Something Detailed Custom Wedding Invitation Design Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:56:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Custom and Personalized Wedding Invitations, What is the Difference? Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:43:53 +0000 There are plenty of options for brides when it comes to wedding invitations. The endless search can be very overwhelming, especially when you can’t find exactly what you want. You really have 3 options: order a personalized wedding invitation online, take on a DIY wedding invitation project, or have something custom made specifically for you.

Personalized Wedding Invitations

Personalized wedding invitations can be found through online retailers and box stores, like your local stationery store. They offer less modification on the designs, and designs are pre-made. The only changes you make to it will be the words and sometimes, color.

You choose a design flipping through a book or sourcing them through an online store. Once you make a selection, you can “personalize” your design by plugging in all your personal information: your names, date, times, location, etc. This option is perfect for a bride who is on a budget for wedding invitations or for a bride who doesn’t consider paper a priority in their budget.

Shopping for your wedding invitations online, you will have a TON of options for designs which can be very overwhelming. You can easily click through a list of options that will show only the colors and styles you are looking for, but there are usually only 3-4 colors per design that you can choose from, which may not include your colors.

Be aware that colors can often appear different on your computer screen than they do in person. The paper used to print online invitations is usually of lighter weight, thus lowering cost.

If you decide to order your wedding invitations online, I highly suggest you always order an actual copy of your proof or a sample of the paper you will be ordering, sent to you for approval to check the colors and paper quality you selected for your invitations.

Online invitation retailers can offer a full suite of pieces of a wedding invitation that you need. They all coordinate, using the same fonts and paper, etc, which is great. But, you will most likely be limited to a few pieces of the invitation suite. You may have to DIY or order separate pieces you want that aren’t included in the suite.

The last thing to consider when ordering your wedding invitations online is that every other bride across the country has access to that popular design that you love too. You run into the high chance of having the same invitation as a friend.

If you are using a very personal style for your wedding, like a specific monogram or motif, you won’t be able to use that everywhere because you will be limited to a design specific motifs, fonts and/or style. Online invitations are great for the budget bride who isn’t picky about color or paper and doesn’t need many coordinating suite pieces.


Pros to ordering personalized wedding invitations online:

  • Simplicity. The paper provided is the paper you order. There are not a lot of choices.
  • Green is the green provided, no variations throughout the different pieces of your wedding invitation suite.
  • Online retailers make it easy to feel like you are designing your own invitation – personalizing it. It’s pretty fool proof and you can get a beautifully coordinated wedding invitation suite.
  • The design elements are chosen for you and you can pick it out yourself, quickly, online. Make a few simple choices, add personalization, and you’re done.


Cons to ordering personalized wedding invitations online:

  • Not many paper choices if you want a heavier paper or different paper color choices.
  • There is only one green to choose from, and it may not be the “your” green, or your color may not be a color choice at all.
  • You are limited to certain fonts and to that design. If you don’t like the way the “E” in your last name looks in a script, you won’t be able to change it. If you don’t prefer the way a swirl at the top distracts from the invitation wording, you’re stuck with it.
  • If you spell “Novmeber” (<;—- see it?) wrong, you’re the one to blame because you approved the proof and typed it in yourself.
  • Need a program? Need an extra enclosure or custom map? If they don’t offer it in that suite, you may have to DIY it or order it someplace else, but it won’t match.
  • You risk losing some individuality. You could have the same invitation as someone else you know.


Personalized wedding invitations may be right for you if:

  • You are looking for a very simple invitation
  • If you are not picky about colors or papers
  • You do not consider paper elements important or a priority in your total wedding budget
  • You will only need an invitation and reply card
  • You want white or cream envelopes
  • You want an ecru card stock with black invitation text, centered down the page
  • You find yourself saying, “everyone will just throw them away anyway”
  • You consider yourself a budget bride
  • You are looking to stay in a very low budget (under 3% of your total wedding budget)


What is a Custom Wedding Invitation?

Custom wedding invitation designers offer unique, one-of-a-kind wedding invitations that no one else will have. Everything is customized for you – you choose your font, your specific colors (you can match specific colors), the size, your type of paper, your everything.

Custom invitations allow you to “brand” your wedding. From start to finish, everything is created for a polished look in every detail throughout the day.

Many times, custom designers will work with your event designer, planner and/or florist to get an overall idea of what the wedding style will be so the paper will connect all the other elements of you wedding together.

Is it expensive to order custom invitations?

Custom wedding invitations can be more of an investment of your time, but give you a custom look that is personalized just for your wedding and your wedding alone. With custom you get design, quality, color variations, and personal attention.

Pros to ordering custom designed wedding invitations:

  • No one else will have your design, and it is exactly how you want it.
  • You are working with a real person and getting one-on-one attention.
  • You can touch and feel the paper from the beginning.
  • You know that quality is of utmost importance. They will last a lifetime.
  • Your shade of brown will be your shade of brown throughout the paper goods.


