Win your Wedding Invitations!

Simply Designed is GIVING AWAY and entire wedding stationery package!

Enter for your chance to win wedding stationery of your choice from our signature wedding collection. 

Simply Designed Stationery Give

With so many wedding-related costs to consider while planning your big day, wouldn’t it be nice if something came without a price tag? Lucky for you, we’re offering the opportunity to get gorgeous wedding stationery entirely for free. Simply Designed is offering one lucky couple the opportunity to get their wedding stationery (invitations, RSVP cards, and one insert card) entirely for free. Yes you read that right, entirely free!

No matter what kind of couple you are, what style wedding you’re hosting, or what time of year you’re tying the knot, our beautiful collection of bridal stationery has something for everyone. Plus, winning this amazing stationery stash couldn’t be easier! Simply enter our giveaway before March 15 and you could be the lucky couple-to-be chosen to win a $650 stationery package.

Winning includes: 100 Wedding Invitations, 100 RSVP’s, 100 Enclosure cards, envelopes for all items and printing of all envelopes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY: To enter and for full rules, go to http://sdinvites.com/win-your-wedding-invitations/. Starts February 20, 2015 at 12:00 Noon EST and ends 12:00 Noon EST March 15, 2015. Open to all legal residents of the 50 United States/ D.C., 18 or older, except employees of Simply Designed, their immediate families and those living in the same household. Odds of winning depends on the number of entries received. Void outside of the United States and where prohibited. Average Value of Prize $700. 

{Beautiful photos provided by Barefotos Photography.}

Invitation Etiquette

Many couples ask me for advice on the etiquette of the wording of their wedding invitations. There are two ways you can go with this. If your wedding will be a less-than-traditional setting, the wording of the wedding invitation can be as creative as you want: Think meaningful song lyrics, quotations or any other phrases that will give your guests a sense of the style of your wedding. Just don’t forget to include the basics:

  • Your name and the name of your fiancé, including last names if you want.
  • The date, location, and time of the wedding.
  • The location and time of the reception.
  • Reply information.

The same above goes for a formal wedding invitation, but there are some rules you will need to follow. Below are some of the top invitation wording questions I get from my couples, I hope it helps you navigate the tricky, but fun, world of wedding stationery.

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Your parents are divorced but are still hosting the wedding together.
The proper way to word an invitation when the bride’s parents are divorced and hosting the wedding together is to list the names of the bride’s parents at the top, these should be the first lines of the invitation. The bride’s mother’s name should be on the first line and her father’s name should go on the line beneath it; do not separate the lines with “and.” If the bride’s mother has not remarried, use “Mrs.” followed by her first name, maiden name, or married name.

Your divorced parents have remarried.
Traditionally, only the parents’ names appear on the invitation, but it’s perfectly acceptable to list your stepparents with them. Place your mother (and her husband, if she’s remarried) first, and include your last name.

One or both of your parents are deceased.
If one parent is still living, that parent should issue the invitation. If your mother has not remarried, you should place “Mrs.” before her name.

If neither of your parents is alive, the invitation may be issued by you and your fiancé or other relatives, such as your grandparents (in which case you should handle it as you would divorced parents who have remarried).

You or one of your parents is a doctor.
It is perfectly acceptable for medical doctors to use their titles on wedding invitations; academic doctors should not use theirs. If your mother is a doctor but your father is not, place her name, preceded by “Doctor,” on the invitation above your father’s. If your father is a doctor, it should read “Doctor (or “Dr.”) and Mrs. John Smith” on the same line. Using the word “and” in between the names indicates that they are still married. This also applies to Military titles, Congressional members and Judges.

The groom’s parents are issuing the invitation.
List your fiancé’s parents on the invitation as you would your parents, and include your last name.

You don’t want guests to bring children.
This is always a tough one. You don’t want to offend guests, but at the same time it is your day and you are allowed to do as you please. Not everyone knows that the only people invited to an event are the ones to which the invitation is addressed, in this day and age of email, traditions and formality has gone to the wayside. If you have friends who feel their little ones are always included, a quick phone call to tell them that your reception isn’t set up for children will get your point across―and it’s nicer than printing “No children, please” on the invitation or the response card, which to be honest with you is against wedding etiquette. The other options is to hire two or more babysitters for the evening and set up a children’s room, so parents can enjoy your ceremony and reception without the worry of finding a sitter.

