Your wedding invitations may be the most overwhelming parts of wedding planning, but it’s also one of the most exciting. The truth is…it’s not until you’re holding your finished invitation suite in hand that your wedding starts to feel real. But before you can give your loved ones a glimpse of your special day through pretty paper, I’m sharing five KEY tips to keep in mind before invitation shopping to ensure a seamless design process right from the beginning.
1. ESTABLISH YOUR WEDDING STYLE
Your wedding style will dictate many of your details from location and season to florals, décor, and stationery. If you’re planning a traditional and formal wedding, you wouldn’t select a rustic barn venue, but rather a classic ballroom. The same holds true for your wedding stationery. The look you’re hoping to achieve through your first impression is designed with your overall style in mind. Invitations for a classic ballroom wedding may include eloquent script and serif typefaces, while waterfront nuptials would perhaps have playful fonts with nautical touches. A clear vision of your wedding helps narrow down invitation design and complementary typefaces for a cohesive and harmonious look.
The total number of invitations needed will affect your invitation investment. Begin compiling a well-organized guest list before you start invitation shopping to give you an approximate number of households. You can then start gathering and updating your guest addresses, as needed. *Don’t be like me who accounted for one invitation per guest that left us with over double the number of invitations that were actually needed. Talk about a waste of money that could have been used elsewhere!
Pro Tip: Account for extra invitations in your initial order to avoid having to meet additional costs at a later date. I typically recommend ordering anywhere from 10-20 extras.
Wedding invitation costs vary based on factors, such as quantity, paper type, print method, inserts, and embellishments. Most stationers will share average investments on their website and/or have it listed on the contact form. If you don’t see it, email and ask when you’re in the beginning stage of invitation shopping! A major disappointment is falling in love with a designer’s offerings, only to find they exceed your budget. Having an estimate is helpful to determine if the stationer you’re interested in working with is actually within budget.
Knowing your absolute max budget allows me to offer suggestions on how you can achieve a similar look or what you can get for the amount you’re willing to invest. Keep in mind when you work with a custom stationery designer, you’re investing in finished product(s), as well as personalized service with guidance that you’re just not going to get when ordering online.
It’s great to have a budget, but also be realistic with what you’re looking for, and steer clear of reading any type of online “Wedding Budget Reports”. The budget percentages they claim you should spend on each wedding category are not only national averages, but consistently set couples up for some serious sticker shock. Plus, all couple’s priorities within wedding planning are different, so you just cannot go by these generic numbers. Full transparency, expect to invest a minimum of $1,500 on custom Lace and Belle wedding invitations.
Pro Tip: Create a list of your invitation must-haves and what you’d like to have if the budget allows. For example, a five-piece letterpress suite with envelope printing may be non-negotiable, while you’re willing to compromise on wax seals or ribbon. Lace and Belle packages begin with base pricing and increase with embellishments.
This tip is an extension of tip number one. Once you determine your wedding style, create a Pinterest board and begin gathering inspiration. Ideas can include Lace and Belle stationery you’ve seen on my website and Instagram, color palette/swatches, florals, patterns, and any inspiration you’re referring to as you plan your wedding.
Pro Tip: Never ask or expect a stationery designer to copy another designer’s work!
This tip isn’t necessarily something you need to know prior to invitation shopping or booking a consultation, rather a detail you may want to briefly read up on if you prefer one printing method over another. If you have no idea where to start when it comes to digital, letterpress, deboss/emboss, or foil stamping, an established stationer should be more than happy to explain them in more detail. You can also learn more about some of the most popular wedding invitation printing methods HERE.