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Are Digital RSVPs your Saving Grace or Worst Nightmare?

When I meet with couples at their design consult, one of the most common topics we discuss is the digital RSVP. Most couples are quick to think digital RSVPs are the best thing since avocado toast! And although there are some great benefits to online RSVPs there are also some major disadvantages to digital RSVPs. So, this week we are talking all about RSVPs: what are they, why we need them and some pros and cons of digital RSVPs.

digital rsvps: saving grace or worst nightmare?

Traditional RSVPs

Traditionally couples include a pre-addressed envelope and card in their stationery suite allowing guests to easily respond whether or not they would be attending the wedding, how many people are in the guests’ party, meal selections and any dietary restrictions.

Why are RSVP cards pre-addressed?!

I mean this in the nicest way possible, but…

People are lazy. Whew, there I said it. Glad to get that off my chest.

I mean how many of us have wanted to change the channel on the TV but the remote is on the other side of the room and that just ain’t happenin’.

Well, that is exactly how guests are with RSVPs, the more steps there are after reading the card, the more likely no response will be sent. Plus, not everyone sends snail mail anymore and having stamps around the house may not be likely. So sending the RSVP envelope already stamped with your address on it eliminates two whole steps. (If you want to eliminate another step, you can even go as far as to have the guests return address on the envelope too!)

Custom Wedding Stationery RSVP Card

Digital RSVPs

But in recent years more and more couples are opting for a more modern approach aka digital RSVPs. When a couple registers for their wedding website, they can opt to have their guests RSVP online directly on their wedding website.

Which sounds all fine and dandy, until it isn’t…

PRO TIP:

If you are on a tight budget or just want to save a buck you can always send response postcards. Postcard stamps are less expensive than standard first class stamps and can be purchased at your local post office. Just be sure to pick up pretty ones that match your suite!

Now, as a technologically savvy person, digital RSVPs seem like the solution to the lazy people situation, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.

The-Not-So-Tech-Savvy Guest

Believe it or not, unless you are only inviting close friends to your wedding, a good portion of your family (aunts, uncles, grandparents) aren’t tech savvy. So having only online RSVPs may mean a lot of people won’t RSVP. Not to mention older generations may not trust the online system and feel like they didn’t RSVP. (This is a real-life example!)

Back to Laziness

Again, we are adding steps to the RSVP process. For online responses, we are expecting them to go online, type the address and complete the process.

It’s kind of like you got a bill and you can do online bill pay on your phone, but you set it aside for later because it’s “too much effort” and that would take you away from binge-watching Star Trek TNG (which is amazing by the way!).

digital rsvps: saving grace or worst nightmare

The solution to the RSVP debate

I always encourage my clients to provide both traditional and digital RSVP options for their guests. This allows the tech-savvy guests to RSVP online and the more traditional guests to mail in their response. In some cases, you may have people do both, but let’s be honest that’s better than no response.



TRUTH BOMB 💣:

Be ready to chase down guests no matter what. Some people are just not gonna respond at all. I find text messages are a quick and easy way to check in on guests but don’t pester them for an answer until after the RSVP by date.

Megan and Nate’s Custom Stationery for their Classy but Casual Wedding in Washington PA

Megan and Nate have finally said their “I Dos” and that means I can finally showcase their classy but casual custom wedding stationery for their wedding in Washington PA!

When I met Megan for the first time, we chatted for what felt like forever (in a good way!)  We bonded over coffee (well she had a refresher, technically) and I really got to understand her vision for the wedding.  (Although Nate wasn’t there I am sure it was “his” vision too! 😉) She talked about how she was really trying to balance her and Nate’s casual lifestyle with the (mostly) traditional wedding vibe she wanted.  But ultimately, all she really wanted was for someone to come in and “do all the nitty-gritty stuff.” So I swooped in and saved the stationery day!

Their Custom Design Proposal…

Just like all my couples, Megan and Nate go to choose from three different custom stationery suites before selecting their final design.  Here is a look at the designs they didn’t choose (which were still beautiful just not their favorite!)

Custom Stationery for a Classy But Casual Wedding -  Beauty Bright Design Washington PA

At Megan’s consult, we had chatted about what type of typography Megan liked most.  I suggested using a mix of printed and cursive/flowy fonts for depth but ultimately, Megan wasn’t really sure.  So in this suite, I used just calligraphy and as you can see it looks a little to busy for the casual but classy vibe Megan was trying to achieve.


Another difference between this suite and the final design is the vertical RSVP (which is a favorite of mine!)

Custom Stationery for a Classy But Casual Wedding -  Beauty Bright Design Washington PA

Opposite of the last suite, this one was showcasing an all san-serif font.  You couln’t get more different! I used this style font because I was trying to bring in some elements of Megan and Nate’s Reception Venue, The George Washington Hotel.  It is a beautiful historic building built in the 1920s with a star-studded past. But this was a little too casual.

Their custom stationery design…

Just like in the three little bears there is always a suite which is just right, and here is Megan and Nate’s custom stationery.

Custom Stationery for a Classy But Casual Wedding -  Beauty Bright Design Washington PA

The final design featured Navy Envelopes, Shimmery (almost color changing) paper, and oil-painted flowers.  The typography was a mix of calligraphy with serif-fonts that gave just the right mix of classy and casual.

