Budgeting Blues

I’ve heard it all.  I love the way you guys try and find a polite way of saying (basically) I want everything…for nothing.  And why not- you don’t get if you don’t ask.  And lets face it, how spectacular would your wedding day be if it wasn’t for that miserable fact that you had to pay for it 😦  I was a bride once myself.

So I thought today we could talk a little about your wedding budget and where your wedding stationery fits into it.  As a wedding stationer I suppose I should tell you that your “invitations will set the tone for your very special occasion, don’t cut corners blah blah, blah blah.  But…reality is (as many have so simply put it when they think I am out of ear shot) is that the majority of invitations will end up in the bin. Yes, mum keeps one, you keep one…the ‘muriel’ keeps everything but…  Yep.  Bin.  Ouch.  Sometimes the truth hurts.

So this is what I know.  It’s a rare bride that walks up to us at a bridal expo and tells us that wedding stationery is a huge part of her budget.  It’s normally ordered at the end of the planning process so the coffers are pretty bare and what you clipped out of the mags last year isn’t likely in the budget 3 months before the big day.

What to do, what to do??  Here’s some of my best budgeting tips when it comes to ordering wedding stationery.

  • Start with a list of who’s coming.  Sounds obvious but you would be amazed at how many people count individuals and not couples/families.  Divide by 2 and add a few spares for those last minute additions.  So the average wedding of 110 people – about 60 invitations.  Look at that, budget already halved!
  •  Accessory Cards.  Wishing Well Cards, Acceptance Cards. Map Cards.  There’s a good chance you could get away with only 50 of these.  Think about it.  Whilst Mum & Dad need an invitation they probably don’t need a reply card (it’s a given).  You don’t really need to do the bridal party either. And a map card – well, here’s hoping they are in the car beside you.  And hitting that group up for cash after they bought their dress and shoes, probably not.  So 10 less of each of these.  Probably just saved yourself $50.
  • Table Cards & Seating Charts.  Not only are you going to get rid of table clutter by getting rid of placecards but you will save heaps!  Table Cards are great.  They sit on the table with a list of who is allocated to that table and then the guests, grownups that they are, sit where they like on the table.  Definitely method to the madness, mum and dad down the front, his mates up the back, but seriously, do we really need to go boy, girl, boy…  A seating chart at the front of the room does the same sort of thing.  Savings here will be in the 000’s.
  • So this is technically not stationery but think about ordering your invitations a few weeks earlier than you planned.  No, I’m not trying to drum up business, but think about it. A huge chunk of your guest list is going to be people you see in the normal course of your week.  Mum & Dad, friends at the gym, colleagues at work.  Use the extra time to personally hand them your invitation.  It’s more personal but with stamps at 70c these days you will save a fortune too!
  • Extras.  Spend now or pay later.  There’s no doubt about it.  Every bride that has ever said to me, nope, I don’t need any spares has cursed about it later.  Things go missing in the mail.  Girls change boyfriends (and believe me they like the invite reissued!).  Mum runs into their old neighbour from 20 years ago at the local shops.  Twin sisters get forgotten (true story!). You will definitely incur surcharges when you want to reorder that extra 1 or 2 invites.  Much cheaper to have some spares up front.
  • Beware the Square! The Australian Postal System charges based on size. So you can use gorgeously thick and luxurious papers but you will pay for the larger envelopes.  Sure, you can stick a stamp on them and hope they get there. Or you can consider asking if the design can be reworked to something more postage friendly.  There’s a great new size 130mm x 180mm.  Fab Euro size that works a treat in our mail system.

So there you go.  Sure you can ask for the best price or you can wait for a special offer to come your way.  Both great ideas.  But please don’t expect the stationer to do all the heavy lifting.  A crooked layer on your beautiful papeterie is the equivalent of a sneeze ball on your tuna melt!  Besides, with a little creative manipulation we might just be able to get you into the stationery suite of your dreams!

