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Frequently Asked Questions about Invitations
The invitation will convey to your guests a sense of what the event will be like: casual, meaningful, formal, intimate, are words that you might think of. When we start talking about the choice of paper, the colors, images, lettering, size, shape, these will all relate to what you want to communicate. Bring these ideas to the first discussion of the project.
You’ll want to have an idea of how many guests there will be and how many invitations (remember that more than one person may be receiving a particular invitation.)
If you are at the stage of choosing colors for elements of the wedding or celebration, those choices can be reflected in the invitation color choices.
Most of the invitations that I produce for customers are custom designs. Even if it is based on a design already in my collection, there is usually some customization that goes into the final product. It can be a smooth process, and the following pointers will help you get started.
You may use any of the following to invite guests and orient them as to what to expect:
There are many choices of paper and ink. In the past, most of my customers have chosen designs with one or two ink colors. Now, however, I’m also able to print full-color illustrations, either in-house or through one of the printers I use. We can talk about these possibilities.
The most expensive method is engraving, when a metal plate is engraved where the ink will go. It produces a fine line that sits on the paper. Thermography is a different method which looks similar, as a powder is added to the ink to make it sit on the paper; it is also called raised ink. Both of these methods produce ink that can be felt as you run your hand over the paper.
Digital printing can have some texture; the invitations from the Carlosn Craft Exclusive Collection II that I carry use two colors, each at a slightly different level on the paper. Other digital printing, such as the full-color illustrations that I do, is not raised on the surface.
A double envelope set has an inner envelope that is addressed with just the name(s) of those invited at that address. The envelope (or inner one of a double set) may have a liner which relates to the design of the invitation, using a particular color, pattern or texture of paper.
While it was once frowned upon, I have had customers who chose to do so. The main concern we discuss is how much wording there is and how much space is available for that text. I’ve been quite creative about finding space for this text when necessary.
A respond postcard or card should request that guests include their names, number attending, and, if needed, entrée choice(s). It is also nice to leave some empty space for a note. Some cards just have a message such as “Please respond by August seventeenth” or “Your presence will make our celebration more joyful.”
This would depend mostly on the formality of the occasion and how much text there would be on the card. The normal RSVP card size is too small for the postal regulation size for a postcard. I have cards from a couple of printers that are an appropriate size. Color-matching of paper and ink will be considered as well.
Some of my customers do this. I’d suggest considering the age and likelihood of your guests being comfortable responding in this way. You would probably want to have a separate card without an envelope with that information. You could consider printing a smaller number of respond cards & envelopes for some who would appreciate the old-fashioned method.
A card for this purpose can be printed and enclosed in the invitation packet. It could be combined with another card, such as one with on-line response information.
Use a spreadsheet or database program to create a list with separate fields for each entry. Then you can alphabetize the list. Create the list and send it in the body of an e-mail to us. Be sure there is a double return between each entry.
Don’t underestimate how much time it will take to get the address list in order. Printing the invitation will take about a week, so you want to be working on that list while we’re designing the invitation.
We can discuss what other accessories you need and find ways to carry the color or design of the invitation into other items for the event, such as programs, menus, favors, etc.
You may choose to use the more formal “Mr. John Doe;” “Mr. & Mrs. Robert Swanson” or you may like it informal, “Andrea and Sam Stillman.”
This is a place to be creative! Some weddings feature a decorated chart of names and table numbers; others will attach a table number to a favor. There are mamy possible solutions for this.
Most people plan to send the invitations 6-8 weeks before the event, although some customers report that number is creeping up. Allow two weeks for printing. That means that an ideal time to start discussing the order is 4–5 months before the event. We can produce invitations in whatever time you have, but this is a comfortable margin.
If time is short, you may want to email save-the-date notes before the invitations are sent.
I work with you to find an invitation solution that fits your budget. Therefore, I represent printers with a wide variety of printing options, so printing costs can vary from $150-1500 or more. If you order invitations straight from the album, with your text printed on it, the cost in the album is all you will pay.
In addition to the printing charges, if you would like to use art work of mine that you see on my websites:
the charge for using my art is a minimum of $75. It could be more if changes are made to personalize the design. There may be design and/or layout charges for each item that I prepare for the printer.
There is always the option of developing a new design for you as well. There is no end of possibilities!
Once we’ve had the initial discussion and have a few ideas to work with, I will send you appropriate estimates for what we have discussed.
I request a deposit of 60% of the estimate, with the final amount to be paid when you receive the invitations and are satisfied with the final product.
If you are in the area of Northampton, Greenfield, Shelburne Falls, North Adams, or Amherst, Massachusetts, or Brattleboro or Bennington, Vermont, you are welcome to visit the Gan Eydn Gallery and see Peggy's collection of invitation samples. We are about 2 1/2 hours West of Boston, 2 hours North of Hartford, and about 2 hours East of Albany, NY. She can also send you samples of actual invitations with her designs so that you can see the actual colors and paper they will be printed with. Please return the samples when you have finished with them. Please call 413-624-3204 or email for an appointment and directions or to request samples by mail.