Whether you’re inviting guests to a wedding, birthday party or afternoon tea, your invitations will be the first impression of what your event will be like. It is also one of the few keepsakes from your event that your guests will have, so it’s definitely worth spending a little time thinking about them.
What is your style? Vintage? Fun? Quirky? Formal? Something simple? Which colours, patterns or themes will you include? This may sound basic, but designing your stationery is often one of the hardest things to figure out. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to help you. About half of my clients come to me not having the slightest idea what they want.
How much information? Are you looking for just an invitation, or would you prefer to include information cards too? The style and shape of the invitation could be influenced by this. Folders and pull-out style invitations often have space for extra information cards. Scrolls and flat card invitations are more suited to invitation-only designs.
When do I send out invitations? Traditionally, six to eight weeks before an event. However, usually venues will ask for final numbers six to eight weeks before the event date. Your guests may need a few weeks to plan what they are doing and return your RSVP, and you may want to allow a week or two to chase RSVPs that haven’t been returned. I would normally suggest sending them no less than three months before the big day, with an RSVP date of eight to ten weeks before the event date. Save the Date Cards are useful if your wedding is at a busy time of year, or if your guests have a long way to travel, but they are not essential, as you can always send your invitations early.
Can I make the stationery myself? Absolutely! Give it a go. Your guests will appreciate the time and effort involved. Allow extra time in case they don’t turn out quite as you hoped as invitations always take longer to make than you think!
Finding a stationer Recommendation is the best way to go, but I’d suggest choosing someone who can make entire ranges, not just invitations and then you have the option of co-ordinating items later. A stationer should offer a free consultation to come and see and feel samples and chat through your options and budget. Don’t be afraid to state a firm budget and be open to different card types, embellishments and finishes.
Every person is different, and every event is unique. So why have a generic invitation? A good stationer should be able to come up with something that is perfect for you, at a price that you can afford. My final suggestion is to enquire as early as you can. A good stationer will reserve a slot in their diary for a small deposit, even if you haven’t chosen a design yet, so don’t be afraid to ask. You won’t lose this money, it will just be taken off your order when you decide what you are having down the line.
I hope that this little guide is helpful. Whatever your special event is, I hope that you have a wonderful time!
Based in Cardiff but taking orders from all over the UK, Cally from Cards by Cally has been making bespoke stationery for many years. Visit http://www.cardsbycally.co.uk/ to see some of her creative designs!
Good morning! Now, I don’t usually make a habit of getting up quite so early on a Sunday morning but today is an exception. I’m exhibiting at Wales’ largest wedding fair today at City Hall! There’s going to be a load of stuff going on by the sounds of it and it almost makes me wish I was a bride-to-be once more. I loved going to wedding fairs, armed with a notebook and an open mind and accompanied by a friend or even better, my ever-trusted mum, whose opinions are always valuable, I would gather ideas, prices and snapshots from the day and decide what sort of things I wanted (and definitely didn’t want!) at my wedding day. It can be overwhelming, particularly in the early stages of wedding planning, when you literally don’t have a date, venue (or in my case, a country!) you want to get married in, but I very quickly worked out that I wanted to ensure my wedding day was personal to me. It was always the stalls that offered something if never seen before that stood out to me, and those that offered something unique and creative that has the individual at heart. I would skip the chocolate fountains, giant loo-roll cover style dresses and seek out the stalls that were less ‘show time’ and more ‘me’. I’m hoping to meet a lot of brides today who are looking for the same thing. I know it can be so difficult making those decisions about what personal touches to incorporate on one of the most important days of your life, so a friendly face, someone who has gone through the process and realistic prices mean a lot! So if you’re looking for inspiration, ideas and you are within easy reach of City Hall, head down between 11-4, grab a goody bag and chat to the exhibitors that catch your eye. Importantly, make sure you stop by the vintage lounge and come and say hello! I’m Mrs Tea and I’ll have some of my crockery on display. Happy planning!
It’s a difficult thing to write a blog post to you brides, about your weddings. They are after all your weddings, and who am I to tell you what you should or shouldn’t have, what’s hot and what’s not, what’s on trend and what’s stone cold. As far as I am concerned, now and always, my job is to listen, extract and interpret. That sounds rather clinical put like that I know. But seriously, I have never put my work out there as a beacon or paragon of what your wedding flowers should be. All I can do is be true and honest with my own style and tastes and hope that it translates and that there are people out there whose imaginations are captured by it, get excited by it and want part of it. It’s about being true to yourself to do both yourself and your client justice. I am so very lucky that as a rule my brides trust me implicitly having seen my style and give me the creative freedom to get the very best out of me for their weddings. Brides, if you hold onto this ethos when planning your wedding then it’ll see you to the most wonderful, personal, personality filled day you could have dreamed of. The wedding industry is huge. Huge! And, I for one am most certainly guilty of gorging on all things wedding from table-settings, to lighting, to flowers, to favours, to ……..you name it, it’s there. Brides, don’t get carried away on the tide, stay focused and keep it simple and everything will fall into place. Simplicity will outclass an over-wrought wedding with bells on. Believe me, I’ve seen it…….
I guess what I am trying to say are these two simple things. For me, I am good at what I do and if you like it then trust it and trust me. A wedding team you put your faith in wholeheartedly will never let you down. Choose your team wisely and you cannot fail. And for you, most importantly, your wedding is not a competition. It’s about pure, simple, real love. Keep that in your heart and in your head through planning to fruition and your day will win out in every and any way you care to count. Remember, just because we girls can have it all, doesn’t mean we should……
Beth runs Forbesfield Flowers, based in the beautiful Castle Arcade, Cardiff. In her words, Forbesfield is a gorgeous florist, specialising in a modern, classic style. Offering bespoke floristry, the studio is packed with all sorts of weird and wonderful things ranging from gorgeous fresh flowers to Victorian curiosities to vintage and antique furniture. We are a studio rather than retail shop so each item is made totally to your specification. Well worth a visit!
Rather than read about solely about my ramblings on this site, I thought it would be interesting to invite a select few people I know and trust from the wedding and events industry to draft some guest posts about what they do. I’ll be adding these posts alongside my own and I hope they will inspire, excite and interest you!