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Are Custom Invitations Right for Me?

Today on the blog we are talking all about figuring out if custom stationery is the right move for you. If you have been here before we have established that for a lot of couples stationery is super confusing. So labels like custom, semi-custom and pre-made can really throw you for a loop if you don’t know what they are.

Are Custom Invites Right for Me

So that’s why today I am going to lay out the facts about each style of stationery and let you know everything you need need to make the right decision for yourself. Within each category I will cover the three main things that tend to make or break couple’s decisions on stationery: investment, customization, and timing.

Wanna jump ahead?

Let’s start with the most common option first…

pre-made designs

Pre-made designs are the bulk of the stationery market. Online market places like zazzle are filled with invitations that are designed and ready to purchase online. Click. Buy. Done.

timing

Pre-made stationery designs are the speedy delivery service of the stationery world. Most suppliers will have your order printed and shipped within just a few days! Which means, if you need to ship your order in 2 weeks or less then pre-made designs are the way to go!

customization

With pre-made invites, what you see is what you get! So, if you don’t like the colors or wording…don’t buy it! Unless you see color options within the stationery listing there is no way for you to change them. Pre-made designs are personalized (put your names, dates and locations) but can’t be customized. So if you really want to make sure that all the colors, fonts and wordings are just right you will want to skip ahead to semi-custom stationery.

Don’t forget to make sure you like everything and have forty million people proof read your digital proofs because any mistakes can be costly. (This goes for all stationery but especially when ordering from a larger company and an actual person isn’t working with you!)

investment

Hands down, pre-made designs are the most cost effective stationery option. Stationery gets more pricey the more time you spend with your designer, but since these guys are pre-made there is no designer time. This makes them extremely affordable with options as little as $1 per card!

semi-custom invitations

If you want invitations that won’t break the bank, won’t derail your timeline, and don’t sacrifice your personality then semi-custom designs are the way to go.

timing

Although semi-custom designs take longer than their pre-made siblings, you can have your stationery in as little as 4-6 weeks! Which to be honest is like warp speed in stationery terms.

customization

With semi-custom stationery, get the convenience of catalog shopping but with the option to make it your own. Changing colors and fonts (and depending on the designer even the wording) is not problem. Semi-custom designs also mean you get to work with a designer and have an avenue to ask questions! But if you are looking for a design that is unique and a custom fit for your big day then skip ahead to custom stationery.

we (designers) each do semi-custom a bit differently so, before ordering your stationery from one of our online stationery boutiques, read our policies on what kind of changes are included in our semi-custom designs. Some designers will tweak fonts, colors, paper and wording while other may only do colors or fonts.

So be safe and ask questions before saying your semi-custom stationery “I Do’s!”

investment

Semi-custom stationery sits right in the middle of the affordability scale. But the fact that you get a stationery adviser with your stationery you may find that it is totally worth it. Specific pricing varies from vendor to vendor, but suites usually start around $8 per suite (FYI you typically send one suite per household).

Sneak a peak at my semi-custom stationery designs to get a better feel for pricing and offerings.

custom stationery

If you don’t want stationery that’s blah and generic, but want invitations that are as unique and special as you and your partner are for each other then custom stationery is a must! Not to mention custom stationery opens the doors to some AMAZING options (i’ll get into that a bit more in the customization section).

timing

Custom stationery is a process but is totally worth it! Typically you start working with your designer 8+ months out from your wedding. This may seem long, but your designer does all the work for you.

Here is a list of some the things I take off my client’s hands to give them peace of mind:

  • coordinate with vendors to make sure the colors and vibe are just right
  • handle all the revisions, tweaking, printing and pressing
  • address every envelope and assemble #allthethings
  • curate postage and mail the suite
  • hand off suite to photographer for a keepsake photo
When it comes to custom stationery, there is no such thing as booking too early.

