From Casually Elegant to Formal: Best Fonts for Wedding Invitations

Your invitations set the tone for the wedding

Pattern stationery for wedding invitations

 Max Pixel 

Your wedding invitation sets the tone for your wedding and gives your guests a clue as to the formality of the event. If your nuptials are scheduled for an outdoor tented area followed by a cookout, you can go with a casually elegant font choice. Anything more formal wouldn't fit the ambiance of the day. However, an extravagant wedding with a full complement of attendants demands a traditional invitation and font.

If you are working with a wedding consultant, any font the consultant offers should work well for an invitation. However, if you are designing your own wedding invitation, you need to know a few things about choosing and using fonts. 

Tips on Choosing Wedding Fonts

Font samples with wedding invitation copy
Formal or casual, wedding invitation fonts are a personal choice although there are some traditional choices.

© Jacci Howard Bear

Not all fonts are created equal. When you are choosing a font for your wedding invitation, keep a few things in mind:

  • Many formal or "Old English" style fonts become unreadable at small sizes. You may have to limit their use to the main portion of the invitation and then choose a plainer, easier-to-read font for the small bits, like the RSVP information.
  • Speaking of RSVPs: Many lovely formal fonts look terrible in all caps. If you need all caps anywhere on your invitation, such as with the term "RSVP," check out a preview before making your final choice.
  • Plenty of free fonts are available on the internet, but they aren't all created equally. When you find a font you like, look for the character set that shows all the letters, punctuation, and numbers that are included in the font. If the font set lacks numbers, for example, it is not going to work for you. The same may apply to special characters like the ampersand. Make sure you check that each character you need is included with the font, and that you like the way the special characters look. Don't assume.

Elegant Fonts for Formal Invitations

Here comes the bride, elegant in Scriptina or formal in Fraktur — wedding fonts, that is. There are plenty of traditional font choices for wedding invitations, mostly script and some Blackletter fonts with a few decorative fonts thrown in to keep things interesting. While these fonts aren't the best choices for text-heavy books or resumes, they often suit invitations well.

Although they mimic cursive handwriting, elegant script fonts are more refined than handwriting is today, and they've long been popular for use on formal invitations. As an alternative, go way back in handwriting styles and choose a formal Blackletter font. Some traditional choices include:

  • Spencerian scripts, such as Exmouth, Palace Script, or Edwardian Script, are elegant and traditional.
  • Although some Blackletter styles are too dark or Gothic for a wedding celebration, the softer styles of Rotunda, including Typographer Rotunda or Cresci Rotunda, can be just right.
  • Some of the Carolingian fonts may be perfect for that formal Irish (or not) wedding.
  • Calligraphy fonts such as Bispo are both elegant and a little easier to read than scripts and pure Blackletter fonts. Traditional certificate fonts such as Vivaldi and Blackadder are often used in wedding invitations.

Fonts for Casual Invitations

For less formal invitations, you might want to use a casual script or handwriting font or even a decorative or theme font:

  • Go with a neat but informal script such as Noodle Script or something a little quirky such as Caffe Latte. For the ultimate in a personalized invitation, scan your own handwriting, assuming it is legible.
  • For a nontraditional wedding, try a nontraditional wedding font, such as Pacifico. 
  • If Boho is your style, check out Inspira or Wild Spirit.
  • Tie your wedding font to a theme based on your personality, location, or interests. A Western font might work for a country wedding setting or a fun "Wanted" poster-themed invitation. Typewriter fonts can be an appropriate touch for the couple that reads and writes together. 

The Best of Both Font Worlds

Mix fancy and plain fonts. Some decorative fonts are lovely in small doses but useless for important details such as date, time, and location. You want everyone who receives an invitation to be able to read the text easily. Pair a decorative script for the names of the bride and groom with a legible serif or sans serif font for the rest of the information. Avoid mixing two script fonts or two distinctive decorative fonts. They tend to overpower each other.

In most cases, whether you ​choose centered text alignment, script, or another decorative font, wedding invitations tend to be easier to read when the lines of text are kept short. For legibility, use wedding fonts at a larger size than you would find in most books — 14 to 16 points is a good starting point for the main part of the invitation.