Category: Uncategorized

Addressing the Invitations: Formal or Casual format?

One of the things my clients struggle with is how to address the invitations we’ve so painstakingly created together. I provide an easy-to-use spreadsheet to assist in the process, but as you enter the names in whatever program you use, think about how you want the envelopes addressed. The primary question you need to answer is: Is your event formal or casual? The answer to this question will determine how you should address the invitations.

Here are some examples: Read more

Bat Mitzvah Invitation: Traditional vs. Contemporary Challenge

I just had my first meeting with Leslie and her daughter Paige to start designing Paige’s bat mitzvah invitation. Most of my clients are either observant and want a traditional bat mitzvah invitation, or are more secular and want the invitation to reflect the theme of the party. Well Leslie and Paige want both. This is an interesting challenge, and is one that I relish.

When guests open their envelopes, the invitation that’s inside sets the tone for the entire event. That’s why it’s important to design an invitation that will not only make the guest want to attend that bat mitzvah, but excites my client as well. I love pulling in traditional elements of Judaism into the bar and bat mitzvah invitations I design, but it’s also fun to reflect my client’s personal style.

What Paige and Leslie want is an elegant traditional invitation, but with touches of their Academy Awards themed party. They have a strong sense of tradition, so we’ll pull in Paige’s hebrew name. But they also are full of life and excitement, so a combination of suede paper and metallic cardstock will address their sense of flair and elegance.

The colors of the party (red, black, and gold) are a wonderful combination because they will give the invitation a contemporary feeling and will tie the party in to the invitation without making the invitation solely about the party.

We’re using a rich red suede paper to reflect the Red Carpet excitement of the Academy Awards, and both metallic black and gold cardstocks to highlight the elegance and gold-star qualities of the bat mitzvah girl. This is going to be the perfect start to an Academy Awards night!

I can’t wait to sit down and design this invitation. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out!

How to Survive (and enjoy) planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah

I have a client who is planning her daughter’s bat mitzvah. She’s a lovely woman…she’s full of energy and she is very excited as this is her oldest child and wants things to be perfect. The bat mitzvah is six months away, but because her kids aren’t home right now (they attend sleep away camp), she told me she’s been “obsessing” about bat mitzvah stuff.

…like she was stressed.

Planning a bar or bat mitzvah is a lot of work. In addition to the invitations, there’s finding a venue, tasting the food, hiring a DJ, choosing a theme, buying party favors, arranging for other entertainment, dealing with out of town relatives, having to make Read more

How many invitations should I order?

I am often asked “how many invitations should I order?” Well, it depends, but you don’t want to order too many and have them left over. That’s expensive because you pay for every invitation and you shouldn’t order invitations you don’t need. You also don’t want to order too few and have to order more. That can be expensive, too, especially if the printer or designer has a set-up fee or minimum order requirement.

It is a good idea to spend some time before your place your invitation order to make sure you have an accurate number. It’s okay to have a few extra invitations in case you realize you forgot to include someone, but there’s no need to order more than 5 or 10 extras.

The most important thing you want to remember when determining how many invitations to order is that you need to order one invitation set per address, not one per person. This is a very common mistake that people make. For example, if you are having a party and 150 are on your list, you will need fewer invitations because some invitations will be addressed to couples or families who reside at the same address.

I had a client recently who told me she needed 150 invitations, but when she sent me her list, there were only 75 addresses on it. I counted the number of people and sure enough, there were close to 150 on the list. But she didn’t need to order an invitation for each guest.

I’m sure she loves the invitations. They are beautiful and are exactly what she wanted, but unfortunately, she has to pay for the extra invitations. She could have avoided this costly mistake by taking more time to go through her list before placing her order.

I’m giddy about my new invitation paper!

I just opened a box that was shipped to me today. It is full of paper for a few invitations I’m creating. And I am soooo happy! I LOVE getting boxes of paper in the mail. My husband isn’t so thrilled, since he usually picks the boxes up for me and they’re heavy and they aren’t for him, but I am just giddy!

And I’m giddy because it means I get to move to the next step in the process of creating the perfect invitation for my client!

The box I just opened is full of Plike cardstock. It’s called Plike because it’s “plastic-like.” It’s a great paper to work with because it’s very smooth (almost rubbery) and the colors are vibrant.

