Wedding Invitation Designers

Invitation suites set the stage for what’s to come.

Wedding invitations function as more than a debrief of the who, what, when, and where of your celebration. With the help of a stationer, these pieces of paper also give guests a preview of your day—from the wording, to the design, to the color palette. In most cases, custom-designed suites allow you to choose different elements, like the number of pieces included in each invitation, the paper stock, envelope liners, and printing methods, like letterpress, embossing, or digital. 

As with most parts of the wedding planning process, you’ll want to start by establishing your budget. Custom suites allow you to splurge on different parts of the design and save on others. Postage comes into play, too, so if you love the feel of weighty paper stock, remember you’ll need to account for enough postage to safely get your invitations delivered to guests. 

Custom invitation suites may be priced à la carte, but some stationers offer packages that include save the dates, invitations, reply cards and envelopes, and day-of paper details like place cards and maps. Charlottesville stationer Stephanie Fishwick, who counts Gwenyth Paltrow, Jo Malone London, and Tiffany & Co. as clients, kicks off the design process with a creative call, where she hones in on the couple’s style and what motifs they want to include. Natalie O’Dell, founder of Lexington-based stationery company chez la mariée, starts with a similar conversation, then translates that information into delicate designs, incorporating meaningful details like a late family member’s favorite flower or a motif that ties back to the couple. 

The wording plays a big role, too. Fishwick likes to think about the guests when guiding clients to the right tone. “Think about who is coming and how you communicate to different generations,” she explains. By using descriptive, clear wording, you can avoid follow-up emails from family members wondering about details like the dress code or transportation. Because wording can be tricky, Fishwick created Party Paper, a downloadable guide available for purchase on her website. Ultimately, your stationery is just one piece of a day that’s celebrating love. “Trust in your story and your style,” says O’Dell, “and you can’t go wrong.” 


This article originally appeared in the February 2023 issue.

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