Now the matter of veto-ing the numbers is finally out of the way, we're ready for the fun part: picking our invitations.
There's a whole host of beautiful, uniquely crafted design options available both online and on the high street. I've come across everything from invitations printed on tea towels, wooden postcards, magnets and even cupcakes!
Now, it's traditional for invitations to complement your chosen 'theme' and colour scheme, but as organised as I am trying to be, I am yet to find a bridesmaid dress style I like (more on that later!) – which I'm hoping will tie our colour theme together. Hmm decisions!
I briefly considered making my own invites – but was stopped in my tracks by my wise friend Laura's bridal hindsight - who assured me it was more hassle than it was worth after she spent weeks glueing and sticking on repeat.
In my quest I came across an independent company called Norma & Dorothy and was immediately drawn to their vintage style invitations, all of which can be customised. Perfect for a picky bride like me, then.
Grace the friendly designer contacted me so I could specify exactly what I did and didn't want to include (for example, I was happy to write my own addresses out on the envelopes in order to save the pennies but you can pay extra to have this done and save yourself the hassle).
Now I just had to decide which design to plump for! It was a toss up between the peach and mint candy stripe design and the vintage bunting and doily style. Since I think (finger's crossed!) I've found the bridesmaid dresses I like in a vintage style – I'm leaning towards the pretty bunting design. And of course it isn't a wedding these days without bunting, right?
After we decided on the wording on the invites, we were sent a PDF to approve before they went to print.
We decided to cut costs by losing the additional card insert with directions and hotel information and my clever hubby-to-be created us our own wedding website – where our friends and family can find out all they need to know ahead of the big day, as well as RSVP and request songs for the reception – therefore meaning we didn't have to pay out for RSVP cards. Thifty, eh?
Once I get my RSVPs back I'm going to order the matching table plan, table numbers and favour tags to match I think to complete the look. And start making some bunting to deck the halls with, obvs.
Here's my pick of the best invites out there…
The crafting community founded in 2005 is basically a treasure trove of quirky, individually hand crafted options for your wedding stationery (yes it's actually called that!) in a virtual marketplace for sellers and buyers alike.
Here's some of my favourites:
Not On The High Street
NOTHS is home - just like Etsy - to thousands of unique sellers all cherry picked by stylish buyers under one virtual roof. Along with some fabulously curated wedding ideas, here's some of my fave invitations on offer:
White Cottage Weddings
This independent Northamptonshire based wedding stationers will custom design your invites – whether you want an annotated map or a more traditional design – the sky's the limit and the prices are reasonable for a truly one-off original show-stopping invite.
Norma & Dorothy
This independent stationer produces chic, vintage style handcrafted invites from their studio in Manchester. With dozens of design variations all featuring a rustic aesthetic, you can request a sample if you ask nicely.
Next week: Food for thought