I’ve met with so many couples over the years, so many are puzzled by what a Save the Date is, what’s the point of them and do they actually need to send them?
Save the dates have been around for quite some time now so I thought I would take a moment to explain what they can be useful for, as it may help you decide if you need to bother with them at all!
A ‘Save the Date’ card, whether it be a postcard, a fridge magnet, a cute little calendar style design with the date marked on it for future reference, or any of the myriad of ideas available out there, are simply designed to inform your guests to keep the date free.
It can save you a lot of time and trouble if you just started planning your wedding and have no other information to hand but definitely want VIPs and any other guests to ‘Save the Date’.
You might be planning to get married in 2 or more years from now (I have met couples planning for as long as 4 years) or perhaps even less but you know you absolutely must have those guests coming to your special day. There is no way they would want to miss out and the first they hear of your date is a lovely keepsake reminding them of it, whether that be so they can book the day off work, book a flight somewhere hot, or just make sure they don’t make any other plans.
I would never tell any of my couples they absolutely must send Save the Dates because I feel it’s a very personal thing, there are times it can be very useful to have already sent them though, for example:
You are getting married on a weekday in the middle of June. It’s possible that some of your oldest friends will be booking their holidays soon and you can’t get married without them there.
It’s an overseas wedding, they will need to book flights and make reservations but the details of the wedding day haven’t yet been finalised. It’s in 18 months and there’s still so much you haven’t decided about, but you know you need them to see you get married.
You will need to send out menu choices with your invitations, but haven’t got a tasting booked in at the moment and it might delay the final wording, at least this way they will know when to book their babysitters for.
Any of these would be the perfect example for a good reason to send a save the date.
What I wouldn’t do is spend any of your budget on save the dates if you are already halfway to having your invites printed, even if you don’t get married for a year. You could just send your invites a little earlier than planned and save the extra money for something else.
If you are: getting married in less than 12 months, getting married out of ‘peak’ holiday season (May – September) or have already told many of your guests when the big day is happening, you could quite honestly save yourself some money and not worry about sending Save the Dates.
It might be that you are only thinking about sending them because you feel like it is expected – don’t worry about that, it is your day and you can do things in whatever way feels right for you.
Every time I talk to my couples I make sure they know that there are no right or wrong answers to the ‘hows’ and ‘whens’ but by getting our heads together and talking about your wedding we can figure out whether these things are needed at all. I will gladly buy you a cuppa while we go over all the details so if that is something that you feel would help you, get in touch here and let’s get something in the diary.
I have been asked these questions so many times over the years, so here is a quick guide to 10 things you really should think about once your venue is booked, before you seek out a supplier or confirm your wedding stationery booking. Some of them may be questions specific to your supplier, in which case don’t forget to ask them before you go ahead and book!
You will be asked this question a lot as you visit wedding fayres and make enquiries with suppliers, but it’s not just about when you get married.
For a wedding stationer, they will need to know when you want to send your invites. You may be a little hazy on this, it’s not as simple as ‘4-6 months before the wedding’, if you have a wedding in the school holidays, or mid-week for example.
Have a think about when you would feel comfortable requesting your RSVPs back by. If you can trust your guests to reply quickly, great!
But if you think it may take a while then allow extra time and work backwards from there. Often for a summer wedding I would be preparing invites to go out in January, but they might have been booked in for as much as 18 months by then, so don’t take too long to decide if you have found someone you really want to work with.
Here is another helpful blog post about just how long it can take to make up elegant, handcrafted wedding invitations like the ones available in my portfolio.
2. Invitation Styles & Colours
Do you know what kind of style of invitation you want? Have you seen a design somewhere that made you ‘ooh’?
Does it reflect anything else about your day, such as the kind of venue, any theme you want to follow, or do you just LOVE it?
There is no right answer here but they are things to consider if you really want to wow your guests with the storytelling of your big day from the beginning. It is worth considering if you will need your chosen colours to be incorporated in some way too.
There are many ways this can be done but it will depend on how your chosen supplier works.
3. Your guest list – Daytime and Evening guests
Have you started on your guest list already?
Usually you will have some idea before booking your venue, but this can often change along the way, for lots of reasons.
Remember as you begin to sketch this out that it can be helpful to have some flexibility, and be aware that not every person on your first list will necessarily be able to make it to your big day.
If you are having a separate evening ‘do’ you can always bump up any chosen guests if those ‘decline’ messages do make an appearance. This can all help with number 4 too…
4. How many?
When working out how many invites you need, to get a more tailored quote, remember one vital thing: If you have 100 guests, you don’t need 100 invites.
