Eventista: First impressionsWritten by Brittany Craig | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s said that first impressions are everything. The same can be said for love at first sight. So why is the wedding invitation — the first impression guests receive — becoming substandard?
As a planner and an occasional wedding guest, I can understand both sides of the playing field. I know many couples have budget concerns and that often one of their first ideas is to cut cost on invitations. On the other hand, as a guest looking forward to a fun night out, there is nothing more disappointing than flimsy card stock, a rushed handwritten address and Scriptina font. There, I said it. Scriptina font. Don’t do it.
“They just end up tossing it anyway” — I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that. But actually, the wedding invitation often gets hung in the kitchen or tucked into a daily planner. It’s looked at repeatedly with anticipation. As stationery designer Kim Collins of Fiddle Stix Boutique at Levis Commons says, “The wedding invitation sets the tone for the entire event and helps give the guests an idea of what to expect. If a bride is having a gorgeous, extravagant wedding but sends something that looks less than impressive … guests are not going to anticipate something as extraordinary as they should.”
Beautiful is more affordable than you think. “Brides and grooms do not have to skimp on these details; they just need to find the right fit,” said Kelly Henry, stationery designer and owner of UpperCase Designs in Toledo. Thanks to sites like Pinterest, brides can find a plethora of ideas. But by working with a local stationery designer, you can make that “pin” come to fruition. For an invite with a lot of color go for digital printing versus off-set printing, suggests Henry. Referring guests to a wedding website for more information cuts down on clutter and costs, Collins suggests. Postcard response cards are another cost-saving tip. By working with a local designer, you can give that postcard a unique, upscale look that will compensate for its ease and convenience.
What’s felt in the hand is just as important as what’s seen by the eye. Oftentimes invitations ordered online use a lighter weight of card stock. Always request to see and feel a sample. Lighter stock in both the invite and the envelope do not mail well. They are often eaten up by the postage machines and arrive to your guests torn or marked. One way to avoid this is to also handstamp each of your invites at the post office. While you’re there, double check to make sure you have enough postage on your envelopes, if you haven’t done so already. Always bring a completely assembled invite when buying stamps.
Carrying consistent fonts, colors and design for your wedding programs, escort cards, menus, table numbers and signage gives the event an overall appearance that is more memorable and enjoyable. But don’t be afraid to assemble these items yourself. “This takes a little bit more time for the bride, but it saves on the cost of the vendor’s assembly process,” Collins said.
The wedding invitation is one of the most traditional parts about a wedding, but you can still have a little fun while being socially appropriate. One way to do this is with the RSVPs. “One of the most requested RSVP responses is, ‘We’ll dance if you play this song.’ Newlyweds want to see their guests out on the dance floor having a great time. One of my favorites is ‘We’ll have to miss all the fun’ and ‘We’ll be there to dance and dine,’” Henry said.
Finally, don’t forget the attention to detail when it comes to addressing your invitations. “The smallest of details really stand out throughout the entire event, starting with the invitations!” Collins said. Calligraphy is the most popular way of addressing envelopes. If you cannot afford hand-addressed calligraphy, opt for having a stationery designer print the addresses on the envelopes with a font that matches the invitation suite, suggests Henry. Then dress it with beautiful stamps. Buy a collection of vintage stamps on Etsy and include four to five different kinds in your color scheme to reach your required postage.
The wedding invitation doesn’t have to be a budget-bleeder. And it doesn’t have to be dull to be affordable. With a little personal style and attention to detail, you will be sure to excite your guests!
Brittany Craig is the principal event designer and coordinator for Crowning Celebrations. She specializes in weddings and social celebrations. Follow her at www.crowningcelebrations.com.
Tags: Brittany Craig, calligraphy, card stock, Crowning Celebrations, digital printing, Eventista, Fiddle Stix Boutique, handstamp, off-set printing, Postcard response cards, postcard RSVPs, scriptina font, UpperCase Designs, vintage stamps, wedding invitations, wedding website