Dos and don'ts of invitations

Visually, invitations are the first impression your party has on your guests. Not only do they help kickstart the event’s magic, but they also make your soiree a personal extension of you.

With the holiday season now upon us—and invitations for Halloween, Friendsgiving, and holiday parties galore about to arrive—you’re cordially invited to read on how to create invitations that push the envelope and a create a mailing that’s more than inviting.


Cater to your theme

You set the theme of your party for a reason. Stick to it!

If you’re planning a wedding, make sure your invitations mimic the style of the couple. Are they classic, preppy, or bohemian?

If it’s a child’s birthday party you’re planning, do they prefer superheroes, Disney characters, or puppies?

You also will want to incorporate a color palette, motif, or décor element if it’s crucial to the party. The more you know about your vision for the event, the better invitation you can create that will truly set the tone.

Play with your words

We’re all about having fun, so when it comes to invitations, we put as much emphasis on the copy as we do on the design itself.

Unless we’re sending out invitations for our wedding. In that particular case, we adhere to all things Emily Post.

But back to fun, not formal. Words and imagery on invitations should go together like peas and carrots. They should blend. Not compete.

We’ve helped to circus-themed invitations with numerous pieces and parts, a “Truth or Pair” wine pairing event for charity, and even a birthday party involving a paper doll invite where guests were asked to dress the princess for her big day.

Be original to you

It’s no secret that for everyday use, we’re big fans of standard A2-sized flat note cards. For invitations, however, we love fun, unexpected formats.

From Save the Dates made from coconuts to elk horns mailed in boxes, we’ve worked on some fun stuff. Although I think it’s safe to say we won’t be mailing out another round of the baby diapers as a shower invitation ever again.

No two people are alike. So, no two invitations should be. Whatever your theme, make sure you invitation stays true to you.

Set your mood with type

You know the last horror movie poster you saw? It had a certain type to it. The kind that screams, “This will be scary!”

Don’t use horror movie typography on your wedding invitations. Unless that’s your theme.

For a formal event, script is standard. For a more causal affair, mix up the fonts you use. KJ is currently in an all caps modern paired with hand lettering font phase. But, as we mentioned in the tip above, make sure the typography you choose for your invitation matches your theme and your personality.

See it through

If your invitation has extras, like crayons, confetti, or more, slip everything in a clear sleeve to keep it all together. Then, mail it in an envelope.

Trust us, your guests will thank you.


Feel limited to a certain size

Remember when we mentioned above that we love fun and surprises? That applies to card sizes of invitations, too.

You could go small and think about your invitation like a Cracker Jack box with the addition of a tiny prize.

Or you could go oversized in both card stock and length with an accordion-style invite that lets your story literally unfold.

There aren’t any rules that says your invitation must be flat paper, either. Go wild and roll yours up like a paper horn to shout out your message.

Or fold it up like a paper airplane and let your shindig’s details fly off to their intended destination.

Feel like you need a big budget to make big impact

Your invitations can be both budget-friendly and fabulous at the same time. These things are not mutually exclusive. 

Try flat printing instead of letterpress (we promise we won’t be offended). Choose a colored envelope over the more expensive envelope liner (the handwork involved with lining drives up the cost).

If it’s not a wedding, put RSVP info on the invite itself, instead of using a separate reply card.

We also like to hide details in the design—whether it be a monogram, special date, or bow—or use copy that’s creative to ramp up the personalization.

If the invitation design itself is a standout, you don’t have to dip deep in your pockets to make it grab their attention.

And remember, less is always more. There’s no crime in simple and chic.


Splurge on what you love

Whether it’s hand calligraphy, custom stamps, invites packed with confetti flown in from France, or elaborate journals for every guest, make sure you splurge on what floats your boat.

KJ is a sucker for letterpress, luxurious paper, and details (like gold-painted edges and lined envelopes). You’ll hardly ever see her send an invitation without these. Budget be damned.

Have burning questions about invitations that are outside the envelope? Ask them below and we’ll answer!

Looking for bright, simple stationery to help invite guests to your next event? We suggest stocking up here.

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