Custom Pittsburgh Cookie Table Sign

After all the “I dos” were said I chatted with Megan about our journey, and I was brought to (happy) tears with her response.  Because this is why I love what I do!

“Once I met you – I knew we would work so well together! You gave me something absolutely perfect! I had no idea what I really wanted but you nailed the design! It was so easy!!! I gave you some color schemes and chose some papers and you made it happen! It was one part of the wedding I had ZERO stress about!  Everything was absolutely perfect!

You were amazing to work with and I honestly couldn’t have picked a better person to do my invites, seating chart, programs, etc!

Thank you!!” – Megan

Couple dancing in ballroom at The George Washington Hotel in Washington PA
Couple Standing outside The Church of the Covenanty Presbyterian Church in Washington PA

Vendor Team

Photographer: Chelsea Hellen Photography
Ceremony Venue: The Church of the Covenant Presbyterian Church
Reception Venue: The George Washington Hotel
Megan’s Dress: Sorelle Bridal Salon
Nate’s Tux: Tuxedo Junction
Cookies: LA Sweets
Cookie Bags: Amazon
Rings: C&J Jewelry Washington, PA
Florist: Fragile Paradise, LLC
Hair: Relax Organic Salon
Makeup Artist: Ashle-a Powell
Stationery & Signs: Beauty Bright Design
Planning: Megan Kepler

Custom Stationery for a Classy But Casual Wedding -  Beauty Bright Design Washington PA


Thank You Gifts Teachers actually want!

gifts teachers actually want

The end of the school year is quickly approaching and that means it’s time to start thinking about thank you gifts for your kid’s teachers. I don’t know about you but I have always wondered what teachers actually want. I mean do they really like cheesy knick-knacks or would the like something a little more useful like a gift card.

Having grown up in a family full of teachers, I decided to pick some brains and learn exactly what gifts teachers would love and things they would rather not get.

First, let’s set some ground rules…

Before I get on with the list of gifts teachers would love, let’s go over the basic rules of things to avoid. Now like all things, not all teachers will feel this way about these items, but many do.

So play it safe and avoid the following:

Forget about “world’s best” items

Come to find out, an item that says “world’s best” or “#1 Teacher” can be left in the back of the coffee mug shelf.

Why?

Now I never would have thought about this before it was pointed out, but using a coffee mug saying “#1 Teacher” in front of other teachers can be kind of embarrassing. I mean imagine standing among your parent friends with a mug that says “I am the world’s best parent,” it can be a bit uncomfortable.

Knick-Knacks just pile up

The amount of knick-knacks (mostly apples) that teachers get is ludicrous and year after year they pile up. So, unless you know for 100% certainty that the item is something your kids’ teacher wants, just skip the knick-knacks.

NOTE: If you know the teacher legit collects a certain item (like teacups, or starwars mugs) then by all means add to their collection. Just don’t don’t go over board!

Don’t buy anything, just to buy something

You are in no way obligated to buy your kids’ teacher a gift, so don’t just buy a random item just to give the teacher something. Even the best-intended gift can end in unintentional hurt. Sometimes just grabbing anything can give an ungrateful vibe instead of the thankful vibe you are trying to send.

If you feel obligated to gift the teacher something, check out the list of teacher approved items below.

Teacher Approved Gifts

Teachers are with our children a good portion of the day, and giving a gift to show your appreciation is a great way to show your appreciation for their hard work!

Here are some things that are teacher approved…

Gift Cards

Not to get political, but not all teachers get paid through the summer. So when kids are home resting and relaxing this time of year can be really stressful for the teachers. Giving gift cards can allow teachers an opportunity to relax and get some much-needed self-care throughout the (sometimes stressful) summer.

NOTE: I know sometimes we feel like gift cards are an impersonal touch to gift giving, but this is actually the #1 request from teachers!

Here are some top notch gift card ideas:
  • Fancy Restaurant
  • Really Nice Coffee Bar (like Starbucks, or somewhere they use real mugs)
  • Spa Stores (like LUSH 😍 )
  • Massage Therapy
  • Movie Theater (make sure the theater is nearby and not 2 hours away)

Practical Items

Teachers love practical items they would not typically purchase for themselves and some like to get office/classroom supplies.

As a self-proclaimed office supply snob, I will say these kinds of items can be tricky so if you are thinking the office supply route, I would just give a gift card so they can pick their favorites.

NOTE: Don’t forget what I said about avoiding the Cliche “worlds best” and “#1 Teacher!”

Practical Gift Suggestions:

Don’t forget the thank you note!

Whether you decide to skip the gift or go all out, don’t forget to send a heartfelt thank you note. These teachers do so much to help give our kids a great foundation of learning. They genuinely and deeply care about the children they teach as if they were their own kids. So be sure to include a handwritten note thanking them for significant differences they made in your child’s life.

Here are some things to prompt some ideas of what to include:
  • What fears did your child overcome?
  • What subjects were they struggling with that they now like or understand better?
  • Did they dislike school last year and love to go now?
  • Have you seen your child’s curiosity bloom?
  • Does your child speak of their teacher often?

need a cute card?

check out these super cute custom cards by Paper Bird Art Shop

thank you gifts teachers actually want

I can’t wait to hear what you decided to gift your kid’s teacher so comment below with what you decided!

Need help brainstorming? Comment below or send me a message and I will help you brainstorm!