Creating the perfect wedding invitation says a lot about your event. The uber-casual Facebook event invite leaves a lot to be desired and won't ever make it into any of your memories. How you receive an invitation to a wedding, as well as the type and design of the invite, may speak about the couple and their event. Traditionally, wedding invitations are sent up to 8 weeks from the day of the wedding. If you're doing a destination wedding that may require travel for your guests you may want a longer time. The reason for this is not only to make sure that people have the date free but if they decline and you have people on a wait list then you've got time to invite them as well before the big day.
Many photographers don't bother to photograph the invitations or will be doing the photography for them before they're even designed. A save the date card with engagement photography pictures is a great way to keep everything personal and make it clear what the theme is. You can even use those photos to make your own wedding invitations online. If you're going to shoot pictures of the wedding, consider also adding some pictures using the wedding invitations too, they will make a great album cover photo and it's quite unique.
Choosing a Wedding Invitation
When looking at invitations most brides start with their wedding colors. One of the coolest things about Austin wedding photography is that there is such a huge range of brides the colors can be dazzling. It's one of the most personal things about a wedding – so choose carefully. Asides from colors, consider the feel of the event. A simple, plain invitation may speak of elegance or it may seem impersonal. Similarly, a hand delivered invite may appear thoughtful or extravagant. How your wedding invitation is delivered is almost as important as the invitation itself. Think about the way your wedding is going to be. Do you want invites that match your theme and décor? Would you prefer not to shell out a lot of money on wedding invitations and save it for more important things like the wedding photography?
Where to Buy Wedding Invitations
Buying wedding invitations is often the first item on the to-do list for an Austin bride. The invites set the tone for the wedding and it's amazing how quickly the time goes so you have to get them out fast. Most stores like Walmart and Michael's which have a craft section carry wedding invitations. These can often be overpriced and may look rather generic. A great place to get invitations is online as many sites allow full customization with papers, fonts, colors and more so that your invitation can perfectly match your day. For handmade and crafted invites Etsy has a wide selection.
There may also be some local chain stores like Paperchase and Chocolate Paper which carry a limited range of invitations and which specialize in stationery.
Considered to be the freebie of all. E-vites are like e-cards and are often relegated to the same anonymity. While it's acceptable to have an RSVP for a facebook event it's only used by the most casual of weddings and it almost always not a certainty on the numbers. E-invites are the lazy invite of those who don't want to spend time writing invitations or even buying them which is why most people don't use them. They're unreliable, and they don't make a good impression at all if they even make it into your guest's inbox instead of their junk mail box.
The Cheap Invitation
Cheap invites can be found in stores like Walmart and frequently online. If you're sending out cheap invitations because you're on a budget that doesn't necessarily mean guests will assume you're being stingy. A cheap invite may be a simple but pretty note card, or even just a “save the date” magnet with the info on them. These sort of invites work better for more informal weddings because they're often a single piece of paper without extras like additional save the date cards, additional food choice cards, or a rsvp card which may add more cost and also more postage. When doing wedding photography for cheap invitation cards it's sometimes best not to pair them with a lot of props because they may be very simple.
The Personal Invitation
Hand delivered invitations work beautifully if everyone lives nearby. Some people choose to do hand-delivered invitations through a courier service which will save them time but significantly increase the cost. Choosing to have wedding invitations personally delivered speaks a lot about your wedding, both that you're splashing out on your budget and that you want to connect with the people you've invited to your event. A personally delivered invite is something many brides do to save postage for the people they see regularly or who are close to them. By hand-delivering personally, you're telling that person they matter more than if you just mailed it.
Another bonus of doing personal invitations rather than a mass mailing is that often you'll be able to connect with your guests and get their information first hand. If you're hand-delivering Aunt Ethel's invite then you can also get her meal choice while you're there and whether she's bringing Uncle Randy without having to wait for the RSVP.
Another way to personalize your invitation is to have it hand made. Sites like Etsy offer handmade wedding invitations that you won't find in stores. These are often unique and can be customized to the bride. If you like a crafty feel there will be plenty for you there. If you're not crafty yourself then this is ideal but many people who like the handmade feel can make invitations themselves.
There are lots of tutorials on making wedding invitations and you don't need to spend much on some card and accents. Even if your handwriting is atrocious you can use a stamp or simply print the information from your computer instead.
These are some of the most beautiful invites for wedding photography because they're deeply personal and usually have been painstakingly thought about or made by the bride herself.
Many weddings are over the top. In fact, it's one of the most fun things about Austin wedding photography since many Texans really stick to the “everything is bigger in Texas” mentality. Invitations can be crazy. There are stories of singing telegrams, food deliveries with cards, and even animals (doves) being paid to “deliver” the invites to a person. The more “extra” the more likely it is to make it to social media as people share the experience. This is for a wedding which is sparing no expense and which wants to be truly memorable. Photographing a wedding like this often requires more than one person and hours of painstaking work to capture all the little details the bride and her wedding planner has come up with. Extra invitations may not even be made of paper. These are often even more creative than crafted invites and could be something like a wedding invitation cupcake delivery (with appropriate card) or the information engraved onto something.
Buying wedding invitations is something deeply personal to the couple. Your invitations reflect on your wedding and the feel that it will have. How you send the invitations down to what they are made of may be scrutinized by your guests. As a wedding photographer, I rarely get to see your finished invitations but they are the first thing your guests see, and you know what they say about a first impression.......