For one invitation, I ordered blue and red Plike. They are the perfect colors to match the Los Angeles Clippers team logo, which is the theme for my client’s son’s bar mitzvah. I also ordered black Plike because it feels somewhat like rubber, and matches the luxury car theme we’re incorporating into another design. On the black Plike, we’re planning to emboss a tire tread pattern into the paper; the rubbery feel of the paper will be a great compliment to the tread design.

I can’t wait to see the finished products! Want to see it when it’s done? I’ll post pictures soon!

Zazzle Invitation Nightmare Continues

A few days ago, I mentioned the invitation nightmare with Zazzle that a client of mine was having. Well, it turns out that there is more to the story.

Today, several days after my client sent out her invitations, I received a somewhat panicked email informing me that her nightmare continued. It seems that the glue on the backs of the outer envelopes opened up in the mail. My client knows this because she received several blank RSVP cards in the mail a few days after she mailed them. Then, a few of her friends informed her that the invitations they received had been taped shut. But she didn’t send them out that way. And a few other friends told her that the envelope was not sealed or that the flap was ripped off.

So while I do like Zazzle, and while Zazzle claims to stand by their products, my client’s experience just shouldn’t happen. She should not have had any issues ordering the invitations on the front end, and the product she received should have been manufactured better. My clients receive my attention to detail, my personal customer service and my quality guarantee.

Zazzle Invitation Nightmare

I love Zazzle and I use them from time to time to order small quantities of personalized gift items and custom postage stamps. But let me tell you about a nightmare a client of mine is having with the bat mitzvah invitations she recently ordered from Zazzle.

My client found an invitation her daughter loved on Zazzle and asked me to bling it up (by adding a rhinestone), to design and print some inserts, and to address the envelopes to her guests. I worked with my client to determine exactly how to spruce up the invitation and offered my expertise on how to organize everything for mailing.

However, the manufacturer of the invitations my client ordered through Zazzle kept getting the order wrong. First they sent the wrong quantity of inner envelopes, then the wrong quantity of outer envelopes. Then they sent some invitations and party inserts, but not the complete order. Zazzle promised to get it right only to fail to follow through as promised.

She never did receive all of her printed RSVP envelopes, and in the end, my client gave up and instead asked me to print some replacement RSVP envelopes for her…that she bought after already purchasing some from Zazzle. I was happy to assist her however I could and at least made one part of her invitation nightmare more bearable.

Working With The Invitation Maven

When I am first introduced to new clients, the first questions many ask is “what books do you work out of?” and “how do you work?” I understand where the first question comes from: many people don’t think that custom invitations are an option, perhaps because of a preconceived notion that custom invitations are always expensive.

That is not necessarily the case.

In fact, when you work with me, you get more than just invitations. Here are a few reasons why hiring the Invitation Maven will be one of the best decisions you can make. Read more

Choose the Right Fonts to Set the Tone

Fonts are more than just words on a page. Every font conveys a different mood or feeling. They add personality to the invitation, and they make a subconscious impression and create an emotional connection to the event.

Because the party starts when the invitation arrives, I tell my clients to make that first impression a good one. By using fonts creatively and finding the perfect font for each invitation, I aim to Read more

Designing Custom Postage for Your Invitation

When I design custom invitations, I offer to design custom postage for my clients to complete the look of their invitation package. The party starts when the guests open their invitations, so setting the tone of the party with the invitation is important. But even before the envelope is opened, the first impression the guest has of the invitation is what’s on the outside.

The use of a custom stamp completes the look of the invitation package, and is a fun and inexpensive way to let the recipient know that every detail counts. The guest will think “If the invitation packing is this beautiful, I can only imagine how beautiful the event will be.” And that’s exactly the anticipation you want to create!

In my previous post, I discussed how to determine the correct postage for your invitation package, taking into account the size, weight and shape of the envelope. Now that you’ve figured that out, it’s time to design a custom stamp!

There are two Internet sites where you can order custom postage. One is Zazzle and the other is PhotoStamps. They both permit you to upload your artwork to the site and allow you to purchase stamps in a variety of denominations. This is important because Read more