From save-the-date announcements, wedding invitations, reception menus, thank you cards and much more, wedding stationery plays an extremely important role throughout the wedding process. In order to help couples better plan, budget and select their wedding stationery, we got the insider tips from some of Las Vegas’ best stationery vendors: 1st Impressions Invitations, Alligator Soup, Paper and Home and Visionary Pen. First up, planning on a budget and scheduling.
Tips for Working Within Your Budget
Helen Edell, owner of Alligator Soup said first and foremost couples need to determine their wedding stationery budget and inform their vendor at the beginning so they can help you find something that’s perfect for you and also fits within your budget.
To help save a little money, explore some of the alternatives the vendors can provide. For example, Michael Coxen from Paper and Home said they offer a collection of template designs they can customize for you, which are priced well below a custom design. Another cost saver Michael suggested is including a reply postcard with your invitation instead of a traditional reply card and envelope. This will save you money on both the envelopes and postage (a postcard stamp is 14 cents cheaper than a regular stamp and every little bit helps!)
If you are on a very tight budget, Cathy Colbert, owner of 1st Impressions Invitations recommended using an online RSVP on your free wedding website, such as eweddings.com, weddingwire.com, or theknot.com. Although this RSVP option is not the most ideal, she said it enables you to drop the number of pieces needed in the invitation and will also reduce the number of envelopes and postage costs. Another option to lower costs is to send an online version of the invite via email, so you still get the look and design you would like, but don’t have the printing and postage costs.
Have a little spare time? Owner of Visionary Pen, Paula Gold proposed that you ask your invitation vendor if they can design a suite that allows you to do some of the work. They often partner with “do it yourself” brides by designing and printing the invitations that the bride can embellish and assemble. Visionary Pen will design the invitation to include the embellishments, such as paper layers, rhinestones, lace and/or burlap wraps, then the bride and groom (with some help from the bridal party) can add extra the extra touches themselves.
The Invitation Timeline
After you have determined your budget, you’ll need to start working right away! Almost every part of planning a wedding takes time and the more time you have available the less stress will be involved. Cathy from 1st Impressions Invitations said couples should account for any unforeseen problems. If at any point an issue arises (whether it’s supplies, printing, shipping, etc.), having the extra time will help prevent stress and ensure you get your materials on time. She recommends using the following timeline when working on your wedding stationery:
- Save-the-Date Announcements: Begin working eight months to one year in advance
- Invitations: Begin working five to six months before the wedding (allow usually eight weeks for design and production and then mail the invites to guests eight to twelve weeks before wedding)
- Ceremony & Reception Stationery: Begin working one month before wedding
- Thank You Cards: Begin working upon return from your honeymoon (although general wedding etiquette allows you up to one year following the wedding)
Paula from Visionary Pen added that if you are having a destination wedding (which Las Vegas is for many people), you need to send your save-the-dates as early as you can. She suggested couples begin the design process two to six months prior to your anticipated mail date. Also, keep in mind that delivery time varies depending on printing method (letterpress takes longer than digital print), how elaborate the design is, the materials used (some specialty papers are imported and can take weeks or months for delivery), and the time of year.
Stay tuned next week to learn about ideas and trends for creating your save-the-date announcements and wedding invitations! In the meantime, for more wedding planning tips and information, please visit http://www.bridalspectacular.com. Also, be sure to save-the-date to attend our Autumn Bridal Show August 16 and 17 at Cashman Center where you can meet Helen, Michael, Cathy and Paula in person!