Spice Up Your Invitations!

Wedding invitations have evolved into something so personal and unique that you can actually get a feel for the wedding itself just by seeing (and touching) the invitation. Whether you choose parchment, custom engraving or print the invitations yourself, there are dozens of things you can do to spice up your invitations without breaking the bank.

Photos – Consider incorporating your engagement photo into the invitation or save the date to make an impact.

Words – Using your own words, maybe some sort of prose, will add an artistic flair.

Be Creative – Use touches of your culture with color and font.

Sparkle – A little sparkle never hurt anyone, right? A touch of glitter, a rhinestone or iridescent ink is very exciting.

DO NOT  add confetti – no one likes opening an envelope with confetti in it.

Consider calligraphy instead of printed address labels, it really makes an impact.

Postage – Using a stamp with a specific theme is a nice idea. Take it a step further by using  custom photo stamps for all of your wedding postage. Also making sure you have the correct postage will save a ton of headaches. Can you  imagine having 150 invitations returned?

The most important thing to keep in mind when selecting your wedding invitations is that you don’t forget your personal style. Keep the event and location in mind and let that dictate the style of the paper, ink, font and wording.  With literally hundreds of choices, it can get very confusing but, don’t despair – there is a style out there just right for you. 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago





The Scoop: Wedding Invitations

With all the ever-changing trends in wedding  attire, lighting, color and decor, the one thing that has hardly changed at all is the invitation. Actual written invitations became popular to the masses shortly after World War II when rapid industrial growth gave the common person the ability to mimic the lifestyle of society’s elite. Until that time, only the super wealthy could afford beautifully printed stationery items. Now, brides and grooms can go so far as to even print their own wedding invitations, thank you, reply cards and other inserts at home. Of course I always strongly advise against doing anything yourself when it comes to something as important as your wedding. For one thing, the smallest mistake can ruin the entire project but, mostly because couples have enough to worry about without the added stress of a DIY project gone wrong.

For picture perfect ( and stress-free) wedding invitations:
Find something that expresses your personality and/or the theme of the wedding. Ultra-formal, casual, flashy or artsy… finding the right design is not as easy as it sounds. Spend plenty of time picking out  invitations that reflect  your personalities and give the guest a hint of what to expect at your affair.

Save The Date.  This is what gives them the first clue to your wedding style. It does not have to be the same exact style as the invitation but it should have a similar feel.

Inserts. Make sure that each invitation has a reply card with pre-paid postage. If you desire, you can also add a map, itinerary and some  include an insert that has neighboring hotels and other points of interest for out of town guests.

Thank You(s).Don’t forget to order Thank You Notes to match the invitations. This is the one detail that is often overlooked… hard to believe.

Quantity. Always order extra invitations and additional envelopes on top of that. The rule is to divide total number of guests by 2 and then add 25. But, this formula will not work for everyone. A good cushion is to have 10 additional invitations in case there is a last minute change.

Font. Don’t let anyone tell you that most fonts all look the same. Monotype Corsiva is way different than French Script. If you are in doubt, defer to the expertise of your invitation specialist.

Postage. Never rely on chance. Take the invitation to the post office, have it weighed and measured with all inserts in place. When you drop them off, make sure you ask how to make sure they are hand stamped. Irregular sizes like square envelopes always require more postage. Determining the postage is especially important if you decide on boxed invitations. Boxed invitations are small packages and will be weighed and measured differently than letters.

Stamps. You can order stamps online using your own photos or you can use an attractive stamp from the post office. Seasonal stamps are nice, especially the ones that have some sentimental meaning to you.

Calligraphy. Sometimes thought of as a lost art, calligraphy is something that cannot be mimicked by any computer program and is without a doubt, the most elegant form of addressing your guests’s envelopes.

Double-check. Double check for misspelled names, typos, grammar and syntax. Wording can be tricky (especially with blended families) so, ask for help with wording if  you need it and get a second opinion even if you think you don’t need one

The invitation is the first and last impression your guests will have of your wedding… make it as unique and special as you are!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

“You are cordially invited” – Stationery made simple

If the eyes truly are the window to one’s soul, your invitations are a window to what guests can expect at your wedding. Traditional or modern, conservative or funky, there is an invitation style for everyone. The question is: With so many choices, how does one find the right style for their nuptials?  Here are some easy steps to help you decide on your invitations.

 Do you have a specific style to your wedding? Formal, ultra-formal, casual or somewhere in between; find a style of invitation that suits the occasion. Your paper professional should be able to help you through this process, guiding you as to any specific rules governing each style.

Is there a theme to the decor of the wedding? Whether you have decided on a grand technicolor  scheme or if you opted on black and white everywhere, you’ll want to include that into the design of the invitation. Don’t be afraid to incorporate your colors and style  into your stationery choices and try not to be overwhelmed by all of the extras. Ribbon-ties, calligraphy, engraved, photographs… and the list goes on.  Take a deep  breath and keep your venue, color selection and your personal style in mind.

Budget is also a consideration so make sure you have all your needs in place before you decide on a particular invitation so you don’t get caught without some of the essentials. Save-the-date cards, Invitations, programs, inserts, placecards, table markers, guest book and thank you notes are all part of this important package.

If your wedding has some unique elements and you are not sure how to handle the wording, always consult your invitation specialist. Don’t forget to proofread everything before you put it in the mail and check with the post office to make sure you have proper postage on the envelope. You don’t want 150 invitations coming back to you because a square envelope ( no matter how small) requires extra postage.

According to all  planning resources, your wedding invitations should be in the mail no less than 6 weeks before the event.  Save the date cards are a whopping 6- 8 months in advance. This means it is never too soon to make plans to attend a Bridal Expo in your area.   Visit www.bridalshowexpo.com  for links to our vendors and to get four complimentary tickets so you can find an invitation specialist near you.

– Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago