19 Oct Online Vs Designer Wedding Invitations

ONLINE Wedding Invitations

vs.

Hiring a DESIGNER

(are you really saving money?)

FREE DESIGNS!

MAKE YOUR OWN INVITATIONS!

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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15 Jun Choosing the Perfect Wedding Theme

There are many decisions in life.

 

What to wear today?

What sounds good for dinner?

Which movie should we see?

What is the perfect wedding theme?

 

One of the most important, it seems, as a bride-to-be is: “What’s my wedding THEME?!?!” And just like with everything else, there are absolutely endless options to choose from. There is always the good old traditional wedding: pearls, lace, white roses, a bit of glitz and a whole lot of satin. These days, most couples prefer to do a less traditional ‘theme’ to really express who they are as individuals as well as a couple. I like to think of the wedding process as a business and the theme is the brand. In other words, it is the overall feel of the wedding that speaks for the couples personality and message to the world that “This is who we are!”

 

A wedding starts and ends with the theme. From the initial engagement announcement (the first impression to friends and family), all the way to the send-off as a happily married husband and wife, the theme should be incorporated throughout. Naturally, this means that the theme is one of the first decisions you will have to make as an engaged couple. No pressure!

 

For very few, this is an easy task. But this blog is written with the majority of us in mind! I’ll start with a few ways to get the creative juices flowing and remember- this is YOUR day and YOUR decision. When it comes to your wedding choices, the world does, in fact, revolve around you!!!

 

Without making a commitment carved in stone, lets think about where you might hold the ceremony and/or reception. Is it on the beach? Is it in a church? Bowling alley? At home??? All of these may have an influence on theme. This is not to say that your theme must match the venue, but it is something to consider so that you don’t end up in a bowling alley and your invitations have palm trees and sea shells on them (unless that’s what your heart desires). Keeping the venue in mind may help narrow out some options.

 

Ask for advice from friends and family. I know, I know…I said that this is all about YOU. But truthfully, sometimes others who know us best see us differently than we see ourselves, and I mean this in a good way! The people closest to us may be able to point our our style and personality in a nutshell, as we ourselves may struggle a bit to label these things.

 

A few other important factors worth noting are: the season, favorite colors, and the location. Once you have mulled over all of the findings of your research it should become clear what direction you might go in. For me it comes in the form of an ‘a-ha’ moment. If you still need help getting pushed in a direction, try this simple multiple choice quiz I have found to help weed out some of your concepts…http://www.magnetstreet.com/wedding-style-quiz.

 

Happy Theme Hunting!

 

-C

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Titles:

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.

Examples:

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.

Examples:

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

OR

Mr. John Smith

Ms. Elizabeth Warren

and Family

Inner – John

  Elizabeth

            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!

Examples:

Same-sex married couple

Sergeant and Mr. Edwin and John Williams

OR

Sergeant and Mr. Williams

OR

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

OR

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.

Examples:

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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