17 Elegant Wedding Invitation Ideas for Any Affair

Introduce your aesthetic with these timeless paper goods.

Invitations with a floral border

Photo by Love Is My Favorite Color

Your wedding invitations offer far more to your guests than simply relaying information about the time and place of your nuptials. With hand-painted illustrations and meaningful colors, these paper goods function as an introduction to your celebration and your overall aesthetic. Whether you’re saying “I do” in a casual backyard gathering or a glamorous ballroom affair, elegant invitations are suitable for any type of event.

Elegant designs are synonymous with ones that transcend time, appealing to any generation. They also refer to statement-making details that capture your guests’ attention and leave a lasting impression. Colorful florals, ornate calligraphy, custom crests, and gold leaf accents are a few of the many ideas that evoke elegance and take your stationery suite to the next level.

If you want your cards to convey a level of elegance, here are some ideas to inspire you. Ahead, see 17 elegant invitation ideas from real weddings for any type of affair.

01 of 17

Play Up Organic Details

Invitations with vineyard envelope lining

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

If you’re tying the knot at an outdoor venue and you want to channel the surrounding landscape, settle on a natural motif. The invitations above feature a canopy of trees, which would suit a forest fête or soirées where greenery is the main décor moment. Consider illustrations of monstera leaves for a tropical bash, pampas grass for bohemian nuptials, or peonies for a garden fête. Select colors that will complement the local flora.

02 of 17

Recreate a Work of Art

van Gogh-inspired invitation suite

Photo by Olivia Leigh Photographie

Your invitations are the perfect opportunity to share meaningful works of art that resonate with you, especially if the masterpiece is an important part of your aesthetic. At their wedding, Annie Wallace and Spencer Tinsman reimagined Vincent van Gogh’s “A Starry Night," so they used the iconic painting to inform their invitation design. To set the scene, the couple incorporated celestial details and shades of blue that were reminiscent of the artwork.

03 of 17

Include Accessories

Deborah and Chad's minimalist and modern wedding stationery suite

Photo by Laura Memory Photography & Videography

While elegant invitations are beautiful on their own, you can take your stationery suite to the next level with adornments. For a finishing touch with extra flair, wrap your cards in accessories. String will suit Western-inspired gatherings, while silk ribbon will complement romantic affairs, and tassels will lend themselves well to glamorous nuptials.

04 of 17

Use a Vibrant Font

fall-inspired invitation suite with pink font

Photo by Pinnel Photography

One of the best ways to animate a white background is by using a brightly-colored font. A monochromatic hue will communicate your message without adding a lot of clutter. We love this light pink shade for warm-weather weddings, romantic aesthetics, or barbiecore themes. Pro tip: Choose a different size and type of font for you and your partner’s names to make them stand out.

05 of 17

Create a Page Turner

Julianna and Lee's colorful floral invitations

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Although couples typically mail their invitations on a single piece of paper, a foldable book will surely set it apart from the rest. When Julianna Beathard and Lee Siratt exchanged vows, they piqued guests’ interest with a full layout. One side kept it chic with a simple gold border and matching gold calligraphy. The other showcased artwork with meticulous latticework and floral illustrations. With two adjoining cards, the design elements didn’t detract from the important details that the couple wanted to highlight. 

06 of 17

Seek Inspiration from Local Culture

Maria and Giuseppe's blue and white invitations

Photo by Alice Vicente

Yes, social media is a valuable source of wedding invitation inspiration, but why not get influenced by your locale? Maria Mazzi and Giuseppe Laquidarare hosted their wedding in Lisbon—the capital of Portugal—so they reproduced azulejos, Spanish or Portuguese tiles, on the bottom border of their refined stationery. Since azulejos are an integral part of architecture in these countries, the above style established a sense of place while being aesthetically pleasing. 

