Getting ready for your wedding and planning the ceremony can be daunting. From day one, you'll need to make a steady stream of decisions that determine how the day unfolds. Your invitations are one of the biggest choices — it's important to learn how to choose Wedding Invitations before you make a commitment (to your invites, that is).
Learn more about the importance of choosing the right invitation, along with 13 tips for choosing wedding invites.
The importance of choosing the right Wedding Invitation
Your wedding is one of the biggest moments in your life. The invitations set the tone for the event, so it's important to choose a design you love. They're also one of the few physical keepsakes from the big day; whether you frame the invitation or keep it in a scrapbook, it will serve as a tangible reminder of your marriage. An invitation that captures your love can bring you joy for years to come.
Your save-the-date cards are your guests' first look at what your big day holds in store, but most couples don't nail down the major details until it's time to send out wedding invitations. That's why your invitations are such a vital part of establishing the style, theme, and overall feel of your wedding. From announcing your venue to teasing a fun country chic theme, the stationery you send out needs to be attractive, informative, and above all — unforgettable.
13 tips for choosing your wedding invites
Choosing Wedding Invitations can involve a surprising number of decisions. Finding the perfect design is just the start; you'll also need to select Wedding Invitation paper, colors, fonts, printing style, and embellishments. To help you navigate the decision-making process, we've collected our favorite Wedding Invitation tips.
1. Identify your wedding theme or vibe
Your invites should be a reflection of your personality while also providing a preview of your wedding venue, theme, and even the season you'll be getting married in. You wouldn't want an invitation covered in seashells for a winter wedding at a ski retreat or a stark black-and-white design if you're going with a carnival theme.
Even if you haven't 100% nailed down your wedding details by the time you send out the invitations, you can still be in the ballpark. Just knowing how formal the event will be and what colors or design elements you want can help you narrow down the invite field so you can pick a layout you'll love.
If you're unsure of the theme, decor, or colors, your best bet is to stick with a classic, simple design. Some designs are universal — look for universal invitations that feature a solid background, and communicate the vibe of the wedding with the style of text. If you're hosting a black-tie event, you might choose a design with a traditional serif font and elegant script accents, such as Quietly Quaint. For a more relaxed wedding, look for invitations that feature fonts inspired by handwriting or hand lettering. If you want to add a hint of glam, foil invitations add just the right touch of shine.
You can also use Wedding Invitation types to give guests an idea of what to expect in terms of style. For a modern wedding, look for oversized typographic elements or striking linear accents; Glory Day and Love on the Line are the perfect examples. If you're imagining a traditional event, the timeless frame and floral accents of an invitation such as Etched Elegance evokes imagery of beautiful bridal bouquets. Since most weddings include flowers, this is an easy way to dress up your design without committing to a theme.
2. Set a budget before shopping for invitations
You don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment when you're planning a wedding. Keep things positive and avoid falling head over heels for a wedding invitation suite you can't afford by setting a budgetary limit ahead of time. Thankfully, the process is easy: Take the total amount you want to spend on invitations and divide that by the number of invitations you'll need. Understanding that per-invitation price will help you as you build a package that includes not only the invitation but perhaps other options like embellished envelopes and RSVP cards.
The good news is that if you work with the right vendor, even affordable invitations can be stunning. Know which elements are non-negotiable and which ones you can live without.
As you're setting a budget, it might be helpful to figure out how many people are on your guest list. The guest count can have a big impact on the price of invitations — the more people you invite, the more you may need to reduce the per-invitation cost to stay within the budget. Keep in mind that larger orders often come with a discount that can help keep costs in check. On the flip side, if you're having an intimate wedding, you might be able to splurge on an intricate custom design or a stacked Wedding Invitation.
If your invitation budget doesn't match up with your dream invitations, you can get crafty. Some vendors, including Truly Engaging, offer regular sales that can make your purchase more affordable. Check in on your favorite invitation websites regularly to find out about current promotions. It's also a good idea to sign up for the email list to get notified first.
3. Research different Wedding Invitation styles
Traditional fold-in-half invitations are what a lot of people picture when they first consider what they'll be sending out to guests, but there's more than one way to craft an invite:
Shaped invitations put a little twist on the standard rectangular design by adding rounded corners or trading right angles in for a bracket shape
Pocket Wedding Invitations feature a folded design that opens up to reveal a pocket holding supplementary goodies like your RSVP cards; the fold can open vertically or horizontally
All-in-one Wedding Invitations are a one-stop shop, with invitation, envelope, and RSVP card included in one seamless design — guests can simply tear off the RSVP card (apply a prepaid postcard stamp if you wish) and send it back
Stacked Wedding Invitations come with all the pieces you need for your wedding, including the invite, detail card, and RSVP card. Choose from a variety of Wedding Invitation sizes, and select from shapes including arches, circles, rounded rectangles, and abstract designs.
