Invitation Advisor: Wedding Invitation Wording – How To Indicate Who Is Hosting

February 14, 2012 § 1 Comment


Among other things, this invite is completely missing a host line – if only that were the only issue…

I’m always looking for new topics to blog about, and after last week’s blog on how to properly use titles on an invitation or outer envelope it occurred to me that there are so many little things that I may have mentioned here or there on the blog that have never gotten their full due. So, I’m starting a bit of a series today on the small details when it comes to wedding invitation wording/etiquette – the details that I get the most questions about!

Wording is a big one, and while I’ve covered the topic broadly a few times, and provided a bunch of links (frankly, just ask Uncle Google to search for “wedding invitation wording” and you’ll come up with more resources than I could ever link on this blog!); but, I haven’t really looked at each part of a standard invitation individually. So…it’s about time, right?

And where do I always say is a good place to start? Why, the beginning, of course ;)

Traditionally speaking, the first line of a wedding invitation is the “host” line ie. who is doing the inviting (and traditionally who is doing the paying). While certainly you may see some kind of opening quote or statement before the host line, it’s the first important part of the invitation, and the part that may cause some confusion for couples these days.

Why? To put it simply, because times have changed. It used to be that in 95% of cases a bride’s family would host, and therefore there was no wondering how the invitation should be worded – it always began, “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the honour of your presence at the wedding of their daughter…”, or something very similar. These days, there are SO many different possibilities (bride’s parents hosting, groom’s parents hosting, bride and groom hosting, all of the above, divorced parents, step-parents – it goes on) that it can be a daunting task to figure out how to word this part of your wedding invitation.

Here’s a quick rundown of both traditional and modern methods of tackling this conundrum…

Aside: As a bonus, I’ll throw in a quick discussion of  what comes after the hosts names. Generally speaking “request the honour of your presence” should be used for ceremonies taking place in a house of worship (church, synagogue etc.), while “request the pleasure of your company” can be used for ceremonies taking place in secular locations (ie. everywhere else). That said, there are many other ways of asking your invitees to join you, so unless you are having a very formal wedding or want very traditional wording, feel free to use different wording entirely!

Traditional:

First and foremost, it’s important to note that traditionally formal etiquette dictates that the “hosts” are the ones who are paying for the wedding. Period. For example, if the bride’s parents are hosting, there is technically no requirement for them to even list the groom’s parents names (if listed, their names should only appear under the groom’s name ie. “son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson”, unless they are contributing to the wedding itself).

Here are some examples of traditional wording for different scenarios:

Bride’s parents hosting – Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter Jane Marie to Mr. Jeffrey James Johnson son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson…

Groom’s parents hosting – Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of Jane Marie Smith to Jeffrey James Johnson…

Bride and Groom’s families both hosting – Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson request the pleasure of your company and the marriage of their children Jane Marie and Jeffrey James…

Bride and Groom hosting with both families – Jane Marie Smith and Jeffrey James Johnson together with their parents Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson invite you to celebrate their marriage…

Bride and Groom hosting – Miss Jane Marie Smith and Mr. Jeffrey James Johnson invite you to share in the celebration of their wedding…

Bride’s divorced parents hosting – Mr. John Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Sam Thompson invite you to share in the marriage of their daughter Jane Marie to Mr. Jeffrey James Johnson…

Bride and Groom’s divorced parents hosting - Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Sam Thompson together with Mr. Jack Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Adams request the pleasure of your company and the marriage of their children Jane Marie and Jeffrey James…

Honouring a deceased parent – Jane Marie daughter of Tess Smith and the late John Smith requests the honour of your presence as she joins in marriage Mr. Jeffery James Johnson son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Johnson…

Phew…getting woozy yet? I could probably go on because there are so many more scenarios out there, but hopefully this is a good start on what a traditional/formal invitation host line would look like.

Modern:

Because there has been such a renaissance in weddings in the past 15-20 years, these days anything goes when it comes to who is hosting. As more and more older couples are getting married, especially those who may already be living together and settled on their own, it has become much more common for couples to foot the bill for their own weddings, or to contribute towards it. And as mixed families are becoming more common as well, it becomes difficult to determine exactly who should be listed on the invitation – it’s not uncommon for four sets of parents to be involved in a wedding, and that can make for a very long and confusing invitation!

These days, I think that the idea that the host line needs to be very formal is relaxing a bit. I know with my own clients, many of them are hosting on their own or together with their families and this is often reflected in the wording of the invitation. Some have such complicated family dynamics that they feel it’s just much easier to say “together with their families” than to list each parent, step-parent etc.

As long as what you’re doing makes sense, feels right, and isn’t going to offend – then go for it!

Tip: Always ask all parents what they are most comfortable with when it comes to the invitation *before* finalizing your wording. I have had more than one frantic phone call from a couple after providing their final approval because their parents saw the invitation and were unhappy that they weren’t listed, how they were listed, where they were listed or…you get the idea.

Yes, it’s your wedding – but it’s a big day for your family too, so make sure you are being respectful of their feelings as well!

Okay, so we’ve talked about those first few lines – the host line, the request line – what’s next?

Why, more about names of course – too much to fit into this post, so next week we’ll talk about the bride and groom’s names as well as more about parent/host names and some of the pitfalls to avoid when wording your wedding invitation!

Oh, and before I forget, Happy Valentine’s Day <3

Invitation Advisor: What’s In A Name – Using Titles on Wedding Invitations and Envelopes

February 7, 2012 § 1 Comment

From blog.bandmfelt.com.au

One thing that confuses a lot of our couples is how to use proper social titles on their wedding invitations, and especially when addressing their envelopes. So, today, let’s take on titillating and titular world of titling.

First things first – what the heck am I talking about when I say “titles”? I’m referring, of course, to things like Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., Rev. and Viscount of Canterbury. Okay, so maybe the last one isn’t used very often, and the others are actually abbreviations of titles, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

Before we dive in, there’s one other thing to mention. I’ve definitely blogged about the use of titles before (like in this post mostly ranting about “and guest”, or this one about addressing), and you may be wondering – why bother? Do I really need to use titles and make my life that much more complicated? The answer is no, of course you don’t NEED to – if you want to address your invitations using names only, go for it.

Just remember the magic phrase: does it fit the tone and level of formality of my event?

For those that *are* using titles, I present a healthy serving of useful info with a side of etiquette and a dollop of history – good times!

Let’s start with a fun history/etymology lesson, shall we?

