8 Creative Alternatives to Traditional Invitations
Invitations do more than just announce your event! They’re a chance to get creative and set the atmosphere right away. If your guests have a great time learning about the event details, imagine how excited they’ll be for the actual event!
Paper invitations mailed in envelopes are classic. Themes, designs, and ideas are practically endless for traditional paper invites. They can be elegant, cute, or funny, but they’re not your only option! Intrigue your guests with an invitation that is also a gift or activity.
Here are some unique ideas for creative alternatives to traditional invitations your guests will love!
Instead of printing on paper, put your details on a handkerchief!
- Choose designs or patterns that compliment your theme or color scheme.
- Embroidered details will impress guests even further.
- Fold the handkerchief carefully into an envelope.
Guests will love receiving not only good news, but also an adorable keepsake. Handkerchief invites are perfect for rustic summer weddings, picnic birthdays, and tea parties.
Photo chain in a box
Miniature gift boxes are exiting for guests to open. Picture chains will please them even further.
- Choose a small box that matches your color scheme or theme.
- Choose photos and print them to fit just inside the box.
- Cut cards the same size and shape as your pictures. Make one card for the back of each picture.
- Write an event detail on each card.
- Cut a string long enough to glue each picture along evenly.
- Glue the string between the picture and a backing card. Make sure the pictures are well spaced.
- Glue the bottom end of the string to the inside bottom of the box and the top end of the string to the inside of the lid.
- Stack the pictures in the box so they unfold on the string when your guests remove the lid.
This is particularly effective for a small event when the guests are very close with your clients. For a wedding, choose pictures from the time your clients started dating to their engagement portraits. For a kid’s birthday, choose pictures from the past year. For an anniversary party, start with a wedding picture and progress to recent ones. Guests will love the element of nostalgia.
Invitations guests can keep are always exciting. Consider small plexiglass coasters instead of paper.
- Custom engrave the glass with your clients’ names and the details of the event.
- Have the invitations delivered in a small flat box so they don’t break.
- If glass is too risky, consider engraved or laser cut wood.
These invitations are great for milestone events like weddings or 60th wedding anniversaries because they’re commemorative as well.
Film canister invites are great for a vintage wedding or a photographer’s birthday.
- Buy empty canisters from online stores (Ebay, Amazon, etc.).
- Design a strip of quality paper that includes event details, graphics, and pictures along its length.
- Roll the paper in a way so that the event details are on the inside of the roll, and the outside is blank.
- Place the roll in the empty canister so the end sticks out the slot in the side. The end sticking out should be the beginning of the information.
- Put the canisters in small gift boxes with the instructions “Please pull tab”. Guests unwind the “film” to learn about the event.
45 Record and sleeve invitations
Transform 45 RPM vinyl records into invitations for vintage weddings, music lovers’ birthdays, or anniversaries of weddings from the jukebox era.
- Search garage sales or Ebay for old 45 records.
- Choose records that suit the theme or nature of the event.
- Custom design and print labels, sleeves, and/or inserts with the event details.
Choose songs from the theme era, the biggest hit from the year the guest of honor was born, or the anniversary couple’s first dance song. If you don’t want to alter original labels, put an insert with event details in the original sleeve with the record and design a custom outer sleeve.
Cootie catcher invite
Do you remember cootie catchers from grade school? They make playful invites for kid’s birthdays and bridal showers!
- Find a template online for folding and designing the cootie catcher to custom print them with details in the right spots.
- On each outer flap, print titles like place, date, and time.
- On the inside, print the details.
- Print RSVP details on the inside when the cootie catcher unfolds.
Balloons make perfect invitations for birthday parties and baby showers! Here are two simple but very fun ways to incorporate balloons into your invitations.
- Custom print colored balloons with the event details.
- On a card that says “Please inflate”, stick the balloon print side up. Guests won’t be able to read the shrunken words, so they’ll be curious to blow it up.
- Put the card in an envelope. These invites are distance-friendly.
If your guests are local and you can deliver invites, try this:
- Inflate miniature balloons with helium so they float.
- Attach a string or ribbon to the balloon and glue the end inside the box.
- Fill the box with paper, confetti, glitter, or whatever you please.
- On top, place a card with the event details.
- Nestle the balloon into the filling and close the lid.
- The balloon will float out when guests open the box
As long as your guests don’t have allergies, chocolates make invitations they can really enjoy!
- Choose a type of chocolate bar and remove the outer label.
- Replace it with your own custom printed wrapper.
- Print the names of your clients, the reason for celebrating, and the date on the outside of the wrapper. On the inside, include location and RSVP details.
Would your guests prefer a variety of chocolates instead of a single candy bar?
- Custom print a box with the clients’ names, the reason for celebrating, and the date on the lid.
- On the bottom of the box so they appear in each space, print the time, address, and so on.
- Place chocolates in each space to hide the details. Guests will learn about the event as they eat!
As long as your invitations can survive delivery, your options are basically endless! Think about what kind of event you’re throwing, who your guests are, what the theme is, and what your clients love. Help them choose something that will stand out, get their guests excited, and be fun to design.