When you start crafting your invitations, the wedding really starts to take shape. You now know when the event will be and what time you’ll be saying “I do.” With so many choices to make—from colors, design, and text—the invitations are among the most important and time sensitive item to check off your planning list. Here are five things to ask yourself when you start to plan the invitations.
1. What Is Your Budget?
Before you even start looking at invitations, keep in mind how much of your overall wedding budget you have allocated to wedding invitations. Many brides and grooms spend around 3 percent of their budgets on all stationery, which includes invitations, save-the-dates, ceremony programs, and any place cards or menus. If you’re trying to keep your total wedding costs lower, consider skipping the save-the-dates and any other added paper materials so that you can focus solely on the invitations.
2. Do You Want to Order Online, Hire a Professional, or DIY?
The Internet has changed so many ways we shop, and wedding invitations are no different. Many brides and grooms choose to save money on paper goods by ordering them on sites like Minted, Vista Print, or from individually owned Etsy shops. You can customize your invitations to your heart’s desire, choosing everything from color, design, font, and what the invitations say—all without ever having to talk to another human.
While some brides and grooms prefer this modern and quick way of designing their invitations, others prefer to go a more old-school route of using a professional graphic designer or a calligrapher to create their invitations. Obviously working with professionals is going to be pricier than just ordering them online. However, if it’s important to you to have completely original invitations and you have the budget for it, be sure to ask the professional for samples and references to ensure that they will be able to deliver them on time, and that they will keep you involved in the designing process.
Of course, if you or someone you know is particularly crafty, you could always make your own invitations.
3. What Color Scheme Do You Want to Go With?
There’s no official rule that your invitations have to match your wedding decor, but many see the invitation as a way to introduce guests to the theme and color scheme of the event. If you’re still struggling with what colors to pick for the wedding, go with a classic black and white or even an all white invitation, which will give an elegant look and feel to them. Don’t be afraid of being bold, however. Modern weddings are often bright, colorful, and a far cry from the soft pastel colors of weddings past.
4. What Will the Language Be On the Invitation?
The most important part of the invitation is of course what information goes on them. By the time you are making your invitations you should know where your wedding and ceremony will be, what the date is, and what time it will start. If you don’t have those details nailed down, you are not yet ready to order the invitations. Once you have all the information you need, you will then need to decide how you want them written. Though this may sound like a simple task, there are some delicate issues surrounding the way invitations are written. Traditionally, wedding invites would say, “Mr. and Mrs So-and-So request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Jane So-and-So to John New-Son-in-Law.”
Though many brides and grooms do not have any objections to this specific language, many object to it because their parents may not be together anymore or they feel like this alludes to the fact that a bride is being “given away” in the old sense of the meaning. There are millions of unique brides and grooms and likewise millions of different ways to write an invitation. Look online at more modern invitation texts or consult a wedding planner to see what ideas they can help you come up with. Use a famous poem or include your favorite song lyrics. There are no rules, except of course making sure your guests know where to go and what time to be there.
5. How Many Do You Need to Order?
Once you have finally made decisions on what the invitation will look like and what it says you will need to then decide how many you will order. This will require you to make a headcount of every single guest you and your betrothed want to invite. After you have calculated how many people you are inviting, tally up how many households you’ll be sending the invitations to and then add about 10–15 more invitations. On the off chance that you forgot someone or you want to save some for yourself or your parents, it’s always good to order a few extra just in case.