Since launching my first wedding collection earlier this year, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with several brides in different stages of the planning process. Some have come to our meeting prepared with pictures and lists and binders, and others seem a little overwhelmed when it comes to this stage of the process. I’m always happy to help no matter what stage of planning you are in, but doing a little homework ahead of time is always helpful!
Here are three things I'd suggest doing or working on before you meet with your wedding stationer:
1 | YOUR GUEST LIST
While you certainly don’t need to have it finalized, having worked on your guest list will help your stationer understand how many suites will need to be provided. If you’ve secured your reception space, you probably already have a general idea of how many people you can, or will invite. Knowing that number is very helpful in generating quotes and giving you the most accurate estimate of costs.
Most people know this, but I’ll share it anyway. Guest count and invitation count are two different numbers. As a general rule, the number of invitations you need for your wedding is your (Guest Count / 2) + 20%. If you’re inviting 100 people to your wedding, most likely 80% of those people are couples. You would need 50 invitations (plus an additional 10) to allow for guests who are single, and last minute additions. I actually always suggest ordering more invitations than you think you'll need, just to have plenty for keepsakes, framing and pictures.
2 | KNOW YOUR STYLE
... and find it on Pinterest. This may seem pretty obvious, but I’m always surprised at the number of brides who don’t have a wedding inspiration board on Pinterest. It is certainly not a requirement – Pinterest wasn’t even around when I got married! – but imagery is the best possible way to communicate your vision. Even more important than saving other wedding invitations and designs, is for your stationer to understand what type of wedding you’re dreaming of. Anything from table displays to bouquets are helpful in deciding the direction of your wedding suite.
Similarly to knowing your style, I also find it very helpful to hear what you don’t like. Don’t want shimmer paper or ampersands or any shade of pink? Ok! As a visual person, I completely understand that sometimes its easier to say what you don’t want, instead of what you do. All that information is important, so don’t hold back in sharing things that you definitely don’t want to be a part of your wedding paper goods.
3 | KNOW YOUR BUDGET
Seven years ago when I was planning my own wedding, I used to roll my eyes when vendors would ask me my budget. In my eyes, they were going to skew their costs if I could afford more than their normal rate. So if I had a $1,000 floral budget, I didn’t want to tell the florist that – I wanted to her to come back and give me an estimate based on what I wanted, without knowing how much I could afford. I know, I was a jerk.
Now that I’m a wedding vendor myself, I realize how silly that all was. Vendors aren’t asking your budget because they want you to spend more than you can afford (well, I’m not at least!). I’m asking your budget so that I can help manage the expectations of what you can afford. If you tell me your budget is $1,000, I will give you every quote possible that comes in at $1,000. You can edit and add from there, but knowing that number is always a helpful starting point.
In the next few weeks I’ll be announcing a project that I’ve been working on behind the scenes, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Meeting with brides the last few months has made me realize that there are more tools I can offer to help the planning process when it comes to paper goods, and I know that this will be really helpful to all of you who are just starting to plan your wedding.
Have a happy and safe 4th, friends! We will be back next week with some insanely gorgeous photos you won’t want to miss!