Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Fonts and How to Select Them

Plus, dreamy invitations to inspire your own.
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
by
Hannah Nowack
Hannah Nowack The Knot Senior Weddings Editor
Hannah Nowack
Senior Editor, Weddings
  • Hannah writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a focus on real wedding coverage.
  • Hannah has a passion for DE&I and plays an integral role in ensuring The Knot content highlights all voices and all love stories.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Hannah was the Social Media Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings.
Updated Sep 01, 2021

Selecting a wedding font is an admittedly small wedding-planning task, but one that can have large ramifications. Weddings involve lots of stationery and the way that text is displayed has the power to convey subtle things about your chosen wedding aesthetic. If you're planning an eclectic wedding in Palm Springs then a funky, retro typeface may be the way to go. Meanwhile, if you're saying "I do" at a garden-inspired estate, you might consider playing into the romantic vibe with a font that'll also translate well into a monogram design. The options are truly limitless, but before you settle on the perfect font, there are a couple of things to consider. Below, along with advice from paper pros, we're taking a look at all the factors you need to weigh when it comes to selecting a dream wedding font.

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What To Consider When Selecting a Wedding Invitation Font Style

1. Decide If You Want Custom Invitations

Before diving into selecting the best fonts for your nuptials, you need to know how much control you are going to have over the invite process.

DIY
While some wedding tasks can be easily DIYed, invitations are generally best left to the pros for a few reasons. Notably, you may assume that DIY wedding invitations will save you money, but that's not necessarily true. Stationers have access to a larger library of commercial use fonts that can't simply be downloaded off the internet as free wedding fonts. While there are some free font downloads available for personal use, keep in mind that your options will be more limited if you go this route. Professional stationers also know the business, understand advanced printing techniques and have access to great suppliers to bring your dream invites to life.

Semi-Custom
If you want the ability to do some customization, but don't have the budget for fully personalized wedding invitations, then semi-custom is the way to go. This will route will give you well-designed paper that looks personalized. The Knot Invitations are a great option for couples who want to go a semi-custom route.

Fully Custom
For the most personalized and hi-touch paper suite, fully custom is the way to go. Your stationer for fully custom invitations will send you a proof of what your invitations would look like and will likely include one or two rounds of edits as part of the cost. Since stationery designers are experts in their field, it's helpful to bring some inspiration to the table, but it's also good to relinquish a bit of creative control to them to ensure you get the best end result possible."While most of my couples are planning a wedding for the first time, I have been doing this for over 10 years and have had up to 100 events per year. I have seen a lot of different scenarios, so listen to your stationery designer (and event planner) when they offer advice," says Erin Palermo, co-owner of Hi Note, an Atlanta-based custom stationery company.

Additionally, keep in mind that some calligraphy-inspired looks are actually digitized calligraphy and not a font. That's the most custom route you can take! Your stationer can partner with a calligrapher to have some key words, like your names, calligraphed and then incorporated into your elegant wedding invitation design. However, if an option like that is outside of your budget, it's worth noting that some calligraphers, like Laura Hooper and Karla Lim, have even created fonts of their own calligraphy that can be purchased and incorporated into designs. With fully custom invitations the options are limitless not only for wedding invitation fonts but also for the suite in its entirety.

2. Understand Typeface Styles

There's a lot of lingo that's thrown around in the typography world and it's helpful to understand some key terms before you set about finding a dream wedding font.

Serif
Fonts that have short lines stemming from the ends of the letters. Times New Roman is the most recognizable serif font.

Sans Serif
Fonts that don't have serif lines attached to the letters, like Arial or Helvetica.

Script
Script fonts involve a lettering style that resembles cursive handwriting or calligraphy. You may hear script fonts referred to as cursive fonts or calligraphy fonts. An old-school example of a script font is Alex Brush while a more modern script option beloved by couples is Carolyna Pro.

Display
A display font is more artistic than legible. Think Star Wars and Friends. The lettering associated with both franchises could be called a font, but it's also highly graphic and not something you'd use to pen a full-length letter. Display text could work for a sign, but since it is not often overly legible, be mindful when incorporating this sparingly into invitations.

