Setting the tone for your wedding: Start with invitations

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(ARA) - You might have had a vision for your wedding as a kid, but that's likely changed - and dramatically so - over the years. Your style changes, and then you meet your spouse-to-be, who brings a whole other perspective into the mix. But as you plan for your wedding day, keep in mind that finding a balance and infusing your wedding with personality are important factors in making the day memorable.

By setting the tone early, with wedding invitations perfectly designed to express the mood you're hoping to create, you'll be giving yourself a guide and providing guests with an enticing preview. And if you want to get a head start on booking your guests' calendars, save-the-dates are a good idea. They don't need to match your invitations precisely, but should be in keeping with your theme.

For busy brides, it's easier than ever to both find the right invitations and order them at a great price. Online retailers like offer brides a huge array of options that can be customized and ordered and sent for delivery with just a few clicks. The cost savings offered by online retailers can be dramatic, which a lot of today's brides value.

If you're still searching for the look that feels just right for you, consider these ideas and think of ways to adapt them for a look that's uniquely "you."

* Classic. Think subtlety, elegance and understated style. The time-honored invitation style of rich, heavy paper printed with cursive script speaks to a love for the glamour of years gone by. If you're a traditionalist who sees the beauty in time-honored wedding etiquette, from formal seating to dramatic gowns and men in dashing formalwear, setting a classic theme will be perfect for your wedding.

* Rustic. For some couples, keeping it casual speaks to their lifestyle. Creating a wedding filled with easy, relaxed charm is increasingly popular, and many brides and grooms opt to incorporate touches of nature and handmade decor to achieve the look. Sending out wedding invitations that match the feel of the event lets guests know that they can come prepared for a fun, relaxing and informal event.

* Modern. Clean lines and simple design are hallmarks of a modern wedding. For brides who want to skip lace and grooms who feel more comfortable in a sharp suit than a formal tux, opting for invitations with uncluttered, bold design is a good way to hint at the stylish ceremony you'll be holding. But don't assume that simple means boring - a high-design approach can incorporate your favorite colors without losing the overall minimalist feel you're looking for. Updated, less formal language also adds to a modern feel.

* Destination. Getaway weddings are a unique way to express who you are as a couple - the location you select, on its own, says a lot. Once you have your destination picked out, you can have a ton of fun with invitations. Look for designs that are in line with the place where you'll be getting married - keep in mind that it doesn't need to be literal; you can hint at beaches if you're going to a tropical locale or classical architecture if you're headed to Europe. Sending out save-the-dates is particularly important for destination weddings - you want to notify your guests well in advance so that they can make plans and save up to make the trip.

Planning your wedding will be fun, but it's important to realize that the process can be challenging. Setting guidelines early gives you a theme to follow, making decisions easier and creating a more cohesive event in the end. For more wedding invitation ideas, visit