You decided to hire a professional wedding stationery designer for your wedding invitations. Great choice! Your first meeting is scheduled with the designer - not sure what to bring with you, what questions will be asked, or what details you might forget during the meeting? Here are a few helpful tips to get you prepared for your first design consult.
Have a set wedding date and time.
I would suggest meeting with your stationery designer 6-7 months out from your wedding date. Your wedding invitations should be ordered 3-4 months in advance to allow time for assembly and addressing (I do offer assembly and addressing services to help assist in the process). Your wedding invitations should be mailed out 2 months prior to your wedding to allow adequate time for response cards to be returned.
Tip - Will you be hosting a cocktail hour before the reception? You’ll want to note those details on the reception card.
Wedding venue secured.
The location for the ceremony and reception will help set the tone for your wedding. There are traditional request lines, one indicates the ceremony will be in a house of worship, the other that it will not.
Is your wedding formal or casual?
You don’t want your guests to show up at your wedding underdressed or overdressed for the event. Your invitation needs to reflect the formality of the event.
Please bring your wedding color swatch samples. This will help the designer determine the correct Pantone color match and coordinate paper samples.
Often when I meet with brides they have no idea on a budget for their wedding invitations. This is so important, the last thing I want to do is show you print styles that are no where near your budget. I often present a good, better, best approach when my brides are not sure. This way the couple and parents can see and review the invitation costs. Most couples allocate 4-8% of their budget to paper details. Working with me, I will be able to guide your choices to help you stick to your budget.
Tip - Please don’t forget to include postage in your budget!
Quantity to order.
I often have couples tell me they are going to need 250 invitations when in reality they are inviting 250 guests. Make sure you understand the question and answer appropriately, this will affect your cost per invitation. My number one recommendation, order 5 - 10% extra invitations, if you have to put in for a reorder these will often cost you more due to the small reorder quantity.
Your wedding suite.
You will need to determine the appropriate pieces to include in your invitation suite. Possible stationery pieces include the invitation, a reception card if held at a different venue from the ceremony, a response card and accommodations card.
Will you be sending inner and outer envelopes to your guest? (The inner envelope includes all guest names invited to the wedding, this is often omitted.) Do you prefer to have response cards returned in an envelope or would you like postcard style response cards? These are a few details to consider.
Will you be hand addressing your envelopes? Some stationery designers do offer envelope printing. It is important to check on the preferred file formatting for this option with the stationer. Would you like to use a calligrapher for these services? Ask your stationery designer if they can refer a calligrapher.
What other stationery details do you need?
Wedding details always look so much more amazing if they are cohesive, using the same fonts, colors and paper. Check out It’s not just invitations blog for additional stationery ideas for your wedding day.
Your wedding stationery designer will walk you through all of the above points. Know your wedding style – using 3 to 4 words to describe your style. Share your favorite stationery pins from Pinterest at your meeting. This will help inspire the designer and have a better understanding of the look and style you are trying to achieve.
A stationery designer can help this process run more smoothly and make sure you stay on target with your timeline. This person will become an important part of your wedding professional team and can coordinate details with other professionals. After leaving your consult you will feel confident with the information shared and know if this designer is the right fit for your wedding.