If you’re debating the merits of different invitation formats, here are four things to consider when planning your printed or digital event invitations. If you’re just getting started thinking about invitations, don’t miss the first post in this series, Wedding Invitations 101: Making a Plan!
1. Consider your Guest List
You might be inviting your closest 50 local family and friends – and you might have all of their email addresses already. On the other extreme, you might have a guest list of several hundred, hailing from different countries, speaking different languages, and having varying amounts of experience with, or access to, technology.
Think through some of your edge cases. Do you have a set of cousins who refuse to use computers? Or great-grandparents who have more important things to do than check email? If you have different languages in play, will you need to create different versions of the invitation? A bilingual invitation? Or just follow up individually with a few people?
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing – if you want to steer clear of technology, you can go the traditional route and have a mailed invitation and mailed RSVPs. You could also mail an invitation and accept online RSVPs. You could even send a digital invitation to most guests, and follow up in person or send a simple printed invitation for those who don’t have email. Only you can determine what works best for you and your guests!
2. Consider your Limitations (Limitations are real, even on your wedding day)
Your wedding day is about the two of you, your relationship, and your commitment to each other. Despite what all the magazines and blog posts tell you, it is, ultimately, still a real day consisting of 24 hours and all of our normal human limitations. All of the decisions you’ll make about that day will cost you time, money, or both. Time and money are finite resources.
If you don’t actually care about the details of your wedding invitations, or don’t have the budget to do much, don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong. You obviously need to invite people, if you want them to come, but it doesn’t have to be fancy. Send a regular old email, or pick the easiest printed invitation option (see above), and move on to the parts of planning you ACTUALLY care about!
If you do put high value on the design of your invitations, consider partnering with an invitation designer to come up with something that fits your vision. Depending on your budget and your amount of free time, there are also DIY options to explore: making your invitations yourself, adding custom elements to an invitation suite that you order, or assembling your custom designed invitations yourself instead of paying your designer to do it.
3. Consider your Level of Enthusiasm
Another major consideration when thinking about invitations is being honest about how much you want to even think about them. Sorting through pre-made templates on all of the different websites or in your local stationery store can be incredibly overwhelming! There are probably hundreds of thousands of printed invitation designs for you to choose from, and thousands of digital options. That’s insane! Unless you have some way to narrow your focus, you will get overwhelmed quickly.
If you can narrow down your choices because you have a coupon, someone’s running a sale, that website is easiest to use, that designer is easy to communicate with, etc., that’s great – own it, and stick to it, so that you aren’t tempted to change your mind last-minute. You’ve still got the rest of the wedding details to figure out, after all.
Moreover, if you’re sending traditional paper invitations with RSVP cards, you’ll need to receive all of those RSVP cards back and process them, conscript a family member or friend into helping, or pay for a service to receive, organize, and report on those responses for you.
4. Consider Hiring a Professional Invitation Designer
If you’re feeling indecisive or having trouble coming to an agreement on what you want your invitations to look like, bringing in an invitation designer will help you get focused quickly so you can move on to the rest of your wedding planning. As a designer, it’s my job to listen to your interests and vision and turn that into a handful of options for you to look at that already look like your wedding. You don’t have to imagine it in your color palette, or with your names, or wonder what would happen if you made the text bigger. I can show you!
There are absolutely cheaper options for sending your invitations. However, if you need or want to prioritize your invitations, choosing to go with a custom design gives you access to an invitation design expert who can guide you through the process and help you make all the decisions.
(I can totally help you with this! I love designing unique invitations, but I can also help you make a plan to customize off-the-shelf invitations, or help you DIY your invites. Get in touch!)
Okay. Feel like you know what your rough plan is? Head to Wedding Invitations 301 for the next steps!