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How Buying Wedding Invitations Is Like Buying a Car

Category: All About Wedding Invitations | Published on: Jun 14, 2019

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 16, 2016, but it’s been updated with awesome new tips and helpful links!

Your wedding invitations are like your car.

Bear with me here.

I planned to write about why wedding invitations are important, and while I was lost in musing I noticed my car parked in the lot outside. And I started thinking about the process I went through when I bought it. I did research online, looking for the best options to fit my needs. I made a list of must-haves and could-haves, I made a budget, and then I test drove a few. In the end, went with my gut to pick the Corolla I now have.

It’s pretty similar to the process of buying wedding invitations. You browse Pinterest. Check reviews. Get an idea of what you want your invites to look like. Make a budget. Order a couple of samples, and in the end pick the one that makes you smile.

The more I thought about it, the more I started to see the similarities between cars and wedding invitations.

The Basic Invitation Model: Tell People About Your Wedding

Get the beauty of hand-lettered watercolor in a semi-custom suite. Combine a pre-existing library of hand-lettered words with your choice of font and custom colors to create something all your own! Shown in blue and gray. | Wedding Invitations by CharmCat
Simple, but pretty, and does the job well!

Cars exist to get you from one place to another using an engine and four wheels. Anything less and it’s not a car anymore. Anything more is nice, but not vital to the goal of getting somewhere else.

Wedding invitations began as a way of letting guests know they’re invited, and let them know the basic info they need in order to attend the wedding: who’s getting married, when, and where.

Before we got fancy, wedding invites were just words written on paper. These letters met the minimum standard for a wedding invitation as we know them today. Just like that basic, standard-options-only two-door. No CD player, no power locks, and certainly no touchscreen. But when you turn the key, the engine starts, and you can drive it somewhere.

Today, you have more choices, like colors and fonts, thanks to technology. But the basic invitation model isn’t much different.

There’s nothing wrong with the basic model. It does exactly what it’s supposed to, and nothing more. You’ll save money and have fewer things to stress about.

The great thing about wedding invitations, just like cars, is there’s hundreds (or even thousands) of different options out there. You aren’t restricted to the basic model.

The Mid-Level Invitation Model: Accessories Make Everything More Convenient

You thought about getting the factory standard car, but there’s just a few things your feel in your gut that you’ll be happier getting. Bluetooth. Cruise control. One of those clicky fobs so you can unlock your car from 10 feet away. Of course, there are good reasons to spend the extra money to get them: safety, comfort, not getting rained on while you try to unlock the door. But they’re not *necessary* to the function of the car. And that’s okay.

These fancy gold foil invitations totally equal this fancy car.

You’re allowed to be safe, comfortable, and dry if you want to.

You’re allowed to make your wedding invitations fancier if you want to.

Want a fancier paper? An insert card for your wedding website? A custom map? If you’ve got the budget, go for it! It’s your invitation and you get to pick it.

The Luxury Invitation Model: Because It’s Fun

Engraved printing. Printed on silk. Rhinestone brooches. Mailed in a satin box. These are the Porsches and Jaguars of wedding invitations.

You’re probably thinking, “I bet those cost a small tropical island!”

Maybe they did cost a small island. If you had it in your budget, wouldn’t you add a little luxury to your car? A better sound system, heated seats, maybe one of those cars that parallel parks on its own? I know I would.

Plus, if you decide to spend your small island budget with a small business like mine, you’re contributing to someone’s livelihood. Win-win!

And then, you’re probably also thinking:

“They’ll just get thrown away.”

I’ll be brutally honest. Most of them will.

After Grandma sticks it to her refrigerator for three months, where she sees it every day and thinks of how happy she for you. Or your best friend pins that invite to the cork board above their desk, so they can get through the work day by remembering them how excited they are to attend your special day.

Some will never be thrown out. They’ll be kept in scrapbooks or shoe boxes in the closet to be rediscovered in ten years or fifty when you tell your grandchildren about your wedding.

Maybe one will live in a frame in your living room, next to your wedding day portrait.

You know what else just gets thrown away? Everything. Cars don’t last forever. In fact, they depreciate pretty darn quickly, but since when has that stopped you from wanting a car?

So Send the Wedding Invitation You Want

Your car isn’t just about the parts under the hood. It says something.

When someone sees your car, they learn a little bit about you. Is it bright red or classic black? Four-wheel drive? Pink fur seat covers? Your car shows off your personality.

Your wedding invitation should do the same! It’s like sending a little piece of yourself in the mail to all your loved ones. If you’re bold, be bold! If you’re classic, be classic. Add personal touches that make you smile.

I’m not saying you have to go luxury, but work with what you can afford to get a model you’re happy to drive. Remember even the basic models come with a few options. So embrace them and make your invitations as much a part of you as your car.

Or something like that.

— Ashleigh


  1. Josh Kohlbach Avatar
    Josh Kohlbach

    Love the parallels, I think both cars and wedding invites are definitely a highly personal decision and choice!

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1 thought on “How Buying Wedding Invitations Is Like Buying a Car”

  1. Josh Kohlbach

    Love the parallels, I think both cars and wedding invites are definitely a highly personal decision and choice!

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