What You Need to Know of Designing and Sending Wedding Invitations

by Bridestory Sep 11, 2015 | 09:15 in Wedding Ideas  


When planning a wedding, we'd think about how our wedding invitation should look like. With a touch of glitter here, a foil stamp there, laser cutting here, and so on. The color, content, layouts and all of the nitty-gritty stuff are important too, sometimes so much so that we'd end up with too many ideas to implement which will result in either stress or an invitation that's way too much.Even though it might seem like a very small detail, we understand that crafting an invitation and stationery suite isn't easy at all, so here's our mini guide on wedding invitations to help you sort out the invitation dilemmas.

Invitation Timeline

We'll start with invitation timeline. There are a few things on your to-do list when it comes to sending out invitations and stationery which are: guest list, save the dates, engagement party invites, bridal shower invites, wedding invitation, wedding stationery, bachelorette party invites, and thank you cards. Do note that all of these elements are truly optional, meaning that you can add or omit any element as you and your partner decide. Assuming that the wedding planning process takes about a year, we'll base the timeline on that range of time. We'll cover on the time range and what things should be done under that range. See below for a complete breakdown.

12 months before the day: Start making your guest list. You can't order any invite or stationery without the exact number of guest. So make sure you get this one done first.

9-11 months before the day: If you're having a destination wedding or have your wedding done over a holiday, this would be the perfect time to mail out those save-the-dates. Also, order your engagement party invites.

6 months before the day: Three things to do: first, finalize your guest list along with their addresses. Second, send out your save-the-dates for your local wedding, and lastly purchase bridal shower invitations.

5 months before the day: Start researching. This one month, focus yourself on finding your invites and stationery theme, how exactly you want them to look like, your budget, and your vendors. After pinning on a look or theme, gather potential vendors whose style and budget range fit yours and meet them. Remember, personal chemistry with vendors is important. So don't just cover your eyes and pick one just for careless convenience.

If you're going to use calligraphy in your invites and stationery, this would also be the perfect time to start looking. Calligraphy is an intricate job so it's best to book early. Not every calligrapher's style will suit yours, so do your research and determine one that matches your preference.

3-4 months before the day: Finalize all the invitation details, and start ordering the wedding invites.

12-15 weeks before the day: If you're having a destination wedding, this would be the best time to start mailing out your invites, as your guests would need extra time to arrange things (ticketing, accommodation, work leave, etc.) to attend your wedding.

10 weeks before the day: Order your other stationery such as place cards, menu cards, and table numbers with your vendor.

6-8 weeks before the day: Start sending out your wedding invites to all your guests.

6 weeks before the day: Order your wedding program and mail out your bachelorette party invites. After sending the invites, prepare for your bachelorette party which will be done 1-2 weeks prior to the wedding.

3-4 months after: After the "I do"s, don't forget to personally write and send those thank you cards.

You can also print our Wedding Invitations Timeline as seen below and keep it as your essential checklist:

Click here to download the image

Invitation Trends

As trends always evolve, do keep in mind that the points below are what we've found utterly popular in the year 2015. Also note that even though these trends are contemporary doesn't mean you have to fit them all into your invitation or stationery. You don't even have to use any if you don't feel like it. Set the standard yourself, go with what you think is nice and pretty. It is, after all, your wedding. Don't let the future you regret the decisions you made regarding the wedding invitation just for the sake of following trends. Below are some invitation trends you can consider, along with examples from our trusted list of vendors.

  • Calligraphy

    Calligraphy is one of the rising trends in the world of wedding stationery. The touch of calligraphic fonts adds a sense of elegance and personal touch to the invitation that will definitely elevate your stationery. Do keep in mind that you need to check on the letterings and font as some calligraphers’ style can be different from your preference. Pay attention to the final outcome. Make sure that the writings are easy to read, so your guests don’t miss the content.

  • Watercolor

    Another trend is the use of watercolor details. The great thing about this is the creative possibilities in that there is no absolute way or restrictions about watercolors. You can have it as a painting like pictured above, or you can go with the more artsy option of splattering it across the page, or color the page abstractly as a background.

  • Monogram

    A monogram is basically an interwoven motif consisting of you and your partner’s initials, typically used as a logo on the stationery and invite. It creates a ‘brand’ to your wedding and everything becomes very personal. You can get a stamped monogram on your invitation, or get a wax seal specially made for you to seal the invitations.

