Your Guide to Invitation Options: From Email Templates to a Full-Service Studio

Email? Yep, definitely one of ’em.
wedding invitations
Photo: Christine Clark


“Hi, come to my wedding. Experience an awesome night of true love, free-flowing booze and delish food.” Oh, is that the message you’re sending out to people? Your invite doesn’t have to be luxurious, trust us.


But, if you happen to be stationery enthusiasts, with a passion for type and paper stocks, here are a few of your options.


Design and print yourself

Got access to a computer? Know how to format and save files? Make your own invitations. Our advice: Go minimal, which—bonus!—happens to be on-trend. Go with a sleek, understated typeface (no Comic Sans!) and some old-fashioned syntax and you’re set. Feeling splurge-y? Purchase a luxe typeface. Then head to Kinko’s with some heavy-ish cardstock. Just make sure the printers can take the weight you’ve bought. Pro tip: Kraft paper cardstock is heavy and affordable, but has a rustic, trendy aesthetic.


Print yourself

If you’re dismayed at the prices of invite suites, but a self-proclaimed dunce when it comes to design, meet the artists halfway and head to Etsy. You’ll find a treasure trove of premade invitation options, including gorgeous watercolor illustrations, custom portraits and every imaginable theme. Most suites have the option to add on inserts such as maps and travel details, thank you cards and even envelope liners (which are a gorgeous touch, if you can afford them!). Just purchase your fave, download the file and head over to your local print shop to pump ’em out.


Full-service studio

Gorgeous letterpress. Luxe custom maps. Stunning, specialized themes. If you’re looking for a no-holds-barred, personal experience, the pros at your local custom studio will work with you to craft an invite suite to fit your paper fantasies. At Honolulu-based Emi Ink, for example, you can get everything from favor tags, drink tickets and decorative banners to match your design scheme, along with the usual escort cards, programs and menus. Plus, look for professional touches, including crystal embellishments, embossing, glitter and more. The sky’s the limit, but remember: That goes for the price, too!


100-percent digital

Oh, hey, 2017! Rather spend your budget on things like food and Champagne, instead of invites? Skip the physical paper goods and go digital. A free website with an RSVP option will work wonders, and a well-designed email template can still go far when it comes to delighting your invitees. Plus, taking it all online will open up doors not available to you in the physical world, including adding music, sending reminders, automating responses or getting immediate replies (no having to remember to walk to the mailbox for guests!). Some popular options are and