The wide world of INVITATIONS

Check another thing off of my checklist!   Invitations.

Choosing invitations might seem like one of the simplest and perhaps mundane tasks involved in planning a wedding.  I certainly thought it would be.  I was under the false impression that picking out invitations involved choosing a few words or phrases that we were good with, a color or two that matched our winter theme and a general style that we liked.  I figured with all of the other decisions involving our event that invitations would be low on my list in terms of the time given to each particular task.  Wow, was I wrong.  Thank God we have a great wedding planner with a lot of patience.

We set out a few weeks ago to begin the task of choosing our invites at one of our appointments with our wedding planner.  I knew they had books upon books from every company under the sun with thousands of different styles, colors, inserts, word & font choices to choose from.  Despite this, I just figured I wouldn’t care that much and we would quickly find what we wanted.  Now, 4 plus weeks later, our invitations are finally off to the printer!

But, given the confusion and incredible # of options available to couples when picking their invitations I thought I could shed some light on this task and offer some tips now that we have been through this process.

1.  Have an idea of what you want before you begin the formal decision process!

Daryl and I had a brief idea of what we were looking for before we started.  We knew what colors we wanted, navy blue, white, silver or even a light ice blue.   Any variations of those colors would have been fine for us.  We also had a pretty good idea of the wording we wanted, simple.  We didn’t want anything too religious or too formal.  We also knew we might want a design that added to the winter theme.  We ended up choosing snowflakes.   Also, have at least a small awareness of the different design and style options that are available.  There are thousands!  So, before sitting down to officially choose and invitation first explore your options a bit and ask yourself these questions.

What colors do I want?

What design or logo do I want?  Perhaps your monogram?  A seasonal design? A themed design?

Do I want an invitation with flaps and inserts?

Do I want a standard invitation with no inserts or flaps that is more simple?

Do you want an inner & outer envelope?

A good place to start is any website that caters to the engaged.  Most wedding companies and websites have sample invitations or ideas on their sites.  This way you can explore your options before going into a store or looking at a book.  The two companies whose book we looked at at our reception site were & You can go to their website & find a dealer in your area.  Remember, if you are looking through a manufacturer’s book, a lot of these style decisions will already be dictated to you based on the style you chose.

2.   Once you start the process, keep it simple!

Through the awesome suggestion of our planner, the night Daryl and I officially started looking at invitations, meaning we were now in serious decision mode, we each took a big invitation book and earmarked pages that we liked, separately.  The first time around we were only looking at the style of each invitation, not the details.  This simplified things a great deal because we each got to choose what we liked individually without each others influence.  This is how we did it the first time around.  Once we both went through all of the books, we went through each book together and started eliminating.  We compared two at a time and the one we liked the least of the two was eliminated until we were left with only 1 invitation style in all of the books!! Once we got to this point we felt like we had made huge progress; however, we still had to decide on the wording, the colors, the monogram and the amount of inserts we wanted.

3. Take it one step at a time.

Once you and your fiance decide on a style, the next step is to pick out the smaller less noticeable details.  If you are looking through the book of a stationary manufacturer, the book will be coded and provide all of the details.  For instance, the book will list what colors the invitation is available in, as well as the different font choices available to you.  The good part is some choices will already be eliminated, the downside is it may be an option you really wanted.  If this is the case, you have to pick another style.  Fonts & layout options for the style you pick should also be listed in the stationary book.

You will also want to pay attention to how many lines are available on each part of the invitation.  You don’t want to get too wordy.  Plus, extra lines, usually means extra $$.  The style you chose will probably also have a couple of layout options.  So pick your style, your color, your font, your layout and if it is an invitation with inserts you must decide how many inserts you will have and what will be on them. Generally, with inserts, there is one for the reception, the ceremony, directions to your event and generally one for the accommodations.   You may also have another insert for your wedding registry or any other pertinent information you think your guests should know.  If you are choosing a simpler invitation, without inserts, all of the information guests need to know must be printed on one surface.  You can always add your own customized insert to put in the envelope once your invitations are printed.   In either case, you should include the web address to your wedding website if you have one, this way guests who use the internet can go and get more details than what you were able to fit on your invite.

4.  Don’t get overwhelmed or rush a decision!

With any task regarding wedding planning people have the tendency to get overwhelmed, invitations are no different.  Remind yourself, as Daryl & I did when we felt overwhelmed by the abundance of choices that no one who is invited to your wedding knows what the invitation could have looked like if you had chosen another font, color, style or choice of wording.  The only thing they will see is the decision you made, not all of the other vast options you were once considering.   Honestly, even if they did,  remember, it wouldn’t make much of a difference.   I hate to be so blunt, but most people upon receiving an invitation don’t read and scrutinize every single word, instead they scan for the important information, reply yes or no, and hang it up on their fridge to go unread until the event nears.   The people who care the most about your invitation are not your guests, but you, your fiance and both of your parents.  So choose what you like, not what you think will look the best to your guests.   You will be the one who puts the invitation in a scrapbook for years to come, its not as likely that your guests will! Remember, if you get too frustrated or overwhelmed, walk away! All of your decisions  do not have to be made in one sitting.  It’s okay to come back and finish another time.  Remember, you are only going to get married once,  so every single thing you do to plan your wedding should be fun! Once it gets stressful  you need to quit temporarily and remind yourself why you are getting married in the first place! It is certainly not to cause stress, so have fun with it and enjoy all of the possibilities!

Simply put,  when it comes to decisions regarding your wedding, with all of the incredible options available to couples these days,  its almost impossible to make a wrong decision.  Formal wedding invitations are no exception, so enjoy the endless possibilities and have fun making the best invitation for you and your fiance!

avatar About Meghan

Soon-to-be-Wed Blogger since June 2009. Unfranchise Owner, Market America. Director of Comm. & Special Projects - Jennings Transportation. PSIA Level II Certified Ski Instructor. Location: Easton, PA. I live in the Lehigh Valley, PA with my fiance Daryl & maid of honor Sarah Reilly. My life revolves around spending time with Daryl and juggling our busy schedules.

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