wedding invitation critique

rlueder's picture

Hello typophiles, your opinion about this wedding invitation would be much appreciated, thank you.

Grot Esqué's picture

It might be a cultural difference, but that looks more like a funeral invitation to me. Other than the names, at least. What kind of paper were you going to use? Maybe that could be used to cheer this up?

Miss Tiffany's picture

Is the shape set in stone?

I can see the first challenge right away is setting the family names equally important. Is one set the parents of the bride and the other for the groom? Technically you could put the bride's parents on top of the groom's, or if it is a culture issue vice versa.

I am not sure I'd use a dagger to symbolize the cross.

The placement of the names below the optical center is making it feel bottom heavy.

I think the lack of caps at the beginning of sentences seem like a mistake as you did capitalize the couple's names.

Spire's picture

The entire invitation is one long sentence.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Oh. Hmm. I don't know how to respond.

rlueder's picture

Hello, and thank you for your responses.

I agree, it does look morbid, I think the dagger had much to do with it.

I'm sorry, I didn't understand your question about the shape being set in stone, which shape?

The names of the bride's parents are on the left, the groom's on the right.

I agree with you, the dagger is now gone.

I've tried to correct the placement of the names.

As Spire noticed the invitation is one long sentence, starting with the names of the parents.

Termopolium's picture

I think the shapes at the top and bottom are altogether too swashy, and their lines are too thin. They lessen the impact of the name of the bride and groom. I'd try replacing them with something robust and simple, with a line weight more similar to the names. Perhaps a more geometric decorative shape, to provide a contrast. Printed in a lighter tint.

pattyfab's picture

I think the ornaments come from the same family (Bickman) as the script and therefore I don't have a problem with them. But I think two are redundant, I'd eliminate the top one, move the type up, and enlarge the ornament at the bottom.

I'm not loving the way you broke up that one line (convidam...) into three - preferred it as one.

I'm also slightly bothered by the centering of the two families' names - can you nudge the pair on the right a bit to the right? The entire block of names, as is, looks off center to the left.

By 'set in stone' I think Tiffany meant is that some sort of standard wedding invitation size/shape (the square) or is there some flexibility about it.

I'd also add more leading overall - both to the family names and to the text, open it up vertically a bit.

satya's picture

We don't use black color in wedding cards in india.

it looks like funeral invitation card...adding some visuls might work.

rlueder's picture

Cultural differences are always interesting, in Brazil we don't make invitations for funerals so it's not that easy to relate it that way. :)

rlueder's picture

More changes, incorporating some of the ideas suggested by patty. A lot will be added by the inks and paper, I think we'll print it in a special color, maybe silver, not sure about the paper yet. Right now I'm more concerned with details related to typography.

Jem's picture

> Cultural differences are always interesting, in Brazil we don’t make invitations for funerals so it’s not that easy to relate it that way. :)

That's one nil to Brazil.
; )

poms's picture


The squarish dimensions of your dokument makes the impression static.

The vertical centered position of raquel & riqarda makes it dull, it's "falling down"...

I don't like borders in general. If you go with a border, search for another one, with a more "lively" charakter.

I like the face ;)

(sorry for my bad english, i hope you understand what i'm trying to say...)

Regards Thomas

skellysgirl's picture

i agree with the border thing its very cliche of a wedidng invite , but i do agree with poms on the face especially the script and i am thinking the & character is very nice it would be lovley to set it at the back but in a lighter shade but much larger as a feature , i just feel a wedding is the celebration of two people joining together and it would be nice to reflect that ,lou

timd's picture

I think you can afford to increase the size of the swash and move the bottom of the border up and combine the two where they meet. If you broke the date and time details to three lines
a … 2006
às … Rita
Estrada … 200
you should get a better composition.
For the top half have you tried ranging the names left and right and closing the convidam line and both sets of names to counter the space filled with the swash of the ampersand and pulling the border down to form a rectangle in a square format which can look dramatic.

adnix's picture

I think you need to lose the border and bring all the elements closer to each other. Right now it feels like you are spreading things apart to fill space. It creates the effect of separate elements instead of a cohesive whole.

Is the swash the same weight as Raquel & Ricardo? Their names look like the bold weight--though it could be the optical effect of it being set at a larger. It just looks overwhelmed down there.

