Sunday, October 17, 2010

Reasons to Hire a Stationer

More and more brides are becoming DIY-ers to save money and stay on budget for their wedding. Brides feel that they can format an invite on their own (which many can in Microsoft Word) however ... professional custom stationers have oh so many more resources at their fingertips and cringe when we hear of brides-to-be using this as their platform to design. Personally, I work in Adobe In Design, Illustrator and Photoshop and have endless paper resources and print shops that I work with on a daily basis. So why hire a designer to create your custom wedding invitations? Let me share a few thoughts with you ...

First Impression ... Makes a lasting impression. We have all heard of the old saying ... “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Let’s be honest, we all do whether you are drawn to a bottle of wine because of the label, the look of a perfume bottle, or even because of the way it is marketed. The first impression is the most important and sets the tone for the entire event!

Your custom invitation suite gives your guests the FIRST glimpse into your wedding day. It sets the tone for the special event and will allow you to show off your personal style. The designer you are working with will be able to pull in all those special elements whether it is a monogram or a specific color and pattern you have always dreamed of.

Not only will the invitations set the tone for your entire event, it will serve as a keepsake and memory for those who attended. I have a binder overflowing with invites I have received over the years ... and I am sure many of your guests do the same with theirs and yours.

Etiquette. When you hire a custom stationer ... they will be able to aid you in determining the proper use of verbage to be used on your invitations. Many are unsure of how to work the wording on their invitations. What verbage is best if your parents are separated/re-married, widowed? How do you word the copy if we are getting married by a lake vs. a church? If your parents are footing the entire bill or if both families are contributing ... how would you list their names? Is it appropriate to include registry information in the mailed invitation? Stationers are also great at giving you direction with how to format your guests addresses if they have children, unmarried but living together, ect. A good stationer can help you determine how formal or casual your wording should be based on our initial consultation when we discuss the overall feel of your wedding.

Budget. I have several brides-to-be contact me wanting all the bells and whistles for their invitation suite ... designers spend endless hours quoting projects to find out that the bride only budgeted for lest than $2.00 an invitation. Frustration! Yes, we can create invitations for $2.00 ... but it will be a simple single layered card and an envelope. One can’t even make a quick trip to Hallmark to pick up a birthday card for a significant other without spending $3.50.

A pocketfold invitation will start ... at MINIMUM ... $5.50 a piece and just increase from their based on the number of layers, extra cards, paper stock (metallic, patterned, matte, etc) chosen.

I am going to step you through how we determine our costs ...

Time. Most stationers will spend 7-15 hours on your invitation suite designing, proofing, communicating via email or in person, choosing papers, determining desired graphics, revisions, etc.

Elements. As you may know, the bigger your guest list grows, the more your budget will need to grow as well. Same is true for your invitation suite. The more layers and pretty little extras you add ... the more you will spend. Invitations may also include at least one or more enclosures such as a directions card, accommodations card, transportation/parking information and other wedding events (rehearsal dinner, next day brunch). Each piece adds cost to the overall price of the invitation.

Print/Materials. When it comes to printing, there are several factors that will change the cost of the invitation, mainly the type of paper used and the form a printing you so desire.
  • Paper: the finish (matte, glossy, metallic, textured, etc) and the weight/thickness of the paper will affect its cost.
  • Printing: Laser is the most cost effective. If you want something foil stamped, hand written, embossed, letter-pressed or even offset, it will increase the printing fees.
  • Machined Calligraphy: Most brides love this service that Couture Invitations offers. However, a fee is applied for formatting every single guests address along with the cost of printing each individual envelope. Most see this as a great investment since they won't have to spend countless hours hand addresses each envelope and stressing about how their handwriting looks.

Career. Most of us in the design arena have a degree in graphic design from an accredited school. On average ... we will charge a base fee of $50-$200+ per hour for freelance design work. WHY? We went through the schooling, we are educated and have a trained eye for design. We’ve studied many typefaces ... and understand why certain typefaces look better together, why certain size ratios work and how to position objects so they work together on a page, how text will work in conjunction with other graphics or design elements on a page, why certain colors look better next to each other, etc. Not to mention all the costs and fees we pay to be a part of organizations such as Envelopments ... that gives us great resources for some of the most beautiful paper stock around!

Not only will a stationer be able to create the perfect invitaiton suite for your wedding ... we will be able to create so many other elements that will be a part of your wedding day such as table numbers, place cards, thank yous, seating charts, bar signage, programs and much much more.
Here is a quick glimpse at an entire set ... all things coordinating makes my heart skip a beat!

This post was inspired by 4th Leaf Design Studio.