How To Style Your Stationery

The Artisaire Way

Have you been struggling to build the perfect wedding invitations? Feel like something is missing but can’t figure out what it is?

Or maybe you don’t know where to start or whether they’re “good enough” to pull the trigger on?

We’ve got you, girl!

Using this super simple technique, you’ll learn how to build an invitation suite you love that’s bursting with style and personality! Plus, at the very end we’re sharing 10 of our favorite invitation looks that’ll leave you excited and inspired to go off and create your own!   

Who is this guide for?

If you’re creating your own wedding invitations – either pre-designed or DIY, answered yes to the questions above, or simply want to gather some great ideas for your wedding – this guide is for you!

By the end of this guide you’ll have learned:   

  • How to find your stationery style
  • Where to look for inspiration
  • How to choose the right layout
  • What fonts are best for your style
  • What colors you should use and how best to use them
  • The secret printing methods you didn’t know you needed
  • The best way to add style to your invites and tools you need to make them

Sounds pretty good, right? 

Here’s How to Create Your Invitations The Artisaire Way:

  • Get Inspired
  • Find Your Stationery Style
  • Find A Layout You Love
  • Fall In Love With Your Font
  • Get Colorful
  • P-Print It Real Good
  • Accessorize It

1.  Get Inspired

There’s nothing worse than trying to make creative decisions from an uninspired place.

Now this can come from anywhere! Hopping on Instagram or Pinterest and flooding your brain with beautiful images, getting outside or trying something new.

Inspiration can come in any way, shape, or form that works best for you!

Here are 5 easy ways to get inspired:    

  • Go outside
  • Move your body
  • Watch a new movie/read a new book
  • Tidy up your space
  • Call a friend to catch up

Bonus Activity: How to Fight FOMO

As much as we try to pretend it’s not real – FOMO absolutely is a thing. If you’ve felt yourself falling into the comparison trap, know you’re not alone!

The best way to fight FOMO when searching for wedding inspo on social media is to bring mindfulness back to your scroll using these 3 techniques: 

  • Break it down: Instead of saying “oh my gosh, I love that”, pinning it and moving on – break the image down into its smaller pieces so you can identify what you love the most.
  • Be specific: Once you’ve broken it down, what is it specifically that you love about each of the smaller pieces? The more specific you are, the more you’ll be able to recreate it – which helps to negate feeling powerless which is a total by-product of FOMO.
  • Do your research: Social media is a beautiful place, but not necessarily an information-rich one! When you see something you love, reach out to the maker (or do some quick googling) to get a basic idea of time and cost. This will help you stay on-track with your budget and timeline and be more realistic about the things you’re seeing! 

2.  Find Your Stationery Style

Now that you’re fully inspired and ready to go, it’s time to talk style!

If you've already worked through our Theme Building Guide, you'll have a pretty good idea of how your invites should look!  Whether your wedding is modern, traditional, super casual or full of tropical vibes – your invitations should be the paper version of that!

From the paper you choose to the colors, print style and embellishments – you’ll use these pieces to bring your style to life, so having a set look before you get started will make the next 5 steps of the design process SO much easier!  

Here are the most popular invitation styles for 2019: 

Still not sure which style you like best? This chart will help:   

Look for:

  • Calligraphy and serif fonts
  • Intricate monograms
  • Handmade paper
  • Letterpress printing and gold foil
  • Center-aligned layouts
  • Wax seals
  • Ribbon
  • Embossers

Look for:

  • Sans serif fonts
  • Crisp, clean lines
  • Extra thick paper, acrylic and vellum
  • Offset and blind press printing
  • Offset alignment with lots of negative space
  • Modern wax seals
  • Vellum overlays and envelope liners

Look for:

  • Warm paper colors like taupe, rust, mauve, ochre and tan
  • Letterpress, offset or digital print
  • Foil accents
  • Ribbon
  • Grasses and dried foliage
  • Wax seals

Look for:

  • Bright, bold colors
  • Clean stationery and double thick cardstock
  • Letterpress printing with lots of color and pattern
  • Pattern and print
  • Envelope liners and bright wax seals

3.  Find A Layout You Love

Now that your style is set, it’s time to pick the perfect layout for your suite!

