From Dreams to Paper: Crafting Your Perfect Wedding Invitations – the Journey Unveiled
Designing wedding invitations is an exciting process, but before you even reach out to a wedding stationery designer (hopefully me! ;) ), there are several important steps that engaged couples should take to ensure a smooth and efficient experience. Let's dive into the detailed pre-design preparations:
Step 1: Define Your Wedding Style and Theme Before delving into the world of wedding stationery, take the time to define your wedding style and theme. Whether it's a rustic barn wedding, a glamorous ballroom affair, or a casual beach celebration, understanding your vision will guide the design process.
Step 2: Create a Guest List Start by compiling a comprehensive guest list. Gather the full names of your guests and organise them into categories such as family, friends, and colleagues. Start to think if you want an adult only wedding or if you are happy kids and babies participate actively to your ceremony, reception and party. Are you allowing any plus ones? Consider as well any second list, if anyone dropping from your maim list, do you have any reserved guests ? Choose which guests to invite to for the day (=ceremony and reception breakfast) or to your evening party.
It will of course give your numbers of guests, try to have a maximum and minimum in mind. This list will be crucial for both the design and addressing of your invitations, but not only, your number of guests will determine your full wedding, from the size of your venue to your budget!
Step 3: Document for Guest Information Create an Excel document or Google document to store all the necessary guest information. Include columns for names, addresses, and any additional details you may need, such as dietary restrictions, menu choices or RSVP responses. Create one columns for each different category. I will love you even more if you do this step correctly! It will save my time (and your money) to provide such document.
Step 4: Establish a Budget Set a realistic budget for your wedding stationery. I know this can be hard as we all want to get the best price for the best value. Choose a designer (like me?!) who share publicly their prices list to give you an idea of budget. Or contact directly a wedding stationery designer to give you a quote. Remember that you will be sending only one invitation per household, but you might want to order some extras in case some invitation get lost in the post, use your second guests list and want to keep some for memories, I advice an average of 5 extra invitations to be safe.
The big difference in your budget for wedding stationery will come from using templates designs or having some bespoke details, in this case an additional design fee is generally added. Your wedding stationery budget should include not only the design and printing costs but also any additional elements such as custom coloured envelopes, liners, or embellishments such as wax seal, stickers. Having a clear budget will help you make informed decisions during the design process.
Step 5: Research Postal Rates and Purchase Stamps in Advance Check the current postal rates, especially if you're planning to send invitation abroad! Take knowledge as well of the timing, how long it would take for your invitation to arrive to your guests (depending 1st class, 2nd class or any special couriers). Knowing the postage costs will prevent any surprises and help you stay within your budget. Once you have an estimate of the number of invitations you'll be sending out, start purchasing stamps in advance. This proactive approach ensures you won't be scrambling to buy stamps at the last minute and allows you to take advantage of any special stamp designs or discounts.
Step 6: Collect RSVP Information Determine how you want guests to RSVP and gather the necessary information. Whether it's through a traditional RSVP card, a wedding website, by phone or a designated email address, having a clear system in place will make it easier for both you and your guests.
Step 7: Addressing Options Decide whether you'll be handling the addressing of envelopes yourself or if you'd like to hire a calligrapher, using printed labels or having custom addressed printed envelop matching the design or your invitation. If you're opting for a DIY approach, start practicing your handwriting early to ensure a polished and consistent look.
Step 8: Research Design Styles Take the time to explore different design styles and gather inspiration for your invitations. Look for colours, fonts, and layouts that resonate with your vision. If you have some passions or a wedding theme, think how you would like to incorporate it. Share your visions with your designer, if anyone like me, they will come up with some ideas and suggestions that match your personalities and wedding's visions. Other else, look for inspiration on Pinterest and create a board gathering all the things you like and dislike to share with your designer. This will provide valuable guidance when you start working with a wedding stationery designer. Please note these pictures will be used as inspirations only and will never be able to be copied. Look through my website for some inspiration of templates and formats, keep in mind that any designs can be mix match from any format.
Step 9: Prioritise Timelines Create a timeline for the entire wedding stationery process. If you are not sure when to send out your invitation, work backwards. Ask when does your venue and/or caterer need the final numbers by. Then, give around 2 months for your guests to answer, plus a couple of weeks for you to chase who haven't replied. Then use tis date to determine the minimum limit date to send out your invitation.
Then takes in consideration, time for selecting a designer (or just choose me! ), design stage can takes anytime between 3-4 weeks for a template design up to 2 months for bespoke design, this might change depending on how fast you can approve designs or how long it takes for your designer to do any new modifications (for me, I aim to update your design within a week from your comments). Printing time, this can take a week, folding fun for any origami format you choose, addressing, and mailing. Providing ample time for each step will alleviate stress and ensure a seamless experience.
If you're planing a wedding during summer, bank holiday or destination wedding, add extra ahead time. To conclude the sooner the better, or as a recommendation, try to think about your wedding invitation a year before your wedding and send out your invitation around 4-8 months before your wedding.
Step 10: Communicate Clearly with Your Designer When you're ready to contact a wedding stationery designer, be prepared to communicate your vision, theme, and any specific details you want to include. Share your guest list spreadsheet, RSVP preferences, and any design inspirations to provide a solid foundation for collaboration. Give all your wedding information, such as accommodation list, taxi, gift, bar, map, direction, menu, children, order of the day, parking, cash bar info, love story details. If you give all the info from the beginning, your designer will work with all the text and will fit it as its best. If you add further details during the design process an additional fee might be charged.
Step 11: Finalise Details Before Printing At each step, each proof sent to you, triple check any details and give clear feedback to your designer about any edits or design modification you wish. Generally, designer agree on 2 modifications during the design process. On my side, you will unlimited edits change and 3 designs modifications included in your package, any extra will be charge so given as much details as possible at each stage is very important.
Before giving the green light for printing, double/triple-check all details on the invitation, including names, dates, and venue information. This final review is crucial to catching any errors before the invitations are produced. I generally recommend that you print the proof as it is always easier to spot any mistakes on paper rather on screen. Plus if you can make it read by someone else, a new air of eye will be valuable.
By taking these proactive steps, you'll set the stage for a successful collaboration with your wedding stationery designer. Clear communication, meticulous planning, and attention to detail will result in invitations that not only reflect your unique style but also provide guests with all the information they need for your special day.
All these steps are valuable insights to make your wedding invitation design process both magical and stress-free.
Download now your Essentials Checklist before starting designing your wedding stationery and make your wedding stationery journey stress-free!
Feeling inspired and ready to bring your unique wedding vision to life? I'm here to turn your dreams into a beautifully crafted reality. If you're seeking personalised guidance, exquisite designs, and stress-free wedding stationery experience, we're just a message away!
Contact me today to embark on your design journey and let the design magic begin! 💌💫