Usually it works out around 2/3rds of that number as a rough guide (one per household). Also, it’s worth remembering, for the evening guests, to make a separate headcount in the same way, rather than the final number of guests (you already invited the daytime guests so no need to send them anything more!)
And however much of a sales tactic this sounds like (it really isn’t), always allow a little room in your budget for spare invitations. Whether you think you will need them or not, it really is a good idea to add a few on just in case.
You can leave the name part blank and then just fill them in yourself as you go, it would be a disaster if you needed them on a quick turnaround (more often than not) after all the trouble you went to for the perfect invites, only to find out your supplier can’t fit them in due to other weddings.
5. Quality, Samples & Proofs
Make sure you are looking for a quality supplier, who uses quality materials – you should be able to request to samples of their work quite easily.
Find one who will set your mind at ease during the process. One who will provide you with a sample that helps you feel like they understand what you want, and one who always signs off the proofs to make sure everything is correct before they are printed.
Do you want your invites to be completely personalised, including having your guest names printed?
If its important to you, as it gives your invites the truly ‘finished’ look, put it on your list, sure to check if this is available as an option – and find out whether it costs any more money.
Talking of printing, are you looking for someone who prints everything in house, or has pre printed ‘fill the blank’ invites?
If they do the printing themselves you will find it to be a much more personalised service, it will give them the control they need over producing your invites and not having to rely on anyone else to get it right for you.
7. HOW much?
When it comes to requesting a quote for your wedding stationery, keep your budget in mind. Remember too, that the figures won’t just have been plucked out of the air, every wedding supplier spends time carefully calculating their quote based on your requirements.
Give serious consideration before responding, especially if they have already made it onto your shortlist of ‘must have’ suppliers. There are usually options to help you spread your payments too and if you are being quoted for all your stationery you may not need to pay for everything all at once anyway.
Just as with any other enquiry, receiving the quote does not guarantee availability if you haven’t paid any kind of deposit – always remember to check how long the quote is valid for as well.
8. Matching daytime and venue stationery
It’s a lovely idea to consider having the rest of your stationery on the day to coordinate with your invites, so remember to ask if this is available too. Not every design is always able to be used within a venue setting or on a seating plan so if this is important to you, think carefully.
If you are getting married in a church, you might want your Orders of Service to match the rest of your stationery, especially as this is often one element of your big day the guests might want to keep as a souvenir!
Also, just a cautionary tale from me, please wait until you have your RSVPs before you begin planning out your seating arrangements. It can be helpful to picture who will sit where when you are doing your invites, I know, but this can often feel like a waste of time when you find out family member Y won’t be coming anyway and family member Z can quite happily sit with your best mates girlfriend. So just wait a while, if you can.
If you are ordering through a website, its quite likely that your order will be posted out, but if you are meeting with the supplier in order to build up a good working relationship, it is worth asking how you will receive your invites.
Do they deliver them to you, or will you need to collect them? Also, how do the invites come? Are they ready to send out or do you need to put the additional cards together with the pocketfolds?
It may sound like a minor detail but its good to know what to expect for your money.
I often get asked if I am the one who sends out the invites to the guests too. This is a premium service not currently available but its always worth checking with your own supplier if it isn’t clear who does what.
And last but definitely not least…
10. Wow factor!
So you’ve been looking at ideas, and sourced quotes and maybe even ordered a few samples.
But which one gives you that eek, it’s real kind of feeling?
Which one can you picture sending to your guests to really wow them and get them all excited about your special day?
Is there one that does that more than the others? Or did you only have one to begin with?
The feeling is so important, because you will remember that excitement in years to come and when that happens seeing your invites as you look back on your wedding day will give you goosebumps all over again.
I hope you have found this list helpful. I am only ever at the end of an email if you have more questions you need answering. Of course you could always book a tea room appointment for a more personal touch.
While you’re here, why not pop your details on the mailing list for more helpful hints & tips, and that all-important wedding stationery checklist! Just follow the link here. TTFN, Jacqui xx
The planning! Planning a wedding is a BIG thing! It’s like a project in it’s own right, but as such the thinking behind planning your wedding stationery should also be treated the same. Why?
There are lots of important details you need to be clear on before you can really be clear on how your wedding stationery fits in. The thing about your wedding stationery is that it sets the scene. It really does begin to tell the story of your special day, it’s the first and last clue your guests will have about the journey the two of you have taken together, from sending Save the Date cards to Thank you cards when the big day has passed.
