Ketubot Invitations Gifts of Meaning Fine Art Prints Baby Bar / Bas Mitzve
Gan Eydn Jewish Art & Music
Home Page
Peggy H. Davis Calligraphy Home Page
About the Artist
Contact

Frequently Asked Questions about Invitations

by Peggy Davis

  1. How do I start?
  2. What are the parts of an invitation order?
  3. What paper choices and ink colors are available?
  4. What are the different printing methods?
  5. Why do some invitations come with double envelopes?
  6. Can I put the reception information on the invitation itself?
  7. What has to go on an RSVP card?
  8. Can I use an RSVP postcard instead of a card and envelope?
  9. Is there anything wrong with having people RSVP on-line?
  10. How do I tell guests where I am registered for gifts?
  11. How do I prepare an address list for envelopes to be hand-addressed or printed?
  12. How do I carry out the look of my invitations for the rest of my wedding items?
  13. In what form are names written on placecards?
  14. Are there other ways to seat people besides placecards?
  15. How much time do I need for this?
  16. How much will invitations cost?
  17. Can I see samples of your work?

How do I start?

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.

2. What are the parts of an invitation order?

You may use any of the following to invite guests and orient them as to what to expect:

  1. A save-the-date card or postcard that would go out well in advance of the event; it could include hotel reservation information.
  2. The invitation itself, with a single, or more formal, double envelope. This envelope may have a liner added to it.
  3. A response card and an envelope with your address on it or a postcard with the response messages and your address.
  4. Reception card: These may be used to invite a guest to a Friday evening dinner, a rehearsal dinner, a Sunday brunch, an evening party for a morning Bar or Bat Mitzvah, etc. You may need two or three such cards, but they may not all be ordered in the same quantity. For example, you may send 100 invitations, but only 30 may be for out-of-towners, who might be the only ones invited to a Sunday brunch.
  5. Directions and hotel information: One card may include directions to the event and a reception; the directions may give instructions from a few locations. Hotel information may be on a separate card or one the reverse of the directions.
  6. Gift registry, charitable donations: You may want to inform guests of gift registries. If you are starting a marriage with two full households, you may use a card to indicate a preference of charitable contributions on your behalf. Some Bar or Bat Mitzvahs will indicate a place to make a donation if that is the kind of gift you are suggesting.
  7. Placecards: There are many ways to indicate where guests should sit; one way is to use folded cards with the guests’ name(s) and table number.
  8. Table numbers: We make table numbers (or sometimes a thematic table name) for an event that use elements of the invitation design. It would be held in a small holder on the table; usually supplied by the caterer or hall.
  9. A favor tag or label can be designed to tie to or adhere to favors you give your guests.
  10. Thank you note and envelope: Usually a folded card with the name(s) of the wedding couple or Bar/Bat Mitzvah. I often include a design element from the invitation. I’ve often designed flat cards for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

3. What paper choices and ink colors are available?

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.

4. What are the different printing methods?

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.

5. Why do some invitations come with double envelopes?

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.

6. Can I put the reception information on the invitation itself?

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.

7. What has to go on an RSVP card?

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.”

8. Can I use an RSVP postcard instead of a card and envelope?

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.

9. Is there anything wrong with having people RSVP on-line?

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.

10. How do I tell guests where I am registered for gifts?

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.

11. How do I prepare an address list for envelopes to be hand-addressed or printed?

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.

12. How do I carry out the look of my invitations for the rest of my wedding items?

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.

13. In what form are names written on placecards?

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.”

14. Are there other ways to seat people besides placecards?

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.

15. How much time do I need 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.

16. How much will invitations cost?

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:

www.HebrewLettering.com
or
www.AnInvitationForYou.com

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.

17. Can I see samples of your work?

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.

Return to the Invitation page at

www.AnInvitationForYou.com
or
www.HebrewLettering.com

Back to Gan Eydn home page , home of Peggy H. Davis Calligraphy.