“When should we start working on our invitations?”
Although this is not our #1 most asked question (“How much does an invitation cost?” gets that title), it’s totally in the top 5.
Stationery design and production can be an interesting dance that is mysterious to the average person. There are so many options for paper, materials, and printing methods, that can so easily overwhelm. When the desk in our office goes from a clean surface to an overflow of paper, ribbon, envelope and wax seal options, we have often heard our couples exclaim, “we had no idea how involved this process was going to be!”
There is oh so much more to an invitation set than choosing a design and pressing print.
This is why timing can be such an incredibly important hidden player in the whole process.
Why is timing important?
While printing has made enormous advances over the past one hundred years, it still takes time, and different processes have milestones that cannot easily be rushed.
For any stationery work, there is design time for us to create, proofing time for you to highlight areas requiring edits or changes, and then back to us to make those changes, then back to you, and so on until everything is just right. See? Like we mentioned above… a dance.
This design portion requires both sides to be active and prompt participants to ensure timelines are kept. Being clear and concise with your, ideas, requests and edits makes the word of difference to the process. It helps us put the ball back into your court in the way of an updated proof so much quicker.
Supplies and tools
It takes time for paper and other base materials to ship and get into our hands so we can pass it along to those who are producing the work. Sometimes we are able to order items at the time we start designing so that they are available when the artwork is approved. Other times, like when foiling or letterpress is involved, this is not possible.
We have mentioned it before when we discussed printing methods, but it’s good to go over it again. Different printing methods require a different timeline for production.
So, if you want foiling, but you need them for next week. Sorry, you will most likely be up the creek without a paddle!
Digital invitations will take between 2-4 weeks for normal production
Letterpress and Foiling will take a minimum of 3 weeks to complete.
These numbers need to be factored into the overall timelines to ensure that you are giving enough time for your final in-hand date.
Some portions of assembly can take a ridiculous amount of time. Deckled edges are a fantastic example. They are incredibly pretty, but each side is hand torn, which can add up time-wise for 150 invitations.
If you would like any assembly or finishing done on your sets, it’s important that that time is added in as well.
So, when should I start on my stationery?
We tell couples that they can start working on their stationery as soon as the ring drops and they have the numbers, location and time in place.
If you pencil in that your stationery will take approximately 4-7 weeks from consult to completion, that gives you a rough idea of when you want to set your in-hand date for. You want to make sure that you have enough time to stamp and seal before you bring them to the post.
If you are looking for save-the-date cards to send out prior to your invitation package, this information can be transferred to that as well!
Next week we will be talking about the timelines of invitations and when you will need to send them out by! So stay tuned!
If you are looking for stationery for the 2020 year and want to see how we can help? Let us know!