I’ve met so many brides over the years who’ve sent save the dates ordered from one of those internet printing places (you know the ones) before they’ve even looked at wedding dresses, it’s something that’s often done as soon as the venue is confirmed. There’s nothing wrong in this at all, there’s no right or wrong when planning your wedding, but it can be such a missed opportunity. By just waiting a couple of weeks in the really excited period of your wedding planning you can create such a pretty picture in the storytelling and really wow your guests from day 1. You might have started a pinterest board where you can see everything else taking shape and then realise those bargain postcards just don’t fit in with the theme at all.
Having said that what a lovely unexpected surprise for your guests to then be presented with beautiful handcrafted loveliness inviting them to your special day a few months later – it truly does depend how much the ‘whole’ picture matters to you. Does it all need to be just so?
So before you stock up on stamps and update your address spreadsheet have a think about your theme. Have a think about the ‘feel’ of your big day and what you want guests to remember it for. Do you want it to feel a bit ‘thrown together’ or do you want it to be seamless? Every little detail you take the time over is what will leave a lasting memory, for them but also more significantly for you.
You can make this a picture perfect memory from whatever point feels right to you. Don’t rush into sending Save the Dates just because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. Here’s a few things to consider before you begin planning your wedding stationery. 1. Guest list – are there any restrictions on this ie venue or budget? 2.VIP guests – make sure you consider grandparents, godparents or anyone extra special in your life. 3. Dates – when do you need to to send them, when do you wish to receive your RSVPs by? 4. Timings – are you allowing enough time to have them made? 5.Wedding details – are both venues confirmed? 6.Themes – there is a world of choice out there! 7.Colours – your colours are not your theme, they can be different but still related in some way. 8.Evening numbers – remember you only need to count your daytime guests once! 9. Cost to send by post (are they bulky or especially large?) 10.Your budget – an important one to consider for every aspect of your wedding planning. 11.The reliability/ reputation of the supplier – have you found them by recommendation or by chance? 12. Have you got a clear idea what wedding stationery items you need? if you sign up here to receive my newsletters I can send you a FREE wedding stationery checklist! 13.Can they provide you with bespoke design if that’s what you want? And will this cost extra? 14.Do you need to make time for an appointment or can it be done via email instead? 15.Are you ordering from a real person or a website? Consider if its not a nearby supplier that there may be extra costs for them to be sent to you before you can post them out, and the extra time needed for this. 16.Have you seen their work or any samples or are samples available?
Once you have all of these answered and if you have already found a supplier then move on to the next stage of booking an appointment or ordering a sample. You should always ALWAYS make sure to see a sample of their work no matter how pretty the pictures look, if time is of the essence then see if you can get to a wedding fayre where they are showing their work or something like that, and set your mind at rest. I can’t stress this enough having met so many brides over the years who were really disappointed once they had received samples from individuals whose work just wasn’t of the standard expected. Make sure there is going to be enough time to get everything done as is needed.
I’ve got so many hints and tips to share with you so I won’t keep waffling on for now but I hope this has helped and perhaps given you something to think about that you might not otherwise have thought of. I’m always here if you have any questions about planning or booking your wedding stationery – I’m just at the end of an email address and available for a cuppa and a chat if that is what you would prefer. What lovelier way is there to begin organising for the biggest day of your life?
I look forward to hearing from you if you need to know any more,
It seems impossible to believe that one year ago this week I relaunched my little business as a luxury brand.
It was such an exciting time, and I felt ready to change how the world saw me and my biz. I changed how I had appointments with couples, to be able to treat them to a nice cuppa and cake in a local tea room.
It has been an amazing year for Fuchsia Fairy, both personally and professionally and now that I have seen more of the kind of weddings I LOVE to work on, I am even more excited to see many new couples in the coming months too.
I am very relaxed in how I approach couples at wedding fayres, none of that hard sell stuff. I know that when people are drawn to see me at my stand its because they love my work, not the amount of money they might be able to save. This means that the couples are truly happy about booking with me when the time comes, because they have more confidence in me and my products rather than temporarily being happy about perhaps having saved a few quid.
Couples people really can tell that I care about my work for a start.
I am not one of those companies who posts ‘just look how many orders are going out this week’ what seems like every 5 minutes.
Is it a bad thing that I don’t appear to be mad busy all the time?
I wouldn’t say so.