Cons to ordering custom designed wedding invitations:

  • They can be more expensive.
  • You will need to invest more time and attention to this project. Start 6-8 months in advance of your wedding date.
  • It could drive you crazy – this process can too detailed for some people. Brown is brown for some!


Custom invitations may be right for you if:

  • If paper is important and is a high priority to you.
  • You want something unique and different from what any of your friends had in their wedding invitations.
  • You want a signature motif, font, monogram or logo.
  • If you feel like you need help with how to word your invitations.
  • If you need help finding the parts of the wedding invitation you need.
  • If you need assistance in creating something that fits in your wedding invitation budget.


DIY Wedding Invitations – A Caution

“Do-it-yourself” is certainly a thought that crosses every brides mind and it can be fun and turn out fine. But be aware, it often can end up costing MORE in time, materials, energy and sanity. So choose wisely.


Paper available to the masses is less superior to professional stationary paper: It tends to be thinner, slippery, and not happy with many inks. Unless you have a super expensive, professional printer, your personal printer will not load and print on thicker papers appropriately.

You will spend a ton on ink and your ink (and those at big box stores) is not fade proof or bleed proof. If you want a fancy font, just because you buy and download one, doesn’t mean you get all the characters of the font, whereas, a professional will have hundreds of fonts at their fingertips.

You’ll need to make sure that you size all your designs appropriately to where the printers will be able to cut evenly. You’ll need to provide “print ready” files to a local printer and you can’t always trust that they will know what you need and how you should word your invitations.

If you plan on printing and assembling them yourself, think about the material you will need to purchase like paper cutters and tape guns. It adds up quickly!

Calculate all that time + the cost of materials = is it worth it? These are just some of the considerations to think about when you consider to DIY your wedding invitations.

Ultimately, you need to be happy with your choices. There is something out there for everyone.

If you are interested in booking an appointment with Jennifer to have your wedding invitations custom designed, contact us to book an appointment


Etiquette Tips to Avoid Embarrassment With Registry and No Children Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:40:44 +0000 Can I put my registries on my wedding invitation?

This is one of the most common questions I get in consultations. And the short answer – NO. NEVER. Here’s why…

Traditionally, it is improper to include registry information or registry inserts in a wedding invitation. It implies that you expect a gift. It is also not in good taste to include “no gifts please”, or “please make donations to…”, or “cash gifts only”.

Your family and your wedding party will be able to verbally spread the word of your wishes, but only when asked. Also, your shower hostesses will list information their invitations. The reason you are inviting your guests is to witness and celebrate your marriage, NOT to buy you gifts.

To list your registry on your invitation is seen as asking for or even requiring a gift. Some guests will still want to show their joy for your through gifts, whether on or off of your registry. A hand written note from you or your spouse is customary to send as appreciation of their gift.

Many couples are creating personal wedding websites with all their details included on one page. Many of these websites include a page dedicated to registry information.

Include your wedding website on separate enclosures and save the dates to ensure guests are properly informed. But, no matter what do not include it on your formal invitation.

Honeymoon registries are growing in popularity. The etiquette for this remains the same: include the information on your wedding website, include that website on your enclosures and allow your bridal party to spread the word. NEVER list it on your formal invitation.

All in all, trust that your guests are smart and will search and find your registry.

These are some ways to properly list that you would prefer monetary or honeymoon registries:

What if I receive a gift I want to return?

By all means, return it – AFTER you have sent a proper hand written thank you note regarding the said gift. Never share that you received a duplicate or that you will return the gift.

Always be grateful that you received any gift at all! If you don’t know where the present was purchased or can’t return or exchange it, it is acceptable to “re-gift,” only if it’s perfect for the recipient and the giver of said gift doesn’t know your new recipient.

I want and “adult only” wedding. How do I let me guests know that?

This can be a slippery slope. You want your friends and family to celebrate with you, but you don’t want a ton of rugrats running around and destroying the décor you paid mucho bucks for – I get it.

Know now, that if you have an “adult only” wedding, you will alienate some friends and family.

And that is okay. It’s your wedding. First, you shouldn’t say “no children allowed”. Anywhere.

You need to phrase everything sweetly on your invitations, RSVP cards, and wedding website. Consider providing a nursery or babysitting service somewhere on-site or at a close–by hotel where parents could easily leave their children and check in on them if they would like.

By providing that service for your guests, you let them know you really want them to be included in your day…without their kids. If you have a lot of guests with children and foresee possible issues, I would suggest hiring a wedding coordinator who can be the bad guy for you.

Here are some ways to suggest you would prefer not to have children at your wedding or reception. You can include these on your wedding website or on the program:

“We have provided child care service for all our guests with children in the church nursery and during the reception in room 123.”

On your reply card, on the line where you request the number of people attending, use “ ____ number of adult(s) attending”

Also use your envelope to address the people who are invited to the wedding. Inner and outer envelope can help you here! Use the outer envelope to formally address the head of the household. The inner envelope uses the casual names of those invited. If children are not invited, don’t list their names.

