Look, I am all for adjusting my life to protect the environment, which is why I guzzle my iced coffee through a soggy paper straw and yell at my roommate for leaving every single light in our apartment on, but some things are just too damn precious to go green for. One such thing is wedding invitations. As much as you can personalize an evite, and you def can, there’s something about tangible wedding invitations—or wedding invitation bundles, as the professionals call them—that make the whole thing feel that much more special. Being able to design a beautiful bundle that your friends and family can stick on their refrigerators and admire until your special day is a nice feeling that you just don’t get from digital invites. If you absolutely need to make yourself feel better about having printed invitation bundles, send a digital save the date. Done.
Now, if you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed about wedding invitation bundles, worry not! Jessica Terrell, Creative Designer and Marketer at Shine Wedding Invitations, is here to help. So…
What Are Wedding Invitation Bundles?
Glad you asked! So if you’re inviting people to, like, a birthday party, chances are there’s one piece of paper inside an envelope and people will just text/email/DM that they’re coming or, alternatively, are too busy to celebrate you. Wedding invitations are obv different. Terrell says, “Each wedding is different, and therefore requires various amounts of stationery pieces to be included. When all the pieces are stacked together and wrapped in beautiful silk ribbon or a personalized belly band, it’s commonly referred to as an invitation suite.” She’s right in that all weddings are different, so what you include in your bundle may be different than what your bestie included in hers. Don’t worry! That is normal and 100% okay! More on this in a bit.
What Should You Include In A Wedding Invitation Bundle?
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Like I said just a hot second ago, every wedding is different, so only include what you need in your bundle. For instance, if you are having a small wedding of 75 à la Carrie Bradshaw, don’t have a two-inch thick wedding bundle full of random cards and notes that people don’t need because that’s annoying and also, #savethetrees. Terrell explains, “In addition to the invitation itself, you have the option to also include a large or small enclosure, for the extra details needed to further explain the importance of your wedding day.” Large enclosures are usually for out-of-town guests because it includes sh*t like hotel discount codes, Uber codes…etc. Small enclosures aren’t super necessary, but they usually explain a little bit more about the reception if it’s at a different location than the ceremony. One thing all invitation bundles have, though, are response cards. Hope this is self-explanatory, but if you’re not the brightest star in the sky, a response card is the enclosure that guests use to let you know whether or not they’re coming.
How Can You Customize Your Bundle?
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Ok, “customize your bundle” is my new favorite phrase. “There are absolutely different ways to customize your wedding invitation suite!” Terell says. “From the uniqueness of your wording, to the colors you choose, and the enclosures you bundle together, no one invitation suite will be the same. Some other ways to make it yours, is to add a patterned envelope liner and matching belly band with your names.” Again, self-explanatory! Yay, things that are easy to understand! After spending a few
hours minutes on Shine’s Instagram, I have discovered that my favorite look is the Cecilia Letterpress invitation wrapped in pale gray vellum and closed with a silver florette wax stamp. So if anyone wants to marry me and make my dream wedding invitation bundle a reality, hmu in the comments. My point is that there are so many options and therefore limitless ways that you can make your invitation bundle really special.
What Else Can You Do To Design A Standout Invitation Bundle?
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“When we began to look for wedding invitations I felt a little overwhelmed and unsure of the route that we wanted to go. I had heard about Shine Wedding Invitations and when I began looking online at the options I immediately found so many that I loved and it made my stress so much less to just narrow down to your options and pick something that complimented our vision stylistically. We wanted something simple yet classic and we loved that through Shine we could jazz up our simple white invitation with the liner in the envelope as well as our own personalized stamps to match. The process was easy and simple and the designers were so helpful in walking us through the process. We were so happy we went with Shine and have recommended them to other friends and family who are planning weddings!” – #shinebride, @slamp . . Photography @elizabethladuca Florals @wilddahlia_ Wedding Planner @alwaysyoursevents Rings – DaSilva Jewelry Design #shinelovestory #realwedding #weddinginvitations #weddinginvite #weddingstationery #stationery #luxurywedding #simplewedding #neutralwedding #luxuryweddinginvitations #classicwedding #minimalwedding #simplicity #weddinginspiration #weddinginspo #wedding #dailydoseofpaper #designshouldshine #classic #elegant #floral #blushwedding
Well, there are lots of things. For starters, you can make things easier on your guests by not asking them to address their own response cards. You can also make the tough choice between single and double envelopes. Terrell says, “Although single is a beautiful choice, we highly recommend our double envelope style for all wedding invitation suites, as they will better protect your stationery throughout the mailing process.” Think about all the times your Amazon bag arrived in the mail with holes in it. Do you want your wedding invitation bundles to suffer the same fate? Terrell explains, “Double envelopes are the most traditional of the two styles. The outer envelope would have the name of the household printed on the front, while the inner envelope would have the names of the guests actually invited to the wedding. Once the mail was delivered, the outer envelope would be removed, and then the spotless inner envelope would be presented to the family member it addressed. The double envelope style is the best way to present your wedding invitations, so your guests can fully experience them from start to finish.”
