How to design wedding invites: the ultimate guide to wedding invitation design

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

Your wedding invitations aren’t just pieces of paper—they’re the first glimpse of your big day for your guests. They reflect your style and set the tone for celebration. They’re the trailers to your wedding blockbuster! So, it’s no wonder you want your wedding invitation design to be top-notch. 

This article is your ultimate guide to wedding invitation design. Whether you’re leaning toward working with the pros or DIY, we’ve got you covered. 

Let’s dive in and make those invites shine!

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Wedding invitation design idea with delicate illustration of flowers

Source: via VistaPrint

How to design wedding invites with professional designers 

Before we dive into designing your wedding invitations yourself, let’s discuss the process of creating them with professionals. Although you delegate the process to a designer or an agency, you still need to be clear on certain details to ensure that your wedding invites turn out exactly how you envision. 

Here’s what you need to remember when designing wedding invitations with professional designers…

Choose a reliable graphic designer with a portfolio of projects that match your style

When it comes to finding the perfect designer for your wedding invites, the options seem endless. To make the search a little less daunting, explore platforms like 99designs by Vista. With a diverse range of artists with different styles, it’s easy to find the right fit for your special day.

A screenshot of the 99designs by Vista search for designers with experience creating wedding invitations

Use filters to find designers who have experience creating wedding invitations. Source: via 99designs by Vista

As you browse, focus on designers whose portfolios align with your vision. Remember that in the world of wedding invitation design, talent is important, but compatibility reigns supreme. Hiring a designer solely for their acclaim, without considering whether their style matches your dream aesthetic, is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole—it just won’t work. 

So, prioritize finding a designer who speaks your visual language. After all, your invitations should be a reflection of your style, not someone else’s idea of perfection.

Create a mood board 

Do your homework to ensure your designer captures your vision perfectly. Research and gather references that speak to your aesthetic. Then, bring it all together with a mood board. This visual snapshot will guide your designer and ensure they understand exactly what you envision for your wedding invitations.

When creating a mood board for your wedding invitations, include:

  • Color palette (this should match the color palette of your wedding)
  • Typography (even if you don’t have a specific font in mind, you can still include typography styles you like)
  • Imagery (photos of floral arrangements, venue décor, scenic landscapes, etc.)
  • Themes and motifs (for example, vintage lace patterns, rustic wooden textures or tropical palm leaves)
  • Mood and emotion you want to capture in your wedding invitations
A fun, curvy frame for a wedding invitation design idea

Source: via VistaPrint

Discuss the budget and the possibility of edits

Before diving into design discussions and placing your order, it’s crucial to have a candid conversation about finances and revisions. 

  1. Be upfront about your budget constraints from the get-go. This ensures your designer can tailor their proposal to align with your financial parameters.
  2. Discuss the number of revisions included in the design process. Clarify whether minor tweaks or major overhauls will incur additional costs.
  3. Establish clear lines of communication for feedback and revisions. Determine how feedback will be provided and the expected turnaround time for revisions.

Remember to remain open to compromise and negotiation. While staying within budget is important, flexibility may be necessary to achieve your desired outcome.

Wedding planner at a desk

Source: via Depositphotos

Create a detailed and specific brief for the designer

Once everything else is ready, it’s time to put your request into writing with a brief. When briefing your designer for your wedding invitations, leave no stone unturned. The more detailed and specific your brief, the clearer your expectations will be. Here are key elements to include:

  • Event details: Provide all relevant information about your wedding, including date, time, venue, and theme.
  • Style preferences: Describe the aesthetic you’re aiming for, whether it’s classic, modern, rustic, or whimsical. Include examples or references to illustrate your vision. 
  • Layout and format: Outline your preferences for the layout and format of the invitation, including card size, orientation, and any special features like folds or embellishments.
  • Printing and finishing: Discuss printing preferences, such as paper type, finish, and any additional printing techniques like foil stamping or embossing.
  • Budget and timeline: Clearly communicate your budget constraints and timeline expectations for the project.

Don’t forget to share your mood board with the designer so they have a visual representation of your wedding invitation wants, dos and don’ts. 

After placing an order with a graphic designer, all you need to do is wait for your wedding invitation design, approve it, and print your invitations.

Vintage wedding invitation design

Source: via VistaPrint

How to design wedding invites yourself: A step-by-step guide

A professional designer for your wedding invites isn’t your only option. You can take matters into your own hands and embark on a DIY adventure.

