Rehearsal dinners tend to be one of the last things that my clients worry about. Even though it’s typically the day before the wedding, there is very little focus on this event. Coming up with rehearsal dinner ideas isn’t half as exciting as picking a wedding gown or designing centerpieces. Amiright?
On top of that, if you’ve been to one, you know how easy it is to get bored. I mean, why are there 97 toasts? Is there even a full bar at this thing? Is there even a bar?
Rehearsal dinners don’t get a lot of attention for two reasons: 1. They’re rehearsal dinners so who cares? and 2. How hard can planning one actually be?
As a wedding planner, I like to tackle planning the rehearsal dinner a lot sooner than most of my brides and grooms would prefer. In this blog, I’m going to tell you why that early planning is a good idea and give you 10 rehearsal dinner ideas that aren’t lame.
Who Pays for the Rehearsal Dinner?
One of the struggles my brides and grooms have when planning a rehearsal dinner is similar to a constant struggle they have while planning the wedding: who is paying for it?
Traditionally, the groom’s family is responsible for covering all of the costs associated with the rehearsal dinner. That said, etiquette has become more of a suggestion given that times change and not everyone is dealing with the same exact circumstances.
For instance, if the couple is paying for everything, they could ask for their parents to help with this expense if that is an option. A couple could also choose to handle this and other nominal expenses if their parents are handling the big ticket items associated with the wedding.
But while etiquette is what you make it, there are families that live and die by Emily Post’s words regardless of how outdated they might be. When my couples ask me who pays for what (another blog is coming on this, I promise), I give them the “Post” rules and then work to adjust them according to their situation.
One thing that I always make clear? The person signing the check gets the final say. This means that if you want full control of any part of your wedding, you have to be responsible for the payments.
This part is the reason you want to book this sooner rather than later. You might be surprised how hard it is to get a private room for 30 people on a Friday night. Many locations will only be able to offer a “semi-private” location, which means you will be dining with everyone else….but like in their “V.I.P. area”.
Once you decide those logistics, it’s important to consider other things like available parking, food and beverage minimum, and of course, type of food.
Assuming your wedding is in the next day or two, I always recommend catering that is the polar opposite from what you will be serving at the wedding. Planning a 5 course black tie wedding night? Consider an outdoor pig roast under a tent. The last thing your guests want is the same thing in the same place two nights in a row.
Who Makes The List?
Generally, the people invited to the rehearsal dinner are those involved in the actual wedding ceremony. That includes anyone in your wedding party, parents, immediate family (if you choose) as well as their guests.
That’s right. Their guests. Your Maid of Honor’s boyfriend might not be your BFF, and while he shouldn’t attend the rehearsal, he should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. Make that clear on your invitations, or else be prepared for questions from everyone.
Can you invite more people? Absolutely…but I would only recommend that for destination weddings where you truly want everyone to be a part of the evening. Keep in mind that if it is a destination wedding, you will have to be considerate that not everyone will be able to attend both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding due to additional expenses and for many other reasons.
Top 10 Ideas for Your Rehearsal Dinner
1. Hand Out Gifts and Thank-Yous
Rehearsal dinners are a great chance to thank those that have been with you on this journey. The week of a wedding is hectic and this is the only time to slow down and pass out gifts to your parents and wedding party. If you’re looking for a more private moment, be sure to schedule that in, but otherwise, know that this is the best time for everyone.
Not sure what to get those special people in your life? We’ve put together an awesome list in this blog right here complete with links where you can find every item. Whatever you choose, make it personal (no gift cards allowed!!). You can’t go wrong with jewelry and I love this company right here.
2. Offer Fun Dessert
You’ll likely have plenty to choose from at the wedding, but the rehearsal dinner menu should be more limited. Along with not offering 7 entree options, don’t feel pressured to create a huge dessert display.
Express your personality and the vibe of the rehearsal dinner with a super fun cake or even a small sampling of different sorbets. Put out a platter of engagement ring cookies for everyone to take before calling it a night!
3. Show Off Those Engagement Photos
Remember those so in love photos you took when you first got engaged? Why save them for just the wedding day? Put those on display at the rehearsal dinner and guests will be sure to notice!
