How many invitations do you need?

How many invitations do you need?

Working out just how many invites you need for your big day can cause a bit of a headache. Here are a few tidbits of advice I have picked up in my years working in the wedding industry.

How many invites do we need to order?

What I would say first, is to work out how many households you will need to send an invitation to. Remember to include your VIPs in this, as even if you have already spoken to your Best man, your Bridesmaids, parents etc it is still nice to include them on the invite list, especially if you are having your stationery custom made.

As a rough guide, it usually works out around 2/3rds of the actual number of people you are inviting, unless there are a lot of families on the list. For a guest list of 80 I would usually find somewhere between 45 and 60 is enough.

It’s an easy miscalculation to make, thinking if you have 80 guests, that you will need 80 invites. Or if you have 80 daytime guests and 130 evening guests you need that many for each part of the day.

When you work out how many you need for the evening invites, it can vary a bit more.

For example, if you have 80 wedding guests and another 50 in the evening, you will usually need more for the extra guests – but remember you have already invited the daytime guests so you only need to send to the extra 50. Usually round 30 invitations would cover this. It does depend on how many include a plus 1, or perhaps children have only been invited to the evening celebrations, as can sometimes be the case. The best idea is to have a chat with your stationer too, if they are worth their salt they should be able to guide you. I never give ‘set’ answers as each couple and wedding can be so different to each other. Before you book your wedding stationer, read this helpful blog post.

Do we really need to order ‘spare’ invites?

I would be inclined to say yes. It might seem like a potential waste of a few valuable pounds in your budget, but in all my years as a stationer, I always find those who don’t include them to begin with return to me after a few weeks asking could we possibly have a few more please?
I try to be as accommodating as possible in these requests, however as the diary gets busy, it can take longer sometimes to slot these few extra in where other brides have already booked the space which is not really how I like to work.
As well as the time factor, spare invites can work out more expensive, last minute orders for a smaller quantity can be costly for both the stationery designer and the happy couple so do bear that in mind.

Evening Stationery Invitation Postcard Invite Grey Sparkles Majestic Collection
The Majestic collection – leave space to write names yourselves on any spare invites

As a rough guide, I usually say add on 10 percent of your order, so if you need 45 invites, request 50, or round up any strange numbers so if you needed 37 ask for 40. You can have these left with a blank space to fill them in yourself later if necessary, there is always the option of having one for a keepsake, and it will feel so much better if you realise a little later that you (possibly, it does happen) missed someone off the list.

They are not then left waiting for an invite when everyone else has already received theirs, as an example. Or if your RSVPs are returned and you find you can squeeze a couple more people in during the day, because you really don’t want them to miss out, then you can use it for that. Try not to think of the spares as a waste of money, or a way for us busy stationers to make extra on the order, it really is about keeping things simple for everyone, less back and forth getting things sorted and one less stress!

I’ve only just started planning my wedding to Bruce, (click here to find out what happened when he proposed) we have quite some time to work with before the date we are looking for, and I am already working out how many invites I will need. The sooner you can get an idea of these things the sooner you can work out things like how many stamps you will need, that sort of thing. It all adds to the cost but can help you budget a bit better too. It’s all part of the fun and if you know what you are looking at from the beginning it will make for a much more enjoyable part of the journey for you – you want to enjoy this as much as possible – I know I do.

As always if you need help figuring any of this out, then do please drop me a line, I would love to hear how your wedding plans are going and help if I can in any way.

Much love,

Jacqui xx

Happy couples + wedding talk = A tea room appointment, on me.

Happy couples + wedding talk = A tea room appointment, on me.

I love my time with excited brides and grooms to be.

Meeting face-to-face with happy couples is essential to building the trust they put in me. There’s so much more we can discuss by getting really ‘hands-on’ with gorgeous samples and swatches.

There’s nothing nicer than a sit down and a cuppa!

It’s a lovely, relaxed 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 on Mapperley top which works really well for this – they know me really well in there now as I’ve been using it for a couple of years, 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 not so long ago opted for a beer and a gin instead so there’s always that option if you really want to!

I often have a cappuccino or a mocha rather than tea – depends on my mood!

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 and really ‘feel’ like you (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 as possible. 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 love a nice cuppa and a chat

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 (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.

It’s never too early to have that first conversation about your wedding stationery.