The title “Mister” (or Mr.) was really originally “Master” (referring to the master or head of the household). The feminine version of “Master” is actually “Mistress” (Mrs.), but of course we now know that term to mean something else entirely than a man’s wife. Over time, the term mistress began to refer to a “paramour” or “kept woman”, so most respectable married woman stopped ever using the full title, and stuck with the abbreviation “Mrs.” And did you know that it’s never correct to call a woman “Mrs. Betsy Jones” (you’ll find out why later!).

Of course, the most common title we use socially are: Mr. (married man or bachelor), Mrs. (married woman), Ms. (general formal title for women, can refer to married or unmarried women) and Miss (unmarried woman). There are also academic, professional, religious and political titles as well, that may be used in social situations – such as Doctor, Reverend, Senator etc.

Aside: If you are really bored, you can check out the extensive (and I mean, extensive) Wikipaedia article on Titles. Also this Wiki on styles of address – really interesting actually!

Here are answers to some of the burning questions you may have about using titles:

How can I address invitations including the woman’s name in a married couple? I don’t like the idea of using the man’s name only?
This is a big one these days, and to be honest when it comes to etiquette there really isn’t a tidy solution. Traditionally you would refer to a married couple as “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith”, which I know really irks many young women out there who don’t appreciate being addressed as “Mrs. Husband’s Name”. And when you have so many women keeping their maiden name or both names, hyphenating etc., it gets even more complicated. I’ve had clients want to use things like “Mr. John and Mrs. Mary Smith” (wrong for a number of reasons) or “Mr. and Mrs. Mary and John Smith” (better, but still not right), but truthfully there is no formal, correct way of using both titles and names for a married couple. You could technically use “Mr. John Smith and Ms. Mary Smith”, similar to the way you would address them if a woman uses both last names, hyphenates or keeps her maiden name; or, you can do with more and more of my clients are doing – do away with the titles altogether and address them as “Mary and John Smith”. Yes, you read that right – in this case the woman’s name always goes first because the man’s first and last name should not be separated.

What if I don’t know a woman’s marital status?
Always use “Ms.” if you are unsure, as it works for pretty much anything (including divorced or widowed). Note that many married women use the title Ms. (including yours truly) and it is becoming more common these days to refer to all women as Ms. when addressing something to them directly (say for a bridal shower or similar situation). Why? Because technically speaking (by traditional etiquette rules) the title “Mrs.” should only be used in conjunction with a woman’s husbands name/last name, but never with her full name (because it really means “Mistress of”). So for instance, it’s technically correct to refer to me as Mrs. William Spano (ugh, not okay by me though to be honest) or Mrs. Spano, but never Mrs. Sarah Spano. But you can definitely call me Ms. Sarah Spano, and that’s what I call myself.

Aside: There are a number of etiquette experts (including Emily Post) who are now softening on the use of “Mrs.” when using a woman’s full name ie. “Mrs. Sarah Spano”. As traditional etiquette is followed less (or you) could say changing with the times), people are becoming both less aware of what is traditionally correct and also just care a lot less. Again, you know your guests and your event, so do what feels right.

What titles should I be using when addressing my guests? Professional, Military, Religious?

As a matter of etiquette, generally speaking you would use titles only for Doctors (which doesn’t mean just medical Doctors, but PhDs as well), members of clergy, military officials and political figures. Technically speaking, many people have titles (Chef, Captain, Chief etc.), but they usually are not used when addressing invitations. This is also true of professional designations or terms (CPA, Esquire etc.) – they should only be used on business correspondance. Ultimately, you know your own guests and what they prefer – when in doubt, it’s best to err on the formal side.

How do I address an invitation if one of both of  the couple are Doctors or Reverends?
The easy answer is that Doctor or Reverend “outranks” social titles, so they would be listed first (regardless if they are male or female) eg. Dr. Jane and Mr. John Smith, or The Reverend Mr. and Mrs. Michael Johnson (in this case “The Reverend” is used in addition to the social title, not replacing it as it does with “Doctor”). If both parties are Doctors or Reverends, you can use The Doctors Smith or Drs. Jane and John Smith and similarly The Reverends Johnson or The Reverend Mrs. Mary Johnson and The Reverend Mr. Michael Johnson.

How do I address an invitation to a same-sex couple?
The same way you would address any other unmarried or married couple with different last names – Mr. John Smith and Mr. Michael Johnson or Ms. Jane Smith and Ms. Mary Johnson. What if they are married and have the same last name – hyphenated or otherwise?  Then you can use the plural titles: Messrs. John and Michael Johnson and Mesdames Jane and Mary Smith.

How do I address someone who has two titles? A military doctor, a reverend who holds political office etc.?
Good luck with that! Kidding, kidding. Generally speaking in North America we don’t use multiple titles – you would either use the most current title or the highest “ranking” title. In Britain, as an example, they would tend to use both titles. The best thing to do is to do a search for the specific situation you’re dealing with, and you’ll likely come up with an answer! Just how many titles can you have? Well…the father of a friend of ours was technically a reverend, a military officer, a doctor and a judge. Luckily he wasn’t invited to our wedding – I don’t think that The Honourable Reverend Captain Doctor James Morgan would have fit on the envelope ;)

Still have questions? A great resource is author Robert Hickey’s blog (he’s from The Protocol School of Washington and has a book out called “Honor and Respect: The Official Guide to Names, Titles and Forms of Address”) – lots of great info on really specific situations!

 

 

Invitation Advisor: Weddings Pros – Will Work For Free?

January 24, 2012 § 4 Comments

From HeSaidTeeShed.com

Okay, so today is a big day for The Invitation Blog – this is our 200th post! Not sure when I started I thought I’d be hitting 200 posts in 18 months, but here we are – and we also just surpassed 50,000 views last weekend (although we’re up around 53,300 already) and have had over 6200 views during the month of January so far (that’s on track to almost double our busiest month previously). Oh, and we even smashed our one day view record on Jan 18th, with 462 views – the crazy part being that I didn’t even post anything that day! Yay for wedding season :)

The numbers themselves though are really meaningless – what is amazing is that everyone has been and continues to be so supportive of The Invitation Blog and the idea of a putting some straight-up truth out there about weddings, stationery and the like. Thank you!

And so, that brings me to today’s post…

Every now and then, a fellow stationer or wedding pro will say, “you really need to write a blog about this”. And usually they are right, about whatever it is they are talking about. And usually it’s something that is an issue that comes up with clients due to lack of knowledge or understanding. And usually it causes friction. And this is one of those things.