These are some of the more troubling issues when it comes to planning a wedding and following proper etiquette. There are so many more! If you would like to know more about wedding invitation etiquette, Jennifer book, Invitations Essentials: The Modern Guide to Wedding Invitation Etiquette is available now!

How Much Do Invitations Cost and How Much Should I Budget Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:39:08 +0000 If you have begun your wedding invitation search, you’ve probably landed here because you’re surprised at the cost! You may be wondering,

“How much do invitations cost, how much should I budget, and why are they SO expensive!?!”

There are so many factors that can affect the cost of your wedding invitations. So, before you fall in love with something you that is out of your budget, know what you can spend and make sure to communicate that with your invitation designer.

The average wedding cost is somewhere around $30,000, according to and the average wedding cost in Nashville, Tennessee about the same.

If you Google wedding budget planner, breakdown, calculator, percentages, etc., you’ll see many sources with outdated advice that suggests allotting 2-3% percent of your total wedding budget on your wedding invitations and paper goods.

I hate to be the one to break the bad news, but 2-3% isn’t going to get you very far; especially if you have more than 50 people on your guest list. All of that gorgeous stuff you see on Pinterest and style shoots on wedding blogs – are not something you’ll be able to fit in that budget range.

A more realistic number you can expect to allot of your budget on wedding invitations and paper goods is 4-10%. That percent should include your overall invitation budget, which is anything you’re having printed like programs, place cards, postage, etc.

Most wedding invitations, with 2 or more enclosures or double envelopes will need extra postage.

Here’s a breakdown of what an average wedding budget and a percentage breakdown of what you can expect to spend on paper goods. We’ll use the rounded up national wedding budget average of $30,000.

2% – $600   |   3% – $900   |   4% – $1,200   |   5% – $1,500   |   6% – $1,800   |   7% – $2,100   |   8% – $2,400   |   9% – $2,700   |   10% – $3,000

It may be hard to find where you fit in because there are SO many factors to consider, and that is okay. A good invitation designer can help you make good choices to fit in your budget.

Let’s look at the average bride who will need an invitation, save the date and wedding program.

A low cost estimate of a small, basic single envelope invitation suite: 100 Invitations, Save the Dates, Programs, Postage is about $4.00 – $5.00. This is a benchmark cost for an average invitation with average card stock, at a suitable weight, a simple save the date and program, all with digital printing and postage.

This pricing does NOT include envelope printing or calligraphy or any embellishments, like ribbon. You can already see that the outdated 2-3% recommendation barely gets you invitations for 100 people because $4.00 an invitation + $2.00 for a save the date + $2.00 for a program, multiplied by 100 invitations is $800. If you budget is $30,000, 2% of that is $600, so you can see you’d come up short and be surprised by your budget.

Don’t let this math scare you. We can help! 

Don’t let underestimating your wedding invitation budget ruin your overall wedding budget. Don’t let yourself be surprised! Be smart and use these numbers to your advantage.

So, what can you expect to spend on different invitation styles?

$4-5: single layer invitation with 1 enclosure with digital printing, smooth, matte card stock

$5+: single layer invitation with 1 or 2 enclosures with digital printing, linen, cotton or shimmery card stock

$6+: 2-layer or 3-layer invitation with 1 or 2 enclosures; printed envelopes will probably start at this level

$10+: Pocket invitations with enclosures

$12+: Pocket invitations with metallic papers, ribbons, rhinestones, lace or other embellishments.

Why all the ranges? It’s just about impossible to offer specific pricing because it all depends on your choices.

I find that it helps for me to plug those ranges in with your quantity to see a true reaction. If you are having custom invitations designed, let your designer know your budget so they can help guide your decisions.

Brides, be realistic.

Start plugging in numbers for your total budget, set your priorities and play around with your numbers. Look at your invitation budget and see what category you best fit into. Be upfront with your invitation designer about what you can spend.

Otherwise, it ends up being a waste of time for everyone. Don’t get me wrong; I want to help you in every way possible. But I don’t want the situation of not being able to give you what you want and disappointing you. I can’t handle the disappointment face!

Ultimately, you need to be happy with your choices. There is something out there for everyone. I hope I can help you find your perfect wedding invitation! If you are interested in booking an appointment with Jennifer to have your wedding invitations custom designed, contact us to book an appointment.

How to Write a Wedding Thank You Note Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:37:34 +0000 As a born and raised Southern woman and now Nashville wedding invitation designer, thank you notes are a matter of the utmost importance. They are MUSTS. You must send them and you must write them by hand. NO EXCPETIONS.

Thank You notes don’t have to match your invitations, but it is a classy touch to have your communication with your guests match and flow with the rest of your wedding theme and paper. You’re going to be looking at them a lot, so you should love them.