I can’t wait to hear from you,

Much Love,

Your friendly wedding stationer.
PS, did you know I am also a bushing bride-to-be? So I truly understand the journey you are going on !
How to bring colour into your stationery

How to bring colour into your stationery

How you can bring colour into your elegant, beautiful wedding stationery (without going overboard)?

With most of my weddings recently, the stationery has been neutral, in white or ivory –something about the more luxurious weddings I am now booking into my diary.
But if you do ever want to bring a pop of colour into your stationery, whether it is to liven it up a bit or just to have a subtle hint of your colour scheme in there, there are a few ways you can do this.

If you have layers of card – like on this design shown here – the Endear Collection

Endear collection,white linen,elegant,lovely sparkly pocketfold,wedding stationery nottingham

It’s nice and easy to make one of them a significant colour. You can change just one of the layers to bring your colour scheme in, and swap the ribbons – it doesn’t have to be every single piece but just like this design we recently used a little of the turquoise to show the theme off a little more (pics to follow!) as another couple are getting married abroad and want something to represent the Mediterranean sea.

If you have a design with sparkling crystals…

like Adorn, Allure or Innocence, the sparkles are available in a wide range of colours for a small additional cost.

Innocence, complete with coloured butterfly and co-ordinated crystals

I have created the Innocence invites many times for my couples and my absolute favourite for colour was when Lorraine and Paul got married and had a pastel theme. Using several pastel shades, combined with matching shades of card and butterflies too we completely co-ordinated their invitations so that some had lilac as the main colour, some had pastel blue, some had pink and so on.

The finished effect was absolutely stunning, the arrangement of crystals was different on each piece, the butterfly embellishments and card layers were swapped around to use an equal amount of every single colour so that the overall effect was just beautiful. They even named their tables after the colours to bring the theme in right the way through and Lorraine really was delighted with the finished designs as you can see…

Here is their beautiful seating plan, proudly displayed in their living room!

“When I was looking for stationary for my wedding I had met with many stationers but never felt they got my concept. When I met Jacqui we both knew she loved our theme and was able to take it to a level that was above and beyond what we had expected. I cried when I saw them finished although had been a part of every step the finished product was breathtaking. I had a clear theme of rainbow which incorporated the bridesmaids dresses flowers tables and stationary and still now nearly 2 years on people ask me who did my invites. I can’t thank Fuchsia Fairy enough for taking the time to invest in my idea and for making my dream a reality.”

To keep any design nice and simple with a little colour, all you really need to do is use your choice of ribbon colour – it is simple and effective and makes a bit of a statement without taking away from the impact of the invitation. I have on occasion been asked to combine one card colour with a different ribbon colour – the effects can range from dramatic and beautiful to… quite honestly not very pleasant at all! I will always try to help you get this combination absolutely right before we move onto the next stage it is so important to me not to present you with something that makes you cringe a bit.

Diamante Buckle Ribbon Save The Date Amore Dusky Pink Grey Sparkles Wedding Stationery Nottingham

There is always the option to have a coloured pocketfold or card blank. This can be quite striking as long as the colour is in keeping with other things you are using for your special day. Take time to use swatches and see what looks good next to what, rather than hoping that one person’s teal is the same as another’s turquoise – a tricky combination at the best of times! And don’t go for anything too overpowering, it can take away from the gasp loveliness feeling your guests will have when they see your invites for the first time and realise they are warmly welcomed as part of your special day.

Have a look at some of the options available in the laser cut pocket ranges to see how stunning they can look!

If none of these ideas appeal, or don’t quite work in your chosen design, there is always the possibility of having the text in a coloured font or typeface. It will depend who is making your stationery, it might not be available if you are having ‘off the shelf’ style invites but for something more bespoke it is definitely worth an ask! Speak to the person you have trusted with this very important job and see if they can help.

You can always contact me to find out how I can help, I would love to hear from you!

Do you need Save the Dates?

Do you need Save the Dates?

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!

Innocence collection,white embossed, save the date, sparkles, butterflies, beautiful luxury stationery

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.

It would be my pleasure to help you. Jacqui x

10 top tips when planning your wedding stationery

10 top tips when planning your wedding stationery

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!

1. When?

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.

6. Printing

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.

9. Delivery/Collection

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

Before you book your wedding stationer…

Before you book your wedding stationer…

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.

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.

‘There is no Should’

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,

Much love,
Jacqui xx