Sam and Whit here again from Gus & Ruby Letterpress! Today, we want to chat about the value of working with a stationer when it comes to creating your wedding invitations (though the same can be said for parties, graduations and all of life’s important and fabulous events!). It’s a topic near and dear to our hearts (of course!) and one that we think is of real importance for you planning lovebirds out there. And, we know this post is L-O-N-G, but we hope you’ll find it insightful and valuable in the LONGrun (<– did you see what I did there? ha!).
Choosing and/or designing your wedding stationery, from the save-the-dates to the invitations to the menus and seating cards, can be a daunting task full of questions and details. Working (in person or via phone and email) with an expert invitation retailer or designer can make the process inspirational, celebratory and seamless – the way all your wedding planning should be!
The Internet has opened a Pandora’s box of available information, inspiration and services for the bride(s) and groom(s)-to-be. Scouring the ‘net can be a fabulous way for the savvy betrothed to get inspiration, follow trends and begin his/her research on paper products. Of course, you know this – just look where we are! Oh So Beautiful Paper is inspiration heaven!
But, purchasing wedding stationery online and without guidance can be a risky choice for many couples. Paper products are both visual and tactile; it is incredibly hard to truly know the quality of printing, paper and color from a computer screen. While the Internet has made many things easier and faster, nothing beats working with an expert to work through all the details, tips, tricks, etiquette and creative ideas that go into planning the perfect suite of wedding stationery.
There are so many benefits to working with a real, live invitation retailer or designer. Being able to meet with and/or speak to a real person about your specific needs, special circumstances and wishes can make all the difference in your final package. Just a few benefits include:
1. Personal Attention – Every bride and groom deserves to be treated like royalty! You only get married once, so why not enjoy each and every part of the wedding planning process? Wedding invitation retailers and designers will welcome you into their studios, stores (or phone chat or Skype from afar) for a personal one-on-one consultation to discuss all your stationery needs. Having the undivided attention of a stationery expert is the best way to ensure that your vision is truly understood and executed. Additionally – as with all your vendors – working with a retailer/designer means that he or she will have your back for all things paper. A good stationer will provide endless inspiration and tips, comb through your invitation wording and make grammatical suggestions or point out the small typo on your return address. Your invitation designer/retailer is there to be your advocate as you navigate through the world of wedding stationery and make sure you are comfortable and happy throughout the process. Retailers are able to “talk the talk” with other designers and make sure that what you hope and wish for is exactly what you get. We become friends, confidants and trusted vendors for our clients and will stop at nothing to make sure he or she is jumping for joy when his or her invitations arrive.
2. Expertise – Invitation retailers and designers are experts in all things paper. We have done it all, seen it all and have learned from each and every package that we put together. From tips on wording and design trends to tricks about assembly – invitation experts are there to help you make the best decisions for your paper products. Inviting Aunt Jenny and her ex-husband that she is now dating again? No problem – a talented stationery retailer or designer will advise you on the proper way to address her envelope! Wondering when exactly you should be asking for your reply cards to be returned? We’ll explain the entire process in detail and help you schedule all the important dates along the way.
3. Customization and Creativity – As with any wedding vendor, invitation retailers and designers spend their days working with brides, grooms and families to come up with creative, unique ways to set the tone for their big day. We have creative ideas and suggestions that you may not think of yourself – from fun DIY embellishment projects to fabulous color palettes and trendsetting typesetting. A good retailer or designer will enjoy bouncing around ideas, helping you find your vision and voice and showing samples of other invitation suites to get the creative juices going! With the help of a savvy invitation expert, you will be able to craft a package that truly reflects your style and the tone of your big day.
And perhaps most importantly,
4. The “see and touch” experience – Have you ever ordered a dress online that looked adorable and then had it arrive at your door with less-than-stellar construction and made of cheap fabric? Choosing any product, invitations or otherwise, online can be a tricky thing. Computer screens all show color differently (You might look at a dress and see lime green and I might look at that same dress and see emerald) and it is impossible to judge paper and printing quality online. With clothing, you can usually return your product and get your money back. But ordering custom wedding stationery online means those invitations can’t be returned – no matter what your satisfaction level is when they arrive at your doorstep. Working with a retailer or designer in person allows you the opportunity to touch, feel and scrutinize paper, color and printing before you make any decisions. What does 90lb paper feel like versus 110lb paper? Can you truly tell the difference between digitally printed and offset printed pieces? What color will match your bridesmaids dresses? Do you like the texture of bamboo paper? Meeting with an invitation expert will allow you to see and touch various invitations, talk in detail about your needs and get all those questions answered. You’ll browse through albums of designs, hold in your hands three different weights of paper or pick an exact color from a PMS swatch-book. Really, there is no substitution for seeing things in person (or working with an expert who will willingly send you samples and make sure you see as much as possible in person to guide your choices).
Choosing your wedding stationery is an important part of setting the tone for your event. Bring your trusted friends and family to your consultations and enjoy the entire process. The time and effort you put into the all planning and details will pay off when you finally hold your invitation in your hands for the first time. It’s a pretty powerful experience!