4. Keep Food Casual With Fun Displays
Rehearsal dinners are a great chance for the most important people in your wedding to get to know each other. An open floor plan filled with stations will keep guests mingling all night while enjoying the incredible food!
5. Signature Drinks Aren’t Just For Weddings
Couldn’t decide between signature drinks for your wedding? Offer up one for your rehearsal dinner instead! Don’t forget to give it a fun name and let it compliment the total evening.
Consider having them passed as guests enter or even placed on a fun station mixed in with the food choices.
6. Show Guests To Their Seats
Depending on your guest count, you have the option of using escort cards or place cards. Escort cards are typically used at weddings to show guests which tables they are sitting at. Place cards sit at the tables to show guests what seat they should be in.
Keep this part casual no matter which option you choose. Letterpress escort cards are ideal for a wedding, but there’s nothing like an engraved shot glass for the rehearsal dinner! Escort card and a favor? Jackpot!
7. Family Style It
Quite often, couples tell me they want to use long or farmhouse tables for their reception and sometimes it’s not possible. Reasons like lack of space or expense of rentals can make this a tricky request to accommodate for wedding days.
Since rehearsal dinners often have a much lower guest count than a wedding, this is the perfect time to use those gorgeous tables. Plus, with everyone sitting together, it’s a great chance to get to know one another!
8. Keep the Decor Simple
An engagement party might call for big tall centerpieces, and sometimes a bridal shower will too. However, a rehearsal dinner is not the time to flaunt a floral budget.
Rehearsal dinners keep people at the tables, so it’s important that the centerpieces not be a distraction. A long table feels warm and cozy with a long floral runner and candles, while smaller tables call for classic arrangements.
9. Rehearsal Dinner or Lunch?
The only rule I have for my couples is that their rehearsal dinner doesn’t run so late that it’s a chore to get up the next morning. Often times, the rehearsals are later in the evening due to work schedules which forces the dinner to be even later.
If it’s possible to host a rehearsal dinner earlier in the day though, then go for it! Take it outside and enjoy the fresh air, which will allow you to end early enough to get some serious rest. Just make sure you host the actual rehearsal first…you know, before the mimosas.
10. Skip the Rehearsal Part Entirely
One of the questions I am consistently asked is “do we really need a rehearsal?” My answer is always the same:
The exception to this is if you are getting married in a religious house that requires a rehearsal. Or, if you really would just feel more comfortable running through everything at least once before the big day. The only reason I am mentioning this is because, in my experience, people do just fine without a rehearsal and one less thing to do the week of your wedding is always a win.
How are you going to make your rehearsal dinner special? Have any tips you want to share? Do you plan on ditching the whole tradition all together? Share what your plans are in the comments to help inspire other engaged couples!
It’s hard to believe, but 2018 is right around the corner! Each year, Pantone selects one “color of the year”, which represents trends in the world of design. Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is called “Ultra-Violet” and we are ultra-excited!
The past few years have been all about pastels and greenery in the wedding world. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it all but Ultra-Violet brings a different type of energy that we really need in wedding designs. In this blog, I am going to show you how to use Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year in your wedding!
*Disclosure: Affiliate links are contained within this blog and I will be compensated if you purchase a product described here through one of the links. That said, I do not endorse anything that I don’t already love.*
Lighting plays a big role in the world of wedding design. It enhances what you want to see and hides what you don’t. A great way to use Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is by having it illuminate your wedding. This shade works with many different color palettes, but really shines when using lighter colors in the same family. You can use ultra-violet as your uplighting color of choice, or even in your monogram over the dance floor.
Not looking to make your reception ultra-violet? Another great option is to use lighting outside, like we did for our Solar Eclipse Styled Shoot earlier this year. The purple lighting added a romantic glow to the tree-lined driveway. Have this lighting in place to give your guests something to look at even as they depart for the evening. Just be sure not to spoil the surprise!
Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is romantic and bold, but could be too much of a statement for some brides and grooms. For an outdoor wedding under a tent like the one we designed in the picture above, a softer shade of the color is the best choice. Mix in some white florals and touches of greenery to complete the look.
Since Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is blue-based, don’t be afraid to mix in shades of blue with ultra-violet for a super dreamy look. We used this color combination in our Solar Eclipse styled shoot to create a rustic chic and showstopping centerpiece. If you’re looking to combine colors like we did here, keep your glassware and holders simple by using clear pieces with little detail.
