Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Selecting the Wedding Invitations

Invitations are the first hint your guests will receive about what kind of wedding you are throwing. Be it a black-tie formal event, or a pig roast in your parent's backyard, the invitation sets the tone. With so many companies out there, how do you choose who will help you?

If you are looking to save money, there is always the option to print your own invitations. Lasso'd Moon Designs offers 100s of paper choices that are now available to purchase separately (start here While printing your own invitations can be fun, and certainly a way to save money, it can also be a huge source of stress. Without the proper tools for cutting and assembling the process can take a couple of days (my first invitation adventure took over 3 days, and 1 of those days was for assembly alone...with two others helping!) Be sure to order extra paper to test with your printer. Some inkjets will not print on vellum, or may only print in black. Parchment papers tend to soak up ink, and will produce a bleeded effect (though parchments seem to work fine in laser printers). But remember, every printer is different. You will want to have plenty of time in case you find you can't print your first design and need to rework your invitation.

Ordering from the internet can also save you money, and there are many reputable companies out there. But, along with saving money, you may also be sacrificing customer service. If something goes wrong, you will be dealing with someone who has never met you and may not really care that your invitation reads Mrs. and Mrs. John Smith. But, by doing business locally, you will be able to see the person you are ordering with and get a feeling if they have your best interests at heart or are just out to make money. A good invitation representative should sit down with you, help you through the process (it can be a little nerve-wracking) and make sure that everything is perfect before it heads off to the printer (and remember...always get a proof and have a few people read over it to make sure there are no mistakes).

A third option is a custom designed invitation. Prices for custom designs range all over...we've seen some for $28 per invitation! But a custom design gets you want you really want. Something unique & beautiful that no one has seen before. Incorporate photos, colors or a theme that you can carry right through to your reception and favors. You may spend a little more for a custom design, but (with us anyway) you won't end up with a ton of extras you don't need and you'll have a keepsake to cherish for years to come.

But whatever route you choose, give yourself plenty of time! We recommend starting the decision process 6 months before your wedding. Sounds like a long time, but invitations need to be mailed 6-8 weeks before your big day (and many brides are now going at least 8 weeks because of a disturbing trend of response cards not being returned). You may need a couple of weeks to address and stamp your envelopes, particularly if you work full time and you'll probably want a few weeks to shop for your invitations as well (and definitely a couple of extra if you are having something designed for you). This way, you have plenty of time and you'll be sure to get what you really want and you won't add any more stress to your wedding planning.

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