Thinking calligraphy will make or break your wedding invitations? Here's our two cents.
The first thing your guests see regarding your big day is your invitation or save the date. If sent through the mail, the first thing of that they will see is your envelope. Handwritten touches will not only impress your guests, but also make them feel that you took the time to think of them (or paid someone to).
Calligraphy can be costly, but it is definitely an attention grabber. For an average invitation order of 100, figure anywhere from $250-450 for guest addressing and plan for about 2 - 3 weeks time for your calligrapher to work their magic.
All the women who are independent, Throw your hands up at me! All the honey's who makin' money, Throw your hands up at me! All the mommas who profit dollas, Throw your hands up at me.... Oh heeeey...
Well, now that you've seen that, let's just talk a little about independence - particularly with brides and planning their weddings. Enter, the DIY movement - or Do It Yourself.
What a great thing to be independent! To be able to look at something and say, "I could do that". With the invention and rise of crafty sites like Pinterest, Etsy, or even blogs, brides are scoping and scouring the internet for the next DIY sensation. Don't get me wrong, I love when you see new and fresh ideas debut at highly photographed events like weddings. More power to you independent ladies (and gentlemen) for really digging in and doing it yourself.
Now, the flip side of the DIY movement is the LIA rule. LEAVE IT ALONE - some things you just shouldn't try on your own. Here's my list:
DIY: Purchase your paper and design your invites If your tech savvy, definitely try to design your invite! It can save you a lot on cost, but beware because it can be a frustrating process if you aren't gung ho for the challenge. However, I think this is something you definitely could do on your own.
LIA: Printing your invitations Never print your invites at home. Most home printers are Ink Jet machines (the small cartridges that are expensive to refill) and the ink in those machines is not water resistant. If you invite were to get wet or isn't left to dry for the appropriate amount of time, it will smear and smudge. Ink jet printers are also discriminatory towards many of the papers used in wedding invitations (metallics, linens, etc.). For such an important occasion, please consider utilizing a local print shop.
DIY: Print labels or envelopes You can get by with printing your own envelopes on a laser machine. Many offices have small printers that can print envelopes, so look into doing that yourself and save on having someone else addressing them. There are also tons of cute labels out now with downloadable templates for easy use. Check out Waste Not Paper's great line of products.
LIA: Calligraphy If you haven't taken lessons for calligraphy, you aren't a calligrapher. Some people have great handwriting, so utilize that unique style if it fits the overall theme of your invite. However, do not attempt to address around 100 envelopes with a dip pen & ink well or even a calligraphy pen/marker if you've never done so. You won't be happy with the result. Paying a professional for this artform is the only tried and true way to achieve the look. In the end, paying $2-5/envelope can add up, but it's quite the first impression.
DIY: Assembling your Invites I caution brides and grooms on this item, but if you've got a big family or a really hands on supporting cast, rope them in and have an assembly party. LIA: Assembling your Invites (part two) It won't save you a ton of bucks to assemble everything yourself, so take your time and frustration into consideration. Many brides and grooms have too many plates spinning at the beginning of wedding planning. Paying a professional to assemble everything won't dip into your budget too much, plus they have all the appropriate equipment to do the job from start to finish. In all my years of doing invitations, I've only ever had 2 brides opt to assemble on their own - and not because of budget.
Enjoy! And go get 'em, Love Birds!