How to Assemble Your Invitations
The Artisaire Way
Has it sunk in yet?
You’ve received your invites, wax seals, ribbon and all the styling pieces you’ll need to bring your dream invitations to life, and now it’s time to put it all together!
In just a few short weeks you’ll start seeing those RSVP’s come flooding in as you finish your final planning before the big day – which means crunch time is here!
Today we’re sharing our top techniques for assembling your invitations and the last-minute details you need to know before sending them out!
Are you ready for these assembly secrets?
Step 1: Assembly Basics
We’re all about organized creativity – which is why these assembly basics will help you master invitation assembly, even if this is your first time!
When building your invitations, each insert card, embellishment and “extra” is one piece of your invitation puzzle. You want each piece to stand out and stand alone, yet once they’re assembled and styled together – they should create something even more beautiful than the sum of their parts!
The best way to do this is with effective layering!
Here’s how to do it:
- Start with the largest card as the base of your suite (ideally this should be your invitation card)
- Add any overlays or tissue (traditionally used to prevent ink smudging, but now more often used to add extra dimension and detail) to your invitation card, making sure they are centered and in place (or in your alignment of choice).
- Then, going from largest to smallest, layer each of your insert cards on top of the other – always with the printed size facing up.
- Choose an alignment (left justified, centered, etc.) for your pieces and keep consistent with that as you layer up!
- Traditionally your RSVP card should be the last piece of the paper pyramid – but do what looks best for your suite!
- Your RSVP should be placed print-side-up inside the envelope (which will be stacked flap-side up) with the flap on the left side (like the photo below).
- To finish, wrap your suite together using your embellishment of choice (we love silk ribbon and a wax seal - but belly bands, printed vellum wraps, twine and string are other great options) to keep everything together!
Stationery by Papel & Co.
Artisaire Quick Tip: Always assemble your pieces separately before bringing them together – your inserts as one piece, your embellishments as a second, and your envelope addressing and stamps as a third.
Step 2: Working With Embellishments
Sticking with the basic layering technique is always a safe option, but let’s be honest – your wedding is NOT the time to play it safe! 😉
Adding embellishments like ribbon, wax seals and beautiful paper to your suite using simple, yet effective techniques can turn even the simplest invites into a gorgeous, professional-looking suite that’s perfect for your dream wedding!
Here are the most popular embellishments to choose from:
- Wax Seals
- Silk Ribbon
- Vintage Postage
- Envelope Liners
- Printed Envelopes
- Calligraphy Addressing
- Belly Bands
- Vellum Wraps (printed or unprinted)
- Custom Stickers
- Custom Stamps
- Die Cut Tags
Artisaire Quick Tips:
1. Quality is key
- While it might seem like all wax seals, envelope liners and ribbon are created equal – investing in one quality piece vs. 3 sub-par pieces will make a way bigger impact on your finished suite and will be WAY easier to use!
- Order samples if you’re unsure which brand to buy from and make sure to download our free buying guide, here.
2. Start early
- This part of your invitation process is way too much fun to rush through – so give yourself plenty of time! Give yourself at least 2 weeks to tackle assembly before your must-send date!
- Also make sure to add samples into your timeline with LOTS of time in case you need to change course or order more samples from other companies! Click here for our top planning tips!
3. Look for shortcuts
- There are some great tools out there that will save you tons of time when it comes to assembling your invites like designer envelopes and premade wax seals. We’ve had thousands of brides simplify their assembly by switching from DIY to premade wax seals for their invites – which look totally gorgeous, are mailable, and will save you over 2 hours of assembly time! More on this coming up!
Step 3: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Just like anything – the more you practice the better you’ll be!
If you’ve never worked with wedding invitations or paper crafting before, set aside some extra time to play with your stationery and extras, especially if you’re making some of the elements yourself!
The most common pieces brides get stuck on are wax seals, silk ribbon and envelope liners – because they take more time and technique to master. To help you add these pieces to your suite like a pro,
we’ve created quick assembly guides for each one, below:
This top trending embellishment is a great example of why practice is so important!
Having spent the last 25 years mastering our own technique - how to make a wax seal is the #1 question we get asked by brides who are starting their invitation assembly!
For our full wax seal guide, click here, or for a quick recap, keep reading! 😊
2. While your wax heats up, chill your solid brass wax stamp on ice – allowing it to chill completely.
3. Once heated, gently squeeze the trigger of your wax gun (using a second wax stick to push the first wax stick through) to pour a small circle of wax onto your surface (1-1.5 squeezes per 1” wax seal).
4. Then, wiping off any moisture from your stamp with a microfiber cloth or your hand, gently press your chilled wax seal into the hot wax
5. Allow to cool for 10-15 seconds.
6. Reveal your wax seal by gently peeling your stamp off the cooled wax. If it sticks – wait a few more seconds and try again!
Artisaire Quick Tip: Premade wax seals will save you all the time and stress of mastering this technique so you can sit back and enjoy the look without the mess or fuss – plus if you’ order 100 seals or more, they’ll actually save you money too! For more info on these time-saving beauties, click here!
Silk ribbon is one of the prettiest ways to add shape and color to your suite!
Made from natural silk and hand dyed, you can use this ribbon to wrap your invitation suite into a pretty little package, create gorgeous hang tags for your favors, or to embellish your menus and programs!