The more fancy schmancy you make your invitations the longer the process takes. Luxury invitations like letterpress and foil printing are gorgeous but can add 4-6 additional weeks to your stationery timeline depending on the season and your designers availability. To make sure you have ample amount of time with you designer, I suggest reaching out at least 8 months in advance. A good rule of thumb is to book your designer when you book your venue and photographer.

customization

With custom stationery the sky is the limit and you will definitely blow your guests away! From beloved pet, adding a custom map for your destination wedding, or having custom upholstered invitation boxes the perfectly match your wedding vision one thing is for sure – your design will be an awesome reflection of you, your partner and your love.

Just like snowflakes, no two designers are alike! I highly suggest to you go stalk some designers’ websites and instagrams and see which designers you think will align with your stationery vision.

Once you narrow down your dream designers to one (or three) reach out and schedule a quick chat to see if you are a perfect fit for one another. The custom stationery process requires a lot of trust and honesty (from both parties), so making sure your a good fit ahead of time will prevent heartache at the end. (When I say good fit I mean Cinderella trying on the glass slipper and marrying the prince kind of fit!)

investment

There’s just no sugar coating it, Custom Stationery is the most expensive stationery option, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be affordable.

For instance, my custom design services start as low as $2467 for 100 suites! That means you get a fully customized, totally you design less than $25 per suite. And it includes all this:

  • Invitations (double sided with room for extra pizazz)
  • RSVP Cards (double sided with room for DJ requests, date night suggestions and more)
  • Enclosure Cards to tell your guests #allthethings
  • Invitation and RSVP Envelopes
  • Matching Invitation and RSVP Envelope Liners (read: extra places to make it totally you)

Not to mention one-on-one time with me, where I walk you through every step of the process with video calls and a thorough revision process.

are custom invitations right for me beauty bright design Lincoln ne

So what will you choose?

I hope this break down was helpful in making your decision! Be sure to comment below with which stationery option is best for you.

Are you ready to make your stationery dreams come true?

Enter your email below to get instant access to my pricing guide and when to send calculator!

Business Basics: My CRM Love Affair with Dubsado and Why I made the switch from Honeybook!

Before starting Beauty Bright Design, I was in the corporate realm (and before that the US Air Force) and I specialized in workflow and program development. Which essentially meant I would make step by step processes to help departments run more smoothly and improve the client experience. So, when I first started designing stationery, it was extremely annoying for me to not have any systems or workflows in place (because when you are starting out, it’s not like you know exactly how things are going to flow 😉)

After a while, I new I needed something to help my streamline some processes and so I began looking for something to help out! At first that mean using Quick Books Self-Employed, which was great for invoicing and managing my expenses and profits but not great for automating workflows. And then I found Honeybook which at the time was exactly what I needed (at the time…)

My CRM Love Affair with Dubsado

Honeybook brought a new world to my business simple automations, email templates, contract (with legal signatures), it was great…for awhile.

As I grew, so did my want to improve my client’s experience. I wanted to be able to create forms, questionnaires and more with my branding. I wanted to have a portal for my clients where they could access all their projects in one place. And I really wanted to automate #allthethings!

I run a creative business and I wanted to have a creative client experience!

Knock…Knock….Dubsado here to save the day!

I am not sure how to express my love for dubsado other than it’s like a ooey gooey brownie with all the toppings you thought you could ever want, but it keeps regenerating with even more exciting and delicious toppings and it’s completely free of calories!

I think that pretty well summarizes my love….*sighs lovingly with star dream eyes*. . .

Anyway. . .

Let’s dive into a couple of my favorite features that drew me in!

No Time Limit to your FREE Trial!

Yep, you read that right! The team at Dubsado understands that it takes time to know if you like something, so they have a no-time-limit free trial. Your trial gives you full access to all the features Dubsado has to offer for up to three clients! That is amazeballs, because that means you can take your time getting acquainted.

Complex Workflows

The automated workflows in Dubsado are AMAZING! They allow you to create complex, if-then automation for your entire workflow!

What does that mean?

well…

  • Let’s say someone hops on your website and submits a request for pricing information.
  • Dubsado can then send them a pricing guide that is clickable and fillable. The perspective client fills out the pricing guide and selects the services they want and submits the form.
  • The system can then send their contract & invoice and the client signs & pays.
  • Dubsado then uploads your welcome guide, how to videos, client questionnaires and sends the customer an email saying their client portal is waiting for them.

