You're engaged and in full-on planning mode! You're looking at venues, deciding on flowers and going to tastings. What's next? Save the dates, invitations, seating charts and signage! These things are not only important for obvious reasons, but they can also help set the vibe for your entire wedding! We spoke with Liz of Green Girl Design Co. to give you the best tips and tricks for designing your invitations and signage.
Q: Why should couple's hire someone to create their invitations and signage?
A: Just like an other aspect of your wedding day, trying to DIY invitations & signage can add stress where stress isn't necessary. If you're trusting florists to make your vision come to life with flowers, hair & makeup artists to make you look and feel your prettiest, and a DJ to create the vibe you're wanting on the dance floor, then you should also trust a stationer to create a cohesive look with all of the different suite items & signage you might need. Paper goods & signage is an opportunity to tie all of your colors together, direct guests throughout the day, and add personality throughout the venue with different fonts and designs that fit YOU - trust a professional who has done this for many many many weddings to do this for you.!
Q: How do you help couple's decide on a style or design?
A: One of the first things I like to tell couples who come to me with interest in custom invitations/signage is that your invitation suite is the first thing that guests see, and therefore the first idea they will get of what the event will look & feel like. I like to get to chat with clients a little bit first to try and get to know what they are like as a couple, and help them decide how formal or informal they want the wedding day to come across to guests. Everything from fonts, paper texture, wording (DEFINITELY wording), amount of suite inserts, stamps, etc. etc. etc. can (and should) effect the formality and overall "vibe" that your guests will assume from your suite. Ultimately, I believe that your wedding should reflect YOU, and should be a celebration that just seems like one you would have, and the style of your paper goods & signage can be the first. thing to set that tone.
Q: What does your design process look like?
A: Once we chat about the above & decide if the wedding is going to be traditional, black tie, casual, modern, a disco, an episode of Bridgerton, or anywhere in between, then I will send over a look book of some of my past work in their color scheme that I *think* might strike inspiration for that couple. Their initial feedback, and any other inspiration photos they might send me, helps me hit the ground running to figure out which colors, fonts, floral design, envelopes, etc. I'll start with on their initial design proofs.
After the first round of design proofs, I use feedback to adjust anything as necessary. At this point I like to put together a "mock-up flat lay". I do this to help couples see what all of the pieces of their suite would look like laid out together - to show them how the envelope color ties in, how their liner will add to the look, and in general help them envision to decide if they're stuck choosing between a couple of options still. Here's a mock up flat lay from a past wedding, and photos of how the suite & day of design turned out!
Q: What types of materials do you use for invitations and for signage on the wedding day? Any favorites?
A: I try to be eco-conscious (aka GREEN!) with my stationery & signage, so my go to material to print on - especially for bulk stationery like invitations and menus - is 100% recycled paper. I do offer the upgrade option of cotton paper, which I LOOOVE to use because of the gorgeous texture, and it's even more sustainable than recycled paper. It's also great for tearing, so it looks really pretty with a deckled edge.
I try to avoid acrylic signage as much as I can, because it's just plastic that's most likely going to get thrown away at the end of the night. I aim to stick to materials that can be recycled, have been recycled before, OR can be reused, like mirrors. Mirrors are great because not only are the reusable if you want to rent them (I use a washable chalk pen for seating charts and welcome signs on mirrors), but they can also be an opportunity to have a keepsake from your wedding. If you have an old family mirror, or want to buy one that you love, you can keep it in your home for years to come and remember that it was at your wedding every time you look into it with your new spouse!
Q: What are some fun & unique ways to incorporate signage into a wedding?
A: I think having a really unique escort display is one of the most fun ways to show off your personality in your wedding! This can also be a way to incorporate party favors for guest, something extra for guests to sip during cocktail hour (like tequila shots!), and can include be something personal about your relationship.
One extra fun sign I got to do once was a personalized crossword puzzle (pictured below). This was special to the couple because they do the NYT crossword together every day, and it's actually how the groom proposed! This was a great interactive piece for guests to work on during cocktail hour, and allowed everyone to learn more about the couple as a unit.