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Splurge vs Save: wedding invitations

Here’s the challenge: stationers had to create gorgeous wedding invites on two very different budgets – can you tell them apart? Then, I asked GLAMOUR art director Stefania Origgi to weigh in on what these invitations would say about you (it is, after all, the first hint guests have of what your big day will be like). Let’s go!

Letterpress (left) vs DIY stamp (right)


The deal: Homemade invites aren’t only for casual brides. With a custom stamp, you can create a look that’s perfect with a tux. After stamping in any colour you choose, use an embossing gun and powder to set an extra-fancy finish. (You can buy them at any craft store.)

What a calligraphy font says about you: “The delicate swirls of the letterpress invitation speak of a bride and groom who have a fine eye for detail and an appreciation for the ornate,” explains Stefania. “Expect abundant bouquets of white peonies and a Chantilly lace wedding dress.”

What a handwritten-style font says about you: “The bold, beautiful hand-drawn script of the DIY stamp option is testament to an artful bride (or groom!) who really wants to add a personal touch to their wedding,” says Stefania. “The font is authentic, and the stamp gives it a warm and personal quality. The swirls are characterful and spontaneous, so you can expect handpicked flowers on the tables and handwritten place settings.”

Foil (left) vs gold ink (right)


The deal: Twinkling metallics make any invite more festive. The two-tone confetti on the left was made by hand pressing foil to copper plates. Using gold-ink stars instead (on the right) can slash your bill, and it’s still super glittery and pretty. Tip: if you’re opting for foil, stick to one shade; extra colours must be pressed separately, driving up costs.

What highlighting your names in a colour says about you: “The gold in the font choice of the foil invitation draws attention to the couple’s names and the connection that they feel as a pair – there’s no doubt that this wedding will be all about them and their relationship,” suggests Stefania. “Letters flow into one another through thin strokes, showing a strong thread between partners, depicting unity – the bride and groom have enjoyed planning this wedding together, and her gold shoes will most likely match his gold pocket square.”

What using a playful font for your names says about you: “By expressing their names in a playful, light and quirky font on the gold ink invitation, the couple share their fantastic sense of humour and light-heartedness, as well as their individuality. Expect speeches filled with joyful anecdotes and the couple to open the dance floor with a bang!” explains Stefania.


Engraved (left) vs flat printed (right)


The deal: Engraving (left) gives invitations a tactile, upscale air. Flat printing (right) is a fraction of the price, and the new high-fidelity presses are so vivid, they can even replicate the look of hand painting.

What an all-caps, clean font says about you: “The all caps, well-spaced font treatment of the engraved invitation speaks of a grounded couple,” says Stefania. “They know exactly who they are and where they are going, and they don’t sweat the small stuff. Expect crisp, clean white decor with well-curated blossoms in pink that add a playful touch (she’ll probably be wearing a breathtaking but minimalistic Kat van Duinen dress). Their honeymoon will likely be spent exploring cultural attractions like art galleries in NYC.”

What a mix of clean and cursive fonts says about you: “The handwritten script of the printed invitation is soft and and gentle, just like the couple,” surmises Stefania. “The font is easy to read but has an elegant touch, showing individuality that is still relatable. It conjures up the idea of a wedding that will be bathed in afternoon light, the couple never too far apart from another, with a glass of blush champagne in hand. It’s likely the wedding will take place somewhere with special sentimental significance, like a childhood home.”


Handmade paper (left) vs heavy weight paper (right)


The deal: Get a black-tie vibe with handmade paper (uncut edges add an antique feel), a bespoke seal and custom calligraphy. Or do the formal thing for much less money by mixing block text with a script font and printing on heavy weight paper (try 300g paper for the best effect).

What handmade paper and calligraphy say about you: “The bride behind the handmade paper invitation grew up reading Jane Austen novels, and the groom wooed his bride with poetry and fine dining,” says Stefania. “The dense, ornate font shows a sophisticated couple with classic tastes – their idea of a great night out is a three-course meal before heading to the ballet. The celebration can be expected to be a very traditional one, filled with many speeches, toasts and excerpts from classic texts.”
What an old-style serif and script combination says about you: “The classic, old-style serif and script combination of the heavy weight paper invitation is formal and traditional, just like the couple,” muses Stefania. “The wedding will take place in a church where the family of the bride has been married for generations, and in all likelihood family members and important family friends will make up the majority of the party. Definitely wear black tie!”


What does your wedding stationery look like? Tweet us pics at @GLAMOUR_sa with #GLAMWedding to share!

Sarah Browning, 24, is the managing editor of GLAMOUR. She moved to SA from London three years ago and lives in Cape Town. In this #GLAMWedding Wedding Blog, Sarah’s sharing her wedding-planning journey with you. Join the conversation! Tweet your thoughts to Sarah via @GLAMOUR_sa using #GLAMWedding

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahmbrowning

Find out about how Sarah created her wedding stationery here!

Glamour International