Let’s just say we’ve witnessed a lot in our 10 years as an invitation studio. Of course, we have plenty of clients who did a good job of avoiding paper remorse. They scheduled an appointment, spent a couple hours with us designing all their paper, looked over their proofs and then picked up their pretty stationery in pink bags. Those stories are calm and easy and we certainly appreciate them.
What we don’t often talk about are the “paper emergencies.” These calls are usually accompanied by the voice of a panicked bride or MOB. They also usually involve some type of paper disaster — a missed deadline, smudging ink, etc.
We get it, mistakes happen. I mean how often do you plan a wedding? If you’re the first to get married amongst your siblings or friends, you probably feel like you’re navigating things in the dark. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of pitfalls to avoid.
Read ALL the fine print.
We get one too many calls from couples who buy menus or programs online only to find out that they actually only purchased a jpeg file, not the printed pieces. Now it’s days before the wedding and they’re scrambling to find someone to print 200 menus on the perfect shade of ivory paper. We can usually accommodate this scenario, but it often involves rush fees.
What’s up with the ink?
Not gonna lie, ink can be scary. It’s SO important to remember that color looks much different on screen than it does in person. Without getting into all the geeky graphic design talk, this is simply because the color on screen is produced with light while printers use dyes and pigments.
This is why we insist that you choose your ink colors based on printed swatches. If this isn’t possible (for instance, if you would like to use a photograph on your save the dates), we’ll create test prints to make sure the final image prints nicely (not too dark, not too light, not too yellow — you get the point).
My printer is eating the envelopes!
Fact: envelopes are temperamental, especially if they contain liners. Printing your guests’ addresses on them is tricky so please, please, please don’t try this at home. While we always recommend calligraphy or digital addressing on your wedding invitations, I get that you may not want to spend part of your overall paper budget on addressing lower impact items like your save the dates or bridal shower invites. That being said, I promise you hand addressing (even if you have messy handwriting) is a better idea than begging your desktop printer to play nice.
All paper is not created equal.
I cannot tell you how many times our clients have walked in with invitation samples they ordered online saying, “There’s a reason why my mom wanted me to do this in person.” That’s because it’s nearly impossible to differentiate beautiful from flimsy when browsing online. Whether you meet us in person or if we chat via a video conference and snail mail samples to you, you’ll be able to touch and feel the quality of all our papers before placing your order.
About that ink again…
I wasn’t lying earlier when I said ink can be scary. If your stationer isn’t using quality inks on quality paper with a quality printer, the final product could bleed or smudge. Inks also have a tendency to transfer from one paper to another. For example, after all the weather changes, machines and other travel your invitations endure, the ink from the response card could rub off or “transfer” to the invitation ?
“I’ll just use my postage scale at home”
Famous last words. I know a trip to the post office probably isn’t high on your list but please don’t skip this step. After you pick up your invitations, it’s important to bring one entire suite to the post office to have weighed and measured. Yes, I said, “measured”! Your scale at home can tell you how much your invitation weighs but it can’t tell you if it’s considered “oversized” or “too stiff.” Both of these can result in necessary extra postage, which I promise is a better alternative than having 218 invitations returned to you for insufficient postage.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions. We’re happy to help!