It’s not just about saving money. Here are a few reasons why you might want to take the DIY route:

  • Personalization: Tailor the design to reflect your unique style and personality. Personalization is one of the biggest wedding trends today, and a DIY wedding invitation is a great way to tap into that trend. 
  • Creative control: Have complete freedom to experiment with different layouts, colors, and embellishments.
  • Flexibility: Make last-minute changes easily without the hassle of coordinating with a designer or print shop.

And let’s not forget the cherry on top—cost-effectiveness. By seizing control of the reins, you can avoid the hefty design fees and markups often associated with professional designers.

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we got you! With our step-by-step guide and the right tools at your fingertips, crafting stunning wedding invitations is within reach.

How to prepare for your ideal wedding invitation design: Gather ideas and references

Before diving into the design process, lay the groundwork by gathering wedding invitation ideas and references. This initial step ensures you’re not flying blind but armed with a clear vision for your project and specific elements you want to incorporate into your design.

70s aesthetic for wedding invitation design

Source: by Alexandra G Mocanu via 99designs by Vista

Finding inspiration is a personal journey, influenced by your unique style and preferences. Here are a few popular resources to kickstart your creative exploration:

  • Pinterest: Dive into curated boards with wedding invitation inspiration tailored to your tastes. 
  • Instagram: Follow your favorite wedding influencers and designers for a daily dose of invitation eye candy.
  • Wedding blogs: Explore online wedding blogs for real-life examples and expert tips on invitation design.
  • Online marketplaces: Browse through platforms like Etsy and Minted for a wide selection of customizable invitation designs. Alternatively, you can check out ready-made wedding invitation template catalogs from printing services like VistaPrint
  • Wedding magazines: Flip through bridal magazines for tactile inspiration.
  • Wedding photographers’ websites: Visit the websites of wedding photographers to view their portfolios and gather inspiration from real weddings they’ve captured.

Decide what information you want to include in your wedding invitation design

You have a general idea of what you’re aiming for, now what? Before diving into design specifics, decide what information you want to include in your wedding invitation. While there are common elements traditionally included, remember that you’re not bound by convention. Let your creativity and personal preferences guide you.

Here are just a few elements often included in wedding invitations:

  • Names of the couple: Start with the basics—your names should take center stage as the hosts of the celebration.
  • Date and time: The date, time, and location of your wedding ceremony and reception so your guests can mark their calendars accordingly.
  • Venue details: The address and any additional directions or instructions to help guests navigate to the venue with ease.
  • RSVP information: RSVP details, such as a deadline and method of response, to gather guest counts and meal preferences.
  • Additional events: If you’re hosting additional events like a rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch, consider including details for these gatherings on separate cards or within the invitation suite.
Personalized wedding invitation design with watercolor elements

Source: Wedding invitation design by cadina via 99designs by Vista

Tip

Consider the purpose of your wedding invite. Will it be paired with a save-the-date? A small wedding favor sent ahead of time? Depending on these factors, you can decide the size and shape of your invitation based on the amount of information you plan to include. 

Speaking of the size and shape of your wedding invitations… It’s another decision you must make when creating your wedding invite design. 

Decide on the size and shape of your wedding invitation 

The size and shape of your wedding invitation may seem like minor details, but they play a crucial role in shaping the overall impression of your event.

  • Your invitation sets the tone for your wedding, and its size and shape are the first things guests notice. Choosing the right dimensions can create a memorable first impression that reflects the style and theme of your celebration.
  • A well-proportioned invitation ensures that all essential details are easily readable and not lost in a cluttered layout
  • Finally, the size and shape of your invitation can impact production costs, including printing and postage expenses. 
Example of travel wedding invitation design idea

Source: Wedding invitation design with an unusual shape for a destination wedding by Danisign via 99designs by Vista

To pick just the right shape and dimensions for your invitations, you need to consider the following factors:

  • The amount of information you include. Ensure that your chosen size and shape can accommodate all necessary details without feeling overcrowded.
  • The aesthetic you want to achieve. If you prefer a clean and uncluttered look, opting for a larger size can provide more white space for a minimalist design. Or, if you have specific design elements like scalloped edges in mind, a smaller size may be more suitable.
  • Your budget. Larger invitations typically incur higher production costs, so weigh the aesthetic benefits against the associated expenses.

Tip

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, most couples opt for 6” x 9” or smaller invitations. 

