Wedding invitations help to set the tone of your wedding celebration, so it is no wonder that there can be lots of invitation related questions.  Luckily, we have Carla David, Maryland wedding invitation designer extraordinaire, with a run down of what to expect during your first consultation with an invitation designer. Go for it Carla

orange and white wedding invitation suite by Carla David Designs

Photo Credit:  Meaghan Elliot Photography for Carla David Designs

The goal of your initial consultation with a designer should be to find out if your vision for your invitations fits with the designer’s aesthetic.  You should use this time to get to know the designer and to get a better idea of the designer’s process, timeline and the cost involved.

Even if you desire customized invitations, you should still look through a designer’s portfolio to see if their themes are parallel with your style. For example, if you’re looking for something modern and simplistic, and you find that the designer’s work is mostly ornate with lots of flourishes and embellishments, then it’s a good chance this may not be the designer for you.  If you don’t see a style that appeals to you right away, feel free to tell the designer exactly what you’re looking for. The designer should be able to come up with ideas tailored to your needs. Keep in mind the designer’s portfolio is not necessary a catalog of their only options, rather it’s a glimpse of what they’ve designed for other clients. The sky is the limit and a good designer should be able to create the invitation you want.

The initial appointment is also an important time to talk about your budget.  Ask the designer for an average or starting price for the invitations, and be sure to find out what that price includes. Take into account that the invitation budget does not normally include “day of” details such as menus, programs and place cards.  If you’re interested, you may want to explore the “day of” options with your designer. Having the whole suite from the invitation to the program designed by one designer will look more cohesive, budge friendly and save you time.

The first meeting is also a good time to find out about the designer’s process. [Carla recommends that you meet with your designer four to six months before you have to mail your invitations.] You want to ask the designer how many initial design’s you’ll be shown, the number of proofs that will be included in the price, and any additional costs for extra proofs.  The timing involved in both the design and production process depends on your vision and the number of guests.  You want to mail your invitations six to eight weeks ahead of time, so be sure that the designer knows your mail-out date.

The process of choosing your custom invitations for your wedding or event can be stressful because you want to make the perfect first impression, take the time to interview the designer.  Remember this should be one of the first things your do, and the best designers will make this process fun, stress-free and personable.


Thank you so much, Carla! We appreciate you coming on and sharing your invitation design know-how.

To see more of Carla’s design work, check out her website.  (P.S. Carla does a lot more than invitations…she can style the details of your whole wedding!)

Browse our vendor guide for more invitation designers in the Washington, DC area.

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