19 Oct Online Vs Designer Wedding Invitations

ONLINE Wedding Invitations



(are you really saving money?)



Online paper goods retailers are becoming a popular choice for wedding invitations in a digitally savvy modern age.  Invitations of all kinds, business cards, menus..anything in print right at your fingertips.  Yet still, traditional designers and printing experts offer services and goods that rival those of the ‘express’ online versions of wedding invitations.  I think about this often, and I see the appeal, but I wanted to break it down once and for all, to see if there is really a constant value in this option, and by value I don’t just mean saving money.  Value as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary means:

“a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged”

In other words, “you get what you pay for”.  We all know this is not always the case, so lets see.  Lets say Donna M. Bride is looking for 100 invitations for her wedding.  She knows she wants matching envelopes and RSVP cards. If she can fit it in her budget, she would like envelope liners and wraps (called belly bands).  In my opinion, if she wants it, she should have it on her wedding day regardless of budget, but thats another blog.  So back to Donna M. Bride…  Hers is a scenario that may be familiar to many of you.  Traditionally, mark up on wedding goods is shameless, because retailers know that the consumer is willing to go the extra mile (or dollar) to get the day of her dreams.

Let’s visit online wedding invitation retailer example ‘Wedding Paper Divas’.  I am not picking on them, they have beautiful products, this is just for research sake!  So I’ve chosen from one of the hundred or so available templates.  Merriam Webster defines template in regards to technology as: 

“a computer document that has the basic format of something

(such as a business letter, chart, graph, etc.) and that can be used many different times”

Well that sounds fun, her wedding invitations are the same as ‘many different’ brides all over. Sweet.  So after she chooses her template, she is able to change the background color, there are five to choose from.  Also she chooses a shape, there are also five to choose from. Thats pretty neat.  Donna is on her way to becoming a designer now!  Oh wait, the special shapes cost $.24 each extra, oh well, she really likes it.  So after entering her info for the invitation she chooses the quantity and it shows her a price of $1.79 each, and $1.39 each for response cards. This brings us to a total so far of $341.00.  

unknownNow we have to choose our envelopes for the wedding invitations, which are $.19 each…but with the liners they are now $.59.  The same treatment for the RSVP envelopes put them at $.59 as well.  Our grand total comes to…..(drumroll please!)   $634.75 after tax and shipping.  This, I would say, is a pretty typical (and fair) price for wedding invitations.

So now we get to quote the same items from a traditional designer, for the test subject we will be using Eye Thee Wed.  Not a shameless plug, as this is my company, but I know the pricing so I can create the same order with the prices a retailer such as myself would charge a client.  Let me give you my background for a moment, so you may better assess the ‘value’ that we talked about earlier.  I am a graphic designer of ten years.  I know more than one should about paper stocks, envelopes, print processes, etc.  Not only that, I am a REAL person.  I am certainly not a template.  I have gotten my degree in art and design, as well as have ten years experience in printing.  All of this is to my clients benefits, as I serve as a guide to choosing and designing the perfect invitations.  

Back to the order for Donna.  The same wedding invitations, but with custom design, not template version, from myself…cost $1.20 each…that is a $ .59 cent difference. Funny, that happens to be the cost of the set of envelopes from the online retailer.  Hmm.  Response cards come in at $1.10/each.  Each wedding invitation/response card and envelope cost is $2.89 each, times on hundred, comes to a grand total of $289, and in the great state of Indiana the sales tax is 7%….putting our toatl at half the cost of the online retailer.  They also come assembled, and with a great deal of experience and love.  So there’s that, my comparison experiment!  Try it yourself!  See what happens, and then call me.  HA!

OH!  I almost forgot, Donnas wedding invitations came in and she realized that she spelled her fiances name wrong!!!  Who does she call???  Well, looks like she will have to place her $634.75, in part, all over again.  The online printer won’t refund or reprint because she signed off that her order is final and they have deemed her technically at fault.  Sorry Donna 🙁  

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23 May Modern Wedding Etiquette: How-To Address Your Wedding Invitations

Whether your upcoming wedding is formal or completely casual, addressing your wedding invitations requires a touch of etiquette. Many addresses will be straight-forward and easy, but in modern-day 2016, younger generations have widely adopted “non-traditional” lifestyles. Below are some tips on how to expertly navigate addressing tricky wedding invitations and still uphold etiquette guidelines!

General Do’s and Don’ts:

Don’t use abbreviations

Don’t use the “&” symbol, spell out the word “and”

Do use numerical symbols for the recipients’ addresses instead of spelling out the numbers

Do spell out words like “street”, “drive”, “avenue”, “apartment”, and state names. If the state name does not fit, only then may you abbreviate

Don’t use nicknames. If you know your friend by “Joe”, still address the wedding invitation to “Joseph”

Navy and Gold Wedding Invitation


All titles, other than Mr. and Mrs., should be fully spelled out:

Doctor, not Dr.

Reverend, not Rev.

The Honorable Mayor/Senator/Governor, any elected official should include “The Honorable” before their title.

Sergeant, not Srgt.


Doctor Laura Williams and Mr. Edwin Williams – any professional title “outranks” the others

The Doctors Williams – Both doctors

The Honorable Senator and Mrs. Edwin Williams (or Mrs. Laura Williams) – Formal etiquette requires the husband’s name after “Mrs”, however using the wife’s name is an acceptable informal option.

Sergeant Major Edwin and Laura Williams – same military rank, only one title is needed. If ranks are different, spell out both completely

*Unmarried couples/couples with different last names follow the same rank and title etiquette.

