One wedding vendor category that has a tendency to get overlooked is your Paper Goods. From wedding announcements to seating charts, a paper suite can communicate to guests the style and vibe of your wedding day. Some couples opt for templated designs while others want custom creations and hand calligraphy. We have collected advice, insight, and tips to assist you in finding the perfect wedding vendor for paper goods and calligraphy. Thank you Adela Chavez Calligraphy & Designs, Brown Fox Creative, and Lane Love Paper Co. for your highly knowledgeable insight into the wedding world of paper!
Types of Paper Goods. There is so much more to choose from than just your wedding invitations. Check out all the options available to brides:
Engagement/Meet the Couple Party
Wedding Day/Day-After Brunch/Luncheon
Thank You Notes/Stationery
Bridal/Couple Shower Invitations
Pre-Wedding Thank-You Notes
Out and About Maps/Information Cards – which can be included in a welcome basket for out of town guests.
Escort Cards/Place cards
Bar/Cocktail/Signature Drink Signs
Custom Specialty Items (i.e. custom cups, napkins, stirrers, pretty much you name it, it can be made)
Before the Consultation. It is important to have certain information gathered before your consultation to ensure an accurate quote. Be sure to vet a few designers and calligraphers before booking a consultation – no two are the same. Each offers different pricing, inclusions, and style. Gather the following information…
ONE. Wedding date and location.
TWO. Quantity of invitations/save the dates needed (not guest count, household count). Convert guest list to invitation list.
FOUR. General concept of the tone they would like, not only for their stationery, but also for the wedding itself
SIX. Share any confirmed dates
SEVEN. Other vendors that are booked
Ask your Designer. When selecting your designer, here are some significant questions to ask to help you choose the right fit.
QUESTION 1. How does your process work?
QUESTION 2. What is your processing time from booking to design to production?
QUESTION 3. How will my order (invitations) arrive?
QUESTION 4. Etiquette is sometimes a concern for couples, including wording and what happens if there is a change in plans. Your stationer can help guide you through the expectations.
QUESTION 5. Will this cost extra in postage (referring to different shapes/sizes of invitations)?
QUESTION 6. What can I do to make my invitation more personal?
QUESTION 7. How many extra invitations should I order?
QUESTION 8. When do I need to give you final details for my wedding day items?
QUESTION 9. What different print methods do you offer and how do they differ?
Tips + Tricks. When it comes to paper suites, there are a few tricks of the trade that will help you make the best selection.
TIP ONE. A custom designed anything is going to take more time than a fill-in-the-blank template. Allot at least 8 weeks for design/production of save the dates and 16-20 weeks for invitations to avoid any rush design or printing fees. Keep in mind that invitations need to be mailed anywhere from 8-12 weeks before the wedding, so that puts you at starting 6-7 months before your wedding.
TIP TWO. Familiarize yourself with printing styles and associated cost(s) so you know what will reasonably fit in your budget.
TIP THREE. Internet searches for average cost of wedding stationery are not based on cost for custom stationery with quality paper, printing and materials.
TIP FOUR. Your invitation tells your guests what kind of event this will be — casual, formal, outdoor garden, black tie affair, etc. — and the invitation should reflect the mood, style and level of the event you’re hosting.
TIP FIVE. Number your RSVP’s on the back according to the # they are on your spreadsheet- this ensures you know who is replying in case they forget to write their name.
TIP SIX. Always double check with the post office how much postage is required to mail your invitations.
TIP SEVEN. Don’t mail your invitations too early- you’ll see a smaller rate of returned RSVP’s when you give your guests too large of a window to reply.
Contributing Photographer: Beatbox Portraits