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Ultimate Guide to Wedding Invitations

Working in the wedding industry I am constantly asked by couples which type of invitation I would recommend for them. Below I help to cut through the misinformation and provide you with all my knowledge and experience.

Invitations can broadly fit into six categories:

1. DIY Invitations

2. Electronic Invitations

3. Professionally made Paper Invitations 

4. Magnet Invitations

5. Engraved Wooden Invitations

6. Engraved Acrylic Invitations

Below we review each category. Remember it is your day, so choose what is right for you.

DIY invitations

Price Range $1.00 - $9.00 ea.

DIY weddings are very popular at the moment and many brides are choosing to make their own invitations because it allows them to control the creative process, save costs and truly personalise their invitations. With so many papers, embellishments and tools available, it is no wonder people are opting for the DIY option.

The Good: Great sense of accomplishment from making your own invite, cheaper than professionally made invitations, lots of options and tutorials available

The Bad: Need a lot of spare time to put them together, if not done well can come off looking very cheap, materials and required equipment can be quite expensive

The Bottom Line: If you are a very crafty person and have a lot of spare time on your hands, then I say go for it. If you are unable to tick both of the above boxes I would stick to another type on invite.


Electronic Invitations

Price Range Free - $0.50 ea.

Electronic Invitations commonly referred to as e-vites are another form of invitation. Sent either as emails or through social networks, such as Facebook, their use for social gatherings has been well established. Their use in weddings remains small but is slowly growing primarily for informal, small weddings.

The Good: Can be created quickly, cost is either very low or free, easy to manage guest list

The Bad: Very informal, unable to reach older or non-tech savvy family members, may trivialize what is a very important event

The Bottom Line: Call me old fashioned but I like receiving something in the post. There is something more formal and proper about receiving a well-made invitation through the mail. Avoid Electronic Invitations for all but the most informal wedding.


Professionally made Paper Invitations

Price Range $6.00 - $20.00+ ea.

There is something special about receiving a beautiful professionally made paper invite in the mail. There is a lot of competition in the wedding market for wedding invites and you have most likely noticed all types of boutique businesses popping up offering an array of styles and trends to compliment the theme of your wedding day.

The Good: There are almost endless options in the market, you can select something that perfectly matches your theme, removes a lot of the hard work such as guest names etc.

The Bad: They can take a long time to be made, can be very expensive, can be very elegant but generally lack the wow factor as they are the standard option for most couples

The Bottom Line: Professionally made paper invitations are generally quite stunning when done well and there are lots of invitation professionals out there who produce fantastic work. Whether or not this justifies the expense of something that quite often ends up in the trash is up to the couple. My personal opinion is that they lack the wow factor other options provide and cost more.


Magnet invitations

Price Range $2.10 - $2.50 ea.

What did you say? Magnet invitations? That's right! Magnet invitations are a brilliant invitation idea with the added feature of practicality. There is always the worry that a guest may misplace their invite or forget the wedding details. This way it is on their fridge and in their view each day.

The Good: Large variety of Invitation Magnets available, are full colour and can feature photos (e.g. engagement or location photos), very practical, will fit into any budget, save the dates also available to match the same theme

The Bad: Due to the way they are printed you are unable to have individual guest names, aren't as formal as high end paper or engraved invitations

The Bottom Line: Magnet invitations are a great option for a couple on a budget and are the most practical invitation on the market. Including a photo of the couple or a shot of the wedding location in the design makes the invitation truly personalised and are likely to feature on recipients fridges for years to come.


Engraved Wooden Invitations

Price Range $7.20 - $12.50 ea.

If you are channeling a rustic/country/wine region theme then engraved wooden invitations are likely to be the perfect fit for you. People are always looking for something new in the market and something that will make a lasting impression on their guests, with wooden invitations representing a stylish and unique alternative to traditional paper invitations.

The Good: Very unique with a lot of WOW factor, cost is below professionally made paper invitations and almost in line with handmade invites, can include guest names, come with magnetic backing (so can be placed on the fridge)

The Bad: May not suit all wedding themes, are non-traditional so many not be to everyone's tastes

The Bottom Line: I fell in love with the wooden invitations the minute I saw them. The finish and detail which is achievable using a computer guided laser engraving machine is amazing. The wood itself is also very light weight and very strong, meaning they cost no more to post than regular invitations. They are also available in two sizes DL and 11B / 11b horizontal and can be paired with wooden save the dates, place cards, centrepieces and menus to compliment your wedding theme. If you are having a country or rustic themed wedding I couldn't recommend them highly enough.

Engraved Acrylic Invitations

Price Range $5.00 - $9.00 ea.

Acrylic Invitations are the hottest item in the invitation market at the moment. Available in a variety of colours the design and colour can be used to match the style and theme of the wedding. At a price below both traditional paper invitations and engraved Wooden Invitations, acrylic invitation offer an enticing and unique invitation option.

The Good: Range of colours and designs available to suit almost all wedding themes, cheaper than both traditional paper invitations and engraved wooden invitations, able to incorporate guest names, made from strong but light acrylic, on darker shades of acrylic you can include a magnetic backing. These are also available in the 11B, DL, Round, Royal Style and Square sizes.

The Bad: On lighter shades of acrylic such as clear and frosted you are unable to have a magnetic backing, due to the material you are unable to fold the invitation.

The Bottom Line: Engraved Acrylic invitations have the WOW factor in abundance. Like the Engraved Wooden Invitations they are engraved using state of the art computer guided laser engraving machines, meaning they feature amazing detail and there are no restrictions on artwork design. They also have matching save the date, place cards and gift tags. Given their versatility and uniqueness I believe acrylic invitations are likely to continue to become more and more popular.

The Verdict: Choosing the right invitation is a personal decision that will largely be dictated by your choice of theme and budget. For this reason my preference is for acrylic invitations which are attractively priced and are completely versatile to suit most wedding themes. My final piece of advice is to choose something you think your guests will treasure and have fun with it. At Personalised Favours we provide a range of unique invitations to suit any budget.

You can view our whole range here.

By: Melissa Wilkinson
Melissa is the founder of Personalised Favours and has considerable experience in the wedding industry. She is commonly sought for comment on all things wedding related and has worked closely with thousands of couples to create invitations and wedding favours that are truly unique.