Engagement Season is in full swing, and while most people are doing the 12 days of Christmas, we thought we’d do something a little more fitting with our industry. We bring you the 12 tips of Wedding Invitations to make your wedding planning go just a little bit smoother.
12 Tips for Engagement Season – Invitations
1. Before you talk Stationery, talk decor.
Your wedding invitations are a sneak peek into your wedding. The moment your guests open their invites, they should get a feel of what to expect on your big day. Jumping into the stationery process without discussing decor, colours, formal vs. casual etc. will leave you and you and your guests a little lost. Having stationery that reflects your day, and your vision will marry your pre-wedding image with your wedding day image.
Another reason? You’ll save some cash. If you are doing wedding invites, and day-of stationery such as menu’s, table numbers, escort cards etc. the design fee from your stationer will be reduced because the concept on both invite and day-of stationery will be the same, with minor changes. If a new concept needs to be created for your day-of stationery, your design fee’s will be higher.
2. Discuss your options, and figure out what your vision is
Is your wedding high-end. Is paper quality important, or not on your radar. Is your invite a work of art, a reflection of you, or simply something to let your guests know about your big day. Will your stationery be a major part of your wedding day-of decor. These are all questions you’ll need to ask before you start the hunt.
If your stationery isn’t important to you, and is simply a means of letting your guests know where to show up, you might be best to search online stationery companies and choose from templated designs.
If your stationery is a window into your wedding vision and the two of you as a couple, you’ll likely want to find a custom stationery boutique or shop that can help you create a piece specifically for you as a couple.
3. Set a budget, keeping in mind your “wants” list
Have you been up all night pinning beautiful photos of stunning stationery options and dreaming of your own? Start making a “wants” list for you and your stationer to discuss.
Dreaming of pocket-folds with embellishments? The higher-end your dream stationery looks, the more it costs. Keeping in mind that each layer of paper, each embellishment, each insert will all add up in the end.
Not sure where to start? If you are working with a planner, they can give you a good idea of what costs what. If you aren’t, talk to your stationer to find a happy medium to make your wish list compromise with your budget.
4. Do some research, find YOUR stationer
Custom designed stationery is an art-form. As with artists, each designer has their own style. Most stationer’s can do a mix of mediums; high-end, rustic, romantic, eclectic etc., but their style of designing will be reflected in each.
Look for a stationer with a style that you love and drop them a line to discuss options. Keeping in mind, with modern day technology, you don’t have to go to the shop around the corner, you can work with just about anyone.
5. Set up a meeting
Building a relationship with your stationer will help her/him get a grasp on your personality, you vision, you idea of the perfect wedding. Believe it or not, this has a huge impact on the smoothness of the stationery process, and the final outcome of the product you receive.
Meetings don’t have to be in person. Skype or phone meetings are just as effective as meeting in person to discuss your style and vision.
Bring your research with you. If you’ve been pinning, send a link of your board to your stationer prior to your meeting, send images that inspire you, colours you love and anything that might help convay what it is you are looking for. Don’t worry about the design itself, that’s our job, but as much information as possible helps get it right the first time, leaving less stress on your hands.
6. Do you need inserts?
Are you technology savvy? Do your guests need lodging information?
If you plan to have your guests go to an online link to RSVP to your wedding, then you’ll need to put that link on your invitation. Prefer the formal route? You’ll need an RSVP card with self addressed and pre-stamped envelope.
Having a destination wedding? You’ll likely need to include an information card with lodging information, road maps on how to get to your venue, any extra activities you may have pre-booked etc.
Keep this in mind when setting your budget, and be sure to mention it to your stationer when meeting.
7. Choose your Wording Wisley
To many details get cramped on invitations, leaving very little room for design. Keep this in mind when picturing the design you’d like on your invite. If you want something dramatic and substantial, keeping your wording to a minimum, but make sure it reflects your personality.
The main points that need to be a part of your text, are your names, date, time, location and whether or not there is a reception to follow. If your receiving help from family, ask them if they’d like to be included on the invite, by including “Together with their families” in your copy.
Remember your invitations are a reflection of your day. If you day is casual, use more causal wording, if your day is very formal, use formal wording on your invite.
8. Think of Deadlines, look to the future
When thinking about things such as RSVP by dates, keep in mind what information you’ll require closer to the date.
You’ll want to start the day-of stationery process about a month before your date, which requires you to have your seating arrangements completed. An RSVP date of 6 weeks to 2 months before your date will leave you plenty of time to compile your final guest list without to tight of a deadline.
Getting married in a destination? You’ll want your stationery in hand a min. of one week before you depart. Keep in mind shipping time and start the process a bit earlier. As we all know, sometimes shipping issues happen, be sure to leave enough time to ensure that they can be fixed in time for your stationery to be at your wedding.
Need some help on Invitations timelines? Check out one of our old blog posts here... http://www.pinkumbrelladesigns.com/invitation-timeline-tips/
9. Order Extras
We highly recommend ordering a min. of 5 extra invites. One for a keepsake, one for your photographer, a few extras incase you need to send out any last minute invites. If you have a B list for when you receive a regretfully declined RSVP, you’ll want to factor that in when ordering. It’s much cheaper to order all of them at once, than to order more afterwards.
For day-of stationery, we recommend the same. Order a min. of 5 extra menus, 5 extra blank place cards, 1 extra table number etc. incase you have any last min. additions (yes, it happens).
10. Guest List..
What do you do when RSVP’s start rolling in? Ask your stationer and venue if there is a specific format they require guest information to be given to them. Often times, you can do one list, and it can be distributed to your stationer, reception venue, planner etc., instead of doing a list for each of them.
Are you doing a plated meal? Ask your venue if they require an indication on your guests table place to show what meal option they’ve chosen. If so, let your stationer know. This can easily be added to their place cards as an icon that suites your stationery theme.
11. Order your vendors stationery
Are your vendors (photographer, planner, DJ etc.) sitting down for your meal? Think of them as guests and order them some stationery. Having one table lacking statinoery will stand out, and having your vendors sit down to a table and seeing their own personal place card will make them feel like a real part of your day (which they are!). It’s a small price to pay, and creates a giant impact.
Do you require any signage for your wedding day? A sign to direct people where to put Cards/Gifts, Direction signs to get to your ceremony venue? Customized guestbook poster? Unplugged Ceremony sign?
Discuss these options with your stationer when talking day-of stationery to ensure you don’t miss anything.