Invitation Styles

How Inviting! What does your invitation say?


Your guest’s first hint of what’s to come on your wedding day is through your invitation (or in some cases, your Save-The-Date card).  It offers a sneak peak to the colors, theme, style, etc. that each guest will surely see on your big day. So, what does your invitation say?


Several years ago, couples were limited to just a few vendors and styles to make a statement with.  Nowadays, there are endless vendors that offer countless ways to be creative.  You can be extremely creative and put your personal stamp on each invitation using the vendors’ choices for papers, colors, fonts, embellishments, wording, size, and even in the way it is presented.  My best piece of advice regarding invitations is to make sure that they reflect you!!  Style is everything!

Invitation Styles


Just like all of your other choices, your invitation will have a timeless quality – classic and traditional with your personal twist.  To personalize, may I suggest looking at engraving, silk ribbon/bows, overlays, vellum, and colors like white, ivory, silver or soft shades.


Reusing and reinventing is the name of the game here.  Try recycled or corrugated papers with homespun/natural embellishments like leaves, herbs, shells, sand, or berries.  May I suggest colors like terra cotta, wheat, pumpkin spice, cranberry, sage, olive, acorn or ivory?


Presentation is everything.  Your choices may include more graphic, architectural, or geometric styles.  Two-tones are all the rage and allow a great background for monograms or logos.  May I suggest colors like black and white, chocolate and rose or chocolate and tiffany blue, or ivory?


Have fun with your design.  Let your imagination take you to new creative places.  May I suggest parchment and linen, then add a bit of nautical (boat wedding) or seaside inspiration with shells (beach wedding) or perhaps dried flowers for a more whimsical approach (garden wedding).  May I suggest colors like silver sage, ocean blue, ivory, latte, lilac, navy, or robins’ egg blue?


Your style is much dreamier, almost fairy-tale like; simple, classic ivory invitation with black engraved script with beautifully sensual colors round out your palette.  May I suggest whimsical wording, perhaps add a few rose petals into the invitation, and then sealing the closed envelope with a kiss.  Colors like rose, cream, and red along with calligraphy are nice touches and a great way to set the mood.


The Anatomy of an Invitation

Today’s invitations give more than just a time, date and place.  They include information to help you determine your total number of guests, meal plan options, directions, and perhaps rainy day cards showing the alternate location for outdoor weddings.  There is no right or wrong on how much or how little to include on your invitation.

Save-The-Date Cards

Best used to announce your engagement or if you have a lot of out of town guests.  I would definitely recommend using this card if you are getting married during a really busy time of the year or are having a destination wedding.  This would be sent out approximately 6-7 months in advance of your wedding date so guest can put it on their calendar and prepare accordingly.

The Invitation

Wording options are numerous.  Choose your wording based off of who is ‘sponsoring’ the wedding, the overall formality as well as theme and location.  You will want to include your names, your parents’ names, the time, date, location, etc. as well as add a note for dress code (ex. black tie) reception to follow if it’s held at the same venue or alternate plans for outdoor weddings.

Outer Envelope

It is best and looks more professional to hand write all names and addresses while avoiding abbreviations, if possible.

Inner Envelope

Hand write the names of the guest(s) you are inviting.  Included husband/wife, and don’t forget the children that live in the home.  For single guests, put their name and add ‘and Guest’ if you want them to bring a date.


This is really an optional part.  Tissue prevents ink from smudging.  It is very decorative and does keep with a more traditional look and style.

Response Card

Today, most couples opt for including the response card.  The information you get from this will help you plan and budget for the reception.  Your caterer will ask for a final head count and what each person is eating.  You could include a spot for them to select and entrée.   There should also be an RSVP spot as well.  (You could set it up so that the guests can RSVP online if you have set up a wedding website or by sending you an email.) Hint – make sure you add postage and an envelope so it’s easy for the guest to drop the card in the mail.

Reception Card

This tells where the reception is going to be held if it’s not at the ceremony location.  Be sure to give specifics like time, date, place for the reception.  You may want to include other details like rainy day plans or whether or not cocktails will be served or if dancing will follow.


Order Early

Order your invitations so that they arrive at least 4-6 months before the wedding.  You will save from having to pay ‘rush charges’. This way you have time to address them and put them together in time to mail them.  Order several extras just in case you make mistakes or to cover any last minute guests or changes.  Mail all of the invitations at the same time about 6-8 weeks before the wedding date.

Bring Your Invitation to the Wedding

Bring a copy of your invitation suite with you on your wedding day.  As a photographer, I love to photograph this along with the bride’s details.

Designs Options

Choose inexpensive print options but add personal flare with ribbon or a wax stamp.  If you prefer the more expensive engraved or letterpress invitations, try an inexpensive paper for the base. If the budget is really tight or your wedding is less formal, you may want to skip the RSVP card and envelope.  Have your guests email their responses or use a pretty postcard with prepaid postage or a great online wedding site that allows you to track RSVP responses.   If you can, include reception information on the actual invitation and forgo the reception card.  If possible use lightweight paper.  As a result, this will save you in postage in the long run.


If you have any questions about our wedding photography or to book your wedding with Bella Lumiere Photography, please contact us.

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cream, taupe, and gold foil embossed invitation suite

February 17, 2021


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