on the invitation itself, key details like date, time, ceremony location, and/or reception locations can accidentally get left off. Double check your invite twice and then share it with a friend or family member for added assurance.
Essentials to include:
- Response Card and Envelope
- Inner Envelope
- Mailing Envelope
Extras that are optional:
- Reception Card
- Weekend Events Card
- Accommodations Card
- Invitation Wrapper
How Much Do Wedding Invitations Cost?
The average cost of wedding invitations varies according to how they're printed. Options range from digital printing, flat or thermography printing, letterpress or engraving. Digital printing is completed as its name implies with no manual ink mixing, and can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,200 for a suite of 100, according to Brides.com. Flat or thermography printing, in which ink gets transferred to the invitation through a press, typically starts at $1,200. Letterpress printing requires more manual labor and custom presses for each design and color, beginning at $1,600. The most luxurious option, engraving creates an embossed look and begins at $2,200 for a suite of 100. Stationery doesn't have to cost you a fortune, but planning a budget for it will ensure you and your partner receive the ideal style and components you're hoping for.
When You Should Send Your Wedding Invitations
Given the various timetables and deadlines you'll have to maneuver while wedding planning, you may find yourself asking when do wedding invitations go out? Your save the dates typically get sent out 4 to 6 months prior to the wedding for a local affair, and your actual invitations are mailed 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding, giving your guests enough time to make travel arrangements and accommodations if they don't live nearby.
For destination weddings, it's courteous to mail your save the dates 8 to 12 months in advance and then send your wedding invitations 3 months ahead of the big day. This advance notice will allow your guests the opportunity to save money, ask off for work, and make any necessary travel arrangements. Your goal is to increase the chance of your invitees attending your nuptials, so extra consideration on your part goes a long way to making sure they'll be there!
While wedding stationery ideas and styles are in the plenty, the information included on them serves an important purpose to summarize what your guests can expect at your upcoming nuptials. While all the stationery is not compulsory, it’s a wonderful way to make potential attendees feel informed and included at every stage. As such, put some great thought into it before making your selection and don't forget to involve your partner in the decision process too!
Happy wedding invitation shopping!
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