Some couples have this notion that invitation suites are a waste of money, because guests often just throw them out. But as a firm lover of stationery, I will ALWAYS beg to disagree. Invitations are the best way to set the tone and get your guests excited for your Big Day and they serve as great keepsakes too! An announcement delivered in style will create a first impression that will set your wedding apart. Scroll on for tips to make your wedding invitations the best they can be! Special shout out to Sandy from SanStation for her expertise on the subject matter!
Tip #1: Work out a budget.
You may be rolling your eyes at the obviousness of this one, but surprisingly most people actually underestimate the cost of wedding stationery. There are two basic options when you get them professionally done: You can either pick out a ready-made design (semi-custom) which usually only allows for minor tweaking. Semi-custom suites take less time, come with no surprises, and are easier on the wallet. A basic set of 100 semi-custom invites will cost HK$4,000 and up.
If you want a really specific design, then a fully-custom suite is the way to go. Be prepared to spend time with your stationery designer and shell out a bit more for this option. Fully-custom services will set you back around HK$15,000 for a minimum of 100 sets. Of course crafty brides on a budget also have the option to D.I.Y. your suites for a more personal and creative touch. Just make sure you have ample time to do them well so as not to get stressed out by the process.
Tip #2: Finalize the details.
Before you start talk to a stationer, make sure you have already confirmed the size of your guest list, wedding date, and venue. This will make the communication and design process much more efficient for all parties involved.
Tip #3: Define your style.
Come prepared with the peg or theme you want your invitation suites to have. Consult with your parents if they have any input as some may have specific requests such as incorporating lucky colors like red or gold. Cross-cultural unions should also take into consideration the sensitivities of their respective families in order to avoid possible headaches.
Tip #4: Know which invitation components you want.
There are no strict rules on the components of invitation suites, so it is up to you to decide on what to include in your suite. The only required item is, of course, the main invitation. The rest is optional: Chinese invitation, RSVP card, wedding detail cards (map, accommodation, transportation, website, wedding events), laisee packet, bakery coupon, etc.
Tip #5: Figure out timelines with your stationer.
Order everything at least two months before you have to send them out. Save the Dates for destination weddings must be sent out 9 months ahead in order to give guests ample time to figure out their travel plans. If a Save the Date has been given out, send out the formal invites four to six weeks before the wedding. On the other hand if no Save the Dates were sent out, send invites eight weeks before the wedding. For traditional Chinese families, they would send out invitations only after “過大禮” (“go dai lai”) is done.
Tip #6: Define your delivery scheme.
Decide on the proper way of addressing each guest: Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr/Rev, etc. Most couples prefer to hand deliver their invites, but for those that you need to send by post, be sure to collect the mailing addresses in proper format beforehand. Allot two weeks for delivery for overseas addresses.
Tip #7: Discuss any other wedding requirements.
After you have finished sending out the invitations, you can then discuss with your stationer other stationery and decor requirements for the wedding. These could be anything from menu cards, wedding programs, escort/place cards, gift tags, signs, etc.
And there you have it! We hope that these informative tips helped clear out a lot of your questions on wedding stationery and hopefully smoothen out any kinks in your planning process. We’re looking forward to seeing your gorgeous invites! Many thanks again to Sandy of SanStation for sharing with us her insightful advice along with her beautiful portfolio. Be sure to check out her work, and also stay tuned for a special giveaway coming up this afternoon!