Foil Wedding Invitations feature shimmering foil accents that add a pop of shine. You can add foil to the text, design elements, or even to the inside of your envelopes.
4. Browse tons of different designs
Even if you have a design already in mind, it's a good idea to take a look around at what else is on offer. You may be surprised to realize what you like.
In addition to classic invitations, there are invitations made specifically for destination weddings, some that have more of a modern feel, and others that have a rustic aesthetic that's perfect for saying “I do” in a barn or in your backyard. Flip through floral Invitations, see what a vintage wedding invite looks like, or maybe zero in on unique invitations that are delightfully offbeat.
Within each theme, you'll find a huge variety of designs. Spend time exploring the options — the process opens up a whole new world of possibilities. If you've always dreamed of a colorful, glam invitation, you might discover a love for watercolor accents or abstract art. While browsing through vintage text-based invitations, you could be captivated by designs that include romantic photos.
Remember that most Wedding Invitation designs can be customized. You might change the font, choose a different shape, or adjust the color of a graphic element. After you add personal touches to reflect your style, even the plainest of templates can wow your guests.
5. Get familiar with wedding invitation paper and printing options
Invitation paper is nothing like ordinary printer paper or the stuff you scribble on during Monday morning meetings. High-quality stationery not only looks different, it feels different. Some options include:
Premium Smooth: This is a silky-smooth paper that lets design elements shine.
Luxe Satin: A necessity for raised foil designs, this modern style provides a velvety matte finish.
Luxe Pearl: Give your invitation an elegant touch with this paper's subtle sheen that gives off an iridescent quality that flatters photos.
Double Thick: This luxurious 34-point paper has the kind of heft paper enthusiasts know means quality
Triple Thick: This 51-point premium smooth paper represents that top tier of opulent stationery.
To get a feel for your paper choices (literally), ask for free samples. You'll not only get to evaluate the paper in person, you can also see how the rest of the layout looks once you've personalized it.
The paper is only the start — you also get to select a Wedding Invitation printing option. You can keep it simple (and affordable) with a quick digital print, or you can give your invitations a heritage feel with a traditional method. Choose from techniques including:
Digital printing: Fast and cost-effective, digital printing works similarly to your home printer. It creates high-resolution, detailed designs in as many colors as you like.
Offset printing: Like digital printing, this technique uses ink that's applied flat on the paper. However, since the process uses a rubber cylinder, it can provide richer, deeper colors on a wider variety of papers.
Foil stamping: Instead of ink, this technique uses heated foil to stamp the design onto the paper.
Letterpress: This traditional method uses raised, inked metal letters to press the text into the front of the paper. It's one of the most expensive printing techniques, but it gives your invitations a classic, upscale vibe.
Engraving: With engraving, your Wedding Invitation design is cut into a printing plate. The printer applies ink to the indented design and presses the paper into the plate, creating raised lettering.
Thermography: This is a more affordable alternative to engraving, but it produces similar raised results. Instead of pressing the design, printers use three-dimensional ink to replicate the raised effect.
Lasercut: You can probably guess how this technique works — precision lasers cut intricate designs into paper for a lace-inspired effect. Laser-cutting is usually reserved for graphic accents on Wedding Invitations.
6. Consider adding shine with embellishments
If you're the kind of couple that likes glitz and glam, you may want to add some sparkle to your wedding invitations. You can dress up your invites with foiling — apply it to certain words to emphasize them (like your names or your wedding date) or gild a few decorative elements for a vintage or art deco look. The options go beyond just gold and silver, too; using rose gold evokes another layer of romance, which is perfect for your big day.
If it suits you, you can add even more bling using envelope liners and vellum bands. The liners cover the visible part of the inside of your envelopes. Some people go for metallics, while others choose a matching or contrasting color so that the envelope makes the entire invitation more visually interesting. As for the bands, these paper wraps are sort of like the ribbon on a wrapped present — it's not necessarily holding anything together, but rather contributing the perfect final decorative touch.
