Here are my top tips that will help you understand how important your wedding invites and stationery is and how the process works...
Why are printed invitations so important when it comes to weddings? Your wedding is a once in a life time celebration and its announcement should convey all the excitement you feel; the tactile sensation of paper in hand is a big part of it. Putting words on fine paper make a personal connection and it shows how much you value that person. I have to say, I didn't know how to respond the day I received my first wedding e-vite. Thankfully, most invitations today are still printed on paper despite the immense popularity of electronic communication.
When should you book a stationer? You want enough time to plan everything from the save-the-des to the menu cards. To make it a fun stress-free experience, sit down with your stationer 8 to 12 months before and describe your wedding - location, time, number of guests, small details about yourself and the groom, and what you want design-wise.
When should you mail invitations? Remember, the bride and groom aren't the only ones making plans. You can mail save-the-dates up to a year before your wedding, especially if you're having a destination wedding; invitation themselves should go out 6 to 8 weeks before the date.
What are some of the other pieces to include in your invitations suite? Weddings are becoming weekend-long events. Maybe you need a map of the area, a list of weekend activities for guests, or wedding pockets to hold all these pieces. Its not essential to have them match, but it does make a nice statement when they do.
How many extras should I order? It seems excessive, but ordering 25 extra invitations is very practical. Guests lists change over the course of an engagement, invitations get lost in the mail and you may want to keep some as a mementos. Brides are creating scrapbooks for themselves, their families, or bridesmaids; the invitation is often the first piece within that.
Where should you begin? Choose a theme that's iconic or special to you and your husband-to-be, and consistently express it through the quality of the paper, print style, colour of the ink, a unique graphic element, or even a certain typestyle. Cut out things you like from magazine or start a few Pinterest boards.
Should couples have a specific style in mind when ordering invitations and stationery? If you do wonderful, if not, start with something concrete, like your colour palette, and go from there. And don't be afraid to go in one direction for save-the-date and switch it up a little for your invitation. Your save-the-date should be more fun and only reveal a hint of what is coming next. Invitations generally are kept a bit more formal.
There are brides who come in with a very fuzzy idea of what they want. How do I help them hone their vision? I always start all my client relationships with a "get to know you" chat. I get to hear the story of how they met, fell in love, and became engaged. Subtle details that the couple might not be able to envision as playing a role in their stationery can be some of the best places to start, especially since they tend to be the most personal and most unique. From there, it's my job to focus on how best to reflect the couple.
And there are the brides who come in with binders of inspiration... I love when brides bring inspiration to the first meeting. It never hurts to be able to talk about what "rustic", "vintage", or "casual elegance" means to them. Words that get used so often in wedding planning sometimes need to be explored visually so that everyone's on the same page. And sometimes the best hints about what they are looking for can come from the "stuff we don't want" section of the binder.
My advice when it comes to the wording? Even if you see the need for more traditional wording, you can always experiment with a bit more playfulness on the RSVP. I love to use "Wouldn't miss it for the world" and "We'll be there in spirit" for the accepts/regrets. And there are always ways of adding a short-and-sweet line in unexpected places.
Is it possible to have an invitation that feels contemporary and creative yet formal? Absolutely! The formal nature of an invitation can be relayed in so many ways-classic tyography, wording choices, using a professional calligrapher, as well as decisions about materials. For example, using a classic white invitation but choosing fluorescent ink can be a great way to mix formal and contemporary.
Best way to cut cost... One of our favourite cost-cutting ideas that we offer clients is an option to assemble their invitations themselves. It's a great way for couples to involve their wedding party or family members who really want to help with the planning. You can also save by combining items. For example, assembling your own pocket enclosures or inserting your custom liners.