Aside: My high school English teacher just expired after reading the above.

Straight up, so there is no misunderstanding: I do NOT work for free. Never. I may work for payment in something other than cash every now and then (ie. trade, advertising etc. – something of tangible value, not just “exposure”), but never for nothing.

And yet, as clear as I am with potential and current clients about that (as are, I’m sure, most vendors), it still comes up every now and then. And based on what some of my colleagues have to say, quite frequently for them as well. Clients who feel it’s okay to ask us to do work for them for free, for whatever reason.

There’s a few different flavours of this phenomenon as well: some of the requests can be fairly innocuous while some can be just brazenly ridiculous, sometimes just based on lack of knowledge or thought and sometimes based on people being willing to take advantage of anyone just to save a few dollars.

Luckily, I would say that mostly it’s the former, in both cases.

Commonly what may happen is something like this:

A client comes in to chat about a custom project – we look at my past work, we chat about colours, papers, look at samples etc. and put together an idea that appeals to them. I then send off a quote that clearly states our policy – we require a $250 design deposit to begin work on a project. That’s actually generous compared to many in the industry – in most cases it’s 50% of your total order. I do what feels right to me – something that protects me (ie. I get paid for the design work I do) and the client (they don’t stand to lose more than $250 if we can’t come up with a design they like – which has never happened, at least so far).

Then, I may receive an email from the client that says something like, “Can you put together a proof for us so we can see what it’s going to look like? We just can’t visualize it and want to make sure we like it before we go ahead.”

In a word…NO. I’m not being a hard-ass, but that’s how custom anything works – that’s why it’s custom. Because it’s just for you, created from scratch. I get the idea of a client being a little apprehensive, but that’s life – whenever you hire a wedding vendor you are taking a risk to some degree. If you had a designer making a custom gown for you, would you ask them “can you just make me a dress so I can see what it’ll be like before I decide if I want to pay you?”. Obviously not. Again, I would hope that usually this is just a result of a couple not realizing that what they are basically asking is “can you do some work for free on the off chance I’ll be happy with it and hire you”.

There’s a (dirty) word for that in the design industry – spec work. Even AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts) thinks it’s uncool (you can read more on their stance here: http://www.aiga.org/position-spec-work).

It always stings a little to hear that too – after all, it comes down to a trust issue. After spending 60-90 minutes with a couple talking to them, getting to know them, showing them my portfolio of past work, giving them ideas of what I would do for them…it kinda sucks to hear them tell me that basically they don’t trust me with $250, that they aren’t sure I can come up with something that will be “good enough”. Ouch.

It happens outside of custom design too though – it could be clients asking for free proofs (“we just want to see it with our names first”), additional items that weren’t originally included in an order (ie. custom illustrations, maps, additional inserts etc.), even things like rush orders or reprints at no cost (due to delays or mistakes that the client themselves are responsible for).

And let me be clear: the examples below may be stationery related, but this happens to all sorts of wedding vendors as well. While I think maybe it’s an issue that is most prevalent with invitations, I know that those same couples would have no issue asking another vendor to do the same for them.

The one that makes me scratch my head the most is the “please donate XXX for our wedding in exchange for free publicity”. I’ve gotten a few of those emails in my time and it makes me laugh uproariously. It usually starts out with a story about why or how the couple can’t pay for the wedding of their dreams, and then asks us to donate invitations completely for free and in return we’ll get amazing publicity because all the wedding guests will see it. Ummmm…you’re joking right?

I can absolutely understand wanting things you can’t afford (trust me), but when did that become my issue as a vendor? You’re asking me to work for free (worse than that, as paper, printing etc. are still things I have to pay for), so that you can have the wedding of your dreams? I get it, the big bad wedding industry is at fault for telling couples they need to have this or that…blah blah. That doesn’t fly on this blog – I have never suggested that couples spend outside of their means (the mantra here is “make sure your invitations match your event”), and I never would, so let’s have a little respect and common decency, shall we? I have bills to pay and kids to feed too!

Aside: It’s not just those with no budget asking – it’s people with huge budgets too. It would probably sicken people to know how many of the goods and services that made up Kim Kardashian’s wedding were “donated” in exchange for publicity. Hope those vendors thought it was worth it. Let’s just say that next time KK wants to get married, she better not be knocking on my door asking for something for free ;)

Do I think there are legitimately couples out there who deserve to have weddings that they can’t afford.? Yes, I do. So too do many other vendors – that’s why organizations like Wish Upon A Wedding exist – and I fully support their mission and the couples they help. If you feel you are a couple who could use assistance, based on extenuating circumstances, I’d urge you to contact your local WUAW chapter, or one of the other similar organizations out there.

So what’s the takeaway advice today?

Consider what you’re asking of your wedding vendors, *before* you ask them. Are you asking them to work for free? Would *you* work for free? If your boss came in at 5pm and told you that he decided you should work all day tomorrow for no pay, would you be happy?

Asking a vendor to go above and beyond is one thing, but just consider what it really means for them, and make sure you ask appropriately, respectfully and accept the answer with dignity. You’re much more likely to get the same in return.

Re-post: When Do I Start Thinking Stationery? A Wedding Invitation Timeline

January 10, 2012 § 1 Comment

Okay…needed a bit of time off there to recover from our 32 Days of Blogging Hath December (the series formerly known as 31 Days of Blogging Hath December: The Redux), but we’re back at it this week!

It’s “Engagement Season”, and I’m guessing there are a number of you out there who are just starting the wedding planning process (at least our blog stats would suggest that’s the case, as they have been through the roof the past few weeks!) – so, think of this as a Hip Ink/The Invitation Blog public service announcement.

Today is a mash-up of our best advice on one of our most-asked questions at Hip InkHow long before my wedding do I need to start thinking about buying my wedding invitations?

The answer is probably a bit more complex than you may have initially expected, but allow me to make it easy for you:

Yes, everyone loves a visual, right?

But I can actually simplify it even further – if you read nothing more of this post, read the statement below and move on with the knowledge that you will not be scrambling for invitations:

Order your invitations 6 months before your wedding.

If you follow the advice above, you can’t go wrong.

Okay, let me be slightly more specific. Work backwards from your wedding date – you’ll want to send your invitations out 6-8 weeks in advance, 12 weeks if your wedding is during the summer or over a holiday weekend, and even earlier if you are having a destination wedding or many of your guests need to travel. For those who are not great without a calculator (guilty as charged) that means you need to add the turnaround times below to the estimates above. Determine your mailing date and work from there.

