Not every wedding uses a seating chart. For my wedding, we didn’t use one but there were a couple of reasons for that. Does your wedding need a seating chart? Here are some things to consider and help you decide.
Keywords: wedding, wedding day, wedding sign, wedding seating chart, seating chart, COVID
Wedding planning is hard. There are so many pieces to try and coordinate. Often you are asked “how many guests are you expecting?” Most people can answer that question pretty quickly. The guest list has been made and numbers calculated so you can get a venue the right size and order enough food for all your guests.
One of the first questions I ask clients is “how many invitations will you need?” I always follow up with “how many guests are you expecting?” More often than not they give me their guest count as an answer to both those questions. It is one of the only things that is NOT guest count you will encounter while planning your wedding so it can be confusing.
So how many invitations do you need? I always suggest counting addresses. You will send one invitation to each household. If there are multiple adults living in the same house you will want to send one to each family unit. So if mom lives with her adult son and his spouse, mom would get an invitation and son and spouse would get a separate one. Typically you will need about 60% of the guest count. So if you have 200 guests you will need about 120 invitations. I always suggest adding 5-10 more so you have a keepsake and in case there are last minute people that get added to the guest list.
So if I were to ask you “how many invitations do you need?” I hope you feel better prepared to answer the question.
Keywords: wedding, save the date, wedding invitations, ordering wedding invitations, ordering save the dates, shop local
Styled shoots are so fun. It is always nice to meet up with friends and make new friends while being creative. With weddings being rare this year there has been a lot of opportunity for creatives to get together and created some fun shoots.
Krystle Allen with Krystle Clear Events is a wedding planner and designer extraordinaire. She put together a team of vendors to showcase the beauty that is the Eola Hills Legacy Estate Vineyard in Salem, Oregon. Just a couple miles once you cross over the bridge from downtown Salem to West Salem is this beautiful oasis with a view of the coast range.
Krystle created classy tables using a farm table and jewel tone items. Her eye for detail is #lifegoals. You can tell it is her passion and she has found her calling.
Alana with Flowers by Alana used orange and blue flowers along with greenery to accent the tables. The bouquet was stunning as well.
Nothing Bundt Cakes don't just have a catchy name.... they also make delicious desserts. These Bundtinis were red velvet and lemon. Not gonna lie... desserts made be my favorite part of styled shoots. ;)
Morgan Nichols did a wonderful job on Grace's makeup. Grace was a beautiful canvas and Morgan did a great job.
Grace and Taylor looked great in their outfits as well. It is always fun to work with models that are a couple in real life. You can't fake this chemistry.
Taylor was dashing in his tux from The Black Tux. Grace was adorned with a dress from Adorned in Grace (see what I did there? See.... I'm punny!).
This photo I shared on instagram shows how well the photographers and videographer worked together. Maybe I started on the wine a little early.... I cannot confirm or deny.... It was a vineyard after all!!!
It takes many hands to put these styled shoots together and this team was great. All are definitely professionals. Honored to be in the same space.
Here is the list of all the wonderful professionals who put all of this together:
Venue: Eola Hills Legacy Estate Vineyard | Instagram | Facebook |
Coordination/Styling: Krystle Clear Events | Instagram | Facebook |
Photography: Emily Skye Photography | Instagram | Facebook |
Photography: Ashley Masters Photography | Instagram | Facebook |
Photography: Alisha Hale Photography | Instagram | Facebook |
Videography: Valley Trademark Photography | Instagram | Facebook
Flowers: Flowers by Alana | Instagram | Facebook |
Rentals: For the Love of Pete Rentals | Instagram | Facebook |
Dessert: Nothing Bundt Cakes-Clackamas | Instagram | Facebook |
Models: Grace and Taylor | @grac_eelizabeth | grace.roth5 |
Makeup: Morgan Nichols | Instagram | Facebook |
Dress: Adorned in Grace | Instagram | Facebook |
Suit: The Black Tux | Instagram | Facebook |
Stationery: Blue Bonsai Printing | Instagram | Facebook |
Etsy is a wonderful marketplace. I sell on Etsy, so it is not that I have anything against Etsy. I also offer printing services for those that buy designs off Etsy for their save the dates and invitations. But as an Etsy seller and print shop there are some warnings I want to share.
