Weekends are for weddings! If you’re like me, with 9 weddings each year, the weekends are, quite literally, for weddings (attending them, that is). Also if you’re like me, the weekend is a time to think about planning your own wedding. Lots of people carve out a certain time each week for to wedding planning (Wedding Wednesday seems to be very popular). It ensures the wedding doesn’t take over their whole lives; however, I find that confining wedding planning to a specific time is too pressure-filled and bicker-prone. I plan my wedding when inspiration strikes. Weekends, in particular, offer the time to let my mind roam and plan my own wedding in a stress-free environment. In this series, I’ll take you through some of my major planning steps – hopefully this will help you plan your own wedding!
With our save the dates being so unique, we couldn’t have a boring wedding invitation! I admit, I didn’t take a ton of time searching for our wedding invitation. It’s something that gets thrown away so I didn’t see the sense of spending too much time and money on it. I did, however, want to make sure it matched the overall vibe of our wedding. Our wedding was set to be a little more casual so it would send the wrong impression if we had a very formal invitation. An invite with one color, elaborate script, and letterpress design, for instance, would make people think they were getting ready to attend a black tie event, which was not the case. Our wedding was going to be F-U-N so the invitation should invoke that.
I found our invitation designer through Instagram.
HOT TIP #1: Instagram is your friend. My wedding planning experience was so much easier thanks to Instagram. I had followed a few wedding accounts, like 100 Layer Cake, Style Me Pretty, A Lowcountry Wedding, Wedding Chicks, Martha Stewart Weddings, and The Knot. There are so many wedding Instagram accounts – there is sure to be one that fits your vibe. A Lowcountry Wedding is definitely my aesthetic (I am a Lowcountry native, after all), but if you’re a little moodier/bohemian, Junebug Weddings may be more your style. And if budget is no concern, Lisa Vorce may be great inspiration. Anywayyyyyy as I was scrolling through my Insta feed one day, I saw a post featuring an invitation that I thought was beautiful, reached out for pricing, and stopped looking.
When I clicked through to the designer’s site, I fell in love. The designs all had a botanical theme – just like our wedding – and could be customized. We were able to create something that was uniquely us. Because we chose a design that included a portrait illustration, we knew it was not something we would end up seeing everywhere. It was cool to have our designer draw US! It was great being able to work so closely with a designer. We were even able to get a jpeg of our portrait to use on wedding collateral.
We chose a dusty green color palette where each piece within the suite was arranged slightly differently. I prefer for each piece not to be overly matchy matchy – like when the invitation, enclosure card, and response card all have the exact same border, for instance. Here, the florals were on the top and bottom on the invite vs. on two corners for the enclosure card vs. just along the bottom for the response card. For invitations (and in general) I like the idea of coordinating without being identical. We also switched the font to have our names larger and italicized to stand out and make the invitation slightly more formal. Finally, we upgraded the paper stock.
HOT TIP #2: If you can, go for nicer paper stock. It can make the whole thing feel more substantial. Another great upgrade is the lettering. Thermography and letterpress make for beautiful invitations. However, it can be pricey and considering the number of invites we were sending, we felt our money was better spent on the upgraded paper stock and custom illustration. I actually didn’t see the invites in person until I received my own in the mail. All design work, including the custom portraits, was completed via email correspondence with the designer. I had been nervous that digital printing wouldn’t look as nice but once I received it, I realized the upgraded paper stock completely cancelled that out.
The invitation managed [I hope] to look both fun and sophisticated – a tough line to walk. Also, now that responses are coming in, several people have said they thought the invitation was totally “us,” which is the best compliment we could receive. I could not be happier with the final result!
HOT TIP #3: The invitation made everything very real. The day they hit everyone’s mailboxes, I was flooded with texts. All of a sudden, the wedding went from being this abstract thing I was planning to something that was happening very soon. Prepare yourself for that wave of emotion!