Wedding Stationery Timeline

So you’re engaged! You’ve probably booked your dream venue, set the date, and now you’re scouring bridal magazines and salons for the perfect gown! Ahhh….wedding planning bliss. Before you get too far into your planning, you want to make sure you’re sticking to a timeline for items such as wedding invitations and stationery. I briefly touched on this topic in a previous post, but I’d like to expound on it a little bit more. Sticking to a timeline for your wedding stationery will not only keep you organized, but will also alleviate lots of stress leading up to the Big Day. Below is the suggested timeline that I share with my clients:

  • 9-12 months – During this timeframe you want to decide how much you’re able to spend on invitations and stationery, as well as interview stationers that fit within your budget plan. On average, Brides and Grooms spend about 6% of their wedding budget on invitations. Contact a few stationers and schedule a sit down consultation so that you can learn about the styles they offer. Please keep in mind that most stationers will require you to make a deposit to be added to their calendar.
  • 6-9 months – By this time you should have your initial guest list finalized and your save-the-dates in the mail. If you’re having a destination wedding, you’ll want to have your save-the-dates in the mail 9-12 months in advance. Some opt out of sending save-the-dates which is fine, but keep in mind that if your date falls on a holiday, or around a popular travel season, you’ll want to make sure to give your guests at least 6 months notice so that they don’t make other plans.
  • 3-5 months – It’s time to start the design process of your invitation! This is the fun part. Based on the feedback you gave at your consultation, your stationer will design an invitation that captures your wedding vision. This may include a monogram or logo, a unique floral, texture, or geometric design, bold and beautiful fonts, or pops of color in all the right places. Whatever design scheme you decide to go with, make sure that it represents the theme and vision of your wedding.  Your invitation will be the first introduction to your wedding that your guests receive, so you want it to cue feelings of anticipation and excitement for your wedding day!
  • 6-8 weeks – You’re now just about ready to mail your invitations.  Before you buy postage, be sure to take one invitation to the post office to have it weighed. Oftentimes with adding enclosures, heavier papers, and multiple envelopes, the weight of the invitation will change which will cause the postage to increase. Please note that if you’re having a destination wedding, your invitations should go in the mail 12-16 weeks in advance.

There you have it, folks! If you stick to this timeline, your guests will have ample notice to plan for your wedding, and you’ll remain on task and as stress-free as possible. If you’d like to interview Penned by Pink as a potential stationer for your wedding, contact us via email at info@pennedbypink.com. We’re also here to answer any stationery etiquette questions you have! Hope to hear from you soon.

Love Always,

 

Social Etiquette Basics: Handwritten Thank You Notes

In this day and age where everyone seems to be engrossed in social media, smart phones, and the like, manners and social interaction are at an all-time low. Now, I can’t write this post and pretend that I don’t fall into this category most times; however, I do acknowledge how important it is to slow down and take a moment to express love and gratitude to the people around me. I think we can all take pointers in this area.  That said, let’s talk about the importance of handwritten thank you notes. All of my blog posts thus far have been geared towards brides and pointers for wedding stationery. While this post does apply to weddings, it mostly applies to the day-to-day interactions we have with those we love and care about.

In the hustle and bustle of life, it can be easy to overlook the need to show gratitude. If someone holds the door for us while entering a store, of course, we say thank you.  Or when you’re driving through an intersection and another driver waves you on, you give a return hand gesture as a thank you. But when’s the last time you took the time to write a personalized note to someone to show your gratitude for something they’ve given you or something they’ve done for you? Handwritten notes have a certain charm about them that shows your genuine appreciation for that person. Below are some tips for writing “the perfect thank you”.

  1. Purchase stationery – This may seem a bit much, but if you have a nice set of note cards or thank you cards in your desk or on your table, you’ll be more inclined to send them out. It also helps if the stationery is personalized! 
  2. Use a nice pen – With your stationery, you should have an ink pen that writes well. I don’t know about you, but I am very particular about the pens I write with. When the ink flows better, your penmanship tends to be neater.
  3. Short and sweet – There’s no need to write a 3 paragraph letter.  Keep your note short, sweet, and to the point. Address the person by name, and get to the gist of the note by stating your thanks for whatever it is you’re writing about.
  4. Be sincere – It’s important to be sincere and not too general. If you’re thanking them for a wedding gift, you don’t want to say, “Thank you for the lovely gift, we appreciated it”. Say something along the lines of, “Thank you for the beautiful set of porcelain china. We can’t wait to use it at the holidays!” It personalizes the note and makes the thank you more genuine.
  5. Be prompt – If you’re writing a thank you in response to receiving a gift or other kind gesture, try to be as prompt as possible. Your thank you should be mailed within the same week if possible. If you miss that timeframe, you still want to get the note out as soon as you can. Better late than never. 

