Wedding Invitation design process
There's a lot that goes into designing custom wedding invitations. The information below is meant to help you as you begin the design process.
Each wedding suite is customized for the couple. From designing a one of a kind wedding map and suite, to customizing existing designs, Smitten Event Invitations will help make your big day completely your own. Your wedding invitations are your guest's first impression of your wedding; show them your personal style and highlight special aspects of your wedding.
With many designs to choose from, you’re sure to find the look that fits your wedding perfectly. Most of our designs have a bohemian feel, with hand painted designs and are fully customizable. Please note, that orders average from 3-8 weeks from placing the order to shipping the order. This varies with your prompt response, and specifics of your order. We do our very best to work with your timeline, and if needed, we can rush orders for an additional 30% of the total.
Each design offers all components to make the perfect invitation suite. Available stationery includes Save the Dates, Wedding Invitations, RSVP's, Direction cards, Menus, Reception Cards, and Programs. Color edits and font changes are welcome, and you may write your own text (in fact, we love that!). I am here to assist with wording choice (formal to informal) and design services. With your order, you receive up to five edits. The edits include colors and fonts, design edits (where painting or change of images is needed) is available for an additional fee.
Our invitations are printed on the finest quality yardstick, using professional printers. We offer many stocks to choose from:
Eggshell 110 lb cardstock
Watercolor paper 120 lb with hand torn edges
Please see the collection guide to see options (papers, inks, fonts, etc.) prior to ordering your invitations.
A $200 retainer is collected to begin the design process. Once we discuss options and quantities, an invoice will be sent with the remainder due. The remainder must be paid in full before printing takes place.
Place Your Order
Purchase the non-refundable $200 deposit on our website and fill out the order form (you will see the form when checking out). Upon receiving both your deposit AND completed client info form, we will send your itemized invoice within 2 business days. The deposit will go towards your final balance.
Curious about the deposit? Read about why we require one in the FAQ. We do require that the contract be signed before proceeding to the edit/customization stage.
We will email you a proof with all of your requested information and customization. Please look over each proof (and even have a second or third person look over it for any misspellings or mistakes) and once you have approved the design, it will go to printing. The remainder of your balance must be paid before we print your invitations. Once we get final approval from you to print all invitation pieces, the printing and production process will take about 2-4 weeks.
We ship all ordered via USPS Priority Mail. You will receive tracking details once your order is on it’s way. Metro Atlanta residents are able to pick up orders by appointment only. In some cases, cards or envelopes may be shipped directly to you.
As a general rule, you will want to send your save the dates 6-8 months in advance of your wedding. You will want to order your wedding invitations 3-6 months in advance (giving us enough time to create a custom design, of course! Your wedding invitations should be sent out 2 months prior to the wedding—at this time you should order your wedding day of stationery (programs, menu’s, table numbers, vow books, etc.) Rehearsal dinner invites should be sent out 1 month prior to the wedding. And of course, thank you cards should be sent 2-4 weeks after your wedding.
For more helpful timeline info, see our blog post.
Anatomy of a wedding suite
rom proper wording to etiquette, there are lots of intricacies to mailing a wedding invitation. Here’s a list of the most important items in a wedding invitation suite.
The star of the show! Your wedding invitation should feature the who-what-when-and where of your big day. Your names, the date and time, and the ceremony venue and address are the must-haves on the main invitation.
The Reception Card
If your wedding ceremony and reception are in different locations, you may want to consider including a reception card with all of the details, rather than load up the main invitation with all of the info. Reception cards typically include the time and location (with address) of the reception. If your ceremony and reception are in the same place, just include text like “Dinner and Dancing to Follow” on your main invitation.
The Response Card (and Envelope)
Traditionally, guests fill out and mail a response card to let you know if they can or cannot attend your wedding. Some couples choose to have a response card where guests check boxes to indicate their attendance (and often, dinner menu selections), others leave the card mostly blank so that guests can write a personal message. Whatever you decide, be sure to provide a due date (usually 2-3 weeks before the event) so that guests know to RSVP in a timely fashion. You’ll also need to include an addressed, stamped envelope so that guests can easily send their response cards back. It’s tradition to have the response cards sent to the bride’s parents (or whoever is paying), but if you’re doing the bulk of the planning, the response cards can go directly to you. To save some money and paper on the response cards, you may want to consider postcards instead of card-and-envelope sets. Or, you may want to ask your guests to RSVP online and indicate this on your wedding website card (see below).
The Custom Map
Highlight specific locations related to your wedding, including the wedding and reception venues, historical landmarks, and/or important street names and hotels where your guests will be staying. This is your chance to create a special, one of a kind map designed to help give your guests an idea of how the events surrounding your wedding will play out. You will receive a 12 x 18 print of your custom map—you can use this in your reception decor or keep as a keepsake.
The Direction Card
Provide your guests with directions to your venue – a map can also be helpful. Your venue can usually provide you with clearly-worded directions to use. If your ceremony and reception are in different locations, you may want to have double-sided directions cards with ceremony directions on the front, reception directions on the back.
The Accommodations Card
If you’re hosting a lot of out-of-town guests, you may want to provide them with information about hotels and accommodations. You can include a separate enclosure with this information, or include it on your wedding website, and provide guests with the site address (see below).
The Wedding Website Card
You can eliminate several enclosures – the direction card, accommodations card, and even the response card, by providing your guests with a single card that points them to your wedding website. As long as your guests are relatively tech-savvy, they should easily be able to access all of the important details on your website.
The Inner Envelope
The inner envelope is a separate envelope that goes inside your main outer envelope – your actual invitation and enclosures go inside the inner envelope. It is typically addressed with the names of all of people who are invited (including children or other guests). Traditionally, an inner envelope was used to protect the invitation’s ink from smudging. While some couples choose to skip the inner envelope, it is a must for formal weddings.
The Outer Envelope
This is the main envelope that features both the guests’ names and mailing address, as well as the return address. Hand-calligraphy provides a classic look to these outer envelopes. Pro Tip: Before mailing out your invitations, be sure to weigh a sample invitation at the post office, sealed with all enclosures, so you know how many stamps you’ll need – it varies widely. Also note that square envelopes cost more in postage.
What Else Do I Need?
When ordering your wedding invitation suite, you’ll also want to think about other important paper items for your wedding day and beyond, including your ceremony programs, menu cards, table numbers, escort cards, and thank-you note stationery. While not all of these items have to match your invitation, they should all fit with the theme and style of your wedding.