Decide whether you want to start from scratch or use a ready-made wedding invitation design template

When it comes to bringing your wedding invitations to life, you have two primary paths to consider: crafting your design from scratch or opting for a pre-made wedding invitation design template. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

The DIY journey offers an unparalleled opportunity to imprint your personality onto every aspect of your wedding invitations. With complete creative control, you can weave in unique details that flawlessly reflect your love story and wedding theme. However, this approach demands time, dedication, and a keen eye for design. 

Tip

Use an easy-to-use online graphic editing tool like VistaCreate to create your wedding invitation design without having to invest in costly software. 

If the thought of designing from scratch feels daunting, no worries. Ready-made templates provide a convenient and accessible alternative. With a plethora of pre-designed options available, you can find a template that aligns with your aesthetic preferences and wedding theme effortlessly.

A wedding invitation design template

Source: A minimalistic wedding invitation design template by VistaPrint

A wedding invitation design template

Source: Trendy hand-written wedding invitation design template by VistaPrint

A wedding invitation design template

Source: Trendy botanical wedding invitation design template by VistaPrint

Need more wedding invitation template ideas? Browse VistaPrint’s gallery of editable wedding invitation design templates.

But here’s the thing. While templates offer simplicity and speed, they come with limitations on customization. Your design may lack the unique flair of a custom creation, and there’s a chance that other couples may utilize the same template for their invitations.

Choose the fonts for your wedding invite design 

​​Choosing the right fonts for your wedding invitation design is crucial in conveying the tone and style of your celebration. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this important decision:

  • Readability: Prioritize legibility to ensure that your invitation is easy to read. Avoid overly ornate or decorative fonts that may sacrifice readability for style. Check out our recommendations for 12 easy-to-read fonts.
  • Consistency: Stick to a cohesive font pairing to maintain visual harmony throughout your invitation suite. Select two to three complementary fonts for headings, body text, and accent elements.
  • Contrast: Create visual interest by pairing fonts with contrasting characteristics, such as a combination of serif and sans-serif fonts or varying weights within the same typeface family.
  • Whitespace: Embrace whitespace to enhance readability and allow your fonts to shine. Avoid overcrowding your design with too many fonts or excessive text.

And, of course, don’t forget about the connotations behind different fonts — you want to match the vibe of the fonts you use in your wedding invitation design to the theme and style of your wedding. 

Serif fonts, with their decorative strokes at the ends of characters, often evoke a sense of tradition, elegance and formality. They are well-suited for classic and timeless wedding themes.

A wedding invitation design that uses Serif fonts

Source: A wedding invitation design that uses Serif fonts by VistaPrint

Sans-serif fonts, characterized by clean lines and the absence of decorative strokes, convey modernity, simplicity and minimalism. They are ideal for contemporary and casual wedding styles.

A wedding invitation design that uses Sans-serif fonts

Source: A wedding invitation design that uses Sans-serif fonts by VistaPrint

Script fonts mimic handwritten calligraphy and exude romance, sophistication and whimsy. They add a touch of elegance to formal invitations and are perfect for romantic or vintage-inspired weddings.

A wedding invitation design that uses a script font

Source: A wedding invitation design that uses Script fonts by VistaPrint

Display fonts are highly decorative and attention-grabbing, often used sparingly for headings or accent elements. They can infuse personality and flair into your invitation design but should be used sparingly to maintain readability.

A wedding invitation design that uses Display fonts

Source: A wedding invitation design that uses Display fonts by annielowe via 99designs by Vista

If you’re looking for some typography inspiration, take a look at our guide to font trends

Choose the imagery for your wedding invite design

Your wedding invitation serves as the first glimpse into your wedding day, so ensuring that the design resonates with the overall theme and ambiance you’re aiming for is essential. Consider elements such as your venue, color scheme, and personal style to guide your imagery choices and create a cohesive look and feel.

Here are some common types of imagery couples choose to display in their wedding invitations:

  • Photos: Incorporating engagement photos or snapshots of you and your partner can add a personal touch to your invitation. Choose images that capture your love story and reflect the mood of your wedding day.
  • Symbols: Symbols such as hearts, rings, flowers or other meaningful icons can convey the sentiment of your union and enhance the visual appeal of your invitation. Select symbols that hold significance to you as a couple or represent the theme of your wedding.
  • Wedding crest or logo: Creating a custom wedding crest or logo that represents the couple has become a popular wedding trend. This personalized emblem can incorporate your initials, wedding date or meaningful symbols, serving as a unique and memorable focal point for your invitation suite.

For a modern twist (and not to overcrowd the design), consider including a QR code on your invitation that directs guests to your wedding website, registry or additional event information. This interactive feature adds convenience and enhances the digital experience for your guests.

