As any bride will tell you, there are countless wedding invitation upgrades out there. But which ones are worth it?
Let's begin with quick little anecdote about my dear Zola coworker, Melissa. When she was planning her wedding, she became fixated on the idea of procuring different vintage stamps for all of her cards. She spent tons of time (like, many hours) hunting them down, and more money than she’d ever spend on plain old floral stamps from the post office. Now, in hindsight, she tells me “I literally don’t know what I was thinking!”
I, on the other hand, spent a good amount of cash on festive gold envelope liners for my own New Year’s Eve wedding—and to this day, they still make me smile. Moral of the story: some invitation upgrades are worth it, and some just plain aren’t.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
When you’re in the early stages of planning, connect with your partner and decide what parts of your wedding are most important to you. If having insanely-gorgeous invitations is a high priority, allot more of your budget to those invites (and all the fancy accoutrements that come with ‘em). And if paper isn’t your priority, that’s cool too—you’ve got tons of lower-cost, just-as-gorgeous options!
We’re talking different textures (like eggshell and smooth), and different card stock thickness (measured in points). If you’re going for a formal look, I love an eggshell finish, which skews more matte and classic. A smooth finish is great for highlighting anything with shine, like photos. While swapping paper texture usually doesn't come at a high cost know that the thicker the card stock, the higher the price. Use caution!
For a very-luxe look, you can’t go wrong with foil accents on invites and in envelope liners. Not only does a little twinkle of metallic go a long way, but also, there’s no risk of that gorgeous foil getting damaged in the mailing process when it’s all safely tucked inside. I always vote in favor of foil! (Am I biased? Yes.)
Here’s my personal hot take: Skip custom calligraphy because people WILL throw away your envelope. If it’s something you really want, consider teaching yourself and DIY-ing (Meghan Markle used to have a calligraphy side hustle, after all). Just keep in mind that time is money, too.
These paper bands are worth it if you’re bundling lots of different cards together in your invitations pack, like RSVP cards, custom maps, directions cards, hotel info cards, etc. However, if you want to lighten up your envelopes and avoid the belly band cost, you CAN just include all of that info on your wedding website. For free.
Nothing gets guests happier and more in the wedding spirit than cute couple pics. So I say, go crazy and print on the back of every card you can. Get your money’s worth out of those beautiful engagement photos! You can even skip physical RSVP cards and include your wedding website URL on the back of the card, too (where you’ll have online RSVP waiting and ready to go).
P.S. you can shop all of Zola’s beautiful wedding invitation designs here!