When it comes to layout, go with your gut! As long as your layout has enough room for all the important details and you love the way it looks – you’ll have made a great choice!

Whichever layout you choose, make sure you’ve got enough room for:   

  • Host's Names
  • Invitation + Request Lines
  • Your Names
  • Date & Time
  • Location
  • Reception Line

Stationery by Ciarra Claire

While you’re searching for the perfect layout, here are a few helpful things to look for:

1.  First Impression

  • Pay attention to where you eye goes first! You and your partner’s names should take center stage – so choose a layout with that in mind! 

2.  Text Max

  • Some invitations will have a max cap for how many letters you can fit per line, so if you have long names or need to add lots of text – double check to make sure they’ll fit before setting your heart on that design!

3.  Placement

  • You’ll be able to add your own text to most invitations before checking out, so make sure you’re happy with the shapes and placement of your letters. Not all brands offer placement changes for pre-designed suites, so make sure you create that preview and are happy with how it looks!

4.  Font Style

  • If you’re shopping for pre-designed invitations, your font choice will likely be set. Make sure it fits your style and if so, will you be able to pair it easily with other font styles when you go to make your details card or day-of stationery? They don’t have to match but they should “go” together nicely!

5.  Negative Space

  • Pay attention to how much white space there is in your layout. More negative space will give your invitations a more modern feel while traditional invitations will often look much more “full”.

4.  Fall in Love With Your Font

Font is a super fun way to style your suite because it can add movement, shape, flow, and structure to an otherwise simple layout! 

Let’s break ‘em down:  

1.  Serif

  • Serif fonts have small caps on the end of each letter line making them look much more formal than other font styles. Perfect for more traditional-themed weddings, this is a great feature font for your invites and can be a nice alternative to the traditional script font.

2.  Sans Serif

  • Sans serif fonts are the opposite of serif as they are clean-lined without caps on the ends of each letter line. This style of font is perfect as a secondary font to either a serif or a script font and will create a much more modern look. Sans serif fonts are especially popular when used in the lower portion of an invite (time & date, venue, and reception details).

3.  Script

  • Script fonts are flowing, cursive fonts traditionally used for the bride and groom’s names. With a whole range of different styles – script fonts can be formal (like copperplate-style calligraphy) or fun (like brush-lettering), making them a great option for any style of suite you plan on making!
  • Artisaire Quick Tip: Traditional script styles will be more angular, finer, have sharper corners and more flourishes, while modern script styles are typically wider, more whimsical and bolder in their shapes.

4.  Specialty

  • Specialty fonts go outside of the other 3 categories and will have a style all their own. These fonts are experimental and should only be used if they are a perfect match for your theme!

Artisaire Quick Tip: Mixing different font styles is a great way to add a little extra something to your suite – plus it helps guide your guests to each different section of your invitation. When mixing fonts, try to stick with two – any more than that is likely to be confusing!

Here are a few of our favorite font pairings: 

5.  Get Colorful

Have you ever heard anyone say, “oh, I can’t wear that… it’s [color name here]!”?

Let this be all the permission you need to get creative with color for your wedding invites!

Whether that means going with the same 90-color palette you’ve built for your big day, or simply choosing one color and doing it incredibly well – color is one of the biggest ways you can add your style and personality to your invites and can be added in SO MANY WAYS:  

  • Paper
  • Ink
  • Envelopes
  • Overlays
  • Wax Seals
  • Belly Bands
  • Envelope Liners
  • Ribbon Wrap
  • Pretty Postage
  • Colored Calligraphy Addressing
  • Printed Envelopes

If you’re still trying to decide how to add color to your suite, here are 4 easy ways to build a knock-out color palette for your wedding invitations that’ll leave you with #allthefeels: 

1.  Keep It Simple:  The easiest way to add color to your stationery is to build a quick 3-color palette inspired by your theme – don’t worry, it’s way easier than it sounds!

  • Step 1: Pick one color you feel best represents your theme (like navy blue for a nautical theme or your favorite shade of rust for a boho-chic one) – this will be the accent color for your stationery and should be used for things like ink color, envelopes and embellishments.
  • Step 2: Pick one metallic shade to add a little shimmer. This could be inspired by your wedding bands, your dinnerware, or even your venue! Use this metallic shade to foil print your names on your invites or have your calligrapher address your envelopes in for a little extra sparkle.
  • Step 3: Round out your palette with a pretty neutral like white, ivory or tan! This should be the base of your invitations and is a great option for your paper color! Drawing inspiration from your wedding dress, bouquets or table linens is a great choice here!

