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For all you brides-to-be who like to be on top of things… you may want to hold off on buying the stamps for your wedding invitations! As of Sunday, April 17th, the rate of postage is going up.

So, here’s my advice…. If you’ve got your invitations ready to mail, go ahead and buy your stamps now. Just be sure to mail them out by this Saturday. If you’ve got a little while before your invites are ready to go out, HOLD OFF! No need to spend all that money on those pretty stamps only to find out that you’ve got to add a $.02 or $.01 stamp on to your envelope!

In case you were curious what new options are out there for you, here are some of the more common stamps that I buy for my brides…

The new standard postage for wedding invitations will be $.64.
Below are a couple options for you.

If you happen to be sending out a response postcard,
this is the only $.29 stamp that the Post Office offers.

If you happen to have an undersized or fairly light wedding invitation,
you can use one of these $.44 stamps.
I sometimes have brides that are not a fan of the
postcard postage who opt for these stamps as well.

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You may not realize just how many steps go into organizing and preparing your wedding stationery. From creating your guest list to finalizing all your ceremony and reception details, many things affect your wedding stationery preparations.

There are no absolute deadlines for many of the steps involved in this process. However, there are some approximate time frames that you may find helpful to avoid last-minute rushing.

8 months – 1 year

  • Begin working on your guest list so you will know how many wedding invites (and possibly save the dates) to eventually order (one per single adult, couple, family or household invited).
  • Contact TEN:THIRTEEN design to begin your custom wedding stationery process.
  • If you are planning to mail out save the dates, TEN:THIRTEEN design can create those as well.

7 months

  • If you will be sending save the dates, place your order.

5 – 6 months

  • If you have ordered and received your save the dates, prepare and mail them. If you prefer, I can take care of mailing them for you.
  • Select your wedding invitation design and gather all the details that will be printed on them such as date, times, name and address of location(s), etc.
  • Determine what stationery extras you will also be ordering. You can refer to the Wedding Stationery Checklist on my website for a complete listing. The more items you can order together, the more you will save by avoiding separate printing costs later.
  • If you are including response cards, check with your reception/dinner location to see how far in advance they need your final guest count. This will help you select the reply date that will be printed on the cards (typically 2-3 weeks before wedding). You also need to decide whose address will be printed on the response envelope or postcard (meaning they will receive the replies).

3 – 4 months

  • Finalize your wording and place your wedding invite order. Remember to add at least 10 extra or 10% to your order now so you do not run out later.
  • Review your guest list to make sure you have current addresses for everyone.
  • If you are having TEN:THIRTEEN design create address labels, be sure to email the names and addresses in an Excel spreadsheet. You can request an Excel spreadsheet sample if you are unsure of how to set it up.
  • If you would like to have calligraphy done, let me know. I have several go-to calligraphers who do extraordinary work with competitive pricing.

2 months

TEN:THIRTEEN design can take care of the following:

  • Fold and/or assemble your wedding invitations if necessary.
  • Print reply address on the back flap or print and apply labels.
  • Purchase and apply postage stamps to the response card envelopes or response postcards.
  • Assemble all wedding invitation pieces and insert them into already addressed envelopes.
  • Take one fully assembled invitation to the Post Office to have it weighed to determine the correct amount of postage needed.
  • Create custom wedding stamps if you choose to use them.
  • Purchase your stamps or order custom stamps with appropriate postage amount required for mailing.

6 – 8 weeks

  • TEN:THIRTEEN design can also seal the envelopes, apply postage stamps and mail your wedding invitations if you like.

3 – 4 weeks

  • If TEN:THIRTEEN design created any other wedding related invitations (rehearsal dinner, post-wedding brunch, etc.), I can prepare and mail them as well.
  • Keep track of the response cards as they are returned by checking off their names on your invitation guest list.
  • If you would like for me to design your “day of” pieces (programs, table numbers, escort cards, etc.), send all of your details (names, readings, etc.) to me.

2 – 3 weeks

  • Contact any guests who did not mail back their response cards.
  • Provide final guest count to reception/dinner location.

1 week

  • If you ordered any “day of” pieces, make sure to get them to the appropriate locations. If you are crunched for time, TEN:THIRTEEN design may be able to do this for you.

After the wedding

  • Send personalized thank you notes to your guests.

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A Color for All Seasons
Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing “everyday” about it.

While the 2010 color of the year, PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise, served as an escape for many, Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.

Honeysuckle products are currently available from a variety of manufacturers:

Wedding Apparel
A flattering hue for wedding attendant apparel and accessories, Honeysuckle is now one of the nearly 200 PANTONE WEDDING Colors available from Dessy, a leading manufacturer of bridesmaid, social-occasion and flower-girl dresses. PANTONE WEDDING exclusively from Dessy provides a collection of color tools to make it easy for brides to achieve perfectly color-coordinated weddings – from inspiration to “I do.”

