One of the most important parts of planning a wedding is creating the invitations. Think about it – your wedding invites are the first glimpse your guests have into your big day, they create anticipation and excitement, PLUS they hold all of the key information your guests will need to know. Needless to say, you’ll definitely want to leave room in your budget to create a stationery suite that will ‘WOW’ your perspective attendees!

So, how do you go about creating the perfect wedding invitations for your special day? Glad you asked! We reached out to a few talented folks in the industry to share helpful tips on how to do just that!


1. Start Early

Start early–but not too early! We find that 8 months out from your wedding date is the perfect time to come see us. Once you have a few vendors secured, it will help guide the design process, as we often take aesthetic cues from florals and the venue!

Katelyn PowersGraphic Designer
Paper and Poste

Always a great idea to start early! The creative and printing process may take longer than you anticipate. Especially when it comes to more specialty methods like gold foiling or letterpress. This allows you to be more creative and ensure you receive a truly special set of stationery versus a rushed job.

Vannessa NguyenDesigner Director
Brooklin Paper Co.
 

 

2. Consider all Costs

When setting a budget for wedding stationery, there is of course, the cost of the actual invitation. What people always seem to forget is the cost of postage. Is your mailer regular domestic, oversize, or international? Those are costs that need to be accounted for. Your stationer will be able to provide you with the current going rate of postage. I really love creating matching custom postage to really personalize your invitation suite.

Also, don't forget about all the day-of stationery! That's your seating chart, place cards, menus and signage. The day-of stationery is a great way to reinforce your theme and take your wedding from cookie-cutter to tailored.

Carol LamCommunications Director
Ivorie Paperie

wedding invitesPhoto Courtesy of Alix Gould Photography

3. Get Inspired by Your Wedding Colours/Theme

While colour and I are like two peas in a pod, I do appreciate that not all clients have a love for bold hues. If you're at a loss, the best place to start is your venue which will likely already be decorated in a particular style and colour. Embrace this and choose complimentary hues to accent what you loved about the location to begin with.

Still at a loss? Try choosing a palette that compliments the season you're marrying in. In the end, this shouldn't be a stress point but a way to express what you and your fiance love. I often turn to wedding blogs much like EventSource to peruse the dreamy visuals of past weddings and editorials to see what pairs nicely together. When in doubt, you can always consult the colour wheel (wink wink).

Olga LoeffenOwner & Principle Designer
Defining Moments Stationery

Inspiration isn’t limited to searching invitation designs on Pinterest. Pull ideas from your venue, colours from your florals and wedding party attire, designs from the details on your gown and let them inspire everything from paper stocks and fonts to envelopes and custom stamps! Once you incorporate these subtle elements, your invitations will become the perfect introduction to what your guests will see on the big day.

Melissa MeyerDesigner Director
Utility House Design Company

4. Incorporate a Common Element

When sitting down with couples, I always touch on this particular element, often referring to it as branding your wedding. I think there's something super visually appealing for guests when there is a cohesiveness to all your wedding stationery, from the invites they receive in their mailbox, to the programs they read at the ceremony, and all the pieces that are incorporated in the reception. The repetitive use of a a custom monogram or beautiful water colour blooms or even geometric patterns will represent the union between you and your soon-to-be spouse and remind your guests of the wonderful time they had when they receive your thank-you cards in the mail!

Olga LoeffenOwner & Principle Designer
Defining Moments Stationery

 

5. Be Reflective of Your Personalities

Your invitation is the first thing your guest will see from your wedding story. Make a statement and make it about yourselves. Quotes and symbols that mean a lot to you can be showcased in an elegant way, so bring that to your designer because it really makes for a whole new experience. You’re getting custom art so take the opportunity to make it unique. One of my favourite invitations – and one that turns heads a lot in our studio is where a bride used her late mother's favourite flower throughout – and that love just showed. So think about who you are as a person and a couple and add those little elements in.

Puja MalhotraDesigner
Vibrance Designs

 

6. Cover all the Details

What you include in your invitation suite depends on how you’ve setup your day. While there are some standard formats for invitation wording, things like hotel information, parking details, dress codes, or a wedding website may or may not apply. Only mention what’s helpful for your guests and important for your wedding specifically — leave out all the rest. To make sure you’ve got it all, take a mental walk-through of your day as a guest from beginning to end.

Melissa MeyerDesigner Director
Utility House Design Company

Photo Courtesy of Simply Lace Photography

7. Purchase More Than You Need

This is a very important consideration when working with your stationer. We recommend ordering at least 5-10 extra cards. There will always be that guest you (or your family) forgot about. To re-print a few extra will be more costly than just ordering the extra few cards in the initial order.

Vannessa NguyenDesigner
Brooklin Paper Co.

How many invitations will I need? This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions that we, as stationers get. Use the 60% rule as a guideline to approximate how many invitations you need, that is, take 60% of the total number of guests you expect to have and that gives you the number of invitations you should order. Of course, you will actually need to create a guest list and count how many couples, families or singles you will be inviting (excel comes in handy for that). Once you have that number, I would recommend ordering at least 10 extra suites. These will be lifesavers when your future mother-in-law totally forgets to invite someone or when your fiance decides he does want to invite his boss after all. Make sure to save at least one suite as a keepsake, and for wedding photos on the big day!

Carol LamCommunications Director
Ivorie Paperie

Always purchase 10 extra invitations. It not only saves you from stress but also cost. We create couture invitations so with custom orders we provide a bulk print discount – and it’s impossible to do so when you print so few, so your per piece cost will be much higher!

Puja MalhotraDesigner
Vibrance Designs

8. Be Sure to Send Invites Out 3-5 Months Before the Big Day!

We usually suggest sending invitations out 3 months prior to your event, or 2 months if you did a Save the Date. If a lot of guests are coming from out of town, 4 months does the trick!

Katelyn PowersGraphic Designer
Paper and Poste

We know this to be very true! Rarely do all your guests respond on time and you can probably already name someone who won’t. Keep in mind that you will have to receive the responses and then organize them so that your day-of stationery can be created. We usually advise that you provide us with the complete organized information at most 3-4 weeks from your wedding day.

Vannessa NguyenDesigner Director
Brooklin Paper Co.