Hi there Honeycomb Bride!
One of the best parts of my job is getting to tell the story of your engagement and wedding day to friends and family through images that you can show off for years to come. I love working with brides who have a unique vision for their day, and I am so excited to introduce you to this new series intended to help you find other vendors that can clarify your style, bring your vision to life, and make your wedding day a breeze. I know how difficult it can be to sift through hundreds of vendors, looking to find one within your budget that brings your dreams to life. Through this Monday blog series, I’ll walk you through a standard timeline for typical vendors and share tips on how to utilize different services in unique ways.
In preparing for your wedding, the invitational suite and Save the Dates are your guests’ first look at your vision for your big day. Invitations and Save the Dates introduce colors, themes, and style as well as helping guests identify the formality of the event and basic logistics like the venue. Sometimes they contain additional inserts such as information on hotels or suggested activities in the area, menu details, song requests for the DJ etc. Your guests are taking in the visual appeal and phrasing of your invitation, the addressing of the envelope, and the material that the invitation was printed on, and using that to decide what they’ll wear and what attitude your big day is going to have. A black tie wedding will send out invitations that look much different from a rustic barn wedding! The modern bride can be found hunting through invitations on Etsy, Vistaprint, or Shutterfly, and often I hear feedback that brides feel like those designs aren’t a perfect fit but were a cost effective solution. Our first vendor spotlight is with Basic Invites, an online custom wedding invitation and paper goods store.
I love finding unique and consistent details at weddings, and often as your photographer, my first look at your wedding details are in the styling of your invitational suite when I first arrive. Don’t be afraid to boldly express your wedding style through your Save the Dates and invitations! Color, typography, and imagery on your invitations can be used to convey a classic romantic feeling, a high end celebration, a gathering of loved ones – whatever feeling you want your day to have can be found on Basic Invites. (Plus, receiving a brightly colored envelope is much more exciting than a standard cream one!) Basic Invite is one of the few websites that I have found that allows customers almost unlimited color options to change nearly every element on the invitation as well as the ability to preview those changes to their invitations online in real time. Their products are simple, beautiful and affordable alternatives to expensive custom stationary or common/overused designs from other online retailers. You can also order a sample of your invitational suite or Save the Dates from Basic Invites, which allows you to check that the styling is consistent to the details that you’ve already collected.
Consistent style makes for killer photos and could help images of your wedding be published on blogs or in magazines, so be creative when considering your details!
Is there a color or accent in the venue that you can bring into your Save the Dates? What about an element of your dress that could be incorporated to your invitation design? Do you own a perfume bottle or nail polish that would really accent your intended style? It doesn’t need to be an extravagant prop to bring a touch of your personality to these images! Even a tie in as simple as both having rose gold wedding bands and using rose gold foil on your invitations can make for stunning styled shots.
Personally, I love the clear collection – it photographs as a memorable high end, luxurious product that could be easily and uniquely styled to match your wedding day through colorful envelopes, ribbons, stamps, flowers, a veil or hair piece, or your bridal jewelry. The freedom to add more custom elements to the styling of those photos means that you’re getting detail photos that better reflect the attitude and vision of your big day!
If you’re having a hard time coming up with personal details or unique styling elements, we’ve jotted down a quick list to jog your creativity! Remember that nearly anything will bring personality to these photos, especially if it is in a matching color palette.
- Bridal Jewelry (Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, arm bands, and of course – rings!)
- Ring Boxes
- Garter Set
- Shoes (His or Hers)
- Personalized signs from your wedding decor
- Prints (Printed photos, mini artwork prints, polaroids)
- Perfume Bottles
- Nail Polish
- Wedding Bands
- Make Up
- Stamps (Rubber or Mailing!)
- Tickets (Movie tickets, train tickets, boarding passes for your honeymoon)
- Handwritten Letters/Vows
- Fruit Slices
- Ice Cream – or just the Sprinkles!
- Mixed Drinks
- Wood Slices
- Fabric (Especially textured fabric such as burlap or linen!)
Interested in the suggested timeline for sending out your Invitations and Save the Dates? There are few hard-and-fast rules as engagement lengths vary drastically from couple to couple. Typically I suggest that my brides schedule their engagement sessions four weeks before they’d like to mail out their Save the Dates. If your engagement is going to be more than eight months long, I recommend mailing your Save the Dates at least six months before your wedding. If you’re engaged for less than eight months, I vote that you schedule your engagement session as soon as possible to give your guests as much time as you can to ask off of work and make necessary travel arrangements. Basic Invites does sell Save the Dates and invitation suites that do not have a photo component to them, so if you’re looking at a shorter engagement it may be in your best interest to send a typography/calligraphy centered Save the Date instead and use your engagement photos on unique decorative elements in your wedding – we’ll talk more on that in a later post!
When it comes to the suggested timeline for your wedding invitational suite, Basic Invites recommends looking into choosing the colors and design for your invitations about eight months prior to your wedding date. This gives you plenty of time to order samples and play around with the different customizable elements until you have an exact copy of your ideal invitation in your hands. Basic Invites also recommends ordering your invitations at least four months before your wedding to allow 5-10 days for standard shipping, and then mailing everything out at least three months prior to your wedding.