When your best friend is getting married, there is nothing more exciting! Especially when she is getting married in Hollywood, and you're there to help design all the fun elements that go along with her big day!
Any bride will agree, weddings are a big deal. If you are a design nut (like we are), every little detail counts. Fonts people! Fonts are important. When Lauren asked me to help design her invitations, I was over the moon and I knew she and I would create something lovely that spoke to the vibe and aesthetic she and her husband envisioned on their big day.
Today, there are so many stunning ready-to-print designs available online and in paper stores. These are a great option if they fit within your budget and your style. However if a truly unique, one-of-a-kind look is what you are going for, working with a designer on custom invite or even creating your own design (if you have the skills/software) is worth it. After helping multiple friends (and designing my own invitations) I decided to compile a list of tips for creating unique wedding invites for those DIY and those who choose to work with a graphic designer.
1. Think of about your venue.
Is it modern? Is it classic? Rustic? Fun? Elegant? Your venue should inspire your invites and overall feel of your big day. For Lauren the sophisticated, hip and classic PALIHOUSE Hotel in West Hollywood inspired much of the design. Their use of serif classic fonts was something we both thought would be perfect to include in her designs. If you are getting married in a barn, you probably want a design that is more rustic. Married in gorgeous cathedral, maybe a more formal invite is a good idea. Consider the feeling your venue gives off before choosing a design style.
2. Think about your COLORS.
Before you get excited and start picking out invites, think about the color scheme that inspires you. Hopefully by the time you are ready to design your invites, you have the colors picked out. For Lauren, relying on her venues backdrop helped us pick a royal navy and dark turquoise. If you are getting married on the beach with white flowers, perhaps a bright red invite doesn't play off the relaxed beach-y feel. Are your bridesmaid dresses complimentary to your invites and venues? Color seems like a simple choice in the beginning, however you want the colors of your venue, flowers, linens and invites to feel cohesive and complimentary.
3. Explore designs you like and compile them.
With many of my design clients, after an initial consultation I ask them to create a pinterest board for their project. This helps clients get a feel for design elements they like without being overwhelmed. After a board is filled up, its easy for us both to see what kind of concepts and design elements a clients likes best, and eliminating things they don't. When Lauren and I created a board together, she first thought she liked a light, feminine, pink script-y design. We later realized through her pin choices we loved bolder colors and simple, clean layouts even though we experimented the feminine feel first.
4. Paper & Printing - It matters!
If you are going to the DIY route, don't cheap out! There are plenty of online printing resources that you can use to print your design on heavier stock. If you choose to print your own at home, pick quality paper and envelopes. It really makes a difference. Paper Source is a fantastic resource for unique papers and envelopes ranging in a wide range of colors and sizes. Before you try printing your own invite - test it first! Colors on your screen don't always translate to ink from your printer properly. Also, don't buy a large quantity of paper before you've tested it out. Some work for laser, some work better with ink-jet. Make sure printer can handle the thickness of your paper before you run it though.
5. Write it out first.
While it's important to follow proper etiquette on your invite wording, don't feel stuck to the traditional ways of writing it. Depending on who is throwing your wedding (you, your parent, a collective of family) you can play with the wording. Check out this great guide to help you get started on the content. If you want the wording a little less traditional check this article out. Some things to absolutely include are locations, times and what is happening. If you aren't inviting everyone to the ceremony, make sure to have a separate invitation for those only attending the reception.
6. Don't forget about postage!
If you are including an RSVP card and envelope, keep that in mind when buying postage. I highly recommend taking a fully assembled invite to the post office to be weighed! This will ensure you have the proper postage and you don't over pay for double stamps or worse, not have enough postage and have your invites returned. Don't forget to browse USPS.com for designs that flatter your invite. You can even have custom postage designed to match your invites! And - remember to order enough stamps for your RSVP envelopes to. An often over-looked budget item when pricing our the printing of an invite is the postage cost per invite.
7. Think outside the box.
You don't have to use a traditional script. You don't need to have your invites custom hand-lettered addressed. Make sure the invites represent you and your other half. It's all about the two of you after all! Addresses can be created with a folded label, the invites could be a illustration, or even an art piece! The sky is the limit, but don't feel pressured to include traditional items that add expenses unless you really want them. For instance, don't feel like a map, accommodations or information about the venue need to be printed and included as separate cards in the invite. These elements could be included on your wedding website if you include the url in your invites.
8. Carry over your invite design in other elements of your wedding.
Now that you've designed your amazing invitation, use it as a standard for all your other wedding design elements to give your wedding a cohesive feel. Try to use the same fonts, colors and even paper when creating signage, programs, welcome bags, menus, and place cards. It's an added detail that will make your event elegant, fun and cohesive.
If you're interested in working with me to design your wedding invite or next event invite, drop me a line and let's create a unique design together!
Photo Credits: Palihouse Wedding Menu photos - AURELIA D'AMORE PHOTOGRAPHY http://www.damore.biz/weddings