When you order, remember to include the number from bridal showers, engagement parties, and bachelorette parties you may need to send thank you notes for also. You will need to send one for each person who gives you a gift, which sometimes means two notes for one person or family if they gave you more than one gift. Once you estimate your final number, add about 25 extra for mistakes.

A common mistake brides make is to wait to write all their thank you notes at once. Don’t do it. Your hand will cramp, your eyes will cross, and your enthusiasm will wane.

Tip: Keep a stack of cards and stamps on your kitchen table. When a gift arrives, write the note immediately and get it out. That way it won’t pile up on you.

Thank You Timing Etiquette

Before the wedding, send thank you notes within 4-6 weeks of receiving a gift.

If you receive a gift after the wedding, make sure you send a thank you note within 3-4 months of returning from your honeymoon.

Make it Personal

Make sure your thank you note is personalized. Your note only needs to be a few sentences long, not a novel. Include a thank you, name the gift, let them know how you plan on using the gift, where you have displayed it and close with salutation.

And remember, your note should always be hand written. Never send an official thank you note over email or typed and printed. And no, text messages do not count either!

How to write a thank you note for a wedding gift

Here are some general phrases to help fill you get started, but make it personal! Get the groom involved. Sign both of your first names. It’s also a nice touch for the groom to actually sign his name, even if he hasn’t written the note.

“Thank you so much for attending our wedding and sharing our special day.”

“Your gift was both thoughtful and practical, and very much appreciated.”

“Your thoughtfulness warms our hearts, and your gift will be cherished for years to come.”

“It was wonderful to see you at our wedding. Just knowing that you were there to share our special day with us is a memory we will always treasure.”

“Whenever we use our new _______, we will think of each of you and your thoughtfulness.”

“The ______ is one of those very special items that we will be able to use and enjoy for years to come!”

“We love the _______. I’ve already found the perfect place to display them.”

“The money you gifted is such a blessing to help pay for _________ as we prepare to move.”

Have more questions about thank you notes or want to design something custom just for you? Shop Jennifer’s designs now! 

What to include in my wedding invitation? Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:34:12 +0000 You know you need an invitation, but, what else do you need to go in that ever-important envelope? Your wedding invitation sets the tone for your wedding and tells the “who, what, when, and where” of the day.

It can be very important to know what parts you need to include in your invitation and why confusing (It’s okay, you haven’t done this before!). I’ve broken down what the different components of a wedding invitation are, and if or why you should include them.

The Wedding Invitation:

This is the main part of the wedding stationery suite. Your design starts here and includes all the information about your ceremony. It lists who is hosting, who is getting married, the date, time, and location of the ceremony. Wording always changes depending on if the occasion is formal vs. casual, and, of course, to personal preference, but the content is still the same.

Wedding Invitation Enclosures ::  Enclosures are the other pieces of the stationery suite included with the invitation. Usually smaller than the invitation and can be the following:

Reception Enclosure:

If your reception is in a different location than the ceremony, it is customary to include a separate card as an invitation to the reception. The enclosure includes: the location, address, time (sometimes just “following the ceremony”) and sometimes form of dress (black tie, semi-formal, casual, etc).

If your ceremony and reception are at the same location, just include “reception to follow” at the bottom of your invitation but do not include your reception information on the formal invitation, use an enclosure.

Response Enclosure:

Most brides need to know how many guests they will be hosting in order to plan for food and rentals. A response card, or RSVP or Reply card, allows guests to send back their response if they are or are not attending. This card can be done in a couple of different formats.

Typically your response card is 3.5×5” or 4.25×5.5” in a matching pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope. (Make it as easy as possible for them to respond!) For a more casual affair, include a pre-stamped postcard.

Website Card: 

If you are a non-traditional or more tech-savvy bride, use a wedding website with RSVP collecting capabilities or create an email account for all of your responses to be emailed. Include this information on a card with instructions on how to RSVP.

Content for responses usually include a response deadline, a line for the guest to write their name, a check box for accepting or declining the invitation. Sometimes it includes menu choices if you are hosting a plated dinner. A more fun idea is to include a place for guests to include a song request.

Tip: When sending out response cards in your wedding invitation suite, lightly write numbers with a pencil on the back. These numbers should correspond with your spreadsheet rows and will help you track who has responded if they forget to write in their name (this happens more often than you think!).

Accommodations Enclosure:

Some couples choose to include information on room blocks for the weekend of their wedding. Usually, the information listed is a website or hotel name and phone number with the name of the room block. You can also combine with a directions card or list a wedding website that has up-to-date Accommodation and Direction information.

Directions + Map Enclosure:

For out-of-town guests, listing directions from the different places they may be driving from is nice and directions from the ceremony to the reception.  Most people do have GPS on their phones now, but it’s considerate to provide physical directions in case of an issue with lack phone reception. And don’t forget your Uncle Stan who still refuses to buy a cell phone. You can include both written directions and a custom designed map.

