Accents and Details That Will Make Your Wedding Invitations Extra Special

Now that you know the basics of a wedding invitation suite and you've got the pretty paper goods, it's time to start thinking about the extras and adornments! These pieces are certainly not considered necessary, but they are yet another opportunity for you to add a more personal touch to your invitations. Do keep in mind that in addition to the cost of design and production, these add-ons may also add to the total amount you spend on postage. But if you're going all out with your paper goods, incorporating a few thoughtful design details can really elevate your stationery as well as your guests' experience. Read on for inspiration and to learn a little more about your options!

 


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Ribbon is hands-down one of my very favorite accent pieces for invitation suites. Whether you opt for an organic recycled chiffon or a delicate Habotai silk, using ribbon to (literally) tie your stationery together is an easy way to add a luxurious feel to your suite. I also love adding calligraphy accents to ribbon, but those pieces are likely more practical for a bouquet or vow books than for a hundred invitations!

 

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The rich texture and semi-opaque quality of vellum makes it an ideal accent piece for your wedding stationery. Whether you use a flat sheet as your invitation, incorporate a patterned wrap to hold your suite together, or even opt for a vellum envelope, this material always adds a ton of character and visual interest. Vellum comes in different weights just like regular paper, so you'll be able to choose the appropriate thickness for however you plan to incorporate it into your invitation suite.

 

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If you want to add a bit of old-school flair to your wedding stationery, wax seals are a fantastic option. There are a lot of pre-designed options available nowadays, but you can also have your stationery designer customize a small illustration or monogram. Although they can literally act as seals, I would recommend that you do not use them on your outer mailing envelope — it's likely that they'll suffer damage or fall off through the machine sorting process (and general wear and tear) at the post office. Instead, consider using them to seal a vellum wrap, to top off your ribbon, or even as decoration at the top of your invitation.

 

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Hiring a calligrapher for your envelopes can be pretty pricey, but the results are beautiful and will really set the tone for your guests. Some calligraphers offer a variety of script options, while others specialize in a specific style. Be sure to do your research and find someone who can create the style you're looking for — modern brush lettering, organic fine line script, traditional pointed pen calligraphy, etc.

 

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I personally love a curated set of vintage stamps — you can coordinate the colors with your invitations, and they add a ton of character to your envelope (check out my favorite vintage stamp shop HERE). The downside is that you'll have to spend more time prepping your envelopes, but it's not bad when the process is accompanied by a Netflix show and a glass of wine! Another fun option is to use a service like Zazzle to create custom stamps with a coordinating illustration, your initials, or even a photo.

 


 

Are you ready to get started on your wedding stationery? You can learn more about the semi-custom collection and process HERE or fill out an inquiry form to get started with the custom design process!

 

 

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What You Should Know About Addressing Your Wedding Invitations

Last week, we went over the stationery pieces you should include in your wedding invitation suite, so this week we'll talk about the envelopes! As with most things regarding your wedding stationery, the level of tradition and formality that you use is entirely up to you — but if you're interested in address etiquette or want to know more about the way addresses are traditionally handled, here's some information on how it's done.

 


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Whether you're going with the traditional card-and-envelope combination or the postcard option, you'll want to pre-address your RSVPs for your invitees. Traditionally, reply envelopes are addressed to the host of the wedding — in modern practice, they are sent to whoever is handling RSVPs, whether that's the host, the couple, a family member, or otherwise. If you want to adhere strictly to etiquette, also keep in mind that an unmarried couple's names are not traditionally supposed to appear together in print.

 

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Mailing envelopes are typically formatted with your guest addresses on the front and return address centered on the back flap (this does not have to be the same return address that you use on your reply envelopes). For the address itself, etiquette states that you should spell out all street names, cities, states and countries. See below for traditional practices regarding various salutations:

TO A SINGLE PERSON

Mr. Timothy Spellman
OR
Mr. Timothy Spellman
and Guest

TO A MARRIED COUPLE

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Preston
OR
Mrs. Eileen and Mr. Michael Preston

TO A MARRIED COUPLE WITH DIFFERENT LAST NAMES

Mr. Michael Preston and Mrs. Eileen Fischer
*This formatting is also used for same sex couples.

TO AN UNMARRIED COUPLE LIVING TOGETHER

Mr. Ryan Smith
Ms. Amelia Bradley

TO A WHOLE FAMILY

Mr. and Mrs. Liam West
and Family
OR
Mr. and Mrs. Liam West
Melanie, Tristan, and Rachel
*Anyone over 18 years old should receive their own invitation.

TO A DOCTOR (OR DOCTORS)

Dr. and Mrs. James Howard
OR
Doctors Megan and James Howard
*The doctor always appears first, regardless of gender.


 

Are you ready to get started on your wedding stationery? You can learn more about the semi-custom collection and process HERE or fill out an inquiry form to get started with the custom design process!

 

 

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What You Need to Include in Your Wedding Invitation Suite

If you've been browsing wedding sites and magazines for inspiration, you might be wondering just how important it is to include all the pieces you often see displayed in those gorgeous wedding stationery flatlays. I am, of course, a big fan of pretty accents and extra design elements, but those things are definitely extra — add they can up quickly, both in cost and weight (which leads to even more cost at the post office!). When it comes down to the necessities, there are really only two or three pieces that you need for each suite (four or five if you count envelopes): an invitation, a reply card, and possibly a details card for additional information.

Read on to see why I think each is important (if not absolutely essential), and hop over to the The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Stationery Terms if you want to learn more about paper sizes, printing methods, and more!

 


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As much as I love a beautifully coordinated wedding suite (and I really, really do!), I have to admit that the actual invitation is the only piece that is truly a requirement. After all, it's how you share the most crucial information with your guests — when and where they have to show up. If you're okay with including a URL on your invitation, you can direct them to your website for any other details.