Was that too harsh?  It was meant to make you laugh at least a little along the way.  In case of offence…try winning your way to your beautiful day with some amazing cash and prizes on offer from the Australian Bridal Industy.  I know there is at least one fabulouse stationery prize on offer!  Checkout this very cool competition and enter at

www.abia.com.au/bag

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Sweet Scribbles

Great moments in chalk history…lets see…there was Burt’s colourful landscape’s on the sidewalk in Mary Poppins, quadratic equations in year 9 maths and of course my cousin’s over embellished hop scotch games on Uncle Kev’s driveway.  There is just something lovely and romantic about simple chalk drawings.  Maybe it’s the innocence of youth, maybe it’s the rustic charm, who knows.  But whatever it is, the quaint chalkboard has given couples a new canvas to work with as they put the little details together for their wedding day.

There is no doubt, that as a stationer, the chalkboard, is an easy detail to pull into your wedding theme.  The lines are rustic and in their own way a little crude. The “blackboard” makes for a great backdrop to colour but the use of simple white is just as fabulous.  And the fonts – wow – getting playful with the use of bold fonts and dare I say it, grunge scripts, only adds to the charm.  So for us, what a great collection to create.  And for you, the chalkboard invitation is a great way to create a sense of vintage and nostalgia and set the tone for your wedding day. Checkout this great new Chalkboard Collection. Grab your FREE sample pack from this wedding stationery collection over the next couple of weeks.

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But the fun doesn’t have to stop with the invitations.  You can keep the dusty details going and the great part about it is that many of the other little chalkboard highlights are something you can do yourself.  The fab thing about chalkboard illustration is that the lines are rough and raw, so professional and perfect is out the door.  Signage is another great way to bring in the details – setup a sign on the footpath directing guests to the church – list out the seating arrangements at the front of the reception – put up a menu board so they can start arguing over who gets the chicken and who gets the beef.  Make a mistake? Can’t write straight? Dust it out and start again – it just adds to the charm!

There are so many great materials, you can make a “blackboard” out of almost anything, old mirror frames, pieces of plywood…Bunnings have “blackboard” spraypaint and on Ebay you’ll find adhesive sheets you can cut up and stick to just about anything.  Course, don’t forget to write and dust a few times before you start – just for that real chalkboard look! I love some of these great uses of the chalkboard ‘canvas’.

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Hues of Blue Just for You!

I don’t know if it’s just the sweltering heat sending us running for something cool and refreshing but we’ve been on a bit of a blue binge of late.  And what has been really amazing is how many tones of blue that are out there at the moment.  The array of fabrics is simply stunning for starters.  Everything from that barely ice blue – just perfect for a summer gown – to the soft baby blue’s that every skin tone looks great in.  And of course there are the traditional navy’s and royal blues, rich and stunning to warm up a winter wedding but what I am in love with is this grey-blue that has hit the stores this season.  Soft and stylish for summer and just so elegant. The light chiffons just drape beautifully.  Love it, love it, love it!

There are so many beautiful ways to bring blue into your wedding theme.  You’ve got girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes….the sky, the ocean, that ghostly blue of the eucalypt trees out west – blue is this patient and popular colour ready for you to work your creativity with.  It can glitter or just sit there softly in the background.

So we’ve spent some time with it these past few weeks – you should check out the matt white print on royal blue stock for a real fanfare in our Duchess invitation suite.  And we’ve freshened the vintage damask to make it a little lighter with our new Springfield design.  There’s some brighter blues to liven things up with our Harmony chalkboard and a few others to tickle your fancy.

So whatever the hue – there’s a blue for you!

Vintage fresh

Vintage fresh

Striking vibrance

Striking vibrance

Today's fashion

Today’s fashion

War of the Roses

Constructing a Seating Chart

So it’s your big day and you want to share it with just about everyone. That’s a charming sentiment but with parents, divorced parents, step parents, siblings, step siblings and a diverse mix of extended family and friends in attendance, you will need a solid plan to avoid the War of the Roses.

Almost every family invariably has some sort of ongoing family feud. To have warring family factions in the same room is asking for trouble. And to have them end up sitting at the same table could be a downright disaster. The only way to avoid any face to face confrontations and have the day go off peacefully is with some thoughtful seating planning.

