“I don’t want to spend a lot on our invitations. They’re just going to get thrown away anyway.”
As a planner, I hear this from brides…A LOT! They’d rather spend their budget on flowers, or the dress, or the food, or…the list goes on and on. But the invitation is an UBER-IMPORTANT piece of the wedding puzzle; it provides much more than just the address…
Your invitation provides all the logistics.
It provides the who, what, where, and when. Without this little card, your event would be attended by only crickets…and perhaps your grandmother who hitched a ride from your dad.
It gives your guests a way to let you know how many will be attending. The RSVP delivery method may have changed over the years, but this is an element that’s oh, so important…you need to know how many guests will be eating, right?
Will there be a full dinner or just refreshments? Your guests should be informed if they’ll need to nosh prior to you strutting down the aisle. Remember, a hungry guest is not a happy one!
Is it a flowing reception or should your guests plan to have the babysitter until the wee hours of the morning?
Your invitation sets the tone & formality for your event.
In a way, the invitation gives your guests a glimpse into what they can expect. It can offer a nod to your color scheme and theme. And it should reveal a bit of both of your personalities and your lifestyle.
A few years ago, my husband and I received an invitation to a wedding of a former coworker. The invite was simple and most definitely carried a casual, country feel with it. It was similar to this:
Adorable, right? (I found this pic online and would highly recommend you visit their site at: www.thenaturalweddingcompany.co.uk) Awesome source for eco-friendly invitations and accessories for your wedding :)
I was excited to see all the décor centered around the country theme; burlap or denim with lace, lots of old wood and crates, and maybe a super-cute pair of boots peeking from under the bride’s dress. It was late summer, and I was eager to see sunflowers against quirky rusted iron décor. Thinking about it got me excited to drink punch from a mason jar and eat picnic-type food while bluegrass piped softly throughout the space. I was ready to run out and buy a pair of boots just for the occasion…I’m so glad I didn’t.
When we arrived, I was surprised to see the bridesmaids wearing very contemporary black dresses carrying bouquets of calla lilies! Was I at the right wedding? My husband and I double-checked the address just to be sure…yup, right place! All the men in the bridal party were in black tuxes and the bride looked like she’d stepped right out of fairytale, tiara and all.
Unless you were outside, there was no sign of late summer anywhere; no rust red or burlap tan, but instead, bright fuchsia and neon green. No sunflowers. No mason jars. No quirky iron décor or bluegrass.
It was pretty, but not what everyone expected. There were several people who, like myself, interpreted the invitation as casual attire, and were markedly uncomfortable without their jacket and tie.
If the couple had chosen to include their wedding invitation as a part of their wedding, instead of treating it as a disposable sheet of unimportant paper, their guests would have shown up excited to experience the event instead of searching for the darkest corner in the room to stay out of sight. Remember, your goal is to extend warmth and gratitude to your guests. You want them to be comfortable, because comfy guests naturally feel good, and people who feel good will boogie it out on the dance floor!
Your invitation can bridge together different elements of your event.
A well-designed event ‘flows’ better, and it almost always begins with the invitation and other printed items within the event. It’s easy, once you have a general idea of theme and style, to incorporate a few elements that will be found at your event. Here are a few examples of how to do that…
Country or rustic: Wrap a strip of lace, burlap, or twine around the inner envelope
Vintage: Add an antique button to the front of your invitation
Gatsby or Glam: Add a rhinestone brooch or gild an edge with silver or gold
Homespun: Pull out your sewing machine and add a simple seam in a colored thread
Literary/Books: Include a paper flower made from the pages of a favorite book
Think about your own upcoming wedding…How can you incorporate some fun details from your design? Is there a color you could add or a fun, quirky charm you could include?
Look at your wedding as though you were seeing it for the first time. What is the most important element you want to keep ‘NO MATTER WHAT?’ Once you find it, look at everything else and determine if those pieces work with your must-have element. In no time, you’ll begin to see a flow emerging, and that, my lovelies, is the making of your wedding design! Celebrate YOUR Story and stay true to who you are!
