Invitations: The struggle is REAL
Why don’t they tell us how AWFUL planning the “most wonderful day of your life” can be? Is it that the planning is over the reason they call your wedding day that? I mean if I honestly knew the seven stages of purgatory my friends and family would put me through, I may not have laughed at the “just elope!” jokes that people told me when I first became engaged.
Unfortunately, I can’t tell your great-aunt-susie to stuff it about demanding 7 jordan almonds at each place setting, but I can help on the invitation front.
“We struggled with EVERYTHING. JK
We struggled with designing something that was appealing to us (in terms of elegance and paper thickness) without breaking the bank and where to draw the line.” – Victoria
I asked couples about the struggles they encountered when deciding on invitations.
The top 3 most stressful couples mentioned are:
1. Proper wording
2. Finding a style I liked enough to carry throughout my wedding planning
3. Dealing with “they’re just going to go in the trash”
“The hardest part for me was knowing that the invitations really set the tone for our entire wedding, and wanting to really get it right. I saw tons of designs I liked, and had a lot of ideas that would have worked, but it took a lot of thought and experimentation to really nail the vibe with colors, fonts, language and visuals. It’s easy to say most people won’t pay much attention to your invites, at least not the way we do, but they absolutely set expectations for the wedding and you want to be able to meet them.” -Erica
PROPER WORDING FOR WEDDING INVITATIONS
There are a billion sites out there that will provide you with guides on how to word your wedding invitations. For my clients, I figure out your family dynamics and present the appropriate options. Depending on how traditional you are (or want to appear to be!)
“One added things I struggled with was wording. My mother in law separated my husband’s father who has since passed. We wanted all of our parents’ names of the invitation, they were all helping us and they raised us so we wanted to include them. So many samples are just together with their parents or mr. and mrs. so and so. Having some alternative options in print to be able to see blended or alternative family dynamics may be nice to have” – Kathleen
Since starting in stationery in 2011, I have done the very proper:
Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob-Jingleheimer-Schmidt
request the marriage of their daughter
Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob-Jingleheimer-Schmidt
Saturday, the eighth of June
Two thousand eighteen
At half past four in the afternoon
St. John’s Cathedral
Schmidttown, New York
As well as:
Because you have shared in our lives,
By your love and friendship we
John and Jane
request the pleasure of your company
as we exchange the vows of marriage
Friday, October thirty-first
Six in the evening
Love fills the moment
And the moment begins eternity.
We invite you
Our family and friends
To share in this celebration of love as we,
Kimberly Voss and Michelle Louis
Extend the bonds of friendship
To include the vows of marriage
On saturday, the thirtieth of January
At half past seven in the evening
Adult reception to follow
I take pride in the diversity of invitations I have created for my couples. They don’t all look the same or say the same thing because each of my couples are different. Some would like to obey all of Emily Post’s etiquette suggestions, and some want a baseball diamond monogram with red and blue pinstripes. And guess what? I love that. It tests my skills and also creates the perfect invitation for you, bringing me to my next point:
FINDING A THEME THAT YOU WON’T GET SICK OF HALFWAY THROUGH PLANNING YOUR WEDDING
“What’s your theme?”
When did weddings become theme parties tho? I believe in the power of a common thread to run through all elements of your wedding. But I also don’t think there should be a starfish on your napkins, menus, veil, belt, mother-in-law’s hankie, groomsmen socks and so on. Because guess what? After your wedding you’ll probably never want to see a starfish again.
“Ultimately, almost everything I made/designed/bought for my wedding followed suit from the style of my invites; if they hadn’t given me that touchpoint to work from, it would have been way harder to put the event itself together in a way that felt genuine and cohesive.” – Erica
They key to deciding on a wedding theme is to be true to what you have always loved. If that’s the sea, then, awesome! Let’s use vintage sketches of [multiple] sea creatures paired with a serene blue and anchoring typeface that we can disperse elements of throughout.
Matching doesn’t mean pasting the same graphic (or different graphic of the same “thing”) all over your wedding decor.
[bctt tweet=”Matching doesn’t mean pasting the same graphic (or different graphic of the same “thing”) all over your wedding decor.” username=”omgahitskasey”]
I won’t tell you what to do with your wedding, but PLEASE DON’T DO THIS TO ME.
I want to challenge the way you think of a theme. I tune into my couple’s overall mood of their wedding when designing elements for them. It could be the romance style they found by using my quiz, a time period they’ve always felt drawn to or a marriage of styles between them and their soon-to-be-spouse.
For my own wedding, I was inspired by natural elements. Wood, glass, metals and lush greenery were carried throughout. The day was loosely fall based and loosely woodland-animal based, as my husband and I love foxes so I worked them into our wedding logo.
I’ve hidden Mickey ears in wedding formal script invitations, nodded HP fandoms in day-of signage, and created a baseball team logo (yep! Those were for a real bride!) for my couples. If you have something you love dearly, I believe firmly in incorporating that into your design. What transforms a generic wedding into an intimate celebration is personalization. It also ensures you won’t grow tired of the design throughout the planning process.
“INVITATIONS JUST GO IN THE TRASH”
“I wanted something that I hadn’t already seen a million times, so I knew I’d go the custom route. I wanted them to look like a lot of care and effort went into them because the day meant so much to us. I also wanted all of our wedding stationery to match, so knowing that whatever we picked would be a consistent “theme” running through our day. A lot of people told me they’d just end up in the garbage, but we did get lots of compliments on them and I loved them.” – Jen
I have written on this subject before, but it seems to come up a lot! With new insight from my brides, I’ve realized it’s not that people care too little about the impact their stationery will have, but they may care too much and don’t know where to draw the line.
Even as a very passionate stationer, I will not tell you to allocate more of your budget to your invitations than feeding your guests. What I will do, however, is encourage you to think about how the invitation will set the stage for your event and be the first impression your guests receive. Where you draw the line is a personal choice, and I provide options to all of my brides that include luxurious embellishments when they have the opportunity as well as creative solutions when budgets are firm.
One of the best things you can do to prepare a realistic vision of your wedding invitations is to learn the different printing processes of stationery or work with someone who does. I wrote this post as a reference guide for anyone to use when explaining the kind of invitations you’re seeking.
Invitations may go in the trash for many of your guests. However, my guess is that you’ll keep one, your parents will keep one (or five), and if you have children, they’ll want to see them one day. Your wedding invitations can become an heirloom. They are one of the few opportunities you have for a tangible memory of your wedding day. If you really wow your guests with your invitations, they’re going to tell you and they’re going to get excited for what else you have planned that day. If they are anything like my guests, they’re going to forget about the almonds and remember you did something different.
What other challenges have you had when looking for wedding invitations?
What is something you wish you’d known before getting engaged?
For my married couples, what advice do you have for those neck-deep in planning stress?
Leave a comment below!