Ordering traditional invitations from a large stationery company or online vendor etc.? 6-8 weeks before your mailing date minimum, 10-12 weeks is optimal. Custom Designs? 4-6 months is preferred, but the sooner the better – in most cases, designers’ schedules can fill up quickly, so you’ll need to make sure your selected vendor can fit you in. DIY? This will vary greatly depending on how complicated your design is, how much time you have and how much help you can get. My rule of thumb is to take the amount of time you think you’ll need and then *TRIPLE* it. You heard correctly. Trust me when I tell you (from experience) it will take much longer than you expect, there will be bumps in the road, and mistakes happen when you don’t have the time to fix them.

Is it possible to get invitations completed within a few weeks if you are in a super-rush? The answer is yes, it’s possible. Will you be happy with selection, the results or the price? To be honest, probably not. Your best bet if you are totally stuck for time is to try a local printer (who can hopefully turn your project around quickly) or purchase printable invitations (from a stationery store, or big box craft store). There are some online retailers who also offer RUSH printing and delivery, so it is worth doing some research. Remember ye olde triangle of value: there’s fast, cheap, and good. You can generally only get two of those things at once. You will likely have to settle for a very limited selection, a lower-quality invitation and/or a big rush fee.

So, how do you avoid realizing 8 weeks before your wedding that you haven’t thought about invitations (and yes, it happens, and I’ve had a few brides call me in a panic to prove it)?

Follow our handy-dandy timeline below and you’ll be good to go (ooh, I was a poet and I didn’t even know it!):

9-12 months before your wedding

  • Put together your guest list to determine the number of invitations you’ll need
  • Start gathering photos, inspiration items etc. to help clarify your personal style and your vision of your big day (if you haven’t already!)
  • If you are sending out Save The Date cards, start to consider what type of Save The Date you’d like

6-9 months before your wedding

  • Purchase and send out Save The Date Cards, especially if you are having a wedding during the summer, holiday or destination wedding
  • Start looking at invitation options to determine the type and style of invitation you are looking for
  • If you’ve decided on custom-designed invitations, find a designer you’d like to work with and book them
  • Start giving some thought as to the wording of your invitation, what additional inserts you may need (reception cards, accommodation cards, map/directions, itinerary etc.)
  • Determine the day-of stationery you will require (menus, escort cards, programs, thank you cards etc.)

4-6 months before your wedding

  • Finalize your guest list and make sure you have full and correct names and addresses for all guests
  • Determine your invitation style, additional inserts and wording and place your invitation order
  • Don’t forget to proofread!

3-4 months before your wedding

  • Begin addressing your envelopes if you are doing so by hand or sending them out for calligraphy
  • Begin assembling all the parts of your invitations and stuffing them in the envelopes (keep them unsealed, just in case)
  • Order any day-of stationery if you haven’t already

8-12 weeks before your wedding

  • Take one complete invitation to the post office to be weighed and purchase postage
  • Seal your envelopes, apply the postage and take them to the post office to be mailed (ask for them to be hand-canceled if possible)

3-4 weeks before your wedding

  • Keep a running tally of your RSVPs as they come in, make sure you keep track of both yes and no responses
  • Mail any additional invitations for events surrounding your wedding (rehearsal dinner, day-after brunch etc.)

2-3 weeks before your wedding

  • Follow-up with any guests who have not yet replied to ensure you have an accurate headcount for your venue

1-2 days before your wedding

  • Make sure you have all of your day-of stationery together and determine who will take care of the items (ie. who will hand out programs, who will set up escort cards etc.)

1-3 months after your wedding

  • Send out thank you cards to your guests

This timeline doesn’t apply to every situation, of course, but hopefully it will help you plan and stay on track (at least where your wedding invitations are concerned!).

 

 

Day 23, 2011: Wedding Invitation Budgets – What Can I Get For $9+?

December 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

Invitation by Ceci New York (Destination Collection)

Today is our last day in this invitation budget series (part of our 31 Days of Blogging Hath December) and it has actually been really fun breaking down the various invite options and price levels.

Just in case you’ve forgotten, here are the parameters we’re working with:

Pricing is based on 100 invites – this is industry standard and makes it easier for comparison purposes. If you only need 50 invitations, expect to pay more (or get less for the budgets we’re discussing). As well, pricing varies geographically. I’m going to present what I think are average options based on the price range listed, but again, your mileage may vary if you live in a big metropolitan area or a rural community. Finally, pricing would include an RSVP card and envelope in most cases, or possibly an RSVP postcard – if you are considering an invite only with no rsvp, expect to pay less.

So, the question may be a bit easier to ask as “what *can’t* you get with a wedding invitation budget of $9 per invite and over”?

Generally speaking, a budget of $9+ is going to allow you to choose pretty much any option out there, although obviously based on your exact budget you will likely still need to pick and choose what is most important to you. For example, in the $10-20 range, it’s likely you’ll still need to figure out whether it’s design, print method or embellishments that matter most. But, if you’ve got $20-25+, you can easily combine all of those elements into one amazing invite.

So, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to break down your choices, other than to say that I strongly believe with a budget of $9+ you should consider custom invitations (if you have the time and are inclined to want a more personal invitation). In the $9-$15 per invite category (again depending on designer, geographical area etc.) you can comfortable expect to be able to choose pocketfold-style or boxed invites, or heavily embellished or specialty printed invites (but not all of these at once!). $15-20 should all you to combine those elements – for example, a letterpress pocketfold-style invite or embellished boxed invite. At $20-30, you could choose acrylic invitations, silk folios, large embellishments, hand-dyed ribbon – a huge variety of options would obviously be possible in that price range. Of course, the sky is truly the limit – there are some amazing custom designers out there that routinely design invitations for clients in the $30+ per invite range.

Some of these designers also offer pre-designed invitations – similar to the idea of album invitations, but generally on a much smaller production scale and with more flexibility as well. Some well-known (and exceptionally talented) designers in this category would be Ceci New York, Atelier Isabey and Twig & Fig (to name a few).

Even with a higher budget, it’s important to remember that getting a good value is still something that should be a concern, and working with a custom designer can help you not only explore all of the options available to you, but choose the ones that you love and that will provide the most impact possible for what your budget (no matter how big) allows.

