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
This is a question we are often asked, and we thought to write a bit about our views, to give you an idea as to when the best time to send out your wedding invitations is. Unfortunately, what etiquette and wedding “protocol” usually suggest is not necessarily compatible with reality.
IMPORTANT: This article is merely meant to inform and does not try to give advice or “a must” timing. Our intention is to just guide you with our extensive experience in the industry, making wedding invitations and stationery for the day has taught us about the timing needed.
What online “experts” tell you (and I disagree) is to:
“Send your wedding invitations 8 weeks before your wedding. If it’s a destination wedding: send them 3 months in advance to give your guests time to arrange and schedule the trip.”
For starters, some of the advice online is concerning. When the articles are written by SEO content writers who are paid to get to get a website’s rank up on google. 1000’s of people trusting an article that is trying to make sales instead of trying to inform.
What I say: "Really?"
In our experience, it’s best to be thinking of a few aspects of your wedding, deciding the best timing for you, deciding what works for your guests and discussing timing with vendors and suppliers so it can all work together to deliver what you need when you need it.
What I ask my couples before I suggest a timing:
1) Is it a destination wedding? Do your guests need to arrange flights, accommodation and save an amount of money to make it to the event? Give them 6 months to a year if they’re interstate, more than a year if they’re overseas. Only you know how quick your friends can get organised and logistics and their finances. If you want them to come, allow them time.
2) Do you want all of them to come, or are you just fulfilling a formality? I know this can be a controversial question, but we all know that some people will not be able to come, or that you may not be that keen on inviting certain people for whatever reason. However, you may still want them to receive an invitation. If that’s the case, yes! 8 weeks is plenty of time. In On some occasions, we may need to invite others, to participate in or fulfil a formality (family relationships, business, etc, and auntie or neighbour that knew us growing up but would not necessarily attend to your wedding, the list continues.)
3) Did you send a save the date card, or are you planning to? I am not saying anyone should or shouldn’t, some send a save the date card 1 year or more before the day. The truth is that many, and I dare to say most guests, will not buy the tickets until the venue is confirmed, nor they will ask their boss the day off for it, or book a nanny etc until they receive the formal invitation. A save the date is very useful but often instead couples rather save the money and put it towards a much nicer invitation to be sent earlier. There is no right or wrong in my opinion, the choice is again yours. Bottom line, if you have not sent a save the date card, then that invitation probably should go out even earlier than planned.
4) What services do you need to organise that rely on confirmed numbers and rsvps? And what is their timing? As you may know, certain suppliers will need to know your numbers and will need to know some time in advance of the wedding or before the wished delivery date (if a product is needed before the wedding). Say for example, a caterer may not need to know the numbers or whether they are vegetarian or not until 2-4 weeks before the wedding, but perhaps you might need to hire a second nanny for the hotel as some extra kids were confirmed for the day.
Or in the case of our services/products, you may need menus, table/place cards, chocolate or personalised favours/ bonbonniere, programs or order of service. All these need numbers confirmed, and many, such as place cards, will also need the names of the guests. During busy times we (Tango Design) do need 4 weeks for production, from when the PDF is approved, plus shipping time. Whilst many couples approve their design within 1-2 weeks, some need a little extra time, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but there needs to be enough time before your wedding to cater for it. Often, there are last minutes changes, design variations, and changes of information on the invite from the venue, the caterer or the celebrant, and that’s without counting when a family or friends also want to participate in the wording for each piece. Every client, every wedding and every family is different.
So, when to send your invites?
If you want the short answer, I would say:
• If it’s a local wedding, where no accommodation or flights are required:
I would suggest 4-6 months before the wedding day to allow you to organise other services and products with vendors that require numbers or/and names (if needed).
• If it’s a destination wedding, where accommodation and flights are required, and you want them to make it to the event: 6 months to 18 months.
There are many reasons, but it’s best to decide for yourself considering the questions above.
As well as the scenarios mentioned, consider:
• Cultural background and timing. For some cultures it is unthinkable to plan too early, for others, it is a must.
• The amount of people involved in the PDF approval. Some couples are the only ones who have a say on the design or/ and the wording, however plenty get their parents, financial contributors or friends included in the decisions. Again, not right or wrong, but the more people involved, the longer it takes for everyone to agree. Please allow some time for it.
• Changes of information with third parties. Say you were given a time, but the planner or venue suggests at the very last moment a change, or maybe the photographer wants you for a few shots before the ceremony, trust me it happens. Please triple check with the venue, the planner, celebrant and any other people involved in the decision. It can take time so please allow for it.
So, to conclude this article, what I am trying to say is that the sooner you know who and how many guests are coming;
-the easier you will be able to organise other items/ services you may need
-the higher the chance that your guests can make it
-the more time you will have to ensure the invitations reflect what you want them to be
-you will also have the chance to invite a second lot of guests, if many in the first lot cannot make it (i.e. destination weddings). I will talk more about this in another article, but I am referring to guests that you would still love to come to your wedding, but they didn’t quite make it onto the first list due to a budget or spacing situation (friends you have not seen that often, or new friends/ work colleagues, etc.)
Back to browse some designs? Invitation Shop
Wedding Blog for Real Weddings
We have many contributors that based on their area of expertise, write on our wedding blog.