6 Must-Ask Questions to Answer
Before Buying Your Invitations
Buying wedding invitations is a bit like taking your middle school yearbook photos… it can be awkward, stressful, and at times a little confusing. But, just like finding the perfect denim jacket and crew neck T to give you all those Kelly Kapowski vibes, there are a few simple things you can do before buying your invites to save your sanity and make sure they win best dressed!
Whether you’re creating your own, shopping semi-custom or working with a professional stationer, conquering these 6 to-dos’ before hitting that buy button will save your budget, timeline and sanity! 😉
#1: Do I Have Everything?
Before you book or buy anything, make sure you’ve updated your guest list and stationery checklist [link to ultimate stationery checklist download] with the big-ticket items and last-minute styling pieces you’ll need to bring your invites to life!
As much as it’s tempting to jump right in and start buying things as soon as you see them – remember that having a plan and starting early will make EVERYTHING easier in the long run and save your budget from those tempting impulse buys! 😉
Here are 7 must-haves pieces to have on your list:
- Save the Dates
- Wedding Invitation Card
- Outer Invitation Envelope
- RSVP Card
- Pre-printed and stamped RSVP envelope
- Embellishments (optional, but strongly recommended)
Artisaire Quick Tip: Don’t forget to add postage, calligraphy addressing (if you’re going that route), wax seals, ribbon and any other accessories you’ll need to finish off your invites before moving on –you’ll need to know those pieces for to-do #3!
#2: Do I Need to Adjust My Timeline?
When you first got engaged, you probably built out a basic timeline with important to-do’s like booking your venue, shopping for your dress and (hopefully) sending out your invites!
Now is the perfect time to check back in and make sure you’re still on track! Do you have as much time as you thought you would? Do you need to make any adjustments to your plan, so those invites get sent out in time?
Life is crazy enough even without adding wedding planning into the mix, so if adjusting the type of invites you buy will save stress and make the process more enjoyable, that’s totally ok! Just make sure to make this decision before you start shopping. It’ll save a ton of heartache later!
Artisaire Quick Tip: Don’t forget to factor in things like shipping time, assembly [link to Quadrant 8] and how long it will take to mail out your invites! Adding in an extra week or two of “buffer time” is always a good idea – after all, no bride was ever bummed about having too much time to make her invites look pretty!
#3: Have I Picked the Right Vendors?
Finding the right vendors for your stationery is like finding the perfect dress – they should fit like a glove and look amazing!
But, how do you know if you’ve found the right one? Not sure what to look for in the first place or how to tell different vendors apart?
Depending on what pieces you choose – your vendor list will vary so we’ve built a free guide that’ll show you what questions to ask to which vendors and how to make sure you’ve found the perfect one!
Here's What You'll Learn:
- 8 Questions You Should Ask Before Booking A Stationer
- 5 Quick Tips for Buying Wedding Invitations Online
- Wax Seal Buying Guide
- Embellishment Buying Guide
#4: Have I Ordered Samples?
Have you ever bought a dress online that turned out to be a totally different color in real life? It’s the worst, so let’s make sure that doesn’t happen with your invites!
If you’ll be ordering any part of your invites online – whether it’s the invitation card itself, custom wax seals, printed envelopes or silk ribbon, make sure to order samples so you can see the product in person before committing 100%!
Don’t worry if you’re only able to order generic samples! If it’s the exact product you’re looking for in the right color, design doesn’t matter at this point – it’s all about color and quality!
Once they arrive, you’ll be able to:
- Test color accuracy
- Compare product quality
- Check the paper weights to make sure you love the one you chose
- Try out different layouts in preparation for assembly
- Accurately estimate how much postage you’ll need assembly once they arrive?
Even though this may take a little more time – it’s SO worth it because you’ll be able to buy with complete confidence and save yourself the stress (and $$) of rushed reorders that might happen otherwise! Think of this as an extra double check that you made the right choice in step #3 - plus, most companies offer inexpensive samples (or free ones) just for this, so ordering samples won’t break the bank (just remember to add samples into your budget)!
If you’re working with a professional stationer this will be part of the design process, but if it’s not - ask them to create you a sample kit (if you’re working with them via email) or set up a meeting to go over swatches and paper samples in-person.
The best part? Feeling all that pretty paper will make everything feel more real! 😉
Artisaire Quick Tip: If you’re working with a professional – bringing paint/fabric swatches to your consultation if you’ve got specific colors in mind is a great help and will make the whole process go smoother!
#5: Do I Love the Design?
Now that you’ve built your dream team – it’s time to find the perfect pieces (if you’ve haven’t already)!
The key to this step is choosing pieces that’ll give your guests the perfect sneak peek of the big day and fit your theme like a glove! If you’re working with a professional to create a custom design, they’ll take care of this step for you, but if not – here are a few helpful tips to remember when picking out your pieces:
1. Use Style As Your Guide
Your invitations should reflect your wedding’s style! If you haven’t created your theme yet, this post will help!
2. Choose Pieces That "Go" Together
Not in love with the whole “matchy matchy” aesthetic? No problem! Get creative by mixing and matching different pieces together to create your own signature look - using things like color, pattern, print and style to tie your suite together.
3. Get Creative With Color
4. Use The Personalization Screen!
If you’re having a hard time choosing between different suites – use the personalization screen to see how your names will look for each design. You’ll be amazed at how big of a difference spacing and type can have on your love for a suite!
5. Pay Attention to The “Extras”
Many online brands will have a section for “extras” that match their invitations – from printed envelopes to details cards and monogrammed belly bands. This is a great way to add extra pops of personality to your suite but keep an eye on your budget as they can add up fast if you’re not careful!
6. Go With Your Gut
99% of the time your first instinct is the right one – so lean into that guidance when choosing the design for your invites!
#6: Have I Double, Triple & Quadruple Checked My Proofs!
No matter where or how you buy your invites, the most important step of the whole buying process is double, triple and quadruple checking your proof!
If you haven’t gone through a proofing process before - it’s basically just a digital mock-up of what your invitations will look like once printed that you must approve before your product goes to print. The last pre-production check, if you will.
Whatever you do, DO NOT RUSH THIS STEP!
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting your beautiful invitations back to have them say “request the honor of your presents” not “presence”! While it may be a hilarious story years from now, let’s make sure you and your partner are the focus – not typos on your invites!
To help make sure your invitations are proof-perfect and ready for print, download our free proofing checklist here:
The Wrap Up
Now that you’ve checked these 6 to-dos’ off your list, you’re officially ready to place your order and get those invitations on their way!
Up next we’re sharing our top assembly tips and what to do when your stationery arrives!
Before you go, let us leave you with 3 easy ways to enjoy a happier, stress-free engagement:
1. Send your invitations early!
- We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, sending invitations early will help your guests AND you have an enjoyable day!
2. Always order extra!
- There will ALWAYS be last minute RSVPs (if not, we want your tribe!) and maybe even an unexpected “plus-one” or two so ordering a few extra (10-15%) of everything will save your bacon when the time comes!
- Extras are also great for adding to a time capsule that you and your partner can open on your first, 5th or maybe even 50th anniversary! Just make sure there’s no perishables when you do this! 😉
3. Keep your RSVP's simple!
- If you (and your guests) would prefer an online RSVP process – do that! You have enough on your plate (and your guests do too), so choose whichever method you think will work best! Just remember – the most important thing is you GET the RSVP!
- Still want to include an RSVP card? Instead of having your guests send the card back – simply use your RSVP card to send the details on how they can do it!