If you’re the kind of person who loves fancy things, but you’re just not sure how to make it happen for your invitations, I’ve got you! I’m going to walk you through a couple of easy ways to upgrade your wedding invitations.
I know so many couples want to DIY their invites to save some cash, so I’m going to tell you exactly how to upgrade your invites to stay on budget, but still give your guests a taste of luxury before they even get to your venue. And of course, you can request these little upgrades if you’re working with a custom stationery designer as well!
So without further ado, here are my top tips for upgrading your wedding invitations:
Use quality, heavy card
Nothing’s worse than a limp French fry — well, except a limp wedding invite! If you’re trying to level up those invitations, start with the paper you’re using. Invest in a beautiful, thick and rigid cardstock in whatever colour fits your theme or style. This will really elevate how your invitations feel to your guests. So, if you’re printing with a DIY company or even printing your invitations yourself, it is really worth the little extra money to get a better, thicker card stock.
If you’re not sure about how thick your cards will be (if you’re buying online, especially), look for a card that is at least 100lb cover stock (not text weight) or 270gsm.
My favourite brands for colour cards are Gmund and Colorplan. They offer a wide range of colours and are a beautiful thick card. You can also opt for a cotton card stock or handmade paper if that’s your vibe. For a more budget-friendly option, stick to a white or cream colour, as they are more common (and therefore more affordable).
Add a bold, beautiful liner
Next up, add a beautiful envelope liner to upgrade your wedding invitations. You can have one custom-designed for you or purchase a print-ready design to match your theme or colour scheme. They not only add a beautiful accent to your envelope when it’s opened, but they also add some weight to it, making a cheaper or lighter envelope feel more robust (and therefore more expensive).
Your options range from a simple white liner to an accent colour, and even a beautiful bold print. What you decide really depends on the look you’re going for. I love scrolling through digital paper designs to find some great options, or you can hire an artist to design a custom line drawing, pattern or watercolor for you. A textured paper that matches the colour of your envelope is also a great way to keep it simple while adding that little bit extra.
Whatever you choose, an envelope liner is a great way to “luxe-up” your invitation without breaking the bank.
Wrap your label
Hand-calligraphy has been a huge trend in the wedding stationery industry and I doubt it’s going anywhere. Calligraphy artists are so talented and that can make a huge impact on the final look of your invitations. But it’s not for everyone — it can be incredibly expensive and sometimes calligraphy just doesn’t go with your vision.
If you’re the kind of person who likes a minimal design but with a luxe feel, upgrade your wedding invitations with a wrap-around label for your addresses instead. This is like a typical stick-on address label, only totally leveled up! They run across up to 80% of the front of your envelope and then continue over the back with your return address. They are super simple to apply yourself and can make your envelopes look absolutely amazing.
Like everything else with your stationery, you can choose to do these yourself and it’s not that difficult — especially if you just want a simple font on a white background. Download a template and purchase a pack of full-sheet labels, print them at home, and trim them yourself.
Or, if you’re not the crafty or techy type, you can purchase custom labels that have your guest addresses already printed. Save your printer ink and let someone else take care of the formatting.
We both know you can’t escape guest addresses when it comes to your invitations, so why not use them as an opportunity to level those invites up? I personally love the way a wraparound label looks — it’s not super common to see, either, so it can really stand out.
Double up the envelopes
A quick and simple way to add more luxury is to add an outer envelope — probably the simplest way to upgrade your wedding invitations. Basically, you are wrapping your enveloped invitation in yet another envelope. This not only protects your invites from the often very rough postal system (and potential invitation-destroying weather), but also adds a way to personalize your invitations even further. This is a more formal and traditional way of enveloping invitations and adds that little extra touch.
In the case of a double envelope, you would have your guest’s name and address on the outer envelope and then usually just their first names (and no address) on the inner envelope. Some couples use this as an opportunity to specify who exactly is invited. Others use it as a way to add casual familiarity to their otherwise formal invitation.