If you’re like me though, and Pantone’s Color of the Year also happens to be your favorite color, then go all out for a monochrome bouquet like this one! A bold contrast to a white wedding gown, this combination of purple flowers is perfect for a chic event.
As a wedding planner, I like to see aspects of the overall design in as many places as possible on the big day. Creating a cohesive look is something many brides and grooms struggle with, and it’s not uncommon to run out of ideas. The food served on the wedding day should taste amazing but also be presented well. In this dish created by one of our caterers, the colors of the wedding were incorporated. You can work Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year into your dinner service too!
When working with your catering team, keep your colors and theme in mind. You can use amazing rentals such as the ultra-violet glass charger plate above to really create a chic dining experience.
With a color as strong as ultra-violet, it’s important not to let it overwhelm the wedding decor. If you want to use Pantone’s Color of the Year in your linens, consider something similar to what we did above, and work in another color. The purple table runner is romantic on its own, but when we added the sheer white runner underneath, the look became unique.
If you’re attending a wedding and want to rock Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, but you’re not sure how long you’ll love ultra-violet, then head over to Rent the Runway. I love using this site because you never have to wear the same dress twice and I can make my selections without leaving the house! I am loving this chic purple dress that retails for over $200 and is available for less than $40! Plus, if you’ve never shopped with them before, enter the code FIRST you can get an additional 20% off!
Rent the Runway is also a great option for bridesmaids’ dresses, especially since no one ever really wears them again. Don’t want your bridesmaids wearing the same gown? Maybe you only have one bridesmaid and want something extra special? This Badgley Mischka gown is stunning and perfect for the bride that wants her girls in the color of the year. With a retail price of close to $700, your bridesmaids will thank you when they don’t have to spend more than $100…especially if they use the code FIRST when making their selection!
When guests receive your wedding invitation, they are getting a sneak peek into the wedding day and what it will look like. Ultra-Violet will make a statement that your wedding day will be chic and fabulous. One of my favorite things about Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is that it works with gold and silver, so the options are endless. Check out this amazing invitation:
Our friends at Minted have just come out with “All in One” wedding invitations like this one. Perfect for the bride and groom looking to cut down on enclosures, this invitation opens up and gives your guests everything they need. I love the purple tones and how they are softened by the white font and watercolor design. You can find even more options on their website right here!
No matter how you choose to incorporate The 2018 Pantone Color of the Year, the choices are endless. Ultra-Violet is bold and dramatic enough for a swanky New York City wedding, but can be soft and romantic enough for a wedding in the country. We haven’t seen a strong Color of the Year like this for a few years now and I can’t wait to see couples embrace it. How will Ultra-Violet be part of your wedding day? Share in the comments below and inspire other engaged couples!
As a wedding planner, I have personally witnessed couples lose their minds so much that eloping sounded like the best idea ever. These meltdows didn’t happen while looking for a venue or the perfect wedding gown though. In fact, that hard stuff is really nothing compared to the endless hours it takes most couples to figure out how to create their wedding day guest list.
Determining a guest list for a wedding is one of the more annoying tasks in life. It’s right up there with filing your taxes and getting your passport renewed. You’d think it would be easy since it’s simply listing people you want to spend time with. But it’s so much more than that.
There are plenty of charts and guides to help you decide which people make the cut, but it’s not just about inviting someone because they invited you to their wedding. Regardless of your invite rules, there will always be exceptions to juggle. Combine that with the people your parents would like to are making you invite, and pretty soon it’s a three ring circus.
But you can avoid flying through the air without a net by eliminating the guests with toxic behavioral traits. In my most recent YouTube vlog seen here, I talk about these guests, so make sure you check that out. Identifying people you know with these horrible traits (and not inviting them) is how to create your guest list for your wedding day. Sadly, sometimes that won’t be possible…
Below are the 10 types of people not to invite to your wedding, and what to do if they show up anyway (because sometimes that happens):
1. The Thunder Stealer
You probably already know the exact person in your life that would not think twice about making your wedding day about them. These are the guests that think nothing of proposing during your reception or taking a pregnancy test in the bathroom and asking your MC to announce the results. Maybe this doesn’t make your skin crawl, but I personally think it’s tacky and would’ve gone full on linebacker had this happened at my own wedding.
