Before there were 31 flavors, chunky monkey, cookie dough and all kinds of other things added to ice cream there was just vanilla. Vanilla in all it’s glory is still the #1 ice cream choice and hard to resist if it is really good but, from time to time isn’t it nice to indulge in something unique and wonderful just to stimulate your senses?
The same holds true for wedding invitations. The simple engraved wedding invitation is still classic, it is still considered the epitome of style and good taste. But, with so many choices that it is difficult not to want to express yourself creatively. The good news is that now you don’t have to sacrifice quality to achieve the result you are looking for.
Since the print quality and technology of home printers has become so commonplace people are tempted to print their invitations at home. I strongly advise against it. There are a dozen things that can go wrong, from a crooked layout to accidental misspellings to incorrect grammar. With a professional you have some recourse when the invitations arrive but, when you decide to handle this yourself there is no other option but to start over and the money you saved is now taking up more time and money to correct a problem you could have avoided. In all fairness, some do-it-yourselfers have gone this route sans problem.
Decide what you want to include in your invitation. A response card and pre-addressed, stamped envelope is standard but some couples also include a map and locations of area restaurants and hotels for out of town guests. If you have a wedding website it is perfeclty acceptable to include a small ‘business’ card with the web address printed on it. Never include any information about gift registries on the invitation.
Sit down with your invitation specialist and go over wording. They should be able to guide you through some tricky situations like how to include step-parents, avoid lengthy diatribes as well as handle proper capitalization, punctuation, etc. The absolute worst wedding invitation I ever received had nonsensical ramblings about love and family and actually named who was ‘hosting’ the event… and it wasn’t the parents. Somebody dropped the ball and it doesn’t matter who it is, it made the couple look out of touch and narcissistic. If either set of parents is paying for the wedding, or even contributing a significant portion, their names should be printed in some manner on the invitation. Your invitation professional will guide you through all of this, another good reason you should not do it yourself!
Now for the fun part… picking the actual invitation. This is the single best way to express the theme of the wedding. Use color, texture, do something really different and unique or go old school with calligraphy and simple, chic engraved invitations.
Some hot picks for 2011 are:
– Monograms. Adding the couple’s first initials is the #1 choice for monogrammed invites. Bold or simple, the monogram adds a personal touch and if done properly can be visually stunning.
– Texture.Foil imprinted cards, laser cut papers, organic, textured cardstock. There are as many options to add texture as there are color options.
– Theme. If you are going green, hosting a Renaissance wedding or headed to the beach, use that as your starting point. Starting with the invitation, guests should know exactly what kind of event you have in store for them.
– Color. Use your wedding colors! Instead of white paper with colored ink, try the reverse – it can be stunning if done properly. If you go with white or cream paper, you can use colored borders, envelope liners or inserts to punch it up.
– Font and Spacing. Nothing has to be symmetrical. You can space the words out to fit the page, have everything aligned to the left or right to accommodate the design. However, make sure the font matches the overall theme. Large scroll letters do not indicate a simple, modern event just as clean, simple letters will not adequately express the Victorian Garden you have planned at the reception. Ask your invitation specialist to help you narrow down your choices.
– Photos. Photos on save the date cards have been commonplace for some time but couples are now starting to add a photo to the invitation itself. Make sure you ask for photo quality cardstock or the image may wind up looking like an aged newspaper article.
– Extras.Don’t forget to order the matching thank you notes, placecards, menus, program and any other printed material you will need for your wedding. Ordering everything from the same place will save time and aggravation. It will also ensure everything is printed in the same batch so the ink color, style, font will be an exact match and everything will arrive at the same time.
Bridal Expo Chicago boasts the dream of the crop when it comes to wedding invitation specialists. At every show you will be amazed at the stunning choices out vendors bring! Call 847-428-3320 today to order tickets to a show in your area!
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago