The date is set and you can probably not wait to get on with it! With good reason – planning a wedding is almost as exciting as a tandem parachute jump, with a wedding the adrenaline rush just lasts a bit longer, though. By now you should have your wedding guest list worked out, argued over and settled its time to get creative!
Handmade VS printed invites
Your way, either way
The first decision youll need to make is whether your cards will be handmade or printed. Handmade cards are lovely but extremely time consuming so I would suggest you use them for a small, intimate wedding. For a bigger wedding you can get a graphic designer to design your invite and get it printed at a printing house. Another option is to use someone that specializes in wedding invites this way you get creative handmade invites without feeling the pain of late nights and glue all over the place!
What to include in your invitation: A map, whether children are welcome, two or three options of accommodation nearby and whether you have a gift registry (dont go into too much detail about this, just mention gift registry available to make your guests aware. The detail can be e-mailed to them at a later stage). Make sure to double check the spelling before printing your invites (have someone else check it too).
Photo courtesy of Rice Ink
The look and feel
Before designing your invites, decide on a theme for your wedding and be consistent throughout – all your wedding stationary should flow together. When using elements such as ribbons or tree bark, try and deliver it by hand as an envelope might squash your piece of art. Some examples of embellishments that you an use on your invites are: Lace, ribbons, raffia, mini paper clips or pegs, different textures and layers you can get more ideas from a scrap booking shop. A romantic quote or saying on the back of your invite (something personal that has meaning for you as a couple) can be a nice finishing touch.
Here are a few wedding themes with corresponding colours, textures and ideas that will help to give your creative juices a kick start:
Silk, lace, ribbons, roses, creams or whites, pinks, reds, a script font
Leaves, pieces of bark or any elements from nature, raffia, wooden beads, greens, mustard’s, browns, burnt orange
Silver shimmery envelopes or paper, silver ribbons, lilac, diamante
Porcupine quills, leopard or zebra patterns, wood / bark
Feathers, little bells, ribbons, bright colours
Shells or any object you can find on a beach, invitations in a bottle, white and shades of blue
Silk, crystal, silver, black, Old English font
Green, orange or pink with white (or a combination hereof), any modern font
Embossing on white or cream cards, the use of silver or gold wording in a script font, white crystal beads
Rich colours such as burgundy, purple, royal blue, velvet, gold or silver beads, velvet or suede textured ribbons, envelopes sealed with wax and a stamp
Your unique stamp
Times have fortunately changed, which means that the wording on your invite can be anything you as a couple want it to be. Relieved? Whether you select formal or traditional wording for your invitations or something more casual, it should always suit your personalities and theme.
When planning your invite (before actually doing the design), find out if there is a standard size envelope for the size you have in mind. Imagine the disappointment when you cant find a specific size envelope for your ready-to-send invitations. If youre having a small wedding, handmade envelopes might be an option, depending on your schedule.
The freedom to choose
If youre pressed for time, working with a tight budget or inviting only a handful of guests, e-cards might be the solution. Get someone to create a beautiful e-card on their computer (Photoshop is great for this), save it as a .jpeg file and e-mail it to your guests. This can also be printed to use in your scrap book afterwards. The other option is to create your invitation online, which is a great tool as it allows you to bring in your own unique style and add loads of information and extra sweet nothings.
Every wedding is unique in its own way choose the stationery that works best for your wedding style.
Save the Date Magnet
These personalised magnets are a great way to remind your guests of your upcoming big day. Unique, stylish and affordable, the magnets are a perfect way to make sure your guests save your date and are able to join in the celebration of your marriage. This is used especially if your wedding date is set far in advance.
Send your wedding invitation out at least 8 weeks before your special day to ensure that everyone can make it. For smaller weddings with mostly local guests (close friends and family) you can send it out a bit later as they will surely make a plan to be there!
This usually goes up in the pre-reception drinks area. List the names alphabetically with the table number next to their name. An interesting alternative to this is to name your tables – if you have a nature / earthy theme you can name each table after a flower or tree, for example.
To ensure your guests find their seats, have name placements at each seat. This should be in the same style as the rest of your stationery. If youre having an informal wedding you can use their names only, for a more formal wedding make use of their names and surnames.
Your menu should have a simplistic design as not to overpower the table dcor and fit in with the rest of your theme.
Order of service
The main objective of this is to keep your guests informed of the various stages of the ceremony. This can either be a single page or it can be in the form of a booklet. With a booklet you can use the front page for your theme design. The inside, left page can consist of a list of all the people involved in the ceremony along with their titles (matron of honour, bridesmaids, organist etc). The main section (inside, right page) would list the order in which the events will take place, for example: entrance > song > wedding sermon > candle ceremony > vows > song > signing of register > exit. The back page can be used to repeat your quote or saying.
This is optional some choose to give small gifts to the ladies only and some to both partners while others choose to not do this at all this is up to you. When choosing your favours consider your theme and stick to your budget. These gifts can either be handmade, found on-line or you can contact a promotional company to browse through their catalogues.
Wedding gifts and thank-you notes go hand-in-hand – sending out thank-you cards shows your gratitude. These notes should be personalized, preferably hand written and sent out anytime between two to six weeks after receiving the gift.