I’ll be the first to admit, I love my hashtags. One of the newest wedding trends is the Wedding Hashtag – giving your guests a specific tag to include on their social media posts so that you can view all the photos later, in one place. WeddingWire.com even has a Hashtag Generator if you aren’t able to come up with your wedding hashtag on your own!
As with everything, there is a time and place for the wedding hashtag and it is not the actual ceremony. During the wedding ceremony, guests taking photos is not only distracting but can potentially ruin a shot that the “actual” (also see “hired”, “professional”, and “really amazing”) photographer is trying to capture. As a guest, you should be present during this special moment and save your Instagram skills until after the ceremony.
One of my favorite wedding photographers, Tessa Rice, gives her opinion on the unplugged ceremony: “As a photographer, nothing is more frustrating and distracting during the ceremony than guests holding up (or worse yet – standing or leaning in the aisle) with their devices and even large tablets! I’ve had many images ruined because of this. It makes me giddy when I see brides request an unplugged ceremony – it shows that they value their photographer and trust them to ultimately capture this moment in their lives, and help their guests enjoy it “live”, versus viewing it through a screen.”
The Unplugged Ceremony is suggested by the couple and asks guests to put their phones away until the reception. I’ve created an unplugged ceremony printable that fits perfectly in an 8×10 frame to display as guests arrive. Download it here!
I’m also offering the matching wedding hashtag sign for purchase in my Etsy shop to display at the reception. This is the perfect way to invite your guests to share the love and post away.
Comment below with your thoughts on the unplugged ceremony!
Sometimes a wedding invitation will explicitly request the guest attire: “black tie” or “beach casual”. Guides for dressing these events can be found online, including here on TheKnot.com. Often invitations don’t include this specific information, leaving guests to make the fashion decision.
The wedding invitation sets the tone for the entire event and should give the guest an idea of theme in order to “fit in”. A traditional, formal, black and white invitation would suggest attire of the same. An invitation with florals and fun fonts could hint at a more relaxed environment. Rustic invitations give feelings of sun dresses and casual attire for men, while invitations with lace might lead to a more romantic fashion choice.
Taking into consideration the venue, as well as the weather, will ultimately determine the guest attire, but the invitation is a perfect starting point when looking for your perfect wedding outfit.
Accessories are a great way to dress up a more casual outfit and Rocksbox is the ultimate in curated designer jewelry. Their pieces are perfect wedding guest (or wedding party!) accessories. At $19 a month, it’s the perfect rotating rental for the girl who can’t make up her mind. There are also options to purchase the pieces, often for a discounted price and ways to earn reward points.
Sign up using my Rocksbox promo code “ohmydesignsbystephxoxo” and get you’re first month FREE! You’ll receive goodies like these Margaret Elizabeth earrings (valued at over $150!) that I think would pair perfectly with a pastel summer dress to attend this garden wedding.
Custom invitations designed by me! Please contact me for more information.
When it comes to wedding planning, creating (and sticking to!) a budget is extremely important. Stationery, including save the dates, invitations, and programs, is calculated anywhere from 2%-8% of your overall budget. Paper is definitely not the highlight of the event (I would want to splurge on an amazing photographer and music). However, it is the very first impression of your big day to guests. The invitation sets the tone of the wedding and should give your family and friends an idea of what to expect.
So, how do you save a little (money and time) on your wedding invitations? No, I’m NOT suggesting an e-vite or to DIY (unless you REALLY enjoy that kind of thing)! However, I have a few tips to help you get the most out of your stationery budget.
1. Know what you want. Do your research and find a designer who is a good fit for you. If you find a person to create for you who has a style similar to yours, this will limit the number of meetings and emails. Have an idea of what you envision for your invitation from the beginning. Knowing what you want will definitely save you on time and stress, but also on cash. If you change your mind about colors, materials, or even quantity after the design process has begun, this can be costly.
