Luxury Wedding Invitations: The Elements of Elegance
#5 is THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE
Once you have your venue chosen and your date is set, you are probably considering how to create elegant wedding invitations. While Save The Dates and bridal shower invitations have risen in popularity, your wedding invitations are the heart and soul of your wedding stationery. Sometimes, the process of designing your invitations is used as a jumping off point to solidify colors and other design elements for the rest of the big day. So, what makes truly unforgettable, luxury wedding invitations? How do you make sure your wedding invitations express your style, culture and personality. How do you set the tone with taste and class and elegance? We can help!
If you are considering hiring a custom design studio, you may be wondering how you can make sure they bring your vision to life. Azure is a Los Angeles CA based, full service design studio specializing in custom wedding invitations and event branding. We know a thing or two about the elements of elegance in luxury wedding stationery and we are so happy to share! Here are the expert guidelines on how to make your invitation unforgettable.
1) Wedding invitation design and typography
Design & Type play a huge role in giving your paper design an elegant, refined and luxurious look. There are a few main elements to consider when it comes to design, from motifs to typography and color. Here is an overview of these design aspects:
• MOTIFS, BORDERS & GRAPHICS:
If your wedding or your personal style is ultra modern, you may want to avoid an vintage style border. If you have a cultural element to express (or 2), you may want to include motifs to express those elements. Your invitation design can also include some well-placed symbolism to bring in your religion, culture, or wedding theme. When we work with our clients on custom invitations, we try to identify parts of their personal story, their styles, their culture and their wedding details that can drive inspiration for these design elements. Elegant Invitations include relevant and meaningful motifs that help express style and story of both families!
• COLOR & METALLICS:
When it comes to your color palette, you may be matching something in your wedding decor or wardrobe. However, this is not necessary. It doesn’t mean you can’t choose a classically elegant color scheme. Your invitation is sent months before your wedding. The connection to the event design is made through the over all style. If you aren’t sure of the style and colors yet, you can rely on a custom design service like AZURE to help narrow down options.
You can also choose a classic and timeless palette with neutrals and gold. If you know you want to incorporate color but do not want it on your invitations, envelopes and other accessories are a great place to bring color in. Details like ribbons, wraps, envelope liners and pockets can add a splash of color while keeping your invitation clean and classic. The key is to make sure everything fits together well. But if you do want to make it colorful, or follow a certain color palette, that does not mean it wont work. Let us know you care about color and your designer will be able to make recommendations and pairings that work for your vision.
And if you are interested in making sure the invitation matches the over all event, we can do this through any of the design elements from color to type to motifs and materials!
Using carefully designed typography or calligraphy will help give your wedding invitations beauty and gravitas. Sometimes, you may notice, you see something and it has a nice border and colors, but it still somehow doesn’t look refined. Chances are the weakness is at least partly in the typography of the design. Your text is the substance of the invite and should reflect the same elegance the rest of your invitation does in the way it looks. It’s important that the fonts are curated well and paired like the perfect meal with wine! The type design should reflect a spatial sensibility as well as the style you are conveying with your elegant wedding invitations. Legibility is also important , but keep in mind that since the words are relatively few and likely fancy, you are going for a clean display.
• LUXURY WEDDING INVITATION FORMAT & COMPONENTS:
There are many different ways of putting an invitation together. The format you choose should be both functional and design-driven. Classy Wedding Invitation suites are rarely just a card and an envelope and may include any of the following pieces.
- Reception Card
- Response card / online RSVP info card
- RSVP envelope (or postcard or digital RSVP information card)
- Info Card
- Schedule Of Events
- Pre-Wedding Event Inserts and Enclosures
- Sponsor card / Wedding Court
- Registry Information & Logistics card
- Directions / Parking Information
- Extra Event Enclosure Card
- Envelope Liner / double envelope
You may choose to bring all these pieces together in a folio (folder) or Invitation pocket. You can also choose to use a “belly-band” or a wrap or ribbon to layer the pieces together. While large multi-piece suite can really rev up your elegant invitation, it’s not neccesary unless you have different guests lists or other logistics to consider. You can often
Having a professional help you design your invitations takes the weight off your shoulders and helps you decide what information really needs to be included on your invitation for a classic, elegant look. High-quality, expert printing is also a must to make your wedding invitations absolutely perfect.
2) Don’t overlook the materials for elegant wedding invitations!
