I get so many great questions from my clients before they book about my custom design process for wedding invitations, so I wanted to put together some of these questions to help you navigate this fun process! There are two different routes you can take when it comes to your invitations, you can order a pre-designed wedding invitation that is part of our Wedding Collection, or you can go with the custom design process if you want full control over the design you envision for your stationery suite. Below are some questions to ask and keep in mind before starting the custom wedding invitation process.
How long of a process do custom invitations take?
This is a key question to ask before(!) you even hire your stationer. You need to ensure that both of you have ample time to complete these before they need to get mailed. Generally invites need to go out 8-10 weeks before your wedding date. That gives guests 4 weeks to RSVP and gives you time to get your final count to the venue. Your stationer will tell you how long their process takes and will usually give you a timeframe on when you need to start by. I tell my brides to start about 6-8 months in advance. This gives us plenty of time for the design and production process (which takes about 6-8 weeks) and then gives you plenty of time for post production and mailing.
What all is included in the price?
It’s always nice to get a price breakdown so you know what to expect. You’ll want to know what your suite is going to cost, any add ons that you want (ribbon, wax seals, etc., are usually extra charges), and if there are separate design fees. Does the quoted cost include assembly (stacked, stuffed, stamped, and sealed) or is this something you will have to do once you get them? This is always nice to know so you can anticipate assembly time once you receive your invitations. Most of the time stationers can take care of these items for you at an additional cost. Just talk to your stationer so you know what to expect and can be prepared.
Now that you have gone through the design process and have your beautiful invitations, what is the best way to get these in the mail to your guests? You stationer may be able to give you an estimate on what it will cost to mail your invites, but you will want to take one of your fully assembled suites to the local post office and have them weighed for a cost estimate. There are several different factors that go into the cost besides just the weight of the envelope. The height and the thickness can add to the cost, as well as ribbon or wax seals. You can view a full blog post on all of the different stamp options for your suite here.
Can I use your designs on other pieces?
If you want to have additional pieces designed to match your invites (menus, programs, etc.) talk to your stationer, because more than likely they can help with those as well. It’s so much easier to work with the same designer on all of the pieces, especially since the design is already copyrighted to them. This is a very important detail because, more than likely, you’re not able to take this design to another designer to create additional pieces for you. Most designers will allow you to use certain items like monograms or crests in some elements that they may not be able to do (lighting designs, ice sculptures, etc.). Typically there is a design release fee associated with this.
The custom invitation process is truly a unique one and I hope that you enjoy every moment of it. If you have any other questions about wedding invitations, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.