2. Modify an existing design. Rather than opting for a custom, from-scratch creation, choose to pick a design and modify it to fit your needs. Most designers are happy to work with an existing creation and change colors, fonts, wording, etc. If you want something new and completely unseen, expect to pay a custom design fee and allow extra time for your from-scratch design to be born!
3. Pick a focus. Obsessed with those floral envelope liners? Then keep the invitation simple. Must have a metallic shimmer paper? Then skip the lace ribbon. Decide what is the most important and keep the other parts simple. I love that each invitation suite has it’s own focal point, but start adding too many and you’ll really begin to splurge. Liners and twine and postage, oh my!
4. Combine information to one insert card. Each additional insert card is an added cost. Instead of a directions, accommodations, and reception card, combine as much info as possible onto a single card.
5. Have a wedding website. Following the above, leave the details to the website. Do a “Details” insert with some general information on getting to the venue and add “for more information, please visit our website.” On your website, you can list extensive directions, suggested hotel info, and any other details your guest might need.
6. Order early. This hint will most definitely save you on stress, but also money. Ordering early ensures there will be no late or rush fees added to the bill. Invitations should be sent 6-8 weeks before the wedding and often need to be ordered 6-8 weeks prior to mailing.
7. Remove or reduce postage. The typical wedding invitation comes with a response card and mailing envelope. It’s polite to pre-stamp the RSVP envelope for your guests to use. Choose to forgo the card and envelope and have guests RSVP online. (See hint Number 5). This will not only save you on postage, but also from purchasing the envelope! Another way to save is to select an RSVP postcard. Postcard stamps cost slightly less than envelope stamps and this also saves on the envelope.
This couple gave guests a link to RSVP online and saved on postage and envelope costs!
For the invitation itself, the US Postal Service requires a $0.70 stamp for any mail weighing over 1 ounce. Many invitations are well under an ounce, but some are not. If adding liners, ribbon, and multiple insert cards you are setting up to purchase the costlier postage.
8. Limit the number of proofs. When you receive your proof, check over everything (spelling, grammar, information accuracy, spacing, etc) at one time. Then let the designer know what changes need to be made. Often, wedding invitation packages are set up with a specific amount of proofs. Additional proofs can be an additional charge, so make sure to make all necessary modifications in one swoop.
9. Ask! Find a suite you love, but think it’s out of your budget? Reach out and ask the designer if there is any way to customize it to fit your price point. There are possibilities to save in ways you may not even realize!
I would love to hear any hints on flexing a wedding budget, stationery or otherwise!
My friend Katie called me New Year’s Day. It was officially 2014 and she was ready to talk wedding invitations for her June ceremony. I had worked with her in designing her save the dates and she was hopeful that I could also create her wedding invitations. “Absolutely, I would love to!” I replied. After hanging up the phone, the pressure set in. I’ve done plenty of graduation announcements, shower invitations, and save the dates – but the idea of a wedding invitation scared me a little. It is possible that this invitation is the single most important invitation in a girl’s (or guy’s!) life.
I was extremely lucky in that Katie knew what she wanted and that her soon to be hubby, Alex, was in agreement. She had an idea in mind, but also allowed me to put my own spin on things. The teacher side of Katie kept mentioning that she wanted the information to be “organized”. She wanted bold and block-like fonts and her colors were navy and grey.
“The Katie” is a dark grey panel with a pocket on the back side. The response card and envelope slide into the pocket to create a bundled look. The invitation itself is navy with cream lettering and printed on a coated card stock with a hint of gloss. This was mounted on a cream puff mat to break up the layering of the dark colors. The cream was also tied in by using a cream colored mailing envelope. I hand assembled the invitations and printed the guest addresses on each envelope.
The final product was beautiful, if I do say so myself. I was thrilled with how these turned out and received a lot of great feedback on the invitations. They are classically modern, looking fresh and sleek. Taking the leap to the intimating wedding invitation was scary, but I’m so glad I did it. It feels amazing to create something for one of the most special days of a friend’s life. I can’t wait to embark on the journey of working with more brides to make their big day dreams come true!