Tag: WeddingInvitations

Do It Yourself (DIY) versus Professional Invitations: Pros and Cons to Help You Decide What’s Best for You

Last month, I wrote about how to add unique and personal touches to your wedding or party décor with projects you do yourself (known as Do It Yourself, or DIY). The article was actually about how you can hire a professional to help you if you don’t think you can or don’t want to do the work yourself, but still want that personal touch at your party. This month, I thought I’d delve a little deeper into the Do It Yourself decision as it pertains to invitations, and present some pros and cons to help you decide whether or not you should make your own or hire a professional. This article will help you figure that out so you can set the right tone for your event.

INVITATION STYLE AND DESIGN

The invitation you choose for your event is largely based on how formal your event is and what tone and expectations you want to set for your guests. If you are throwing an elegant affair, you’ll probably want to have an invitation that imparts the formality of the event. Fancier invitations such as letterpress, foil stamping, laser cut designs, and printing on things other than paper (like plastic or wood), are not easily done from home. Ordering invitations from a professional company expands the range of papers and printing styles you can choose from. Also, if you have a specific design in mind, the best option is to hire someone to create a custom invitation for you so you can have exactly what you envision.

However, if you’re having a small party with a limited guest list, printing your invitations from home is a great idea. You can pick up some colorful papers from a local arts and crafts store and download a template online.

QUALITY

Professional invitation companies and invitation designers create invitations all day long. It’s what they do. To that end, you can expect nothing but the best quality. Layers will be cut straight, borders will be even, and the printing will be even and consistent. Not all home printers are capable of such high quality, and not all home printers can handle premium papers such as metallics, shimmers and other specialty papers. Also, if you are creating a muli-layered invitation at home, you’ll need a good paper cutter and keen eye in order to make sure your cuts are straight and your borders are even when you affix one layer to another. And printing on envelopes is a whole ‘nother skill. Many home printers won’t feed envelopes, so printing directly on the envelope is not an option. That leaves you with having to print your return and/or mailing address on a label, which gives a much less formal look to the invitation.

WORK INVOLVED AND SPECIAL TOOLS

There is a lot of work involved in assembling a full invitation suite, more than most people realize when they make the decision to create their own invitations. Not only do you have to purchase all the raw materials, such as paper and envelopes, but you have to also purchase whatever additional embellishments you want to add to the design. Do you know where to shop for the supplies? Do you know how much to purchase to create all the pieces in your invitation suite? Many people don’t realize they will likely make mistakes and misprints along the way. Do you have extra materials just in case?

Also, as I noted earlier, you have to have a good paper cutter, one that cuts accurately and that cuts straight. Can your desktop printer handle the papers you want to use? What about envelopes? And do you have the right kind of adhesive tape to affix the layers to each other?

By ordering your invitations from a company, many of these details are handled for you. And if you work with a custom invitation designer, you can get that personal and unique invitation without all the struggle of making them yourself.

TIME CONSTRAINTS

How much time do you have to put everything together? Even a small invitation job will take hours of time because you’re likely not just printing the main invitation, but are printing multiple pieces as well as envelopes. Multiply how long it takes to assemble a single invitation by 200 and you can see you may need more time to finish the job than you originally thought. Also, if you’re printing on specialty papers, you’ll need to leave enough time for the ink to dry. And if you’ve never done this kind of thing before, count on making mistakes. Everyone does when they’re learning a new skill. Can you afford the time to remake invitations if you make mistakes?

Ordering invitations from a professional eliminates this issue because most invitation companies publish their production times. If you need your invitations in a hurry, say within four to six weeks, it’s probably best to let a professional help you.

BUDGET

Making your own invitations won’t always save you money. That’s because large invitation companies and professional custom invitation designers can order supplies at wholesale prices. They’re able to take advantage of better pricing because they typically order in larger quantities than you can as an individual buyer. You also have to factor in your time. Even if you plan to make your own invitations, there is a cost associated with your time. There’s also a time factor involved with searching and procuring all of the supplies and tools you’ll need, not to mention shipping costs which many people forget to factor in.

For assistance in designing a one-of-a-kind custom invitation suite that fits your budget, contact Invitation Maven at info@InvitationMaven.com.

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No Right Way or Wrong Way…Only YOUR Way

I am often asked “what’s the right way to…” followed by a question about how to handle a situation one might encounter when planning a party. My answer usually is “there is no RIGHT way or WRONG way…there’s only YOUR way.” I say this because every bride and groom, every bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah child, and every honoree is unique and their special event should reflect who they are. So while there are social conventions that can help guide you, there’s no reason why you can’t get creative and have fun planning your big event.

This is even true as it pertains to your invitations.

For example, in years past, wedding invitations were very formal. They had inner and outer envelopes, the bride’s parents were listed as the hosts, and the envelopes were addressed with formal honorifics (e.g., Mr. and Mrs. John Smith). These days, however, not all weddings are such formal affairs. And even if they are, many young brides and grooms are not comfortable with the formalities associated with weddings of the past.

