Do Guild members sell wedding invitations online?
Generally, they do not. Internet images are very low resolution (72dpi) and often purposely distorted by many fine paper companies to avoid reproduction. More importantly, the feel and weight of the paper is no less important than the visual impact of the invitation. Font colors and raised printing or letterpress are simply too varied and subtle to be adequately duplicated on a website. In fact, most quality paper designers and printers do not sell wedding invitations online. Given the importance of the occasion, we strongly recommend that you work with a qualified stationer to design your custom wedding invitations. There are simply some things that are simply best done in person.
Do Guild members discount wedding invitations?
With the exception of promotional discounts occasionally offered by fine paper companies, Guild members do not discount their services. Dealers are requested to honor pricing policies established by their vendors to insure that the integrity and craftsmanship of their unique designs are not compromised. Guild members respect our vendor’s guidelines and believe that discounting their services and experience will ultimately diminish our capabilities to serve their clients effectively.
Do I need a Save-the-Date announcement?
Save-the-date announcements are highly recommended when the wedding is taking place in a location where advance planning is essential; otherwise, your guests will not have enough time to book hotels and transportation. Examples: a wedding on Nantucket, in the West Indies or in Europe. Also, you should consider using a save-the-date announcement if your wedding event is scheduled near a major holiday or around a popular vacation period. That being said, we are now finding that well over 60% of our bridal couples send out save-the-date notes to insure that their guests reserve the wedding weekend.
When should I start looking for my invitations?
Ideally, begin at least six months before the wedding date to give you sufficient time to design the invitation, place your order and receive the invitations. There are many design options available and two or more visits with your stationer may be required before reaching a decision. After making your choice, the printing of invitations can take between one week and twelve weeks depending on the invitation you have selected. Plan to spend several days to address your invitations and at least two weeks if you engage a calligrapher.
How long does it take to review the invitation options?
Plan on a minimum of an hour to two hours to narrow down your wedding invitation options and develop an action plan. We strongly recommend making an appointment to insure that a qualified stationer will be available to guide you through the process of designing your custom invitation.
When do I mail my invitations?
Send your wedding invitations so that your guests receive them at least eight weeks before the event. A summer mailing for a fall wedding should be sent so that guests receive them nine to ten weeks before the date since people may be vacationing and will open their mail later than usual.
What printing processes are available?
Engraving is an older, more traditional form of printing. Perhaps your mother (and grandmother) had their wedding invitations engraved. Engraved ink colors tend to look richer and are raised on the paper surface. Letterpress is the inverse of engraving and inks are pressed into soft paper, normally cotton. This old-fashioned form of printing is undergoing quite a renaissance and letterpress colors appear soft and subtle. Both engraving and letterpress tend to be more expensive than thermography. Thermography is a relatively new printing process whereby inks are baked onto the surface of the paper to simulate the raised look of engraving. Colors are less opaque and shinier, but printing with thermograph inks is less expensive.
Am I locked into strict etiquette for wording the invitation?
Traditional wording is never out of style or place. There is flexibility, however, in wording based upon the setting and other considerations. Please consult with your trusted local stationer. While there are clear guidelines on what is considered proper etiquette, practical good taste should reign supreme!
Are reply cards necessary?
Reply sets are a necessary evil for any wedding for over 50 people or more. There are ways to lessen the "fill-in-the-blank" look of the reply card while still providing a practical means of response.
Do I need a directions or accommodation card?
Unless most of the invitees are from the surrounding area, a direction card is generally required. Maps tend to confuse people so stick to words. Accommodations are useful and can be combined with the directions card, if needed. It is not necessary to do directions for a city wedding (e.g. New York City) but accommodation recommendations may be quite helpful. Many bridal couples often send accommodation cards with their save-the-date announcement to encourage their guests to begin planning now.
Should I use a calligrapher to address my wedding invitations?
Brides or family members with “good” hand-writing skills can usually address wedding invitations. If you are seeking to match the font style of the invitation or seeking a more stylized and professional look then we recommend engaging a calligrapher. Many Guild member stores provide machine-calligraphy to address your invitations and reply card sets. While less artistic than hand calligraphy, it is considerably less expensive. Hand calligraphy normally requires a two to three week turnaround. Machine calligraphy generally requires a week.
What about wedding programs?
Programs are often the most detail-intensive component of the wedding, requiring more time than even the invitation itself. From simple cards to mini-booklets, there are an infinite number of format and design options. Review all details of your service with whomever is presiding and bring us a verbatim outline of the order of the ceremony, including readings/readers, music and participants. Place your wedding program order at least one month prior to the wedding day. Please note that your Church or Synagogue often has very defined rules on the wording and format for wedding programs. Please get their approval before submitting your draft for printing.
What else do I need?
Wedding stationery for thank you notes should be ordered at the same time that you place your order for wedding invitations. Place cards, seating cards and menu cards are often needed for the reception. Personalized cocktail napkins are a great idea for the reception and can often be used for the brunch the following day. If you plan for your local stationer to print your seating cards and place cards, please give us your list at least two weeks before the wedding reception. Thank you notes and menu cards can take two to three weeks depending on quantity and design.