Wedding Invitation Design - A guide to DIY wedding stationery

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Posted on 6th March 2017 by Hilary Pullen
Filed under DIY Wedding Stationary Advice

Design Ideas For Handmade Wedding Invitations

In this post in our series 'A Guide to DIY Wedding Stationery' we're looking at the main wedding invitation. We will look at what you need to include and also points to consider around the design of your handmade wedding invitations.  All the images are by Wedding Stationers based in the UK. Click the links below the images to look at the packages they offer, they have some stunning stationery and you may just find you can save yourself a great deal of time.

Designing your own wedding invitations

The first look at your unique wedding style!

Your wedding invitations will be the first glimpse of your wedding style for your guests.  In the last post in our wedding stationery guide, we looked at DIY Save the Date cards, a useful 'place-holder' while you are planning the rest of your wedding.  Wedding invitations should be sent around 12 weeks before the wedding. You can use your wedding invitations to set the tone of your wedding and give people a preview of your wedding style. Wedding invitations along with the order of service from your big day can become cherished mementoes, not just for you but for your guests too.  Often they are slipped into a photo album or tucked away in a special box of memories.

Wedding Stationery Set

Wedding stationery set by Ann Grundy of www.annmadeforyou.com

If you are designing your own wedding stationery it's nice to create a themed collection including the place cards, order of service, menus and more. Looking at the wedding stationery set as a whole can help you make key decisions about the design and style which can be carried through across the set.  If you're employing someone to design your stationery they should be able to provide you with samples of the full range although you may have to cover the cost of these.  You would usually recoup that if you went ahead with the order.

Research!

You want your wedding invitations to look fabulous so it's worth taking your time researching design styles that suit both your artistic ability and your budget.  One of the brilliant aspects of making your own wedding stationery is that it can save you money, but if it takes you weeks to make the invitations and you need to buy expensive tools, you may find your time and money could have been spent better elsewhere on your wedding preparations.  

You probably have spent a long time browsing Pinterest and poring through wedding magazines to find a particular look for your big day.  Traditional, formal, elegant, retro or quirky, whatever your style your invitations are an opportunity to reflect that. Create a Pinterest board just for Wedding Stationery, you'll soon find that inspiration for your own unique design.  

Layered Wedding Invitation

Invitation by Melody of www.proposetoinvite.com

Paper weight and quality

High-quality wedding stationery tends to be printed on thicker card. If you choose a card which is too light it won't stand up when propped on a mantelpiece or shelf and it will feel flimsy and cheap. You can always layer your card to achieve a sturdy look without having to worry about whether your printer can take thicker card.

You could also consider using embossed card which gives the wedding invitation a lovely tactile quality.  We have a range of quality card with embossed finishes, perhaps the most popular amongst wedding stationers is the white, cream or ivory linen embossed card.

Pop Of Colour On Wedding Invitations

Blue as the accent colour on these sparkly invitations made by Jill Ramsay of Handmade Wedding Invitations by Jill

Colours

Traditionally wedding invitations are white, cream or ivory but great quality card is now available in so many colours that you needn't stick to tradition!  If you have an accent dolour for your wedding use this in the invitation it could be the colour of the text, an embellishment or perhaps the choice of envelope?  Lined envelopes look great and it's not difficult to make them, see our how to line an envelope tutorial.

Typeface

Choose a typeface that is easy to read for the important information, especially dates and times.  Don't use too many different fonts/typefaces as it will look cluttered, choose 2 or 3 tops for an elegant easy-to-read invitation.

Printing On A Pearlescent Wedding Invitation

A pretty invitation using pearlescent card by Susan Heesom of The Complete Invitation Company

Printing

Unless you are paying for your invitations to be professionally finished chances are you will be printing them on a home printer. Make sure your printer can handle the job.  Take note of paper thickness, texture and any finish to the card which may effect print quality, such as a pearlised finish.  We can send you samples so you can be confident before ordering a big box of card.  Click here to order samples.

Simple  Bow  Wedding  Invitation

Invitation by Melody of www.proposetoinvite.com

Embellishments

Add a playful and feminine quality to your invitations with a little sparkle, a pretty bow tied around a folded invite, lace effect laser cutting or perhaps a hand tied ribbon.  Keep it simple to avoid your invites looking overly fussy and be sure that they will still look good once sent through the post.  You can buy or make card boxes to solve this issue but of course that will add to the cost.

Once you have made a sample up check how much it weighs as you don't want to accidentally double the cost of your invitations because of a few pretty gems (although sometimes it's worth it!).

Handmade Wedding Stationery With Embellishment

Beautiful embellished wedding invitation by Kat of Respoke Boutique

Embossed or indented writing or perhaps just your initials embossed can add an elegant touch to your invitations without the need for any frills or flourishes. 

Layout of a traditional wedding invitation

The most important aspect of your invitation is that it clearly conveys all of the relevant information. The order in which you put everything is up to you but if you're a stickler for tradition there is a certain etiquette which must be followed.

The classic layout for wedding invitation text is as follows:

Mr and Mrs John Smith
request the pleasure of
your company at the marriage
of their daughter
Elizabeth
to
Mr Andrew James Evans
At St Mary’s Church, Sheffield
On Saturday 26th April 2017
at 2 o’clock
and afterwards at
The Ladybower Inn, Sheffield S33 0AX

and you should include the RSVP address in the bottom left-hand corner.

Not all engaged couples will have married parents and it's rare these days for the parents of the bride to foot the entire bill, so don't feel you have to include them on the invitation, especially if it causes problems with step-parents!  Our advice is to lay out your invitation however you feel it looks best and not worry too much about the formal etiquette, your friends and family won't mind, they'll just be excited you're tying the knot!

Evening Invitation

Evening invitation by Ann of www.annmadeforyou.com

Evening Only Invitations

You will need to create invitations for those who are just invited to the evening do, make sure it's abundantly clear that it is an evening invite by having 'Evening Invitation' as a title.

Handmade Wedding Stationery Set

Handmade wedding stationery set by Samantha Powling of Bay Brides Boutique

What else to include in the envelope?

Most people have access to a computer so you could include a link to all the details online. It's easy to set up a wedding website on sites like www.mywedding.com

Here's a checklist of important info your wedding guest will need

  • Directions to the church and the reception, include a map and details of stations nearby and taxi numbers
  • Accommodation details, hotels and B&Bs near the reception venue covering all price ranges
  • Are children invited, add a line to let people know if they're not to save embarrassment!
  • The wedding list, people will just ask if you don't include it so could save you some admin time!
  • Contact number and email address
     

Remember to include an RSVP, this can just be really simple so they can stick a stamp on and get it in the post.  You may find it easier to ask that people RSVP by email instead or you could use a mix of both if you have any elderly relatives that don't use email.

How much card and paper to order

Our top tip when ordering your card and paper for your handmade wedding invitations is to add 20% extra in case your printer has issues or you make some mistakes when making or writing the invitations out.  If you have 100 guests that doesn't necessarily mean you need 100 invites as many will be couples.

 

One final tip!

Get someone else to proof read your invitations


Show Us Your Handmade Wedding Invitations

We'd love to hear about your handmade wedding stationery, did you make your own or employ someone to make it for you, how did they turn out? 

Add a picture of your wedding stationery to our Facebook wall or tag us on Instagram with #papermilldirect

Meet the wedding stationer

If you run a wedding stationery business complete this form and we could feature you in our meet the wedding stationer series.

 
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