Designing Your Wedding Invitations - The Basics
When designing your wedding invitations it’s a good idea to keep a few things top of mind. If you do, you’re likely to spend less money, waste less time and get a lot more enjoyment out of the process.
So what should you keep top of mind?
Your wedding theme and colours.
These will be paramount in the design. Your invitations should be a prelude to the event and give your guests guidance as to how to dress for the occasion. Formal weddings should have structured style invitations, using formal wording. A more casual wedding should have a more casual design and can use less formal wording.
Your wedding budget.
Disregard this advice at your peril. Whilst you don’t need to spend huge amounts on your invitations, there are some things that just can’t be done cheaply. Enlist the help of a professional to advise you on costs for certain printing methods and embellishments. They can be a big help to keep you on budget.
Your skill set and available equipment.
Do you have the necessary skills to do a good job yourself and, even if you do, do you have access to the right equipment? Should you be hiring a professional? What about an in-between option, where the pros do the design, layout, printing and cutting and you just do the assembly? Choose the option that best suits your skills and the equipment you have available. Buying equipment just to make your invitations is highly unlikely to save you money!
How far away is the wedding date? Do you have time between work and other commitments, to make the invitations yourself? Can you enlist unpaid help from others? Are there other options that will save you time?
Will you be happy with something that’s not quite perfect for your wedding day? It might seem strange that this is here, but it’s important and ties in with the budget and skill set points above. In other words, how fussy are you? Proper professionals guarantee the quality of their work, whereas many small operators won't. Beware the price that seems too good to be true. More and more invitation makers are reselling services out of China, India or other Asian countries where the labour is cheap. They don't offer any guarantees on the invitations and they are often made from poor quality materials and slapped together with little care, since the workers' wage is dependent upon output quantity, not quality. Check for independent feedback and ratings, like on Facebook or Google Plus or awards like the ABIA (Australian Bridal Industry Academy), where the brides votes, not an industry body.
What’s the next step?
How about browsing? Have a good look on the internet, through magazines, bridal expos and at anything you’ve received and kept aside. Try to pick out elements that you like about certain invitations. Some have ribbon, some lace, some pearls and others rhinestones. Some are flat, some fold, some have fancy papers and others are made using fabric. Some have pictorial elements printed, some just plain text. The list is endless, so if you can narrow down the things you like about an invitation, it will help when deciding what to incorporate into yours. Check prices during this process so you have an idea of the differences in costs and what elements add significantly to the price and which ones don't. Many suppliers charge fees for altering designs, yet there are others that do not.
Get some samples.
Many invitation suppliers will sell you samples at the unit price. They won’t have your details printed on them, but you’ll be able to see if you really like the invitation, the quality of the printing and construction and the real colours. If you’re intending the make them yourself, you’ll be able to see how they’re put together by a professional, although the techniques used and quality of construction does vary greatly among invitation makers.
Make a choice.
At some point you have to stop browsing and start making decisions. Deciding between handmade or just printed wedding invitations could be a major turning point. Choosing a supplier you feel you can trust to do a good job might also be a major step. Any decent invitation maker will have a phone number that you can call, so why not have a chat with the ones you're considering. It may become obvious which one you should use once you speak with them.
Ask about colours.
Most wedding invitations that you’ll see will be displayed in a certain colour, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be done in other colours. Find out if the elements that make the invitation are available in other colours. For a Gothic wedding you may like black lace, but all the lace invitations seem to feature white or ivory, so ask the question.
Play around with things.
Meet with an invitation designer or go to a DIY shop and grab the bits and pieces you like and try putting them together into a design you like. Don’t worry about the printing too much at this stage. This is about getting the card and embellishments together into a package that you think looks good and is in sync with your wedding theme and colours.
Printed design elements.
Photos and other pictorial elements should only be used where appropriate. If you’ve chosen a handmade design, the printed elements should be kept simple. Add a monogram, drawn graphic or faded background picture if required. Just keep in mind that with handmade invitations, it’s usually the paper and embellishments that are the stars, so you shouldn’t try to outshine them with the printed bits. Fonts, layout and wording are important. Formal events should have formal wording and fonts. Casual affairs can have something more light and fun.
Who will make the invitations?
