A basic wedding suite is just fine (heck, mine didn't even have a details card!) but if you're like a lot of brides trying to embellish your suite with trendy paper love, then have a look at my top picks for dressing up any wedding suite. Pick just one of these areas and you're sure to have the most "extra" invitations around.
1. DIGITAL ADDRESSING & CALLIGRAPHY
This is arguably one of the biggest and most popular add-ons that I do. It can be somewhat of an expense but unless you naturally have good handwriting (or have one extremely generous friend that does) printing your addresses is going to be the best way to go. It ensures that the post office will be able to read it clearly, and it looks SO much nicer than handwritten. Or, GASP, a label!
You can even go the extra mile by hiring a calligrapher to address your envelopes. I love that this technique is growing in popularity, and more and more brides are inquiring about it. Like many things on this list, it's a bit pricey, but it's one of those splurgy little details that really make your wedding unique and memorable.
2. ENVELOPE LINERS
Can I just say how happy I am that these are becoming a "must have" for my brides? For real, if a bride could add one single thing, it'd be the envelope liner. It's such a fantastic finishing piece that goes a long way in setting the tone for your wedding. Also, it can be photographed open to hide any unforgiving addressing on the front. No one has to know you used a label!
Brides, for real, consider this piece when making selections for your wedding suite. It's definitely one of the more cost-effective ways to jazz up your invitations and the options for it are seemingly endless.
3. BELLY BANDs & FOLDERs
Folders are also really popular for the bride who likes everything "just so" as my mama has always called it. You know your invitations will arrive intact because the folder or belly band keeps everything from bouncing around inside the envelope during mailing. (Because you KNOW that postman is not being careful like one little bit!)
I will admit, folders are a rather big increase as far as expense goes, so a good alternative would be including a belly band. They tend to be more budget-friendly since you can get multiple bands out of a single sheet of paper. Bonus points for the bride who requests vellum bands or wraps! She's always my bestie.
4. INVITATION MATS
This one is probably my most underrated embellishment. I LOVE a good mat but only my way. I don't usually do mats that stretch to all four sides of the invite card. Instead, I opt for a little peekaboo at the top and bottom only. It feels more sophisticated and is even a great place to add in some subtle sparkle or a little pop of color without it taking over the whole suite. That color or sparkle can also be carried over to other parts of the suite like your liners or even a belly band.
5. SILK RIBBON
I feel like this speaks for itself, right? Obvs adding gorgeous hand-dyed, silk ribbon is going to take your suite to the next level. Do you wanna be that extra? Yes, absolutely, you do.
6. CUSTOM & vintage STAMPS
Another embellishment that I've seen trending is custom postage that coordinates with your wedding suite design. Your designer can order these from a number of places. More confessions: these are pricey. I can't sugarcoat it. They just are. BUT they are also such a cool way to ensure that your wedding suite is fully coordinated and thought out. I mean, the forever flag stamp is cool when mailing in your rent check but not so much on your wedding invitations.
If you don't want to go the custom stamp route, there's also vintage stamps. They're available from a number of places, and if you're after that "stacked stamp" look, then this is what you're looking for. Vintage stamps allow you to add so much character to your suite before your guest even looks under the hood. Again, can't sugarcoat the expense. It's one of those splurgy things that requires a keen look at your budget. Most brides know certain areas where they wanna be totally extra, and if your wedding invitations are that place, then vintage or custom stamps are gonna be your best friend.
Full disclosure, the Post Office also has a bunch of different options for wedding stamps. They usually have several different designs, and they aren't marked up crazy amounts like their custom and vintage cousins. Postage is usually a forgotten expense when considering your wedding invitations, so if one more extra is going to break your budget, just go this route!
7. SPECIAL PROCESSING
For the bride who just isn't ok with flat printing, there are so many cool options available. From letterpress to embossing to thermography to foiling, there are tons of ways to take your invites to the next level.
My absolute fave (hands down!) is my hand-laid foil technique. I don't usually like to toot my own horn but when I first started out, I didn't have access to foiling my invitation suites in a traditional sense. I had to get creative! Having a couple kids and loads of crafting supplies, I began experimenting with different types of adhesives and heat sources. I'm totally NOT ashamed to admit that one of those adhesives was my daughter's purple disappearing glue stick! I did eventually find the perfect combo to create this gorgeous look. It's a technique you can only get with HoH and indeed some of my brides sign on just because of this foiling. I think it's because you can get just the right amount of sparkle without being too stuffy. I fall more in love with it each time it comes across my work table.
8. invitation flat lay
There are a couple ways to do this one. You can give your wedding photographer one of your suites beforehand, so they can take some detail shots with it. OR bring one full suite along with you on your wedding day. Your photographer can use items unique to your special day to create those pinterest-worthy shots. These are the details you'll look back on someday that will instantly suck you back in time to the day you married the partner of your dreams!
So don't forget to get this shot! After all, you just spent all this time, effort, and probably a good chunk of change inviting your guests to celebrate with you. Make sure your photographer knows you brought it along, so they can catch those detail shots with your rings, your shoes, your grandmother's hairpin, or whatever else is unique to your wedding.
So there you have it! These are my top picks for jazzing up that invitation suite. Some are more cost-effective while some basically require you to make it rain that hard-earned dough. No matter what your budget, talk to your stationer about how to give your invites some extra love. Paper can seem like such a frivolous expense but really, it's the first impression your guests will get about the kind of party you're throwing. Let's make sure it's fab!