Next up the Christmas weekend are two more of my favourite Hip Ink designs from this year, and Monday we’ll start my fave series – invitations trends for 2012.

Happy holidays to all of you, and may they be filled with light, laughter, joy and the love of family and friends.

Day 22, 2011: Wedding Invitation Budgets – What Can I Get For $6 to $9?

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Invitation by Vera Wang for William Arthur

Just a couple days left in this series on invitation budgets, and I’m hoping that you’ve all found it informative so far! To recap we’ve discussed the following budget ranges, on a per invite basis: $1 and under, $1 to $3, $3 to $6 and today we’re talking about what you can expect to get with a budget of $6 to $9 per invitation.

As a reminder, here’s the fine print:

Pricing is based on 100 invites – this is industry standard and makes it easier for comparison purposes. If you only need 50 invitations, expect to pay more (or get less for the budgets we’re discussing). As well, pricing varies geographically. I’m going to present what I think are average options based on the price range listed, but again, your mileage may vary if you live in a big metropolitan area or a rural community. Finally, pricing would include an RSVP card and envelope in most cases, or possibly an RSVP postcard – if you are considering an invite only with no rsvp, expect to pay less.

A budget of between $6 and $9 per invite would likely be considered average to above average (again, based on Bridal Association of America numbers), but again geography can play a big part as well. Obviously what is “average” for New York City, is not average for St. Paul, Minnesota. To be honest, I dislike talking about averages anyway, because I think it’s important to make your decisions regarding your wedding invitations based on what you like, how important paper goods are to you and what you can comfortably spend – not on the average spent, what your mother or your best friend spent, or what all the girls on “insert-wedding-community-website-or-blog-here” spent.

But, I digress – at $6 to $9 per invitation, your options become more limited by category, but you’ll have a much wider selection within those categories. As an example, you would likely be choosing a mid- to high-end album invitation or a custom invitation design; however, the types of invitations and the number of companies and designers you could choose from would increase quite dramatically.

Let’s look at some of the options that would fall into this price range:

Album invitations (mid- to high-end)

With a $6 to $9 budget, you have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of album invitations in various shapes, sizes and styles, and the ability to incorporate a number of inserts etc. As well, a number of companies offer the flexibility of numerous styles of printing on the same style of invite (ie. flat printing, thermography, letterpress and engraving, as an example), allowing you to upgrade a less expensive invitation with specialty printing. Some also will allow the addition of things like envelope liners, pocketfolders, ribbons and embellishments.

Some of the companies you might look at in this price range would be William Arthur (including Vera Wang), Crane & Co. and Brides Fine Wedding Papers (by Checkerboard), and please be sure that you check the pricing for both invitations and response cards. With many of these companies the response card will be listed completely separately from the invitation, so you’ll need to add the cost of both to arrive at your final price.

Custom invitations

In this budget range, I can say that custom invitations are a strong contender – again, while you may not be able to afford invitations by a top designer, there will be many custom designers that would be able to work within the budget to create a beautiful and personal wedding invitation package.

Again, pricing can vary greatly by designer based on geography as well as their experience and talent etc.; however, in the $6 to $9 price range you should be able to find a designer that could offer layered panel invitations (with embellishments or possibly flat panel invitation with the addition of one of the specialty printing methods discussed above) as well as many of the pocketfold-type styles as well. Another bonus of working with a designer is their ability to work within your budget – your designer should be willing to offer suggestions on how to get the most “bang for your buck” visually, and may be able to offer suggestions you hadn’t considered.

As a custom designer myself I’ve written a few posts about choosing a designer, the process of ordering custom designed invitations and what to expect from your designer – all important when considering custom invitations for your wedding.

Of course, all good things must come to an end, and tomorrow we’ll wrap up this series looking at invitations in the $9+ range – guaranteed eye candy in this one, you won’t want to miss it!

 

 

Day 21, 2011: Wedding Invitation Budgets – What Can I Get For $3 to $6?

December 21, 2011 § 3 Comments

Invitation by Cadence Paige Design for Minted.com

So we’ve talked budgets of $1 or less per invite, $1 to $3 per invite, and today we’re talking about what you can expect to get for an invitation budget of $3 to $6 per invite (or $300 to $600 for 100 invitations).

Here’s the important stuff to note, if you haven’t been following along:

Pricing is based on 100 invites – this is industry standard and makes it easier for comparison purposes. If you only need 50 invitations, expect to pay more (or get less for the budgets we’re discussing). As well, pricing varies geographically. I’m going to present what I think are average options based on the price range listed, but again, your mileage may vary if you live in a big metropolitan area or a rural community. Finally, pricing would include an RSVP card and envelope in most cases, or possibly an RSVP postcard – if you are considering an invite only with no rsvp, expect to pay less.

With a budget of $3 to $6 per invite, your choices are probably quite similar to the $1 to $3 choices we discussed yesterday – just better quality papers, design etc. You would move into mid-range album invitations and invitations from online retailers, as well as complex and specialty DIY invitations and low-end custom invitations as well.

Let’s look at those options again, in more detail:

Album Invitations (Mid-Range)

At this price range, you’ll be looking at invitations from companies like Carlson Craft, Checkerboard etc., that have better quality paper, better design options and have greater variety in shape, size, layers, embellishments etc. It is still very important to note that pricing shown is often for the invitation only, not including an rsvp card and envelope, so be sure you are getting the full price for the invitations, rsvp and any other inserts or options you need for comparison.

Online Invitation Companies

Yes, there are many out there of course, and some may fall into the less expensive categories, but here I’m talking about well-established companies that offer well-designed invitations on quality paper etc. These would include companies like Minted (my favourite, and a must if you are looking for great design), Invitation Consultants and Wedding Paper Divas, to name a few. These companies tend to offer more modern or trendy designs, as their turnaround time for introducing new designs is very quick – at least compared to an album invitation company. Again, the pricing shown on these websites when browsing is based on 100 invites without rsvps – you’ll need to click on the invite you’re interested in to find out full pricing (including rsvps or any other options).

DIY (Do-It-Yourself)

Yes, belive me when I say you can absolutely spend $3 to $6 per invite even if you are creating your own invitations. Although you will be saving on labour and design costs, if you want high quality papers, enclosures and embellishments or you are trying to execute an idea that requires specialty equipment etc., you should be prepared to spend somewhere in this range. While the idea of DIY often brings to mind the notion of cost-savings, unfortunately it’s not always the case. DIY will certainly save you money over purchasing the same type of invitation ready-made, but that doesn’t automatically translate to a low cost. If you are attempting to create a high-end invitation (for example, you are using specialty handmade papers, or rhinestone buckles or expensive ribbon etc.), you’ll need to count on spending more than a couple of dollars per invite.

