How to Pick the Perfect Event Invitations

    Event invitations can set the tone for your entire event, so it’s understandable you want them to look great. There are seemingly endless options and styles to choose from and you’ll probably discover some things you didn’t even know existed or were possible. Whether you are looking for a budget-friendly option or are pulling out all the stops - invitations should be eye-catching and informative. Here is where to start when picking the perfect invitations for your event. 

    Narrow Down Your Search

    Invitation selection is often a process of elimination. It’s no exaggeration to say that you’ll have hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to invitation designs and styles, so it’s best to start off with the basics. There are three major factors to consider that will help narrow down your search and eliminate the most unfavorable options. Ask these questions to get on the right path:

    - What color do I want to lead with? Whether you use a neutral like cream, white, navy, or something bolder for the blank space, you’ll need a prominent accent color that should coordinate with your event. Think of this color as your invitation theme, since it’ll stand out more than illustrations or font.

    - What shape should my invitations be? The traditional rectangle is popular, but will they be displayed horizontally or vertically? If you want to get creative you can explore different shapes and styles, like round or a theme design (a BBQ invitation in the shape of a pig, for instance) but keep in mind that any unique or custom shape will come with a hefty price tag. 

    - What size do I want to pay to have mailed? The height and width dimensions of the envelope are important, but so is the thickness. If you have high-quality cardstock invites, RSVP cards, and two envelopes (plus the envelope you put all those in) you might not be able to send via first-class postage. Ribbons and 3D accents add to the weight, as well. Ask your invitation shop how your choices will affect the final size and postage price.

    Pick Your Paper

    There are more than enough paper choices these days that will accommodate any budget. From the most common card & cover stock to more expensive options like cotton fiber and acrylic - there are many you can choose from. You may even want to play with negative space and consider Glassine or clear vellum paper. Be sure to ask to see samples and versions of your invite in elements mentioned above, and get a feel for what you think looks best. Reputable invitation shops should have a good variety on hand to assist in your decision.

    Consider Printing Techniques

    Just like there are different types of paper, there are different printing techniques depending on the paper you pick. Flat printing and demographic printing are some affordable options, but if you are looking for higher-end options you can consider engraving, embossing, letterpress, and UV printing (suited for acrylic invitations). The paper you choose will help determine what printing will look best, so be sure to consider it when looking at options.

    Be Mindful of Budget

    While it may seem that this should be the first consideration, those who are too attuned to the budget may miss out on some modest-priced designed choices that offer incredible value. By getting the color, shape, paper, and size out of the way, you should have a good idea of what each invite will cost. If it's too high, ask about downsizing just one of the settled-upon options. (Move your paper thickness down a notch, for example.) There should be a subtle shift in one of these that can get you to your proper price.

    Give Your Invites Personality

    This is the fun part - picking a font, style, and illustrations or designs that help showcase your personality and event style. You can also consider personal touches and upgrades to include such as gold foil, different materials like ribbon, or fabrics like faux leather, velvet, suede, linen, and silk. Pick an upgraded element or two that will help bring your invites to the next level.

    Experiment with add-ons 

    Now it’s time to pick RSVP, envelopes, and all those little extras that can make a big impact. Remember that budget we mentioned earlier? Now’s the time to adjust your inserts accordingly. If you’re a bit over on cost, consider a postcard RSVP instead of a full-sized mailer with a separate envelope.

    You can also consider asking guests to RSVP via a custom URL, or via text or phone call. If you’re being charged by the word, look for ways to say more with less. A simple, succinct invitation isn’t just more affordable, it’s design-friendly, too. 

    Include extra invites in your order

    Order a few more invitations than you think you’ll need to cover your emergency invitation needs and to keep as a memento. You won’t regret having additional invites on hand when you realize you left someone off the guest list or had one get lost in the mail because of a friend who recently moved.

    The invitation selection process seems involved, but it’s manageable when handled one step at a time — and it’s a fun way to show off some creativity, too!


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    Author: Rachel Mazzola