Before you bolt out the door, there are just a few caveats on how to shop like a pro. Read on and find out the 3w’s of wedding invitation ordering: who, when, and where. Also get  a handy guide on Who’s, Who including who you should not miss, as well as which vendors said adios.

How to shop like a pro.

Be prepared. First, go on Excel and make a master list of your guests. How many guests translates (count couples and solo folks) into how many total invitations?

Please order  10% extra. This is a general rule of thumb. You do not want to go back and order a minimum. Generally, the price will be higher per piece.

Who’s the best?

The best wedding invitation album vendors of 2013?  These rank top because of consistent quality of product, exemplary service, on time delivery and they are an established brand with a presence in the marketplace.

You do not want to miss: Crane & Co., William Arthur, Checkerboard, Kleinfeld Paper, Smock and Vera Wang in the Haute Couture, higher-end price group. You can lower the price of the invitation with help from a knowledgable sales person at a stationery store by eliminating hand work, and selecting thermography versus engraving.

If your wedding ceremony and reception are at the same place, then you do not need both pieces. On the wedding invitation print,”Afterwards at the reception”.

Timeless luminaries in the mid-range? Carlston Craft, and Embossed Graphics. This budget range is really the mid-range. There is no cheap wedding invitation out there.  If it is really cheap, ask yourself, “What did they cut back on to lower the price?” Can you live with that?

Where and When? (see below video of The Lettermen for musical accompaniment)

The best time to order is as soon as you have your guest list.

I would try to order the save-the-dates at the same time as your wedding invitation. You have so many must-do’s for the wedding that you want to check these two off as soon as possible. Also, pencil in the wedding program to start at least 6 weeks before the wedding.

When to send the Invitations?

Save-the-dates goes in the mail soon after your engagement, even if it is a year in advance.

Your wedding invitations should be sent 4 weeks in advance.

To send out the invitations six weeks in advance presents problems: invitations get misplaced, memories fade, calendars do not get a glance and guest just plum forget about the event.

Ten years ago, brides sent out invitations six weeks in advance, if their wedding was on a major holiday, so their guests could make travel and accommodation reservations in advance. Ten years ago, there were no save-the-date cards. Gasp!

Where to order?

Since your friends are getting married, you probably already know about the best place in town to order your wedding invitations.

An established stationery store, who carries Crane, Checkerboard and Carlston Craft albums have the experienced staff to assist you with your order. You will sit down with a professional, who will give you advice on what items you need; the design, paper, color; correct wording, proper etiquette, scheduling, proofing and addressing. Chances are they could become your new best friend.

Who’s Gone?

Several of the top wedding invitation companies are no longer in business. With consolidations, owners retiring and the economy, we saw beloved firms such as Encore Studios wave goodbye.

This summer, Lallie, who commanded the attention of billionaires as well as the girl next door in their thirty-eight years, closed its doors. It was the top-of-the-top custom designer and had a signature look all its own.

They both will be missed for their unique contributions; however, we have a myriad of firms that are sure to make a bride smile with pride as she sends the wedding invitations in the mail.

 

By Anne Chertoff

Whatever look you’re planning for your wedding there will be an invitation design that conveys that feeling to your guests.  It’s very important that your wedding invitation gives your guests a glimpse of what they can expect so they know what to wear and look forward to.  For example, a classic white or ecru invite with black font for a Saturday night wedding will convey a black-tie/formal affair, while a brightly colored invitation with palm trees will send a more laidback vibe.  Here are some of our favorite wedding invitations by theme:

CLASSIC/TRADITIONAL by William Arthur

You don’t need to stick with ecru and black for a traditional look any more. This blush pink with copper invitation from the William Arthur Wedding III Album is very formal with its classic layout and wording.

traditional-william-arthur

By Anne Chertoff

A number of exciting new wedding invitation details were spotted at designer booths throughout the 2013 National Stationery Show. Brides will continue seeing fashion-inspired lace accents and shimmering gold foil printing on invitations and stationery accessory pieces. Traditional invitation designs got a modern update by mixing two font types, some even resembled handwriting. And whether or not you’re DIYing your wedding invitation, if you like the DIY look you’ll have plenty of Kraft paper invites to choose from. Couples should take note of the back of their invites when selecting theirs. You’ll find that they’re just as detailed as the front with patterned and textured backings. Here’s a look at some of the latest wedding invitation designs arriving in stationery stores later this summer:

LACE ACCENTS

Lace inspiration on a wedding invitation doesn’t have to be limited to a white or ivory pattern, as the Port Jefferson Wedding Suite by Dolce Press shows here. Featuring a purple lace-like pattern on each of the stationery suite’s pieces, the traditional fabric is more modern when shown in a bright hue, and the mixing of serif and sans serif fonts only adds to the whimsical look and feel.

Port Jefferson Wedding Suite Dolce Press

 

Wedding Programs: the Playbill to your Ceremony

Posted by mmaxfield on Jun 25, 2012

Applause, please! Standing ovation!

New York City’s Broadway’s musicals are captivating, addicting: the pre-theater 21 Club for drinks and dinner, or a quick Sabrett hot dog, the dash to the Bernard Jacobs theater, the iconic Playbill giving you an VIP Orchestra-seat run-down on the actors, the three acts, and thank-yous to the many participants. Frankly, after the performance, when you pour out onto the street waving down a cab, what do you and the other theatergoers clutch for dear life under the arm? The Playbill!

Your wedding program is your Playbill! It gives your guests a mother of the bride, first row, center stage importance and insight into Who’s Who, the cast, the ceremony, the appreciative nod to family and friends. It gives your guests a mirror of what is to come! You have spent hundreds of hours, a small fortune or large fortune, and in just a small booklet, you literally tell your guests what to expect.

Vintage Santa! Photo: antiques.about.com
Original Santa Claus IllustrationThomas Nash is credited with creating our popular image of Santa Clause. This 1865 drawing from Harper’s Weekly shows what Christmas traditions were like 140 years ago. Photo: Son of the South.net

 

Dear Santa!

Oh, that famous Christmas salutation will be written a million times over in our worldwide countdown march to midnight December 24th!

Our Dear Santa epistle is a short-list of our current material wishes, hopes culminating in a not so-humble revelation of how good we were this year, and glowing promises for the next. Whether we printed it on pre-fab Santa-paper at four years old, wrote it at nine years in our best mid-century Palmer Method handwriting, or penned it, tongue-in-cheek at twenty, we know that writing St. Nick has a charm of its own and brings out, in full pageantry, our Christmas spirit.

What note should the 2012 bride write Santa?