 

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Tradition states that the bride’s parents are responsible for fronting the bill for the wedding reception; these days, the bride’s parents, groom’s parent, and the couple themselves all contribute to the wedding pool. That said, it helps to come to the budgeting table prepped with the traditional list of which side pays for what. These conventional “rules” can then be adjusted according to your financial situations:

Wedding Costs Paid by the Bride and/or Bride’s Parents:

  • Ceremony rental fee
  • Bride’s dress and accessories
  • Ceremony flowers and décor
  • Bouquets for bridesmaids and flower girl
  • Photography and videography
  • Engagement party
  • Bridesmaids’ luncheon
  • All vendor services for reception, including food, beverages, décor, and entertainment
  • Groom’s ring
  • Invitations and stationery
  • Transportation for bridal party to and from ceremony and reception

Wedding Costs Paid by the Groom and/or Groom’s Parents:

  • Marriage license and officiant’s fee
  • Groom’s attire
  • Bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for ushers, and corsages for mothers and grandmothers
  • Honeymoon Travel
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Bachelors’ dinner
  • Both of the bride’s rings

Costs Incurred by the Wedding Attendants:

  • Their own attire, including shoes and accessories
  • Bridal party hosts bridal shower and bachelorette party
  • Groom’s party hosts the bachelor party

This list was found on eleGala.com.

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Get started with these three steps to setting your wedding budget

The numbers are in, and they aren’t pretty. With the average wedding cost at over $28,000, it’s no wonder tackling the budget is one of the most overwhelming tasks on your to-do list. eleGala.com has sorted the figures to help you put it all in perspective and build a plan of attack.

Step 1: Talk to all contributing parties

As the cost of weddings increase, so does the number of people paying for them (good news for the bride’s parents, who no longer need to take out a second mortgage to fund their daughter’s nuptials). You’ll need to sit down with everyone who is going to contribute to the wedding-day piggy bank and discuss how to logically divide the tab and arrive at a total number.

The old-school rules dictating who pays for what are meant to be broken, but you can definitely use these wedding etiquette guidelines on who pays for what as a starting point for your budget discussion.

Step 2: Allocate totals for each service accordingly

Now that you’ve arrived at a reasonable total budget, you’ll need to determine where that money is going to go. Come up with a list of items/vendors/details you’ll need, and how much you’ll allocate to each. Then you can customize each amount based on your style and priorities. For instance, if a fabulous wedding gown is particularly important to you, you may splurge in that area, and make up for it by cutting back on your floral arrangements.

Step 3: Get a system and start saving

You’ll need to establish a reliable method to keep track of all savings and expenditures. There are endless ways to save and track your finances, from sophisticated software to old-fashioned spreadsheets. You can download easy-to-use budgeting software at My Wedding Organizer, Five Star Software or Elm Software.

Step 4: Bank it

If you’ve already got a hefty seed to put down for your affair, talk with your financial institution about the best way to accrue interest leading up to your big day. A seemingly nominal interest rate can mean the difference between Vera Wang and hand-me-downs. Just be sure to open an account separate from your personal savings so that you won’t be tempted to dip into the funds and ultimately find yourself in the hole.

Step 5: Save smart

If you are starting from zero with your wedding-day savings, consider paying for as many of your expenses as possible on a credit card that amasses benefits like frequent flier miles, rewards, or cash back that can go toward your honeymoon travel.

This list was found on eleGala.com.

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I don’t know about you, but when I was planning my wedding, sticking to the budget was darn near impossible! I couldn’t believe how quickly things added up! And as of recently, with our economic situation, saving money is top priority on the “to do” list! In effort to help all of you with your wedding budget, I thought I would post some tips on how to save some $$$.

Cut That Guest List

The easiest and most efficient way to slice your wedding budget in half is to shrink your guest list.  Food and beverage costs are charged per person, and whether you choose to serve filet and caviar or vegetable pasta and chicken wings, the cost is going to multiply by the number you are feeding. Also consider things such as table linens and centerpieces, chair set up fees, favors, cake cutting fees…- the cost of these services is based on the number of guests at your wedding. Fewer guests mean less spent on these wedding standards and more money available for a luxurious honeymoon or a down payment on a house.

Consider the Time

The most desirable dates and times (ie. Saturday nights in June) come with the highest price tags. Consider throwing your bash during the off-season – a Sunday afternoon in January can be equally elegant and romantic if done right. Along the same lines, host an event that does not coincide with a meal time and offer a menu entirely of hors d’oeuvres and/or desserts.

Enhance Your Surroundings

Expensive décor is hardly necessary when Mother Nature does the work for you. A springtime garden wedding hardly needs additional floral arrangements, while an ornate church may be breathtaking on its own. Many facilities are decorated for the holidays, so holding a December wedding may provide you with gorgeous poinsettias and garland free-of-cost.

