Baby It’s Cold Outside

Many of us haven’t left our couches for the past three days.  Many haven’t gotten out of pajamas.  If you’re a bride, you’ve used this snow time to do lots of research and blog stalking.  Hopefully our blog has been one of the ones you’ve checked out regularly.

It’s really important to us that you have all of the checklists and planning tools you need to make your wedding planning process easy and fun.

One of our brides is using this snowed in time to address her invitations.  If that’s you, here’s a great guideline for how to address your invites correctly.


Guidelines for Addressing Invitations

Guest Blogger: Chocolate Butterbean

I am so excited to send all of you into the weekend with this great post from Joni Lay. For those who don’t know, Joni is the owner of Chocolate Butterbean right here in Atlanta. I have been hooked on the work Chocolate Butterbean does since the first time a friend passed along their blog! This week she is going to share a little in wedding invitations trends, one of their specialties.

Wedding Invitation Trends

Wedding invitations have become an extremely important piece of projecting the look and feel the bride has in mind for her big day. After the save the date, it is likely the first piece of extensive information sent to your guests, and presents an opportunity to begin the event well before the actual big day. Giving your guests a taste of your style and what to expect is now the norm, and with so many options available, brides on any budget can find a way to express their style through these traditional paper send-outs. The following trends seem to be particularly appropriate:

(1) Do your research: With so many invitation companies whose portfolios are extensively pictured on the web, you can find a designer to match your ideal look as well as your ideal budget. You may be surprised at the array of options available that can be flat printed and still look stunning and perfectly custom, so don’t discount this option because you think it may be unaffordable. Many invitation designers also offer the option of giving the client rights to the monogram or mark used in the invitation suite, which can then be used on napkins, dance floor decals, favors, programs, or any other wedding day items where a personalized touch will add value.

(2) Be Creative with your Response Card: Tradition calls for a small card that the guests can write upon and then place in a small envelope to be mailed back to the bride’s parents, which often adds a lot of cost to the wedding invitation suite. Many brides are now turning to postcard style response cards, allowing further customization of your wedding suite, while cutting costs (you no longer need printed envelopes and you can use postcard rate postage, which really adds up!). This decision doesn’t reflect a tight budget, but rather looks to be a very thoughtful design detail. Some of my brides have written me to say their guests called in their response because they refused to mail back the postcards they found so lovely. This is especially the case when the cards have some sentimental value, such as a photo of the church where the couple will be married or a sweet picture of themselves from the engagement photo shoot. A last option if you are truly going for the traditional look is to include an RSVP card that is blank, with just a note that asks the guests to respond by a certain date. This corresponds more with the tradition that guests are expected to write back a response on their own (response cards are more of a recent addition to invitations to make it easier for guests). If you go this route of encouraging guests to fill in their own sentiments, these sweet mementos also can serve as keepsakes, especially if they are placed in a photo album or box to be looked through later to recall this exciting time and those who mean so much to you.

(3) Show your Style: Don’t be afraid of using color or custom illustration on your invitation.This is an opportunity to give your guests a picture of who you are and the unique relationship you have with your fiancé. You are giving them a taste of what to expect when the wedding day comes. Currently, I am working on a suite for a bride who wants silhouettes of her Yorkshire terrier and her fiancé’s chocolate lab mixed with formal fonts and flourishes to yield the perfect combination that reflects who they are. Even if you lean towards the more traditional, consider using a surprising and delightful color combination, or hand calligraphy that has a unique flair to it.

All pictures courtesy of Chocolate Butterbean

Joni Lay, owner of Chocolate Butterbean, is a designer and illustrator in the Atlanta area specializing in wedding invitation suites and custom, handpainted wedding signs.

For more Chocolate Butterbean resources:

Follow them on twitter: @cbutterbean

Head over to their blog: http://www.chocolatebutterbean.com/blog/

Or check out their website: http://www.chocolatebutterbean.com


Save The Date!

Over the past five years, “Save the Dates” have become increasingly popular. And by increasingly, I mean went from, yeah a few people do it, to a slot in your wedding budget. But how do you use them? When do you send them out? Really, how much should they cost? Do I send them to everyone? Here is the answer to all of your Save the Date questions, and more.

