Behind the Cards: Meet Zola’s Wedding Invitation Designers

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Zola wedding invitation designers, from left: Alexandra Fortune and Kelly Lipovich
Zola wedding invitation designers, from left: Alexandra Fortune and Kelly Lipovich

It’s officially here: Zola’s new, exclusive collection of save the dates and wedding invitations has arrived! We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Invites + Paper, a beautiful, personal, and affordable line of paper save the dates and wedding invitations that compliment our free wedding websites. Since we introduced wedding websites in 2017, matching save the dates and wedding invitations have been the #1 request by Zola couples. Now, with Invites + Paper, our couples can choose from over 150 invitation suites in a range of stunning designs that will suit any and every type of wedding style

someone shopping on an ipad for zola wedding invitations

To learn more about how Zola’s wedding invitation suites evolved from just an idea to the first, exclusively Zola-designed product, I sat down with the talented designers responsible for Invites + Paper for some behind-the-scenes insights. Read on to hear what Alexandra Fortune and Kelly Lipovich, Zola’s invitation designers extraordinaire, have to say about all things wedding paper.

First off, Zola’s collection of invitations and save the dates are so incredibly beautiful—well done! The designs are also really diverse. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired the designs?
Thank you—it’s been a lot of hard work but we’re super excited to see the designs live! We started by looking at our most popular wedding websites and created designs for those. However, knowing that invitations and save the dates were launching really illuminated some gaps in our style assortment: florals, tropical, hand-lettered fonts, so we then started filling in those gaps with new designs.

This collection is very well-edited, but also feels like the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the kinds of things you could create. What other ideas do you have in the works that you’re most excited about?
We tried to create something for every type of bride or groom, but we’re excited to continue to grow the assortment with new design styles and card types. We’re going to make sure the rest of our wedding websites have matching card designs, then move on to new styles. Keep an eye out specifically for more minimal and rustic options.

Zola wedding invitations in Eastwick designs

The natural, romantic Eastwick paper suite

What is your creative process like—are there different stages from ideation to completion?  How much do you collaborate vs. work independently?
K: We keep a running list of ideas for themes we’d like to eventually offer, so I tend to start there then work on gathering or creating the art. It’s a lot of playing around and taking time to step away and come back to the design. We’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other and meeting to go over designs we’ve been working on.

A: The process has been incredibly iterative, and I think we’ve both been great at collaborating and adjusting as everything developed. A big part of the process for the initial launch was making sure to provide variety within the assortment, knowing that we would be expanding later. We tried to choose the strongest designs to start and if we had multiple ideas for a design, we knew we could always revisit them. I think we’re both aligned on the long-term vision for this project, which made it easy to keep things moving.

Zola wedding invitations and save the dates in blue Clemson and blue Wrightsville designs

The Wrightsville Portrait (left) and Clemson Frame (right) coordinating invitation suites

Which part of the design process do you find the most satisfying? And the most challenging?
K: We’ve been involved in pretty much every part of the process, from brainstorming designs to uploading them for customization on the site, so it’s definitely been most satisfying to see everything come together in the end. I think we’d agree that one of the most challenging parts has been pushing ourselves to design into all different types of styles and understanding someone’s aesthetic even if it differs from our own.

A: I think it’s fun and challenging to design for an aesthetic that isn’t necessarily your personal taste. I’m attracted to a lot of different styles, which I tend to think of as my weakness as a designer. Most designers I admire have a certain look that defines them and I always want to hone that for myself, but my varied tastes ended up being a positive during this process. Seeing how the cards would be built from a technical/engineering side was also both challenging (when it affected how cards were designed) and rewarding (understanding how something like this is built).

Zola wedding invitations in a variety of designs andcolors

A variety of Zola wedding invitation designs, clockwise from top left: Tillage Corner, Riverside Brush, Clemson Frame, and Morrison Rise

What sorts of trends are you seeing these days in the world of wedding paper? And how much do popular trends impact your designs in the long run?
We’re noticing trends in watercolor, calligraphy, greenery, and certain colors, and always try to incorporate popular trends in the assortment—but we also make sure to offer the classic, timeless designs as well.    

What is each of your favorite Zola save the date/invitation designs?
K: I tend to lean towards the simple, clean designs. My favorite suite is Violin. I do calligraphy and hand lettering on the side through an Etsy shop, so I’m drawn to the look of hand-lettered fonts, and it was exciting to incorporate that into a design.

A: I LOVE VIOLIN! A true Kelly Lipovich original and I just love it. I also love Galata, that was one that I definitely designed for myself. I also love Woads; we had been sitting on these images of white roses for so long and it was bothering me that I couldn’t come up with a nice design for them, but inspiration struck one night watching Bravo on my couch with my roommate! I made the circle motif to fit into a wedding website theme and I think it translated really nicely to the cards.

What advice would you give to a couple who is picking out their wedding save the dates or invitations?
Have fun with it! We love the idea of mixing and matching the designs and really making it feel like you as a couple. Do whatever speaks to you. It’s been really inspiring to see how creative our couples get with our wedding websites, and we think the same will hold true for invitations and save the dates. Whether it’s a silly photo for the save the date, unexpected wording on the invitation, or using text on the back of the invitation for a sweet quote that is meaningful to you, we love weddings that feel organic and very personal to the couple. That’s what it’s all about!

What’s in store next for the Zola Invites + Paper collection?
As mentioned, we want to continue to add more styles. We’re also looking forward to seeing which styles are the most popular and hearing what couples want. A huge part of the culture at Zola is this open line of communication with couples, and Invites + Paper will be no different! When we launched wedding websites, the feedback we got was “we want matching paper,” and here we are! We’re excited to be able to take feedback and turn it into something tangible—it makes the process feel incredibly personal and rewarding.

Zola wedding invitation designers, from left: Alexandra Fortune and Kelly Lipovich

Zola wedding invitation designers, from left: Alexandra Fortune and Kelly Lipovich

Thanks Alexandra and Kelly for taking us behind the wedding invitation designs—now go check out the stunning work of these two talented Zola designers by browsing Invites + Paper for yourself! 

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