I get a lot of questions from brides-to-be on how my process for custom wedding invitations works, so I thought I’d talk a little bit about it here. One of my favorite paper projects to work on is custom wedding invitations for the detail-oriented bride. Custom paper goods aren’t necessarily for everybody. It’s definitely a niche. Every bride has her own priorities when it comes to the various elements of her wedding. Some girls are focused on their reception and their cake, and thus, spend the majority of their money there. For others, it’s a fabulous gown (that was me) or maybe a jaw-dropping venue. And there are plenty of brides that are happy to pick out their invitation from a binder and call it a day.
But that wasn’t me. For me, an invitation sets the tone of any event. It’s like a tiny sneak peek into an experience that you are invited to attend. For me, my wedding invitations were about expressing who Simon and I are and to give people an insight to the event that we were planning. I fell in love with invitations from design studios like Hello Lucky and Peculiar Pair Press. Simon kept pressing me to design the invitations for us. Didn’t he realize, I thought to myself, that designing for yourself is always ten times harder than designing for any client?
But in the end, I’m so glad that I took that challenge. I was madly in love with our invitations, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And that’s exactly the same experience that I want my brides to have: falling madly in love with their invitations because they’re just that detail-oriented. Most of my brides are the types that are interested in that kind of detail. They want gorgeous imagery, pretty colors and unusual fonts. Not just your run-of-the-mill, plain white, out-of-a-book kind of invitations. It’s something that the recipient will find great pleasure in opening and reading.
When I work with a bride, we have an initial meeting (sometimes with the mother-of-the-bride or groom-to-be in attendance) where I encourage the bride to bring me absolutely everything about her wedding. I want to know what her vision is for her big day. Magazine clippings, photos of the cake, fabric swatches – I’ve even had somebody bring a bridesmaid’s dress. Nothing is too crazy, trust me. It’s even helpful to see examples of stuff that the bride hates. Anything that can give me insight into the type of style that the bride prefers is awesome.
Afterwards, I go home and get designing. I (almost) always provide three samples then to the bride to choose from, based on our previous discussion. Usually one of these samples will be similar to what the bride is looking for. We’ll then fine-tune the design of the invitations and other collateral materials, such as RSVPs, envelopes, direction cards, save-the-dates, etc. From there, it’s approval of the final proof and then off to the printers we go. I’ve printed anything from letterpress, to thermography (a type of printing that gives the look of engraving without the high cost), as well as a simple digital flat print.
Check out these three above. They’re all in a similar color scheme, with similar elements. The bride and groom were not interested in anything that suggested traditional. No flourishy fonts or images. The bride is an interior design student and the groom is a photographer. They like bold patterns, and contemporary typefaces. In the end, we went in a different direction than some of these samples shown above, but I won’t reveal those just yet. 🙂 They’ll be printed by the beginning of next month, so I’ll be sure and post them here.
I often get asked a lot about ceremony programs. In my experience, the programs are always a last-minute project, and are typically on the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to the budget. By the time the details of the ceremony have been hammered out, it’s usually within two weeks of the wedding date, and so it’s a project on a short budget and a short time frame. I’m always more than happy to work within a budget and try to bring as much spice and creativity to a project as possible.
Well, so there you have it. A petit primer on the ins-and-outs of wedding invitations. If you are interested in invitations, whether it be of the social or wedding variety, drop me an email here and let’s discuss what it is you’re looking for.