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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


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?

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The Knot’s 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Stationery Designer: Answered

Engagement season is finally here!

And that means congratulations are in order.

The internet is chocked full of a million and one websites that are geared toward helping you plan your big day. Some of my personal faves are Wedding Wire, Equally Wed, Carats + Cake, TheKnot.com and so many more!

Not only do they offer inspiration and nifty planning tools, but their blogs are loaded with awesome content. You can find every thing from how to find the best vendors to whether or not you should smear cake on your fiance at the reception. (I say DO IT!) I highly suggest looking at everything each site has to offer before making your final decision on which is best for you and your fiance. (I would love to give you a list of my favorite features, but that’s another blog post for another day ?.)

Some of the most helpful blog posts for newly engaged couples help you figure out how to find vendors that are right for you and your big day. Which brings me to today’s post. The Knot actually has a pretty awesome list of questions to ask your stationery designer, you can read the original post here. Well, today I am to answer all 10! Because, let’s be real,finding all these answers in one place will be way more helpful the searching everywhere.

So…let’s get to it!

10 Questions to Ask your Stationery Designer

1. Do you sell custom designs or invitation lines, and if so, which ones do you carry and how many are available?

I offer both custom and semi-custom options to fit everyone’s style and budget.

2. Do you specialize in a specific style or theme (for example, traditional or watercolor)?

I tend to design a little bit of everything, but that being said, I specialize in melding my clients’ personalities with their wedding theme. So…let’s say you decided on a masquerade ball theme for your wedding. You went with dark colors and your favorite musical is phantom of the opera. I may might incorporporate the phantom’s mask, or some of the song lyrics to make your invites more you.

3. Are there books I can browse through?

I don’t have any books, but I do feature a lot of my designs on my instagram. I DO bring a ton of physical examples to your custom design consult. That way you can browse through and see what you like (and what your don’t)

Since all of my designs are custom creations, not all of my previous designs may fit your style. I always encourage shooting over your pinterest boards showing styles you love. This helps me really get a feel for your style, likes and dislikes.

4. Are other personalized items available? If so, can I see examples and a price list?

Yes, I can design everything for your wedding from table numbers, to custom designs to print on rose petals. Essentially, if it can be printed, I can design it. If I am unable to print the item in my studio, I will help coordinate everything with the printer (like in the case of the rose petals.) You can grab your pricing guide and stationery timeline worksheet here.

5. How are invitations priced? Is there any benefit to purchasing other wedding paper (menus, escort cards) at the same time?

Bottom line: bundle, bundle, bundle

Ordering stationery a la carte is almost always the most expensive way to order your invitation suite. (This doesn’t just apply to me, but practically everywhere you buy things!) So… if you are looking to buy more than just an invitation card, the best way to save money is with my DIY bundles, and done-for-you printing bundles.

Ordering everything at once is the best way to order your stationery and here’s a few reasons why…

  • Placing your order all at once means you’ve locked in the lowest possible prices.

    Let’s say you order your Invitations in late 2018, but you don’t need programs until late 2019. If you wait to order the programs until you need them, you might end up paying more.

    Just because you ordered all of your stationery items at once doesn’t mean you have to solidify ALL the details for your programs when all you really need right now are your save the dates! We will create a custom timeline so you get the items you need when you need them.

  • I only take on 36 custom orders per year,and some seasons are busier than others.

    Booking everything at once, means you get on my calendar early and marked in permanent marker.

  • You are booking a sh*t ton of vendors, so spreading out payments can be a huge help!

    Every order is different and no two payment plans are alike. Although you can pay your entire balance at once, if you wish, most couples pay a down payment (to save their spot on my calendar) and spread the rest of the balance over the course of our journey together. It’s super convenient!

6. How much customization is possible?

Pretty much anything is possible, as long as it conforms to the laws of physics ?.

But for real…anything is possible.

  • wooden and clear invitations
  • upholstered invitation boxes
  • metallic paper
  • fonts
  • illustrations
  • and more…

7. What about calligraphy—do you work with anyone? Can you recommend someone?

I work with several calligraphers that I love and can even coordinate these services for you! If you would like me to recommend a calligrapher, shoot me a message with your location and I’ll see who’s closest to you.

8. Am I allowed to customize my invitation wording?

Absolutely! Invitations introduce you (and your fiance) to your guests. Honestly, by the time your moms get done with they guest list there will be a bunch of people you don’t event know (no offense, mom)! So making sure the wording reflects your personality is pretty important. For example, if you have a sarcastic personality, a formal worded invitation would be a bad fit. (I am all-for calling it like it is!) But if you are a more conservative person, then a more formal wording wouldn’t be out of place.

9. How long after I place my order will my invitations be delivered?

This really depends on the services you ordered and the style of your invitations, but I tell everyone that a minimum of 10 weeks is best.
NOTE: This does NOT mean 10 weeks from your wedding!!! This is 10 weeks from when you would like to send your invitations. In my pricing guide, there is a worksheet to help you find the best time to order your stationery, and you can grab it here

10. Once I’ve placed my order, will I be able to see a proof (what the invitation will look like) before the invitations are printed? What happens if there’s an error in the order?

Of course! If you have ordered a DIY bundle, I will send you digital proofs via e-mail for you to review and approve prior to printing. If you ordered done-for-you printing items, I will send you physical proofs of your invitation suite to approve prior to printing. I find that physical proofs make sure EVERYTHING, from the paper to the colors and fonts, is exactly how you want it to look.

All orders include 2 revisions, so we can tweak what you don’t like and make it your own. If we get through your second round of revisions and you feel you want more things tweaked, you can always purchase an extra round. I print exactly what you approve, so any errors found after approval that need to be addressed would be subject to reprinting fees.

Whew, we sure covered a lot!

Be sure to comment below with any additional questions you have. Want to know when new posts are live on the blog? You can sign up here

Are you ready to hit play and start your stationery journey?
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