Wedding invitations are the “windows” to the rest of your guests’ wedding experience. This may sound cheesy, but it’s so true. Not only do invitations and paper good provide the necessary information that your guests need to know for your wedding weekend, but it’s also a great way to show your personality, give guests a sneak peek of the overall wedding design, and it sets the tone for the gorgeous and oh so meaningful experience they get to take part in on the wedding day! There are so many mediums for wedding stationery: hand calligraphy, watercolor painting, letterpress, embossing, digital printing, foil press, or even a combination of some of these options! The options are truly endless, but I strongly believe that every couple should get the opportunity to work one on one with a designer to curate a designer that perfectly fits their needs, and clearly defines their personalities and wedding aesthetic. I’m so honored to have Jessica Peddicord of Simply Jessica Marie to share some great wedding stationery tips, as well as some misconceptions about wedding stationery! I know you’ll enjoy this post and all the pretty she brought along to share with us!
Hey, y’all! I am so excited that sweet Adrienne invited me to share my insight about custom wedding invitations, and to dispel some of the most common myths about wedding invitations for you today! I know the world of custom wedding stationery can be a tad confusing, and I always love educating sweet couples throughout the design process. I hope these tips help answer some of the biggest questions you might be facing in your design process!
PS – Stay tuned to the end to find out how to download my monthly Wedding Stationery Guide, filled with helpful printable worksheets to guide you through your invitation design process!
Myth 1: Each piece of your invitation suite will be painted by hand.
Photo by Callie Lindsey
The truth is: This is hands down the question I receive most often and is completely understandable and a wonderful chance for me to explain my process! While some artists do paint each piece of an invitation suite by hand (ex: adding a soft watercolor wash to the background of the main invitation pieces or place cards), most artists do not! Custom paintings each take about 2-5 hours from start to finish depending on complexity, so I would only be able to work with one or two brides per year if I hand painted each piece!
However, all of the artwork that I create (and that many artists/stationers create) is painted by hand. I paint each design by hand once, then digitize it and prep it for print. The invitation suite is then printed in the quantity requested by my sweet couples, on a gorgeous textured paper that beautifully showcases their watercolor designs.
Myth 2: Fine print methods such as letterpress and foil stamping are the only ways to enhance an invitation suite and provide a formal aesthetic.
Photo by Perry Vaile
The truth is: While letterpress and foil are gorgeous print methods, they definitely are not the only way to add an air of formality to your invitation suite! If you love higher-end design aesthetics, but are not interested in or do not have the budget for these fine print methods, there are absolutely other ways to enhance your suite!
If you are having your designs digitally printed, consider using double thick paper. The extra weight of the paper adds a hint of sophistication, at a much more affordable upgrade than using letterpress or foil!
There are also a variety of add-on options, including silk ribbon, wax seals, envelope liners, and custom or vintage stamps – and finishing options, such as edge painting or deckled edging, that can all elevate your invitation suite!
Myth 3: Each piece in your invitation suite must be printed with the same print method and on the same type of paper.
Photo by Perry Vaile
The truth is: This definitely isn’t true! If you read the last myth and thought, “But I still love gold foil, how can I incorporate it in my invitations without going over my budget?” – I have a little secret pro tip to share with you:
Make your main invitation piece the star of your suite. What do I mean by that? Consider using that gold foil for just your invitation, and digital printing for your enclosure cards. Interested in adding an extra pop of color to your suite, but don’t want to go overboard? Add gorgeous French blue edge painting to your invitation piece! Want your invitation to literally feel more luxurious? Have it printed on double thick paper, with your enclosure cards printed on the same paper type using standard thick paper.
As long as the colors and textures of each piece of your suite coordinate, you’re good to go! Have fun with thinking through ways to make your main invitation piece shine!
Myth 4: You absolutely must use white envelopes!
Photo by Simply Jessica Marie
The truth is: White envelopes are a gorgeous choice for beautifully classic invitation suites, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a crisp white envelope! But, if you are a color-lover like me and want to dazzle your friends and family with a pop of cheer in their mailbox, by all means, go for colored envelopes!
