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.
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.
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.
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 [email protected].