Custom Invitations

I mentioned custom invitations yesterday, to say that I would be wary of paying in the $1 to $3 range for them, and I stand by that. The $3 to $6 range is much more common for custom invitations; however, it’s important to note that pricing for custom invitations can vary greatly based on style, geography and especially your invitation designer. Just like you pay less for clothes designed by an up-and-coming designer and more for couture creations from an established or hot designer, the same is true in the custom invitation world. If you are looking to hire a great designer, you likely won’t find them in this price range; however, you can absolutely find designers that may be starting out or trying to grow their business and hone their talent, that will offer pricing that will fit this budget. In most cases you would be looking at panel invitations, with or without backers, and possibly with some kind of embellishment, but pocketfolds and similar styles would bump you up to…

Tomorrow’s price point – $6 to $9 per invite. Do come back and check it out!

 

Day 20, 2011: Wedding Invitation Budgets – What Can I Get For $1 to $3?

December 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Invitation by Birchcraft

So yesterday we kicked off our series on breaking down invitation budgets with options for those with budgets of $1 or under per invite.

Today, we’re moving on to the $1 to $3 price range, with the following caveats:

Pricing is based on 100 invites – this is industry standard and makes it easier for comparison purposes. If you only need 50 invitations, expect to pay more (or get less for the budgets we’re discussing). As well, pricing varies geographically. I’m going to present what I think are average options based on the price range listed, but again, your mileage may vary if you live in a big metropolitan area or a rural community. Finally, pricing would include an RSVP card and envelope in most cases, or possibly an RSVP postcard – if you are considering an invite only with no rsvp, expect to pay less.

A budget of $1 to $3 (or $100-300 total, for 100 invites) would be considered a modest budget for invitations – still under the national average, according to the Bridal Association of America – but not necessarily uncommon, especially with the trend towards smaller and more casual weddings, and there are definitely a variety of options to choose from in this price range.

First, you can of course add in the options discussed yesterday of digital/e-mail invitations and print-your-own kits or digitally designed printables (which depending on quality etc. could fall into this price range as well), and definitely the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) option. A $1-3 budget may also cover some lower-cost album invitations, but mid- to high-end album invites and most custom invitations would still be out of this price range.

So what *can* you get for $1 to $3 per invite?

DIY (Do It Yourself)

Taking up where we left off yesterday is DIY invitations – you design, you print, you assemble, or possible you do only some of those things. While it is possible to DIY for under $1 an invitation, I think placing DIY in the $1 to $3 range is a bit more realistic in many cases. As I said yesterday, there are the costs of papers, envelopes, embellishments (and you’ll need extras of those), ink or toner, equipment or tools etc. As well, there can be additional costs that come up due to errors etc.

When it comes to DIY, $1-$3 is actually quite a big range when it comes to the possibilities. At the higher end of those budgets it would be entirely possible to have the invitation suite professional designed for you, or to have it printed online or locally, and to assemble it yourself. It could be anything from a single panel invitation with a backer and embellishment to a simple pocket-fold style invitation, depending on your skill level etc. While of course it’s possible to spend more than $3 per invite on DIY (just like any custom invitation, the sky is really the limit), my educated guess would be that this is the price range where most DIY invitations projects fall.

Standard Album Invitation

There are certainly album invitations out there (a company like Birchcraft, as an example) that fall in to the $1 to $3 category, although it is extremely important to ensure when you look at pricing that you are comparing apples to apples. Often pricing may be for the invitation only, not for a set including an RSVP card, so be sure to look carefully at what the quoted price includes. You should also be aware that, as with everything else, you get what you pay for. Lower-end album invitations will have fewer options for customization, lower quality papers and often very dated, traditional designs. However, if you are looking for a simple invitation, without the hassle of doing your own printing etc., this is a great way to get it on a budget.

A tip: While it’s certainly possible to buy these types of invitations online, I would highly recommend going to a local stationer who carries invitation albums in-store. This will allow you to actually see and feel the invitations, and the stationer can provide services above and beyond what you’ll be able to get online.

Custom Invitations(?)

I’ve put a question mark next to this one, because while I know it is possible to get custom invitations in the $1 to $3 per invite category (especially through sources like Etsy, etc.), I would caution you to make sure you understand what you’re getting when working with a vendor providing custom design services at this kind of price point.

To put it bluntly, anyone charging less than $3 for a fully custom invitation design (meaning that the invitation is designed from scratch, specifically for you) is under-charging. That may be their loss and your gain, but it’s important to be aware that this is not a normal price range for custom invitations, and if the designer you’ve contacted is charging in this range, it’s important to dig a little deeper to try to uncover why that’s the case. Papers and envelopes alone for an invitation set are usually in the $1 to $3 range, so the person you are dealing with is in most cases not going to actually be making money – so why would they offer such a low price? There’s no harm in asking questions – they may be trying to grow their portfolio, new to the business, having a sale etc.

Make sure that you are satisfied with the experience, reputation and work of your designer, no matter what the price point, before you make a commitment to work with them.

Back tomorrow with details on what to expect in the $3 to $6 per invite price range :)

 

 

 

Day 19, 2011: Wedding Invitation Budgets – What Can I Get For $1 (Or Less)?

December 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

I am really excited about this week’s series for our “31 Days (of Blogging) Hath December“, because it’s something that so many couples out there need guidance on.

A little background: I was trying to come up with all the things that my clients come to me asking about, and number one on the list was pricing. Not just my pricing, but pricing in general. Stationery is something that most people do not frequently buy in large quantities, so it follows that most brides and grooms have no idea what wedding invitations do and should cost.

Most of the budget information out there will tell you to spend X amount of your budget on invitations, but as far as I’m concerned that information is about as useful as giving a bicycle to a fish. It takes absolutely nothing into consideration about a couples day, personalities and the importance they place on stationery.

When people react to invitation pricing by saying “that’s so expensive” (you can read my post here on why invitations are “so expensive” from last year’s series), often what they really mean is “I never realized that’s what invitations cost”.

