There is truly an abundance of talent in the wedding industry, and invitation design is no exception. I am constantly amazed at the artists out there, and wanted to share some of my favorites with you today to give you a starting point to choose your own invitation suite! With the selection of artists and varying styles, there is no reason you should be trapped with a boring, run of the mill, save the date and invitation design. Don't get me wrong, I love invitation sites like Minted, Wedding Paper Divas and Paperless Post - they are usually budget friendly and have SO much variety, but today I'm going to highlight a few of my favorite smaller studios that are great at personalization and crafting the paper goods that reflect what you want. Happy invitation browsing!
1. Bright Room Studio - Well, Kim just does it all! She excels at creating exactly what you want - she can do custom illustrations and lettering for your invitations, she can do calligraphy placecards, envelopes or signage and she will even help you find ways to customize your invitations ordered from another source to still give you that personalized feel, without the cost of full custom designed invites. She is sure to wow you with her creativity, and is local to Oakland! Invitation samples below from brightroomstudio.com:
2. Bowerbird Atelier - This duo out of Oakland can create letterpress invitations for your soiree with unique hand lettering or calligraphy options along with illustrations or watercolor. The options for your invitations are limitless and they can make it happen! Bonus - they also do florals. I always vote for one stop shops when quality is not compromised, and these two sure know how to make it work! Invitation samples below from bowerbirdatelier.com:
3. Alissa Bell Press - One my favorite letterpress artists is Alissa Bell - she offers a huge variety of ready-to-order letterpress options on her website with pricing easily accessible. If you want colors changed, she can do that depending on the design selected, add special enclosure details, or if you want something completely customized, she and her team can do that too! Invitation samples below from alissabellpress.com:
4. Yeti and the Beast - Okay, this team is a game changer. They do entire event branding in addition to invitations. You want the watercolor writing on the invitations to match the table numbers and your cake topper? They can do that! They'll collaborate with you to create and entire feeling for your event and reflect your imagery in all the little (or big) details you want to really tie everything together! Invitation and branding samples below from yetiandthebeast.com:
5. Aerialist Press - This husband and wife duo out of Emeryville prides themselves on having great letterpress, at an affordable cost. They have a variety of styles from modern, whimsical and rustic and also do complete custom work so you'll be sure to have something unique without spending a fortune. Invitation samples below from theaerialistpress.com:
6. Wood Chick Studio - Getting married in the mountains or want an eco-chic wedding? This is the invitation boutique for you! There is a huge selection of ready-to-order options, or you can completely customize your own! These invitations are sure to make an impression on your guests, and they take less resources and wood than a regular paper invitation. Bonus - the birch trees are all sustainably harvested! Invitation samples below from woodchick.com:
7. Paper and Honey - If you're looking to completely customize your day - Laura is your girl! She will design your stationary from scratch and offers superb quality designs that are a little bit romantic, elegant and a bit whimsy all in one. Invitation samples below from paperandhoney.com:
8. Brown Fox Calligraphy - Brianne will custom design your invitations and use her amazing calligraphy abilities to give you just the right amount of elegance mixed with her cool designs. Need bar menus, place cards, or other signage? She will do that too! Plus, don't forget to check out her super awesome shop which features her calligraphy laser cut on wood for special "bride" and "groom" signs or cake topper! How cool is that?! Invitation samples below from brownfoxcalligraphy.com:
Now that you've seen some artists I love and their styles, here is some other advice regarding invitations --
- Make sure your invitations set the right tone for the day. You wouldn't want to give your guests a thick papered, modern black and white invitation if your wedding is taking place at the beach. And you wouldn't want to give your guests a wood invitation if you are getting married in a ballroom. Your invitations and save the dates are often the first indicator to guests as to how fancy they need to dress and what they should be expecting at your wedding, so make sure to set your guests up for success!
- Get a sample of the invitation paper that you'll be using. Every designer and site will show you a proof of the design, but you can always order a sample, or meet with your designer in person to feel the quality of some of their favorite papers. The design is important, but don't forget the tactile aspect of your invitations (unless you do fully paperless invites!)
- Bring a copy of your invitation, save the date, and any other paper goods on the day of the wedding so your photographer can get a shot of it! You spent all the time picking it out and assembling them, you should at least remember what they looked like all styled up!
- Keep in mind where guests will be displaying your invitation. Personally, I always like to put them up on the fridge to have the constant reminder (and something pretty to look at). If you expect your guests to put it up on the fridge, don't pick a cardstock so thick that a magnet won't hold it!
- Please don't stress if you cannot afford/don't care to have your invitations match your cake topper match your placecards. You do not NEED these things to have an amazing wedding. If you do want to have everything cohesive and can afford to customize all those details, go for it! If not, please don't think your wedding won't be beautiful or that your guests will be mad at you. They won't! Do what makes you happy and your guests will be happy!