When I talk about wedding invitations, which I do, a lot, obvs, I often find myself answering the same questions time and time again. So, I thought it was time to put together a collection of those questions in a fun A to Z format. So here it is, my A to Z of everything you need you know about wedding invitations
A – How to ADDRESS wedding invitations
No, not The dress, address (sorry, couldn’t resist). Addressing your invitations doesn’t refer just to the postal address that you would write on the outer envelope. Although this is important too, make sure you get it right! It’s also about how you write the names of your guests inside your invitations. Should you put to Mr & Mrs Jones, Gemma & Sally, The Davies Family? What’s the right way to do it? It’s far too big a topic to cover here, why not go have a read of my blog post dedicated just to this.
B – What is a BELLY BAND for invitations?
What is a bellyband for invitations? No, it’s not some sort of belt. It’s what we call that thin strip of card that wraps around an invitation to hold it all together. I usually use them around pocketfold invitations, or stacks of individual cards. Bellybands can be made from card, paper or vellum (keep ready to find out what that is). They can be plain or printed, a monogram or names and wedding date are popular. A wax seal can also be added for the extra wow factor.
C – What is a CONCERTINA invitation?
A concertina invitation is one that has more than one crease, meaning it can be folded up into a Z or zig zag shape. I make them in a 15cm square size with two folds (three printed panels), or A6 size with either two (three printed panels) or three (four printed panels) folds. They are a perfect style to include lots of extra details for your guests and can incorporate a detachable reply postcard if you like.
D – Is it OK to ask for DRESS CODE on a wedding invitation?
I’m often asked whether the dress code needs to be included on a wedding invitation. My answer is usually no unless it’s something other than what most people would consider ‘usual wedding attire’. Some examples of this would be black tie, or if you wanted your guests to either wear or avoid a certain colour. If your venue is a little off the beaten track, perhaps a barn or farm, then you might want to let your guests know to bring suitable footwear or warmer cover ups for the evening. Dress code is among my 11 top bits of info to include on your extra details card.
E – Are ENVELOPES included with invitations?
Whatever style of invitation you are sending (unless it’s a digital one) you’ll need an envelope. All my wedding invitations (as well as thank you cards and save the dates) come with high quality (see my note under gsm below) recycled or FSC certified envelopes, in either soft white, or brown kraft. There is always the opportunity to upgrade to coloured envelopes or add contrasting envelope liners. If you’d like me to print your guest addresses onto your envelopes I can do that too.
F – What is the best FONT to use on a wedding invitation?
We all know what fonts are, right? Ariel, comic sans, times new roman – yup all those ones we use day to day in our documents, presentations and spreadsheets. The fonts used on your wedding invitations are important. They need to be a combination of something beautiful, decorative and in keeping with the overall design, while at the same time being clear and legible so that none of the details are ambiguous. In many of my designs you will see me use a combination of a decorative calligraphy, script or brush style font for names, titles and accents alongside a more readable typeface for all the details.
G – What GSM do you use for wedding invitations?
One of the more ‘technical’ terms here. GSM is an abbreviation for grams per square metre. It’s the measurement we use when we talk about the ‘weight’ of a paper. And the weight of a paper is usually (but not always) an indication of how thick and opaque (see through) it is. So, your average printer paper (the kind you can buy off the shelf in a supermarket) is 80gsm. The thicker card I use for making wedding invitations and stationery is usually somewhere between 280gsm and 300gsm. For paper inserts and envelopes I choose 110gsm to 135gsm, for a nice quality feel and finish.
H – Why choose HANDMADE wedding invitations?
All of the wedding invitations and stationery I make are handmade or hand finished. The beauty of a handmade wedding invite is that it can be completely unique to you. Handmade invitations are easily customised and personalised. The colours and fonts can be changed to match your wedding theme. There is often a much lower minimum order for handmade wedding invitations than for mass produced, printed ones.
I – Can you give me IDEAS and inspiration for my wedding invitations?
When I design a collection of wedding invitations and stationery I look for ideas and inspiration everywhere. Fashion, home decor, art, nature and of course wedding trends. Many of my design feature floral designs that mirror current trends for wedding bouquets and centrepieces.
When we meet to discuss your wedding invitations I will ask you to bring along your ideas and inspiration too. This can be anything from swatches of fabric from your bridesmaid dresses, pictures of your cake, images of your flowers and decor or even samples of other invitations that you’ve received or seen. Seeing all of this together will help me to get a feel for the wedding you are planning and how to bring all those elements together in your stationery. Remember that your invitation will be the first glimpse that your guests have of the celebration that is to come. You need it set the right tone and ‘vibe’ as well as contain all the important details. Pinterest is a great place to collect all your ideas and inspiration together.
