Engagement is a whirlwind season. It's a season chock full of anticipation and planning and fiancé (which, in my opinion, is simply fun to say). And when it comes to your invitation it will be the guests' first glimpse into your wedding experience. The stationery invites them in from the moment it's opened, allowing your wedding day to be anticipated weeks in advance. Here are a few secrets to keep in mind as you begin gathering inspiration and dreaming up the specifics of your own wedding stationery.
1. Get started early -- even if your wedding is still a year out.
It's easy to underestimate how much time is needed for stationery. Booking early is always beneficial, not only to secure your spot on your calligrapher's calendar, but to also allow time for the custom design process. Provide your calligrapher or designer with the date you'll want to have everything in hand. Ideally, invitations will go out 6-8 weeks before the wedding date, allowing time for guests to clear their schedule and plan for travel time, if needed. Even if you're more than a year out, it's not too early to reach out to a designer or calligrapher and begin the conversation.
2. Tally up that guest list
How many guests will you invite? Do you invite your coworker and what about kids? While the specifics really are up to you and your fiance (and though we won't get into etiquette today, Brides does a superb job of addressing guest lists and etiquette with delicacy and class), you will want to distinguish between your guest count and your household count. When it comes to stationery, the household count will be the important number because it indicates how many invitations you'll actually you'll need to send out.
To calculate your guest count, total the number of individuals. Your household count will be tallied by counting each family unit: each residence will count as one (formal etiquette calls for one exception: adult children living with their parents receive their own invitation). For example: a family of two adults and a child living under one roof will count as three for the guest list and one for the household count.
3. Bespoke or pre-designed wedding suite? Decide if custom design is a good fit for your wedding.
Bespoke wedding stationery is dreamed up from scratch. It's made to order in the sense that the bride and calligrapher collaborate to create a unique reflection of the wedding vision. Each element is one of a kind and the details are hand selected. Think gold foil edging, wax seals, and postage stamps to match the color palette. It's about inviting your guests into a wedding experience. You'll often find bespoke stationery suites with hand dyed paper, delicate envelopes with monogrammed wax seals, and illustrations of your venue. I personally enjoy including custom illustrations that transform the invitations into heirlooms pieces: works of art reminiscent of your special day.