1) Designs using copyrighted images- anything with a cartoon character or their likeness is illegal. I am sure you are thinking “but that stuff is all over Etsy!” Yes, it is but that doesn’t change the fact that it is illegal. Etsy is shutting down shops for posting illegal items. But what does this mean for you? If you buy a design that is illegal you will not be able to get it printed by a business. FedEx, UPS, Office Depot, Staples, Blue Bonsai, your local print shop- none of these places will print illegal designs because printing an illegal document is also illegal. No business will risk the repercussions of printing an illegal document. I have had so many people contact me asking if I would print a design with copyrighted material that they bought off Etsy. I hate to hear the frustration in their voice when they realize they have no options of getting them printed commercially.
2) Printables not set up for printing- if you buy a file on Etsy and the file is not set up properly it makes it hard or impossible to print, for you or a print shop. If a design is supposed to go all the way to the edge of the file will need to have a bleed on the design. If it doesn’t the design is not able to be printed to the edge. If the designer can’t define a “bleed” you should be wary. The other problem is resolution. A low-resolution file will look horrible when printed. If the file is set up low, you can’t do anything about it. The owner of the file (the Etsy seller) would need to fix it. They may not even know they care creating a low-resolution file which means they won’t be able to fix it.
3) Be wary of “editable” files- these are usually PDFs that have specific fields that you can change. But you have the fonts on your computer or it won’t work. You also can’t edit them on a mobile device typically. It is much easier for you to get a file that the designer changes for you and sends to you as a completed PDF so all you have to do is print.
If you choose to get a design off Etsy I hope I have given you some tips for saving yourself some headaches!!!
Keywords: wedding, wedding invitation, save the dates, Etsy
Respondez s’ilvous plait
RSVP questions are the second most common questions I get about wedding stationery after “when do I mail everything?” The most common questions I get are:
You may have asked yourself these questions too. RSVPs are a necessary evil of wedding planning. It is important to collect them so you can account for every guest. Let’s go through and answer each of these questions.
1) How do I collect RSVPs?
There are 3 ways to collect RSVPs that I recommend- through mail, email, or online. Which method you choose is based on your preference and the way you think will be most successful in getting your guests to actually respond. There are pros and cons to each method. There are things to consider when choosing which route is best for you and your wedding.
Mail- This is the most traditional way of collecting RSVPs. Before the advancement of technology this was the only way you had guests respond. If you are having a formal wedding this is the route of collecting RSVPs that fits that style of wedding. Having your guests mail back their RSVPs is the most successful way to get your guests to respond, as long as you put stamps on the RSVP. Whether you choose a postcard or a card with envelope this method with the stamp provided is the most effective.
Email- I recommend using this method only if you have a dedicated wedding email address. If you use your regular email you have a higher chance of losing the emails in all your regular email. This also helps keep all of them in one place and you have a lower chance of overlooking.
Online- If you have a wedding website through any of the big wedding companies (The Knot, Wedding Wire, etc.) it probably includes the option to collect RSVPs online. The drawback to this method is that the RSVP function can be cumbersome to set up and may be difficult for your older guests to use.
2) Why do I need to do RSVPs?
There are two reasons why you need an accurate guest count- food and seating.
Food- Your caterer and baker will need to know an accurate guest count. They will need to make sure they have enough food to accommodate your guests. Whether you are having a buffet reception or a plated dinner your caterer will need to know how much food needs to be prepared. Your baker will want to make sure your cake is the right size. You also don’t want to pay for more people to eat than you have to.
Seating- If you are setting up seating for your ceremony you need to set up enough chairs plus an additional 15-20% in order to make sure everyone is comfortable and everyone can still find a seat where they can see the altar. If you are choosing to do a seating chart you will need to know very accurately in order to assign the seats for all guests. If you choose not to do a seating chart you will still want to be sure there is enough seating for everyone and not have anyone missing a seat or having families have to sit apart from one another.