 

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Between email and websites like Zola, it has become increasingly common for couples to handle their RSVP process online. That being said, physical reply cards are still considered the second key piece of a standard invitation suite, especially if you have some less technology-savvy guests — or if you just love paper as much as I do!

If you do decide to forgo a reply card, keep in mind that you'll still need a way to tell your guests how to RSVP.

 

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While not strictly required, the details card is the piece that rounds out what I would consider a full invitation suite. You can include any number of things on a details card, including a link to your website, information about attire, a list of accommodation options, etc. I have also worked with clients who choose to skip the reply card, but still include a details card with information on how to RSVP.

 


 

Are you ready to get started on your wedding stationery? You can learn more about the semi-custom collection and process HERE or fill out an inquiry form to get started with the custom design process!

 

 

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Getting the Most Out of Your Wedding Stationery

Starting with your save the dates, every piece of stationery that you send into the world is an opportunity to set the tone for your wedding. A colorful invitation suite using casual phrasing will put your guests in an entirely different mindset than if they received a minimalist suite with traditional wording. Odds are you already have a pretty good idea of what your tastes are and what kind of wedding you want to have — and that’s really the most important part! Your stationery designer can use that information and inspiration to bring your vision to life.

When it comes to the actual design, there are two main directions that you can go — semi-custom stationery or fully custom design. Below, I’ll go into some details comparing the two options to help you decide what will work best for you. In all honesty, both are great options that can produce beautiful results, so you really can’t go wrong!

 


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My goal with semi-custom stationery is to provide a more affordable option without sacrificing quality. Each suite is created with the same love and attention that I put into custom work — the illustrations are still hand drawn, the finished products are printed on the same 120lb paper, and you get the same selection of luxe euro flap envelopes. And of course, there are still plenty of ways to make your stationery unique — customize your wording, choose your favorite envelope color, or opt to add on custom calligraphy or illustrations. How to get the most out of your semi-custom suite? Take advantage of the lower price point to go all out with your paper goods, from menus, to a schedule of events, to thank you cards that match your invitations.

BROWSE THE SEMI-CUSTOM COLLECTION HERE

 

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With custom stationery, every single element is created specifically for you. We begin the process by discussing what you’re envisioning for your wedding, the mood you want to set, the colors and styles that you’re drawn to, etc. This is your opportunity to showcase the things that are special to you as a couple — there are countless options, like a venue illustration for your details card, a crest or monogram that you can use throughout your stationery, or a map of your favorite places around town for your guests. Custom stationery does come with a larger price tag, but if you love paper as much as I do, all the unique details and design elements make the investment well worth it.

 


 

At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter which option you choose, so long as it fits your story to a tee. Whether you choose semi-custom or custom stationery, remember that you can carry the design elements through to the rest of your wedding day. Have your stationery designer create matching signage, use illustrated elements on your programs, add your monogram to coasters or napkins. Think about your everyday life as a couple, the activities, rituals, and interests that you share with your future spouse — finding a way to feature those things in your invitation suite is such a beautiful, heartfelt way to celebrate your love even more. Most importantly, have fun with it — the possibilities are endless! 

 


 

Are you ready to get started on your wedding stationery? You can learn more about the semi-custom collection and process HERE or fill out an inquiry form to get started with the custom design process!

 

 

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How to Plan Your Wedding Stationery Timeline

You’re engaged, yay! Call your parents, show off that ring, and pop the champagne! I’m a firm believer in taking time to save the moment and celebrate with your loved ones before you dive into the nitty-gritty details of planning your big day. Whenever you’re ready to start, this guide is here to help you with all things stationery, from your save the dates all the way through your thank you notes.

While every wedding timeline is different, this general overview should help you with planning out your stationery and signage. You may or may not want to include everything listed here, but it’s always good to know your options!

 


determine how much of your budget will go to stationery, paper goods, and signage

set up your wedding website if you’re using one

start researching stationery designers you want to work with

put together your guest list and create a database for addresses, RSVPs, gifts, etc.

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propose to your wedding party

 — shop AZC proposal cards here —

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start designing custom save the dates

(for SEMI-CUSTOM, you can wait until 8-9 months out)

if you're having a destination wedding, send your save the dates now!

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mail out your save the dates!

reach out to your invitation designer (if different from save the date designer)

start designing custom invitations

also include items like rehearsal dinner invitations and thank you cards

(for SEMI-CUSTOM, you can wait until 3-4 months out)

address your invitation envelopes (or pass them off to your calligrapher)

finalize your food + drink menus

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mail your invitations!

start designing custom day-of materials (menus, place cards, etc.)

(for SEMI-CUSTOM day-of materials, you can wait until 4-6 weeks out)

confirm RSVPs + finish designing day-of materials

send rehearsal dinner invitations if you did not include them with your invitation suite

put together welcome bags if necessary

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finalize headcount and pass along guest information to your day-of designer

finish place cards, seating charts, other day of materials

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send out your thank you cards!

— shop AZC thank you cards here —

 


 

DESIGN TIMES TO KEEP IN MIND

For semi-custom stationery, allow at least 4-6 weeks for the production process.

For fully custom stationery, allow at least 3 months for the design and production process.

For calligraphy and hand-lettering, allow at least 3 weeks.

If you are considering special printing or materials (such as letterpress, foil printing, laser cutting, acrylic, etc.), keep in mind that these processes will require additional time to complete.

 


Are you ready to get started on your wedding stationery? You can learn more about the semi-custom collection and process HERE or fill out an inquiry form to get started with the custom design process!

 

 

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