These gorgeous accents can take your invitations to the next level, but as you might expect, they can also do some damage to your budget. Most options cost extra, which drives up the per-invitation price. If you're hoping for hand-applied embellishments, make sure to add more room in the budget.
7. Be mindful of legibility
Loopy script fonts and delicate cursive are charming, but they can also be very hard to read. Have a third-party proof your design before you sign off on it to see if they can understand everything you're trying to say. The last thing you want is for your guests to not understand key information because "e," "o," and "a" all look the same.
When in doubt, go for a simpler text and add sentimental touches using design elements like flourishes, flowers, and scrolls.
8. Outline what details to include about your big day
In addition to choosing a legible font, you need an invitation design that has room for all the details of your big day. As you're exploring different styles, keep space constraints in mind. Make sure to select a design that highlights important pieces of information without looking cramped.
A crowded invitation can feel chaotic. At best, it's unsightly — and in the worst-case scenario, you include so much style and information that your main message gets lost. If your invitation starts to feel less like a short story and more like the beginnings of War and Peace, it's probably time to start removing elements until the details you care most about have room to breathe.
One study found that using the right amount of white space between paragraphs and margins can boost comprehension as much as 20%. That's a major jump when you're trying to create an experience — and that's just what an invitation should do. Of course, it's also important that your guests can find the information they need, too. Don't be afraid to pick a few impactful elements and leave the rest off.
9. Extras are often worth it
While some "add-ons" are just for show, there may be some particularly useful extras your stationery company offers in their invitation packages.
Enclosure cards are info central and contain details like directions to your venues, the running order for the day, and reception guidelines (dress code, for instance). It can be nice to include these rather than writing that information on the invitation, so guests have the invite as a keepsake and the enclosure card to bring along on the big day.
RSVP cards seem like a no-brainer, but they're also easy to forget. Include them (and consider pre-addressing and applying postage to them) to increase the chances guests will return them to you in a timely manner.
Address labels are useful for the wedding and beyond — plus, they're a lot less taxing than writing them by hand on 200 invitations.
Wax seal sets add a special touch to the back of your envelopes. Simply dip the stamp in melted wax and press it into the paper for a personalized, Old-World accent. You can even customize the stamp with your initials, a family crest, or a small image that matches your wedding theme.
Envelope liners add a pop of color, pattern, or shine to the interior of the envelope, giving your guests a charming surprise when they lift the flap. Reinforce the glam vibe with a glittering gold foil, or lean into the floral accents with an artistic pattern.
Paper bands wrap around your Wedding Invitation and secure with clear fasteners. They keep the pieces together and add an extra touch of formality.
Do you want all of your wedding stationery to match? While you're ordering Wedding Invitations, you can buy additional items in coordinating designs. Set the tone with stunning Save the Date Cards, and keep the theme going during the ceremony with Wedding Programs. Once the event has passed, express your gratitude with Thank You Cards that remind your guests of the wedding.
10. Proofread three times — then have someone else do the same
This tip is so important we mentioned it briefly above too, but it's worth revisiting. You won't get a redo on your wedding invitation. If it goes out listing your future mother-in-law as Saddy instead of Sally, that's a mistake you can’t unmake. Incorrect addresses, ceremony start times that are off by an hour — every error you can think of has happened. Avoid duplicating those missteps by reviewing your proofs thoroughly before approving them for printing.
11. Order samples
Sample Wedding Invitations provide one more chance to review the design and proofread the text. That way, if you missed a mistake or typo while proofreading online, you can correct it quickly.
Wedding invitation samples are also a great way to make sure you love the design, embellishments, printing style, and paper options you've chosen. After you hold the invitation in your hands, it's easier to place the order with peace of mind.
12. Be confident in your final design choice
Wedding invitations are an incredible, irreplaceable keepsake. You'll want copies for your scrapbook or even to frame as part of a wedding-day picture collage. Will you still love that neon yellow background in 20 years? Does the overall design come across as inspirational, funny, sweet, or however else you want your guests to feel?
Above all, do you look at it and smile? That, in the end, is what really matters. Pick a Wedding Invitation you love and don't let anyone change your mind.
13. Get help from experts
Your wedding invitations are some of the most important paper products you'll ever buy, so it's important to get them right on the first try. Not sure how to choose wedding invitations? If you need help selecting, customizing, or ordering your invitations, we encourage you to contact us at Truly Engaging. Our wedding experts are always happy to support you as you select the invitations to set the tone for your wedding.