The wonderful Amanda from baci designer stationery + events is guest posting today about the importance of beautiful, custom, and thoughtful invitations. Thank you Amanda!

Each time I hear, “I don’t want to waste a lot of money on invitations because people just throw them away,” I cringe. Not only are invitations a large part of my life — after all, I am the owner and lead designer for baci designer stationery + events — they’re just plain wrong!

I agree, people will toss crappy invitations that glaringly show there was no thought or effort put into them. No one expects a guest to keep something even the bride and the groom don’t care about. Invitations are one of the most essential parts of planning a wedding because they set the tone of what guests are to expect on the wedding day while at the same time helping them prepare for your event. In turn it will keep them out of the trash and in the memory books! Below are a few reasons why invitations are so important and the information you should include on them in an effort to make your guests more comfortable and prepared for your big day!

Setting the Tone

Have you ever received an invitation in the mail and been able to envision the wedding day? Well, if your answer is no then you’ve probably never received an invitation that properly set the tone. If your answer is yes, that bride and groom did it right! The invitation to anything, especially a wedding, should exude the theme of the event to come.  A full-on extravagant bash complete with a fireworks send-off should have an equally extravagant invitation — imagine receiving an engraved invitation suite on Crane’s finest stock placed in a silk box, hand-tied with satin ribbon and adorned with a rhinestone brooch. You would know to dress in your finest attire and expect nothing but the best at the event, which means the invitation is setting the tone perfectly.

Below is an invitation I created for clients, Casey and Josh. It’s the perfect example to express that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on the perfect invitation for your big day. The couple wanted something sweet and simple for their $5,000 Valentine’s Day Wedding and I think the invitation suite exemplifies that perfectly! Their custom monogram, c&j, and their colors — brown, pink and red — were continued throughout the entire event.


Creating Excitement and Anticipation

Receiving the perfect invitation in the mail should make you ready for the wedding to arrive. If a bride and groom put thought into what their invitation looks and feels like, it is definitely conveyed to the guest. A fun-filled wedding with a circus theme should have an invitation that makes people chomp at the bit for the big day to arrive.

Below is an example of an invitation suite I designed for clients, Alexis and Sam. Their low-key and relaxed wedding was to take place in the Bahamas where they planned a weekend of fun activities for their guests to enjoy. Their invitation expressed that perfectly, not only giving guests the proper information to book travel and pack properly, but priming them for all of the fun that was to come!


Providing Pertinent Information

Obviously one of the most important reasons for having the perfect invitation is to include all of the proper information for your guests. They certainly won’t be tossing it in the trash if it is full of useful details! Below are some of the important things to include in your invitation suite:

Who?

This seems like a bit of a “duh” thing to add, but it is incredibly important to put who the invitation is coming from. Not only should you include the bride and the groom (obviously — lol!), but if the parents are helping host the event their information should be included. Generally, the bride’s parents are the hosts, but if the groom’s parents are helping out, their names should be included as well.

One other thing to think about is to make sure people know who the bride and groom are when they receive their invitation. Maybe the groom always goes by a nickname and no one would know who he was if it wasn’t included. Feel free to make it personal, proper etiquette doesn’t always apply to each and every situation.

When?

Once again, something you would assume would be second nature, but it’s important to do it properly. Always say when the event will start — not when the music will start. The time on your invitation should be the time your bridal party will begin to walk down the aisle. As a guest, you should always plan to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the time provided on the invitation. Also, don’t forget to include when your cocktail hour and reception will begin. You may also want to say when dinner will be served because the beginning of the reception is not always the beginning of dinner — you don’t want hungry guests!

Where?

When writing the ceremony location you should include the full street address and the city. If many guests are from out of state you can include the state as well. There is no need for the zip code, it’s not very appealing on the eyes to have an extra string of numbers on your formal invitation. You can follow the same rules for the reception information.

Feel free to include directions on a separate, but matching card, especially if guests are coming in from out of town or if the route is tricky or may be under construction. To be completely helpful, include directions from the hotel to the church and from the church to the reception. Everyone has GPS nowadays, but they don’t always provide what you would consider the best route.

Dress Code?

Do you expect your guests to arrive in suit and tie? Well then be sure to tell them! Also, the big one people miss in this department is telling guests your event will be held outdoors. Outdoor weddings require different attire, especially for the ladies, so be sure to let your guests know on the invitation so they can wear their flats so they don’t sink into the grass and bring a shawl to keep them warm if the day is chilly. Don’t forget to include your Plan B if the weather chooses not to cooperate.