Labour takes time and time costs money. If you are having the invitations made professionally, expect to pay more for handmade ones. The more elements that are combined to produce the invitations, the more labour it will take and the more it will cost. If you don’t want to spend the money and don’t have the time or skills yourself, you may need to reconsider your design. Remember that point about your attitude above? Don’t get frustrated when a professional wants to charge for their product and service and it’s outside of your budget. It’s not their fault you’ve chosen something above your budget or ability to make yourself.
If you managed to check off all the above items, it’s time to get your invitations made. If you’ve decided to DIY, make sure you have all the equipment handy. Above all, relax and have fun!
As anything else, this is another personal decision to be discussed by the couple.
I believe there is not right or wrong answer. Each couple will have their circumstances, preferences and little humans or not to celebrate with.
If the answer is "YES, we want them in both our ceremony and reception",
then it is quite easy: just include them on the invitation.
"The Smith Family"
or name each person:
"Marina, Adam, Charles and Sue"
If the answer is "NO, we rather this to be an adult celebration", below you will find some polite ways to word your wishes.
How do I kindly request NO kids to my wedding?
There are many people who want to exclude children from their wedding receptions but lack the words to do so or they may feel worried to offend their guests, or that their guests can not make it. With this in mind, let us consider some of the ways you can say "no to children" on the invitation without sounding rude.
Subtle Ideas on how to word your invitations
There are many reasons why you may not want children at your wedding. Starting from the obvious, not all children and nice and quiet. Other times you may want to bring the cost down. Perhaps your venue may not allow children.
Or you may be celebrating your wedding with an experience or in a place that is not suitable for children. Nowadays, people are getting married in a variety of places or exotic locations. They are going to canyons, ice lands and jungles. Some environments are unsuitable for children. Other times, the venues will just not allow children. You can go ahead and include this in the invitation. After mentioning the location, or venue policy, you can say
‘ Adult reception to follow at’
‘ Due to venue space or policy restrictions, we are unable to invite
children under 16’
‘ Due to space restrictions, we can only accommodate
children of immediate family"
‘ We love our little ones, however,
this is an adult only reception and ceremony"
•A subtle way is to address clearly the invitation and the envelope
with the name of the persons invited. In theory,
if the kids' names are not there, your guests should understand their child/ children is/are not invited or they should give you a call and ask.
Grown ups want to have some fun too sometimes. Your wedding can offer the opportunity for you and your friends to get loose without worrying about the kids. If possible, you can forego the cost of setting up a baby sitting area. You can write on the invitation,
‘ We thought you would like one night off, please let's make this an adult only reception. A professional nanny will be booked at the venue "
‘ Due to budget limitations, we are unable to accommodate children, professional babysitting will be provided at the hotel/ venue"
Speak to your guests, converse with them before hand, lay out your concerns.
Are you wondering how to incorporate a creative wording into your wedding rsvp cards without losing elegance and style?
Or has it happened to you that you totally love those Pinterest creative stationery shots, with a fun or modern wording but you are not quite sure whether everyone will like it? You're not alone. This is a common enquiry or concern and that's why I am writing this article.
Well, let me tell you what I think. No matter what you do, we have already stated in many of our blogs that we can not please everyone or pander to everyone's taste. And taste is not a science, it is actually quite subjective. A funny or serious wording on the RSVP card will not define the style of the entire wedding, within reason, of course.
Once your wedding style is discussed, defined and agreed on (I would say mainly with your partner, but perhaps not exclusively), you can decide how formal or fun you want it to be. Just be consistent with most of the elements of the wedding and the level of formality you want and you will be just fine.
Now, before I show you wording ideas that are creative, let's remember some points that some of those stunning inspiration shots may not leave clear.
RSVP card: wording ideas
ow the fun part!
Depending on the level of formality of your wedding you can use some humour or even hints to encourage their guests to put that RSVP card in the mail.
You can find more traditional wording, with "accepts/ declines" in our wording ideas page.
Some of the funny RSVP wordings and options we've used are:
Specific wording options for destination weddings.
Info to help the band or DJ.
Here are some lines you can use to encourage a response.
These are my tips for today, do you have more ideas to share?