Other Enclosure Ideas:

Some couples include a “Things to Do” card for out-of-town guests, listing their favorite restaurants, shops and entertainment.

Envelopes :: What is the difference between inner and outer envelopes and a single envelope?

Inner Envelope:

This envelope holds the invitation and enclosures that you choose. This envelope also lets guests know who is invited.

If you have invited a girlfriend who is single, this envelope would include “Sara and guest” if you have invited her to bring someone along. It would include “Sara” if you have not included a guest to attend with Sara.

The same would go for children. If Bob and Sally’s children are invited, you would include “Bob and Sally” and on the line underneath their children’s names (Jack and Jill). If children are not invited, their names do not appear on the envelope. All names written on the inner envelope, no matter who is invited, are informal names – what you call them on a day-to-day basis.

Outer Envelope:

This envelope holds the inner envelope and is addressed to the head of the household with their mailing address. Formal names are used on this envelope and guests (+1’s) and children are not included here. Using the example above, it would list “Mr. and Mrs. Bob Knight / Street Address / City / State / Zip”. Your return address is printed on the back flap of this envelope. (more on how to address envelopes here)

Single Envelope: 

Not everyone wants to use the inner + outer envelope method, especially when hosting a more casual occasion. Using a single envelope, your invitation and enclosures are held inside and the names can be listed as “Mr. and Mrs. Bob Knight / Jack and Jill / Street Address / City / State / Zip”. Your return address is printed on the back flap of this envelope.

Take a breath and try not to get overwhelmed! I am here to help you walk through the process one step at a time and assist you in deciding which of these you need and you don’t need. This is a great and comprehensive start to help you understand the different parts you have the option to include.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with Jennifer to have your wedding invitations designed, we’re here to help! Email us for more information! 


How much postage does my wedding invitation need? Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:33:12 +0000 As of August 2014 the postage rate is $0.49. It’s not much, even if you are sending out 300 invitations, but there are some other things to take into consideration when budgeting for wedding stationery that will have an effect on your budget.

So many brides forget to include postage in their stationery budgets. Not only for invitations, but for all the thank you notes as well! Postage rates are based on certain criteria like weight, size and shape. Before you budget for and mail your invitations, you should be aware of some surcharges that can increase the cost of mailing your invitations.

1. Weight

The maximum weight of a letter at the standard postage rate you can send is 1 oz. This is usually for your typical birthday card or thank you note.

With wedding invitations, you are including more paper such as reply cards and/or a reception enclosure.

Most wedding invitations, even with these enclosures are ok at the regular postage rate, but be sure to check with your local post office, or ask you invitation designer how much your invitations will weigh.

Heavier, more quality papers, double envelopes and pocket style invitations will require more postage due to weight. Here is a guide to help you, but check with a professional:

Less than 1.0 oz. = $.45

Less than 2.0 oz. = $.65

Less than 3.0 oz. = $.85

Less than 3.5 oz. = $1.05


2. Size

If you are thinking of doing anything unique, like a concert ticket style response card or a large poster style invitation, you may need to consider increasing your postage budget. The minimum size of letter that you can mail is 3.5×5 inches. The maximum is 6.25×11.5 inches.

For square envelopes, the minimum size is 5×5 inches. Your invitation designer will be able to help you understand any additional postage fees if you are thinking outside the box!


3. Shape

Most invitations or letters are rectangular in shape. Square envelopes incur a $0.20 postage surcharge each. Square invitations are modern and fun, but your postage rates will incur a surcharge, even if your invitation meets the weight and size specifications. Please calculate that into your invitation budget before settling on a design.


4. Non-Machinable Characteristics

Non-machinable characteristics are letters that need to be hand sorted because they cannot be read by the Post Office sorting machines. An employee must hand sort each envelope.

In addition to being square or not meeting weight restrictions, letters that meet one or more of the non-machinable characteristics below are subject to the $0.20 non-machinable surcharge as well:

  • It is too rigid – does not bend easily (Pocket fold invitations are usually considered too rigid)
  • It has clasps, string, buttons, or similar closure devices
  • It has an address parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter
  • It contains items such as pens that cause the surface to be uneven
  • Adding ribbon, rhinestones, feathers or any other adornments can increase the postage

How much would postage for a square invitation with rhinestones and pockets will probably cost, you ask? At least $0.89 each.

So, if you’re sending out 200 invitations you would need to budget for at least $178 for invitation postage. On top of that, you need to budget for $196 for postage for 200 save the dates and 200 response cards (for designs with no embellishments or odd shapes).

This brings you to a grand total of $374 for all postage. Whew, that was a lot of math, I know. But I can help you with that.

Don’t let postage costs surprise you in your wedding invitation budget! We’re here to help! If you are interested in having Something Detailed design your wedding invitation suite and need help with postage too, set up a consultation with Jennifer now!