While it might not be possible to keep this person off the invite list, you should make sure they aren’t in your wedding party. Nothing makes taking the spotlight away easier than standing next to the people who are in it all day. Assuming they are just a guest, make sure it’s known how you feel about those “bouquet and garter tosses turn wedding proposal” videos you’ve seen.
Then take it one step further and instruct whomever controls the microphone to not allow anyone to use it except for those you know about. In advance.
Oh you’re pregnant? Sorry, can’t hear you.
2. The Guest That Wants You To Fix Everything
This helpless soul makes you wonder how they survive getting through the day. Prior to the wedding, they might ask how they should get a hotel room when the block is full. Meanwhile, it’s full because they procrastinated and missed the cutoff date. During the wedding they could expect you to fix everything from an incorrect food order to your sister’s attitude problem.
There are several ways to prevent having to hold this person’s hand while simultaneously planning and/or enjoying (God Forbid) your wedding day. In the instance of a hotel block, make sure that your RSVP date coincides with the date that the hotel rooms will be released. You can read more about how to do that here in my wedding planning timeline blog.
From not securing their hotel room in the block you set up, to expecting you to handle their super specific vegan, gluten-free, no carbs entrée request, there is nothing they will not ask of you. This is why you make sure that they ask someone else. Discuss, in advance, whom is responsible for handling Aunt Sally’s complaints about everything under the sun.
3. The Photographer
For the life of me, I cannot figure out how wedding guests lose all common sense when it comes to taking pictures at a wedding. I have seen wedding guests turn into Stretch Armstrong and reach across an aisle to take the picture of the couple’s first kiss. Meanwhile, they completely blocked the photographer and now he doesn’t have one of the shots you really wanted.
Thanks Aunt Sally.
It’s impossible to keep these people off your invite list (because it’s everybody), but you can take preventative measures. Consider having an “unplugged” wedding, where guests are asked to not take pictures. If that is too extreme, you should at least do this for your ceremony. You can guide your guests with signage, notes in the program and even announcements made by your officiant and MC.
[tweetshare tweet=”Most importantly, communicate to your guests that no pictures are to be posted onto social media until you and your spouse want them to be.” username=”RothweilerEvent”]This can mean no posting until the reception as long as they use your hashtag, to nothing posted until you get your professional photos back. Guests should respect your wishes here, but they need to know what those wishes are.
4. The Illiterate RSVPer
Somehow, sending back the RSVP card is basically the absolute hardest thing in the world for some people. When you create your guest list, this is a personality that will be tough to avoid. In fact, you probably can already guess which people will fail at RSVPing correctly. Now add 10 more people to that list to even come close to being accurate.
I have seen cards come back without names on them, with additional guests added (up to 5), questions handwritten to the couple and just missing information in general. Everytime I see a response card come back late and/or with missing and/or incorrect information, I am reminded why certain warning labels exist.
Be sure to develop a wedding website where guests can constantly access information and put the web address on your Save The Dates. The invitations should have all of the information needed but be designed in a way that is easy to read. If you’re having a black tie wedding without children, putting that in fine print buried under calligraphy is a great way to get people showing up in jeans with their little ones in tow.
Once you receive the responses, both the late ones and ones missing information, reach out to those people immediately. One week prior to your RSVP date, call every single person that you don’t have a response from yet. You’ll get the inevitable “but the RSVP date isn’t until….” nonsense, but you can’t wait until then to call so just ignore it.
5. The Passive Aggressive Guest
Maybe it’s just me, but nothing makes my head explode more than someone being passive aggressive. I’m a super direct person and it’s challenging to call these people out since their response is frequently “I didn’t mean it like that”.
When you know they did.
A passive aggressive wedding guest will express themselves during your wedding planning by using words like “interesting” to describe your venue, your dress, your everthing. It’s not a negative comment but it’s also not positive and needs to exit stage left from your guest list.
When they aren’t commenting on how interesting everything is, they are side-stepping you by calling your mom to confide in her about how your lack of a “plus one” option has hurt their feelings. They always make sure to preface everything with “don’t tell” while full knowing that it will be told to you. Which, of course, wasn’t their intention…except it was.