3) When should RSVPs be due?
RSVPs should be due 1 month before your wedding. If your caterer or baker needs a final head count more than 14 days before your wedding date you should make your RSVP date 2 weeks before the due date. I recommend having the extra time because not everyone will RSVP so you will have to track down some people and that gives you enough time to do that and ease some stress.
4) How do I track RSVPs?
A simple spreadsheet will do wonders. You can use the same spreadsheet to collect addresses and track all information in one spreadsheet. As soon as you get an RSVP returned you can go in and mark the response as well as the number of guests. If you have guests’ responses like food restrictions or song requests those can go in the spreadsheet as well.
5) What about food choices?
If you are having a plated dinner with food options, you need to make sure guests know the choices and how to let you know of their choice. Email RSVPs typically don’t work for this because people will RSVP but forget to mention a food choice. Mailed RSVPs are a better option because with it right on the card people are much less likely to forget to complete the food choice section.
However you choose to handle RSVPs be sure to be detailed and diligent. This will be one of the most frustrating parts of the wedding planning process. I hope the answers to these questions help alleviate some of the stress.
Keywords: wedding, RSVPs, wedding day, wedding date, invitation design, invitation details
This was a different introduction to a client but I loved it. I participated in a contest with Kel Ward Photography. I contributed a $250 gift certificate towards stationery for the winner. Danielle and Kasey were the winners!!! So they were stuck with me! Lol.
Danielle had an idea of what she was looking for and was able to send me many pictures (thank you Pinterest!). She knew she wanted a mandala in the design and wanted it printed on kraft cardstock. I don’t do many invitations on kraft but I was looking forward to the opportunity.
A key element for their invitations was having their names inside the mandala. By their nature mandalas don’t have empty centers so I was going to have to create one. That was step one because I couldn’t build the invitation until I had the centerpiece of the design.
I came up with 2 designs for the mandala and sent them to Danielle. She loved them both and picked one. They wanted a more casual invitation so that meant needing to stay away from formal fonts. I came up with a few options and sent them over. I wanted the couple to pick what fit their wedding best. They chose one of the designs I did but wanted to see it in an olive-green color instead of black. That was the element that got a “perfect! I love it!” response from them.
Their wedding invitation suite included 2 inserts. They were having guest RSVP on their wedding website so 1 insert had that information on it. The second insert was an accommodations card. Almost all of their guests were traveling to attend their wedding and the wedding was at a resort, Chinook Winds Casino.
The invitations and inserts were all printed on a heavyweight 130lb kraft cardstock. Kraft cardstock is hard to find in such a heavy weight but I prefer the heavier weight because of the sturdiness it provides the invitations. This is an element that could not be found when ordering online from a big retailer like Shutterfly or Vistaprint.
I love when a couple comes to me with an idea and working with the couple the vision becomes a reality. This was my first suite done on kraft card stock. I have done many since, but this was my first. I was immensely proud of the final product and I was even happier that the client loved it.
Thank you, Danielle, for working with me and trusting me with your vision.
Keywords: wedding contest, wedding, invitations, wedding invitations, kraft cardstock, destination wedding invitations
I love what I do. I get to be involved in creating dream stationery for wonderful couples. But as Uncle Ben said in Spiderman “with great power comes great responsibility.” (Lol- my inner nerd is showing… I know!) Some couples come up with the coolest ideas, but they scare me! Enter Emily and Jeremiah.
Emily contacted me and said they were having a Wizard of Oz/Native American themed wedding. What a cool idea! As you can imagine they could not find an invitation to match this fusion theme. Enter you friendly neighborhood custom stationery designer! My excitement to be involved was quickly followed by “can I do this?”
Luckily, Emily had an extremely specific idea of what she was looking for, so she was able to tell me and guide me along this collaboration. The colors, what she wanted included, even the font type. I love when I send a design to a client and the response is “Yes!” Even “yes but…” is a great response. Knowing we are on the same page is so rewarding.
