There is something so exciting about a wedding invitation! How often do you get something beautiful and exciting in the mail these days (besides whatever you ordered on Amazon yesterday)?? They are a nod to an older time when that was the only way to tell your loved ones about the big day you’re about to have, and that you’d like them to be there to enjoy it with you!
Today I have Samantha and Lauren of East + West Designs, to help me talk about the questions to ask when picking the perfect wedding invitation and stationery designer! I met these ladies randomly when I stumbled upon a little bridal show, and I could not be more happy that I did! They are both so sweet, and I instantly knew that I had to get them on board for this project. One of my favorite things about this duo is that they offer both graphic design and calligraphy, which makes for the most amazing statement when your guests receive their invitations in the mail!
10 Questions to Ask When Booking Your Wedding Invitation & Stationery Designer
1 | What’s your process like?
We love to start with an in-person meeting to show you some samples of our work and talk about what you like and dislike. In those discovery meetings, we learn so much about you and how we can make your invitations completely personalize just like your wedding day should be! After that initial chat, if you decide to work with us, we tend to get started right away so that we can have proofs of a few design version to you in about a week. That way, if you have any edits to the design or even if we need to scrap it and start over, there’s plenty of time before we need to get these beauties in the mail.
2 | Do you include save the dates, programs, menus and other paper goods for the wedding day?
You’ll want all your paper goods to look cohesive, so this is a great question! We do anything and everything that’s paper, calligraphy, or printed for your wedding! We love starting a client with save the dates and taking them all the way through the wedding day materials so the fonts, designs, and styles match.
3 | What if I don’t know what I want yet?
That’s no problem at all! Helping you throughout this process is part of our job 🙂 We sit down together and look at some samples, as well as your wedding inspiration, and any elements you already have picked out for your wedding day. All of these will help us come up with a look and feel for your invitations to ensure that it’s perfect for your big day!
4 | What type of timeline do these materials have?
Save the dates usually go out about 6 months before the wedding, invitation about 4-6 weeks before the wedding (or earlier if it’s a destination wedding), and any day of materials should be finished 2 weeks before the wedding.
5 | What’s the turnaround time on invitation suites?
This is an important question because it helps you know when you need to start this process within the timeline of planning your wedding. With us, designing the invitation suite takes a couple of weeks, printing takes about a week, and calligraphy takes 2-3 weeks depending on how many addresses we have. We can work with any timeline though so don’t worry if your date is quickly approaching!
6 | How many edits do we get?
Because you don’t want to find yourself with unexpected charges from edits, this is important to know in advance. It’s your wedding day and we want to make sure everything is just how you want it, so you get as many edits as it takes to make it perfect!
7 | What’s the average price of an invitation suite?
Since all of our designs are custom, it’s hard to give a quote before we sit down and talk through what a couple is really wanting in their invitations. But, most of our suites, which include an invitation with matching envelopes, details card, and RSVP cards with matching envelopes, start at about $7 per suite. That can change depending on quantity, quality of materials, foils, letterpress, and the list can go on and on 🙂
8 | What kind of postage do I need?
It depends on your invitation! Anything with a wax seal, ribbon, or anything that isn’t 100% flat in your envelope will require you to use a $.71 stamp instead of the standard $.50 stamp. Anything that’s a postcard like a save the date or RSVP card can use postcard stamps, which are even cheaper! Anything that’s super elaborate or out of the ordinary, we make a sample and take it to the post office ourselves to make sure you purchase the correct postage for that particular item.
9 | How many suites will I need?
We highly suggest making your guest list before you contact a stationery designer, because the prices fluctuate based on your quantity needed. If you’re inviting 250 people, that might just be 125 households. Count up the number of households you’ll need and order about 20 extra. Those extras will be for keepsakes, to bring on the wedding day so your photographer can take pictures of it, in case some invitations get returned, you forget someone, or you make a mistake on addressing one. Having extras is key! Better safe than sorry!
10 | I want calligraphy on my envelopes, how does that work?
There is a large difference between a graphic designer and a calligrapher. Some people are capable of both, or simulating calligraphy with graphic design. This is something that sets us a part!! We do all the calligraphy by hand and in a style that’s agreed upon by the couple. We offer several different calligraphy styles, so we will provide samples of these various versions for you to choose from before we get started. Once the calligraphy style, ink color and envelope color have been picked, we send you an excel template for your addresses that we use as a reference while we write out all the invitee’s addresses!
Lauren & Samantha say: “Your invitations are the first impression of your wedding! Your guests will get a glance into what your day will be like, what to wear, and what to expect. So make it a good first impression!” I couldn’t agree more 🙂
For those out there who are engaged or married…what questions did you ask your invitation designer or calligrapher? I’d love to hear other questions that you found to be helpful while designing your wedding stationery!
10 Questions to Ask Series:
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