And the best part is all this was done without you doing anything!

Your Brand is Front and Center

You can upload, format and showcase all your brand colors, graphics and fonts with the custom CSS fields in all the forms. This was huge for me! One of my biggest pet peeve’s not having a cohesive brand throughout everything! (don’t look at my early instagram…haha!)

Plus…

With Dubsado’s white labeling feature, your clients never even know Dubs is helping you out, they just think you’re awesome!

Constant Updates

Dubsado was created by creatives for creatives and they are constantly stepping up their game!

I feel like new features are added every 3 weeks, which for a a massive tool like Dubsado is huge!

Scheduling

It may still be in beta, but Dubsado’s scheduling tool means you don’t need to pay to be able to automate scheduling consults with your clients!! (Although you could if you want to with the embed feature on the forms!)

The scheduler is pretty awesome and allows you to create endless appointment types and can even send forms and reminders. Paired with workflows, automating your business is easier than ever!

My Journey to find the Best CRM for me and whiy Dubsado is my new bestie!

Ready to put your biz on auto?

If you want to try out Dubsado for yourself, here is my affiliate link! Remember you get three for free, so take your time exploring. Oh, and if you fall head over heels madly in love with dubsado like I did, that link
(and this one) will get you 20% off your first month or year!!!

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The Single Most Important Step When Booking Your Vendor

When wedding and party vendors get together, we are always dreaming up new ways to wow your socks off and bring you bomb ass designs.

But, sometimes, we also talk about what we wish our clients knew BEFORE they started planning their big event. This week I am talking about THE single most important step you can take when booking your vendors, and it happens to also be the #1 thing you vendors wish you knew!

The Single Most Important Step When Booking Your Vendor

What vendors want you to know…

So here is the thing, a vendor’s calendar is limited to a select few dates a year (…which sucks we know!) We totally wish we could take on every wedding, shower, birthday or whatever else that comes along, but it’s just not humanly possible.😞 So that means, that dates get booked up extremely fast and really early!

Case and Point…

While at the Pittsburgh Wedding Expo (November 2018) I met with hundreds of couples looking for vendors for their 2020 (and some 2021) weddings. They were 18-24 months from their wedding and already booking vendors! So, that meant that couples with short engagements, who were trying to book vendors for their 2019 wedding, were stuck with leftover dates from couples with longer engagements who had booked 12+ months prior!

Crazy right?

So the most important thing…

Book early!

The single most important step in booking your ideal vendor is to book them early!

….like way early

…like picked a date for your epic bash and five minutes later you’re calling to schedule consults with your dream vendors early.

And remember, there is no such thing as too early, only too late!

So when is the best time to book me, your wedding stationery designer?

Excellent question! So you have seen my Bea-YOU-tiful work and want your stationery to look just as good, let me tell you how!

Ideally, I want to start hearing from you as soon as you select your date! Usually this tends to fall at about a year out. But as I stated above, the sooner the better!

If you are a calendar person who adores knowing exact timelines, here is my perfect and ideal timeline to get started on your stationery!

14 Months Out from Your Wedding

Start talking about Save the Dates. You know, the things that let everyone know that there is going to be a big event and if they need to take leave/travel, start planning now! Aren’t sure if you even want to send save the dates? Check this post out for your answers!

8-6 Months Out from Your Wedding

It’s time to get a moving on your invitations! 6 months is the absolute minimum that I want to hear from you for your custom wedding invitations! It isn’t because I’ll hate you if you contact me after this time, but this gives us THE PERFECT timeline to get your stationery EXACTLY the way you want it and printed and all pretty!

Ready to jump all in? Fill out this form to get started!

Eh, I need just a few more details!

No problem!

Check out my process to your dream stationery, here.

Check out my gorgeous work, here.

And meet your designer by gong here.

The Single Most Important Step When Booking Your Vendor
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