What Kind of Wedding Invitation Should I Choose?

Once you have decided when and where you’re getting married, the next step is to invite your guests. But your wedding invitations ought to be chosen carefully, as first impressions count. The style of invitation you choose will give your guests an idea of what to expect on your big day – whether it will be a simple rustic affair, or a glamorous modern wedding.

It can be difficult to settle on a wedding invitation, as there are so many styles and designs to choose from. In this guide, we’ll explain the different types of wedding invitations, and talk you through some of the most popular themes. We’ll share tips on choosing the perfect wedding invitation, what information it should include, and when to send it.

What Types of Wedding Invitations Are There?

Wedding invitations can be flat, folded, or pocket-style. Each type of wedding invitation comes in various colour schemes and design themes. You can also get embellished wedding invitations, with 3D components that stand out. Let’s look at each one in more detail.

Folded Wedding Invitations

Folded wedding invitations come in three main styles:

● Card fold (also called basic fold or traditional fold). This has one fold, like a greetings card. The card opens horizontally (side fold) or vertically (top fold).
● Tri fold. There are two fold lines, so the card folds into thirds. An example is this Romantic Heart Wedding Day Invitation.
● Gate fold. This is arguably the most popular modern style of wedding invitation. The card opens out like a gate, with flaps on either side. This Ribbons Wedding Day Invitation is a beautiful example. The front of a folded invitation typically has an element of artistic design, such as a pattern or an image. The details of the wedding are contained on the inside.

Ribbons Invitation

Flat Wedding Invitations

Flat wedding invitations are the least expensive style. They’re less time consuming to print and assemble, meaning that they’re cheaper to buy. Because they’re thin, they also cost less to post. All the information about the wedding is contained on one side of the card. An example of a flat wedding invitation is this Botanical Sprigs Wedding Day Invitation.

Pocket Wedding Invitations

Pocket wedding invitations are typically the most expensive, but they’re very effective. A pocket invitation has two elements: an outer pouch, typically with a design on the outside, and a hidden insert which contains the details of the wedding day.

Golden PocketA beautiful example is this Golden Pocket Wedding Day Invitation. This style is also available in a gorgeous rose pink with gold detailing.

Embellished Wedding Invitations

Embellished wedding invitations are all about glitz and glam. They incorporate 3D elements, such as ribbons, gemstones and pearls. Added embellishments are most often seen on folded and pocket invitations, but less common on basic flat cards. For example, this side fold Sienna Wedding Day Invitation is adorned with a gold satin ribbon. This adds a tactile component to the card, and also functions to hold the RSVP card in place. The glamorous Allegra pocket invitation is embellished with a chiffon ribbon, a sparkling rhinestone buckle and hand placed gemstones.

Wedding Invitation Themes

The look of your wedding invitation is also influenced by its design theme: font, colours, patterns and art style. Here we’ll describe some of the most popular wedding invitation themes and show you some examples for each one, so that you can select one that appeals to you.

Rustic Wedding Invitations

If you’re having an outdoorsy, country or nature-inspired wedding, rustic is a theme that might interest you. Rustic wedding invitations draw elements from the outside world, such as wood, leaves and flowers. Take the Endless Love Wedding Invitation for example. It has a simple, nature-inspired background which is designed to look like tree bark, complete with a carving of the couple’s initials. This Rustic Twinkle invitation incorporates fairy lights, a popular feature of rustic weddings, on a dark wood background.

Vintage Wedding Invitations

Vintage is a very popular wedding theme that is inspired by decades past. There are two main types of vintage wedding invitation:

1) Invitations that incorporate artistic elements popular in previous decades. For example, this Vintage Rose Wedding Day invitation, with a 50s-style bright polkadot background.
2) Invitations that are designed to look like antique documents – such as a telegram or this old-fashioned cinema ticket.

If your wedding will involve retro fashions and decor, a vintage wedding invitation would suit it perfectly.

Traditional Wedding Invitations

Traditional wedding invitations, rather like vintage invitations, are rooted in history. However, the main difference between these two themes is that traditional-style invitations are timeless – they never look “old fashioned”. Vintage invitations, on the other hand, are designed to look that way.

For example, take our ever popular Romance Wedding Invitation. The white/cream embossed border gives the invitation a gorgeous classic and formal look, without appearing dated. Traditional invitations typically feature looping, script font, simple but effective colours and usually a minimalistic floral embellishment.

