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7 Practical Tips for DIY Wedding Invitations

Apr06

If you are planning to make DIY wedding invitations, it is incredibly important that you set aside enough time. A DIY wedding is worth it only if you do not allow it to stress you out too much, and if the time you spend is worth the amount of money you save. Here are a few tips for DIY wedding invitations:

1. One of the best ways to sabotage an effort at DIY invitations is to miscalculate the amount of time they are going to take you. Most wedding experts recommend that you send out your invitations at least 6-8 weeks before your wedding, and you should probably set aside approximately two months to complete the entire task of designing, assembling, printing, and addressing your invitations. The time may also vary, depending on how large your wedding is (and how many invitations you will have to address!) It may also depend on how much help you have. The process can be tedious, so you will want to do it in increments so that you can actually enjoy it. If you are completely stressed and pressed for time, you will not have fun!

2. Decide on your envelopes before you begin designing your invitations. This is crucial, because there are very specific sizes out there. You do not want to finish designing and printing out your invitations and then realize that the size envelope you need is actually nonexistent! Choose your envelopes first; the paper size will follow.

3. When you choose your paper, make sure it is a bit smaller than your envelope to allow for wiggle room. Also, double check to make sure that any inserts you want to include will also fit within the envelope dimensions.

4. Before deciding on an invitation design, print it out to see what it will look like on actual paper. If you still love your design as much when looking at it in hard copy (not on a computer screen), then it is probably the right one!

5. If possible, take a calligraphy class, or recruit friends or family with beautiful handwriting. Taking a calligraphy class will come in handy not just for addressing your wedding invitations, but also for the many thank you notes you will be writing in the months to come. A tangible, handwritten note or letter has so much value, given that we live in an age of texts, twitters, RSS feeds, and emails. Knowing how to write beautifully will give you an unexpected edge, not just for your wedding season, but also professionally.

6. Have several people proofread your invitation before you send it. It is truly embarrassing to send out an invitation with typos; like your wedding, your invitations should be elegant, classy and as flawless as possible.

7. Weigh everything before you buy postage to buy the right amount.

Remember: if DIY wedding trends are not for you, or if the amount of time you would spend simply is not worth it, do not despair. Some people really enjoy the process of making wedding invitations, centerpieces, etc.; others do not. If you are in the “do not” category, simply sit back and enjoy the process of choosing your invitation design and having them professionally addressed!

Read more:


Designing Your Wedding Invitation List

Apr01

When it comes time to begin your wedding guest list, there are three questions that you need to answer:

Do I want a large, medium, or small wedding reception?
A small wedding reception can be intimate and lovely, but for people with very large families, they are sometimes not possible. Do your best to blend what you want with what is practical for your situation.

When you picture yourself getting married, who are you unable to imagine not being there?
Even if there is someone who you do not see often (yet who perhaps played a very influential role in your life), you should invite him or her. This could be a high school English teacher who played an important role in your career. Inviting people like that says a lot to them, even if they are unable to attend your wedding.

Who do you not want at the wedding?
This could include a number of people, but more than likely, it’s not people you necessarily “dislike.” For personal reasons, you may decide that you do not want children at the wedding, so no children are included in the guest list. You may not want to open the invitation to work colleagues, which is completely acceptable. The more consistent you are with your choices, the better you will be able to explain your wedding invitation list to people who didn’t get invited.

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Contemporary Wedding Invitation Designs

Mar11

Contemporary wedding invitations feature the most unique and modern designs that include interesting color combinations, eye-catching fonts, photographs, and textures. If you’re a modern bride who wants to make sure your wedding invitation designs stand out from the pack, then take your time when choosing a design that fits your personality and your zest for only the hottest design trends.

Fortunately for you, there are numerous designs to choose from. The fact that they tend to be grouped in categories makes it easy for you to narrow it down. Explore the following wedding invitations and see if any of them tickle your fancy.