I have always valued good customer service in making my own purchases
and there really is nothing much bigger than paying for your wedding (except maybe buying a house but that’s something else entirely!) because you can invest so much of yourself in it. So I know that brides who value that service are going to be the kind of people I want to work with.
I love that I have the kind of business that means my own time is valued
I’ve had so many lovely emails from brides in recent months who are genuinely just as interested in having a bit of a chat as they are about getting their stationery sorted out – sometimes we forget it’s a supplier/customer type of relationship and chat as if we have known each other for years.
I think I’m very lucky to be able to offer that, as well as impeccable attention to detail, which is a must for me.
“Someone said it was the nicest invitation she’d ever received”
If you’re looking for someone who is able to offer that level of service, then why not get in touch?
I love my time with excited brides and grooms to be.
More often than not, we meet at a wedding fayre or my work is recommended by a lovely variety of suppliers I work well with – or by other happy brides who have used my services. However we cross paths, I always like if possible to spend a bit of time getting to know you.
There’s nothing nicer than a sit down and a cuppa!
It’s a nice informal way to have a bit of a chat about the big day, find out what sort of feel it has, and see if my work suits the style of the wedding too. There’s a lovely tea room local to me which works really well for this – they know me in there now as I’ve been using it for a while, I have a table earmarked which gives us plenty of light to see colours as clearly as possible, with enough space should you wish to bring any family or friends with you for the appointment.
There’s always a nice relaxed atmosphere in there, it’s one of those lovely places where they have quirky teapots, all sorts of different teas, coffees, soft drinks and a delicious choice of cakes should you wish to try those too (rude not to!) – in fact one of my couples at an evening appointment recently opted for a beer and a gin instead so there’s always that option if you really want to!
I don’t book my appointments too close together so that you can take your time making any decisions that you might need to make, about the designs, choosing any colours to coordinate with your theme, and have a full brochure of font choices, wording ideas and gift poems too, not so many it confuses but enough different options to really help you personalise your invites and stationery so they suit your personality (there’s none of that fill the blanks stuff when you book with me!)
I don’t ‘do’ the hard sell
(I’m no good at it!) but I tend to find the couples that choose to go ahead and book do so because they love my work and feel comfortable and confident in me and my way of working. I talk you through the booking process at the appointment so you know how and when things will need to happen – and you receive a printed version of this later on once the booking Is confirmed too. I like to make it as easy as possible for you because there’s already so much to think about for your wedding!
The main reason for our appointment
Is to get as much information together as possible about what you want for your stationery, I will get the ‘nitty gritty’ detail down, such as names, venue, times and dates for your wedding so that when it comes to creating a sample invite – which costs £5 if you would like one – it looks and feels as close as possible to your finished invites and we can tell from this if the chosen colours and embellishments (if relevant) will work with everything else you are having for your big day. None of this is set in stone, but its so helpful to have a design in front of you with your own names (and makes it feel sooo real too!) so we can make decisions about it moving forward to getting your invites booked in.
I do find that by the end of the appointment my couples already have a pretty good idea whether they will be wanting to book with me once the sample has been completed (and some just pay their deposit there and then!) so its important for you too as I want you to know that I am the right person to trust with this very important job.
Now that you’ve found out a bit more, if you’d like to book your own tea room consultation (no obligation) why not pop me an email and find out what availability there is or to ask me any questions you may have about it. I am all about making this easier for you and I don’t bite – in fact I would love to hear from you and find out more about your wedding.
If you want to know more about planning the stationery for your Wedding Day then look no further!
I am here to guide you through the various items needed for your Wedding Stationery on the big day.
Welcome to the 2nd in my mini series.
In the 1st post, I talked about why it can make such a difference having all your stationery made to match throughout your wedding planning – it really can make a big difference you know.
Here is the first instalment which will help you understand how important your wedding stationery is in capturing your guests imagination on the big day.
So what are all the different elements of daytime stationery? (let’s call it that, as some of them wont be used anywhere near the table!)
Here is a breakdown of some of the first few things you might need – more to follow soon!
Sometimes, it’s not all that clear upon arrival at the venue where your guests are meant to be going, depending on the type of venue of course – so why not have a lovely personalised sign pointing them in the right direction? I have seen many different styles of these over the years and I can easily make something that co-ordinates with your other stationery – depending of course on the style of your venue. There may also already be something arranged by the venue if it is something they consider your guests to need a little assistance with for whatever reason, perhaps there are additional rooms at the venue and a little guidance is needed.