A save the date is a simple card (or other item) stating the date of your wedding. It serves guests to keep the date open, with a formal invitation to follow. Must haves for the card are names of bride and groom, and the date of your wedding. It is also a good idea to include hotel arrangements for out of town guests to plan accordingly. Many include their “wedding website” if they have one. This way guests can enjoy (stalk) your special time with you, before the big day arrives.

Save the Dates are typically sent out 6-12 months before your wedding. When you send them out depends on when you are sending your formal invitations, and where the wedding is. If you are having a destination wedding your STD (the good kind) should be sent out as soon as possible, closer to the 12 month mark so guest have time to plan.

STD’s should be sent to everyone on your guest list. With that being said, since a formal invitation follows, you could choose to only send them to out of town guests, or others who you think would benefit from them.

With popularity increasing, the creativity of save the dates is also growing. Everything from custom map napkins, bookmarks, to a youtube video sent to their guests, brides-to-be are thinking of it all. Simple pictures are always a classic way to go. Many couples make something with their names and date of the wedding to have in some of their engagement pictures. Here is a great example taken by Shelli Allen Photography

For other creative ideas check our your favorite blogs. Bloggers everywhere are giving great advice on DIY save the dates, as well as ones they have bought. Check out these HANDMADE hankies one DIY bride made for her guests!
Have your own fantastic Save-the-Dates? Or a wonderful idea for one? Send us a picture and we will showcase you right here! Emails should be sent to sarah@abigtodoevent.com

Guidelines for Addressing Wedding Invitations

Guidelines for Addressing Wedding Invitations

Your wedding invitation is the first impression your guests have of your wedding day. The worst thing you would want to do is to offend a guest by calling them Mr. or Mrs. instead of their title of Dr!

Provided below is an etiquette guideline for addressing invitations to avoid any social blunders, and it is beneficial information to know on avoiding any blunders.


Guidelines for Addressing Invitations

Invitations – Just a Piece of the Puzzle

In the sales world, we know that it takes 5-7 repeats (or “touches”) for a sale to be made to a new prospect. When hosting an event, it is imperative that the host understands he/she is in essence “selling” the guest on the idea of spending their otherwise free time with the host. Invitations are just a method of Marketing for an event. They are a “touch.”

I5 (Invitations to the 5th Power) is a marketing method for event attendance success. The I5 system assumes the host has at least one or two touches with the attendee, meaning the attendee will at least know the name of the host when the invitation comes in the mail. Note: for those events geared to gaining face time with “suspects” or business prospects who are not yet familiar with the company or host, more than five touches will need to be made.

For the purposes of counting to five, we will start at Touch 1. However, remember, this is not truly the first touch the host has had with the attendee.

Touch 1: Save the Date Card. These need to be mailed (email is ok, not preferred) no later than eight weeks prior to the event. This allows the attendee to put the date in his/her calendar and/or change his calendar to accommodate the event.

Touch 2: THE INVITATION! These should ALWAYS be mailed. Hand addressed. With a stamp. Your invitee will appreciate getting something so personal in the mail. This allows the host to set the tone for the event (formal/casual/byob/etc) and to establish rsvp expectations. These should be mailed during week 6 prior to the event.

Touch 3: Follow up email. This should go to all attendees. If they’ve already rsvp’d, that’s great. This is just one more reminder of the party. Those who haven’t rsvp’d, this is a good reminder to do so. These should go out during week 3 prior to the event.

Touch 4: Thank you notes or emails to early RSVP’ers and phone calls to those who haven’t. It’s important to recognize the behaviors we want to see repeated. RSVP’ing in this day and age is definitely a behavior we want to see repeated! Phone calls to those who have not rsvp’d. It is absolutely appropriate for you as the host to call those who haven’t been polite enough to tell you if they plan to eat the food you’re providing. You don’t want to run out of food do you? Or worse yet, you don’t want to over-spend to accommodate those who might show up. These should happen 7-10 days prior to the event.

Touch 5: Send Thank You Cards to the attendees. Some hostesses look at me and say, “They came to my house and ate my food; why should I send them a thank you card?” Because it’s good manners and those attendees will remember you and come to your party next year! These should go out the week after the party.