Requesting the honour

Classic invitations with a twist

To me, wedding invitations are one of those things that you either open and rave about to everyone you know or open and quietly stick it in a nook in your desk. If you are too afraid to go the print-your-own route but want something truly fabulous, you are going to pay out the nose. And if you are planning your nuptials budget-style, be prepared to buy plain white invites.

It seems like such a shame. Even lovely invitations like the one above from Something Different (mocha ink, peridot stock) will eventually find their way into the trash or recycling bin. I’d rave about this invitation if it showed up in my mailbox. And then, when the wedding was done, I’d toss it. Is it really reasonable to spend $700 on something that will end up tossed?

I’d love to hear your opinions on this. Do you like the more modern invitations festooned with ribbons and bits of twigs (like me), or are you a traditionalist? Do you feel that invitations can be a budget item without compromising a wedding’s overall style?

TIP: Love reading other people’s proposal stories? Online invitation retailer Wedding.Orders has a page where you can upload your own tale of love and read others’ proposal stories.

16 Responses to “Requesting the honour”

  1. Bree says:

    This was one of the hardest things I had to make a decision about as far as wedding related items go. I love the idea of the fancy invite that gives people almost a preview of the extravaganza of wedded bliss to come BUT I was not willing to spend more on invites at the exspense of something like food quality. I say as a bride there plenty of ways to make a do it yourself invite on the cheap that looks just as beautiful as ones that cost 700 dollars per 100. That is just my two cents though.

  2. Twistie says:

    While I appreciate a pretty invitation as much as anybody, the sad fact is I couldn’t imagine spending that much on them. As it happened, though, I ran across some lovely invitations well within my budget. They were white with a pretty red border of flowers, and just perfect to announce the wedding my beloved and I were having.

    If you’ve got the budget and would like them, then I think really snazzy invitations are nice. For me, they weren’t that big a priority compared to the food, the music, the site, the photography, etc.

    Oh, and some friends of mine made gorgeous invitations in their garage. And these days there are terrific cardstocks you can print via your computer.

    Maybe if I’d had tens of thousands of dollars I would have spent more on invitations.

  3. I love nice invitations but I think they’re more special when you “know” they’ve been done at hand and still look gorgeous and amazing. Fantastic professional invitations just scream “we’re having a massive expensive wedding! and we weren’t afraid to throw masses of money at the small details!”.
    We’re (I’m) making ours, and I hope they’re of the former rather than the latter.

  4. Martha says:

    I’ve been struggling with this myself lately. I’ve gone to Paper Source, designed ones that I love to death, and just do not feel like paying that much for them. Add to it the fact that lots of places won’t let you order fewer than 50 (we’re inviting around 25 people) and it really gets my goat. I’m starting to think that I (and my paper-savvy scrap-booking mother in law) may have to do them ourselves.

  5. Phyllis says:

    I think this is an area that some people really care about, while others just want to put the money into the wedding elsewhere. Whatever floats your boat is my philosophy.

  6. Ninjarina says:

    I’ve worked at a stationers before and I have to say that if you absolutely love engraving/letterpress, etc. go for it. It is wonderful stuff and as I’ve always said, you only get married once (ideally). If you are having a small wedding and like the DIY route, you can get some great supplies or DIY kits from big companies like Crane.

    It’s really up to you.

  7. erisagal says:

    Just don’t get too cheap with the envelopes–remember what happened to George Costanza’s bride-to-be when she licked the flaps!

    I personally think the most impressive and beautiful invitations are black (engraved if you can afford it, hand-written if you can’t) on white or cream stock, with fairly traditional wording. No “share our joy,” no doo-dads, confetti, pictures of the couple, or poems. The fact of a wedding is romantic and beautiful enough. Elaborate invitations so often seem over-the-top and undignified, whereas a simple hand-written invitation is thoughtful and memorable.

    But of course I am a fuddy-duddy.

  8. Never teh Bride says:

    Your idea sounds truly elegant, erisagal!

  9. editorjamie says:

    If you’re not interested in paying $700 for invites (and really, who is) start asking around to find a friend or co-worker who is a standout designer. Everyone seems to know one. My friend and I work as newspaper designers and designed all the “paper” for her wedding – programs, invites, etc. – and it turned out great. Then, do some reading about printing processes that can give you the look you want without the price (thermography versus engraving, for example). Talk to people at local printing places to see what they can offer you for a polished-looking invitation at a fraction of the cost.

  10. Never teh Bride says:

    Fabulous notion, editorjamie!

  11. Spring says:

    My cousin just got married last week and though her invites were on the plain print them yourself side – what I loved was that it included a picture of when her now husband proposed to her. What he did was rent a small sailboat, rowed her out onto the bay then hoisted the sail, which read “Sarah, will you marry me?”


    And yes, I tossed the invite. But I kept the picture!

    I honestly can’t imagine why people would want to spend oodles of money on the invites. There are great do it yourself kits available. And the paper possbilities are endless.

  12. Never teh Bride says:

    Awwwwwww, indeed!

  13. lazysun says:

    I prefer the paper styling to be plain — too much fussiness makes it a little forboding as far as the uber-formality of the wedding (and I think I look stupid in formalwear, although my fiance’ looks faboo).

    Personally, I found the DIY kits to be more than adequate. The simpler they are, the more fun you get to have in designing things to go on and with them.

  14. Never teh Bride says:

    Designing things to go on them? Dang! Did you start with plain paper , lazysun? I think the idea of delving that far into the world of DIY overwhelms a lot of folks. There is so much that can go wrong!

  15. Bacon's Mom says:

    I think DIY invitations can be elegant and unique – and you don’t have to stick to those print-em-up versions, either. Of course, I’m probably biased, because I think ours came out wonderfully well: – the front, and “inner” envelope, which will have guests’ names and a love quote. – the inside, with fancy script from our computer, on striped stock.

    We ended up with a ton more paper than we’d need for invitations and enclosures, so we’re also doing our own programs, escort cards, and thank-you notes – for a 100-guest wedding, for around $200.

    There are options besides expensive, plain, and boilerplate – they take time, but they’re doable!

  16. Never teh Bride says:

    Those look awesome, Bacon’s Mom!