They say the right stationery can set the tone for a wedding.
And while there are plenty of ways to get all the big day details out to guests, there is something really special about a unique wedding invite.
Ireland is bursting with talented calligraphers, graphic designers and illustrators, all of whom can provide that extra striking element to the big day for those with a penchant for beautiful, story-telling design and fine materials.
In no particular order (!) here are some of the best wedding invitation designers in the biz...
After planning her own big day, graphic designer Natalie Duke became obsessed with all things weddings, and decided after her nuptials to pack in her agency job and set up stationery design company Keady Row.
Specialising in typography and layout, Natalie's designs are clean and minimal, contemporary and elegant.
"After working in the commercial design industry for five years, I wanted to create an opportunity for design conscious couples to access bespoke, high-end wedding stationery based on minimal, clean, distilled designs and with absolutely no templates," Natalie tells THEVOW.ie.
"You don’t need doilies and diamantes to make a lasting impression on your guests"" says Natalie. "The couples we work with are looking for something totally unique for their wedding. They appreciate the detail and see beauty in simplicity."
For more information and ideas on prices, visit keadyrow.com/
"Crafted with love, at home" is the tagline of Wexford husband and wife team Justin Campbell and Kate Rose Crean's Dusty Boy Design, and that's exactly what their sweet and stylish bespoke wedding stationery is.
The passionate pair behind Wexford-based luxury lifestyle brand Dusty Boy have created unique wedding stationery for some of Ireland's most style-conscious couples, and count Pippa O'Connor and Angela Scanlon among their many fans.
Dusty Boy were commissioned to design the invites, thank you cards, signage and wee confetti bags for Angela's wedding to her now-husband Roy Horgan back in 2014 - the prints of which the presenter has said she still has hanging in her home.
One half of the Dusty duo - Kate - is also a hugely successful freelance make-up artist, and has worked on numerous magazine editorials as well as with celebrities and brides for years.
She loves when a couple comes to them with inspiration from something more alternative, and loves the challenge of including something truly personal and special in designs.
"A bride sent us a photo of a crockery collection belonging to her grandmother that she loved. We took elements of that and included it in the stationery as a nod to her grandmother who has passed away. That was a very special project."
For more about Dusty Boy Designs and for a price guide visit dustyboydesigns.ie
If beautiful, modern, striking stationery is on the cards for your big day, Lilly Cinnamon may just be your go-to designer.
Run by West Cork-based Lilly and Lena O'Driscoll, Lilly Cinnamon comprises both a ready-to-order collection which includes a range of romantic hand-painted flowers, watercolours and whimsical woodland designs, and a bespoke, one-of-a-kind service for couples who wish to create something truly personal with their wedding stationery.
Lilly is the head designer, and takes inspiration for her botanical motif illustrations the simplicity of the surrounding nature. Sophisticated fonts are central to the fine art style suites in their off-the-rack collections, which come in both intricate and more muted styles.
Visit lillycinnamon.com for more information on pricing and other services.
A true romantic, head designer of wedding stationery specialists Till Dawn Dear Kitty Moss cites "the trees, the moon and the stars" as the inspiration behind the collections which have won her numerous awards and seen her cement her position as one of the go-to Irish designers for magazines, hotel groups and some of the country's most design-focused brands.
Kitty found herself in the world of weddings after being commissioned by a friend to design her wedding stationery suite and since then, she says, she's be lucky to work with "some of the coolest couples in town", putting their love story down on paper or capturing a particularly special moment in their lives for them to treasure forever.
Kitty also specialises in creating contemporary family 'crests' encompassing the unique aspects of her couples' relationships, which can be integrated into wedding stationery or simply given as a special gift on the big day.
For information on bespoke pricing head over to tilldawndear.net
Three Little Birds Illustration is husband and wife team Neil and Deborah, who run the stationery business from their home studio in the Cavan countryside. The couple launched Three Little Birds in 2017, their passion for the lost art of handwritten notes and letters the driving force behind the concept.
Deborah, a self-taught calligrapher and illustrator, takes her inspiration from her natural surrounding to create her watercolour and ink hand paintings and illustrations, while Neil's job involves converting his wife's original artwork into digital images.
Three Little Birds offer a luxury bespoke service for wedding couples and provide all their information in their wedding stationery guide.
For a price guide and more visit threelittlebirds.ie
Print designer Niamh Gillespie honed her talent in London where she was in high demand for her bespoke prints which saw her commissioned by top designers such as Paul Smith, LK Bennett and Topshop.
She eventually swapped the fast pace of the city for a studio by the sea back in Ireland, and it's from there that she continues creating her stunning artwork which include custom wall prints and of course, her beautiful wedding stationery.
Designed and printed in Ireland, Niamh's collection includes a variety of unique designs from the colourful and abstract - where contemporary neon contrasts with black in some of the bolder iterations - to the traditionally inspired.
For more information on Niamh's work visit niamhgillespiedesign.com.
Donegal-based Maggie Marley is inspired by Japanese and Scandinavian design using it as the basis for her hyyge style stationery that's also thoroughly influenced by the romantic landscape of her native Donegal.
Bold graphics, vintage colour, clean, elegant lines and clear finishes are the focus of Maggie's unmistakable collections which comprise everything from save the dates to confetti holders, menus, name tags and signage.
Maggie can customise her designs, and also offers a bespoke service for clients looking for something a little bit different. Bespoke projects however are limited each year as she concentrates her efforts on creating high quality designs for clients using traditional craftsmanship such as letterpress and silk screen printing.
For more on Maggie Marley's designs, plus information on pricing, visit maggiemarley.com
Designed and printed in Ireland, Monesterevin-based Gilded Lili is a 'couture wedding invitation company' for busy couples or for those planning 'a wedding on a whim'.
Helmed by graphic designer Catherine whose background is in press and textile print, Gilded Lili provides a straight-forward service for those looking for beautiful 'off the shelf' invites, ceremony booklet and evening invite designs that can be easily transferred to their own particular setup.
Designs are timeless, elegant, simple and clean with some beautiful art deco styles in unexpected shades for those looking to create a sophisticated theme ahead of their big day.
Catherine also provides a custom and bespoke service for those looking to be a little more hands on with their unique creations.
For more visit gilded-lili.com
"Consider us your personal design team," say husband and wife team Katie and Johnny Lynch of the very cool Cool & Co. Specialising in fun custom wedding stationery, Katie and Johnny provide everything from single simple invites to full suites including save the dates, menus, table plans, signage and everything in between.
Off the shelf designs are available and Cool & Co. provides a full custom service for those looking for something extra personal for keepsakes.
Designs are for the most part romantic, elegant, whimsical and evocative, with muted shades and negative space. Sprinkled into the collection include some bolder, more colourful designs for those looking for something that pops, while an art deco element is also present in a few gorgeously gilded statement styles.
For more on Katie and Johnny's designs visit coolandcompany.ie
Little Ivory Weddings is an online wedding stationery company run by talented Irish duo Gillian and Dave, who provide ready to order and bespoke wedding invitations and stationery.
With a background in graphic design and illustration, Gillian and Dave work with couples to create incredible designs from scratch, as dreamt up by client and designer.
To give couples an idea of what goes into a bespoke wedding card, Gillian often posts videos showing the evolution of her designs which can include sweet scenes such as the couple at their venue, which act as a particularly special keepsake long after the big day.
For more visit littleivoryweddings.com
It's been called a 'summons' by some gloomy guests, and it seems receiving a wedding invite is just the start of the inconveniences for some Negative Nancys when it comes to friends or family tying the knot.