All my love,
Work smarter, not harder.That phrase is easily my father's favorite in his arsenal of "you're doing that wrong" idioms. My brother and I hear it a lot when we do carpentry work with him.And I've been hearing it quite frequently in my own head, which means it's time for a break.For the next few months, I will not be taking on any new clients for weddings or other design projects. I've decided that I need a small hiatus to recharge, revitalize, and reorganize myself. More than anything, I just need rest. For too long now I've been running full-steam ahead with little fuel in the tank and little money in the bank.If I'm being honest with myself, I've felt pretty drained since my grandfather passed away last May. He was a great presence in my life, and his passing took a lot out of me, emotionally and creatively. Combine that with a car accident in August, drama in my personal life, surgery last month, and a 9–5 job that increasingly needs more and more of my time and energy, and I'm on my way to crash and burn.I'm going to spend this summer working on myself, both personally and professionally. I want to be a better business woman, but more than anything, I want to be a happier business woman, and I can't do that if I'm perpetually stressed and exhausted.If you are an existing client, please don't worry. All of my ongoing projects will continue with their previously established timelines! Nothing will be left unfinished, and I will continue to give them 100%.My plan is to return in August in time to start taking stationery orders for the winter holidays. Keep an eye on the Alexa Creative blog and social media for updates. For now, everyone enjoy the warmer months ahead of us!
All my love,
An angry mob of stationers will be at my door by the end of this blog entry, because I'm here to tell you the truth about envelope liners. Sure, they're beautiful and add that extra touch to your wedding suite.
And your guests probably aren't going to see them.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good envelope liner. They're truly exquisite and are like an extra canvas in a wedding suite. They can be patterns, pictures, text, maps, anything you want really. On top of being lovely, evenleope liners are also ridiculously easy to DIY. Templates are readily available in craft stores and online, making it easy to cut lines from large sheets of patterned paper.
But realistically, once you seal your envelopes, it's unlikely anyone will see the pretty liner that you worked so hard on. From a practical standpoint, most people slit envelopes open across the top, leaving the flap adhered. This means that not only will your guests not see the lined flap, but the portion of the liner not adhered to the envelope is likely to fall out when the envelope contents are removed.
Again, I love beautifually lined envelopes, but I also feel it's my duty to disclose the most fiscally responsible choices to couples planning weddings. I want your big day to be special and everything you've ever dreamed of, but I also don't want you to have to break the bank in order to have that dream day.
By far one of the most time-consuming tasks of planning a wedding is figuring out where everyone is going to sit for the reception. Unless you intend on having an informal setting where guests can choose their own seat, a little directionality is going to be necessary to avoid seating confusion.
I frequently get asked if I design place cards (the answer being yes), and I always end up responding with the same question: Do you want place cards, escort cards, or both?
Unsurprisingly, this leads to a lot more questions when I explain that place cards and escort cards are two different things.
Place cards (or place rocks, or place leaves, or whatever creative idea you come up with) are typically waiting at a guest's seat before they arrive. They'll list the guest's name and chosen entrée, if applicable. Designating someone's seat at a wedding is a very old-fashioned custom that isn't usually seen nowadays. I can only assume that it dates back to when it was thought to be improper to have the same sex sitting next to each other, or even for husband and wife to be elbow to elbow at the dinner table. The idea was that using place cards to designate guests' seats for them would invigorate the flow of conversation, keeping it animated and fresh, as well as keeping married couples from getting handsy during the first course.
Escort cards, on the other hand, are not quite so specific, and will normally be laid out on a table or some other creative way for guests to pluck up as they enter the reception venue. They'll indicate the guest's name, table number, and chosen entrée, if applicable. Place cards can work in tandem with escort cards, but are not necessary.
And the third option, which many couples don't even think of, is seating charts. Escort cards and place cards are really only necessary if your guests were asked to choose an entrée when they RSVP'd because said meal is usually indicated on the escort/place card. However, if you've opted to have a buffet reception or family-style dinner, neither card is needed because guests will fend for themselves. Seating charts can help cut down on cost and waste, depending on how fancy you make them. Seating charts lists all of the guests and which table they'll be seated at. Keep in mind that while it may be tempting to organize your seating chart by table (and prettier), listing your guests in alphabetical order will make it easier for everyone to find their table and prevent a traffic jam at the entrance of your reception!