J – What are vellum JACKETS for wedding invitations?
Jackets? What’s that got to do with invitations? Well, I often make invitations with an extra piece of paper, card, or vellum wrapped around them. Not quite a pocketfold, but a bit more than a bellyband. They are a great way to give your invites that little something extra, and are perfect around a flat invitation with extra information cards, or a concertina style invite. Jackets can be made from any card or paper, but look really good in vellum. Either printed or plain and secured with ribbon, twine, or a wax seal.
K – What are KRAFT paper wedding invitations?
What? Surely she’s spelt that wrong? No, that’s correct, kraft with a K (not a C) and it’s that gorgeous, rustic looking, recycled brown paper and card that I use for some of my invitations, stationery and envelopes. It is a beautiful paper that gives a lovely rustic feel to any design. And of course, it is recycled and unbleached which means it’s more sustainable than other papers. Kraft paper is much stronger than regular paper, hence its name, derived from the German for strength or power.
L – Can you make other LANGUAGE or bilingual wedding invites?
I’m often approached by couples who would like invitations with more than one language. Frequently, because I am based in Wales, this is Welsh and English, but I have printed many other combinations too. There are various ways to incorporate more than one language within your invitations. You could have a fully bilingual invite, or use a second language as accent text. Some couples might choose to have two completely different sets of invites, each in a different language. Whatever you choose, I can help.
M – What is a wedding MONOGRAM?
The dictionary definition of a monogram is a motif of two or more interwoven letters, typically a person’s initials, used to identify a personal possession or as a logo. When I talk about using monograms on wedding invitations, they usually include the initials of the couple. A monogram is a lovely way to personalise, not only your invitations, but your entire wedding stationery suite. They can be fancy and decorative, or simple and modern. The possibilities are endless. One of my most popular designs is my Modern Monogram collection.
N – Which NAME goes first on a wedding invitation?
Obviously, when we’re talking about wedding invites, names are pretty important. There are frequently questions and discussions around them when I talk to couples in my studio. Probably the most asked one is; what order do they go on on your invitation? Bride first? Groom first? What about a same sex marriage? In short, there are no rules, but if you want to read more about this you can have a read of my blog:
O – How many wedding invitations to ORDER?
Remember, you’ll need one invitation per couple, family, or household. Not one per guest. It’s the biggest mistake that couples make when working out their invitation costs. I do love seeing the realisation that actually the invitations will only be about half what they originally calculated. Of course, you should always get a few spares but don’t go overboard. I generally have a low minimum order, and will encourage you to only order what you need.
P – What are POCKETFOLD invitations?
Pocketfolds are a type of wedding invitation that include, as the name suggests, a pocket inside a folded card. They are great for including extra details for your guests such as menus and reply cards. Because the extra inserts are placed loose into the pocket, they are very flexible in terms of the amount of information that can be included. Some couples will need just basic details, perhaps a gift wish and some accommodation suggestions. Others might want to include menus, a dress code, transport arrangements and more. Card contained in the pocket can be double sided if needs be. All the detail is wrapped neatly inside the outer pocket and secure with a bellyband, ribbon, twine or wax seal.
Q – Can we use QUOTES in our wedding invitations?
Quotes and sayings are a lovely way to add a little of your personalities to your wedding invitations (and anywhere throughout your stationery). Short poems, quotes from films, plays or literature, even song lyrics are all great to include. If you want to incorporate a quote or saying in your wedding invites, pick something that is meaningful or special to you, and try to keep it short and sweet. Want some inspiration, go and have a read of my blog post:
R – What should my wedding RSVP say?
R.S.V.P. it’s an abbreviation of the French “répondez s’il vous plaît” which means “please reply”. We use it at the end of a wedding invitation to request a reply, either an acceptance (yes, we’re coming) or decline (sorry, can’t make it). It’s a good idea to include a ‘deadline’ to reply too, for example: RSVP by 9th October. My pro tip for this one: either write ‘please reply’ or ‘RSVP’, never ‘please RSVP’. It’s just not linguistically correct. Whether or not you include a reply card with your invitations is completely up to you. You can just ask your guests to respond via email or phone.
S – What are SEED PAPER wedding invitations?
