You might think that since you can see what you're getting you don't need referrals or recommendations on designers. But using a site like OneWed.com to help you learn a little about the company can save you frustration. You'll want to make sure the company you choose is reliable and timely.
Most designers will have a portfolio to show you, but you should also ask to see samples of actual work. That way you'll be able to judge the quality of the work.
Invitations should be sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding (earlier for a destination wedding). That means you'll want to start researching custom designed invitations 4-6 months before the wedding, earlier if you want coordinated save-the-date cards, or hand addressed envelopes. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your responsibilities, too. If the designer needs you to proof the text, make sure to return it on time.
Wedding stationery, including invitations, place cards, thank you notes, menus and programs, is usually around 4-5% of your wedding budget. Take your total wedding budget and determine what 4-5% of it is. Then, take that number and divide it by the number of families/couples you are inviting (one invitation per household). So, if you have a budget of $25,000 then your invitation budget is $1,000. If you're sending 100 invitations that's $10 an invitation, including thank you note, postage.
When you see invitations advertised for $2 each, it can seem like a much better deal than a $7-$12 invitation set. But, the set may include the invitation, response card, envelopes and a map. The $2 invitation will probably just be an invitation.
Obviously, before you order invitations you need to have a date and a location. But also before you design or choose those invitations, you need to have some idea of what kind of wedding you're having. The invitation sets the tone for the wedding, so don't create a casual or funky invitation and then expect people to know the wedding is black-tie.
Having an eco-friendly invitation can be as simple as reducing excess paper. For example, not including an inside envelope or making your reply card a postcard instead of requiring another envelope. There are also lovely eco-friendly papers that can be used.
There are a lot of unfamiliar terms when ordering invitations. Don't be shy, ask questions.
Ordering a few extra invitations from the beginning is less expensive than having to place a rush order for extras if something goes wrong.
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