3. Let Your Wedding Style Inform Your Font Choice

Karla Lim, calligrapher, stationer and font creator behind Canada-based Written Word Calligraphy & Design, encourages to-be-weds to remember that "fonts exude their own style, so keep in mind that whichever you select for wedding invitations should be one that reflects your style the most. For example, serif fonts which have these vertical and horizontal lines that end the strokes, tend to suit more classy, elegant weddings, while sans-serif fonts, tend to have a more modern feel to them as well. Similarly, if you choose a script font, or use calligraphy or lettering for your names, you would want to choose one that reflects the style and look of your wedding."

4. Keep Legibility in Mind

"Legibility is key," advises Palermo. "While there are many cool new fonts that look super neat, it's important that your invite serves its function: to inform your guests of the details of your event. Be mindful of the layout of the text as well. I love being creative with typography, but I typically choose to reserve any Avante Garde or unusual typography ideas for headings or accents—not the nuts and bolts of the content, such as time, date and location."

5. Ensure Fonts Pair Well Together

You likely won't want just one font for your wedding invitations, however, Palermo goes on to say that it's wise to cap your font selection at three max. "Sometimes this means I use the same font throughout but in lower case, all caps and italics. Other times, this means a combo of a script and a couple of block fonts. Rather than overwhelm your suite with bunches of type, consider incorporating different scales of the same font to help highlight information." Lim on the other hand advises keeping things even more limited. "At the most, choose 1-2 only. So for example, if you have a calligraphy font or choose to use calligraphy for your names, you should only choose one other font for the rest of the text. This helps readability and reduces the invitation from being too busy," she says.

Many online font foundries, like Creative Market and dafont.com, allow you to test out a font so you could see what your name would look like in a given font which can be helpful while brainstorming beautiful fonts and font duos for your wedding stationery.

6. Trust the Pros

You hired your chosen vendors for a reason, so don't forget to trust their judgment. "Crafting wedding invitations is like conducting a symphony, as a stationer you strive to create a harmony between all the various pieces to make it reflect the couple's love story, the look and feel of the wedding, and so much more," says Lim. "As a stationer, we've been so grateful to be part of many weddings, of various types and styles, and can suggest what has worked better whether it has to do with style, material, or even what works best for shipping in the mail. We care about each detail as much as you do, we want your guests to gasp in excitement as they get a glimpse of what your wedding is all about the moment they open your invitations."

7. Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Are my fonts legible?
  • Do these fonts make sense with my chosen wedding aesthetic?
  • Will these fonts look nice on other stationery items like wedding programs?

Wedding Font Inspiration

From elegant fonts to cute fonts, there's sure to be a wedding invitation typeface here with great vibes that piques your interest.

Contemporary Serif Font Ideas

It's easy to assume that in order to have a modern wedding invitation suite, you need to use a sans serif font. However, that simply isn't the case! Many serif fonts feel ultra-contemporary and would look totally chic in your invitation suite.

Fonts To Consider:

green-and-black wedding invitation suite
Bonnie Sen Photography
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Stationery: Minted

Minimal Sans Serif Font Inspiration

If you want a minimal invitation design with clean lines, go for a sans serif font.

Fonts To Consider:

Formal, Classic Script Font Ideas

If your vow exchange is taking place somewhere formal, like a church, followed by a country club reception then a script font may be the way to go.

Fonts To Consider:

classic wedding invitation with monogram
Julia Wade Photography
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Stationery: Arzberger Stationer

Romantic, Modern Script Font Inspiration

Not all script fonts are formal and classic. The rise in the popularity of modern calligraphy has also led to an increase in the availability of whimsical script fonts.

Fonts To Consider:

Script Options With Dramatic Flourishes

If you find yourself drawn to lettering examples that feature exaggerated brush strokes and dramatic flourishes, you should select a font with swashes. While it doesn't sound like a wedding-planning term, swashes are the typographical flourishes that extend from letters that occur in many modern calligraphy and classy handwritten fonts.

Fonts To Consider:

Eclectic Display Font Ideas

Wanna make a statement? Then a display font may be just the ticket. Display fonts are also great if your wedding is leaning heavily into a theme, such as Art Deco.

Fonts To Consider:

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