When I ask 15 brides what the three most important things for their weddings are, I usually get 15 different combinations! Most are concerned with the cake, their dress, their flowers, the music, etc…
While those items are important, I believe there are three biggies—the items you should pay most attention to right from the start—to ensure a crazy-amazing event your family will be talking about years from now…
Budget ~ Determines Everything.
Your budget is probably the single most important consideration in your wedding. It will determine how your funds are distributed for your entire event, so it’s very important to have it decided prior to shopping or venue hunting.
And while there are still several traditional families who follow the rules regarding ‘who pays for what,’ it’s quickly evolving into a group effort, with everyone contributing what they can, and the lot of the funds being placed in a separate bank account to be used exclusively for the wedding and activities.
**Helpful tip** Once your budget has been set, look at each element of your wedding and decide which items are the non-negotiables (you MUST have that dress, or I NEED a videographer) and book those first. Then adjust the remaining categories as needed.
For an awesome adjustable budget calculator, and other helpful tools, click here ------> HERE
Wedding Gown ~ Determines Style/Theme.
You’ve heard it said…It’s all about the dress. Heck, they have a reality TV show about saying YES to the dress! So, yeah, it’s a pretty important component!
For most little girls, daydreaming of their wedding day occupies a significant portion of their playtime, and as we grow, for some the obsession leads to dedicated Pinterest boards (Anyone? Anyone?) and meticulous planning all centered around the perfect dress of the moment.
For those who enjoy the big screen, there are no shortages of fabulous wedding films, each providing a wedding gowns ranging from the sweetly simple to stone-encrusted elegance, and each being the centerpiece of a perfectly planned event.
In finding the perfect gown, you must first decide on the style of your wedding. Are you looking for an opulent affair, complete with tuxedos and sweeping silk dresses adorning the elite of the town? Or, are you looking for a rustic barn with denim, burlap and boots? Perhaps a simple, but elegant garden party with vests, bowties and lace is more your style. There are any number of options when it comes to your wedding style, and your gown should be at the center of it!
Venue/Location ~ Determines Formality.
A 5-star hotel...Burlap and lace. A beach…Stilettos and silk. An old barn…Bare feet and cotton. When you read each of the groupings above, they all seem a bit off center; there is definitely a disconnect between the locations and the descriptors for the themes. The formality isn’t matched up, and as a result, creates an image that’s almost uncomfortable.
While there are some places where propriety reigns, such as a castle or exclusive hotel, there are others where formality is a matter of choice and comfort for the couple. A park or backyard reflects a more relaxed attitude while an exclusive hotel or country club would evoke a more refined feel…pull out the etiquette book for this one!
So, when you’re looking for a venue, keep in mind the ‘feel’ you’d like to express. And also keep in mind a location that is comfortable for you and your fiancé…if your favorite times with friends and family are spent laughing around a campfire, you probably won’t have much fun if you choose a stuffy, quiet hotel for your event.
For a comprehensive list of questions to ask your venue, click here ------> HERE
click here ------> HERE
Most importantly, let your personalities shine! In every detail, show your guests who you are…celebrate YOUR story!
I woke up this morning with rocks on my brain...strange, I know. Not sure where this all came from, but the more I tried to forget it, the more vivid the image.
As most of you know, the past few weeks have been spent revamping my event planning business; first was the idea, then the website, and finally, the administrative side...I see a light at the end of the tunnel!
Good morning, everyone! Well, it's another Monday, and I gotta say that my coffee was brewed a bit stronger today than normal! I'm a solid two cups in, and feeling pretty 'perk-y' right now...
With my renewed l'esprit d'entreprise, I am feeling courageous and ready to take on whatever may come my way...and I wanted to pass along the scripture that really hit me this morning, and perfectly summed up my attitude and approach for today...
So, my dear friends, be courageous. Be strong. Have dignity. And show the world Who you belong to. Have a blessed day...