Wedding invitations offer guests a first-look at your big day. Is your celebration going to be a laid-back party on the beach, a glamourous black-tie affair in a downtown loft, or a cozy bash in your parents' backyard? Whatever your style is, your stationery suite should set the tone. But with so many options available to you—from unique paper and embellishments to printing styles and fun add-ons—how are you supposed to decide what's worth splurging on? We went straight to the pros for the answer. We had a stationer, calligrapher, and wedding planner weigh in on the invitation upgrades that are totally worth it. Whether your invitations are inspired by your location, your theme, or your relationship, these embellishments will be sure to make a lasting impression on each guest.
Go for texture.
To set your invitation suite apart, consider focusing on texture, whether by upgrading your paper stock, using a letterpress or foil print, or sealing the envelopes with a unique wax seal. Use unique materials like leather, wood or fabric to make your stationery really stand out. Sarah Sadler, the client coordinator at Bella Figura, recommends elevating invitations with details like foil edging, edge painting, thicker cotton paper, or a bold envelope liner. "Including any of these additions to an invitation suite will offer a wow factor that guests simply can't ignore," she says.
Splurge on calligraphy.
Calligrapher Kelsey Carpenter, owner of Kelsey Malie Calligraphy, suggests setting a strong the first-impression by hand-addressing each envelope. Consider adding a custom stamp that reflects your wedding theme or features a photo of you and your fiancé. For the actual invitation, Carpenter says, "Unexpected details like deep letterpress impressions or delicate ribbon turn your invite from another piece of mail to an unforgettable invitation."
Choose the details that make the biggest impact.
Event planner Laurie Arons says that invitation upgrades don't have to break the bank. "If you can't invest in an expensive print method like letterpress or engraving, put a little extra money towards thick paper for the main invitation," she suggests. If you're planning to have a calligrapher hand-address the envelopes, Arons says it might be worth asking if they can do a few small upgrades for your invites, too. "You can ask your calligrapher to write and scan certain words, like the bride and groom's names, to drop into the invitation design," she says. "It'll make your invitations feel more custom for very little cost."
Think beyond the envelope.
Don't be afraid to package your invites in something more creative than a standard envelope. Mail your stationery suites in boxes tied up with ribbon or in a chic picture frame. Want to send something even more creative? Print the text on a label, which can then be placed on something extremely unique, like an old record or your favorite bottle of beer or wine.