Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Top 12 Design Ideas for Shower Invitations

Sharing my article from www.Mountaincow.com:

We’ve come a long way from those store-bought, fill-in the blank bridal shower invitations! Now, you can design stylish, personalized invitations with a dash of innovation and a match to the guest of honor’s style. Here are the top design tips and trends to inspire you:
A fabulous fold: Choose from a flat or folded card, tri-fold (two panels open up like French doors to reveal your message inside), scroll, four-page booklet or even an accordion or origami-type fold. A truly unique invitation starts with the very first impression.
Shape up: In addition to traditional rectangle-shaped cards, you can now incorporate the big trend in unique card shape: square, circular, oval, or triangular invitations. It’s easy to form these shapes without hassle – simply print out your invitations on regular card stock and then cut using regular or wavy-edged scissors, or die cuts punches from the scrapbook store.
Color match: You can use the bride’s color palette (such as pink and apple green or chocolate and red) for the shower, or you can move into a different hue to match the theme, style or location of the party you’re planning. For instance, a garden-themed party might inspire a bright yellow card with a cantaloupe orange Gerbera daisy and bright orange print. Your party is an individual, so you don’t need to limit yourselves to the bride’s favorite colors, or go with bridal whites and blush pinks. Brights are all the rage, so consider an eye-catching hue to announce that this party is going to be fun.
Swirls and slants: Choose a fabulous font that conveys the style and formality of your party. The type of print you use conveys a message to the guests – a formal italic might be ideal for a tea party, while a more city-chic font might convey the indulgent tone of your spa pampering themed-party.
Talk in your voice: You’re not bound to traditional invitation wording etiquette, as is expected for formal wedding invitations, so use your own conversational style, an excited tone, even humor. For instance, instead of “You’re invited to a bridal shower for…” you might ‘speak’ to the guests in the tone of “Little black dress….check. Martinis….check. A view of the city skyline…check. We’re all set for Julie’s bridal shower, and we’d love for you to join us!” The wording you use shares an image, plus incorporates the bride’s personal style and tastes into your invitation. Wording can also share dress code, which guests will need to know. “We’ll all be in comfy spa wear and flip-flops for the spa party” tells the guest that a dress, heels and stockings would be out of place.
Use a great graphic: Check out the fun, shower-perfect graphics included in Mountaincow’s PrintingPress software. The most popular images include lipstick, high heeled shoe, martini glass, tulips, music note, and champagne glasses.
For co-ed showers: Since the big trend right now is hosting a shower including both sexes, design the invitation with him in mind as well. Some popular color schemes for this type of party: chocolate brown with tan and red accents, black and white with red or iced blue accents, deep jewel tones like cranberry, hunter green, sapphire blue, or deep purple, or a stylish and cosmopolitan steel gray with silver and teal or red print.
Design stylish inserts: Shower invitations often include registry information or directions on separate cards. (See Mountaincow’s scalloped-edge notecards as the perfect color-coordinated choice.) Include additional inserts for guests’ favorite recipes, best marriage advice or input for any shower games planned.
Share FYIs about the registryIf the couple has signed on to a registry that donates a percentage of purchases to their favorite charity, include that information! You can choose a theme for the gifts if you know the bride and groom particularly want items for their honeymoon or newly renovated kitchen. Guests will be more likely to shop from the couple’s choices.
Include the RSVP: Again, you’re not bound by traditional wedding invitation rules that say a response card is needed, but you can design a response card or postcard as an alternative to printing your name and phone number or e-mail on the card itself. Add an “RSVP by” date if you have special catering or space concerns.
Tie one on: Just as with the new trends in wedding invitations, shower invitations can also be tied with a ribbon or a ‘belt’ made of a fabric length attached by a buckle, charm, or beaded accent. Fashion-forward shower planners use faux fur or city-chic fabric ties, rhinestone fasteners, gemstones, even a single chandelier earring bought inexpensively at a craft fair (or a pair of earrings as a surprise pre-favor before the shower even happens). Dress up your invitation with something unexpected, but bear in mind that anything raised or bulky will require extra postage when mailing.
The outer wrapping: A colorful envelope stands out from a pile of bills and junk mail, so make the envelope something special as well, using a fantastic color that shows your return address done in a kicky, colorful font, and even a fun graphic or words printed on the bottom or back of the envelope. Match a design element from the invitation to this envelope so that the ensemble looks professionally-made.

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