Thursday, January 17, 2008

Invitation Guide Part Deux

Okay, okay, I promised it yesterday...but as wedding season has started in full swing, I got a little sidetracked :).

So, today, I think we should talk about how to choose your invitations and some common wording dilemas. Ideally, your budget has been set, and you know whether you can afford a posh, $52 invitation (yes, they really exist) or a more modest invitation. Modest doesn't mean cheap, it just means you're like most of us. And you want to be sure to get the most bang for your buck.

So what are some of your options/considerations:

Printing methods: If you choose flat printing, you'll be spending less on your printing, which might allow for more paper goodness. Some stationers use high-end lasers, others use off-set. The printing methods are a little different, but the end result is nearly the same.

Letterpress: An older printing method that involves plates that are pressed into paper. I love letterpress. Love it love it love it. But it can get costly, and more colors = more money.

Thermography: is a cheaper alternative to engraving, in which a heating processes causes the ink to rise off the page. Most large invitation companies like Carlson Craft, Birchcraft and the like will offer this on the majority of their invitations. Most independent stationers will be able to offer this as an option, though it will add some cost to your final project.

Engraving: is perhaps the most expensive method. It involves plates that press the paper up from behind and ink is applied from the top. You can actually see the indentation from behind the invitation

Not all papers work with all print methods. Your stationer can guide you through what will work best.

Narrowing down the options: If you choose to go the custom-designed route, you may find yourself easily overwhelmed by the number of choices there are. Because, really, the sky is the limit. So, our suggestion is to go in with a game plan. If you're interested in pocketfolds, don't look at other styles. If you're working with certain colors, just look at those- not the entire swatch decks. Why? Because you may find something else that you really love, but completely doesn't work with everything else you've chosen. So, then you're left with a dilema- do you go with what you love, or what's going to match? Which is more important? It's not an easy choice- so stick with what's going to match if this is what is most important to you going into the process. And, don't worry if your stationer doesn't have the exact shades of paper you want. In the end, your guests will simply remember that hey- you had pink and green invitations and you've got pink and green accents at your ceremony and reception- they won't remember that the colors weren't exactly the same.

Wording: Wording can get tricky- especially if you have parents who have divorced and remarried (and don't get along so well). Your stationer will usually fall back to proper etiquette, which in this case is Miss Emily Post. Emily post has great tips for wording (always list Mom first, even if she's remarried), if you can include a 'no kids allowed' card (her answer is no, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, but the best way is to address your invitation to only those invited), even how to word an invitation where one parent is deceased and the other remarried. If you are at all concerned, always show your wording to your parents, and tell them why you've done it this way. Worst case scenario- keep all of their names off, and put "Together with our parents, we...". Then, they are included, but you can stop worrying about hurting someone's feelings because they aren't first on the invitation.

Guest List: Guest lists have been known to cause major family fights. Parents often want to share their joy with their friends, even if you don't necessarily care for them. Parents often want to bring kids, even though they were included on the invitation. Singles want to bring can get challenging and frustrating. If your parents are paying, there's not much you can do. For parents who include their children on the RSVP, even though you did not specifically invite them, you have two options. The first is to let it slide. But if you are adamant about not having children, you'll need to call and say something like "I'm calling because we noticed that you RSVPed with your children. Do to spacing limitations, we're asking that parents enjoy an adults night out- sans kids. We hope you understand and can still join us. Please call us and let us know." If you're confortable saying this to them, leave a message on their machine when they're likely to be out. Even though Emily Post may not agree, we don't see any problem with including a reception card that says "Please join us for an adults only reception at...". This makes it pretty clear. Another way? On your RSVP, have an ___Accepts ___ Regrets and ___number of Adults attending. The lack of place to include children may be another tip off to your guests. But, it could also lead to them thinking 'hey, they forgot about the kids' just be prepared for the that possibility if you go that route.

You'll have to talk to them sometime though :). As for your single friends- use the same excuse- limiting seating. But if they're living with someone, been dating someone for a really long time or engaged and you didn't realize, you should include that person, even if it's verbally after the invites have been sent.

Have an invitation situation we haven't addressed? Let us know and we'll post it here! (info @ just remove the spaces)

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