You would like guests to contribute to a charity rather than give gifts.
As charitable as this request is, it still isn’t considered appropriate to place a reference to gifts on a wedding invitation. Instead, let your wedding party help get the word out, and make sure if you have a website you list it there.

10 Questions for a Stationer

As engagement season is upon us in the wedding industry, many couples are scouring the web for information on how to plan their wedding, when they should book vendors and what type of vendors they need to book. With the blogisphere filled with tips on booking your wedding photographer, buying your dress, what colors are in trend, stationers are in the no mans land of wedding planning. Of course you can always look through endless possibilities of wedding invitations in books or with an online source, but who wants something that 1,000s of other couples are using, but what other options do you have?!?! Well, you can always go with a custom stationer, and I promise it isn’t as expensive as it sounds, seriously!!! To get you started, I rounded up my most common questions, but I’m always, always, more than happy to talk with couples!

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1. May I see a sample invitation before I make my decision?

Your stationer should supply you with samples, paper samples, color samples and eventually a mock-up once you get into the designing process.

2. What vendors/printers will you be using?

You want the stationer to have a longstanding relationship with its vendor (printing, wholesalers and paper mills). Experience beats out lower costs always because the stationer may be able to use their connections to have mistakes fixed for free and there is a trust level that allows your stationery to provide the best final product for you.

3. May I see an example of your work or can we meet for a consultation?

The stationer should have many samples to show you. Depending on if you are working far or near, your stationery should be able to provide you with photographs of their work or actual examples, but this also goes back to Question 1.

4. Have any other brides in this area used this same invitation or color combination?

Now many couples each year choose the same color combinations because of trends, but when working with a custom designer, you should be receiving one of a kind invitations, and shouldn’t have to worry about others who have used that design.

5. What will this cost to mail?

The stationer will weigh a complete sample and total the cost. Make sure that they provide postal costs for your invitation AND Response card.

6. May I see a proof before it goes to press?

It is vital to see a proof before the final printing is done. Your stationer should be happy to share one with you whether it is electronic or a hard copy, this should be something discussed at the beginning of the project so schedule and time can be a factor here.

7. What kind of discount will you give me if I order all my printed materials at one time?

The stationer will likely provide a discount. It will vary, based on how many additional items you need printed and whether the same printer will handle the entire job. I typically advise couples what to print together and what will be the most cost effective for them.

8. What is the turnaround time?

Your stationer should be able to accommodate any schedule you have in mind, within reason. For custom work, I suggest you contact your selected stationer 6-8 months out from your wedding, it takes time to design and print wedding invitations.

9. Do I get a discount if it’s late?

Unless the tardiness is your fault―for example, due to a last minute change―you absolutely should get a discount or at least get your shipping costs reimbursed.

10. Who will handle assembly―that is, take care of ribbons, bows, or other decorations?

If that’s what you want, the stationer should do it herself, just check with the stationery because most charge an assembly fee, don’t assume that this is part of what you are paying for. Assembly takes time, so you should also make sure that this is part of your schedule.

Now stuffing the envelopes is a little bit different then hand assembly. Ideally, the stationer should offer to stuff them for you, just check for additional fees.

Celebrating our Birthday

4thBirthday

I can’t believe that we are upon another birthday, we are 4 years old today. The years keep going by faster and faster. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting on my living room floor hashing out a business plan, setting my five year plan, and just dreaming of the day that this company would be my full time job. Today my little company turns 4, one year shy of my five year plan, but I have been in business full time for just one year, and boy has it been a wild ride. I have surpassed my 5 year plan, and it is now time to start planning the next five years. Family and friends have stuck by me during the thick and sometimes way too thin. I had my breakdowns, my run for the door moments and I just can’t do this anymore. Running a business is hard work, sweat and tears. As a business owner you pour all your heart and soul… and sometimes savings… into creating your dream, but the rewards are beyond what anyone could have told me, and I wouldn’t change a thing, not one moment that brought me to this point. I’m looking forward to many more years of business and hoping you all stay with me on this long journey. I couldn’t have done any of this without the love and support of friends, family and all my clients, I love you all very, very much!

As I sit back and reflect (okay, for like 5 mins, then back to work) today, join me on my social media pages (facebook, twitter, google+ and instagram) while I celebrate my business birthday with some fun giveaways for everyone!