In general, there are 3 ways of acquiring invitations for your special event — hire a designer, order from a catalogue or do it yourself. At Impressions, we don’t believe that one is necessarily better or worse than another, but it’s important to examine each to determine what will work best for you. Below, we’ve put together some of the benefits and drawbacks for each.
Do it Yourself (D.I.Y.)
If you’re a crafty person with a relatively good knowledge of design, you may consider doing your invitations yourself. You may have fun doing them alone or together with your girlfriends, and if done right, you can save a few dollars in the process. There are tons of resources available today with tips and ideas to get your started. Pinterest will be your best friend!
It’s important to note however, that doing invitations yourself can be tricky business if you’ve never done that sort of thing before. Many brides underestimate the cost and difficulties when it comes to DIY design and printing. First of all, good quality materials at retail prices are much more expensive than many people think. If you’re looking for heavy, metallic card stock or fancy enclosures, do your research so that you know what to expect. If you plan to print them on your home printer, be aware that many desktop printers have limitations and aren’t able to feed through heavy card stock or print on specialty papers. Printing on a desktop printer will never measure up to the quality of a professional printing service. And lastly, invitations with various layers of cardstock and embellishments can be frustrating and tedious to assemble. Research what additional tools and adhesive materials you may need to purchase.
Ordering From a Catalogue
Many websites and boutiques offer a catalogue of invitation designs that you can choose from. If you’re not a very creative person or don’t know quite what you’re looking for yet, browsing a catalogue is probably the best way to go. It’ll help you narrow down what you like and don’t like and gives you the opportunity to visualize what your final invitation will look like. Many catalogues offer a degree of customization such the opportunity to change colours, fonts or perhaps even paper finishes. These days with the internet, there’s certainly a wide range of designs to choose from at many different price points.
If you’re the type of person who wants something truly unique and special for your invitations, ordering from a catalogue may not be the best option for you since many other people have used and are going to use the same design. Some catalogue designs are highly customizable while others are limited to what you see. While many stationery boutiques have great catalogue samples that you can see and feel in person, be wary of ordering invitations over the internet without seeing a hard-copy sample. While you may be getting a great price, the quality may not be up to snuff.
Hiring a Designer/Stationer
The obvious major benefit to hiring a designer or stationer is that they can design something completely custom just for you. A good designer will discuss your vision and your budget and partner with you to make your vision come to life. You will likely get excellent, personalized service from someone with a thorough knowledge of design, printing and stationery etiquette, who will hold your hand throughout the process.
As is to be expected, this route is generally the most expensive because of the one-on-one personalized service you’ll receive. Having said that, many designers are flexible and willing to work with you to design something within your budget. They also know tips and tricks to help you save money in certain areas if you need to. Since they have access to materials at wholesale prices, in the end you may not end up paying much more than if you decide to do it yourself paying high retail prices for your materials and you won’t have the stress of having to figure out everything on your own and hours of work.
Designers will usually send you digital (PDF) mock-ups during the design process and show you paper and embellishment samples to help you visualize the design, but if you’re the type of person who has a hard time visualizing a design without seeing it in front of you, you may prefer to go the catalogue route.
When deciding which route to go, think about the following factors:
- How upscale is your event?
- What are your skills and knowledge when it comes to design and printing?
- What does your family expect and how important is it that you adhere to their expectations?
- What budget do you have to work with?
At Impressions, we offer both an exclusive catalogue collection of designs as well as personalized, custom services. We pride ourselves on offering excellent quality stationery and helpful customer service every step of the way. Browse our galleries and book a complimentary consultation to get started.