We’re thrilled to have master invitation designer Andrea Liss of Hannah Handmade join our team as a guest blogger. Andrea is the creative force behind the inspiring designs of Hannah Handmade, the company she founded in 1991. We’ve worked with Andrea on projects large and small and she always brings freshness and originality to each of our collaborations. Her workmanship and personal service are impeccable and we’ve experienced the WOW she creates when one of her designs hits the mailbox.
We asked Andrea for some tips on creating invitations that start the buzz from the moment they arrive.
Invitations matter. Their arrival in the mailbox marks the moment that the magic of your wedding begins for your guests … a moment of connection, emotion, and anticipation of what is to come. There are lots of design tools you can use to make yours stand out and get noticed – the kind of invitation that inspires your friends and family to pick up the phone and let you know how excited they are to be included in your celebration.
The best invitations arouse and awaken the senses. Their visual and tactile qualities, careful wording, and type design come together to create an experience in the hearts and minds of your guests.
A well thought out invitation provides guests with all the details they need to relax and enjoy your celebration, and a great design kicks the excitement up a notch. Remember that your invitation suite is the first glimpse your guests will have into the kind of celebration you are planning – and it will be a special keepsake long after your wedding day.
When the location of your wedding is a destination for many or all of your guests, a save the date is the perfect way to provide them with all of the details they will need to plan their travel. Save the dates are mailed at least 6 months before your wedding date and get the excitement started for your guests. It is a nice touch to carry the design of your save the date through to your invitation to create a cohesive story – you can build in surprises by adding in new materials or colors to the mix.
Including meaningful cultural elements in your invitation is a wonderful way to express your heritage and include all of your guests in the celebration. Using symbolic motifs and translating your invitation into a second language are ways to add a personal touch to your ensemble.
There are many activities surrounding your wedding and what better way to show your closest friends how much you care than to plan a special “girls day”. Unexpected elements for your invitation – think acrylic, metal, custom box – can add extra excitement to their arrival in the mailbox.
Incorporating color in your invitation design and mixing solid fabrics and printed papers are great ways to get noticed. Vintage stamps add the perfect finishing touch.
Invitation inspiration can come from many places. For a bride and groom getting married at a Ritz-Carlton mountaintop resort, this branded wood invitation in a handmade box set the perfect tone
Incorporating a motif in your invitation design is a lovely, subtle touch that can be carried through on your programs, menus, cake, napkins and more to brand your wedding. Whether traditional or contemporary, colorful or classic, a well-designed invitation sets the tone and creates an aura of anticipation for your wedding. A skilled invitation designer can guide you through the process from save the dates to invitations, menus, programs, seating cards and thank you notes – make them personal, meaningful and one-of-a kind special keepsakes filled with the WOW factor.
Some things to keep in mind as you begin:
1. Keep true to your vision. Try to step back and take a look at the planning process as a whole so that all the details of your wedding and your paper suite come together with one voice.
2. Express yourself and your individuality. Invitations are as personal as your wardrobe or home décor and make a statement about you. By infusing them with colors, motifs and meaningful touches, you add to the overall effect, and will delight your guests.
3. Keep in mind the formality and tone of your wedding. The look and feel of the design and materials used in your invitations will be a signal to your guests of what to expect.
4. Think of your guests and what they need to know. As important as the design of your invitation, is the information you convey. An experienced designer will help guide you in the proper etiquette and wording for your invitations and enclosure cards. The idea is to give guests all the information they need to enjoy themselves and feel comfortable.
5. Be sure to proofread your layouts carefully, checking all the dates, times and spellings before giving your approval.
6. Allow time for hand calligraphy. Personal addressing and custom or vintage stamps are the ultimate finishing touches.
7. Order early to give yourself plenty of time to have the most custom options available to you.
8. Have fun and enjoy the experience!