February 28, 2019
The reason you may love one wedding invite over another may come down to one thing: The font! About 90 percent of our wedding invitations use script for either all or some of the wording. Script means the letters are connected, like cursive, and it says to the world, “I’m not junk mail—I’m special!”
It’s all about a feeling. Couples don’t say to us, “We want the Adelicia script for our invite.” (That's Adelicia script in the above set!) But they often do know how they want their invitation to feel. They’ll say, “I want something that feels formal.” Or “I want something more modern.” Then it’s up to us to find the perfect wedding font that matches what they describe.
Fonts are like art. If you receive a stunning invitation in the mail, yet it only has words on it, no art or imagery, that’s fonts at work. As stationery designers we are passionate about the font families we use. Okay, obsessive! That’s why we love the way the above Saturday Night Live skit skewers the agony of font decisions. And then there’s American Psycho’s tense scene about fonts on business cards that makes us laugh so much too.
Swashy is awesome. What’s swashing? It’s when the letters are exaggerated with big loops and typographical flourishes. A swashy script is decadent and wow-worthy. For a black tie wedding, you could do the whole invite in a swashy script, like the one above on the left. But if you’re getting married at your parents’ home on a Saturday afternoon or at a restaurant on a Friday night, you can still get swashy! We might suggest having just your names in a swashy script and the rest of the type in a block font, like what we did with the invitation at right.
We have favorites! Burgess and Bodega are two script families that we’ve been using forever and they never let us down. We also love Bickham because it was one of the first to really mimic what calligraphers do. But we don't just typeset and run. Tweaking the letters is the difference between a good invite versus a great one. We fuss a lot with the letters and spacing. For instance, while we love Bombshell, we don't like its floating crossbars (the horizontal stroke in letters like A or T). Or in Sackers, the default space between letters isn't pleasing to the eye. So we make a lot of manual adjustments on every invitation so the type is just right.
The first and last letters of your name matter most. Because these letters start or finish a line, they aren’t sandwiched between other letters and have more breathing room for design flair. We will test out a few different options to show our clients. See how much extra attention the ‘M’ of Megan and the ‘n’ of Irwin get above?! We also love to pull out the tail of the ‘y’ at the end of a name like in Jenny.
Calligraphy is the ultimate script. For a truly original invitation, we work with calligraphers who handwrite wedding announcements, like this one above. You’ll know you’ve received a hand-calligraphed invitation by the perfect imperfections. And if you’re not sure, do a close comparison of the letters. For instance, all the ‘e’ s will look slightly different from each other. It’s truly one-of-a-kind artwork that our clients love.
Happy wedding planning! We hope we made selecting your wedding invitation a little easier and a lot more fun!