Congratulations—you’re engaged and you have a wedding to plan! Chances are, your mind is filled with visions of white dresses, sharp tuxes, and eye-catching flowers. Yes, the details of the ceremony are important, but as you get caught up in the frenzy, don’t forget to put some thought into how you’re going to announce your wedding: the invitations!
“You might not have considered it yet, but stationery is an essential part of almost all weddings,” says Derica Justice, owner and creative director of Bon Bini Print & Design, a business that designs and produces custom-made stationery, invitations, and other paper products.
Here are six things Justice recommends brides consider when creating their own unique wedding stationery:
Decide when you want your first introduction to be. Depending on the date, size, and guest list of your wedding, you might decide to send out save-the-date cards in advance. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to start sending them out around six months in advance, if not sooner. After all, you’ll want to allow guests plenty of time to mark the calendar for the big day—especially if you’re getting married around a holiday weekend or if lots of guests will be planning significant travel.
Choose your wedding style. Most brides choose a certain theme, style, and/or color palette to characterize their wedding. (In fact, many have known what “look” they want for years!) Whether you want a rustic look or vintage-inspired dresses, these types of ideas are wonderful starting points for choosing your invitations. You can carry your chosen theme throughout your wedding stationery: save-the-dates, invitations, programs, place cards, thank-you cards, and more.
Put together a realistic schedule. Again, it’s important to plan ahead when it comes to sending out save-the-dates and invitations so that guests have plenty of time to plan their attendance. You should try to order these items at least eight weeks before you wish to mail them out. In fact, Justice recommends looking at stationery as soon as you have your date, time, and location.
Set the budget. Yes, you’ll need to set an overall wedding budget if you don’t want to blow your bank account. And according to Justice, part of that budget should include your stationery. Did you know that invitations can range anywhere from $2 to $15 apiece? Taking that into account, you can see why it’s smart to decide what your price range is before buying. Be sure to include other stationery you’ll need as well, such as programs, place cards, seating charts, thank-you cards, menus, etc.
Design your invitation. Once you have decided on a budget, you can move ahead to designing your invitation, taking into account your color palette and theme. The options are truly endless! For instance:
- The invitation itself can be flat, folded, pocketed, or layered.
- The paper might be metallic, standard, or linen.
- Your graphic elements might involve paisleys, monograms, patterns, stripes, pictures, or more!
Decide on the best place to purchase your wedding stationery. Of course, you can buy pre-designed invitations from a store or online company. (And if you find stationery you love, that’s great!) However, many brides are beginning to work with stationery designers to create custom wedding invitations. This option allows you to incorporate your style and ideas into a one-of-a-kind creation. And between the Internet and mail, you can work with a consultant from across the country.