Emily drew a dreamcatcher that was being used in other elements of their wedding and she wanted it included in the invitations. More of that “can I do this?” panic began to set in. But I was ready for the challenge and I was determined to get it right. I jumped in and started to digitally recreate her drawing.
Throughout this process I sent dozens of emails to Emily asking what she liked and what she wanted changed. I may have bordered on annoying! But I tell all my clients at the beginning of the process to always be honest. I want my clients to get the perfect design so if it isn’t perfect please tell me. I can keep making changes. If I am way off on your design vision, please tell me and don’t worry about hurting my feelings. Emily took my word on that and always told me what needed changed. The color shades were difficult to get perfect, but we got there. I would rather send a design 100 times to get it right than have a couple feel like they must settle with the first one.
Once the invitation was done we moved on to the info card. They were having a camping weekend wedding so there was a lot of information for their guests as well as a map. My process is to do the invitation and then use the elements to make the matching pieces. Emily decided she wanted the dream catcher and the yellow brick road on the information card as well. It tied the card together nicely in a suite.
While this theme was out of the box, I was so happy I took on the challenge. In the end, I was proud of the finished product and Emily and Jeremiah were happy. What more could I ask for?!
Keywords: wedding, wedding invitation, RSVP card, wedding theme, Wizard of Oz wedding, Native American wedding, custom wedding invitation design
On average, couples hire 13 wedding vendors for their wedding according to Wedding Wire. Thankfully most of these relationships end up perfect for the couple but there are always a few exceptions. Disappointments tend to happen when a couple hires a “vendor” but not a “professional.”
So how can you know you are hiring a professional? Here are some tips to spot a professional:
Be sure to hire a professional for your wedding. Like the saying goes “If you think it is expensive to hire a professional, just wait until you hire an amateur.”
Keywords: wedding, wedding professional, wedding vendor, wedding pro, hiring a wedding professional
Every wedding needs invitations. You have many possibilities when it comes to wedding stationery. You have the option to buy them online by choosing a template or you can work with a stationer. There are many reasons to choose to work with a stationer over a big online retailer.
All the people you choose to work with for your wedding should be professionals and your stationer is no exception. Just like your other professionals they want to make your day extremely special. Take care when choosing where to get your wedding stationery and don’t be afraid to ask questions. A stationer would love to answer them and be the choice for your wedding.
Keywords: wedding, wedding stationery, wedding budget, wedding invitations, custom wedding invitations, save the dates, stationer
Every stationer has a design bucket list. Designs we want to do for a client. I am no exception. One of those on my design bucket list was a passport wedding invitation.
So when Amanda contacted me about a passport invitation I was so excited! (Note: I am excited to hear from everyone but every so often there is a little extra excitement). I was ready to jump into this project.
I have a passport so I know what they look like. Lol. But one element that needed to be considered was what makes it art versus a felony for falsifying a legal document. I am not one for committing crimes (I won’t copy a design either). What I learned was as long as it didn’t look like an actual passport of any country in the world I was good to go. Sweet!
Amanda and Tim’s colors were burgundy and gray. I suggested burgundy for the background color on the invitations and gray for the font and envelopes. They really liked the idea. Amanda sent some pictures that could work and told me which ones were her favorite. I thought a nice element to add depth to the design was a world map behind the writing on the page with the details of information about the wedding. Amanda and Tim really liked the idea. As a bonus it made the text on that page slightly easier to read.
Once the design was done I began printing. I did a test print and the gray was too dark and made it almost impossible to read. I had to lighten the gray a little to make it easier to read. This is a big reason why I prefer doing my own printing instead of outsourcing so that I can adjust during the printing process to make the best final product.
The passport invitation was so much fun to work on and I was so excited for the end result. The passport style was perfect for their cruise destination wedding.
Keywords: wedding, destination wedding, passport wedding invitation, passport invitation, destination wedding invitations