TOP TEN TIPS for wedding invitation shopping
One thing we often hear is “Where do I begin? There are so many options!” Online shopping, while having its place in modern society, only makes matters worse when it comes to wedding stationery. Just as you’d want to see and feel the fabric of your wedding gown in person, so is it helpful to see and feel the stationery selections you are making. So with that in mind, here are ten tips to help you get started!
2. Have an idea of what you’d like, but keep an open mind. There are many, many looks, printing processes and options out there that you’re probably not even aware of. If you saw something on Pinterest or Etsy that you simply must have, realize there’s a good chance you’ll be disappointed unless you go to that Etsy seller.
3. Take time with your fiancée before-hand to put together your guest list. Get names and addresses from parents as well, if appropriate. Keep in mind your list may grow over time and consider ordering more than you initially think necessary. Likewise, when considering quantity, think in terms of the number of addresses you are mailing to, rather than the number of guests.
4. Eat a meal, finish your errands, set aside your phone and take a deep breath. Do whatever you need to do before your appointment so you feel refreshed and able to focus. Leave behind anyone who really doesn’t have an interest in selecting invitations.
5. Bring any samples, color swatches, etc. of things you like, but remember, you want to give a nod to your own wedding, not your friend’s. And don’t get overly focused on color-matching, rather look for colors in the same family or hue, if that’s important to you.
6. Have an idea of what you are able to spend, as well as the typical price range of the shop you are visiting. Keep in mind, however, that if your allotment for stationery is not realistic for the style, quantity or quality you are seeking, you may need to re-allocate your funds. Most people simply aren’t aware of the costs of wedding stationery, and sadly, most bridal magazines typically under-estimate what a normal couple will spend.
7. Let the shop know a bit about the look of your wedding in terms of formality, color schemes or theme so they have a starting point with which to work. But don’t worry if you don’t have a “theme” in mind!
8. Trust your consultant’s knowledge of wedding etiquette. Just because your cousin added wording to her invitations, doesn’t mean it’s correct. The consultant can guide you with what is proper etiquette, even for the 21st century. Yes, it does matter.
9. Start looking for save the dates around one year before the wedding date and mail them at least six to nine months beforehand. Start looking for invitations around six months before the wedding (unless you choose the invitation to match the save the date) and mail them about two months before the wedding. If you start looking too early (I know you’re excited!) you may not have made other decisions that need to come first… date, venue, style, quantity.
10. Realize that not all couples have that “this is the one!” moment. Especially if you are choosing your invitation together with your partner or a parent. Rather, you will find many beautiful invitations within your targeted budget that represent you, your fiancée and your wedding that you’ll be happy with.
Finally, remember that your trusted stationer will walk you through all the necessary options and decisions, so relax and enjoy the process!