Smart Start with Susan Southerland: What to Know about Choosing Wedding Invitations

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The first question brides typically ask me about their wedding invitations is when to mail them. The second is how they should approach designing and choosing the invitation itself. For many couples, selecting the right invitation is as singularly important as deciding on a venue or even purchasing a wedding gown. Invitations convey the overall style and feel of the event, and they’re a great way for couples to show their personalities.

wedding invitations, wedding stationery

While there is no single right answer to this latter question, there are some basic things that all couples should consider when designing their wedding invitations. Here are a few of them:

1. Budget. Let’s face it: some couples place more value on their wedding invitations than others. Options today range from free and casual E-vites to custom, crystal-and-silk bedecked invitations that can cost thousands of dollars. Consider your overall wedding budget and place what you think is a reasonable percentage aside for your invitations…and be sure to consider the fact that your invitation is likely to be kept by many guests as mementos!

2. Theme. Are you having a country-rustic outdoor wedding? An intimate destination beach wedding? A formal, black-tie wedding? Just as wedding themes are infinite, so are invitation designs. Choose a design that complements the overall look and feel for your day.

3. Personalities. Weddings celebrate the joyful moment when a couple commits their lives to each other. They should be events that reflect the personalities and preferences of the couple, and so should their wedding invitations. Are you environmentally conscious? Choose invitations printed on recycled paper and/or with soy-based ink. Sports fans? Opt for a less formal font that reflects your fun-loving natures.

4. Style. There is more to consider than just the overall look of the invitation itself. Some designs are larger than others, for example, which can increase postage costs. Heavier papers can have the same result. Invitations with embellishments on them might require special packaging. All of these things should be considered before deciding whether an invitation is right for you.

5. DIY or Hire Out? There are countless ways to buy wedding invitations. From offerings on discount websites to local brick and mortar stores, couples might cull through thousands of invitation options. Sometimes, this can be overwhelming. Hiring a professional stationer or graphic designer might be a worthy investment to insure you get one-of-a-kind, personalized invitations that don’t cause you a lot of time or stress.

These are some of the main elements to consider when choosing your wedding invitations. In the end, you want to be sure you select a design that suits your style and budget. Oh…and in case you were wondering, invitations should ideally be mailed about eight weeks before the big day!

Have you selected your wedding invitations yet? Tell us why you chose them. If you haven’t, let us know what will weigh into your decision when you do!

–Photo credits and Additional Reporting by Amy Morelli of 2u Collection.

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