Giving an invitation is the ultimate way to tell your friends and family that they mean a lot to you. Your wedding invitations will also set the tone, mood and theme of your wedding so make sure you choose wisely! "¨"¨You can find your stationery from many different outlets - specialist wedding stationers, department stores, bridal boutiques, printers, artists, graphic designers and on the internet.
Choosing your invitations
You'll be astounded at the range of possibilities. Get creative and consider the endless palette of colours and designs. Begin by choosing gorgeous paper...
White, coloured, glossy, matt, thick, thin, textured, smooth, hand-made, recycled... there are a myriad of gorgeous papers available.
- Type of paper You don't need to choose the very popular white/cream or metallic card, there are also exquisite hand-made and hand-torn papers, and papers incorporating decorative elements such as dried flowers or tiny shells.
- Shape The shape of your invitations will affect the cost- non-standard shapes are more labour intensive and result in a lot of paper wastage.
- Extras Inclusion of overlay papers (delicate, transparent papers placed over the paper upon which your text is printed) and/or insert papers (where the text is printed on paper and pasted to the card) will add interest and a luxurious feel to your stationery.
- No paper Today, wedding stationery can be made from or incorporate a number of exciting materials. You could use tin, steel, aluminium, wood, brass, glass, fabric or even chocolate! Invitations on CD or DVD are another great idea for technology loving couples.
Print type, ink and typeface
- Printing and Ink Gold and silver are very popular and look fabulous on white or coloured paper. For a really superb finish, try gold or silver foil stamping, which results in a shiny, metallic look. Coloured inks can also look spectacular.
- Typeface or font A professional stationer or printer can offer literally hundreds of fonts! Be aware, that some type fonts may look great but may be hard to read so it's essential to strike a balance between beauty and legibility.
If you don't find a design you love from the countless ready-made or pre-cut designs available, you can always design your own. Professional stationers and designers will be only too happy to help you transform any design ideas into reality.
Don't spoil a lovely wedding invitation with an unattractive envelope! When ordering invitations, ask to see a sample of the envelopes to check that they match in colour and quality and are a snug fit for your invitations. If you have an irregular shaped or sized invitation you will need to have envelopes custom-made.
Embellishments can turn your wedding invitations into beautiful gifts that are an absolute delight to receive.
- Ribbon - from satin to organza, shiny or matt - comes in virtually every colour and in all different widths.
- Tie it to your stationery
- Paste it down one edge
- Paste two or thee slender ribbons in your wedding colours in rows along one edge
- Use two colours overlapping - a thin ribbon over a wide ribbon.
- Raffia, tassels and rope can also be employed to create a flourish
- Lace ribbons or shapes (to match the fabric in your gown)
- Dried or pressed flowers and foliage
- Wooden shapes
Be as creative as you like - the more your invitation stands out, the more excited your guests will be.
Dressing your envelopes
Embellishments can also make a significant difference to your envelopes. How about lining your envelopes with a beautiful soft paper or filling the envelope with scented pot-pourri or gold or silver foil hearts, cherubs or stars? "¨And don't forget about the back of the envelope. Consider sealing your envelopes with a wax seal or stickers.
Etiquette dictates that envelopes should be addressed with the receiver's title (eg Mr P Green). Where you are unsure of a woman's title, 'Ms' is always a safe bet. Also be sure to print your return address on the back of the envelope so you'll know if any invitations don't reach their destination.
A range of matching stationery adds distinction to your special occasion."¨Choosing your invitations is only the first step... Most couples find that they order several additional stationery items for their wedding, which serve both a practical and decorative purpose.
These are an excellent and elegant way of knowing how many guests will be attending. Guests mark on the reply card whether or not they will be able to come so you can know at all times exactly how many guests will be attending.
Thankyou cards or notes
Thankyou cards help you to be sure to thank each guest for the gift they gave you. It's a nice idea to write personal messages but if that's not possible, at least add a personal sentence referring to the specific gift given.
Gift registry cards
These are a polite way to inform guests of your gift registry. Many gift registries will give you ready-printed cards but you may like to order ones that match your own stationery.
Order of Service sheets or booklets
These are basically an itinerary of your ceremony to hand to guests. Your minister or celebrant should be able to help you with wording and can probably show you samples.
Place cards or table cards
These indicate where guests should sit and add an artistic touch to your wedding table setting. It's a good idea to write or print guests' names on both sides of the card so that people sitting opposite can see the names."¨For those who would like something a little different, you could place small tags around the stem of your wine or champagne glasses as place cards. Or consider writing guest names with a gold pen on dried leaves, flowers or seashells. Fragrant handfuls of herbs tied together with twine and tagged also make cute place cards.
Ordering stationery coordinates
Be sure to order coordinating stationery at the same time as your invitations so that your chosen range won't become unavailable in the time between printing the invitations and the wedding. Your stationery will then be one less thing for you to worry about!