If you can’t leave this person off the guest list, you have two options about how to deal with them. You can choose to appease them in their requests delivered third hand through your mom and just let it roll off your back. However, if you know this will start bothering you, anticipate the behavior and let mom (or whomever) know that you expect them to diffuse the situation and not take it you. It is very important that you have a support system while planning your wedding, so ask for one.
6. The Competitor
Know someone that just got married? Do they consider themselves a wedding expert? Are they always reminding you how fabulous their wedding was? Leave them off your wedding guest list.
Look, it’s fine to look back on your wedding day and how perfect it was. However, recent brides (and even some grooms) can take it to Level 11 by giving you a steady stream of unsolicited advice and then backing it up with evidence from their own flawless wedding day. If you’re able to roll your eyes and laugh with your fiance about this, then just ignore it. If not, you can limit your interaction leading up to the wedding day as well as on the actual day of.
On the flip side of that is the bride that offers advice to you based on the mistakes she made that she doesn’t want you to make. I’m a big believer in not giving advice unless it’s asked for, so if this scenario bothers you, speak up. You don’t have to be a mean girl about it either, and a simple “thanks, we’re good so far but will let you know if we need anything” will suffice.
When designing your seating chart (a whole separate type of hell), place this person with people she either knows and that can handle her, or with people she doesn’t know at all. If she is with people she doesn’t know, she might think twice about talking about how fabulous her own wedding was while attending yours.
7a. The Guest That Doesn’t Care Where She Sits (Except She Does)
If you haven’t reached the point in your planning where you are designing your seating chart, it’s not possible for you to imagine how tortorous it can be. Somewhat of a juggling act, you’ll have to contend with people that don’t like each other, people that don’t know each other and people that will be offended if they aren’t sitting near you. Those are just three of the hurdles.
A little different than the passive aggressive wedding guest, this person is only concerned about one thing and it’s where she is sitting. Some of my couples have told me stories of guests asking where they would be sitting before the invitations were even sent out. Presumptious much?
Passively, this guest will tell you that it doesn’t matter one bit what table she is located at, but just in case you were curious, here are 40 places she would prefer not to be. Unlike the next example, she will sit where she is told, but best believe you will know she isn’t happy about it. This is also another reason not to have a receiving line aka an assembly line of complaints passed off as concerns by your guests.
It’s always a good idea to leave whiny brats off your guest list in general. If you find yourself contending with one and stuck in a conversation of where an appropriate seat for her would be, how you react will set the tone going forward. If you can brush it off, just do that and go about your business of wedding planning. If you can’t, depending on your relationship, you can either be upfront with how this discussion is stressing you out or you can use sarcasm and suggest a seat on her couch for the evening.
7b. The Guest That Plays Musical Chairs
While the guest mentioned above has a full understanding of sitting where you’re supposed to sit, this guest is YOLO about the situation. On many occassions, I have been approached by guests that when they walk over to me look like they are going into combat. As I hold the seating chart in my hands during the cocktail hour, many want to know where they are sitting, especially if they can’t find their escort cards.
But then there are those guests that aren’t satisfied with the answer. Instead of looking at the escort board or cards on their own, they usually want to see the list I am holding which shows each table and the names of the guests at each one. Typically, I just ask this guest whom they are looking for, tell them the people at their own table and call it a day.
Whatever the approach, many guests have asked (rather, told) me to switch their seat. It never matters how hard the couple worked to create the seating chart or that it’s their wedding and their call. It also never seems to matter that this could affect the place settings, the food orders, or anything else. They just need to be moved and never tell me why.
Spoiler alert: I have never moved a guest. Ever.
Do not feel pressured to cave to this guest’s immature and unreasonable request. Should they approach you directly or through someone else, you say nothing more than “I will see what I can do.” Then do nothing. The bottom line is, this guest is an adult and they can find ways to avoid the table unless it’s time for dinner by visiting the dance floor or the bar.
Not your circus, not your monkeys.
8. The Really Bad Gift Giver
I’m probably going to catch a lot of flak for this, but let’s go there anyway.
When you are planning your wedding, part of the floor chart for your reception will include the placement of the gift table. This is typically a small table, anywhere from 30-48” (or if you’re a certain bride of mine, 6 feet and she’s lucky I adore her). On this table, you will place a card box/birdcage for guests to place their cards of well wishes.