Choose the colors for your wedding invite design

Choosing the right colors for your wedding invitation design is as crucial for conveying your special day’s mood, style, and theme as choosing the right fonts and images. If you haven’t already, be sure you decide on your wedding color palette

While personal preferences vary, certain color palettes have enduring popularity in wedding invitation design:

  • Soft pastels: Soft hues like blush pink, mint green and light blue evoke a romantic and delicate ambiance, perfect for classic and timeless wedding themes.
  • Neutral tones: Neutral colors such as ivory, beige and taupe exude elegance and sophistication, offering a versatile backdrop for various wedding styles.
  • Bold and vibrant: Bright colors like coral, teal and mustard inject energy and personality into your invitation design, ideal for modern and eclectic wedding themes.
  • Metallic accents: Metallic tones such as gold, silver and rose gold add a touch of luxury and glamor to your invitations, perfect for formal and upscale affairs.
Wedding invitation design

Source: Colorful wedding invitation design by Creeventer via 99designs by Vista

Tip

While aesthetics are important, legibility should not be compromised. Choose color combinations that provide sufficient contrast and ensure text is easily readable against the background. Pair light-colored text with darker backgrounds and vice versa to enhance readability and visual appeal. Also, make sure your chosen colors work well in print. 

Check out our wedding color palette ideas and inspiration. 

Plan the layout of your wedding invite design 

With all the elements ready, it’s finally time to piece your wedding invitation design together. To make sure it looks just as good as you envisioned it, you need to plan the layout and adhere to some basic rules of design.

  • Flow and hierarchy: Envision how guests will interact with your invitation and prioritize essential details like names, date, time and venue. Create a clear hierarchy of information to guide their eyes smoothly through the layout.
  • Balance and symmetry: Strive for balance and symmetry in your design, distributing elements evenly and leaving ample white space for clarity and elegance.
  • Visual elements: Incorporate borders, dividers and decorative accents to enhance the aesthetic and add depth to your layout.
  • Typography and color: Play with fonts and colors using contrast and varying weights to create a visual hierarchy and evoke the desired mood.

Prepare the design for print

As you near the final stages of your wedding invitation design, check that your design is print-ready. 

Before sending your design to print, thoroughly review every detail to catch any errors or inconsistencies. Check spelling, grammar and accuracy of information to avoid costly mistakes.

Ensure that your chosen color scheme is compatible with the printing method you’ll be using. RGB colors are suitable for digital printing, while CMYK is preferred for offset printing. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure color accuracy.

Extend any background colors or images beyond the trim edge to create a bleed area, typically around 1/8 inch, to prevent white edges from appearing after trimming. Additionally, ensure that no critical design elements or text are placed too close to the trim edge to avoid being cut off during the trimming process.

If you’re incorporating borders or graphics into your design, ensure that they are within the printable area and won’t be affected by the trimming process. Avoid placing borders too close to the trim edge to prevent uneven borders or cutting issues.

You have your wedding invitation design ready. What’s next?

Congratulations on reaching the final stages of designing your wedding invitations! With your vision captured in the intricate details of your design, it’s time for the next steps in your wedding planning journey. 

Here’s what comes next:

  1. Print and send: Take your finalized design to print, ensuring quality and accuracy. Once printed, assemble your invitations with care and send them out to your guests, inviting them to share in your special day.
  2. Personal touches: Consider adding personal touches to your invitations, such as handwritten notes or custom stamps, to make each invitation feel unique and special.
  3. Manage RSVPs: As your invitations reach your guests, be prepared to manage RSVPs and gather essential information for your guest list and seating arrangements.

How much do wedding invitations cost? 

Wedding invitation costs can vary widely, ranging from $300 to $2,000 or more, depending on factors like design intricacy, printing method, paper quality and quantity. VistaPrint allows couples to print wedding invitations for as low as $0.82 per piece. 

How to print your wedding invitations once the design is ready?

For top-notch wedding invitations, rely on reputable printing services such as VistaPrint. Upload your design, customize trim and embossment options, select quantity and place your order hassle-free.

When should you order your wedding invitations? 

Order your wedding invitations early to allow time for design, printing and mailing. Typically, this is around 4-6 months before your wedding date.

Whether you DIY your wedding invitations or delegate the task to professional designers, you now know everything you need to craft the most stunning invites to set the mood for your special day. 

And VistaPrint will always be there to bring your vision to life!