Advice & Ideas Articles

Exciting Invites, Create Inviting Invitations


Gone are the days when invitations could be meshed into a one size fits all category. Texture, dimension, color palette, font styles, accessories and so on are en vogue with today’s invitation styles. How many of you can honestly admit to having been drawn to an event based on the composition of the invitation alone? If you can candidly answer yes, then you understand the power and pull of an exciting invite.

The purpose of an invitation is clear; to provide your invited guests with the event details and a subliminal understanding of what it is all about. Why not apply a dose of style and personality into the arrangement of it all? Wedding boutiques, stationery shops and independent wedding invitation designers can customize a whole line of printed materials for your speical occasion.

Image via: Donnie Brown Weddings

If you have designed a personal logo or monogram for your wedding, consider incorporating it on custom invitations or stationery. If you personally want to stay abreast of the trends available, look into attending stationery conventions in a city near you. For those of you in the New York area, schedule some time to attend the Paper Power National Stationery Show.

Image via: Donnie Brown Weddings

In my book, Donnie Brown Weddings, from the couture to the cake, I have compiled some questions you may consider asking your invitation designer. I would like to share some of them with you.

  1. Do you offer complimentary proofs? If so, how many? What if we decide to make changes along the way? Most companies provide two complimentary proofs; beyond that, they charge a fee.
  2. Will the final product look exactly like the proofs? Only place ordes with companies that answer “yes” to this question. Do not allow them to go to press before you have carefully reviewd the proofs and signed off on them.
  3. Do you hand make the invitations or are they purchased from a company that mass produces them? Make sure you are getting the invitations you want, even if that means paying more and purchasing handmade or custom invitations.
  4. Do you offer envelope calligraphy? If they don’t, ask if they can offer a good referral.
  5. Do you design and print other wedding-related materials (thank-you cards, programs, menu cards, etc.)?
  6. What is your payment and cancellation policy?
  7. Do you accept credit cards or personal checks?
  8. Can I receive the envelopes in advance? Thisenables you to have a calligrapher address your envelopes while the invitations and enclosures are in the printer.

Once you have found the perfect combination, thoughtfully package your invitations before dropping them in the mail. Usually the following items are tucked inside an envelope and then place into an outer envelope that prevents the contents from arriving damaged.

  • The main invitaton: Provides the date, time and, location of the ceremony.
  • The reception card: Outlines the date, time and, location of the reception. It should also specify the type of dinner that will be served, as well as details about the cocktail hour, if there is one.
  • RSVP card: Gives guests a way to formally accept or decline the invitation. It should have its own return envelope that is pre-stamped and pre-addressed. RSVP cards can also include the menu options so that you can share entree preferences with the caterer.
  • The rehearsal dinner invitation: This can either be mailed with the wedding invitation or sent separately. Note that, not everyone on your guest list is invited to the rehearsal dinner so, be careful not to send an invitation to someone who should not receive one. Only the wedding party, immediate family and, out-of-town guests should be included.

Image via: Donnie Brown Weddings

Getting a final head count ahead of time allows for better planning therefore, mail invitations a little more than two months prior to the wedding. Keep in mind that you are inviting guests to your big day and you want your mailing to communicate that for you. Afterall, it’s truly the invite that sets the tone for the entire affair.

Image via: Donnie Brown Weddings