Advertising
Advertising

How to Pick Your Perfect Wedding Invitation

How to Pick Your Perfect Wedding Invitation

Your wedding invitation serves as an introduction to your guests about the style of your wedding and reception. Often, it will represent your chosen colors as well as your personal aesthetic. To make a cohesive impression, your wedding invitations should be as coordinated as the rest of your big day. If you want to make sure you have chosen the perfect invitations for your wedding, consider the following tips when making your decision.

Style and Theme

Do you picture yourself as a modern bride and groom, or as a more classic couple? Is your wedding focused on a particular theme, such as a time period or location, or is it more about a certain feel? Understand how you picture your wedding, and what key features are going to be involved, allows you to make an invitation selection that will complement the overall concept.

Advertising

For example, if you intend to have a contemporary service and reception, you may not want symbolism associated with a 1920s theme, and vice versa. Invitations should fit in with your other design choices to create a seamless impression.

Colors and Shapes

When planning a wedding, choosing colors is often one of the first points of focus. Luckily, most wedding invitation producers have a wide range of colors to choose from for the text, paper, and even envelope. Choose paper stock and font colors that reflect your colors while respecting the overall style of the wedding. And make sure that if you choose a light card stock that you go with a dark font, and pair dark card stock with a light font for suitable contrast. That helps with overall legibility, ensuring your guests can actually read what the invitation says.

Advertising

Additionally, most people default to traditional rectangular wedding invitations, even though there are many more choices. While a rectangle is classic, a circle may feel more whimsical, and a square may seem more modern.

Keep the Content Simple

The information on a wedding invitation needs to be clear and concise. While certain formalities, such as spelling out everything (including the time of the ceremony), lead to more text, you don’t want to overcrowd the card. Trying to fit in extra details requires the text to be smaller, and can make it harder to read.

Advertising

Double and Triple Check (or More) Your Proof

It is easy to overlook errors when we know what the invitation was meant to say. Since you have many of these details in the forefront of your mind, you are not the ideal proofreader for your own invitations. Have the proofs checked by a few friends and family members. Make sure the date and time are accurate as well as the spelling of any names and locations.

Don’t Delay                                                    

Printing custom invitations takes time, and all wedding invitations need to be custom made. In some cases, it will take a few days while others may require weeks. Since you want to send out the invitations early enough to provide potential guests with sufficient notice, delaying the purchase isn’t really an option.

Advertising

Your invitations should be ordered at least four or five months before the wedding to ensure you have enough time to receive them, address them, and mail them to your guests. In some cases, you can acquire your envelopes early, allowing you to get a head start on having them addressed. This is especially helpful if you plan on having them addressed by a professional calligrapher.

You also want your guests to have enough time to RSVP as well as make any necessary arrangements. If you are having a destination wedding, the sooner you can inform your friends and family regarding your upcoming nuptials, the higher the likelihood that they will be able to make arrangements to attend.

Order More than You Need

There is always a chance that some will be damaged or lost in the mail, so you want to have enough to cover those. Also, you may end up sending out additional invitations if those sent during the first round have a larger than expected number that is unable to attend. That allows you to send invitations to any guests who were not originally invited due to the limitations of your space when it becomes apparent you have room.

Additionally, you will want to keep a few as keepsakes. Often, the couple will keep at least one or two, and the parents of the bride and groom may also appreciate an additional copy.

More by this author

record player and mac Streaming or Downloading: Which Is the Best Use of Your Mobile Data? person on laptop Not Using a Digital Marketing Strategy? Here’s Why You’re Missing Out 2 men grappling Interested in Martial Arts? You’ll Need Gear Want to Improve Your Fitness? Consider Martial Arts wrapped present How to Select a Great Gift for Anyone and for Any Occasion

Trending in 20-Something

1 7 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience 2 How To Go Through College And Stay Sane 3 The Battle Of The Voices In My Head 4 How to Have the Best Spring With Your Pets 5 5 Effective Ways to Increase your Instagram Followers

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

Advertising

1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

Advertising

3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

Advertising

It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

Advertising

Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next