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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.

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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Is DIY right for me?

After about 4.2 seconds on Pinterest, even the least creative person in this galaxy will want to try a DIY project. I mean those pins make everything look so effortless and simple. Now, I am pretty savvy at DIY and I still have had an epic #pinterestfail (or twenty).

A huge trend I am seeing is that couples want to DIY their stationery for their wedding. Now, I will be the first person to support them in that endeavor if they are experienced DIY-ers. If they aren’t, I really try and encourage the couple to re-think their DIY hopes and dreams and walk them through how much it would cost if it were to end in #DIYdisaster.

So before going off and getting your heart set on rocking a DIY stationery suite for your next event, let’s talk about whether or not this is your thing and if so, what tasks are best for you and won’t make your head explode. (We don’t need anyone slinging paper throwing stars!)

quiz time!

Ok, let’s be real, not everyone is cut out for the DIY life and that is completely ok!

I mean if you find macaroni art perplexing….then this may not be the time to experiment with your DIY prowess. So, if you are thinking about creating your own stationery suite go ahead and take my “cosmo” style quiz. (Click on the image to download the PDF version of the quiz!)

if most of your answers were, “what’s this?”…

If you read through those questions and didn’t feel confident about any of them, then set down the DIY supplies and just walk away.

Stepping away from the DIY, doesn’t mean you can’t save money by helping out. You can still absolutely cut costs by assembling (stuffing) your own stationery, or maybe if you have really nice handwriting (and don’t mind a hand cramp or two,) you could hand address your envelopes. I have a post that walks you through how to addresses your invitations here.

The best advice I can give you is to start researching different designers and styles to see what best fits your event’s vibe. Before committing to a specific designer, be sure to reach out to them and discuss your vision. Picking a designer is like dating, you really need them to understand you for it to all be happily ever after.

Here are a few of my favorite stationery designers (besides me of course! 😝)

Watercolor Stationery Suites

I absolutely love Cami Monet’s Custom Suites! She has some pretty epic custom watercolor maps and can even incorporate your fur-babies!

Calligraphy Stationery Suites

For custom calligraphy stationery suites, ElisaAnne Calligraphy is the way to go. (Her watercolors are awesome too!)

Need help figuring out a way to compare designers, check out my post about questions to ask your stationer.

if most of your answers were, “i guess”…

If you read through the questions and know you 100% can do at least some of the things I talked about in the previous section, then you can totally sprinkle in some DIY tasks. Just remember to play to your strengths to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Are you really design savvy?

Then create a beautiful color palette that is totally you to give to your designer. They can take that palette and run with it to create an out of this world suite that will wow your guests.

Are you computer savvy?

Well, if you have received enough wedding invitations in the past to know what (and what not) to include, then go ahead and design your own epic stationery suite.

If you are a cricut or silhouette pro don’t forget to brain storm about all the different shapes you can create to make your suite one of a kind.

Printing from will be easy peasy for a computer savvy person like yourself. So be adventurous with your paper for an extra pop of WOW! Just remember that (home) printers don’t print white, so be sure to take that into consideration before picking your favorite dark color.

Here are some of my favorite papers to get you started…
Stardream

Neenah Stardream is a metallic or shimmery paper. It is nice and heavy which is perfect for invitation suites. There are a bunch of colors to choose from and has a bunch of size options. They even have envelopes!

Plike

Another favorite from Neenah, Plike is a smooth touch paper that feels almost a velvety. The only downside is the color selection is limited to nine paper colors and only three envelope colors.

Make Way…DIY Pro Walking Through!!!

If you felt confident about pretty much everything, you may be on the wrong career path! 🤣🤣🤣 JK!

Ok, but for real…

With your wealth of knowledge and expertise, you can create an epic one-of-a-kind stationery suite that will sweep you guests off their feet!

so…which one are you?

Be sure to share your results on Instagram with the hashtag #bbdquiz or you can tag me @beautybrightdesign. You can even use one of these graphics for your IG story!

Just remember that overwhelming yourself with too many DIY tasks for your event has the potential to end in disaster. It’s definitely worth it to take a self-assessment of how much you have bitten off and seeing if you can chew.

As your guide to the land of stationery, I am always here to help you if you just don’t know which direction to go. Be sure to comment below with any questions you have!

Woman standing holding a present with words saying how much diy life is too much for me.

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