Flower art wedding invitation set

Outer and Inner Envelope Options:

If bother an outer and inner envelope are used with your wedding invitations, the inner envelope is an opportunity for a more casual tone.


Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Cousins, Etc.

Outer – Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Inner – Megan and John OR Aunt Megan and Uncle John

Married couples with small children

Outer – Mr. and Mrs. John Smith OR Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family

Inner – Mr. and Mrs. Smith OR John and Megan

            Tony, Sandy аnd Kayla (List bу oldest tо youngest)

Married couples with children over 18

Outer – Either separate or joint invitations can be sent. If joint, address the same as a married couple with small children

Inner – Mr. and Mrs. Smith OR John and Megan

Andy Smith

Chris Smith

Paula Smith

(list on separate lines, in alphabetical order. First names only are also acceptable)

Unmarried couples with small children/children over 18 follow the same etiquette, with the exception of full names instead of Mr. and Mrs., as well as separate lines. An example:

Outer – Mr. John Smith

   Ms. Elizabeth Warren


Mr. John Smith

Ms. Elizabeth Warren

and Family

Inner – John


            Tony, Sandy аnd Kayla (List bу oldest tо youngest)


“Non-traditional”/Modern households:

Circumstances that in the past would have been considered “non-traditional” or “progressive” are thankfully far more accepted in today’s society. The bride that follows formal etiquette guidelines when addressing her wedding invitations is sure to encounter plenty of hard-to-determine wedding invitation wording. Even those using a more informal tone should still give each of their guests the proper respect and recognition!


Same-sex married couple

Sergeant and Mr. Edwin and John Williams


Sergeant and Mr. Williams


Mrs. and Mrs. Elizabeth and Laura Smith (first names alphabetical)

Same-sex married couple w/ different last names

Ms. Laura Smith and Ms. Elizabeth Warren (alphabetical by last names)

Unmarried couples living at the same residence

Doctor Elizabeth Warren

Mr. John Smith


Elizabeth Warren

John Smith

*If you know both individuals, the women’s name is listed first and alphabetical if it is a same-sex couple. If you only know one of the two, list the person you know first.

Whimsical wedding invitation set

Couples not living together/Plus one:

Couples not living together should be sent separate wedding invitations. However, if you do not know one of the two (especially if the relationship is new), it is acceptable to send an invitation to the person you know with “and Guest”. The guidelines for a plus one invitations follow the same “and Guest” etiquette.


Mr. Edwin Williams and Guest

Ms. Laura Smith and Guest


Following proper etiquette is polite and respectful, however, each bride is entitled to her own preferences. Weddings range from extremely formal to simplistically casual and you should embrace your personal style in all aspects of your wedding! Happy planning!

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15 May How to Make Unique and Affordable Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations and save-the-dates are significant elements of the wedding planning process, as they give your guests an idea of what to expect at your wedding. They will be thrilled to receive a beautiful surprise among their everyday mail, as well as happy to display it on their refrigerator or calendar board! Every detail is important, and there are endless ways to make your wedding stationary stand out. However, brides may veer away from elaborate invitations, assuming they won’t be budget-friendly. Here are a few ways couples can get trendy, affordable wedding invitations while keeping their checkbooks happy!

Digital Artwork:

Instead of hand-drawn graphics or embellishments, print digitally designed artwork on your invitations. Watercolor accents are incredibly popular, but hand-painting each invite can be costly. A skilled graphic designer can create images that perfectly recreate the look and style of watercolor paintings. This technique can be used to achieve any art style, from chalk to oil to colored pencil! Custom illustrations are another way to bring an artistic flair into your wedding stationary. Couples can express their individualistic styles with modern, romantic, or even cartoon-like illustrations!

Envelope Liners:

An envelope liner is a small touch that will make your invitations extra special. Lightweight paper materials cost less than cardstock, so couples won’t have to spend a small fortune for custom wedding invitations. Specialty papers, like glitter or metallic, don’t require any printing which help keeps the cost low. If a detail on the invitations, like foil-printing, isn’t in the budget, a foil envelope liner can be added! Rose gold is a top wedding trend for 2016 and the popular color brilliantly stands out on metallic paper. The unexpected detail will make your guests want to display the envelope alongside the invitation!


Not only are photos an option for inexpensive wedding invitations, they are also a great way to personalize your stationary. Pick your favorite engagement photograph for an accent on your invitations or envelope liners. To eliminate printing costs, make a sign to hold in your engagement photo session that has all information for your save-the-dates! Family and friends, especially those that don’t see you often, will really enjoy receiving a photo along with the invitations.

Colored Cardstock:

You simply can’t go wrong with minimalism, and printing your wedding invitation text in one color on a single-colored cardstock will always be a classic choice. Metallic accents are one of the fastest growing trends in wedding design and printing your text in all gold or silver on colored cardstock is a perfect way to integrate the trend. If your wedding colors are muted and neutral, a bold or bright cardstock is a perfect way to add a rich burst of color! Rich navy, emerald, and purple colors are incredibly aesthetically pleasing and assert a regal, luxurious connotation. Creating a cohesive theme throughout your wedding stationary by using the same colored cardstock can not only make planning easier, but it also allows you to buy in bulk to save money. From save-the-dates to menus to thank-you cards, using the same cardstock is sophisticated and affordable.

Bridal boutiques and planners, like Eye-The-Wed, can expertly work with any budget to deliver the best possible unique wedding invitations. Cheap wedding invitations don’t have to sacrifice high-end design and appearance! The possibilities are endless, so be sure to bring your favorite concepts to your bridal planning sessions and you’ll be amazed by how far your budget can stretch!


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