Keep It Simple

The words “elaborate” and “expensive” go hand in hand, but “simple” does not necessarily equate to “low end.” Intricate details on your wedding cake and in your flower arrangements take more time and therefore cost more. Minimal adornments keep the presentation elegant and chic – and won’t break your wedding budget.

Enlist a Pro

Hiring a wedding coordinator to save you money sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes you have to spend a little to save a little. Once you’ve set a budget, a wedding coordinator will work with you and his/her network of preferred vendors to make your dreams come true within your budget.

Cut the Extras

With everything from photography to transportation, never surrender to the upsell. A custom photo album or cable TV in your limo might sound like a good idea at the time, but if it is not at the top of your priority list, chances are you can live without it.

Learn the Lingo

A little extra research will pay off in the end if you know what you are talking about. There are so many industry terms that are associated with everything from invitations to videography, so if you know what you are dealing with then you will know what you really need.

Something Old and Borrowed

Nowadays, anything retro screams chic, and borrowed items will help you save on wedding costs. Add a sentimental touch and honor your heritage by wearing your mother’s wedding gown, donning your grandmother’s veil or jewelry, or simply using old family photos as table décor. Not only will you add a hint of personalization to your already memorable occasion, but you’ll save a pretty penny too.

Get Crafty

Recruit a few talented friends and family members to help fashion your wedding. A graphics guru can create your stationery, a crafty friend can assist with favors and centerpieces, and a musically inclined relative can provide ceremony music. Assigning these roles to guests will give them an important role in your wedding day and help you to mind your wedding budget.

Think Double Duty

Make your each of your wedding-day components work for you, not against you. Bridesmaids’ bouquets and ceremony arrangements can be transplanted as cake table décor, and favors can be artfully displayed as centerpieces for your guests to take home at the end of the night. Aside from cutting down on waste, you’ll also get the most bang for your matrimonial buck.

This list was found on elegala.com.

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I recently found this list on theKnot.com and thought it’s definitely something that all you brides should know about your wedding stationery!

Mistake #1: Trying to incorporate every aspect of the wedding into the invitation design

While it’s good to give your stationery a personal element (like your venue’s amazing chandelier), less is more. “We’ve had brides who are adamant that we include the lace pattern of their dress, the architectural elements of their venue, and a motif based on their floral arrangements all in the same design,” says Matt McNary at Hammerpress in Kansas City, MO. Instead, work with your stationer to choose one.

Mistake #2: Missing typos

Ask your grammatically inclined friends to look over the invitation proof and read it carefully. You’d be surprised at what you could miss. Erika Firm at Delphine in Rancho Sante Fe, CA, told us about a bride who accidentally spelled her groom’s name wrong! The invitations printed and shipped out to guests (even though the bride and groom and both their parents reviewed and approved the proof). Take a note from copy editors and read from right to left so you don’t accidentally gloss over something that’s wrong.

Mistake #3: Using too much color

We’re all about making invites pop with bold and bright colors (think: a yellow chevron pattern or pink dahlia motif), but don’t get carried away. Always balance bright colors with something neutral, and make sure the text is visible. Kristy Rice of Momental Designs in Scranton, PA, suggests a palette of three to five colors, with one or two being neutral, such as ivory, white, gold, or tan.

Mistake #4: Addressing the envelopes yourselves

Addressing the envelopes takes time, and many stationers offer the service at little or no charge. If you decide to do it yourself, don’t do it all in one sitting. Give yourself plenty of time to avoid making any mistakes.

Mistake #5: Giving guests too much time to reply

Give guests too much time to RSVP, and they’ll get lost. Set the deadline no more than three or four weeks after they get the invitation. “Any more than that and they’ll forget they even have an event to respond to,” says Rice.

Mistake #6: Over-ordering

Keep in mind that you don’t need an invitation for every person, so take a look at your guest list and figure out how many houses you’ll be sending invites to before you give your stationer any numbers. It can cut your order in half.

Mistake #7: Or…not ordering enough

On the flip side, you don’t want to be stuck having to order more. Order at least 25 percent extra to ensure you have enough for late additions, lost invites, and keepsakes. “It is very expensive to go back to print with letterpress, engraving, or offset printing,” say Kristen Armstrong and Cheree Berry of Cheree Berry Paper in St. Louis, MO. And ask for extra envelopes too, in case of any addressing mistakes.

Mistake #8: Forgetting to put stamps on the reply envelope

It’s an obvious one but an often overlooked detail. “Seriously, it is near impossible to steam open an envelope once it has been sealed,” Armstrong and Berry say.

Mistake #9: Purchasing postage without weighing a sample

We know you’re excited to order the invites and check another thing off your list, but weighing it at your local post office first will save you the headache later. “No one wants to deal with the hassle of invitations returned because of insufficient postage,” says Rice.

Mistake #10: Waiting too long to hire a calligrapher

You should book your calligrapher when you book your stationer so the two can work together from the start. Hire too late, and you may have to pay a rush fee.

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