The fact is that there are couples for whom stationery is a very important part of their wedding, and obviously they will be willing to pay more. For others, it is less of a priority, and so they can budget less. Forget the budget calculators out there – set your invitations budget based on what feels right to you. And the way to figure that out is to understand the options out there and what they cost, so you can do your best to match your desires with what you can afford.

A few months ago I created a post that quickly broke down the cost of some of the common invitations options out there; but, this week I wanted to do a little bit more in depth analysis of pricing etc. There are a couple of notes that are important when considering what we’ll be discussing:

Pricing is based on 100 invites – this is industry standard and makes it easier for comparison purposes. If you only need 50 invitations, expect to pay more (or get less for the budgets we’re discussing). As well, pricing varies geographically. I’m going to present what I think are average options based on the price range listed, but again, your mileage may vary if you live in a big metropolitan area or a rural community. Finally, pricing would include an RSVP card and envelope in most cases, or possibly an RSVP postcard – if you are considering an invite only with no rsvp, expect to pay less.

So today, we are talking about working with a budget of $1 or less per invitation (again, based on 100 invitations, or $100 total).

What are your options if you are dealing with a very small invitation budget? Realistically, $1 per invitation is much less than the average bride spends, and does put most standard or traditional styles of invitation out of reach, budget-wise.

But, you may be surprised to learn that you do certainly have multiple options (but they will not include custom invitations or even standard album invitations). You will very likely need to do some sort of DIY – whether that’s assembly, printing or all of the above – unless you choose to send electronic invites (more on that later).

Here’s what you can expect to get for $100 (or less):

Digital/E-Mail Invitations:

Okay yes, you may have heard they aren’t my favourite option out there. That said, they absolutely do fit in the $100 or less category, in most cases. You can certainly whip something up together yourself to send off to your friends or family as a PDF attachment or something similar – technically, that will cost you $0. Here comes the straight-talk though – it will be obvious to everyone that it cost you $0 and will quite probably (unless you have mad design skills or know someone who does) look exactly like it cost you $0.

There are a number of companies out there that offer digital invitations and services, and often they are priced as a package as a flat rate (some I’ve seen have been $49 $79, $99 etc. for multiple options or with rsvp services etc.), so the per invitation cost really varies based on the number of invites you need. While the designs are generally limited (and in some cases not very modern or stylish), it’ll do the trick in a very bare bones sort of way. You can try some of the following, if you’re looking for a digital invitation option: www.myinvitationlink.com, www.pingg.com, www.paperlesspost.com, www.greenvelope.com, www.glosite.com, www.moderndayinvite.com.

Print-Your-Own Invitations:

These come in two flavours – the big box of precut, pre-designed invitations that require you to simply layout your text and print them and the digital files you can purchase and print on your own.

Print-your-own kits are available from companies like Brides, Martha Stewart, Anna Griffin etc. and generally include an invitation, rsvp card and matching envelopes, and sometimes seals, ribbon or other embellishments. You can then use your own computer and printer to set-up and print the information on to the blank cards. While some kits may come in at more than $1 per invite, they are often sold at bix box craft stores that offer coupons frequently (Michael’s, A.C. Moore and the like) so it’s fairly easy to bring the cost down to under $1 each.

As for the digital files, you can purchase pre-designed packages that included invitations and replies (and sometimes other inserts as well, and even matching reception stationery) that you then can print and trim/assemble at home. Again, pricing is generally a flat fee, so price per invitation varies, and you may find that this option could end up costing more than $1 per invite. You can check out Etsy.com for lots of great options, or sites like www.belletristics.com, www.uniquityinvitations.com, www.oneheartweddings.com and www.empapers.com.

It’s important to not while these options may keep your invitations costs down, because they do involve printing on your own, they will take more time and possibly cause more headaches than more traditional invites. The option does exist to have them printed through an online printer or locally in your area, but this would definitely push the cost up above $1 per invite.

Do-It-Yourself Invitations – Or Not:

I really hesitate to even list DIY as an option here in the $1 or less category, because in my honest opinion it is difficult to DIY a really great looking invitation unless you are a designer or super-crafter and have a lot of knowledge or a lot of tools and materials at your disposal. Yes, if you are planning on creating extremely simple invitations on a single sheet of inexpensive paper, then it’s certainly possible to come in at under $100. That said, I think that the majority of brides who DIY , when taking into consideration, paper, envelopes, embellishments and tools, are spending more than $100 (or $1 per invite). But, we’ll call this one a “maybe” and admit that the possibility exists ;)

Tomorrow, we’re back, looking at the $2-4 per invite ($200-400 total) range. Hope to see you then!

Day 16, 2011: Invitation Printing Methods – At-Home, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Printing

December 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Although we have been talking about invitation printing methods all week on The Invitation Blog, I have a sneaking suspicion that today’s post will get the most views. Why? Because we’re talking DIY (Do-It-Yourself) printing at home.

I know there are many DIY brides out there, and one of the number one topics that I get questions on, hear horror stories about or have just seen done poorly is printing. I frequently get phone calls and emails from brides asking if we offer printing services, as their attempted DIY isn’t going as planned when it comes to printing.

So, the format of today’s post will be a little different, as I really want to provide some good insight into why you may want to avoid PIY (Print-It-Yourself), and some tips on how to make it work if you do choose to take it on!

First up,

Why you should try to avoid printing at home entirely:

Yes, that’s what I’m recommending. Really. Will you all take my advice? Unlikely, but just remember I warned you *wags finger* ’cause it’s for your own good.

Why would I say such a thing…let me count the ways. But seriously, here’s the main reason: in most cases, your printer was not made to do what you are asking it to do. Consumer printers are made to do one of two things: print 8.5×11 sheets or print 4×6 photos. That’s what they are good at, because that is 99% of what they are used for. They are (generally) not good at printing small sizes – eg. the kind you get from those inexpensive invitation kits – or printing on heavy or coated papers, like cardstock and vellum. They will in many cases chew up that pretty paper and spit it out, totally unusable. Not fun. Or, you may end up with a paper jam that could completely ruin your printer (happened to me once), and I’m guessing a new printer wasn’t in your budget when you considered how inexpensive DIY would be. Or, you may have the wrong kind of printer for the kind of paper you’ve chosen (more on that later). And envelopes? Don’t even go there.

Yes, you will read about many brides who successfully print their own invitations and think it must be sooooo easy – my experience and the number of brides who call me for help tells me otherwise. You may have a fantastic experience. Then again, it may be a disaster that costs you time and money you don’t have.

