Friday, March 30, 2012

Guest Post: 10 Steps to Achieving Perfect Wedding Invitations

There are hundreds of little details to consider when arranging a wedding and undertaking such a task can be daunting. It can be tempting to rush through certain jobs to get them ticked off your list and as a result many couples will buy their wedding invitations without giving them suitable thought. This can be a huge mistake and lead to problems further down the line. Your wedding invitations really are very important and taking a little time to get the right ones will give you a good framework to plan the rest of the event. Considering the 10 factors below should help ensure that you end up with the right invites for your big day.

Wedding Invitations by Paper Themes
1) Theme or design
Themed weddings are becoming increasingly popular and if you are going for such an event then you should of course incorporate this into your invitation design. If you won’t be including any theme then your key consideration is whether the wedding is going to have a contemporary feel, or be more traditional. You may wish to contemplate the feel that your planned venue delivers when making this choice.

2) Matching color
Getting the right color scheme for your invites will usually mean incorporating the shades that will be present on the day. The most popular choices are to include colors of the flowers that will be used in the bride’s bouquet or the bridesmaid’s dresses.

3) Setting the tone
The type of language that you use within the text of your invites can play a big role in setting the tone of the wedding day. If you go for more archaic and formal wording; this is an indicator to guests that it will be a more formal affair. Where wording is more casual, guests will expect a more relaxed affair.

Black Enchanting Wedding Invitation
4) Suitable font
Another important aspect of the wording is the font that is used. If you are going for a traditional wedding then it is best to utilize a flowing font.  Where the celebration will be more modern, bold fonts with sharp edges are better suited.

5) Important details
Making sure that you get all the right information on the invites might seem like an obvious point to raise.  However, you would be surprised at just how many couples order and then realize that something has been omitted. Double check that you have got all of your details correct, before placing your order. To be absolutely certain that everything is as it should be you may even want to get a friend or family member to review them for you, as it is easy to overlook an error when checking something that you have become familiar with.

6) Considering size
There is no real rule over how big your wedding invitations should be.  Just be sure that they are big enough to display all of the required information without looking cramped. Of course, going for really big invites can look a bit odd and detract from the message you are retying to convey to your guests. You are usually looking at 9 x 18cm for the smallest invites, with the biggest ones at around 15 x 22cm.

7) A means of reply
Whether you include a separate RSVP, or a tear off tab on the invite; it is essential that proposed guests have means to advise you as to whether they shall be attending. If you forget to do this then you will be waiting a long time before you can finalize numbers, which can impact on all manner of details, from seating plans to catering requirements.  And do remember to include a return address!

8) Incorporating ribbons
Gilded Rose Invitation Kit
Whether or not to include a ribbon on your wedding invitations is really down to personal preference, although they are more suited to traditional ceremonies. If you do decide to go for ribbons make sure that they aren’t too big - which can overpower the invite itself. Also take into consideration that your envelopes will have to be a little larger to allow for the ribbon.

9) Finishing touches
Once your ordered invitations have arrived you can get busy writing the recipients names in, either yourself or by hiring a professional wedding calligrapher. However, before you start the process make sure that you have a nice pen to do the job right. Silver and gold ink always looks nice and the classic fountain pen is also a popular choice. If you don’t have anything suitable in the house when the invites arrive; avoid the temptation to get started with a roller ball pen. Otherwise your impatience can leave your beautiful invites looking a little on the tacky side.

10) Timing is everything
Now all that is left is to post and deliver your invites. But when is the right time to do so?  If you have already sent out save the date cards, then there is somewhat less urgency, as people know when you big day is going to be. In such cases 2 months before the set date will be fine. However, if your wedding invitations will provide the first concrete information to many people in terms of date and venue then you should try to get them to your invited guests around 3 to 4 months before the date. If you don’t you run the risk that some of your intended guests will have made other plans, such as booking a holiday.

A guest post by Michael Smith at Paper Themes, the one-stop-shop for wedding stationery. The Paper Themes brand has been in the wedding stationery market for over 100 years and is located in the UK. They design and provide personalized wedding stationery for happy brides-to-be across England and overseas.

Want to write a guest post for The Ash Tree? Contact me to get started!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Custom Calligraphy Design for Wedding Save the Date

Custom Calligraphy Save the Date Design, $50
Are you tired of cookie-cutter Save the Date invitations? Want something a little more modern, and unique?

I was so thrilled to be contacted by a recent bride who just wanted a simple Save the Date invitation for her San Diego wedding - but she wanted it to have a handwritten appearance (cue, calligrapher!) I met with her for a consultation a few weeks ago, where she showed me sketches of what she envisioned, printouts of things she had liked on, and asked me to tie it all together.

I have to say, working within these parameters is so exciting for me. I love using my creativity to piece together something completely unique. The challenge always is - as I'm sure it is with every wedding vendor - is matching the vision that the bride has in her mind.

So I practiced and sketched, trying to fit all the pieces together in a coherent way. She wanted the coastline of California to be drawn on the left side of the invitation, with the Pacific Ocean and the actual wedding location of San Diego to be identified. I poured everything into coming up with a design she would love, then held my breath as I sent it over. After a few minor edits (like removing her original request for a compass rose - she thought it looked a bit too much like a treasure map!) she said she absolutely loved it!

Above is the final product: I also made this into a digital file and was able to easily manipulate the image to conduct the bride's revisions using Photoshop. She then took the file to a printer to have them printed and mailed, and I can't wait to see the final product when I meet her for her wedding invitation consultation in June!

If you are interested in some custom calligraphy work for your Save the Date or Wedding Invitation, please contact me to discuss your project, pricing, and find out what we can do to make your vision become a reality!

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