The wedding invitation is the first glimpse of your wedding day style and festivities for your guests. For that very reason, it’s important to know where to start—and we’re here to help! (Speaking of, check out our local list for Washington DC-area stationery designers and calligraphers!) To help couples start off on the right foot on their journey for the perfect wedding paper goods, we talked to Virginia-based stationery designer Carina of Little Bird Creative for her expert wedding invitation advice. Take it away, Carina…

Photo courtesy of Little Bird Creative

Stationery can be one of the more intimidating things when planning your wedding. I’ve spoken with brides who have literally left stationery shops in tears because seven books of invitations were plunked down in front of them without any explanation of what’s what and how much it’s going to cost. Here are my top five things to consider when searching for your wedding stationery.

Define Your Wedding Style

Your invitations should be a reflection of the style of wedding you are planning. One of the purposes of a wedding invitation is to give cues about the event guests should expect and what to wear.

Set a Budget

Just like the rest of your wedding– set a realistic budget for your stationery. Costs are impacted by the type of printing, paper quality and, if you go custom, design. Remember to consider the cost of a calligrapher, postage and thank you notes. Stationery prices vary greatly, and it’s important that you determine it’s worth to you.

Get Familiar with Printing Techniques

Know your stuff and be prepared. Do you love letterpress or the foil technique that’s hot right now? Maybe your more interested in incorporating a lot of different ink colors and flat printed items are a better fit for you.

Photo courtesy of Little Bird Creative

Learn Proper Wedding Etiquette

Prepare your wording. Again, base your wording on the type of wedding you are putting together. Most importantly consider the setting, who’s paying and your family. Consult an etiquette book specific to wedding stationery. They dig deep into all kinds of things you may never have thought of: personal titles, church ceremonies vs. non-religious ceremonies as well as the order of the text. Here are a few you might consult: Emily Post Wedding Etiquette or Crane’s Wedding Blue Book. My personal guidance to couples– even if you are paying for the whole shebang parents deserve a mention on the invite for all their effort raising you. It’s respectful and is a good start with the in-laws.

Add Personal Touches

Finally, find a way to add personal touches! You want to get the “oh la la!” from guests when they open the invitation. Use ribbon, a belly-band, or add an envelope liner in one of the great wedding colors you’ve selected. These elements and others will jazz up the formal invitation suite and push the more eclectic stationery set over the top.

I hope these tips prepare you for selecting the stationery that best reflects the celebration you are planning!


Thank you to Carina for sharing her advice! If you’re looking for unique and gorgeous wedding invitations and paper goods, be sure to check out Little Bird Creative.

For more inspiration, browse through our Washington DC wedding idea galleries or find advice from local DC wedding pros.

*Little Bird Creative is one of our fabulous sponsors, but didn’t pay for this feature. For more info, please review our editorial policies or consider becoming a sponsor.


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