Pro tip: I recommend using a light colored invitation envelope (blush, rose, peach, dusty blue, sage green, dove grey – the light colored list isn’t limited at all, friends!) with a bolder calligraphy color to allow your guest addresses to pop.
Bolder, deeper colored envelope colors are beautiful, but they may incur more costs. Darker envelope colors like cobalt or antique gold will either need white ink or foil pressed return addresses, which are more expensive than standard colored ink digital printing. White and metallic ink calligraphy are often a tad more expensive as well, so it is important to consider these factors when choosing your envelope colors!
Still craving a darker envelope to complement your suite? Consider using a deeper tone for just your response card envelopes! Using two different envelope colors is one of my favorite ways to add depth and interest to a suite design, and these tiny response card envelopes are the perfect area to splurge if you want a bold envelope color. You’ll only need to invest in one of the finer address printing options for one envelope type, rather than for both sets of envelopes!
Myth 5: You must follow proper etiquette to a T.
Photo by SC Stockshop
The truth is: By now, you have probably noticed that I’m not a stickler for traditional etiquette rules. However, while most of my sweet couples are a bit more modern-minded, I do always strive to honor and respect the wishes of their parents and grandparents. What does that look like? Well, I call it refined whimsy. And it’s all about compromise!
If your parents’ one request is traditional wording on the front of your main invitation piece, I always recommend honoring that request! It is proper to include the names of those hosting your wedding on the top of your invitation, and this is the perfect nod and thank you to them for doing so.
With that said, don’t feel like you’re stuck in a box making the rest of your suite incredibly formal! Your invitation piece is the most formal piece of your invitation suite, and the enclosure cards are there to support it. They don’t have to be as formal!
Let your personality as a couple shine through the fun wording and/or questions in your response cards, through your absolute favorite places to visit in the custom wedding map on your accommodations cards, and through incorporating icons representative of your love story and interests (like golf clubs, a baking whisk, or even your darling puppy!) in your custom wedding crest. Blending traditional with personal touches creates a completely custom suite that is both timeless and an heirloom since it is rooted in the two of you, not in trends!
Bonus Myth: You must have watercolor florals in your invitation design!
Photo by SC Stockshop
Truth: Y’all. Watercolor florals are and always will be some of my favorite painted details to include in invitation designs. Using the same florals you’ll be carrying down the aisle, or the signature flower your sweetie always brings you on your birthday, or the state flowers representative of the area where y’all grew up, are all fun and subtle ways to infuse personality into your designs!
But, don’t feel like you need to use watercolor florals if they aren’t your cup of tea! Some of my favorite alternate pattern and design ideas include line art illustrations of the lace pattern from the veil that has been passed down through generations of your family, the chinoiserie pattern that will adorn your centerpieces at your reception, or the gingham pattern resembling the pocket squares the groomsmen will be adorning on your wedding day.
Rather than looking outward at other invitation designs when selecting your patterns, look inward toward your own wedding aesthetic! What table linens are you using? Is there an interesting pattern or texture on your bridesmaids’ dresses? Is there a really unique color from your grandma’s engagement ring that you’ve always admired? Let those details guide your design choices!
I truly hope that dispelling these common myths has been helpful for y’all! If you’re interested in learning more about custom wedding stationery and would like downloadable Wedding Stationery Guides with printable worksheets sent directly to your inbox each month, sign up for The Artistic Aperitivo here! I cannot wait to get to know you and your sweetie better, and help you through this part of your wedding planning process!
Jessica Peddicord is the owner and creative designer of Simply Jessica Marie. She is a watercolor artist, brush calligrapher, and custom wedding stationer with a heart for creating unique designs that visually portray her sweet couples’ personalities and love stories, and therefore serve as heirloom keepsakes for them to pass down through generations to come! Jessica also has a true desire to teach other budding artists, and help them grow in their creative confidence and their artistic journeys. You can catch snippets of her mini-lessons on her insta- stories, and take online classes with her later this Summer through the SJM Art School! When she’s not painting, you can find Jessica cozied up on the couch with her dapper hubby Zack and teddy bear puppy Oscar, watching Friends reruns or football, or out and about in Dallas enjoying way too much Mexican and exploring this new city of theirs!
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