Wedding Invitation Tips feat. Abracardabra Cards + Design

Creating wedding invitations can be a time consuming process. It can also be quite pricey so its great to find someone who knows their craft and can take care of this item off your long to do list. In this post, I speak with Abra on all things invitations.

Abra from Abracardabra is a talented designer and creator of unique cards and invitations. She is Graphic designer by trade and a wife and Mum of 2 sweet boys.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Abra and true to her business name, she works magic on your design needs. She is thoughtful, cares about producing unique work and meets the brief of what you envisage.

Here’s some useful information and helpful hints from Abra. Worth the read!

What inspired you to start your own business creating invitations and cards?

I guess my love affair with paper, colour and design started from an early age. I used to make cards and other hand-crafted items.  I would try to sell them to neighbours on my street when I was in Primary School! I’ve always liked to make things – I often see things that people have made and think “I want to make that!”

Abra{card}Abra cards + design was officially born when I completed my degree in Graphic Design. I was looking for a creative outlet after hours. I started by making cards for friends and did a few invitation jobs and that’s where it started.

The business has expanded over the years to include customised Wedding and Special Event Stationery as well as a range of ever-changing greeting cards and gift tags (lots of fun)!

I try to offer a bespoke custom service and put care and thought into every design I create. For me, it’s the little things that count, and I bend over backwards to make your invitations perfect for you (not mass produced)!

What are the current trends for wedding invitations?

Last year I was able to attend the New York Stationery Show, which is like Mecca for Invitation and Card makers. It was so exciting to see what is happening in the states because generally our trends follow suit!

What I saw was a lot of metallics (foiling is really big), embossing, Letterpress Printing (of course) as well as the use of unusual materials – anything that pushes the envelope so to speak! Kraft paper is still well and truly a thing, especially when paired with neon brights. 

The big trends are really drawn from what’s hot right now in fashion, design and homewares, it’s all so interlinked. Think textures like paint, watercolour, marble and wood as well as florals, moroccan patterns, geometric designs and paired back designs featuring only typography.

Fonts that look hand-rendered or calligraphed are looking really fresh – think hipster!

What is your favourite wedding invitation you’ve created and why?

There have been so many, it’s really hard to narrow down! There have been a few recent jobs I’ve loved – I did some watercolour floral invites in pink and navy with a gorgeous glitter bellyband. It was so much fun designing the watercolour flower pattern and they looked amazing. Getting back to basics like painting (and attempting to hand letter) is so much fun for me and I think the results speak for themselves!

I also created some invites on a beautiful woodgrain textured stock – subtle and beautiful!

And… I haven’t photographed them yet but I just finished a set with mid grey and gold foil and they were BEAUTIFUL! I actually recreated the pattern from the Bridesmaid dress fabric and used it to make the envelope liners!

I really love engaging with like-minded clients and delivering something a bit unique! It’s always great when you can add a bit of personality and enhance the Wedding theme with an invitation. It’s much harder when clients become too fixed in their vision. I don’t mind taking aspects of designs they like and adding a unique twist but it’s not great to copy someone else’s design/s.

How long would you allow to create an invitation? How long before the wedding should the invitations be sent out?

When it comes to bespoke Wedding Invitations, that is, invites that are custom designed for you (the majority of my business), you definitely shouldn’t leave it too late! Allow 1-2 months from start to finish. The design phase can take up to two weeks, then allow a few weeks for Letterpress and Foiling to be completed, and then compiling the invitations and finishing them off can take a week or so (depending on how many you are doing).

If you are choosing a design that is already completed it’s generally a lot quicker but I still recommend allowing at least a month for your invites to be made. 

Most of my clients like to send their invites a minimum of 6 weeks before their big day, but these days, it doesn’t hurt to get in a bit earlier as people have busy lives! If you know your invites won’t be ready, or you haven’t locked down your theme – send a Save the Date Card. This also applies for destination weddings. You want people to secure accommodation as soon as possible to avoid Wedding Chaos!

What is the most creative way to word a wishing well card?

I try to not recommend Wishing Well wording to my clients as I think it’s such a personal thing. I refer people to Google and I have had quite a few clients write their own poems which is very creative. I think it’s most authentic when people add their own touch to their wording – for instance, one client wrote about where they were going on honeymoon and another added a section about the charity they would be donating too because they were animal lovers. Although it’s become socially acceptable to ask for money in a Wishing Well, I think it still needs to be done tactfully. 

What is best way to word invitations where there are multiple families involved?

It can be hard to decide how to word your invitations but I always think that simple is best! If your parents are paying then as a matter of respect, you should add their names. However, if your parents are divorced and re-partnered, it can be a bit challenging to add everyone in. It can also be rude to leave people out. In these instances, I recommend clients simply say ‘Together with their parents…’ 

What are your tips you would advise a DIY Bride?

My top suggestions:

1) Play to your strengths. If you aren’t so good at typesetting and you’re using Word, it can be a battle! Ask someone who knows what they are doing for help! 
2) Mixing too many fonts in your design can be confusing and you should try not to set body copy in script fonts that are really hard to read 🙂
3) Try to keep consistency from one item to the next and match fonts for every piece you create – from the invites, through to the place cards.
4) Arm yourself with useful supplies like double-sided tape, glue tape (some bottled glue can warp papers so test first), a sharp blade, a bone scorer tool (for scoring) and a gridded cutting mat (available from most craft supply shops and junk shops).
5) It pays to be picky! Always check over your wording before printing – avoid  embarrassment!
6) Don’t post your invites when it’s wet and rainy or predicted to be monsoonal – if your invite arrives in a soggy mess it will be devastating for you and your guests! 
7) Choose nice stamps for your invites. Don’t ruin a beautiful envelope with a horrid stamp design!

For more information or a quote, go ahead and contact Abra at abra@abracardabra.com.au . You won’t regret it!

Here are my favourite few cards and invitations from Abra’s amazing range.

You can see more of Abra’s creative work at www.abracardabra.com.au

If you have any more DIY invitation Tips, please comment away! 🙂

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