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 day starts to feel like it’s really going to happen. 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. It’s important to have a clear picture of what you want your wedding to look like to help narrow down your invitation design and complementing typefaces.
2. COMPILE YOUR GUEST LIST TO DETERMINE YOUR INVITATION QUANTITY
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 family and friend’s 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 quantity to avoid having to meet minimums, an increased price per invitation rate, and rush production at a later date. I typically recommend ordering anywhere from 10-20 extras.
3. HAVE A BUDGET IN MIND (but be flexible!)
The cost of wedding invitations is truly dependent on a number of factors, such as quantity, paper type/weight, print method, the number of 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! One of the biggest let downs is to book a consultation and fall in love with everything the designer has to offer only to realize they are way out of your price range. Having a rough estimate in mind is helpful to determine if the stationer you’re interested in working with is actually within budget.
While I personally take the time to learn what your dream invitation suite would look, knowing your absolute max budget can allow 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 suite letterpress printing with envelope addressing may be non-negotiable, while you’re willing to compromise on wax seals, liners, and ribbon. *All Lace and Belle packages start as base pricing and increases as you add on various elements from the belles and whistles a la carte menu.
4. GATHER INSPIRATION
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!
5. UNDERSTAND PRINTING METHODS
This tip isn’t necessarily something you need to know prior to 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, a seasoned stationer should be more than happy to explain them in more detail.
If you’re eager to begin choosing the pretty paper details for your wedding day, learn more about my collections here. I can’t wait for you to become a Lace and Belle couple!