Photo by Stephanie Brauer  |  Planning by DM Events  NY

2.  Color Play:  

  • If your wedding theme is packed with color – make sure your invitations are too! The best way to add unexpected pops of color is with embellishments because you can layer many colors and textures on top of each other in fun and playful ways!

Stationery by Swell Press Paper

Stationery by Twinkle & Toast

3.  Ombré All Day

  • This is one of the best ways to add color to your invites if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options or are looking for something a little more sophisticated! The best part? You only need to pick one color!

    Let’s say you’re having a beautiful coastal wedding with navy blue as your main accent color. Your groomsmen are wearing navy blue suits and you've got blue sprinkled throughout your decor - but when it comes to your stationery, you're after a softer look that still feels totally on trend? 

    Ombré your stationery by using different intensities of the same color!  Take the example below - by adding a soft blue and white printed envelopes liner and soft blue postage stamps, it beautifully highlights the deep blue envelopes - while still keep the invitations themselves soft, airy and ethereal!  

Photo by Sarah Kate Photo  |  Planning by DFW Events

Photo by Luna de Mare  | Paper by Plume Calligraphy

4. Monochromatic

  • If you’re not a huge fan of color – no problem! There are lots of other ways you can incorporate your theme into your invites like print style, font and embellishments.

    Going monochromatic with your invites is a great look for any style! If you’re hosting a modern, contemporary wedding – stick with crisp tones of black and white with clean lines and sharp edges for a sleek and sophisticated look!

    If you’re going for a more old-world, vintage or traditional vibe – use warmer neutrals like taupe, bronze and cream to play up your theme for your invitations while still keeping the palette neutral.  

Stationery by Saffron Avenue

Stationery by PaperOcelot Studios

See how well you can bring your theme to life using color? 

6.  P-Print It Real Good!

Printing your invites is another great opportunity to add style and flair!

Depending on the type of invitations you’re buying and where you’re buying them from, you’ll have different printing options available. 

Here are the most popular options and why they're the perfect choice for your invites! ;)  

1.  Letterpress

Letterpress uses an inked, engraved plate to create a beautiful impression on your invites and is gorgeous for both text and illustrations!

This is the ultimate style of printing for both traditional and modern invites as it creates beautiful texture and dimension that’s hard to create with anything else!

Stationery by Swell Press Paper

Artisaire Quick Tip: Choose handmade paper, cotton cardstock or double thick cardstock for best results.  

2.  Blind Press

Blind Press uses the same technique as letterpress, but no ink is used so it creates a blank impression.

This totally stunning print method is PERFECT for modern invitation suites, playful suites and monochromatic suites looking for a little something “extra”!

Stationery by Swell Press Paper

3.  Foil Press

The ultimate luxury, foil pressed invitations are created by an engraved plate that’s been covered in metallic foil and heated. Once pressed into your invites, it will create the most beautiful metallic impression and immediately elevate your entire suite!

If you love a little shimmer, look no further – this is a must-have for you!

Stationery by Swell Press Paper

Artisaire Quick Tip: Foil press comes in lots of other colors than just gold foil – so don’t be afraid to go outside the box if other colors are calling your name!  

For a full in-depth look at all the different printing and paper options you can choose for your invites, click here:

7.  Accessorize It!

It’s time to talk accessories!

If you’ve gotten your invitations back and you’re feeling a little underwhelmed OR the whole reason you wanted wedding invitations in the first place was to fuel your wax seal obsession (snaps for you!), embellishments are going to turn it all around!  

Embellishments are the accessories of the stationery world. Wax seals, ribbon, vellum, belly bands, stamps, liners, envelopes – just THINK of all the amazing pieces you can add to your invites!

Let’s get to it! 

When choosing the right accessories for your suite, it’s important to keep these 5 rules in mind: 

1.  Start Early

Don’t leave your embellishments to the last minute! If you’re ordering custom wax seals or printed envelope liners, these things can take time – so plan ahead and order early to save yourself time and money!

