There is nothing more frustrating for a bride than walking into a stationery store, seeing rows upon rows upon rows of invitation albums...all with different printing styles, papers, colors and most daunting, price points. Once you pick the invitation, you have to figure out how many you need, what pieces are important, when and how to stamp and ship them, oh my! Well, Lisa Hoffman is here to help...giving her top 10 tips for choosing and ordering invitations.
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Lisa's Top 10 Invitation Tips - Do it Right, the First Time.
Understandably, for most of you this is the first time you're planning a wedding and having to order wedding invitation. There are so many little details to think about below are some helpful tips that I hope will make your experience more enjoyable.
1. Don't wait til the last minute -avoid rush charges by starting the planning early. Takes the pressure and worry out! If you've booked your wedding date and venue - book your stationer.
2. Expect the worst with the postman. Unfortunately, the post office isn't the most reliable. I've had a client send out all her invites on the same day and two family members both neighbors received their invitations 3 weeks apart! One arrived the next day and the other 3 weeks later! No rhyme or reason. So have patience and don't panic. Make sure you mail them out with plenty of time to spare in order to avoid this worry.
3. Always order extra invitations so you're covered - I know it's easy to try and save on costs but when you're short, it ends up costing you so much more in the long run. Plus there are always the extra guests that pop up along the way. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. 15-25 extra is always a good cushion.
4. Make sure you weigh your invitation at the post office. Triple check it with 2-3 different postal people and then go over what they recommend in postage. Typically invitations are thick and do not bend and even though the weight says one price, if it doesn't bend or the oversize of it puts it into another pricing category - they don't always tell you that and we all know we don't want beautiful invitations being returned!
5. Get your guest list together right away- not only is this important for your invitations but it will help make the rest of your planning easier since everything is dependent on it. Make sure you have all your addresses spelled correct and no abbreviations on city and states. Also, know you have to submit your list to most calligraphers in a word document so don't worry about excel. They wont accept it.
6. If you're sending out save the dates to all your guests - those same guests must get invitations - even if they personally told you they couldn't make it. It's proper etiquette and polite. Don't skimp!
7. I recommend making your RSVP date one month before your wedding. Some do 3 weeks but I think that's cutting it too close. Factor in one week for the stragglers plus you don't want to have the added stress so close to your big wedding day. Giving yourself that extra week makes a world of a difference.
8. Go the custom stamp route - yes it's possible! It's worth the little extra splurge and it shows you care about every detail. After all, it's your wedding!
9. Make sure when selecting your stationery vendor you are confident in their capabilities. Ensure they truly can deliver what you want. It's not worth it to try and save on costs then end up in a hard sifpot with something you don't love. Look at their portfolio and make sure they have at least 3-5 years experience. It may seem like a simple thing but trust me, there are a lot of details (beside the design) that you need your stationer to take care of. You don't want to make silly, embarrassing mistakes - an expert stationer will guide you through the process seamlessly and stress free!
10. Personality is key. If you are working with a custom stationery designer, make sure the two of you "click" - you should be working very closely with them for quite a while so you want to make sure you are on the same page - both creatively and professionally. You will find the experience much more enjoyable if you do!
SPECIAL BONUS GIFT - I've put in a special request with the editors at BFF Bridal and they've graciously extended to me a special deal for all Style Me Pretty readers to their upcoming "BEST IN BRIDAL: HONEYMOONS & DESTINATION WEDDINGS" event. Use the code CECI when booking your tickets and receive 2-for-1! (that's $75 savings). Bring your sister, your mom, your MOH (or bring everyone!) and treat yourselves to makeovers and beauty treatments while planning and shopping for the perfect honeymoon. Get discounts and upgrades to the best hotels in the world, pick up style tips from the experts, and shop for a chic honeymoon wardrobe at a discount! Round it all out with cool cocktails, yummy appetizers, great music, and a gift bag to brag about.