Steps to the Perfect Wedding Invitation
Step 1: Do some research.
Look at Pinterest or another wedding publication to find some inspiration of fonts, colors, designs, etc. that interest you to show your stationery company. Bonus points if you keep things cohesive with your Save The Dates so that all of your wedding stationery go hand in hand. (See our inspiration photos below + our coordinating Save the Date).
Step 2: Decide How Much You Are Willing To Invest In Wedding Stationery
Wedding invitations can range so drastically from a few dollars to some major $$$$ depending on how many pieces you have in your suite, the quality of your card stock, who creates & assembles them, if you have ribbon or some other item to hold the pieces together, etc. Have a general budget in mind & then decide if you're willing to be a bit flexible with it. I typically suggest a $10-15 per cost on invitations.
Step 3: Select a Stationery Company
Now is the time to decide if you want to use a local stationery company or an online version such as Minted. I always prefer local companies for a few reasons:
-They know your market
-They know wedding etiquette rules & will help you to ensure you word everything correctly
-They check for spelling & grammatical errors
-You can edit just about anything
-You're helping your local economy
-You can go in to look at paper options
-They can ensure your save the date coordinates with your remaining wedding paper products down to your "thank you cards" when the wedding is all over
Step 4: Update Your Guest List From Your Save The Date List
You will need to send your guest list over to the stationery company for a few reasons:
1) They will need to know how many to make for you
2) They will make sure you addressed them with proper wedding etiquette
3) They will print the addresses on the envelopes for you (if you choose)
Step 5: Decide How Formal You Want Your Invitations
This should mimic how formal your wedding day is. For example, if you are having a casual backyard wedding, the way you word your invitation should reflect that vibe. If you are having a black tie affair, your wording typically trends on the side of formal & traditional. This will give your guests another little clue as to what to expect on your special day.
If you choose a local paper company &/or have a wedding planner, they are able to help guide you on proper wording for your event based on your wedding's look & the correct wedding etiquette to match.
Step 6: Send Your Inspiration & Guest List to the Stationery Company
Pretty self explanatory here. Send your inspiration, wedding details (such as if transportation is offered to guests) , timing, locations, addresses, formal names of bride & groom, wedding website link, meal options, if you want your parents names listed, brunch & rehearsal dinner details, etc.
Step 7: Log out of Pinterest.
Sounds silly after just telling you to do research to then tell you to stop... I know. Once you have an idea of what you want & you have sent it over for them to start designing, STOP LOOKING. Spending hours obsessing over it will only confuse you. You are hiring a stationery company for a reason & they will take your inspiration and enhance it in the most realistic way.
Step 8: Approve & Assemble
Once you have approved the invitations for printing you will need to decide if you want them to assemble for you or if you'll assemble them yourself. If it is just putting the paper in the envelope I would say this is a good spot for you to save money & do it yourself. If it's more complex than stuffing & stamping, let the professionals handle it... you'll thank me later.
Step 9: Stuff, Weigh & Stamp
If you are assembling yourself make sure you take a sample to your local post office to be weighed to ensure you have the right stamp before you spend your time stuffing & stamping the other 200 invitations you have in your pile. This is also a good time to consider buying "machine free" stamps. These help prevent any damage to your save the dates since they won't go through the machine that typically would cut, smudge or bend them. They are a bit more expensive but if you are already spending a small fortune on these you might as well ensure they get to your guests in the best possible condition.
Step 10: Mail Off & Let the Excitement Begin
Step 11: Start tracking your RSVP's & Meal Choices from Guests
This will help you as you approach your due date on final numbers so you know who you need to still track down. *Check out my Unpopular Wedding Opinion Blog Post to see my opinion on online RSVP's*
Step 12: Save two extra copies of your invitation & give them to your photographer to be photographed on your wedding day. You can also save any extra ribbon to be used to style the suite or to tie to your bouquet like I did. // I ordered my extra ribbon off easy & will link those here.
Favorite Stationery Company
Deb, owner & lead designer at Paperwhites, has created a company that designs just about anything you can dream up. Her team is amazing to work with & has more knowledge about wedding etiquette than I even knew existed.
Ava, owner & lead designer at Hall Creative Co, is known for her minimalistic & modern design. She uses color, texture & fonts to enhance your designs vs graphics and I am all for it!
Photography Credit: Uttke Photography & Design