Typically, this table is near the cake table and sweetheart table, and there is no room for large packages. However, some people think a card and a check is just unacceptable and that you would much prefer a hand cut, 450 pound, crystal Waterford vase that looks like something in your grandmother’s house that she got at her wedding. This box will also come wrapped in really tacky and usually reflective wrapping paper.
Being that the gift table is only available during the reception (usually), there is no opportunity for guests to drop their cards until that time. This means they will carry it with them during the ceremony and the cocktail hour. Envelopes fit easily inside purses and suit pockets. Not so much in the case of the vase that you don’t need.
To avoid watching Aunt Betty (because let’s give Sally a break) walk around with a package that seems so heavy her hips might break, hide all of your wedding registries the day of your bridal shower.
Guests sometimes refer to these registries when they want to actually give you something and when they see they no longer exist one of two things will happen:
They ask your mom (sorry moms) what happened and what to get you. Prepare mom to say something like “they’re all set really/honestly a check will be just fine.” Be prepared to say the exact same thing should you be asked directly. You might still get a gift, but at least you tried to avoid it and hopefully the receipt is included.
They shrug their shoulders and just go the check in card route.
Of course, there is also the option of having a registry for your honeymoon through sites like Honeyfund where guests can purchase excursions and such for you in advance. If you think your guest list is chock full of people that have to buy something because a check is so not personal (like my mother), consider setting up something like this so that everyone’s happy.
9. The Financial Analyst
Weddings are expensive and even though people never like to talk about money, that awkwardness about the subject seems to vaporize when people want to know what you spent on the big day. Whether it’s a direct question or beating around the bush, you will likely have a guest or two want to know what everything cost.
Now, to be fair, many wedding guests want to know what you spent per plate so that they can cover that cost in their gift/check in card. However, with some venues starting at the $200 per person plus plus mark, it’s not likely that information will help as I know of few wedding guests cutting $400 and $500 checks.
For whatever reason, you will be seen as rude if you don’t answer “how much were these flowers?”. There isn’t one good reason to give an answer and you wouldn’t believe how offended some guests get when they found out what you spent. I mean, no one is questioning the amount of money Aunt Sally is spending on her sterling silver collection, so…
Dance around these questions with non-answers. If you’re still planning, then just say that the final bill hasn’t come out yet. Follow it up with a playful, “Why? Do you want to cover it?” That should shut it down moving forward.
When the questions come past the point of knowing what everything costs, say anything but a number. Phrases like “we got such a good deal”, “so much less than we thought” and “I can’t even remember anymore” are good pacifiers. But never ever give a number and remind yourself that it is inappropriate for anyone to ask in the first place.
10. The Drunk
It happens. It’s a wedding. Weddings have open bars (the good ones at least). You can’t keep this person off your guest list, but you can keep the wedding going without being kicked out. Assuming this drunk or the drunks are friendly and not bitter angry drunks that want to smash centerpieces, here are a few preventative measures to take:
Give a head’s up about guests you’re worried about to your venue, the catering staff and anyone handling liquor such as the bartenders. Make sure you understand the shot policy and that they have the right to cut people off, and make sure they know you would like that strongly enforced.
If there isn’t a “no shot” policy, make it one
Don’t service any alcohol prior to your ceremony.
Keep these people out of your wedding party if possible.
Have a strict list of people that are allowed to use the microphone and give a copy to your MC, wedding planner and venue coordinator. No toasts unless you’re on the list.
Ask a few people close to you to keep an eye on anyone you’re worried about and if they see things getting out of control to speak to the coordinators about how to handle the situation.
Designing your guest list can be a nightmare and should be one of the first items on your to-do list. If there are guests you are on the fence about, push them onto a B list or off the list completely. A great group of guests can make or break a wedding day and there are no do-overs. It’s perfectly fine to be cut-throat when making final guest list decisions.
But if you can’t remove everyone you want to, now at least you’ll be able to handle them.
What guests are you worried about attending your wedding? Is there a type that I missed and you want to warn other couples? Need more advice? Leave me a comment and share your stories below!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. That said, if I say I love something, I really truly love it.
Many of my engaged couples are looking for beautiful wedding invitations at a low cost. The truth is, custom invitations start at $12 a piece and most average between $20-$30 each. If you are inviting 300 people, that’s 150 invitations and a minimum of $3,000. Now while I love me some custom stationery, I also love being able to afford things like food.