2.  Build It Into Your Budget

These “extras” are often overlooked when building your stationery budget, but they can add up, so make sure you’re setting aside some money for these ever-important finishing touches!

3.  Use Color

This is the easiest way to add a little extra color to your suite after they’ve been printed. Layering silk ribbon and a wax seal can immediately transform the look of your invites – just as an envelope liner can bring a pop of personality to the inside of an otherwise plain envelope. 

4. Layer

Think of your invitations like wrapping a present. Layering different embellishments together is a great way to add style and surprise for your guests!

Photo by Mason Neufeld Photography | Stationery by PaperOcelot Studios

Artisaire Quick Tip: Layer your insert cards on top of each other (from largest to smallest), then wrap them together using your favorite ribbon (or belly band) and finish with a wax seal. This gorgeous package not only looks amazing but will be so much fun for your guests to unwrap!  

5. Practice

Don't forget to save time to practice your technique!  Whether you're making wax seals, adding envelope liners to your invites, or wrapping ribbon - plan ahead so you can perfect your technique without rushing at the last minute!

Artisaire Quick Tip: For more assembly tips and tricks, click here: 

10 Unforgettable Invitations That Will Inspire You To Make Your Own

Before you dive in to create your own invites, here are 10 unforgettable invitation looks that will help inspire you as you go off to create your own: 

Watercolor Romance

by Ciarra Claire

Artisaire Quick Tip:  Printed vellum envelopes with a gorgeous watercolor floral creates an instant feeling of subtle romance!

Moody Botanicals

by Underwood Letterpress

Artisaire Quick Tip:  Soften dramatic envelopes by pairing your envelopes with a romantic envelope liner like these beautiful botanicals!

Flamingo Fun

by Plume Calligraphy

Artisaire Quick Tip:  There's nothing better than adding a totally unique insert to your invitations like this flamingo art print!  Go big and get creative - if you do, your guests will never forget!

Illustration Love

by Jenny Sanders

Artisaire Quick Tip:  Want to create modern minimalist invitations, but love florals?  Line drawings are the perfect way to do this - as an envelope liner, an insert or as part of the invitation itself, they are perfectly imperfect!

Wonderful Wreaths

by Summit and Sage

Artisaire Quick Tip:  Whether you're having a modern, traditional or playful wedding - a wreath is a beautiful way to add detail to otherwise simple invitations.  Plus, they go perfectly with wax seals! ;)

Inspired Illustrations

by PaperOcelot Studios

Artisaire Quick Tip:  Bring your venue to life by adding a custom illustration to your invitations!  Adding charm, personality and instant connection for your guests - this is SO worth hiring a designer for - you'll be so glad you did!

Black & Tan

by Michaela McBride Calligraphy

Artisaire Quick Tip:  Meet modern monochromatic.  Black, tan and vellum are a match made in heaven that can only be beat with the addition of an embellished wax seal!  Give this palette ago for instant elegance!

Modern Tropics

by Poppy + Birch CA

Artisaire Quick Tip: Incorporating the same motif across your envelopes, inserts and invitations instantly makes your suite look like it was done like a pro and all of your pieces pop!  Better yet - work with a custom designer to create your own!

Heirloom Magic

by The Idea Emporium

Artisaire Quick Tip:  Invitations don't have to be just pieces of paper!  Adding special things like invitation boxes or a custom heirloom invitation folder like this one are incredibly special details that will mean the world to your friends and family!

Incredible Acrylic

by Papel & Co.

Artisaire Quick Tip:  There's nothing more modern than a round acrylic Save the Date!  Get creative with yours by playing with size, shape and materials - there are no rules when it comes to creative wedding stationery!

Unicorn Party

by Twinkle & Toast

Artisaire Quick Tip:  Pump up the party by adding playful details like unicorn wax seals, bright envelopes and fun painted details!

Letterpress Impress

by Swell Press

Artisaire Quick Tip:  Letterpress is for so much more than just text!  Think outside the box and partner with a pro and you'll never go wrong!

The Wrap Up

No matter how you style your invitations, who you send them to, or how big of a guest list you have, remember that this is YOUR DAY! It’s about you and your partner – not anyone else, so make this day one that YOU will be proud to remember forever and everything else will fall into place!

Until next time friend!

Happy Styling,

The Artisaire Team