If the majority of your significant wedding details (date, venue, photographer, planner) have been solidified, you may be ready to start thinking about your wedding stationery. Are you sending out save-the-dates? This a great place to get your creative juices flowing and begin pulling together the details for the vision of your wedding day. Maybe you are the couple who is super excited about your upcoming nuptials and you are ready to jump start the celebration with an engagement party. Consider these more casual invites as a great way ease into this next phase of your wedding planning process.
Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!
I get it. Choosing the right style of paper, theme, design, printing technique and all the things can be mind-boggling, especially if you are making these decisions without the support of a professional stationer. As you proceed through the process, you can eliminate overwhelming feelings by having realistic expectations on things like ordering time and costs, as well as being clear on the timeline that determines things like when the initial save-the-date and formal invite should be sent out.
No worries! I've got you covered with a few important things you must consider before you make any of these decisions.
Photography by Lock and Co
Getting Started With Stationery
Some couples may or may not choose to work directly with a stationer for their wedding paper needs. Instead they may choose to order a design online or choose from an album in a store. Either way, it's important that you weigh the benefits of each and consider your priorities.
Ordering Online and From Albums
If you are considering the DIY route, you'll want to be sure to keep in mind that ordering invitation suites and other accompanying stationery is limited in design options. Suites are pre-designed and usually do not offer a lot of customization options.
You should also keep in mind that other couples have access to the same catalogs, and several of them may choose to incorporate the same style as you. While pre-designed invitations are gorgeous, they simply are not as unique as fully customized invitations. Often times, you are also on your own when it comes to making choices about paper styles, printing techniques, and following proper etiquette in your messaging.
Do you have time to conduct additional research for these details? If not, than you may want to consider working with a professional stationer who you can confidently rely on to explain these details to you.
Benefits of Working with a Professional Stationer
The are several other benefits of working with a stationery designer for your wedding stationery needs. Below are a couple of the perks of working with Dreamcatcher Stationery.
Helpful Tips When Working With a Stationer
Remembering these things when you choose to work with a professional stationer will make your experience pleasurable and stress-free:
1. Be honest and open minded. At your initial consultation with your stationer, I strongly encourage you to express any and all details that are important to you and your significant other. What are the must-have elements that you plan to incorporate throughout the wedding? At the same time, be open minded. Trust that you are working with a professional creative who is knowledgeable of current trends as well as those timeless traditional stationery design elements.
2. During the process, your stationer will create multiple drafts or mockups for you to review before the actual version is printed. Again, be honest! Provide candid, honest feedback to ensure that your vision is being captured. Most importantly, for a stress-free experience, be prompt with your feedback, or any deliverables requested by your stationer, in order to stick to the timeline.
3. Your stationer shares your vision and will work with you to tie in other elements of your wedding into your stationery to ensure everything flows together.
Photography by Lock and Co
Preparing for Your Consultation
Understand that the time you have with your stationer is set aside specifically for you, and this time is valuable. It is important to be prepared for your consultation as this meeting seals the deal between you and your stationer, and sets the direction for your wedding vision.
Here are some items you want to make sure you bring with you:
Color swatches (use colors from bridesmaid dresses, etc) to show the color palette
Pinterest or mood boards to show inspiration (décor, stationery, tablescapes, lighting)
Patterns, materials and any other items you wish to incorporate into your wedding day stationery
Couples have brought in small details like the lace on their dress, a family heirloom, or a picture of where they’re getting married (church/chapel) to our consultations. All of these things helped to determine the look and feel of their wedding, and allowed me to provide informed recommendations for the type of stationery that would coordinate best with the other wedding elements.
Invitation Order Timeline
I recommend ordering custom invitations 4-5 months prior to your wedding, as they typically take 8 to 10 weeks to produce depending on the specific details of the order (printing method, accessories, etc). If you’re getting married at the height of wedding season (be sure to research the high time in your area, as it varies in different geographic locations) you may want order earlier to ensure commonly used materials like paper and envelopes in stock. You might also want to consider ordering your invitations six months prior to your wedding if you’re expecting a lot of guests who will be traveling from out of town. Giving yourself this much time will provide guests with an adequate amount of information and time to make accommodations and arrangements.
When to mail Invitations
Prepare to send out your invitations 6 to 8 weeks out from the wedding, which is the standard timeframe. However, sending them out a littler early for special circumstances like destination weddings doesn't hurt.
Here's a quick down and dirty on some of the steps that go into the wedding stationery process. This should help provide you with the bigger picture on why the process can be timely, especially to make sure everything is perfect you.
Sign Contract & Pay Deposit
Provide Invitation Details
Receive First Draft
Receive Second Draft
Receive Final Draft
Print Approval & Remaining Balance Due
Stationery Assembly (only for white glove service clients)
Ship Invitations to Client via FedEx or In Person Pickup
I know all of that could be a lot to digest! So I did you a favor and rolled up the keep points into a quick guide that captures the important information I discussed above. Click the button below to download.