It’s February. Every bride, groom and wedding planner in Calgary (and around the world) is on the phone, locking in plans. With spring weddings just two months away and those big summer month’s right around the corner, it’s no surprise that suddenly brides everywhere have hand cramps from writing deposit cheques. Soon, our faithful Canadian mail carriers will be delivering sweet smelling envelopes to excited Grandma’s everywhere.
Wedding stationary is another task I have found a little bit daunting – I went into the process a little empty handed in the preconceived vision department. I thought (well, hoped and wished) you just went in knowing your colours and a rough idea of your numbers and voila! Like some sort of magic machine, you entered your venue, your wedding style and it matched you up with a paper texture and out popped the perfect invitation.
For me, invitations caused the second case of a new disease I have self-diagnosed myself with – W.I.P. Wedding Indecision Paralysis. I know I’m not alone in this affliction and having successfully recovered from it, I dedicate this post to educating brides on how to avoid WIP when it comes to stationary.
Know your colours
Sounds so simple, I know. But instead of trying to articulate your perfect aubergine, head to your local paint or hardware store to pick up some paint samples of your colours. Grab 4 or 5 copies of each colour to keep in your purse. That way, you have them on hand when you visit the baker, the florist or the stationary shop. Your stationary colours don’t have to match your wedding colours exactly – maybe you have one dominant colour that is a consistent through line, but your invitations reflect a more traditional side or a quirkier side. For great colour combinations, check out The Perfect Palette for buckets of ideas and inspiration.
Know your numbers
Another duh but I thought I would mention it because (surprise surprise) I didn’t know our numbers when we went in. 80 Save the Dates = 80 Invitations = 160 place cards = roughly 14 – 16 table numbers (assuming the Bridal Party understands where they sit) = well, how many programs do you want? *gulp* Ordering your invitations from a shop that specializes in wedding stationary means that their staff will be able to advise you. They are the experts on understanding ordering numbers as well as showing you great examples of stationary based on your venue, theme and formality. Vistaprint.com cannot do that for you.
Know what products you want
You know you want invitations. But everything else could technically be deemed non-essential. You don’t have to have escort cards, you can make your own Table Board and your program could be done on a single 8.5 x 11 that sits in a pretty frame on the table near the guest book. Just because a shop offers every piece of stationary imaginable does not mean you have to buy it. Here’s a great post from theknot.com offering a checklist of different stationary products so you can get an idea of what you’d like beforehand.
Know your budget
This is where knowing what products you want will come in handy-dandy. Avoid getting carried away by doing some rough numbers before you head into the store. Take a no-fuss no-muss friend with you whose job it is to politely say “No, thank you” and pinch your arm when you try and order menus for every place setting with each individual’s name hand written in calligraphy using ink from the Swiss Alps.
Know your fella
Is he going to like the lace border you just picked out? Is he going to adore the graphic design of a puppy with a big bow around his neck chasing butterflies? If you can’t take him with you – or if you can’t drag him kicking and screaming – don’t take the opportunity to have things done your way. Show him some pictures before hand and at least get him to tell you styles that he likes so you can work out a happy compromise. The same goes for you – do your homework. Cut out a few photos of stationary that you like, or maybe you’ve received invitations from other weddings that you thought were quite sharp. Have some ideas in mind when you head in.
Last but not least – remember that people tend to keep your wedding invitation as a keepsake and not much else. So no, you don`t need ribbon weaved from unicorn hair for your programs and you don`t need six different pieces of paper to make the enclosure cards. Keep your wits about you! For beautiful Calgary stationary stores, The Wedding Fair website has a listing of places that were at the show this year, complete with links to their websites, which is the perfect place to start.