How I Brainstorm Wedding Invitation Designs
by Anne Kostecki
Whether you are a designer or a home crafter, it's easier than ever to design your own wedding invitations. But with so many ideas and so much inspiration to process, how do you narrow down to a handful of designs that work for you? Well, I will share my process with you and hope it can inspire you!
1. Make a list of visual essentials.
If you are a designer, take vigorous notes from your client about what they describe. Ask for photos, Pinterest boards, sketches, and whatever else the client has. I avoid looking at wedding magazines or other Pinterest ideas that don't directly come from the client. If you're getting married, then I highly recommend avoiding visual stimuli and try to envision your wedding without it. I find that it helps to distill what you really want, and not to be clouded by wedding blog photos that are out of budget or unrealistic.
Once you have a distilled idea, then think about the visual elements that are most essential. Does there need to be a certain flower, bird, illustration, or texture that's important? Is it modern, vintage, rustic, sophisticated, or minimalist? I like to make a list of important descriptors and keep those front of mind.
2. Gather visual inspiration, and siphon it.
Now you can open the floodgates, if you want! Once you know what you're looking for, you can search Pinterest, blogs, or magazines to get inspiration. Some people may get visual overload from all of the inspiration, and if that's you, then I recommend keeping your searches targeted with specific words from your earlier list.
I highly recommend looking outside of the wedding industry to get more out-of-the-box ideas for your designs. This will freshen up your ideas, and push the invitation idea as a whole to more interesting horizons.
I like to pin all of my inspiration to a Pinterest board, but you can gather it all in whatever way suits you best.
3. Begin sketching, but keep budget in mind.
I often sketch in pencil first, but a lot of designers jump right to the computer. Whatever tool is most comfortable for you, go for it. I find that using a pencil allows me to just draw lines where the text would go, because usually at this stage, the wording may not be finalized yet.
Unless you know the budget can afford it, I would refrain from multi-panel cards, unusual sizes, or other extras that add costs. Letterpress, foil stamping, calligraphy, custom illustrations, and other details can add significant costs, so make sure it's appropriate before sketching those in.
4. Sketch as many ideas as you like, but narrow down to your favorite 3 designs.
I'm not going to limit you on your ideas! If you can do 10, or 15, or 20, then by all means, do it! But as part of the process of "getting to the final," I would say narrowing it down to 3 ideas is key. You're going to get the cream of the crop, and the final product will be better for it.
If you are showing these designs to a client, then it's best to limit the choices. There is a phenomenon called "decision paralysis" or "analysis paralysis" that happens when a person is faced with an overwhelming number of choices, and it will stagnate your process to give the client too many choices.
5. To choose the final, I would pick the one that embodies the first list of essentials the best.
Of course, the final selection is either your's or your client's choice, but if you're having trouble, I recommend going back to your original list. Which design speaks the most to these attributes? Is there a design that brings the wedding to life?
Once a design is chosen, now the fun begins! Finalizing the design, preparing it for print, and assembling it for mailing will be a post for another time. For now, I recommend keeping all of your other designs! You never know when you can revamp them or use them for a future project.
I hope this was helpful, and if you have any advice, please share it in the comments!