Right now, Alex and I are in that really fun stage of wedding planning. Meaning, our invitations have been mailed out (phew!) and we’re just now starting to receive our guests RSVP’s back in the mail. Which for whatever reason, makes wedding planning that much more exciting. (what is it about snail mail that’s so deliciously appealing?)
Currently, coming home to check the mail is my favorite part of the afternoon, and because of that, I thought I’d talk about the process of choosing our wedding stationary.
Save The Dates
This is essentially a piece of postage that formally alerts your friends and family, that at some point in the not-so-distant-future, they will be receiving an actual wedding invitation. An invitation for an invitation, if you will. Alex didn’t care much about it (or think it was necessary) so he let me take the lead on the design and the entire process. Which I was more than happy to do. The save-the-date is the first piece of tangible evidence that shows we are going to be wed (minus my engagement ring, of course)!
I booked a quick 30 minute engagement shoot with a local DC photographer, and scheduled our shoot in Georgetown. It was a ridiculously cold morning in March, but at the end of the shoot, we had nearly 200 photos to choose from before we settled on the one we ended up using.
I loved the various save-the-date options I found online, however the price and lack of flexibility of the designs offered was enough to steer me towards a DIY project. And that’s exactly what we did.
I browsed Etsy until I found something similar to my vision. I worked 1-on-1 with a designer who tweaked everything to my liking. She emailed me a template, which I then uploaded and printed it locally at a shop. 100 copies for just about $50 (not including postage or addressing labels).
I was thrilled with how they came out. They were in the mail in the very beginning of April. Providing our guests with a full eight months of notice – which for destination weddings seems to be standard etiquette. Fast forward through the summer…
Choosing our invitations was a bit more tricky. Alex wanted to be much more hands on with the invitation. Between the wording, the font, and the overall feel. I knew going the DIY route wouldn’t be a great idea, as there are too many moving components to an invitation suite.
We looked at every single option both minted.com and weddingpaperdivas.com had to offer. Literally, every single option. We whittled that down to about 15 choices, and promptly ordered samples. Fail. We went back and re-looked at every single option, again. And that’s when we saw it on minted.com. We saw the cactus suite (I don’t know how we missed it the first time!), and we know we found our winner. We ordered a sample in a few different colors. Once we had it in our hands, we knewwe found the one. They were adorable, fun, light, playful, all the while stylish – exactly what we wanted.
The most difficult part for us, was the wording on the ‘Weekend Details’ enclosure card. Should we have a driving directions card? Or will the hotel details suffice? What is the best way to word our hotel block?
But once we hammered those details out, we felt very good about our order.
Minted let’s you work with an editor to make unlimited edits, providing unlimited proofs and unlimited drafts before everything goes to print. It was such a wonderful experience, very user friendly, and very, very quick. From the time we paid, made the edits, and that glorious box of 100 invitation suites arrived at our front door – it look less than 3 weeks.
Not only were they wonderful, but minted.com also offers complimentary guest addressing – which was a huge plus for us, since that meant not having to hire a calligrapher. As for the return addressing with the RSVP envelopes, and the back of the main envelope, I knew I wanted to get a stamp. I promptly searched for a stamp that went cohesively with our theme, and ordered it in the two respective sizes. Ladies, this was the best $60 I could have spent!
Once everything was delivered, it was go time! I took my sweet time stuffing, stamping, adding postage, and double checking our guest list. I did one task at a time, and it took a total of seven nights before I brought a tote bag of 100 invitations to the post office.
Within days, we started receiving RSVP’s back – which is just so bloody exciting!
Tips for choosing your wedding stationery
- Find a look that embodies both a representation of you and your partner, as well as the feel for your wedding
- Either hire a calligrapher, or see if the shop you order your invites from can print your guests address. This equates to saved tears, time, and an overall headache
- If you’re not going the calligraphy route, buy a self-addressing stamp – total lifesaver
- Stuff your invitations slowly, you don’t have to get it all done in one go
- Ensure you get started on the process EARLY, allow at least 5-6 weeks prior to when you anticipate sending out your invitations
- Do it together!