The biggest question you’ve probably been asking is how much ribbon you need for your invitations?
While that depends on the look you’re after – a full invitation wrap for a standard 5” x 7“ invite usually needs 14-18” of ribbon. Most often sold in yards, you can easily create 10 beautifully wrapped invitations per 5-yard spool.
Here are 3 of our favorite ways to style it:
- Iron your ribbon before assembly to smooth out any crinkles or lines – making it easier to work with!
- If you’re working with a large spool of ribbon, pre-cut your ribbon into equal sections to ensure a consistent wrap length from invite to invite.
- Looking for a different way of styling ribbon? Create a small ribbon tail underneath your wax seal for a special, economical detail that’s perfect for programs, menus and invites alike!
- Adding a wax seal to your bow? The DIY stamp method shared above is your best bet – but if you’re working with premade seals, just make sure your knot is as flat as possible, so the adhesive has room to do its job!
Artisaire Quick Tip: Make sure your ribbon is inside an outer envelope when mailing. Those loops and hanging tails are not mailing friendly and won’t be processed by the post office if they’re on the outside of the envelope!
Photo by: Plume Calligraphy
Calligraphy addressing, vintage stamps, paper color – you’ve probably already thought about how you’d like the outside of your envelopes to look… but what about the inside?
Envelope liners are the perfect secret weapon that’ll spruce up your envelopes, because #nomoreboringenvelopes is totally a thing, and we’re here for it!
Here are our top tips for adding envelope liners like a pro:
1. First, find the perfect envelope liner for your style of envelope!
2. Then, insert your liner (print-side up) so that it’s perfectly centered in your envelope – making sure the edge of your liner is below the pre-gummed portion of the envelope flap!
3. Carefully fold the envelope (with liner inside) flap down, creating a crease in the liner.
4. Folding the envelope liner flap back down to expose the back of it, use a glue stick to add glue to the back of the flap.
5. Fold the envelope flap back down, pressing firmly to attach the two and remove any air bubbles between the layers.
6. Voila! A beautiful designer envelope complete with your favorite liner design!
Artisaire Quick Tip: NOT ALL ENVELOPE LINERS WILL WORK WITH ALL ENVELOPES! Make sure you’re buying an envelope liner that will fit your exact style of envelope and double check with your brand before buying! For example, our envelope liners were designed to fit our envelopes exactly but won’t work with a square flap envelope.
Step 4: Look for Shortcuts
Wondering if there’s an easier way?
There are tons of great shortcuts that can help save time off assembling your invites – it’s just a matter of doing your research!
Lucky, we’ve already done that for you!
1. Premade Wax Seals
- Of course, premade wax seals are our #1 assembly shortcut, well because they really do save so much time! If you’re making your own wax seals – you’ll need to buy all the supplies, get everything set up, spend a few hours practicing your technique, then spend 3+ hours working with hot wax and expensive wedding invitations – a potentially dangerous combo!
- Premade wax seals will save you time so you can simply peel off the adhesive backing and stick to directly onto your invite. No mess and no fuss, which means more time for you and your girlfriends to enjoy wine + bachelor night! 😉
2. Pre-printed Envelopes
- Whether your handwriting is beautiful or not (no judgement here!), pre-printed envelopes are a HUGE time saver. It takes most professional stationers/calligraphers several hours to address 100 envelopes – let alone how much time it’ll take you to do it yourself! Most companies you buy from will offer pre-printed envelopes as a service so you can simply upload your guest list and they’ll take care of the rest.
3. Calligraphy Addressing
- If you’re in love with calligraphy – hire a calligrapher to address your invitations! This is a service that most calligraphers offer year-round, so simply find your favorite, send them your guest list and envelopes and they’ll take care of the rest! Just remember that this takes time – sometimes +2-3 weeks (plus how far in advance your calligrapher can book you in), so add this to your timeline and reach out early so there’s no deadlines to worry about! 😉
4. Shop by Look
- If you’re already sweating over how to layer your pieces and would way rather work off an existing example – shop for your stationery with that in mind! Whether you choose a semi-custom suite from your favorite stationer (who may even offer assembly services) or your favorite pre-designed template from one of the big brand retailers – find a picture of the suite you love and take notes on how they styled it before creating your own!
5. Assembly Services
- The last shortcut on our list is to hire someone to do the assembly for you! If you’re shopping custom – your stationer will likely include assembly as an optional service (which we highly recommend), and most semi-custom suites will have that option as well. No practice, no trial and error, no wasted invites from assembly gone wrong, hiring a professional to assemble your suite is without a doubt THE biggest time and stress saver out there!
Step 5: Assemble, Assemble, Assemble!
Now that you’ve got your plan, your stationery and your shortcuts decided, it’s time to start assembly!
Before diving in, make a list of your assembly to-dos, print out a final copy of your guest list and prepare all your materials so you’ve got everything you’ll need close by!
Oh… and don’t forget to grab a glass of wine (or coffee), a few girlfriends and your favorite playlist and get to work – this is supposed to be fun after all!
And in case you need a little more inspo before you dive in, here are 4 step-by-step styling guides created by our 2019 Stylist Series Artists:
The Wrap Up
Now that you’ve got assembly taken care of – there’s just one step left before sending those paper pretties out!
Up next we’re sharing our top tips for How to Mail Your Invitations The Artisaire Way – a must-read post you won’t want to miss!
See you there!