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Event Invitations Your Guests Won’t Throw Away

SOUTHERN FRIED PAPER | Photographer: Sara & Rocky Photography

Invitations set the tone for an event — they’re a sneak peek of what your friends and family can expect at your celebration. Will it be cocktail dress or sundress? Evening in a swanky hotel or in an afternoon garden? An invitation should also express your individual style. Award-winning couture invitation designer, Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York, says, “An invitation should be personal and unique. You want your guests to say, ‘Wow, this is so you!’ when they open it.”

A great invitation is an experience and a cohesive design is key. Johnson adds, “It’s a package. Each layer builds intrigue and a sense of allure and lets guests know that it’s going to be a great party. A unique design holds it all together, even if there are multiple events in your celebration.” Ideally, the “branding” of the invitation will match that of the party and the invitation elements can be carried through in paper goods like menus, cocktail napkins and signage — but also into the design elements of your celebration.

Johnson’s last tip is to start early. In fact, she advises that as soon as you book your venue, you choose an invitation designer. Longer lead times allow for more customized designs. It’s a lot to consider! But, lucky for you, we’ve curated our favorite event invitations and designers to inspire your planning process.

Wedding “Party”

This wedding invitation suite from Cheree Berry Paper is a small package containing a big party — literally, as the silver “party” pop-up accordion sets a fun celebratory tone. That bit of whimsy is balanced by chic geometric shapes and striking type in black and white.

Moroccan Inspired

The sights, sounds and flavors of Marrakesh inspired this Modern Luxury Weddings Chicago Moroccan-style feté. HH Design created stylish glossy black invitations with chic gold lettering and a bejeweled camel accent piece for the event, attended by the city’s top wedding and event planners.

Garden Nuptials

This traditional garden wedding is one of our summer favorites. These gorgeous invitations from Cheree Berry Paper included a custom watercolor that incorporated a dreamy blue, green, and purple palette. Script lettering, painted florals, and a map of Lake Michigan, as well as favored and important spots, made the invitations feel even more personal.

Innovative Invitation

This glamorous red and gold invitation celebrated the 15th anniversary one of the country’s most renowned Indian wedding planning companies, Sonal J Shah Event Consultants. SJS celebrated in style at the Plaza Hotel in NYC with juggling bartenders and hanging floral chandeliers and this video invitation from Engaging Invites set the event’s innovative tone.

Fall Feté

EJD Designs created the ideal New Mexico-style invitations for a fashionable fall Albuquerque wedding. Painted watercolors and hand-lettering made for a chic and super-personal invitation suite for the celebration which was hosted on the grounds of Los Poblanos Historic Inn. The paper goods perfectly balanced the feel of the vintage venue and the couple’s style.

Watercolor Wedding

Every Momental Designs invitation features artwork from the fabulous Kristy Rice and her team of artists. This handmade watercolor wedding invitation combined varied paper colors and colorful and monochromatic floral imagery to make each piece unique, yet still cohesive.

Big City Chic

“Elegant” and “pop-up” don’t usually belong in the same sentence but these Love Pop designed wedding invitations strike the perfect balance. The detailed stenciled cityscape paired with the partner’s silhouettes set the stage for a perfect big city wedding.

Cravings Celebration

This fun baby shower made light of the notorious pregnancy cravings of pickles and ice cream with creative invitations from Cheree Berry Paper. The invitation included a spinner that represented “A Day in the Life of an Expectant Mother” with craving choices like “BBQ sauce on rice: and “strawberries and sausage.” Green pickle and pink ice cream necklaces allowed guests to visually vote for the gender of the baby.

Reel Cool

Texas-based 5 by 7 Designs helped this teen’s dreams come true for her thrilling circus themed Bat Mitzvah fit for the Ringling Bros. They designed custom View-Master-style circular reel invites with photos and logos to set a festive tone in advance of the over-the-top, big top event.

Adventurous Affair

This adventurous couple wanted all the glitz and glamour travel has to offer — without the jet lag. Their fun, travel-themed engagement party featured elements from around the world. Soolip designed clever postcard response cards and passport enclosures. The strong event theming included a guestbook globe and clocks set to different time zones.

Pup Concierge

Man — and woman’s — best friend plays a supporting role in the festivities as the “doggie wedding concierge” for this pooch-loving couple. Moon Design was able to perfectly incorporate their pup into stylishly elegant pink and white invitations while utilizing a watercolor design for the coordinating paper suite.

Elegant Outdoors

The wild outdoors is translated into elegant paper form with these Gus & Ruby Letterpress invitations. The chic rustic barn wedding featured the rest of the stationery suite with stunning custom menus and thoughtful handwritten escort cards.

Shore Shower

The vegetable garden-themed invitations for this beautiful bridal shower combined the colors of its Laguna ocean setting — light blue and chic white. Katie O’Brien designed the invitation and other paper goods for the celebration to set a classic rustic tone with custom monochromatic etchings of fruits and florals.

Modern Rock ‘N Roll 

Pigment & Parchment designed a bright, colorful invitation suite for this modern, vibrant rocker couple. The hand-painted cards and galaxy-themed envelope are a riot of hues and patterns and that tone was carried into the celebrations with a statement-making cake, colorful glassware, and bright furnishings. 

Gucci Gala

This 50th birthday party celebrated a Gucci-loving guy. His sleek invitations from Sweet Zion Paperie included Gucci’s signature green and red colors and held an oh-so-sweet picture of the guest-of-honor as a little boy — all held together by a custom wax seal. The black-tie event featured the same cohesive color scheme and the celebrant’s personalized monogram.

Southwest Soirée

This colorful invitation set the perfect tone for a rustic outdoor wedding on the couple’s property. Southern Fried Paper’s design utilized bold graphics combined with natural elements like feathers and arrowheads to set this event apart. Guests knew to expect elements turquoise and leather, antlers and flowers at this chic celebration.

Divine Celebration

The glamorous blue and white invitations for this Jewish wedding utilized a traditional color palette of royal blue paired with white. Southern Fried Paper further incorporated meaning with a ribbon around each invitation secured with a circular crystal embellishment — in Judaism, a circle represents the continuing cycle of years and seasons.

Concrete Jungle

Professionals and tastemakers gathered at West Edge in Chelsea Market to officially launch PartySlate New York. The exquisite invitation, designed by Ceci New York, set a chic concrete jungle theme in the quintessential New York palette of chic black. The theme was carried through the event with custom bar wraps from Bombshell Graphics utilizing Ceci’s design.

Vintage Glam

This invitation combines glamour and vintage chic in one fabulous feathered package. Ceci New York custom designed this suite with gold accents and pink hues for everything from the invitation to the table number, providing a seamless, sophisticated tone for this wedding celebration.

Valentine’s Day Inspiration

This soft, romantic “Old World” look for this Valentine’s-inspired wedding shoot from Glow Event Design featured a color palette of light pink and lilac with delicate soft black. The details offer stunning inspiration for a wedding with a subtle Victorian influence. The stationery suite from The Idea Emporium included illustrations of Cupid and menu cards designed to look like handwritten love poems.

Harvest Gathering

This fall harvest gathering stationary suite by Sweet Zion Paperie featured warm tones of brown and red to compliment the bright pop of white. A deep black envelope lined in red velvet set the tone for a chic harvest gathering, while another envelope featured fall colors and falling leaves for on-point theming 

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