PLEASE COMMENT AND INSPIRE OTHER COUPLES SEARCHING FOR CREATIVE WORDING
Do you want to order rsvp cards? Click here
After a challenging 2020 wedding season, the wedding industry is now feeling very confident about the wide possibilities to celebrate. Being located on the Gold Coast, and with 50km of sandy gorgeous beaches very close by, what can I say? We LOVE beach weddings! Australia has most of their main cities near the beach, making this a dream theme. We make 1000's of beach wedding invitations every year for Australia and the USA so I thought to cover this theme and the relevant info you should consider when organising a beach wedding. Got ideas that you want to share? PLEASE share them in the comment box below!
Beach Wedding Locations
If it`s possible try and book a private beach then you can have your wedding ceremony, and reception all day and night. If it is not, make a list of potential sites, and visit each one.
Ask questions during your visits, such as:
There are 1000's of beach wedding styles that are suitable to wear outdoors, without dragging sand all over it. Many brides opt to have two designs: one for the beach ceremony and a more elegant or formal one for the reception.
TIP/ IDEA: An idea that can help guests to be comfortable with their attire is to buy heaps of thongs and present them in a basket or wooden box. This allows people get changed during the wedding. High heels on the sand can be really uncomfortable and getting sand in your shoes is not much fun. Bare foot attire is also an option you could offer.
Is it going to be a rustic beach day or will it be an elegant glam beach reception?
This is a key question to keep in mind when choosing all services and products for the day.
There are fabulous decorations for a beach weddings and many DIY projects that with a bit of time, can look amazing. Extend the beach theme to your menu and table arrangements. Finger starfish with guest tags located on the table to indicate your guests the seating place. Beach signs with arrows. Mesh, rope, nets are just some of the elements that reflect the beach and ocean. I have even seeing chandelliers holding, only metres from the sand... the choice is yours and I strongly suggest you visit the venue many times to have an idea of the feel you want for your day.
IDEA: Some couples opt for using big sandollars or starfish instead of table numbers and hand write the number or name of the table on each. Serving food inside seashells is a nice beachy touch and very practical too.
How many options we have here! I'll try not to get carried away because this is not supposed to be a beach invitation article!
Briefly I would say: Decide whether or now you want beach elements on your invitations, based on taste, level of formality and budget, of course!
If you love them, you can incorporate shells, starfish or sanddollar embellishments, and combine them with mesh, raffia or twine, in a neat, coordinated way. Scroll wedding invitations closed with string or jute and a shell, or fan shape invitation with a beach design, palms or sea shells, are also unique beach invitation ideas.
If you don't like beach elements crafted on your invitations: Choose the design you want, and have a ribbon or paper band in aqua or beach colours or sandy twine, mesh and raffia, which are simple and warm beachy elements.
You can also use the 'message in a bottle' idea for favours with thank you messages to your guests or even as wedding programs rolled in bottles. We do not usually recommend these for invitations Use place cards that won't blow away - names printed on shells or sandollars with a texter to keep the theme going. Check our beach invitation collection here
The Hawaiian style flowers have a very relax beach style, also frangipani, hibiscus or any tropical flower. Enquire with your florist at your wedding destination to put together bouquets with shells attached to them.
A seafood spread would be ideal for beach wedding meals: Prawn cocktail, lobster and fresh local sea food. A lot of caterers (especially abroad) will be able to make exotic sea food dishes. A signature drink is a fun, classy addition to you beach wedding, perhaps in aqua colour to complement the scenery.
Some people like having a unique shape, like a sandcastle, palm trees, seahorse, giant clam, starfish or anything that will really personalise your wedding cake. Others rather a traditional cake with a touch of ribbon in your wedding colours, usually aqua, coral or pastels.
IDEA: milk chocolate shell decorations scattered across the tables or placed in a basket. Only if weather is not too warm!
You could make or buy glass bottles with a message inside as mentioned before. Another special touch to make your beach event stand out is to get glass tubes and fill with messages or lollies.
We have seen fantastic and practical favour ideas such as: sunglasses in every single seat with the wedding date printed on the side and the couple names engraved. Great favours ready to be used if you forgot your own.
Also paper umbrellas, engraved with the couples names and ready to be opened for use during the ceremony and to take home.
Check our beach invitation collection here
Signage: Christopher Nolan Photography
Chairs: Style me Pretty
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