Contemporary Wedding Invitations

There’s no rule that says a wedding has to be traditional. If you prefer a more up-to-date style, consider a contemporary wedding invitation. Contemporary invitations stray from the norm – typically featuring modern artistic elements such as cartoon, or a nontraditional shape or size.

For example, this Lotus Flower Wedding Day Invitation is an example of a contemporary design, with its distinctive shape. For something a little more colourful, this Vibrant Tree Wedding Day Invitation would fit the bill at any modern wedding celebration.

Destination Wedding Invitations

It’s the dream of many couples to get married abroad – whether it’s in Paris, Venice, or on a beautiful exotic beach. If you’re fortunate enough to be getting married abroad, show it off by choosing a destination wedding invitation. There’s nothing better for putting your guests in a travelling mood!

To make an impression from the moment your guests open the envelope, check out this Holiday Ticket Wedding Invitation, or this Around the World Passport Wedding Invitation. Other popular choices for destination wedding invitations include sandy beach scenes, such as palm trees or this gorgeous beach sunset.

Seasonal Wedding Invitations

The season during which you choose to get married can provide great inspiration for your wedding invitation theme. For example, if your wedding will be held from September to November, our Autumn Wedding Day Invitation with a gorgeous leaf design would be perfect.

Alternatively, if you’re going for a winter wedding, you might like our Snowy Heart Wedding Day Invitation. You can coordinate your wedding day decor to match, with snow and ice themed accessories such as this beautiful Winter Table Crystal and Confetti Pack.

Which Wedding Invitation Style Should I Choose?

Now that you’re familiar with all the various styles and themes of wedding invitations, all that’s left is to choose one. This may seem like a bit of a daunting task, so here are some ideas that might help you decide.

● What is your budget? Figure out how many guests you’re inviting, and decide on a price point that you’re happy with. This will help you narrow down your options.
● Consider your wedding decor. You’ll want your wedding invitations to have a similar style. If you’re incorporating lots of rustic or wooden elements, for example, perhaps focus on nature themed invitations rather than glitz and glam.
● Use your wedding colour scheme to guide you – for example, the colour of your bridesmaids’ dresses, or flowers in your bouquet. Most wedding stationery websites allow you to sort invitations by colour.
● Get inspiration from your wedding venue. For example, if you’re getting married at the seaside, choose a beach-themed invitation. If your ceremony will be held in an old English manor, a vintage or traditional invitation may fit the bill.

Browse all of your options and choose a design that speaks to you personally. It’s your big day, so it’s important to give the matter a lot of thought, and pick something that you love.

What to Include In a Wedding Invitation

The wedding invitation itself holds basic information about who’s getting married, where, and when. But a wedding invitation suite must also incorporate a number of additional elements.

Along with your chosen wedding invitation, you will also need to include:

● Directions to the venue. This is especially helpful for guests who aren’t local.
● Accommodation details for out-of-town guests. For example, include names and telephone numbers of a few local hotels.
● Evening reception details, if this won’t be held at the same venue as the ceremony.
● Your gift list. This is usually in the form of a link to an online registry.
● The RSVP card. This is how your guests will let you know whether they’re coming to your wedding. Don’t forget a space for your guests to indicate their food choices and/or any dietary requirements.

Bride & Groom Direct have a fabulous range of wedding note cards (for holding additional details) and RSVP cards. Two of our most popular designs are the Lillie Mae Guest Information Card and the Ribbons Reply Card.

When Should You Send Wedding Invitations?

Don’t take too long to decide on your wedding invitations, as you’ll need to send them out in plenty of time. Your guests will require ample notice to arrange time off work, childcare, transportation and accommodation if required. If you send your invitations out too late, you may find that some of your guests can’t make it.

So, when is the proper time to send out a wedding invitation?

● If your guests are local: at least 8 weeks before the wedding
● If your guests are out-of-town: at least 10 weeks before the wedding
● If your wedding is being held abroad, or during the summer or Christmas holidays: at least 12 weeks before the wedding

If you have not sent (or are not planning to send) save-the-dates, you’ll need to send your invitations out even earlier. Aim to post your wedding invitations 4-6 months before the big day if you’re forgoing save the dates.

We’d recommend ordering your wedding invitations at least 1-2 months before you’re due to send them out. At Bride & Groom Direct, we aim to print and post our orders within 5 working days; however, it’s best to give yourself plenty of time, just in case.