Palatine's picture

The invitation does not suggest you're happy about getting married. It's all black and white. No liveliness or soul to it.

I say scrap the whole thing and go for a complete redesign.

Here's an example that I like, personally (my nod to the individual who uploaded it around here a while ago, looking for similar advice):

emilylyn's picture

I think the parents' names need to not be center justified. Left set, right justified & right set, left justified. And perhaps a little closer together, but definitely not any further apart than the dads' names are now.
And I agree with the comment that the parts all need to be brought closer together.
I don't think it needs to be scrapped. The example Palatine showed seems more casual (and quite lovely). The one Rafael is working on seems like it belongs to a more formal event. Neither bad, just different.

dishdesigner's picture


Several thoughts:

1. I think the "funeral" responses may have had to do with two things: the dagger and the static symmetry. The dagger is often used to represent the end of a text, or more symbolically, death. And the square bordered layout in which type is centered and spread out over the whole area evokes the layouts of gravestones....

2. The border: these kinds of printed black lines that are usually coupled thick/thin like this one are devices used by printers to fool people into thinking that there is spatial depth to the page. Expensive invitations often use embossing to create multiple levels of impression into the page, but when someone doesn't want to spend the money on engraving embossed pages, they can fake it by printing 'shadow lines'....hence the overuse of borders. They become hackneyed and make things look cheap......

3. It seems to me you could improve the type by clarifying when and why you use certain cases. The parents are in all-lowercase small caps (no larger capitals), the main message is in lower case, but the bride and groom are in title case (script italic), and the proper nouns in the last paragraph are also in title case.....

When poets like e.e. cummings used lower case exclusively in their texts, they did it for a reason. They were eschewing established rules of grammar and punctuation they thought were too staid and musty. They wanted to strip all that out and focus purely on the content, insofar as words are capable of accurately conveying content.

I'll stick my neck out and say that, roughly speaking:
upper case = 'stately, rigid, engraved, permanent, chiseled'
title case = 'formal, corporate, presentational, polished'
mixed case = 'conversational, flowing, normal, direct'
lower case = 'personal, intimate, humble, unassuming'

It could then be inferred that the use of small caps is probably a hybrid between upper and title cases.

Two more things: script and italic. The switch from separately formed letters to script indicates the sudden presence of the HAND (i.e., a calligraphic touch....personal, custom, elegant). And, the use of italics indicates the sudden presence of the VOICE (i.e. spoken conversation or a quotation, emphasis).

Decide how you want to portray the tone of this event in the type and stick with it. Use the cases judiciously to support that decision. Right now, it's kind of scattershot: too much pepper in the chili.

4. You could also get more out of the use of the script by using its "swashy" nature to connect the two names physically. Right now, there is a lot of space between the names and looks a little like they're already sleeping on opposite sides of the bed! Perhaps put them closer together and draw some additional swashes that connect all three elements with a flourish...? This might also help the ornament at the bottom to not seem so merely decorative and gratuitous, but rather an echo of what's happening above.

Cheers and Good Luck with it! And remember that people are going to be delighted to receive the message if it's good news to them, no matter how you set it.

Palatine's picture


Beautifully stated. There's a bit of advice for everyone in there . . .

lore's picture

Cultural differences are always interesting, in Brazil we don’t make invitations for funerals
lol! fantastic observation!

the invitation does not suggest you’re happy about getting married
Maybe the happiness is implied and what needs to be conveyed is is a serious thing! It's a commitment and it's a very solemn cerimony otherwise why not celebrate it in a pub with beer and friends? So, it also needs to be authoritative (or scary...). To me it looks standard catholic stuff, they all look the same with few variations. Regarding the cross/dagger: good riddance.
Man, I hate weddings.

keymistress's picture

perhaps if this were printed on a cream card stock with gold powder emboss it wouldn't look as "funeral-ish" as it seems.

you've fixed the horizontal alignment abit but the vertical alignment still doesn't look quite there yet to me.

is the wedding invite for yourself? if so, congrats!

Ratbaggy's picture

can someone design a wedding invitation that doesn't look standard please?

Paul Ducco
Graphic Design, Melbourne

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