Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now who’s getting an invitation to share your big day?
How is it worded, when does it go out, what goes along with it? So many colors, papers, designs, fonts, what’s a bride-to-be to do?
She reads this blog! Featuring our good friend Lori Norcross from Cortineo Creative – The Wedding Studio.
Lori’s grandfather was a printer over 100 years ago and she admits, “Ink and paper are in my blood.” A master in her field with thousands of invitations designed over her 35 years, Lori is a professional we are proud to know and feature.
She sits on the board of directors for the Graphic Arts Association, and you may run across her at one of the many bridal shows where she presents throughout Pennsylvania and at the Jersey shore. Lori loves what she does and that makes her a joy to work with!
Let’s jump right into it. Take it away Lori:
Lori Norcross, Cortineo Creative – The Wedding Studio
The real impression of your wedding day comes from your invitation set. Uniquely you, it should bring a smile to your face every time you see it, from the first view and for many years after.
You want to capture the emotion with your theme, design, and colors and you will get great advice and ideas from a professional wedding stationer. I’ve been doing this for a long time and every bride is different. We tweak a few things and when we see that smile, we know that’s her design!
A few things to keep in mind to begin:
- Save the Dates: These are sent 9-12 months before the wedding, mainly if your guests will need to make accommodations (multiple day event, destination requiring advanced planning, etc.) You can use a photo from your engagement session, or they can be designed as part of the theme of your wedding.
- The Invitation: These are sent 8-10 weeks before the wedding and includes the information of who is getting married, where, and what time. If the wedding and reception are at the same location, then all you need to say is “Reception immediately following the ceremony” which can be added to the bottom of the invitation.
- If you are getting married in one place and the reception is at another location, you will need a reception card stating the place and time. Receptions do not necessarily need to be right after the wedding, it can start hours later. This gives the entire wedding party time to have photos done without missing any of the celebration.
- Reply card & envelope or postcard – very important! This is a card that is returned to you stating whether or not the invited guest will be attending and who they are. It is also used for meal selection (if a choice is offered). You may also add a line for any food allergies that your guest might have and/or add something fun, such as “What song will get you on the dance floor?”
- Helpful hint on the reply card: Place a small number on the back of the card to match your list of attendees, so that if anyone fails to put their name on the card front, you will easily find their name with the corresponding number on your list. Saves time in the long run and makes it easy to find out who they are.
- Transportation/directions/reservations card: Any additional information you might want the guests to know, such as a shuttle between the church/hotel and the reception, if parking is available and where, and directions, if hotels have rooms blocked for guests, etc.
For the design, the ideas are endless. Think about your wedding first – is it formal or casual? Is it on the beach or in a cathedral? Is it a summertime outdoor event or a snowy winter wonderland?
Also consider any special interests you and your fiancee share. For instance, are you Game of Thrones fans? Do you share a symbolic tattoo? A quote? Design your invitations around it!
Many couples forgo those traditional or “expected” invitations and make their wedding day as unique as their relationship. We couldn’t agree more! Your wedding day is all about your new beginning together and writing the next chapter of your story.
Speaking of writing, let’s talk a little about the wording of them:
- If you do not wish for children to attend, a simple “adults only” will suffice.
- Dress code – if you have a specific dress code, state it clearly. For instance, guests are confused about “Black Tie Optional”. If you want them to wear a tux (or casual, themed, etc.) say it.
- Blended families are the norm now, and there are a number of ways to simply state the invitation without causing hurt feelings. Ask your stationer for the simplest way to address your particular situation.
And what about pricing? Most brides have a wedding budget and like anything else, the pricing of invitations varies considerably. If you truly want a stress-free wedding, you hire professionals. Your invitations are no different. From consultations to drafts to tweaks to the perfect set! You can have wax seals, ribbons and bows, textures and colors, metallics and gems, lace, there is nothing off limits and the inspiration is everywhere!
Tap into your bride vibe, talk it over with Lori, and let her design something incredible!
Lori Norcross can be reached at Cortineo Creative / The Wedding Studio 215-348-1100, or visit her website www.cortineocreative.com.
Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is an award-winning bridal and tuxedo store located in Warrington, Bucks County, PA. We are proud to partner with some of the best vendors in the wedding industry.