Friday, November 28, 2008

Introducing...an even bigger selection.

With all the options that our custom designs offer alongside our decent catalog collection, we are often told that our invitation selection is great. But we don't want to be great - we want to be the best! And so in an effort to achieve the best invitation selection in town, Stacy and I have carefully selected additional invitation catalogs showcasing new vendors, new styles and new price points! In addition to the extensive line of Carlson Craft and McPhereson invitations we have always carried, we are happy to bring you 7 new catalogs - 4 of which are extremely budget and enviromentally friendly. This list highlights some of our wedding catalogs and the price point for each.

Catalog Section of our studio

  • Affordably Inviting - $, $$ - A variety of economical layout options including Seal 'n Sends, Sep 'n Sends, and Z-Cards. Choose from a great selection of layouts and designs. Coordinating accessories help create a beautiful wedding at an affordable price.
  • Blue Book by Carlson Craft - $, $$ - Large selection of moderately-priced ensembles with a wide range of styles from traditional to contemporary.
  • Bridal Collection - $, $$ - Large selection of moderately-priced ensembles with a wide range of styles from traditional to contemporary.
  • By Request - $$, $$$ - Seasonal and Destination themes with coordinating Save the Dates for each ensemble!
  • Candlelight - $$, $$$ - Classic Wedding ensembles with a variety of invitation wording layouts and monogram designs for endless customization.
  • Diamond Collection - $, $$ - Large selection of moderately-priced ensembles with a wide range of styles from traditional to contemporary.
  • ES Wedding Collection - $$$$, $$$$$ - A timeless collection of classy, elegant, and modern styles. Now includes a selection of letterpress invitations.
  • Exclusive Collection II - $$$, $$$$ - The Exclusive Collection II™ Wedding features an array of incredible designs. This album presents 21 ensembles, each with 15 coordinating pieces. Customize any design by changing the colors!
  • Expressions of Love - $$$$, $$$$$ - A multitude of exquisite domestic and imported papers and fabrics are meticulously arranged with original embossing, translucent overlays, tasteful appliqu├ęs and unique type formats. Includes a selection of eye-catching designs with a pocket for the enclosures.
  • Naturally Ever After - $$, $$$ - Where Weddings and Nature Meet! This collection combines stunning, nature inspired artistry with richly textured, colorful papers.
  • Paper Duvet - $$, $$$ - This versatile album allows you to mix-and-match paper colors and styles to create unique invitations for any event. Includes a selection of wraps and pockets.
  • Pockets (Carlson Craft) - $$$, $$$$ - Large selection of Pocketfold Invitations in a variety of colors and styles. Mix and match colors and layouts to create a pocketfold unique to you!
  • Something Different - $$, $$$ - Truly unique invitations and accessories. Bold colors and styles, with a few traditional designs mixed in.
  • Timeless Love Collection - $$$, $$$$ - Large selection of moderately-priced ensembles with a wide range of styles from traditional to contemporary. Now includes customizable pocketfolds!
  • TRU Expressions - $$$, $$$$ - Modern and contemporary colors and styles.
  • TRU Flowers - $$$, $$$$ - Collections featuring, roses, calla lilies, daisies, and more!
  • TRU Seasons & Destinations - $$$, $$$$ - Featuring Fall and Winter seasonal themes, and destinations such as beach/tropics and Las Vegas.
  • TRU Sophistication - $$$, $$$$ - A bit of color and a touch of fun - perfect for the elegant contemporary couple!


Budget Points*:
$ = Less than $1.00
$$ = $1.00 to $3.00
$$$ = $3.00-$5.00
$$$$ = $5.00-$7.00
$$$$$ = More than $7.00
* Based on 100 quantity invitations with black ink.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

That's gonna cost how much to mail?!?!?!?

Stamped Wedding Invitation Envelope / Postage Costs

Before you mail your invitations, prepare yourself for a little bit of 'sticker shock'. The cost of postage can be pretty darn expensive! I'm sure you’ve heard "Stay away from square"...but these days, postage is not figured so much on the size of the envelope as it is the weight and thickness. Even if you rule out square invitations (in which you'd be ruling out some of the cutest options out there...) you might find that by the time you stuff your envelopes and have them weighed, they will cost the same as – if not more than – mailing a square envelope.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to postage:
  • Take a fully assembled invitation and all components of the ensemble (including a stamped RSVP envelope) to the post office and have it weighed and measured. This extra step is less of an inconvenience than having to re-address and re-postage all new outer envelopes if they get returned due to insufficient postage. Don’t assume you are within guidelines just because you weighed it at work! The size and thickness of the envelope matter too.
  • Get Creative with Stamps. Your local post office may not have a huge selection of stamps – especially in the higher postage range. Don’t settle – be sure to check out www.usps.com for a full selection of stamps available. Stamps are shipped right to your door for just $1.00. There are also other places such as www.zazzle.com where you can customize stamps with your pictures or themes for an extra charge.
  • Keep it simple. If the postage rate for your ensemble costs more than the first class rate, carefully choose the combination of stamps that you use. You have already spent time and money to properly address your envelopes…. 4 different stamps totaling $.81 isn’t going to look stunning next to calligraphy or even your best handwriting. In the picture above, this bride paid the extra $.03 to be able to place two coordinating $.42 stamps on her outer envelopes which kept her envelope from looking ‘junky’. Nobody likes to throw money away, but in the scheme of things, 100 invitations with $.03 extra postage totals only $3.00.
  • Stamp your RSVP Envelopes for your guests. Accurate guest counts are important. The RSVP envelope should always be stamped and addressed to you or whomever is tracking your responses.

Is all this postage killing your invitation budget? Here are a few suggestions for keeping on track.

  • Substitute formal RSVP sets with RSVP postcards.
  • Elect flat response cards and reception cards when possible. Folded note style cards are not necessary in these instances and will just add bulk and weight to your ensemble. If the invitation you select only comes with folded cards, consider cutting them in half just below the fold. The side removed can easily be used for place cards later on down the road.
  • Send ‘seal-n-send’or ‘sep-n-send’ invitations. Not only do these mail at regular postage and have postcard response options – they save trees!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fa la la la la....

Stacy said that if I write a blog today, we can put the Christmas tree up. So here's the blog - enjoy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If your wedding is in March, April, May or June...

...and you are thinking about custom design, hurry in to meet with us! We can officially say that the move to Graham Road has paid off! We have experienced a record number of deposits for 2009 and are getting close to filling up for Spring and early Summer weddings.

Remember, all of our custom designs are made in our studio - by hand - by Stacy and I. We only have a certain number of hours per week to dedicate to production. Inevitably, there are periods of time that book up quickly each year which prevents us from accepting additional orders. Again, this year we have toyed with the idea of hiring someone - but again, we have decided that what makes us 'us' and what sets us apart from our competition, is the comfortable atmosphere of our studio and the fact that we are just two sisters - involved in each order we accept every step of the way. Every email, every phone call, every print run, every part of the assembly. Add another person to the mix, and we lose that. We don't want to risk losing that just yet!

If you want to check on your date, feel free to call us! We'd be happy to meet with you at any time during our scheduled studio hours to discuss your options. Please note that appointments are suggested. Evening and weekend hours tend to be pretty busy and we'd hate to be occupied with other clients if you stop in without an appointment. Schedule a consultation by calling us at 330-945-6914 or fill out our contact form here.

Steph