6 Reasons to Hire a Stationer

Engagement season is upon us, and soon after comes the planning. Once the date is set, the venue is selected, and the guest list is started, you can start thinking about the fun details. Wedding stationery can sometimes get overlooked in the process of picking bridesmaid dresses and flowers, but it stands to be one of the more important details of your day. How else will your guests know where and when to show up? I know there are a lot of websites out there that will let you semi-customize a wedding set. Those can get pricey quickly, and at the end of the day, you’re working with a big company who doesn’t need to pay attention to the details.

Here are 6 reasons why you should consider a personalized wedding stationery designer versus semi-customized suites.

  1. You get one-on-one personal attention. When I have a client, I always take the time to meet with them either in person or via Skype/Google Hangouts so that I can learn a little bit about them as a bride, interact with them, and try to get a feeling for their entire vision. I cannot tell you how immensely this helps me as a designer. But as a bride, I would find it invaluable.
  2. Everything is proof-read by a human being. Most likely more than one human being. Mistakes happen. It’s part of human nature, but there are some mistakes you can avoid by proof-reading. When I am working on a suite, I proof-read twice, and send it out to at least one other person to proof-read before I sent the final drafts to the bride and groom to proof-read themselves. I know of brides who have gone on to not include wedding dates on their invitations because of a proofing error. Oops!
  3. You’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind suite. What bride DOESN’T like feeling like she’s the only one with this or that?? I certainly wanted something that no one else had for my wedding. That’s what kicked this whole thing off for me. I was so bored with the standard, “fill in the missing information”, wedding invitations. I wanted to be able to customize my fonts, my wording, my colors, etc. Every single invitation suite I have designed has been uniquely different from the other weddings. How cool is that?
  4. You have ongoing communication throughout the entire process. I know this kind of ties into my first point, but I love that I can quickly e-mail my brides about a design change, and that we work together. Things change and it’s nice to have a line of communication open if something does happen.
  5. There are lots of options. I’m not just talking about design options. Many of the stationers I know offer services a la carte, meaning you aren’t paying for services that you don’t need. If you’re a crafty bride and want to put together your invitations (over wine, of course) with your entourage, you can simply order the invitations from a stationer. If you want to relax while someone else puts them together, you can add that as a service.
  6. It ends up being cheaper. In the long-run, it will ultimately be cheaper to go through a stationer, which seems a little backwards if you ask me. A lot of places, any customization will cost you extra, more colors will cost you extra. If you’re working with a stationer who only does custom designs, you won’t get charged extra for those details. Some places may end up giving you a discount if you order additional items through them, such as programs, menus, and place cards.

Have I convinced you yet? Feel free to check out some of my customized suites while you’re making up your mind.

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The Ultimate Wedding Envelope Guide

You’ve gone through the process of picking out the perfect invitation suite, and now it’s time to address your envelopes. It used to be a pretty standard procedure, but now there are lots of situations to account for.

Here are a few pointers on correct envelope addressing etiquette.

Single Person

Mr. Jonathan Smith
Ms. Mary Mack

Single Person with guest

Mr. Jonathan Smith & Guest

Couple Living Together, unmarried

Mr. Jonathan Smith & Ms. Mary Mack

Married Couple, Same Last Name

Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Smith
Mr. Jonathan & Mrs. Mary Smith

Married Couple, Different Last Name

Mr. Jonathan Smith & Mrs. Mary Mack

Married, Wife hyphenated last name

Mr. Jonathan Smith & Mrs. Mary Mack-Smith

Distinguished Titles, Doctors, Judges, Military, etc. – highest ranked person always goes first

Dr. Mary Mack & Mr. Jonathan Smith – woman kept maiden name professionally
Dr. Mary & Mr. Jonathan Smith – woman has married last name
Drs. Jonathan & Mary Smith – both are doctors
The Doctors Smith – both are doctors
The Honorable Governor of Illinois Jonathan Smith & Mrs. Mary Smith
The Honorables Smith
Colonel Mary Smith, U.S. Army & Mr. Jonathan Smith
The Colonels Smith

Separated Female, not divorced

Mrs. Jonathan Smith
Mrs. Mary Smith
Ms. Mary Smith

Divorced Female

Mrs. Mary Smith – kept husbands last name
Mrs. Mary Mack – went back to maiden name
Ms. Mary Mack – went back to maiden name

Widow

Mrs. Jonathan Smith
Mrs. Mary Smith

Families – children under 18 are not usually addressed by name on an outer envelope*

Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Smith & Family
The Smith Family

*If you do decide to name the children under 18, “Miss” is standard for girls, and boys do not generally get a title until after 18.

