Our sample wedding invitations came!
Because Christan and I both do design work, we said there was no way we were going to let someone else design our wedding invitations.
We gained most of our inspiration from modern designs without all the formal wording and frilly looks. This invite and this invite are two of my favorites, with this one coming in at a close third. Christian and I are both font fanatics, so we wanted an updated look with lots of fun typography while incorporating our wedding colors — teal and grey.
Whether designing your own invitations, having someone custom design them, or ordering a pre-designed template, draw inspiration from your own wedding’s theme, colors and style. The look of the invitations will mostly be determined by the style of your wedding and its formality. Generally, invitations are chosen to match the couple’s personality, and ours are nonformal and fun, the feel we’re going for for our big day.
When getting started, as with most wedding-related planning, look around online and get a feel of whether you want a modern, less formal invitation or a more traditional invite, with formal wording and style, multiple envelops and inserts and that fancy piece of tissue paper. Your invitations should be as simple or as complex as you want them to be.
One of the latest trends in wedding invitations is letterpress, the oldest form of printing. Letterpress printing actually involves the traditional movable type-setting that was developed by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century. I personally love the look of letterpress. It is very traditional and requires a lot of work, but it gives invites a rustic and embellished look with its deep, tactile impressions.
Today, the designs are created on a computer and then printed on to plates with raised text and designs, much like how a newspaper is printed. The plate is then then rolled with ink and pressed into the paper — the thicker the paper, the deeper the impression.
Without getting into too many details, each color in the invitation is represented by a different plate that must be mounted and inked with its respective color. So using multiple colors can be timely and expensive.
If you’re working within a budget, thermography is another option that is becoming one of the most popular printing methods. It gives the appearance of engraved printing, and involves a process that uses heat to join ink and a resin-like powder. The fusion creates a raised-effect with the letters. Other printing options include engraving, foil stamping, lithography or offset printing, digital, embossing and calligraphy.
Printing is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to choices for wedding invitations. For us, we wanted to go the inexpensive route and actually chose to use Vistaprint because of the great Groupon deals offered, which also limited our options. If I had a bigger budget, I would definitely invest more in our invites being the print nerd that I am.
Among more decisions to make: kind of paper; inner and outer envelopes; tissue paper; inserts; sizes; stye — whimsical, modern, formal, vintage, destination; format (vertical or horizontal); maps and art; layered cards; ribbons and embellishments … the list goes on and on.
Other trends in wedding invitations
Vintage typography — Use fonts as the artistic element by making your invitation look like tickets, an old playbill or poster a from the 1920s and ’30s.
Custom illustrations — Use your (or a designer’s) artistic talents to create a personalized invite.
Buying the whole package — Add continuity, and follow your wedding invitation design through to the complete wedding stationery package: save the dates, RSVPs, custom envelopes, maps, reception cards, announcements, program and thank-you cards.
Unique packaging — Take your wedding invitations over the top with unique presentation. DesignShack.com offers this tip: “Try putting some creative thought into how you present the invitations … use a pop-open can containing the invitation. Guests are encouraged to then bring the can to the wedding and tie it to the back of the bride and groom’s car for that classic ‘just married’ look.”
Next week, wedding invitation do’s and don’ts and tips for picking the perfect invite.
Miss any previous Rhoad to the Altar posts? Check them out here.