Accommodation Information

It is common practice to reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel for your guests. A separate, but matching, card included in your invitation suite is the perfect place to provide that information. You can also include information on shuttles if the hotel is providing one to and from your event.

Wedding Website

Have a wedding website that’s full of all sorts of useful information about you, your bridal party and how the whole love affair got started? Feel free to share that with your guests, too! Be sure you’re not using the crazy long link on your invitation suite though —it makes it almost impossible for guests to properly type it into the browser. Use a site like bit.ly to shorten and customize your link.

Remember, the more personal and about you an invitation suite is, the more apparent it will be to the guests that you put your whole heart and soul into the event. Now that you’re armed with this great information on how to make your wedding invitation suite exciting and useful, go on out and create that beautiful invitation your guests will want to show off to their friends! Happy Planning!

Thank you so much Amanda! Such great and thorough information. For more about Amanda and baci stationery design + events, check out the WeddingInviteLove profile, or head straight to the baci website.

I am so inspired from this — Julie of Up Up Creative, an amazing wedding invitation designer, is doing something so unique and kind of scary. For the month of September only, you can name your own price on Up Up Creative‘s invitations (custom designed!). Watch the video, it’s beautiful.

Now, please don’t take advantage of Julie — think about the value you’re receiving. Think about the time and effort. Think about how you can make this experiment a success. Participate in something fun and exciting, but be fair!

Read more about the experiment on Julie’s blog and see the frequently asked questions about the topic… and if you’re sure about ordering, you can name your price today!

Best of luck to Julie — I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out!

Just FYI — we announced the WeddingLovely name change from WeddingType, and today, our Facebook page has officially switched over! Just like the blog, we’re going to continue to feature all the best in wedding invitations, but starting to add more information about wedding planning as we prep for the launch of WeddingPlannerLove.

“Like” WeddingLovely today if you haven’t — it’ll help you keep up to date on our features and announcements, and at the very least, it guarantees you entries into any contests we run! ;)

I’m prepping to go to the airport to fly to Portland and to speak (aaah!) at DjangoCon tomorrow! I’ll hopefully have a post up late tomorrow — US residents, enjoy the holiday, and everyone else, happy Monday!

(The only) photo from the meetup on Wednesday! The wine bar we moved to was way too dark so this was the only good picture taken. In any case, happy Friday everyone! I’m stressing out because on Monday I fly out to Portland and on Tuesday morning, I have an hour long presentation to give! New, scary, experiences, but it should be fun.

Notable Links:

Newest WeddingInviteLove Vendors:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

The invitation meetup last night was small, intimate, and a lot of fun (even with Radius being booked on a special event, but luckily there was another awesome wine bar across the street!) Thanks to Karly, Melissa, and Jessica for hanging out with me!

Next week I will be in Portland to speak at DjangoCon, and I’d love to meet up with invitation + stationery + design enthusiasts over wine and appetizers on Wednesday evening (September 7th) at Kir. First bottle of wine and appetizers are on me!

RSVP on Facebook (or respond in the comments if you don’t have FB!)

Merrymint Designs makes such beautiful invitations, and today we have more pictures and the story of their Manhattan invitations! I personally love the long invitation and the typefaces. Take it away, Cheryl & Sherie:

Manhattan is one of our newest designs and already a favorite of ours! It is inspired by the classy sophistication of the big city (hence the name) and we were going for a very formal, black tie affair type of look.

We printed the set on our new and quite lovely textured Felt stock because of it’s rich look and feel and slightly off-white tone.

We decided to make the typography the focal point to keep the set clean and elegant!

Thank you Cheryl & Sherie! For more about Merrymint and their beautiful designs, check them out on WeddingInviteLove, or head straight to their Etsy store.

Thanks to the amazing Michele from Meant To Be Calligraphy, WeddingLovely.com (and the blog, check out above!) now has a new, gorgeous, amazing logo! The logo is hand-lettered using a modified version of Michele’s “Edwards” lettering style (and you have no idea how hard it was to choose a style out of all the amazing calligraphy styles that she does).

I’ve had my heart set on a calligraphed logo for a long time and I am so pleased at how this one turned out. Hit up Meant To Be Calligraphy if you ever want a calligraphed logo — Michele was great to work with!

This week’s featured invitation vendor is Parrott Design Studio — whose profile has one of the prettiest designs I’ve ever seen! Gorgeous swash typefaces, delicate calligraphy, sans-serif contrasting typeface, and beautiful illustration — what’s not to love?

Congrats to Parrott Design Studio! Check out their profile on WeddingInviteLove or head straight to their website.