Invitations are my first stumbling block---help!!!

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cocobride09 Posts : 2 Registered: 12/29/08
Invitations are my first stumbling block---help!!!
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 10:44 AM

Hi! Just got engaged on Christmas Day 2008 (love the man, love the ring!)

I think I'm having a bit of a slow start. For the past week, I've been trying to look for invitations on line. The last (and only time) I ordered invitations was for my high school graduation 20 years ago; my parents and I went to the stationary store, looked through huge books of stationary samples and picked the one I hated the least.

Everything now is online, which is fine, but I want to see and feel what I'm getting. I have several ideas of what I want in an invitation that I've seen in real wedding pictures and I have great ideas in my head. Now, how do I translate that into reality without breaking the bank? Another idea is a DIY print job, but, still, where to start? I have only 8 months left and I would feel much better if I could just get this project going. HELP!

Edited by: cocobride09 on Jan 2, 2009 10:54 AM

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RLM Posts : 27 Registered: 10/4/08
Re: Invitations are my first stumbling block---help!!!
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 11:05 AM Go to message in response to: cocobride09

Hi Cocobride,

Congratulations on your engagement. Most of the online sites for invitations allow you to order up to three sample invitations. I've received sample invitations from www.theamericanwedding.com, www.rexcraft.com, and www.invitationsbydawn.com. The samples were beautiful. Good luck and happy wedding planning.
wedding website

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Invitations are my first stumbling block---help!!!
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 11:22 AM Go to message in response to: cocobride09

Hi Coco-

First off, I'd recommend waiting on your invitations until later in the planning process. Unless you've immediately jumped into action and gotten most of your other planning done, you're probably not at the point yet where you should be worrying about invitations. Get your budget and guest list figured out first. Then find ceremony and reception venues. I'd start looking at dresses soon, too, as you're planning in 8 months and some dresses can take a while to come in (mine took about 6 months, though it was a made-to-measure gown, which may have added time). Figure out your photographer, videographer (if you want one), florist, bakery, and other vendors. There's no reason to order invitations 8 months in advance - and every reason NOT to, particularly if you haven't yet booked your venues (Since you'll need to list venues, date and time, etc on the invites). I'd wait on this one for a while and focus on the things that should be done this far in advance. Brides.com and The Knot have good 'wedding planning calendars' that you can use as a guideline for when you should do each thing.

Once you're ready to look at invitations, you should have some idea of your total invitation budget before you start looking. (Again, Brides and The Knot have good tools to help you break down your budget into categories and figure out how much you have to spend on each. Don't do ANYTHING before you do this!) Your budget for invitations will help you to determine what sort of invitations you're looking for. If you only have $100 to spend on invites, printing them yourself would be a good option. If you have $1000 to spend on them, you can look at high-end invitation companies. If your budget is somewhere in the middle, see if you can find what you want at a company that makes invitations at your price point.

My advice is to not even look at stuff you can't afford. That's just temptation to blow your budget! A couple other pieces of advice about invitations: First off, the invitation is meant to convey the level of formality (or theme, if you're going that route) of your wedding. Thus, a whimsical invitation is not quite appropriate for a black-tie affair, and vice versa. So you'll want to wait to think about invitations until you're certain of the level of formality of the wedding. If you want to go with a colorful invitation rather than traditional white, that is a good opportunity to use your wedding colors. Also, most invitation companies will send you a free or low-cost sample of a certain number of invitations - take advantage of that to check out the quality of their invitations. I noticed that there can be a large difference in quality even from one invitation design to another made by the same company.

If you're in the 'middle of the road budget' category for invitations (say, you want to spend about $300 to $500), I can give you some companies to look at. Ours were made by Rexcraft, but I looked at others by Invitations by Dawn and American Weddings. I think they're all owned by the same parent company, but I thought Invitations by Dawn and Rexcraft were generally better quality at a similar price than the other. Another note about ordering invitations online (or elsewhere, I guess): DEFINITELY request a proof of your wording. This saved us a LOT of money. It seems that they spell-check invitation wording, and DH's last name was 'corrected' into a more common word. We weren't very happy when the invitations arrived misspelled, but they reprinted them for free because we had the proof, which showed that the mistake was on their end. If we hadn't had the proof, we would have ended up paying to have them reprinted.