How to Write a Wedding Program: What You Need to Include Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:32:17 +0000 Lots of brides start to stress over their wedding programs. It’s usually a forgotten piece of the wedding – you’re on the last dollars of your budget, you’re super busy with last minute wedding plans and then you realize that you haven’t really thought about the wedding program.

The, in a week, you’re franticly asking for the groomsmen’s middle names and asking your officiant to send the order of ceremony. Since you’re already in a panic, here’s an easy list of things you can include on your wedding invitation.

Typically, the first part of the wedding program looks a lot like your wedding invitation and includes your names, date, and ceremony time, and the location of the ceremony with the city and state. There is no need to include the street address or zip code of the ceremony location.

If you are hosting a more casual wedding or an outdoor wedding, which is very popular here in Nashville, you can get creative with your style and make the program double as a fan to ensure the comfort of your guests; and they won’t fly away as easily as a traditional program.

The wedding ceremony.

Programs traditionally start with “The Wedding Ceremony of”, your names and the location. Then, the Order of the Ceremony follows. The Order of ceremony is something you should get from your officiant.

This is the part that leads your guests through your ceremony. It usually goes something like this:

  • Prelude (that’s the music)
  • seating of the mothers and grandmothers these can be listed separately if you have difference music for each
  • processional (bridal party)
  • bridal processional
  • greeting (usually given by the officiant)
  • giving of the bride / declaration of intent
  • exchange of vows and rings
  • unity candle (optional)
  • declaration of marriage
  • prayer or blessing
  • presentation of the couple (this is the kiss!)
  • recessional

This can drastically change depending on religion, beliefs, or personal preference, so make sure you talk to your officant about the order of the ceremony.

The Wedding Party.

You will obviously include your bridesmaids and groomsmen, but also include the officiant, parents, grandparents, flower girls, ring bearers, ushers, etc.

Guests love to see how each of your bridal party is related to you and your groom. For example, you can include “friend of bride” or “groom’s brother” after the attendants’ name.

Some bride and grooms take the opportunity to write a few lines of how each member became to be so dear. You can also include the names of anyone you’d like to highlight, like a soloist or musician here.

Reception information:

Any information about the following reception appears at the end. If it is in the same location, let them know it is following the reception, by saying, “Please join us for a reception following the ceremony in the Great Hall.” Or, if it is at a different location, list directions and the address – maybe even a map.

Some Optional Information to include on your wedding programs:

Poems or Scripture.

Including a special poem, reading or scripture is nice. If it is important to you, include it! You can also include anything of significance. If the flowers are in honor of someone, you are wearing your grandmother’s pearls or if the Pastor is reading from your family bible, include it!

These sorts of things add a special touch and guests love to know the personal details and stories behind all your wedding choices. It makes them feel closer and more included.

In Memoriam.

Weddings are about celebrations but also they are a time to remember those who cannot be there with you on your special day. So, I suggest including an “In Memoriam” to list those names.

There are a lot of great ways to say it (check Pinterest or Google for good inspiration), but simply put “We would like to remember those who are not with us today.”

Thank You.

Thank your guests for being there with you and sharing your big day! Perhaps there are specific family or friends who put in a huge amount of assistance in your wedding planning, thank them! We have lots of great ideas for thank you notes on our Wedding Inspiration board on Pinterest.

New Address.

Let your guests know if your mailing address has changed (or will change) so they can update their address books. You’ll want to make sure you receive all their Christmas cards! You can also include your wedding website here, as they now are used to publish your lives as “newlyweds.”

Stressed about your wedding programs? We can create one in a snap! Email us for last minute projects or if you’re on top of things and ahead of the game, we’d love to help you create a full wedding invitation suite. Contact us for a consultation or meeting. 

When to Send Save the Dates, Do I Need a Save the Date? Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:31:13 +0000 Many of you may be at a point in your life where you’re attending or are a part of a ton of weddings. I know that I went to 12 weddings in 1 year — that’s one wedding per month! Whether you’re planning your wedding for this fall, next spring or even next year, save your date on your guests’ calendars with a Save the Date.

There are lots of questions about Save the Dates: Do I have to send a save the date? When should I send a Save the Date? Does it have to match my invitations? What size do they need to be? What information do I put on the Save the Date? I don’t know my venue yet, is that ok? Does it need to be a postcard, a card, a magnet, or can I do something else? Keep reading, gals.

1. Do I need to send out a Save the Date?

Not always. If you have guests who are traveling from out of town or you are planning a destination wedding, it is a great way to notify them formally so they can plan and save for travel.

If your wedding is during the summer (high vacation months), peak wedding season (April/May & September/October for the Nashville, Tennessee area), during holiday weekends, or Festival event weekends (CMT Fest and CMA Awards are the two biggies here in Middle Tennessee) then it would be a good idea to send a Save the Date to secure your date on your guests calendars.

2. When should Save the Dates be sent?

Send Save the Dates 6 months – 8 months prior to the wedding. If you are having a destination wedding, send them out 8-10 months in advance.