Children 18+ receive their own invitation

Ms. Elizabeth Smith
Mr. George Smith

Same-sex couple

Ms. Jane Monroe & Ms. Jessica Black
Mr. Edward Shaw & Mr. Henry Cooke

Remember: whether you’re addressing your own invitations, or you’re sending them off to a calligrapher or stationer is to be very clear in what you want the wording to be. Incorrect wording can lead to people showing up with guests or children you didn’t plan for.

PRO TIP! I always like to use people’s full names instead of nicknames if possible. Think Eleanor instead of Ellie or Robert instead of Bob. Unless you have a guest that you know absolutely hates being addressed by their full name, it’s a great way to make your envelopes look sophisticated and professional.

Phew. That was a lot of information to take in. I think I hit all of the major situations you might run into when addressing your envelopes. Have you run into anything else unusual? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments below.

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How to Change Resolution in Photoshop

Every once in a while, there’s an image that you need to make a little clearer. To do this, you have to change the resolution, or DPI. This is a very easy fix if you have access to Photoshop. First, find and save the image you need to adjust somewhere that is easily accessible. I like to have everything on my desktop when I’m working on a project because I can just drag and drop, but it does get overwhelming after a little bit…

  1. First, open Photoshop.
  2. Then go to File>Open>”your image”
  3. Your image should pop up in a new tab.
  4. Then go to Image>Image Size>Resolution: 500 pixels/inch (this is my go-to, but you can do whatever resolution you like. I wouldn’t go lower than 300 pixels/inch).

 

See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

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Turning Accidents into Successes

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I don’t know about you, but I’m a perfectionist. I like things with straight, clean lines and readable text. This week, I was scrolling through my TimeHop – a morning ritual – and was reminded of a hand-painted canvas I was hired to create. It was a Christmas present for a future teacher of classroom rules that she could hang up and display. The client decided on a black canvas with metallic writing and a pop of blue. So I got started. I traced out my design on the canvas and began working.

Clean lines, fun, kid-friendly fonts. I was ready to begin with my paint. (How cute are these rules, by the way?) I love using Sharpie paint pens to create my canvases if there’s a lot of writing. Sharpie Oil Paint Pens¬†They’re super easy to use, and you can find a lot of awesome colors. Every time I go to the store, I think I find a new favorite. Sometimes, however, there’s a defect. I started working with my metallic marker, and all of a sudden, it exploded onto my canvas as I’m shaking it. Of course, the perfectionist in me was already grabbing her keys to get a new blank canvas. But luckily, I had friends who talked me off my design ledge and helped me come up with Plan B – working with what I had accidentally created.

So, instead of heading to the nearest Michaels or Hobby Lobby, I took my project outside to my front porch and my faulty paint pen and created a metallic constellation background for the words. It was something I never would have considered as part of the initial design because, well, it’s messy and unpredictable. It’s really hard to control the spray of paint spatter as my front porch can now attest to.

Ultimately, this accident created a one-of-a-kind design that I couldn’t recreate exactly even if I tried! What are some “accidental successes” you’ve had in your line of work or personal life? Comment below!

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Creative Place Cards for Your Holiday Table

We all would like our tables at the holidays to be picture perfect. Realistically speaking, I know that’s not always the case. Things fall by the wayside when it comes to the little details. Let’s be honest, food is the most important thing about a holiday table. However, here are some easy ways to make your holiday table picture perfect this year.

Stocking – I found this little stocking at Hobby Lobby for $3 (and then it was 40% off all holiday decor). If you’re feeling extra creative, you could even write your guests’ names in paint on the actual stocking.

Jingle Bells – Jingle bells are super easy and cheap to find this time of year. I love that it has a slot to fit the name card in, and it’s a little asymmetrical.

Mini Ornaments – There are sooooo many color options if you’re looking for mini ornaments. There are actually card holder ornaments, but they were fairly expensive. These cute blue sparkle ornaments came in a pack of 8 for under $5. I love that they’re actually styrofoam because you can make a little slit for the card so that it stays put.

Evergreen Wreath – I found this little wreath for about $2 and the place card just lays on top. It’s the perfect winter combination without being overly “Christmas”.

Candy Canes – You could leave the candy canes wrapped, but I liked the unwrapped option because it gives the card a perfect place to sit. Plus, I think it’s a cleaner look.

Any of these would also be lovely for a winter wedding if you want to do something less traditional. I did a wedding last year where the place cards were pine cones, so it’s another great option for your holiday table!

Do you have any other winter favorites for table cards? Let me know in the comments below!

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