Modern Wedding Invitations
Modern wedding invitations are fresh as well as fashionable. If the tone of your wedding is just that, then it’s imperative you choose invitations that represent that style and vibe. Open your mind and your pocketbook to modern designs and interesting shapes and textures, and you’ll be well on your way to having the modern day wedding of your dreams. Popular modern wedding invitation themes include the following:

  • Stripes: Stripes placed on any part of your invitation will make it pop.
  • Multiple Photos: Your possibilities with photos are endless. An ultra-modern choice would be to take photos at a photo booth and have them printed on your invitations. (Also ideal for your “save the date” cards.) Have fun with this idea, and experiment with various photo configurations on different areas of the invitations.
  • Dots: Dots are like stripes in that they turn a rather ordinary invitation into extraordinary by making it pop.
  • Motif: Choose a meaningful emblem or symbol and either enlarge it or make it smaller, color it and put it anywhere you choose on your invitation.
  • Quotes/Verses: Pick your favorite poet or philosopher and explore various quotes. Choose the one that best represents this joyous occasion and have it printed on your invites. Also, play around with the size and type of font. For example, you could choose a light color that works well for the background and have the quote written in cursive, which will give the invitation a more romantic style.
  • Bold: Bold designs have something extra special that makes them stand out, for example, multiple folds. If your invitation is fun to open because of the interesting folds, then your guests will know right off the bat they’re in for a treat.

Another way to make your custom wedding invitations stand out is by choosing a fun and modern theme.

  • Animals
  • Beach
  • Damask
  • Las Vegas
  • Vintage
  • Winter
  • Artists
  • Bamboo
  • Beach
  • Butterflies
  • Celtic/Irish
  • Fairy-tale
  • Fleur de Lis
  • Hawaii
  • Hibiscus
  • Lighthouses
  • Nautical
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Sunsets
  • Vintage
  • Wine/Vineyard

Choosing the right wedding invitations is much like choosing your wedding gown, engagement ring, or even your flower arrangements. You want your invitations to reflect your own unique style, while still leaving an impression on your guests.

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Wording for DIY Wedding Invitations

Dec15

If you are the type of bride to take on the task of making DIY wedding invitations, then chances are you are also the type to forgo the formal and conventional wording often found in traditional wedding invitations. Traditionally, an invitation will read: "(parents of the bride) together with (parents of the groom), request the honor of your presence…" If the bride and groom are hosting, the invitation will read something like: “Please join us at a celebration of…”

However, many brides opt for more casual wedding invitation wording, such as “With joyous hearts, we invite you to attend…” Another example of unique wedding invitation wording used to describe the reception is: “Buffet, music, and merriment to follow.” This is lighthearted, fun, and tells your guests the most important thing—that your reception is going to be a blast!

Just remember not to get too fancy with DIY wedding invitations, because many people tend to just peruse it and you want to avoid confusion. Make sure to include the basics: the date, time, who is hosting the occasion, whether there will be a meal, appetizers, or dancing, and any additional information that is helpful. For example, if you are getting married on the Sunday after people set their clocks forward or back, you may want to note that on your invitation, to avoid guests arriving an hour late or an hour early.

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How to Create Custom Wedding Invitation Designs

Oct28

Custom wedding invitations are a great way to make your special day unique to you and your husband-to-be. Before choosing wedding invitation designs, decide exactly what you're willing to spend. Regardless of your budget, it's possible to choose a unique and modern wedding invitation that reflects you and your overall wedding theme.

Typically, the most cost-effective wedding invitations are found online when ordered in bulk along with envelopes and other accessories. You can also create your own wedding invitations, but that too can get expensive, depending on the tools, paper, and materials you choose for your look.

Decide on Your Theme
There are some gorgeous wedding invitation designs available at affordable prices both online and at stationery stores. Most experts recommend choosing your dress and your venue before choosing an invitation, as those two major decisions dictate the theme of your wedding.