3. What information should I include?

Your names, date, city & state are a basic start and really all you need to include. Optional information to include on your Save the Date would be: hotel info, wedding website, and venue (but only if you have signed the contract!)

4. Who should receive a Save the Date?

Everyone who will receive a wedding invitation, so make sure your guest list is somewhat complete. Though, there will always be a few people you forget and will need to add later, so always order about 10-20 extra, just in case.

Keep in mind if someone receives a save the date and a friend of theirs does not, they could get their feelings hurt if you intend for them to be invited to the wedding and opted out of sending them a save the date.

5. Do we include “and guest” on the Save the Date?

If you know for sure if you will be including guests for your single friends, then use “and guest” on your Save the Date. If you are not sure yet, don’t include it, but be sure to specify it on the formal invitation. Always be clear who is invited and include formal names, not nick names.

8. What if we change the venue?

I suggest not including the location until it is confirmed, with a deposit made and a contract signed. Just include your date and the city & state where the wedding will be held.

9. Can we include registry information on our save the date?

It’s best to leave this to word of mouth, for your wedding website, and on shower invitations. Guests will not begin to purchase wedding gifts until after they receive a shower invitation or wedding invitation anyway.

And please, NEVER include your registry information on your formal wedding invitation. That’s a major “No-No.”

10. How do we decide on style when we don’t really know what our wedding style is going to be?

It’s always great to have a vision, but if you don’t, just use your favorite style and colors. It will likely match the style and vision that you have for your wedding day as well. Your Save the Date does not need to match your invitation. Have fun with it!

11. How many should I order?

Make sure you have a fairly complete guest list. You should order one Save the Date per Couple, Family (with children under 18), Single Guest and enough extras for those whom you may have forgotten. If you are using an envelope you should always order 20 or more extra envelopes for errors or address changes.

It’s always important to get started on that guest list first so you’ll know for sure, but typically, you’ll need about half of your total guest list. So, if you have 100 people invited to your wedding, you’ll need around 50 Save the Dates and Invitations.

Need help figuring out your invitations? Jennifer is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to wedding stationery. She works with clients in the Nashville, greater Middle Tennessee area and all over the country. If you are interested in booking a consultation with Jennifer, contact us soon

10 Things Your Should Know Before You Start On Your Wedding Invitations Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:29:54 +0000 Invitations are an imperative part of your wedding. It’s the first thing your guests see and will set the tone for your event, and, more importantly, they are the main form of communication to your guests! Meeting with a designer or starting your DIY online search can get a bit overwhelming.

So, take a breath: here are 10 things you need to know or have in mind before you start your wedding invitation search.

1. Know your budget.

I know it’s not the fun and pretty party, but you must know your overall wedding budget in order to know how much you can set towards your invitations. Knowing your budget for invitations, you will be able to make adequate style and paper choices.

A good wedding invitation designer will be able to guide your choices to help you stick to your budget. As a Nashville wedding invitation designer, usually my brides allocate 4-10% of their budget to paper details.

A quick way of determining price is: Divide your paper budget by the number of invitations you will be sending and that will give you a price per invitation. Don’t forget to include postage in your budget!

2. Know your wedding date.

You should start looking for invitations about six to eight months prior to your date. Traditional wedding invitation etiquette states that invitations are sent out 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding date. If it is a destination, you will need to send out invitations earlier – 8-10 weeks before the wedding date. Knowing when invitations need to mailed will help keep you on track for ordering. The average turnaround time is about, from start to finish, is about 6-8.

If you plan on sending out Save the Dates, those should be mailed 6-8 months prior to your wedding. If you are having a destination wedding, they should be mailed out 8-10 months in advance.

Once you and a designer determine the general style of paper you will have for your wedding, she can quickly send out a Save the Date first and then proceed to design the rest of the invitation suite in complimentary fashion.

3. Know how many you need to order.

The number of guests doesn’t always equal the number of invitations. If your guest list is 100 people long, you will usually need half that number, because many of your guests will be living in the same household.

All married or engaged couples should only receive one invitation and children under the age of 18 are included on their parents’ invitation.

Your guest list is a stressful part of planning a wedding, but if you have a “guesstimate” of your total number of guests, you can usually get a close invitation number by dividing the total guest count by 2, give or take 25.

Always order a little extra, you will want to save a few as a keepsake and you may forget someone who you’ll need to add while addressing. And always order extra outer envelopes to compensate for addressing mistakes.

4. Nail down the formality of your wedding.

If your event is formal, your invitation should be a little fancy. If it’s on the beach, it should have that casual look and feel.

The style of the invitation will be a huge indication for guests on how they should dress for the occasion.

Your other choices, like your wedding dress and your venue will also reflect that style and match the invitation. To help zero in on your design, choose 3 words to describe your style that are NOT colors.

