How to Pick the Perfect Event Invitations
Getting the word out about your upcoming celebration is crucial to any event’s success. One of the best ways to do just that? Eye-catching (and informative) paper invitations.
The options are seemingly endless: embossed, foil, watercolor, bold, modest, and more. No matter the occasion, the below strategies will help you feel confident dropping your stuffed envelopes into the mailbox.
Determine the details
It can be overwhelming to choose between hundreds of designs and styles, so start off with the basics. By picking the three major elements you want your invitations to have from the get-go, you count out the most unfavorable options. Invitation selection is often a process of elimination. Ask these questions to get on the right path:
- What color do I want to lead with? Whether you use cream, white, navy or something else 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? Squares are subtle, too. Anything other than these two common shapes may be expensive to create.
- 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. Will you go with matte, cotton, linen, something handmade, or even recycled paper embedded with seeds? This is where samples come in handy. Ask to see versions of your invite in the three 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.
Keep budget in mind
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.
Did you find that you have a lot of wiggle room left? Good for you! Use that extra budget for the next steps.
Factor in your event personality
Now comes the fun part. The party’s mood and theme should be reflected in the invitation. What you'll pick for a beachfront birthday, for example, will likely look different for an elegant rooftop wedding. This is where your invitation printer can assist a bit (and again, samples are always helpful, too).
For extra inspiration, consider scrolling around on Pinterest. By typing in “modern black and gold wedding invitations,” for example, the social media site should provide you with dozens of samples to help you home in on what you like best.
Jot down details that catch your eye, such as:
- Text color
- Unique margins
- White space
- Illustrations, icons, or emojis (yes, they happen!)
You probably won’t be making an identical copy of the invites you see, as most of them are copyrighted. But you can come away inspired with a few ideas you can work into your own, unique invitation design.
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 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.
Look into personal touches
Cardstock and color are simple ways to make your invitations truly your own, but they’re not the only ones. Some other wow-factor features you can add to your invitations include:
- Nature elements like dried flowers and faux butterflies
- Gold foil
- Materials like ribbon, wood veneer and cork
- Designs like marble and rivets
- Fabrics like faux leather, velvet, suede, linen and silk
Just don’t go overboard — pick one or two upgraded materials for a tiny detail. You’ll be surprised at how they can elevate the entire invite. (Another tip: skip the glitter. It’s messy and can complicate the mailing process.)
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!