Courtesy of Hello! Lucky
Since 2003 Hello! Lucky has been creating specialty letterpress wedding invitations greeting cards and personalized stationery. Co-owners (and sisters) Eunice and Sabrina Moyle teamed up to create a unique line of vintage-inspired cards and invitations that have been featured in a variety of magazines, television shows and Web sites, including: Lucky, the TODAY show and Daily Candy.
In early 2009, Hello! Lucky re-launched their Web site to include a search and custom functionality so brides and grooms can create customized invitations online, preview and order them. Also included on the new site is a gallery of wedding invitations to inspire couples as well as an extensive wording and etiquette section to aid couples when finalizing the design of their wedding invitation.
We asked Eunice and Sabrina about trends in wedding stationery, how to create a unique design and how to decide on the correct wording for your wedding invitation. Here's what they had to say: —Anne Chertoff
What should dictate your invitation design? Location? Time of year? Formality?
All the above! The invitation sets the tone for the wedding, so ideally you want to tie the following details into the rest of the design:
- Location: What is the style of the location? Sometimes this is straightforward—e.g. a beach wedding which calls for an invitation with shells, coral or other beach motifs. Sometimes the venue doesn't provide clear-cut guidance
for example, a hotel, country club, museum, or historic house. In these cases, take some cues from the architecture and interior design of the venue—e.g. if it is modern, consider using clean, sans serif fonts; if it is traditional, consider using serif and/or script fonts.
- Time of year: Use the season to inspire your color choices. For example, for a fall wedding think of earthy colors like oranges, maroons, purples, and browns; for a summer wedding, consider vibrant yellows, greys, greens, reds, or blues.
- Formality: If the wedding is more formal, consider more traditional fonts and colors, such as black on white. Simplicity and formality go hand-in-hand.
- Reception style: The invitation should ideally coordinate with the rest of your decor. Think about the colors and styles you're using for your flowers, linens, place settings, lighting and draping. Are the flowers going to be more structured and architectural? If so, consider a more modern invitation. Are you using opulent colors in your table clothes? If so, consider perhaps incorporating fabric into your invitation.
What are some of the latest trends in wedding invitations?
Here's what we're finding is in:
- Simple designs: Over-the-top, opulent invitations with lots of layers, ribbons, or crystals are definitely out.
- Conceptual designs: Designs that have a strong theme or concept and/or that are personalized to fit a quirky aspect of the bride and groom.
- Digital printing: The technology has improved dramatically in the last year so you can now obtain high quality digital wedding invitations that have a high-end look and feel.
- Letterpress printing: Where budget allows, this is still the favored printing method for wedding invitations, and feels handmade and special. However, it's becoming more popular to mix and match letterpress printing with other printing methods, e.g. letterpress invitation and digitally printed directions cards, programs, menus, and place cards.
- DIY is big and it doesn't necessarily need to entail printing the entire invitation set yourself. There are a myriad of ways to embellish a store bought invitation to put your personal stamp on it: Envelope liners, bands, backing the card in a contrasting color, ribbon, etc.
How do you decide how to word your invitation?
The key factors to consider are:
- Host: Traditionally, the "host" is also the person(s) who is paying for the wedding. If your parents are hosting, the invitation should be worded like so: "Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter..." If you're hosting (which is more and more common these days), the invitation should be worded such that it comes from you, e.g. "John Jones and Jane Smith request the pleasure of your company at their marriage..." That said, even if your parents are not contributing to the wedding, it can be good practice to acknowledge them anyway, for example, by adding the line "Together with their families..." A wedding is a family affair and ultimately comes down to more than who's paying for what. When in doubt, be as inclusive as possible.
- Ceremony venue: If it's a religions venue, use "request the honor of your presence." If it's a secular venue, use "request the pleasure of your company."
- Formality: A formal wedding calls for traditional wording, while a casual wedding allows you to take some liberties. Here are some examples of formal vs. casual wording options:
- Host line: "Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith" vs. "Anne and Robert Smith"
- Invitation line: "request the pleasure of your company at their marriage" v.s. "invite you to share in the joy and celebration of their marriage"
- Reception line: "dinner and dancing to follow" vs. "followed by dinner and a rollicking good time"
- Gender: Same sex marriage are still on the cusp of being socially accepted and as a result may call for additional wording that calls attention to the significance of the event. For example, the invitation line may read as follows:
Please join us
to share our joy and support our love
as we exchange vows and are united
in the commitment of marriage
We generally prefer the "honor" over "honour," the latter being the British spelling.
Besides your invitation, what else should you include in the set you mail to guests? What should you not include?
- Reply card and stamped envelope printed with your return address (more and more couples these days are collecting responses via e-mail; if that's the case, print the RSVP details at the bottom of the invitation or on a small enclosure card, which can also list your wedding Web site).
- Directions/accommodations card. This should ideally include directions and/or a map, transportation that is being provided from key hotels, parking information and information about attire and other logistics. This can also include an itinerary of weekend events, e.g. welcome cocktails, post-wedding brunch.
- Do not include anything about your wedding registry. Instead, list this on your wedding Web site and include a link to your Web site on one of the insert cards.
- While rehearsal dinner invitations are traditionally issued separately by the grooms' parents, many couples find it handy to include the rehearsal dinner invitation with the wedding invitation. Be sure to include an RSVP phone or e-mail on the rehearsal dinner invitation.
Do all the elements of your wedding stationery have to match—save-the-date, invite, menu, program, favor tag? Are there simple ways to have them complement each other?
No, in fact if everything matches exactly it can make your wedding feel too repetitive or theme-y. In particular, the save-the-date card doesn't need to match the rest of the stationery since it's typically more informal and is a great candidate for a DIY project. The menu, program, and favor tag should ideally complement both the invitation and the wedding decor but need to match exactly.
Here are some simple ways to have your different paper items complement each other:
- Stay in the same color palette (ink colors, paper colors)
- Use the same fonts
- Carry a simple motif (e.g. monogram or icon that appears in the invitation design) through the rest of the items
- Use different twists on same theme or concept. For example, if your invitations had a travel theme, consider using vintage post cards as your table number cards or in place of a guest book.