Also, remember that your invitation budget isn't just for the invitation itself. You'll also have to pay for a seperate reception card, RSVP cards and envelopes, matching thank-you notes if you want them, and other inserts that you want to add, such as maps. Some companies even charge extra to have your return address pre-printed on the backs of the envelopes. Some charge extra for inner and outer envelopes. Also, remember that you'll have to pay for STAMPS, as well - I spent about $80 on stamps for our invitations!


DaisypathWedding Ticker

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karebeartg Posts : 831 Registered: 6/25/08
Re: Invitations are my first stumbling block---help!!!
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 11:31 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

If you decide to do them yourself, I would definitely make sure you 1) order samples of the invitations you think you want and 2) get extras. FH and I ended up ordering ours through paperdirect.com. They charge $5 shipping for up to 8 sample invitations, so we were able to order all the ones we though we wanted. We actually ended up picking the one we were least excited about when we ordered them online (it looked SO much better in person!).

My MOH made her invitations for her wedding. Her advice to me was "if you're doing it yourself, keep it somewhat simple." She and her DH spent many hours of their life trying to hot glue pretty ivory ribbon as a band around the invitations (it was apparently very hard to keep it straight).

If you do DIY them, you may also want to think about whether your printer is up to the job. Otherwise, you should account for the possible cost of ink cartridges and/or a new printer.

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cocobride09 Posts : 2 Registered: 12/29/08
Re: Invitations are my first stumbling block---help!!!
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 12:58 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Thanks ladies, this really helps!

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SanaChan Posts : 47 Registered: 1/2/08
Re: Invitations are my first stumbling block---help!!!
Posted: Jan 2, 2009 1:33 PM Go to message in response to: cocobride09

Hey! I know of a Canadian company that does online invites that look great, and are environmentally friendly! They will ship out samples so you can see the look and feel of the invites before placing your final order!

http://greenvites.com/

They're even having a sale right now which is an even better bonus!
"Those who want to relive their youth, are probably too old to remember it."

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HLYflute Posts : 1,282 Registered: 2/5/07
Re: Invitations are my first stumbling block---help!!!
Posted: Jan 3, 2009 12:02 PM Go to message in response to: cocobride09

I had a terrible time finding invitations. I must have ordered at least 8 catalogs online, and everything in the styles that I liked didn't come in the right colors. Mom and I went to a bridal show, and there was a guy there with probably 50 invitation books... the ones with the actual samples. He was a young guy just starting his own business, and we found the perfect invitations! It definitely helps to be able to look at the book rather than just the catalog. Try looking at print companies, paper companies, party planning places... look in your local phone book, or try going to google and typing in "wedding invitations" and your zip code.

I agree with the pp's though, you have at least a couple months before you really need to worry about invites. Right now it's more important to book your venues and vendors and find a dress. And of course figure out budget and guest list if you haven't already.

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ecdesignandprint Posts : 1 Registered: 10/16/06
Re: Invitations are my first stumbling block---help!!!
Posted: Feb 24, 2009 1:22 PM Go to message in response to: cocobride09

Hi,
I have read your posting and I have the solution for you. I felt the same way you did and I ended up doing my own invitations for my wedding since I couldn't find anything that translated into what I wanted. I fell in love with creating them that I decided to make a career out of it. I have recently started up my business and we have a website but it is still under construction (www.ecdesignandprint.com) I have a few jobs at the moment for wedding invitations and the brides to be had the same issues.


First off, everything I do is custom, you tell me your ideas, I send you a proof, you give me changes, I send you more proofs until you get the product you are looking for. Once the desogn is completed, I make up a sample on the paper I think will work best and I send you a hard copy proof in the mail to make sure you like the paper and how the invitation came out. If you don't like it, I can send you more options until you are happy. I am also very affordable. Once we get your ideas out in the open, I put together a few designs and send you them along with the pricing of each one. I can also work within a budget if one is provided to me. I know and understand how very special this day is and I know the tone and mood for you day starts with the invitations that everyone sees. I make sure you get the best bottom line, I wouldn't have wanted anything less for myself so I am not going to give anyone else any less either. I am also fast. If your wedding is in September I can have your invitations to you in with plenty of time to spare.

Anyway you have probably heard enough of me trying to talk up my business, if you are interested, my name is Eryn Carl. I am from Baltimore, MD. I can be reached at 410-241-9890 or 410-931-3407 and my email is eryn@ecdesignandprint.com.

I look forward to hearing from you, if not, I wish you the best in finding what you are looking for!

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