Saturday, March 21, 2009

First comes love....

Yes, it's true. Wedding season is rapidly approaching. 

The evidence is the number of emails and phone calls I've received regarding wedding invitation design. I love it. Wedding invites offer the engaged couple and designer alike a copious amount of creative freedom. For once, it really is all about you.  Your printed wedding materials can be whatever you want them to be. And yes, of course, there are always those silly limitations like - eh-hem - budget, but besides that, freedom! (And part of being creative is finding ways around that stinky limitation, right?!)

A down-&-dirty tri-panel wedding invite with cheeky copy.

A full-on set of wedding goodness. Printed with metallic copper ink.
My favorite part: "Love is patient. But please respond by 8|20|2009."

There are a few things I tell people I'm doing wedding design for:

1) Start setting the tone on Day #1. Your Save-The-Date piece is the very first thing someone will see leading up to your big day. The tone isn't just set on the wedding day; it starts here. It's important to think ahead. What will your wedding colors be? How will we be able to use these design elements in the future - not only on the invitation, but at the wedding venue, in the thank you cards and beyond?

2) Make it irresistible. Your invitation obviously needs to be informative but something about it really needs to make people want to come to the event. Whether you're mysterious, funny, elegant, funky or neutral, the invite should be compelling enough that the recipient doesn't hesitate for a moment before they rip off the RSVP card, whip out a pen to check 'yes' and send it back your way. Of course we want them to check their calendar first, but you know what I mean. 

3) Be consistent. Just like with any marketing or branding campaign, consistency is essential. It's one of those things that's hard to explain but if it's not there, it's just not good. Does that make sense? If you use scrolling pink type on creme paper on one thing and on the next you use plain black type on green paper, it's confusing. And if you present a very elegant, sophisticated message and motif through your printed materials and the guests show up to a polka dance hall where the cake is made from German sausage, you have a problem.

I know my examples might be a little silly and a lot of this is simple common sense. I just encourage you to be sure you take an extra moment to plan ahead for your printed materials - as you would any other component of the wedding. It helps to make a list of every possible piece you might need down the road so it can all be designed and produced in the most time and cost effective manner. 

Below is a list of frequently requested items:
+ Save The Date
+ Invitation (including map & directions, RSVP card, etc)
+ Rehearsal Invitation (including directions)
+ Reception Invitation (if additional reception will take place in another location)
+ Wine Labels
+ Napkins
+ Directional Signs
+ Menus
+ Table Assignments
+ Table Numbers
+ Place Cards
+ Favor Tags
+ New Address Cards
+ Thank You Cards

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