Invitations form an incredibly important part of the planning for any wedding, both in terms of giving guests the crucial info they need and in reflecting the personality of the couple. In this post, graphic designer Kitty Wursthorn gives her tips on how to make sure your invitations are freaking amazing.
So, you’re getting married! You’ve booked your venue, arranged your caterer, and ordered the 8ft tall light-up cupid sculpture. It’s going to be a smash! But for your party to take off, all the people you know and love need to know when and where they need to be, and you need a way to tell them this, some sort of… invitation!
Invitations are not only about passing on the details of your big day they also set the tone, and this is where they become really important. Here are some tips and tricks to help that info exchange go really smoothly, and impress a few people with your excellent taste along the way.
1. Hire a professional There are plenty of online wedding invitation templates out there, and I’m not saying these aren’t the right choice for you. But do beware that unless you have graphic design smarts with these things, you generally get what you pay for. They date quickly as they don’t tend to get updated often, they’re not personal, and the little design touches simply aren’t there.
For example, the font may look a little wrong on the page, or the edges of the card may be a bit rough. A proper designer will spend a time to get to know you and come up with a design that both speaks to who you are as a couple and sets the tone for the sort of event you are holding.
This is great as it helps your guests know what to expect. They’ll also provide the opportunity for personalisation that can’t easily be fit into a fixed template, like maps or illustrations of your pet pooch (for example).
2. Printing doesn’t have to cost the earth Improvements in technology mean that digital printing these days is inexpensive and really high quality. If you have the budget for it, there are heaps of cool tricks to make your invitation look great, like letterpress, raised print and risograph printing.
But if you don’t have a huge budget - spend your money on the design, not the printing. A good designer will be able to create a design that suits your printing requirements, and if you go with digital printing you should be able to get 100 invitations for around $70AUD on very decent paper stock.
3. Keep you information minimal We live in a fast paced world. It’s design 101: most people, even your nearest and dearest, will resent having to read a short essay to glean key pieces of information, information that can usually be summed up in 4-5 lines.
Also, from a design perspective, large paragraphs of text never visually ‘pop’ like simple one-liners, so you’ll be handicapping your designer if you require the inclusion of too much info. For the special little details, consider other ways that you can do this, like a dedicated website (see below), or signage at the venue.
4. Consider having a dedicated web page for your wedding A dedicated website is a great idea for communicating with your guests and it’s traditionally a space where long form writing will be more tolerated.
You can build them for free and easily on platforms like Squarespace and Wordpress, just pop the web address in the invite and ask people to visit for more info. You can insert a form into your web page so people can RSVP and provide their dietary details - all online.
You can even build in space for people to comment to arrange lifts and provide song requests! If you have the budget your designer can help you with this too, it probably won’t cost as much as you think.
5. Include a map The suburban function centre is out and weddings are increasingly being held in more creative and interesting spaces. If your venue is a little off the beaten path, think about adding a map to your design.
Apart from being really helpful to your guests, it’s a great opportunity to add some colour, illustration and design elements to your invitation.
6. Be creative and make it day to remember! We’ve really loosened the noose of tradition when it comes to weddings. These days couples often prefer to focus more on just having a great day with the people they love and only keep the formalities they like, so weddings have become much more casual.
The good news is that invitations have too, which means that you and your designer pretty much have free reign to make an invitation that really reflects you and your venue, and is as casual or formal, loud or restrained, serious or playful as you like.
For more info on Kitty's work, check out her website.