Wedding Invitation Tips & Trends

Wedding Invitation Tips & Trends


The Expert Tips & Advice is an interview series with local wedding professionals. We talk about trends, ideas and advice to make wedding planning easier for the couple.

EmDesign Iowa Wedding Invitations & Stationery | | Facebook

Your wedding stationary is the first glimpse your guests get into your wedding. A beautifully done save-the-date or invitation will give them a sense of your style. Emily, owner of EmDesign, wants every bride and groom to get oohs and aahs from amazing wedding invitations.

Emily welcomes brides and grooms to come to her with their own ideas, and loves to create unique designs, as well. She can bring custom visions to life, such as die-cutting any shape a bride can dream up for a truly special invitation design. As a graphic designer, Emily’s wedding invitations & stationery business, EmDesign, has been open for three years. She loves designing invitations by incorporating the personal elements and sentimental touches that really show the bride and groom’s personality.

Silhouette - Ceremony program with a bridal party silhouette

EmDesign offers invitations and stationary as single items and in packages. Packages can include invitations, details cards and RSVP cards. Additionally, many couples also have Emily design ceremony programs, thank you cards, and save the date cards. Reception signage, place cards and seating charts are also available.

The first step to getting the perfect wedding invitations is meeting with Emily to discuss ideas. While EmDesign is located in Cedar Rapids, she works with couples throughout Iowa. Ideally, a couple would book Emily’s services about six months before the wedding for the design process. Most initial consultations take about one hour and can be done in person or over the phone. “I typically meet in person, if possible. This way they can see and feel the samples and see examples. For phone consultations, I email them a presentation they can scroll through as we talk to help them visualize the examples and packages I’m sharing with them.”

Flowerwood - Pocketfold suite with belly band and die cut embelishment wedding invitations with pink flowers

Emily often gets asked about the invitation timeline. Emily creates a personalized timeline with all her wedding couples for sending out the invitations etc. so the pathway is set for them at the beginning. “Each couple is provided with a personalized stationery timeline that we determine together so they can fit it into their own planning as they see fit (with my recommendations taken into consideration as well). Once the couple has all the details finalized, they receive a proof within 2 weeks and edits are made quickly. The whole process can be done in 2 weeks from start to finish if the couple has all their details buttoned up ahead of time. More commonly, invitations take a month, as they usually want parents, pastors, etc., to review them before ordering.”

Wedding invitation text does not have to be “stuffy” when you have a casual event.

Another concern couples have is the wording for their wedding invitations. Emily’s expertise with wedding invitation wording etiquette means that couples don’t have to worry. She has suggestions and recommendations so she can let you know the rules for formal versus informal wording options.

The invitation should really set the tone for the wedding. There’s a definite difference between “We request your presence” and “Join us for the celebration.” Choosing the right wording for your invitation gives your guests a sense of the type of event they can expect.

wedding invitations and stationary with fall leaves

Emily wants to help couples stay organized and provides her clients with a guest list planner. They use this to track what they have sent to whom. For example, anyone that receives a save-the-date definitely needs to receive an invitation. The planner also tracks who has RSVP’ed and who has been sent a thank you note.

Trends Emily is seeing now:
– “Rustic elegance” is over-taking the casual “country barn” trend;
– Upscale scripty fonts are big;
– Personalities of the couple shine through with invitations, using things like hobbies, the love of wine or sports;
– Seating charts are becoming more popular, and using programs for seating charts;
– RSVP postcards “Paper RSVPs are still more popular than online RSVPs,” Emily says;
– Signage at the wedding to let guests know about social media hashtags.

Splurge Versus Save
“RSVP cards should not be skipped,” says Emily. “Price conscious couples may think skipping them could save money, but actually it could end up costing the couple more on food they don’t need. Ask your caterer when they need the final food count and then pad your RSVP return date by a few weeks. If you have guests that haven’t responded, call them. It may be uncomfortable to get on the phone, but it’s worth it for an accurate guest count.”

baseball themed wedding invitations

A’s to my Q’s: Emily says:
Weddings and happiness go hand in hand.
You should never get married without: A sentimental touch.
Electric Slide, Chicken Dance, or Watching from the bar? Electric Slide

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About Becky Appleby

Becky's clients rely on her easy creativity to make them look good, while her attention to details give them one less thing to worry about. She's a freelance writer and blogger for businesses at For over 15 years, she has also run Appleby Photography, photographing hundreds of weddings and creating gorgeous albums for her brides. Visit her websites to learn more.