While you may think no-one will notice, the way the card stock and the envelopes you use smell, feel to the touch and look will effect how your guests experience your invitation in a profound way! When your invites arrive in the mailbox, among bills and circulars, your invitations will stand out. If you are hand delivering the invitation, this is even more critical. Your guests will feel the importance of the event when they hold your invitation in their hands. Even before they read the words on the invitation, they will notice the weight of the paper, the smell (or lack of smell) and the over all look of each piece from your suite. Paying close attention to detail when it comes to materials for your invites will make a difference in that first impression. Here are some helpful tips when selecting paper.
Cover stock weight is either measured in GSM (Grams per Square Meter), LBS (Basis Weight in lbs) or PTS (Caliper thickness in points). You can find more about paper weight here . We recommend choosing cover weight card stock that is over 100lbs or atleast 300GSM to make sure your wedding invitation feels classy. If you are trying to limit your invitation budget, you can go lighter with other elements of your suite, like RSVP card and Information Card. When we create customized wedding invitations, we often use papers with weights above 300GSM. Some of our letterpress designs, like The Talavera & The Alefiyah are in letterpress printing on ultra – thick 850 GSM card stock that has a beautiful pillowy cotton texture.
THE BEST PAPERS:
We pride ourselves on using paper that is not only drop-dead gorgeous, but is also milled in the most eco-conscious way possible. Our card stocks are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council and the mills we use are sustainability focussed. However, these papers are the best in the world and are made to make a luxe and elegant impression.
“Tooth” or Surface texture:
All paper products have a finish whether it’s smooth, textured or structured. Some of our favorites have actual minerals, like crushed Micah, in the smooth and refined texture to offer an shimmery elegant invitation look. Other which we love equally, have a tactile cottony finish that is perfect for letterpress and foil stamping. The decision of paper style is generally based on the design of your suite and availability. Yet, we do think it’s important to consider this factor.
No matter who you work with, your designer should include careful curation of the materials to make sure they are in line with your style and design and also optimal surfaces for the printing you have chosen. Keep in mind that papers are available in limited color options, so if you are going for a look in which the base paper is a specific color, you may be printing or “flooding” the surface of your chosen card stock. Often this will change the surface texture of your card stock – besides changing the color. But it can still lead to beautiful wedding invites, like these.
3. Made With Care : Printing & Finishes
“Finishes” or the type of printing methods you choose will effect the over all feel of your luxury invitations. But it’s also important that these finishes are crafted well! Consider what you might look for when hiring painters to paint your home. Craftsmanship is important. With short-run, custom invitation printing, it is the same. This is why we work only with artisanal printers that are masters of their craft. Generally the fewer “luxe” finishes you include, the more affordable your luxury invitations may be. However, the “luxe” finishes add to the design of your invites through texture, metallics and a sense of craftsmanship. So it’s important to make sure you consider the balance and combination of these finishes. We divide most of our finishes into 3 categories:
LUXURY WEDDING INVITATION FINISHES ($$-$$$):
- silk folios & other alternative boxed pieces. (require set up and fabrication, adding to the cost)
- laser cut or filigree design and cutting
- laser engraving ( on card stock or on materials like acrylic, glass, wood, stone, agate etc.)
- 2 or more mixed or multiple applications of high end finishes are considered luxurious. Multiple finishes ( like gold foil + black Letterpress) require set up and running 2 different presses for each piece.
- brooches and other embellishments
ELEGANT WEDDING INVITATION FINISHES ($$):
When it comes to finishes, sometimes less is more. A tastefully-selected gold foil finish on one key accent piece of your invitation, matched with great design, materials and typography creates a much more elegant invitation impression than flimsy card stock and a busy design plastered with gold foil on everything.
4. Honoring Your Guests: Wedding Invitation Etiquette & Wording
Last but certainly not least, elegant wedding invitation wording is of utmost importance. The written content, what’s actually said in your wedding invitation, is what lets guests know what to expect from your big celebration. It also should reflect a blend of your culture and traditions without confusing your guests. This is where an experienced invitation designer who specializes in multi-cultural weddings plays a major role. We believe it’s important to honor your traditions without including too many details but that crowd up your design. You do need to include everything relevant but arrange the information in a way that pulls focus onto the key aspects of the wedding. You want to be emotive and formal ( or casual) without using outdated wording. We love helping couples strike the balance between honoring tradition and culture while still representing their unique personalities and their own event style.
Above all, make sure your wedding invitations feel and look meaningful and authentic so your guests know that you’re inviting them from the heart. It’s up to your invitation designer to help translate and visually infuse your sentiment and your style into your elegant wedding invitations. Luxury wedding invitations are most elegant when they perfectly balance your vision with the formal rules of design and etiquette.