  • Floral Patterns

    Flower lovers rejoice! The floral trend is definitely back. Brides have got back to their love for flowers and the floras are blooming very nicely in the invitations. Some couples might like very feminine looks with pastel and delicate colors, while some others take a bolder approach and use more modern colors like blue and gray. Whichever you fancy, these flower patterns will beautifully adorn your wedding invitations.

  • Photography: The Distillery

    Lined Envelopes

    Not only are the papers and content decorated, invites now come in beautiful lined envelopes as well. Some use only plain contrasting colors (red lining in a white envelope) some others push boundaries and use patterns, words, even paintings to line their envelopes.

  • Photography: Kartoe

    Laser Cut

    This one will make your invitation look extremely fancy and glamorous. Laser cuts usually make beautiful patterns. Some couples insert laser cuts of their monogram to their invites, some others even take it a notch higher, and laser cut their stories into their invitation like this one pictured above.

Shaving the Budget: Invitation and Stationery

If cost is an issue, here're some tips to keep your creative dream alive without going way over budget . With the so many variations and concept you can pour into an invitation, one can incorporate and generate so many creative ideas. These ideas, of course, come with a price. As the more you put into the invitation, the more it will cost. But don't give up on your creative ideas just yet, see how you can easily cut down your expenses and have beautiful bespoke stationery design.

1. Skip the custom printed invites
Spare the nitty-gritty, the 'works' of the invitation that will make you pay a little bit more on each. Skip the silver lining on the envelope edge, or the foil stamp on the letters. It's true that details matter, but skipping on this one wouldn't hurt as much as paying extra. Don't underestimate and think that it's just a small amount. Except for intimate weddings, invitation orders are usually done in big bulks, so the said small price multiplied by the number is actually going to ultimately cost a lot.

2. Print it yourself
Ask for your vendor to only design the invitation and print the actual invites yourself. You can go to a local print shop and it's most likely that you'll get lower price for each invitation. It is however, not advisable to design your own invitations unless you really have an edge for design. It will save budget surely, but risking on an appalling invitation is not going to be worth it. Spare the hard work and trust it to the experts.

3. Optimize and maximize space

Logically speaking, the more the material used on one invitation, the more it will cost. So to speak, it's better to not use too much on one invite. One way you can do this is by optimizing and maximizing space. Don't use big and long words; fit all content in one page if possible. Otherwise, use the flip side of the paper. However, don't stress over this too much too that you put all the wordings too close together, that your guests have trouble reading it.

4. Skip calligraphy
As beautiful as calligraphy makes your invitation look, sometimes it's a smart decision to do without if you're very tight on budget. Most likely, your calligraphy and invitation vendors aren't the same one, meaning you have to pay for more than one vendor on your invitation. There are beautiful fonts that you can get these days, pick one you fancy and simply ask your vendor to write your content using the chosen font.

5. Purchase all stationery on the same vendor
Following the previous point, it's probably best if you order all your wedding stationery from one vendor. Besides practicality, it might also cut cost in a sense that the vendors give you a discount for purchasing a large number. On the other hand, ordering from different vendors will not only increase the expense, it'll also be inconvenient, not only will the vendors have different approaches to your theme and idea, which might result in design inconsistency, it'll also make it harder for you to coordinate with said vendors.

6. Cut down the list
After the above steps, if your invitation estimated expense still goes up the roof, then the next thing you can do is cut down the guest list. This is hard and sometimes painful, but logically speaking this is one thing you can do to reduce your expenses on invitation, because the number of invitations you pay is directly measured by the number of people you invite to the wedding. This step is however, one of the last resorts; for truly, no one would want to have to cut down the guest list they've made really carefully. It'll probably break some hearts. So before deciding to cut down your list, try your best to do all the prior cost-saving means so you wouldn't have to go through this one.

7. Go Online

If all else fails, then go online. Make use of wedding websites or send online invitations to your guests. Of course it's not as personal as printed and mailed invitations, but you'll save a lot for wedding invitations. You'll also be able to have more content into the invitations this way. You can insert guides on dress code, RSVP, your story as a couple, or the nearest hotels to your venue your guests can stay in for a destination wedding. So having an online invitation is actually not that bad after all.

And there you have it, all the necessary things to know about your wedding invitations and stationery from trend, timeline, to ways to cut down the cost. For more pretty, pretty papers, take a look at our best wedding invitation design vendors in Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya, Bandung and other cities who will definitely inspire you with their works and leave you in awe. And while you're on it, you might as well start researching, for one of them might be your pick as the wedding invitation vendor for your big day.


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