What is wonderful about custom wedding invitations, besides being gorgeous, is that they are one of a kind. This means you will sit down with a real person who will design your invitations from colors to font to enclosures. And no one will have seen it before.
But for my brides and grooms that think their guests will trash the invitations, I need to offer an alternative. As a wedding planner, I recommend purchasing invitations online and creating custom stationery for the day of. Then again, if paper just isn’t a priority, many websites offer things like menus and table numbers that match your wedding invitation.
One thing I love about these websites is how far they have come since first becoming a thing. There are countless ways to customize your invitations and there are real designers involved as well. While you won’t be sitting down with anyone flipping through swatches, you will have plenty of options to choose from.
Here are 5 affordable ways to make your wedding invitation stand out without going the custom route:
A great option for the bride and groom that love shine but not glitter is the foil press invitation. The background can be any color, but darker jewel tones like navy blue, deep purple or even black will really make the words stand out. This look is chic and elegant but is appropriate for a black tie wedding just as much as a laid back wedding on the farm.
This invitation sample is from Minted and like many others can be customized with various colors. The foil is a rose gold which is perfect for a romantic wedding at any location. Foil is available in rose gold, standard gold and of course silver.
Letterpress invitations are probably the most formal of all and perfect for a black tie wedding. Not that you couldn’t use this type of invitation for a backyard bash, but that’s not where you see it most. Since it is the style used for those upscale and luxury weddings you see regularly on reality shows, it is also typically pricey.
Online wedding invitation sites absolutely offer more affordable options than a custom designer would, but letterpress will be the most expensive on the site. If you are having a formal wedding, this raised printing will let guests know that jeans are not an option. The printing isn’t just about the wording either. Letterpress can be used for any design on your invitation as well. [tweetshare tweet=”A word of caution though: stick to one or two colors with this style so that it looks clean and upscale.” username=”RothweilerEvent”]
Gone are the days of boring off-white envelopes that are simply used to hold the pretty wedding invitation. I love when the whole wedding “look” comes together and envelope liners are another way to get that job done. If you are all about the details then you will love this as much as I do.
Depending on your invitation colors and design, the liner to the envelope is available in everything from solids to sparkle. My favorite type of liner is a floral pattern in deeper colors, but you can really do anything. Sometimes when you receive your order, you will have to DIY the liners and put them onto the envelopes yourself. Before you decide to jump on this trend for your wedding, find out if it’s an arts and crafts project for you first.
This is such a cute trend and there are about 459 different ways to do it. If you’ve never heard of belly bands, it’s basically stuff wrapped around the invitation suite. That “stuff” can be anything from paper to ribbon, and it bands around the belly of the enclosures. Get it? [tweetshare tweet=”The belly band is seen as an accessory to the invitation and it really does enhance the entire look.” username=”RothweilerEvent”]
The reason I love this so much is because it works for all types of weddings. I’ve seen these done in nothing but glitter just as much as I’ve seen florals, solids and monograms. It’s also a nice way to present an invitation so when it’s taken out of the envelope, it doesn’t fall apart. Think about it, you’re sending an invitation along with a RSVP card, direction enclosures, RSVP envelope and sometimes more. All of that put into one envelope can be a mess, but a belly band will keep it all together.
My absolute obsession is lasercut anything. Such a hot trend for over a year now, we are seeing laser cut cake toppers, laser cut signage, laser cut drink stirrers and of course, laser cut wedding invitations. You. Guys. Lasercut is amazing. Join me on my little freakout moment, won’t you?
This style is fun and funky but make no mistake, this is totally perfect for a black tie wedding too. It reminds me of those snowflakes you would make in kindergarten where you would fold a piece of paper and go crazy with the scissors. No? You know what I’m talking about right? Well that’s what this is and it looks awesome. So if you want your guests to say “oh that’s cool” when they open that envelope, go for lasercut and don’t look back.
I always say that it’s best to see invitations in person, so make sure you order a sample before committing to “the one”. Follow the link to get your three free (told you this was an affordable blog) samples from our friends at Minted.
Don’t forget to tell me in the comments what your favorite style is for your wedding invitation!