The best thing about a second envelope is that allows you to add fun envelope accents (like wax seals, artwork, calligraphy, foil) to your invitation envelope without affecting how it is processed through the postal system.
So, if you’re looking for a simple way to level-up the luxury on your invitations, adding that second envelope will do the trick!
Get waxed (seals)
I’m sure if you’re reading this post, you have seen at least one of those gorgeous IG reels of making super fancy wax seals. If not, you have to go check them out! (This is one of my faves!) I’m sure you can see for yourself why these beauties are on this list.
That said, there are a ton of options when it comes to wax seals. You can buy wax sticks and a seal stamp and go to town — hand-stamping each invitation individually. Or, you can buy pre-stamped seals with adhesive to stick on yourself.
There are a huge variety of options like a personalized seal vs one that’s stock, but still gorgeous. Or you can choose a wax colour that compliments your suite (or even mix multiple colours for a marble effect). You can paint them, mix in beads or glitter, or add dried flower petals or mini flowers.
Honestly, the world of wax seals could be its own post. But what’s important here is that for a relatively low cost, you can add this extra touch of luxury to your invitations.
However, there are still a couple of things to consider when you’re mailing envelopes with wax seals. Primarily — the post office and postal service machines don’t like them! They can make the envelope “non-machinable” or even worse, they can get stuck in the machines and tear open all your beautiful work. So, as a best practice, if you’re going to put the effort and money into wax seals, do yourself a favour and double up those envelopes. Only have your wax seal on the inner envelope and you should have no issues with the mail.
Luxe it up with real foil
And finally — truly the BEST way to add full luxury to your invites is to upgrade your printing to hot foil stamping! This option uses real foil, so it’s gorgeous and shiny, which is what I’m all about. You can add drama and luxury to your invitations so easily. I mean, gold foil on a jet black card? YES! Silver foil lettering on a royal blue backer? HECK YES! It’s truly a beautiful option that makes even the most mundane details of your wedding (literally) shine.
So what does “hot foil stamping” mean? It’s basically letterpress but instead of ink, you’re applying a metallic foil to your lettering. This is an effect you can’t get from a standard printer and can really add dimension and glamour to your pieces.
Your invitations can be made fully custom with a wide range of foil options, like gold, silver or copper, or you can go nuts with metallic colours, matte foils and holographics. And a bonus — you can get foil on a huge range of paper colours to add a bold touch to your invitations. My favourite suites start with a gorgeous colour pallete of cardstock and are enhanced with beautiful metallic lettering.
I love it SO MUCH. It is by FAR my favourite way to upgrade your wedding invitations.
Put your own spin on it
The fact is, your wedding invitations are truly yours. They should be a reflection of your style, your love, and the vision you have for your wedding day. To this end, you can personalize and upgrade your wedding invitations in nearly infinite ways.
You can wrap your cards in anything like twine, leather, translucent vellum or ribbon. You can combine printing methods like digital printing, letterpress and foil stamping. You can mix up your card stocks for different colours and textures. You can even use cards in all kinds of shapes.
The possibilities are endless — and sometimes that can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of options for each individual element and that can make it seem impossible to put your dream suite together — or even come up with a vision for your suite at all.
So, if you’re looking for some help in that regard, turning to a stationery expert might be your best bet. They will be able to help guide you in each of these decisions and also help you figure out how much it would all cost to get exactly what you want.
And here comes the not-so-subtle plug: If you can’t tell by now, I’m OBSESSED with making your invitations totally luxurious and fully upgraded. I love all things stationery from paper stocks, to mixing materials, to adding little flairs of drama to an otherwise mundane piece. That’s why I design and create custom hot foil invitation suites!
You can find more information about these invitations and the services that go along with them by clicking around. And if you’re into it, head on over to get my pricing guide directly to your inbox! Or, if you’re like me and won’t believe it ’til you see it, you can order an invitation sample pack.
But for now, I hope this helped you imagine what’s possible for your invitations. Even if you decide not to work with me (or any other designer), I hope this guide helps you achieve your dream invitation suite that you and your guests absolutely love.