07 of 17

Consider a Deckle-Edge

Tiffany and Michael's black and white invitations

Photo by Mallory Dawn

For a classy look that will never go out of style, try a deckle-edge. In this type of design, hand-torn paper leads to a feathered appearance along the edge of the invitation. Although this trim befits any kind of celebration, a neutral surface with cursive writing in black is ideal for modern or minimalist nuptials

08 of 17

Look to Lucite

Joi and DeAngelo's red invitations

Photo by Terri Baskin Photography

Paper is usually the go-to material for invitations, but acrylic is an unexpected and striking alternative. Since acrylic has a see-through surface, you can adapt it to fit any vision. Elegant lettering in gold lends well to glitzy soirées, while a drawing of ocean waves is a viable option for seaside celebrations

09 of 17

Feature Your Custom Crest

Esther and Daniel's blue and white invitations

Photo by Donny Zavala Photography

Designing a custom crest and placing it on your invites is a stylish way to represent your union and mark this new chapter in your lives together. You can either display the first initial of your joint last name, combine your first initials, or construct a monogram with your shared last name. Add hand-lettering, significant symbols, and meaningful colors to share more details about your relationship. For cohesion, incorporate this sign into the rest of your paper products, from the welcome sign to your cocktail napkins. 

10 of 17

Make Calligraphy the Focal Point

Melissa and Stuart's invitations with calligraphy

Photo by Corbin Gurkin

You don’t need elaborate illustrations or bold colors to make a statement. A simple white backdrop with calligraphy is a sleek and effective design choice, especially for vintage or minimalist affairs with neutral color schemes.

11 of 17

Nod to Your Venue

destination wedding invitation suite

Photo by Mon Soliel

Whether you’re saying “I do” at a Napa Valley vineyard or a chic New York City rooftop, set the scene right off the bat with a drawing of your venue on your invitations. Dee and Eugene Rouzan celebrated their vow renewal at a private villa in Mexico, so they marked each card with an illustration of the site. Choose monochromatic shades and a slightly torn edge to emulate pure sophistication.  

12 of 17

Paint With Watercolors

elegant calligraphy blush wedding invitation suite

Photo by Jen Huang Photo

If you don’t want a fully-formed sketch on your invitations, try watercolor accents. Here, bush and magenta strokes with flecks of gold added a luxe edge that seamlessly blended into the top of the deckle-edge cardstock. We love this look for romantic affairs at upscale venues, like a château or ballroom.

13 of 17

Go for a Modern Look

black and white wedding invitation suite

Photo by Hannah Forsberg

Are you throwing a modern celebration? A stationery suite with pared-back designs and dark accents will execute your design concept. Black font on white paper is understated, yet the juxtaposition demands attention. For the finishing touch, seal your invitations with your joint initials. 

14 of 17

Infuse Floral Accents

destination wedding invitation suite with watercolor

Photo by love is my favorite color

Flowers are one element that can single-handedly transform your wedding, and the same is true for your invitations. A brightly-hued border of blooms is a beautiful choice for garden nuptials in the spring or backyard bashes in the summer. For another special tribute, include a sketch of your venue.

15 of 17

Keep It Simple

Kianna and Hayden's invitations with green envelopes

Photo by Dani Toscano

For those who want supplemental features in their stationery suite to shine, stick with simple invitations. A white base with muted hues is effortlessly elegant on its own and when placed next to green envelopes with an eye-catching liner. A subtle style will complement stronger design components, not overpower them.

16 of 17

Add Gold Foil

elegant invitation suite with gold foil

Photo by Ledia Tashi

Gold foil elevates even the most basic styles. While this metallic accent is a great touch for glamorous weddings, they also make a wonderful choice for romantic soirées when tucked into pink envelopes. To guarantee that this glittery adornment is the star of the show, we recommend choosing a neutral base.

17 of 17

Opt for an Alternative Color

invitation suite in gold and green

Photo by Les Loups

White is the cardstock color of choice for most couples, but why not choose something out of the box, like this emerald green? This colorway suits a vow exchange in the forest or an organic aesthetic. Calligraph your invitations in gold or white to balance out the vibrant shade.

more in

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Invitations

Related Stories