Images: Shine Wedding Invitations
If, like most people, you’re not an incredibly talented artist, then being tasked with designing wedding invitations is kind of like taking the mic at a karaoke bar: the skills are not there, but you accept the challenge with grace. Doing something at which you don’t consider yourself a savant can be daunting, but luckily, there are people out there who are actually quite skilled at the very thing you don’t know how to do, and you can hire these people to help you! Great Scott! The wedding industry wouldn’t have raked $72 billion in revenue last year if these experts weren’t available to us, and invitations are no exception. So don’t be afraid to turn to people who know a lot more than you for help.
Look, unlike table runners or water glasses, wedding invitations are a big deal when it comes to details that actually matter. It’s an introduction to you and your lobster as an official, legally bound couple. It’s both an expression of your love and a preview of the wedding, whatever that that vibe or theme may be. No pressure! For real, designing a wedding invite is f*cking hard because it needs to make the right statement: fun, charming and aesthetically pleasing. (And if you’re going to light me up re: these descriptors in the comments, don’t, because every invitation to any party should be those three things.) If you’re feeling a bit lost on where to start on your wedding invitations (and where to go after starting), read on for helpful tips and tricks from Jessica Terrell, Creative Designer and Marketer at Shine Wedding Invitations.
How Do You Choose The Look?
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The convenient thing about companies like Shine is that you don’t have to sit at your desk staring at a blank piece of paper, trying to remember everything you learned in 8th grade art class, in order to decide how you want your wedding invitations to look. Shine offers five main styles, including Classic, Ribbon, Letterpress, Floral and Vellum, and after you pick one that represents the vibe of your wedding, you can get started on hard-core personalization. Again, if you’re not a self-proclaimed artist, getting excited about the idea of designing your wedding invite seems as unlikely as giving designing the dress a go. But Shine makes it so f*cking easy! All you have to do is be decisive and your creative consultant will do literally everything else for you. Terrell says, “When looking at invitation designs, we recommend focusing on the structure—the body copy is the foundation of your stationery.” So focus on not necessarily what it says, but how it looks. We’ll get to the actual text in a sec. The bottom line is you want the physical appearance of the invitation to be representative of what guests can expect at the actual wedding. So if you’re going for an ethereal beach-y feel, maybe don’t choose a graphic black-and-white invite with block text. Instead, opt for organic, handwritten calligraphy on Shine’s Ophelia or Natalie wedding invites, for example.
What Do You Write On It?
Ok, this part can seem like a true catch-22 because you want to include as much info as possible so that your great aunt doesn’t have to call you 72 times to ask what time the ceremony starts, but you also don’t want to squeeze so much text on there that it looks like the window from A Beautiful Mind. So what do you do? Terrell says, “There are seven important lines on an invitation: the hosting line, the request line, the bride’s name, the groom’s name, the date and time, the ceremony location, and the reception information.” That’s it. That’s all you need! Maybe throw in a line for attire so that your step-brother who’s rebelling against his parents by dropping out of grad school doesn’t show up in, like, sweat pants, but most people know what to wear to a wedding if you name the venue. And for those of you who don’t know what a request line is (same), it’s the one that actually invites your guests to your special day. So like, “Carrie Bradshaw and Big request the pleasure of your company…” or “Donald Trump and Vladamir Putin cordially invite you to attend…” You get the idea.
To Go Paper Or To Go Digital?
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Terrell says, “Paper is always the best way to go, even if you are eco-friendly. Your printed invitation is for sure to be remembered and valued in years to come. If you print your wedding invitations, you’ll be able to look back and reminisce on the experience and bask in the timelessness of it all.” Unlike the White House’s current stance, I am pro-Earth, but I totally agree with Terrell on this one. Whether or not you’re making a wedding scrapbook, just remember that the invitation to one of the most special days of your life is something that shouldn’t accidentally get deleted from someone’s inbox or buried beneath a million spam emails. Just like your college diploma, your wedding invitation should be something you look at years later and smile at
how hard you blacked out all the memories. The invitation is one of the few tangible things you’ll actually get to take away from the wedding—in addition to a diamond and a spouse, of course—so make sure you print those bad boys! If you want to look out for the environment, just send digital save the date cards and maybe just become vegetarian while you’re at it.
How Far In Advance Should You Order?
Unlike your high school graduation party where you sent one invite two weeks in advance and hoped your guests would show up it, your wedding has a totally different invitation system with a full-on schedule in place. Assuming you are planning one year out (and it is A-okay if you aren’t), order your save the dates 10 to 12 months in advance, mail them (or email them!) eight to 10 months out, order invitations and thank you cards four to six months out and mail the invites (duh) two to three months out. Ok, fair enough. So when do you embark on this process? “Choose between modern, classic, and simplistic designs to find what fits your and your fiancé’s personal taste. Once you receive your sample and are sold on a design, place your invitation order four to six months before your wedding date, which will give you plenty of time to work one-on-one with your designer to come up with the perfect look before it’s sent to print,” Terrell says. And with Shine, you’ll receive your personalized proofs within two business days via email for your review and any rounds of revisions. Ideal. Lastly, if you’re unorganized (hi, neighbor) you’ll receive a PDF checklist to look over before sending those babies out! Can you tell I’m excited?
At the end of the day, your wedding day should be one of the most exciting days of your life, so don’t take the invitation-designing process so seriously that you’re raising your cortisol levels to dangerous heights. Have fun with it, people, and make sure to make it clear whether or not there will be an open bar. As a wedding guest (never a bride), that’s all I ask.
Images: Shine Wedding Invitations (2); shinewedding / Instagram