As I outlined in my Wedding Invitations 101 and Wedding Invitations 201 posts, you are not short of options when it comes to wedding invitations. After you’ve considered some of the decision-making guidelines I sketched out in those posts, you can move into the fun part: making your plan a reality! The list below is organized by the way the invitations are designed and made.
Glassine belly band backer….what?
Before you get lost in invitation jargon, check out this handy glossary of wedding invitation terms that The Knot put together. Especially if you’re going the printed route, it’s super handy!
Order Templated, Printed Invitations
There are SO many places to look for customizable, printed invitations. As you explore the options below, think about the parts of the process that are important to you, so that you can choose a good fit! Do you feel strongly about using 100% recycled paper? You could “go green” by only sending digital invitations, instead. Do you need the invitations to match the bridesmaid dresses? Can that online RSVP system handle RSVPs for the family brunch? Make sure the platform you’re choosing can do what you need before you spend too much time looking at design options!
Minted sources their designs from independent designers from all over the world. A portion of what you pay for your invitations will even go to the designer! This is a unique combination of large-scale printing and production capabilities for designs created by independent designers. Minted is also offering a digital invitation option, available for free through Dec 31, 2017!
Paper Source is known for their boutique stationery stores, but they also offer invitation personalization and printing, including options for gold foil, embossing, and letterpress. These are, again, templated designs that you can add your information to. One bonus of going with Paper Source is that you have access to matching paper stocks if you want to DIY coordinating day-of details.
Etsy is another source of unique invitation designs. Many Etsy sellers are able to go beyond the customization options given at Minted. Every seller has their own process for designing or customizing invitations, so make sure you read everything closely and understand what you’re signing on for!
Print at Home
These DIY invitation kits are available at your local craft store, and sometimes even at big box stores like Target and Wal-Mart. You’ll only have a handful of options to choose from, but you can customize the design pretty extensively as you will be printing it yourself. This option will be less frustrating if you’re comfortable with doing a little bit of graphic design. Also, make sure you purchase at least 10% more of the blank invitations than you need for your guest list, because there will almost definitely be some trial and error getting the invitations to work in your printer properly.
Paperless Post is a solid digital invitation option. They have invitation designs by top designers, and you can even add upgrades like a digital envelope liner! This is by far the best digital invitation experience that I know of. It includes some limited RSVP management capabilities. Many of their designs are free or very affordable. The extra-bonus cool thing about Paperless Post, is that they make it super easy to also send matching paper invitations. This is a great option if your guest list includes a bunch of tech-savvy folks along with a few who refuse to sign up for an email account.
GreenVelope is a digital invitation and RSVP management tool with a mission to cut down on paper waste. They donate some of their proceeds to help plant new trees. This gives you a way to give back while also getting a fully-customized design! Their designs can be customized more than Paperless Post, and the RSVP management system seems to have more wedding-focused features. There is no free option for this service, though.
Using a vendor directory site you can find an invitation designer or print shop close to where you live. If you value face-time and want to be hands-on, this is an option to consider. Often, local stationery shops contract with larger printing companies and can show you binders full of designs you can personalize. You can find lists of wedding vendors at The Knot, Wedding Wire, or search a site like Thumbtack.
Skip the Templates and Go Custom
Hiring an invitation designer to work directly from your vision for your invitations saves you a lot of time sorting through pre-made templates! Working directly with a designer gives you access to an expert who can guide you through the digital vs. paper decision. Your designer can help you make the best choices for your budget, for your guests, and for you. You’ll end up with a design that fits your event and your budget perfectly.
If you have questions about the process, or want to see if your idea can work, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll chat!
Pinterest is amazing for wedding planning and idea collection. It can also be an excellent way to distract yourself and waste time, though, so use it wisely! I have a number of different wedding-related boards that you can check out to get started: