Wedding Invitations: Where Do I Even Start?

So. You want to have invitations that build the excitement for your big day but are also looking to convey the theme and what to expect. You'd also like them to have a little flair of your personality and style. But you're still trying to figure out: where do I even begin??

Don't worry, we got you. Here's the 411 on the most asked design questions:

Where do I begin?

Starting the process can be the hardest part. As you face the daunting task of planning a wedding, invitations can feel like another stressor added to your plate. This is why we highly recommend using a graphic designer to design your invitations. They can guide you through this process and help you with things like printing, labeling and mailing as well.

But before that begins, it is best to determine your want list and budget. Reach out to a designer with both and they can generally work with you on what they can provide for you. It may not be everything on your wish list for the budget provided, but they will definitely work with you on making your vision come to life. Cost varies with each designer so it is best to reach out directly. (Don't have a designer in mind? Check out some of my work here!)

I have a designer in mind. Now what?

Next step is to determine your theme. This is helpful for most of your wedding planning process, but this will help your designer choose colors and fonts and the overall look of your piece. Once this is set, it is ok to reach out to your designer. Don't worry about needing to have all the times and details set before meeting, this can easily be updated later on.

I have a meeting set up, is there anything I should prepare?

If you have the time, take a look at invitations on Pinterest (yes, I am a designer, and yes, I recommend Pinterest). Not only will this get the conversation started about design styles you like, but it will also help you get a feel for the language on invitations. Some are more formal with full names of the bride and groom and even the parents, and some are much more casual. If you have an idea of what you like, this just helps move the whole process along.

Here are some wedding invitation wording ideas:

Formal Greetings:

  • The honor of your presence is requested at the marriage of (your names)

  • Mr. and Mrs. (groom's parent's names) and Mr. and Mrs. (bride's parent's names) request the honor of your presence at the marriage of (your names)

  • Mr. and Mrs. (groom's parent's names) and Mr. and Mrs. (bride's parent's names) invite you to celebrate the marriage of their children (your names)

  • You are cordially invited to the marriage of (your names)

Informal Greetings:

  • Together with our families, we invite you to celebrate in the marriage of (your names)

  • You are invited to celebrate the marriage of (your names)

  • (Your names) are getting hitched!

  • With joyful hearts, (your names) invite you to celebrate their wedding

Post Ceremony Wording:

  • Reception to follow.

  • Dinner and dancing to follow.

  • Followed by a night of celebration.

  • Adult reception to follow. (This is a great way to imply that guests should get a babysitter that night 😉)

Invitations are getting designed. Now what?

Work on that guest list. If you know you would like someone there, reach out to get their address ASAP. When I was engaged this was one of the most time-consuming parts. But if you are proactive with an excel list, this can be a great way to track addresses, RSVP's and even sending thank you notes. Also, as you look to get a quantity for invites, think about the number of households you are inviting, not the number of guests. A general rule of thumb is that you will send out about half the number of invites as the number of guests that are invited. From someone who still has about 100 Save-the-Dates from her wedding, learn from my mistake.

Also: once you get the designs, double, triple, quadruple check that the spelling, dates and times are correct. Send them to a friend to have a fresh set of eyes on them. You can seriously never be too careful.

When do you send these out?

Each timeline is different, but here is a general rule of thumb for sending out wedding invitations:

Save-the-Dates: 4 - 6 months before the wedding

Invitations: 6 - 8 weeks before the wedding

Tip from Eliza: If you are having your guests choose their meals, check with your caterer when you need responses by and build your timeline around that.

Thank You Cards: It is best practice to get these out before 4 months after the wedding

The RSVP date has passed and I still need responses. Now what?

It is best to follow up and ask. The faster you can lock down those responses the easier it is to plan out your wedding. This is just a gentle reminder to ALWAYS SEND IN YOUR RESPONSE CARD 4 DAYS BEFORE THE RSVP DATE

because you just don't want to be that guy.

I hope this helps you as you delve into the world of wedding invitations. Now that you know what to expect, you can have fun with it! Go crazy on Pinterest and don't be limited by a piece of paper! Check out these inspirational invitations from our Pinterest board:

If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to comment below!

Happy Planning!

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