Hi friends, Chelsea writing :). My wedding day is THIS Saturday and I could not be more excited! It’s seriously the best feeling ever. Below are a couple of Spencer and my engagement photos so you can see my handsome and amazing soon-to-be husband! :) Our engagement photos are by the amazing Kate Huber Photography!
Reflecting back on all the time spent planning, organizing and designing, I came to the conclusion that I have so much to share with you. So, I thought I’d go ahead and start! This week I’m sharing my process of figuring out the design for my wedding invitations! This was (obviously) a really important detail to me and I wanted the design to both reflect my wedding style and personal taste as well as strongly appeal to my guests.
As a general rule, wedding invitations are usually mailed out about 2-3 months before the big day. So, if you are currently in the process of planning out your invitations or would like to have an idea of when and how to start, I’ve created a list of tips below to help ease this process based on my experience.
1. Determine your wedding style and colors + start early: I think wedding style should really correspond with personal style and taste as well as the kind of venue you have envisioned/booked to host your day. If you are struggling with finding your style and venue, my advice is to go with your gut feeling! Try to not to over think it and go with what you truly like and feel comfortable with. For colors, I’d recommend experimenting a little and keeping an open mind! I actually started playing with colors by going to Lowe's nearby and picking out some paint chips that I liked. My initial palate leaned more towards burgundy, blush and neutrals, but it soon evolved into gray/blue, blush and neutrals. (Although, I did recently add a pop of burgundy flowers to my bouquet, so the burgundy is still making its debut :)). I’ve always loved shades of blue and what really changed my mind was when I saw that color as one of the options for my bridesmaids dresses. It made me realize that was what I really wanted! I think it helps to keep an open mind while you begin picking out some of the initial (main) details of the wedding before making any firm decisions about colors. Staying flexible in the beginning makes for easy adjustments and initial decisions!
2. Pull together a cohesive feel from the details already planned + have all information finalized: After you have nailed down some of the bigger details of the wedding, gather up everything thus far and see if it all feels cohesive. Whatever feel you are going for (relaxed, elegant, traditional, glam, etc.) make sure your details are radiating the same vibe. If there is one thing you have planned so far that you are over-the-top in love with, you could try and incorporate it into your design. The main detail I focused on were my florals. I really wanted to stick with our brand and give off a natural, soft and organic feel. All of the florals included in my suite are actually in my bouquet.
This is a good time to also collect and confirm all information for accommodations and other details your guests will utilize. Hotel information, your wedding website, where you are registered, and more! Finalizing all of these details early on can help you to focus on the design and know what information your invitations will encompass as a whole when gathering design inspiration.
3. Gather inspiration + finalize pieces of your suite: Pinterest, anyone? For invitation design, search the words: watercolor, calligraphy, typography and wedding invitations and just keep scrolling as you “ooh and ahh” at all of those gorgeous photos! This is a great way to really get excited about the possibilities and see what stands out to you the most. While you may not want things designed exactly the same as something already created, it’s good to start somewhere and gather the different elements that you’d like to incorporate; then modify them to make it your own. Things to think about: Would you like ink calligraphy, brush calligraphy, a lot of, a little or no watercolor and fonts that interest you. Also, think about all of the pieces you'd like to send, if any more than the invitation, accommodations card and rsvp card. Other potential pieces include a belly band, a small card with your wedding logo and envelope liners. Looking at wedding suites packaged up on Pinterest can help spark some ideas as well. As a note, we can always modify our existing wedding templates to better suit your wedding style, colors and feel, just ask!
4. Sizes and shapes + envelope talk: Once you’ve decided on the different elements you’d like your wedding suite to include, you’ll need to consider what size and shape each piece of the suite will work best. Time to pull out all of those informational details! Evaluating size and shape + informational details is key to make sure that things don’t end up looking too crowded. Your designer can help judge this based on experience and seeing your inspiration, but it’s still good to have a size and shape in mind that you prefer. Things to consider for making this decision: How would you like your guests to hold your invitation suite (horizontally or vertically)? How much text will be on each piece? Will the design elements from your inspiration be more vertical or horizontal? (i.e. Do you have longer names or shorter names? If you’d like your names to be bigger and you have longer first and last names, then you might want to go horizontal!). Square invitations and envelopes are also another option. You don’t see as many square envelopes as rectangle ones, so that could be a way to make your invitations stand out. However, square envelopes do require additional postage. I believe it is $0.20 more than normal, so that is another thing to keep in mind!
Things to remember and consider after your design is complete and before sending everything to the printer:
5. Proof, and double proof: This is pretty self-explanatory! It is always best to take a second (and third) look at everything before sending it to the printer. Have family, friends and maybe your Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man help double check all of the information and look for misspellings and anything incorrect. I almost had the wrong hotel phone number printed on my accommodations piece (thanks for catching that, mom! :)).
6. Order more than you think you’ll need: We kept adding people to the guest list and I had to go back to the printer and order more, even though I had ordered a few extra to begin with. Extras are always better! Plus, its great to have some that you can keep for your wedding scrapbook :).
7. Order stamps ahead of time: Then you have them when your prints are ready for pick-up! Note: for your save the date cards (if they’re mailed in an envelope) you can use regular $0.49 forever stamps. However, for your wedding suite envelopes, you will most likely need to order specific “wedding stamps” which are around $0.71 due to the heavier weight of all the pieces inside. I didn’t know this at first and it’s good to plan these ahead of time because depending on how many invitations you send out, they can really add up in cost!
8. Think about how you'd like to address the envelopes: You have the option to write the addresses on the envelopes yourself, hire a calligrapher (or your friend who has really neat handwriting) or have a printer print the addresses with your chosen font. I ended up writing all of the address for my save the dates and then printing them for the invitations. Printing was such an easier and neat/cleaner option! Hiring a calligrapher is another great option and can really make your envelopes stand out from other pieces of mail. Also, one thing Spencer and I purchased at the beginning of our engagement is an address stamp! They are so cute and super easy to use for your return address. Whether or not you want to use that on your save the date or invitation envelopes, it’s still a nice thing to have for thank you notes and other snail mail! Etsy has a lot of good options for these, just search: custom address stamps. InvitationBox has good options as well!
I hope that you feel a little more knowledgeable about the process of designing your wedding invitation suite! There are so many details that go along with this process (as with many other things wedding-related :)), and it’s sometimes good to get all of these thoughts out into organized steps! To view and shop my wedding suite on Etsy, click here! If you ever have any questions about this process or our wedding invitation suites, just send us an email to email@example.com. We’d love to help!!
With lots of excitement,