In a perfect world, everyone wants their big day to be three things: memorable, fun, and as inexpensive as humanly possible. With what the wedding industry is today, that last item is not an easy thing to check off when you're trying to create your dream wedding. Being frugal is difficult when you come across a venue, a dress, a cake, or even a centerpiece that makes your heart flutter with excitement. Obviously, that's not what your wedding is about, but no one should ever tell you to dream smaller for such an important day. Your big day is exactly that, yours.
Thanks to Pinterest, DIY is huge in the modern wedding world, and many couples have found great ways to save money on their big day. My friend built his own centerpieces for his wedding two years ago, while another skipped the assembly fee for her invitations by stuffing, stamping, and sealing them herself (with the help of her fiancé and a lot of wine).
Digital is all the rage now, too. I get many clients who ask what I think about having an online RSVP instead of a paper one. Many couples opt to have their guests go to a webpage to RSVP or even create an email address specifically for their wedding. While I'm clearly biased and will always prefer a traditional paper response card, there are many benefits to having your guests RSVP online:
- Less paper. The most obvious benefit of a digital RSVP is that there's no paper involved (unless you opt to have an insert informing guests that you're doing an online RSVP). Not only does this mean less waste (you should always recycle your response cards), but this also means less time spent on the designing, printing, and assembling of your entire wedding suite.
- No postage. If there's nothing to mail, then that's one less stamp you need to purchase. Postage can often be the most expensive part of your wedding suite, especially if the mailing envelope requires extra stamps.
- No mailing. No one enjoys dealing with the post office, especially when mail gets lost. Digital RSVPs remove the worry and wait of the postal system. No more lost response cards!
- Less money. Obviously, if you're not having a traditional RSVP done, you're saving quite a bit of money. For couples who opt to list the URL of their RSVP on their invite (I see nothing wrong with this, but some choose to do a separate insert instead), they're saving on paper, envelopes, postage, design, and printing.
Keep in mind that there are some disadvantages to a digital response card. Before deciding to take this route, look over your guest list and make sure that you're comfortable with the online abilities of everyone you're inviting. Is there someone who can assist Great Aunt Muriel in RSVPing? Are you posititve that everyone has access to the Internet? I understand that it's 2017, but everyone's situation is different.
Like a traditional RSVP, you will still undoubtedly have to track down some people via phone or email when they miss your response deadline. With a digital RSVP, you may even get a few guests who call or email to respond. Be patient, and make sure to track all of your responding guests in a spreadsheet. Some online services, such as RSVPify and anRSVP, even have built in tracking for users. When using a digital RSVP, it's best to give guests an extra week to respond. Traditionally, guests are asked to respond 4–6 weeks before your big day. Building that extra week into your timeline will allow everyone to respond in a timely manner and cut down on your stress!
Wedding hashtags are still very popular, and couples get pretty creative coming up with different ways to involve their guests on social media. Snapchat, while not new anymore, is still expanding the ways it engages its users, and one of the best ways is opening the creation of geofilters to the general public two years ago.
For reasons I cannot fathom, custom wedding filters for Snapchat haven't caught on like wildfire. A custom geofilter is a unique feature, great for weddings and any other event that you want to add a distinct and personal touch to. They are a fun way to engage guests in your big day and get some truly memorable snapshots to look back on later (or not, if you're not quick to screenshot them!).
I will now be offering custom wedding filters to all of my clients. If you're looking to have one designed, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pricing will vary depending the location and duration of your custom Snapchat geofilter. I look forward to adding this fun factor to your big day!
Note: a single Snapchat geofilter can only be applied to one location. If your ceremony and reception are in two different places, I would suggest applying the filter to the reception instead of the ceremony, as it's definitely the location where you're more likely to get the fun and silly Snaps! Plus, you really don't want guests on their phones during your entire ceremony.