Season also influences your choice both stylistically and practically. If you are having a winter wedding in Montana, for example, you may want to incorporate snowflakes into your theme. A summer wedding at a vintage, Spanish-style home in California may call for an invitation that mimics the architectural nuances of your venue, such as incorporating the building’s curves and columns into your wedding invitation.

Custom Wedding Invitation Designs
Custom wedding invitations can be the most expensive option, mainly because they involve commissioning a graphic designer. If you decide to go this route, you should ask around to get personal recommendations for graphic designers in your area. Because wedding invitations are fun and creative, designers are typically willing and excited to work with you.

When you meet with different designers, make sure that you have questions ready and written down to reference. Ask the designer whether she has worked on invitations before (not a necessity, though helpful), if she has a portfolio and references (and whether or not you can contact them), what type of paper is available, and whether she includes printing services in her total estimate. Also, if you don't have a tangible idea of what you want your invitation to look like, ask if your designer would be willing to brainstorm with you.

If you do have a good idea of what you want, ask your designer to draw up some rough sketches. Bring to your meeting any samples or color swatches that exemplify the tones and themes of your wedding, such as fabric strips (it's usually possible to order a fabric strip of your bridesmaids dresses where you purchased them); a photograph of your wedding venue; a photograph of your bridal gown; pictures of the flowers you plan to use; or cutouts from magazines of different colors, shapes, or textures that you like.

Remember that the more visual elements you bring to your meeting, the better your designer will be able to understand what you're looking for. It's important to feel comfortable with him or her, as this will allow for genuine communication about what you do or don't like. (The same rule goes for any vendors or people you work closely with during the planning process.) Make sure that you feel comfortable voicing your opinion before hiring a designer to create your custom wedding invitations.

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Save the Date Invitations: Etiquette for Drawing Up Your Final Guest List

Oct07

Depending on the size of your wedding, one of the most difficult decision processes is drawing up your final guest list. Before sending out save the date invitations, there is a lot to consider. Should the coworker who you are on friendly terms with yet don't spend time with outside of work be invited? What about distant cousins you haven't spoken with in ten years? Or the old friend from junior high school who surprisingly invited you to her own wedding last year?

Coworkers and Church Friends
Save the date invitation etiquette can be ambiguous. But there are a few rules of thumb that aid in the process. For groups of people – such as coworkers or church friends – you should invite all of them or none of them. With the exception of a coworker who has become a close friend, and whom you spend personal time with, it should be clear that you either decided to invite colleagues from your department, or you simply couldn’t invite any. Dealing with it in a “cut and dry” manner can help avoid hurt feelings.

The same theory goes for church friends. If you aren't pressed to cut down on your guest list, and you are inclined to do so, then go ahead and invite the 15 members of your community group. But unless you are close friends with someone, it's not obligatory to invite them.

Family Members
With family members, there is an inevitably more grey area. If you're doing a lot of the planning with a parent, he or she may have strong feelings about which family members are invited. Use discretion, and remember that this is your big day and you can invite who you want. If you have a great aunt who loves to know what's going on in your life, or who always remembers to call you on your birthday, then she would obviously be hurt if she were left out.

If you have a lot of family out of state (even if they are unlikely to attend), it is still best to send them wedding save the date invitations, as they will want to feel like they are part of the celebration. They'll also want to know where you are registered, or if you have a wedding website where they can look at engagement photos or find updates on your choice of honeymoon destination.

For out of state family members who plan to attend your wedding, they will need to know your wedding date three to six to even eight months (if travel is required) in advance so they can begin looking into travel arrangements like airfares and hotels. Depending on your wedding location, they may even want to make their annual vacation as part of this trip.

It is completely acceptable to send save the date invitations by email. Not only does this cut down on cost, it's convenient for everyone involved. Just keep in mind that some people may not have access to email or a computer, and in that case, make sure the word gets out to them via airmail or phone.

Read more: How to Make Sure They'll Really "Save the Date", Guests You Don't Want to Invite, But Have To! and Who to Invite to Your Bridal Shower


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