Plantable seed paper is, at the time of writing, possibly my most favourite material to make wedding invitations with. It is paper made from recycled waste materials, embedded with thousands seeds. When you plant the paper it grows in bee and butterfly friendly flowers. Concertina and flat invitations, save the dates, and wedding place cards work really well when printed onto plantable seedpaper. It’s the perfect choice if you are planning a sustainable, eco-friendly wedding.
T – What is the TIMELINE for wedding invitations?
Why would you need a timeline for wedding invites? Well, it’s handy to know when you need to order them, when you need to send them out, and when you should ask your guests to reply by. It can also help with when you need to sort your other stationery out too. When you book in your production slots with me, I’ll give you a personalised timeline of what details you’ll need to confirm and when. This will help you keep on track and make sure everything is printed and ready at just the right time.
U – How do I make a wedding invitation UNIQUE?
When you choose bespoke, handmade wedding invitations they will be absolutely unique to you. While I have a number of design collections to choose from, I don’t think I’ve ever made two sets of invitations exactly the same. Of course, the wedding details will be different for every couple, but all the other elements including the choice of card, colour scheme, font, layout, and style of invitation will play a part. Throw in those personal finishing touches like wraps, wax seals, ribbons and envelopes and you have a completely unique and bespoke invitation suite.
V – How to use VELLUM paper in your wedding invitations
What is vellum? It’s that lovely, semi-transparent paper (a bit like tracing paper) that I often use in my wedding invitations and stationery. It brings a gorgeous elegant, translucent element to invitations without the need for plastic or acrylic. You can have your invitations printed straight on to the vellum, and layer them over a decorative printed board behind. I can make it into bellybands or jackets to wrap around your invites. I can even get envelopes made from it. The possibilities are pretty much endless. It’s a gorgeous material and brings an extra dimension to your wedding invitations.
W – How to use WAX seals on your wedding invitations
Wax seals have been around for centuries. Made by melting sealing wax onto a card or envelope and pressing in a decorative stamp before it cools and hardens. Originally used for sealing envelopes or scrolls, there are so many ways to use them in your wedding invites, and of course your other stationery if you like! One of my favourite ways to incorporate them is on a bellyband around a pocketfold invitation, or with ribbon or twine to finish off a vellum jacket.
X – What (e)XTRA details do you put in your wedding invitations?
Yeah, a slightly tenuous one this one, but hey, we’re nearly at the end – so forgive me for using a bit of artistic license! You’ll probably need some extra details in your invites, to ensure that your guests are fully prepared for your big day. Things like venue and accommodation details, a gift wish, menu choices, and more. How you do this is up to you, maybe you have a wedding website with all the detail, and you just need to include the address on your invites. Perhaps you prefer to put more of this info on your invites themselves, in which case you should check out a concertina or pocketfold style invitation. For a complete checklist of what extra details you might need to include, take a look at my blog:
Y – What does “YOUR presence is present enough” mean?
Your presence is present enough is just a fancy way of saying that you value the company of your guests over any gifts to celebrate your big day. It’s becoming increasingly popular to include a phrase something like this within your wedding invitations. However, it’s also very common to include a gift wish poem, essentially saying that you would prefer a monetary gift rather than a traditional present. Whether or not you include something like this in your invites is very personal, and you should only include what you feel comfortable with. Read more about this my blog:
Z Can wedding invitations ever be ZERO waste?
Keeping waste to an absolute minimum in my production processes is an important part of being a sustainable wedding business. I use offcuts paper and card to make smaller items of stationery like bellybands, tags, place cards, or use them around the studio as file labels and notepaper. Anything I can’t reuse is donated to a local nursery or responsibly recycled.
Ensuring that the invitations I produce, and the methods that I use to make them are sustainable is very important to me. I print onto recycled card or plantable seed paper, and use recycled paper envelopes as far as I can. This means that after use, all my products can also be easily recycled, or planted!
I hope you liked my A to Z of wedding invitations
That’s it, my wedding invites A to Z. I hope you have enjoyed reading it and I hope you have found it useful. I’d like to think that there’s at least one bit of info in here that you didn’t know before reading.
Don’t forget, if you have any questions at all about wedding invites or stationery, I am here to help. You can head over to my contact page and send me an email (or book a call or appointment with me if you like!). Or, if you want to keep it casual, come find me on Instagram and slide into my DMs. I’d love to chat with you.
Want to bookmark this post so you can find it again later? Save that image down there to your wedding planning board on Pinterest!