I hope these pointers have motivated you to write a note to someone you love and care about. You’d be surprised at what kind of impact this small gesture could have. If you have any questions about this topic or any other social/wedding etiquette topics, please feel free reach out. Also, if you liked the idea of a personalized set of stationery and you’d like for Penned by Pink to design one for you, contact us at info@pennedbypink.com. We would love to get you started on this journey to mastering the art of social etiquette!

Until next time, friends!

Love Always, 

 

Anatomy of the Wedding Invitation

It’s a little after midnight as I sit here to begin this post. I am recovering from a bout of pneumonia which is both fortunate and unfortunate at the same time. I’ve been sick for a couple weeks with what I thought was the flu, but after time had passed and I still wasn’t getting better, I became a little suspicious, but still wasn’t too concerned. A couple people suggested I go to Urgent Care which is something I never do. But the other day on the way home from work I decided to “stop in for a visit” since the center was on my way home. At most, I thought they’d give me some medicated cough suppressants and send me on my way. To my surprise, after performing a chest x-ray, the doctor informed me that I had pneumonia. She prescribed me many antibiotics and sent me home to get much needed rest. That was 3 days ago. With the help of my mother and husband, I am starting to feel a little better. Now, why would I say that I am fortunate because I have pneumonia? I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s because I have it, but because of the way I found out. Like I said, I very rarely visit the doctor when I’m sick. I kind of just self-medicate until I’m all better (I know that’s probably not best, but I’m being honest here). In this situation, the Holy Spirit urged me to do something out of the norm because my life pretty much depended on it. Can you imagine if I had continued to self-medicate and continued to convince myself that I was just getting over a cold or the flu? That could’ve been disastrous. But God, being the loving God that He is, sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us and he interceded for me in a time where I desperately needed him. How fortunate is that?! I’m so thankful. I really wanted to get that off my chest, so thanks for reading through it. I hope it blesses you to know that the Holy Spirit will show up for you in your time of need, just as he did for me! Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty!

So, if you’re planning a wedding, it’s inevitable that you’ll get to the phase where you need to select wedding invitations and matching stationery. With so many different options and styles available, it might be a little overwhelming to select exactly what suits your wedding needs. My hope is that this post clarifies some things for you and lessens the burden a little. After all, selecting wedding invitations is one of the fun parts of wedding planning!

  1. The Invitation – First and foremost, you have your invitation. In a previous post we discussed the appropriate wording for your invitation, including what to say and what not to say, what important information should be included, etc. If you haven’t read that post already, take a moment to check it out! (The Wording Matters) All in all, the invitation states who is hosting the wedding; names the bride and groom; gives the date, time, and location of the ceremony; and lastly, it indicates whether there will be a reception to follow.
  2. The Reception Card – Next, you have your reception card. Typically, this card is only included if the reception is held at a different venue than the ceremony. If this is the case, your reception card will name the venue, the address, as well as the start time of the cocktail hour and/or reception.
  3. The Accommodations Card – This card is a popular option, but not all brides opt for it. It can be convenient if you are having lots of out-of-town guests and you have room block information that you want to convey. The accommodations card includes the name and address of the hotel where your room block is held, as well as contact information where your guests can reserve their rooms. It’s also a great idea to include on this card the deadline that reservations must be made by, as well as the name of the room block in case there’s a discount associated with the wedding (i.e. “Please reference the Jones-Harris wedding for discount pricing”).
  4. The RSVP Card – Here’s our good pal “the RSVP card”. This card is essential, but often times ends up being a brides worst nightmare (sorry, ladies!). The card includes lines for guests to say “attending” or “not attending”, as well as gives them the option to put the name(s) of the attendee(s) and select meal options. Most importantly, this card provides the date that the RSVP must be received by. For my non-brides and grooms that are reading this post, just to clarify, the date displayed is not the date that the card should be dropped in the mailbox to get back to the host, nor is it the date that you should pick up the phone and ever so graciously inform the bride that you forgot to mail back the RSVP, but you’ll in fact be in attendance at the wedding! Please, please, please be so kind as to mail your RSVP card back to the host several days/weeks before the requested date. This will help eliminate lots of stress as they must have final guest numbers to their caterer by a certain date. Please, don’t make the host have to hunt you down for your RSVP!

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but these are the key players when it comes to the anatomy of a wedding invitation. These enclosures will convey all the necessary information your guests will need for your wedding. And if you want to add a few additional enclosures, the more the merrier! Don’t forget to contact us if you have invitation or wedding etiquette questions you’d like us to address! And of course, don’t forget to contact us when you’re ready to start planning your wedding invitations and stationery!

