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wedding planning

Wedding Stationery 101 | Invitation Designer vs. Big Box Sites

stationery 101, weddingRyann JarrardComment

I will be the first to say that planning a wedding is INCREDIBLY overwhelming. There are so many decisions to be made that it can feel never ending. I'm hoping this blog post will help you decide what the right path is when selecting wedding invitations. 

The very first question you need to ask is: what kind of experience is important to you in working with a stationer? Do you want the personalized experience of working with an independent designer or a less personalized experience with a big-box store? There are advantages of each option.

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The Pros: Big Box

If having a custom wedding invitation that is designed especially for you isn't a high priority, you might consider a big-box store or site. One of the main advantages of choosing a bigger company is that you’ll be able to see your invitation the exact way it will be printed and sometimes the cost is less to have foiling because the store uses the same die (the plate that is used for foiling and letterpress) over and over again and so they will not have to charge you for a custom die.

The Cons: Big Box

However, there might be fewer options to customize your design, such as changing the colors and switching out fonts. For example, with companies like Minted, you can pick from a ton of design options, and it’s cheaper, but you may have to format the invitation yourself. The other potential downside is the lack of one-on-one personal attention like providing a sample of your invitation to your photographer to be sure its photographed on your wedding day. 

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The Pros: Independent Stationer

With an independent stationer, you’re going to get much more of a personalized experience.

  • You’ll have consistent contact with one person throughout the whole process to address any questions or concerns that arise. 
  • You can feel the paper and explore the different print options.
  • The stationer will also work through what to order and when, design your wedding stationery, work with you on design edits and handle the printing of everything.
  • This kind of individualized experience creates a personal connection with how your wedding suite is going to be made.

Also, with a small company, you’ll have more options for customization, but—and here’s the potential downside—it may come with a slightly bigger price tag. That said, you might want an independent stationer even if you’re not creating a custom design just because you really want that personal experience in which you interact with a person and help a small business grow!

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Stick around and check out some of my recent custom work below!

5 tips to be an Organized Bride | Guest Post by Organized Life Design

weddingRyann JarrardComment

I'm so thrilled to welcome Meggie Mangione from Organized Life Design to the blog today! Meggie and I met through the Houston chapter of Rising Tide Society's TuesdaysTogether and I feel so lucky to call her a friend and colleague. Meggie is sharing 5 practical tips on how to stay organized as a bride and I think you'll find her advice most useful! 

When a four year old boy points to you and says “prin-thess” - I can promise you it will be the Best Day Ever. Oh yeah, and the new adoring hubby was totally icing on the cake. I would relive that day over and over and over again. The tears, the kisses, the laughter, the memories, the love. *sigh* 

Photo courtesy Meggie Mangione.  Ashley Bosnick Photography

Photo courtesy Meggie Mangione. Ashley Bosnick Photography

What part didn’t I love about marrying the best guy on the planet? The PLANNING a wedding part. Seriously, hard pass on that process ever again. 

Here are five tips to keeping your sanity (and your fiance’s) in check. 

1. Keep all of “yo stuff” in one place (and make it a big place) - binder/suitcase/storage bin - just keep it all together and as “organized” as your tolerance level can handle. This includes the venue brochures, Grandma’s wedding shoes, that cake topper, all of it. 

2. Follow a to-do list timeline - my favorite (and easiest) was the TheKnot checklist (WeddingWire has one too) These list every possible to do item on a bride’s list from 18 months out to the day before. If there’s way more tasks included than you need to care about, make a good ol’ fashioned spreadsheet.

3. BUDGET. I know this sounds “unromantic” but unless you are a Kardashian, budget matters. Make one BEFORE you buy everything. Then update as you hire vendors and track deposits, payments and final balances due. I would also encourage you to share this with any ‘financial backers’ i.e. mom and dad or Grandma Betty, especially if they are footing majority of bill.  

4. Delegate. Yes, I used that word, control freak. You cannot do it all on your own and you shouldn’t have to! Ask your fiancé/MOH/MIL to take on a task or two. I’m not saying they have to choose your wedding cake design, but I’m sure they can stamp envelopes or help find bridesmaid dress options in your color scheme. 

Meggie and Salvatore and their wedding planner, Christina of  Christina Leigh Events . Photo courtesy Meggie Mangione.   Ashley Bosnick Photography

Meggie and Salvatore and their wedding planner, Christina of Christina Leigh Events. Photo courtesy Meggie Mangione. Ashley Bosnick Photography

5. You must have Day Of Coordinator. Period. (If you can afford a Wedding Planner from the beginning, then yay!) You don’t want to be getting your makeup done and simultaneously worrying if the wedding cake was delivered yet or how to fit cousin Robbie’s uninvited “date” into the seating chart. Just trust me on this one. 

I can’t promise it won’t rain or that your Uncle Ned won’t get scotch drunk and do the worm. I can, however, promise if you do these five things you will not loose your mind during this process. 

My last piece of advice - on your wedding day, as often as you can, take a moment to pause and make a mental note of everything - the look on your spouse’s face as you walk down the aisle, the smell of your bouquet, the taste of your champagne and what you feel when you kiss for the first time as husband and wife. Soak it in so you can relive the Best Day Ever again and again. 

You can follow along with Meggie on Instagram and her web site - go say hello!