Order of the Day:
These might be found on an easel or similar as your guests enter the venue, laid out clearly for all to see, it guides your eager guests to know what to expect, and when – what time can they expect a welcome drink, or the speeches to start for example? When should they be poised with their cameras at the ready to photograph your first dance? All of this information can be incredibly useful for those guests who are keen to find their space at the wedding breakfast table (or perhaps have small people to keep amused for the duration). These look lovely if you have them done to coordinate with your seating plan at either side of the wedding breakfast room as guests enter – or perhaps outside of it so they can read it while they’re waiting. Its also a nice idea to have something on your tables using the gorgeous 3 sided cards I have available, to give your guests all the info they need as they are sitting down listening to the speeches.
Ohhh, now here’s one of ‘those’ subjects. (You know, the ones that are likely to keep you awake at night!)
Are Table and Seating plans the same thing? Yes, it is just a different name.
If you want to be clear where each of your guests are sitting, which table, who they are next to, I would (and I usually do) call it a seating plan. This can be one of the particularly stressful areas of wedding planning, as if you really want your guests to mingle, or perhaps know some of them would prefer to be on a quieter table, you will probably have spent hours trying to figure this out. Read here for a few ways you can keep this simple. As this is probably the case, you don’t want all that work to be wasted when your guests arrive at the venue and battle to sit with their best friend because otherwise they won’t know anyone!
These look really beautiful when professionally done – carefully created to match your theme, all the guest names carefully spell checked and printed underneath the appropriate table name or number. It all helps everything to flow so perfectly on your special day, because who wants the guests trying to find a quick 5 minutes to check with you who they’ve been sat next to?
It can also help immensely if your guests have carefully chosen what they would like to eat on the day, nothing worse than pickled people as they all try to remember what main course they wanted 3 months ago when the invite came through.
I have seen this done so often, please save yourself a little time by not thinking you need to know who is sitting where when you plan out your invitation list. There may well be a proportion of your guests that aren’t able to make it, and you will have spent hours poring over these ideas only to have to rearrange everything again. You don’t have to know everything from day one of your wedding planning, you really don’t!
Table Name or Number Cards
These are essential if you have already gone to the trouble of carefully seating your guests on the seating plan.
It will make it much easier for them to find their way to the corresponding table (these can be named or numbered, depending on what you have decided, but here are some helpful suggestions if you need them).
So imagine you have 6 tables and the top table – you might not think its necessary to point out which is the top table, and that’s absolutely fine, but if you did want everything to fully coordinate then its another way you can just perfectly finish it off. For the remaining guest tables you will have decided which one is number 1, and may have a list of between 7 and maybe up to 12 guests sat there, when they see they are named on table 1, a prominently placed card on the actual table will help them find their way quickly and easily.
This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many times I have this conversation at wedding fayres so I thought it would be helpful to write a little more about what exactly they are. It’s also worth noting at this point that you have choices as to whether they are done on a freestanding card which can sit just nicely in among beautiful centrepieces you will have carefully thought out, or you may prefer to have a single sided one that sits in a little holder and raises it proudly above everything to help them stand out a bit more. It can depend a lot on what is going on with the rest of your table, you don’t want it looking too ‘busy’ either.
Gosh. I have surprised myself with how much there actually is to say on this subject – there are still lots more items to talk about so I will continue it in the next couple of posts rather than overwhelm you with all the information at once. Does that sound like a good plan?
You can always contact me using the pretty sparkly box above if you need me in the meantime.
I will leave you to think a little more about how this could work with your dream wedding table layout – I might even be able to put you in touch with someone who can help with the décor if that is still in the planning!
I do have a brand new freebie in the making right at this moment so by the time I have written the next post – you will be able to get your hands on it with any luck! But just for now, if you haven’t already got your hands on the fab FREE wedding stationery checklist, pop your details over to me by clicking on the pretty picture beneath, and I will be right in touch with it for you.
Welcome to my little online home beautiful bride to be, a place full of sparkle and wedding stationery gorgeousness! I am the maker behind Fuchsia Fairy. It is my sparkly passion to create luxury handcrafted wedding stationery for beautiful couples, just like you, who are looking to create a real wow factor with their wedding. Because your stationery is more than just paper and ink, it is about bringing your personality into a creation that you will look back on in years to come with the same emotion. I absolutely love what I do and the couples I work with, I care so much about each and every order I lovingly handcraft and I would be delighted to help you on your wedding planning journey.
Lots of love, Jacqui
aka Your Wedding Stationery Pretty-fier!