Until then, Happy Wedding Planning!

Love Always,

The Wording Matters

Funny seeing you here! It certainly has been a while! One thing I’ve learned about running a small business while also working full-time is that flexibility is key! I’m the type of person that tries to plan everything to a T, but something I’ve learned is that no matter how much prior planning you do, you have to roll with the punches! That said, between fulfilling stationery orders, working my 9-5, and a host of other obligations, I haven’t had much time to blog 🙁 But, I’m back now and I plan to make it worth your while!

One topic I really want to cover is how to word your wedding invitations. This is a seemingly innocent topic to discuss, but I must say, your invitation wording has the potential to create real drama! Let me explain. Traditionally, the brides parents are the wedding hosts and are named on the invitation preceding the bride and groom. However, in recent years, this is no longer the norm!  Rule of thumb is that whoever is hosting (i.e. paying for) the wedding should be named on the invitation. Nowadays, many couples are paying for their own weddings and opting not to name anyone on the invitation except for themselves! This is technically the appropriate thing to do, but watch out! Here’s where it gets tricky.

Weddings are a time of togetherness and sentimentality in the family structure. Parents, although they may not be contributing financially, are still looking to be acknowledged on this special occasion. Even if you don’t want to name your parents on your invitation, consider acknowledging them in a more passive way by saying “Together, with our parents, we request your presence” or “Together, with our families, we request your company” to show that while you are very much independent, you do still have an awesome support system that is with you.  Now I do understand that not all families are created equal. That said, I always encourage my brides and grooms to do what’s best for them!

Below are a few other things to consider when it comes to formal invitation wording:

  1. The Bride’s name comes before the Groom’s.  In fact, the Bride’s name is listed on all wedding stationery first, until after vows are exchanged (we’ll explain this in detail in a follow-up post).
  2. Date and time should always be spelled out.
  3. Abbreviations should not be used.  Street names, cities and states should be spelled out as well.
  4. The zip code of the venue does not go on the invitation. This can be reserved for the Directions Card or website.

So again, put some thought into the wording you chose for your invitation. It’s not enough to just have a pretty invitation, it must also convey the proper message to your guests. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Remember, if you have a stationery etiquette question or would like to inquire about having us design your wedding stationery, I can be reached via email at info@pennedbypink.com. Don’t forget to check out our photo gallery and the rest of the website too!

Love Always,

 

A Brief History of the Wedding Invitation

Some of you may know this, but for those of you who don’t, I am obsessed with history. There’s something fascinating about going back in time and examining how people did things back then. How they dressed, spoke, their manners, and just how they maneuvered in general. One thing in particular that I love researching is how correspondence was handled back then. Take wedding invitations for instance (nice transition, right? 😉 ). The history of the wedding invitation is quite an interesting one. In 15th century England, before they were printed by hand or press, the Town Crier would be tasked with walking about the streets and announcing wedding details for all to hear. Flash forward a couple hundred years and the announcement style would change to various paper mediums via Calligraphy, printing-press, engraving, and thermography. All of these styles, plus many more, are still common today. 

Compliments of http://invitationsbyajalon.com/blog/designs-keri/

When the transition came about for wedding invitations to be printed, the custom was for the invitation to be hand-delivered by courier to the house butler. In this time, invitations were mainly used by the well-to-do as a way to be distinguished from commoners, who were oftentimes illiterate. Once the butler received the invitation, it was then removed from its outer envelope and presented on a silver tray to the master or mistress of the house, still enclosed in its inner envelope (fancy, right?!). The envelope would then be opened, revealing the invitation covered with a light tissue. The purpose of the tissue was to prevent the ink from smudging as it was likely printed and delivered in haste and not fully dried. This technique was abandoned in later years as printing options became more sophisticated, although some traditional brides still like the tissue feature as an ode to “the olden days”. I know I did! 

Flash forward to today, where most brides and grooms prefer more contemporary-style wedding invitations. While some traditional features still remain, things have evolved quite a bit. Most invitations nowadays are ordered online and printed digitally which allows for printing en masse. Some are even sent virtually via e-mail or through other online communications.

Although wedding invitation techniques have come a long way, one thing still remains certain. The way you decide to announce your wedding to your family and friends truly sets the tone for your wedding event. So, be sure to plan out your invitation carefully and thoroughly. This will be the first impression that your guests have of your wedding, so let’s make it a lasting one. I think Penned by Pink can help with that 😉 We hope to hear from you on how we can make that first impression an incredible one!

Until then, Happy Planning & Love Always,