Bring pictures that inspire you of things that you love and have already chosen for your big day. You may even bring images of invitations that you like (though we cannot make a replica) which can inspire us and give guidance of what you are wanting.

5. Secure your venue.

Obviously, the location will need to be on the invitation. But the venue will be the main thing to determine the style of your wedding. Are you having a traditional church wedding? Or would you rather an urban venue in the sleek part of downtown? Or perhaps a whimsical unity on the beach, in a garden or barn is more your style.

Each choice will set a different tone for your wedding, thus will determine the type and style of invitation you should order. Also keep in mind how intimate you want the ceremony to be and how many people your venue can accommodate.

6. Know your wedding colors.

There are an infinite number of paper and ink colors. If you have a good idea of what colors your wedding will, those will be reflected in your invitation. It may seem like a small, obvious thing, but paper and color choices will affect your invitation budget.

7. What pieces of a wedding invitation do you need?

Wedding invitations usually consist of more than just the invitation. If you need to know how many guests will attend, then you should include a reply enclosure. If you want to let your guests know where the best place to stay while they are in town, then include an accommodation card, and so on. The number of enclosures you include will increase your investment. We can guide you with what parts of a wedding invitation you may need without it being excessive.

8. Envelopes.

Envelopes are also an important piece of your wedding invitation. Even thought many will say “I don’t care if the envelope is nice. People will just throw it away.” Is that what you want your guests to think of your wedding? So think about your envelope choice.

Will you include a reply card in an envelope or as a postcard? Do you need inner and outer envelopes to imply +1′s and/or children are invited? There are also different styles and paper choices available.

9. Know how you will address your envelopes.

If you are addressing your wedding envelopes yourself or having a calligrapher address them, make sure to order extra for mistakes. With the thousands of font choices now, many brides are opting to have the invitation designer to print them and mail them directly, which we can do!

10. What other coordinating paper details do you need?

Wedding details always look more amazing if they are cohesive and matching; using the same fonts, colors and paper. Think of everything you may want and need besides just the invitation.

Do you want to use a save the date, have programs at your ceremony, seating cards, table numbers, signage, guest books, favor tags or boxes, reserved table signs, custom labels for food on a buffet?

Paper really does make a big difference in your event!

Make sure you discuss all the little details with your designer so your wedding flows in style and all costs are added up for your estimate.

With these tips in mind, you can be more prepared and your meeting will go smoothly and your estimate will come back accurate. With help from a wedding invitation designer, you can begin to check this part off your to-do list!

Interested in scheduling an appointment with Jennifer so you can have your wedding invitations custom designed? Schedule an appointment now.

Etiquette Tips to Avoid Judgement from your mother-in-law Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:44:08 +0000 Q: We are having an “adult” wedding. How do we let our guests know who is invited to our wedding?
A: Including an inner envelope is the best way to let guests know who is invited to your wedding. Guests lists are the hardest part of planning a wedding. Not inviting children is perfectly acceptable, but can be a touchy subject. Use the outer envelope to address the formal invitation and the inner envelope to let the household know who is invited. For example, your outer envelope would be addressed like this, using the formal names of the head of the household:

Andy and Jennifer have two young children, Coco and William. If you are not including children in your guest list, then your inside envelope does not include their names.

The omission of the names of their children is the indication that only Andy and Jennifer are invited. If children are invited, include their names only on the inner envelope and on the second line. Another subtle way is to include on your response card, “___ number of adults attending”.

Q. Due to budget restrictions, we are unable to allow our singe guests to bring a date. How do we indicate this on our wedding invitation envelopes?

A. Allowing unmarried guests to bring a significant other is always a nice offer, especially if they don’t know anyone else at the wedding. Although, if you have a lot of unmarried friends, allowing all of them to bring a guest can make your budget skyrocket. If you are concerned about your budget, and want to make sure everyone is included on your big day, it is acceptable to not include “and guest” on your invitations. This way, you don’t have to feel like you are excluding people who you want as a part of your day, just so someone can bring a complete stranger to your wedding. If you have unmarried guests, you can address their outer envelope like this:
The inner envelope should include, either “and guest” or their partner’s name, if you know it (and you know they will be together at the wedding!). Please note, that “guest” is not capitalized.

Use your family and wedding party to help spread the word when asked about children or the +1′s. If guests respond that they are bringing their children or a date, then it is best to give them a call and let them know that children and extra’s are not included in the wedding. Your guests should understand and realize that all adult weddings can be uncomfortable for children and adding +1′s who are strangers, can add costs across the board. It’s also include the option for child care during the wedding on your wedding website.
Sometimes, your wedding invitation budget does not allow for inner and outer envelopes, or it is a less formal affair. You can still apply these rules to a single envelope like so:

Obviously, there are different traditions and expectations for everyone around the country. It is best to do what you are comfortable with doing. Etiquette can be very overwhelming – especially for weddings. Use these rules and guidelines to make your own decisions. Often, you will end up making the right decision for you and your guests.