But, if you insist, let me at least make it easier on you…

If you must print at home, consider this:

For the love of a unicorn’s sparkly rainbow flatulence, PLEASE make sure that you do lots of testing before you jump into printing everything on your own. I have to stress that this is the only thing that will save your sanity and help you avoid making a mistake that will ’cause unnecessary heart palpitations.

Test, test, test again…and then test some more. Make sure you are 100% happy with the output you are getting before you start printing like mad (and that means print, cut, assemble and mail to yourself to make sure there are no issues). Make sure that your printer will accept the size of card that you are trying to print on (many, many printers will not print a pre-cut standard rsvp – 4bar – size), and is happy printing on the type of stock you’ve chosen – both in feeding the paper, as well as the quality of print (is it fuzzy, will it rub off or smear, etc.).

And before you begin, make sure that you have a plan – do you have extra ink/toner on hand, do you know how to clear a paper jam, will you need to feed each piece of paper by hand etc.

Laser vs inkjet printers:

First, it’s important to know what kind of printer you have. Unsure? Does it take small ink (liquid-based) cartridges or large toner (powder-based) cartridges? Small cartridges will be an inkjet printer, and large will be a laser printer, in most cases.

Why is it so important to know? The way the two types of printers work is totally different, and it can have a big affect on the quality of your finished output.

An inkjet printer works by spraying microscopic droplets of coloured ink on the paper (some photo inkjet printers may have up to 8-10 different ink cartridges), and those coloured dots can reporduce millions of colours (to the naked eye) to make up the final image. Inkjet printers are especially good if you are printing photos, or anything with a gradient where shading goes smoothly from one colour into the next.

Inkjet printers are great at printing on matte (uncoated) papers, as the paper absorbs the ink; however, unless sprayed with a fixative, the ink can run, and it’s definitely not recommended for printing envelopes that may be subjected to inclement weather. An inkjet printer would not be recommended for printing on metallic or coated papers, as the ink tends to sit on top of the metallic coating and the print will appear fuzzy or prone to smearing. There are some specialty metallic cardstock, vellums and acrylics that are made specific for inkjet printers, so you can also look for those when purchasing papers.

A laser printer works by adhering powdered toner to the paper and then fusing it with heat – colour reproduction is generally not as good as an inkjet printer, and not recommended for photos. However, laser printers do produce very sharp graphics and type, so most styles of invitations would print well on a laser printer.

Laser printers do well on both matte and metallic papers; however, textured papers (linen, felt etc.) can cause issues as the toner sits on the uppermost surface of the paper and does not get into the small spaces as ink would. Laser printers can, in many cases, be more flexible in the types of papers and materials that they will print, but it is still important to test the specific papers that you are looking to use. One downfall of laser printers, as they are primarily still considered office printers, is they often do not print well on smaller cut sheets. As well, be aware that some paper may curl significantly due to the heat required for laser printer function – be prepared with something heavy to weight it down and flatten it out.

More tips:

So, if you’re going to take the plunge, here are some tips.

Test, test, test
First, make sure you test, a lot (oh, did I already mention that?). It’s important to be sure of what you are going to get. Make sure you test not only one sheet at a time, but multiple sheets, to see if you have any feeding issues, alignment problems etc.

Read the manual
No really. You may find lots of good insight in there on how settings you didn’t know you had, to control paper size, colour, paper feed and any number of other interesting things. Also, it will probably tell you how to clear a paper jam – very useful information in this situation.

Make sure your file is the correct resolution
SO important. You need to know that screen resolution is different than print resolution – that’s why when you print something from the internet it looks fuzzy and pixelated. If your print is not clear, this may be the culprit, especially if you are trying to use graphics from the internet (that’s a no-no). As well, be prepared for the fact that the colours you see on screen will not necessarily be the same as what your printer actually outputs.

Print full sheets then cut down
I highly recommend printing everything on 8.5″x11″ stock (standard letter size in North America). Every printer is made to print this size, so you will have less issues with paper feeding and jaming. You can fit (as an example) two 5″x7″ invitations or four 3.5″x5″ rsvp cards on a standard sheet of paper, and then cut them down after printing. This is also important if you have a design with a “bleed”, meaning that it goes off the edge of the paper. Most printers will not print to the edge of a sheet, so it will be necessary to print on a larger sheet and then manually cut to size.

Print envelopes with flap open
If you decide to print envelopes (bless you for trying), always print them with the flap open – this will cause far fewer jamming issues and headaches.

Avoid double-sided printing if possible
Double-sided printing can be tricky, especially on a laser printer. Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out which way to feed the printed pieces in for the correct orientation, and both types of printers can cause issues: inkjet printers can, especially on thinner stock, have too much “show-through”, while the second pass through the laser printer can sometimes pull toner of the first side. Unless you have a printer that duplexes (prints both sides at once), try to avoid having anything that needs to be printed front and back.

Avoid anything that requires very precise alignment
Try to make sure that your design does not require precise alignment for any reason. Printers can often feed with varying alignment (ie. space around your image), and cardstock can exacerbate this issue as well. As an example, it’s possible that you may have to cut each sheet manually, rather than with a stack cutter, because the alignment may not be perfect. Avoid anything that is very close to the edge, especially borders, as it can be extremely difficult to have these look even.

Be patient
Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to printing invitations. It’s very likely that you will have to baby-sit your printer and check each sheet as it comes out, or feed each sheet manually etc. Be prepared for this – this is a time consuming process, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise ;)

Okay, you’ve convinced me. But where do I get my invites printed?

Ahhh…a very good question, grasshopper. There are a few things you can do, and yes, they will all involve an additional cost; however, think of what you’ll be saving in ink costs as well as your time!

First, check for a local print shop – best resource as they are used to printing all sorts of things, but be warned that if you are printing a small number, there is usually a minimum fee for set-up etc. Then, try some of the big chains that offer in-house printing – Kinkos, Staples, UPS Store etc. They can also be a great resource for printing simple invites.

A number of people choose to have them printed online, at places like Vista Print, Overnight Prints and the like. I don’t actually recommend this option unless you are tech savvy and understand issues with file types, colour shift etc. You may end up with something that is not at all like what you envisioned. Still, if you have a very tight budget, they often do have good sales etc.

And yes, if you are really stuck, you can always try calling your local invitation studio – while most don’t offer printing on it’s own, they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Hope you enjoyed that very long but hopefully useful diatribe on printing your invites at home. We’ll be back over the weekend with more of our Top 10 invites of 2011!

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