It’s now perfectly acceptable to mail wedding invitations in a single envelope. In fact, in the more than 20 years since I started designing custom invitations, I have never designed a wedding invitation with a double envelope.

Brides and grooms often address their invitations using guests’ first and last names without honorifics (e.g., Mary and John Smith). This reduced formality sits better with many millennials.

Brides and grooms often host their own weddings and send their invitations from them, not from their parents. And even when they aren’t paying for their own wedding, sometimes certain family dynamics call for brides and grooms to send the invitations in order to avoid hurt feelings. I have a current wedding invitation client who is doing just that. The groom’s father recently passed away and in deference to his mother’s feelings, they chose to word the invitation as though they were inviting everyone. Their invitation reads:

Together with our families
Jenna Marie
Daughter of Cynthia and Robert Morgan
and
James Edward
Son of Jennifer and the late Richard Jackson
invite you to join us as we exchange wedding vows

Instead of using a formal RSVP card with an envelope, many of my clients opt to use a postcard RSVP. We design the front with all of the requisite RSVP information (names of guests, accepts or declines the invitation, meal choices, and whatever other information they need to collect) and the back is printed with the return address. This not only saves the cost of the envelope, but the postage is less expensive and it doesn’t weigh as much.

One thing is clear, however, regardless of the formality of the event: a wedding needs a real invitation and a real response card. Weddings are special and while you may be planning an informal affair at an eclectic or non-traditional venue, sending a printed invitation is one tradition that still endures. But have fun with that tradition and make the invitation reflect YOU.

For assistance creating your perfect wedding invitation, bar mitzvah invitation or bat mitzvah invitation, contact Invitation Maven at info@InvitationMaven.com or visit our website at www.InvitationMaven.com.

Letterpress Still the Best Printing Method for a Formal Event

There really is nothing like the look and feel of an old-school letterpress invitation. It involves taking a metal plate or metal type with raised surfaces, running ink over those surfaces, pressing the inked plate onto a piece of paper, and transferring the image or text to the paper. The feel of the imprints left behind from the plate pressing into the rich cotton or textured papers simply cannot be duplicated by a digital press. And it speaks to the formality of the event.

While this printing technique is almost as old as the printing press itself, modern technology allows for amazing flexibility in design. One need not set individual metal type letters into a printing block anymore. Instead, you can create a printing plate from artwork you design on your computer. But that’s the only part of this art form that’s been modernized. The printing part is still done by hand, one invitation at a time, which is the main thing that gives a letterpress invitation its appeal.

I designed a custom letterpress invitation a few years ago featuring artwork hand drawn by my client’s daughter. It was an invitation for her son and daughter’s b’nai mitzvah. The party later that evening was at one of Los Angeles’ fanciest hotels: The Four Seasons.

For the ceremony invitation, the teenage artist drew pomegranates and grapes, two fruits common in Judaic art. She also included a hand drawn fox and owl, the nicknames the family uses to refer to the kids. I then added in a quote from scripture to further add to the meaning of the invitation. The finished result was a completely unique and custom work of art. It was stunning. And it could not have been produced using a digital press. The letterpress invitation for the evening party was equally dramatic, and was befitting of the formality of the event. It, too, featured a graphic hand-drawn by the bat mitzvah girl, along with matching text and ink colors.

If you are interesting in creating a unique, custom, letterpress invitation for your next event, contact The Invitation Maven.

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#LetterPressInvitations
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A Unique Bridal Registry

I attended a wedding shower a few weeks ago. It was for the daughter of a very good friend of mine. I can’t believe I’m old enough to be attending the weddings of my friends’ children, but I digress.

This wasn’t a typical wedding shower. The bride and groom live out of state so the bride’s mom is planning the wedding for her daughter. The bride and groom would not be able to lug a bunch of china and other typical wedding gifts back home (which is half way across the country), so the bride registered on a site called Honey Fund (www.HoneyFund.com).

Honey Fund is a virtual bridal registry that allows the bride and groom to register for things they need and want. However, they don’t receive an actual gift. The website tracks the gifts received but the giver provides cash or check instead for the selected amount. The money is earmarked to pay for a specific item on the registry, but the bride and groom have the flexibility to purchase the items themselves at their convenience.

Couples can register for traditional gifts such as toasters, mixers, and other house wares, but the site is more often used to register for non-traditional wedding gifts such as airfare, hotel stays, dinners and drinks at the honeymoon destination as well as excursions and spa treatments.

The funds can essentially be used to help the couple pay for their honeymoon. They can also be collected to help pay for the down payment on a house. For couples who have already established a home or who don’t need “things,” this is a wonderful way for their guests to help them start their married life in grand style.

It’s also very convenient for the guests. They can do everything from their home computer, even as late as the day of the shower or wedding!

I highly recommend this convenient and easy to use tool for new brides.

#HoneyFund
#WeddingGifts
#BridalRegistry
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#Honeymoon
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