A thoughtfully designed wedding invitation is like a work of art. Unique, personal, and oh so pretty, every piece feels like a present to the recipient. As we embark on wedding season, we asked Laura Manteuffel of the acclaimed Chicago-based stationer ELIZABETH GRACE how she works with brides-to-be to create inspired invites; here are her recommendations:
Consider what your invitations convey. Your wedding invitation, and very often your save the date, will set the tone of your wedding. These pieces will tell your guests how to dress and what to expect, and give them a little glimpse into the special day you are planning. In addition, they are tactile keepsakes; your guests open them, touch them, and keep them for weeks.
Form a dream team. Our best advice is to hire a talented wedding planner and work with a creative team that you trust. We can’t tell you how much we love working together with other vendors. When you hire talented creative professionals and they have the opportunity to work together collaboratively, their ideas get better and the magic truly happens.
Let the design evolve. Don’t feel like you need to commit to a specific style or label right away. Many brides come in telling me they want something modern and end up preferring something quite classic. Show us what you like, and we will help you figure out all the details. I love it when a design grows as the engagement progresses. Elements can start out simple and get more embellished, or a monogram that begins with the first initials of the couple’s names can turn into a married monogram incorporating your shared last name.
Pin, but do so in private. We love seeing your Pinterest boards. One of the most important things I do as a designer is to try to get inside your head and discover what you love, and what you hate (what you dislike can be just as helpful as what you like!). We strongly recommend keeping your wedding board as a secret board—you don’t want to give away all these ideas too soon!
Embrace cohesive elements. One of the things I enjoy most about designing a suite of wedding paper is creating cohesion. I don’t usually match everything exactly, but I do feel that when you lay out all your paper on the table it should go together in some way. It can be a color that reappears, or some common typefaces, or a style of illustration that ties it all together.
Don’t forget to personalize. The things that make your wedding paper (and truly your whole wedding) special are the things that are personal and unique to you. Personalizing elements to suit you and your fiancé are what will set you apart and make your event that much more amazing. Custom hand-painted illustrations, calligraphy, laser-cut patterns that mimic the lace of a gown or the architecture of the venue, and vintage postage in coordinating colors are just a few places for personalization, but the ideas are positively endless.
Expert tip and featured work from Laura Manteuffel of ELIZABETH GRACE in Chicago, IL.