Rule #1
One wedding tradition that has stood the test of time has been to honour immediate family on both sides by seating them closest to the bridal table. This allows other guests to identify the family members so they can congratulate them (believe it or not, it’s not ALL about you!). So keep mum and dad down the front and ‘his’ mates up the back.

Tips for Assigning the rest of the seats
It may take a little juggling and some shuffling around but with some careful thought and some basic guidelines, you can pull this off so everyone can enjoy the day with their dignity intact:

•    Do put people who know each other together at the same table. Even if you want to split them up so they can mix and mingle, it would be a mistake to seat any person at a table where they don’t know anybody else. Sometimes it can be very difficult to strike up a conversation with virtual strangers and everybody ends up being uncomfortable.
•    Avoid mixing age groups. Try and seat guests of the same age or those with similar interests at the same table. Putting your elderly aunt or a family with young kids at the same table as your alternative lifestyle, tattooed mate may not be such a good idea.
•    Keep your family members together and work colleagues together but take into consideration whether or not they all get along with one another. If you know someone does not get along with the others, change their seating position.
•    Don’t let your tables be gender specific- ladies at one, gents at the other. Instead, try and create balanced tables with about the same number of gents and ladies at each table. Everyone needs a dance partner at some point!
•    This one’s written in stone. Avoid placing any guest at the same table with their ex-partner. And if the ex partner has been invited along with their new beau, you need to be doubly careful about keeping enough distance between them.
•    Seat older guests who are hard of hearing nearer the place where the toasts will be raised but keep them far away from the blaring loudspeakers.

Planning a Kids Table

If your invitations included kids it may be a good idea to setup a couple of “kids tables” where you can keep a few goody bags to keep them amused.  These could contain colouring books and pencils, a small toy or perhaps a balloon.  Of course, don’t forget to assign someone to keep an eye on the kids.

BUT…avoid giving kids things like bubbles.  While I am certain they will love it and it will provide for easy entertainment it will likely end in a slippery dance floor and wedding cake that invariably tastes like soap!

So on your wedding day, when you look around and see all your guests enjoying themselves with their other table companions, you’ll be glad you spent that extra time fine-tuning those seating arrangements!

All that’s left to do is work out how to publish the arrangements.  Will you use traditional placecards, budget savvy table cards, personalised menus or bomboniere tags, a single seating chart or will guests be escorted to their seats.  And you thought the decisions were over.

Talk to us about a budget friendly, aesthetic solution that ensures your tables are well layed our, your wallet isn’t empty and your guests are firmly put in place.  We have lots of ideas that can be customised to suit any of our invitation designs and enhance the theme of your wedding reception.  http://www.stationeryonline.com/wedding-invitations

Be inspired by Purple Wedding Invitations

The thing that I love about purple wedding invitations is the chance to create all sorts of moods from a single colour.  Purple has so many tones that it is hard not to be impressed. You might be surprised at how easily purple wedding stationery can help create any style of wedding.

Google the colour purple and they’ll tell you it is the colour of royalty.  Personally, I prefer to think of it as the colour of Cadbury! But that rich violet is just one shade of purple.  It’s deep and regal and this shade of purple is perfect for a formal wedding invitation and will create a warm reception setting during the winter months. Tie it together with lavish gold décor for a sense of eloquence. Our Secret Garden wedding invitation works this shade of purple beautifully with a little something extra to catch the eye.

The other end of the purple colour palette takes you down to pretty pastels.  Lilacs and lavenders, soft fresh tones of purple that are perfect for any spring of summer wedding.  I can’t think of a bridesmaid that couldn’t carry off these colours. Our Heart to Heart invitation is a great example of a romantic lilac invitation. Tie it together with hydrangeas or roses. These shades of purple are known as cooler colours, so blues (like in our Daydream stationery) or even silver help keep it fresh.  But if you loooove this colour, don’t be dissuaded during winter, team it with richer tones of violet or even something like brown to warm it up and give it some depth.

Now when we all went to school we knew you mixed red and blue to make purple fingerpaint.  If you get your mix a little out of whack and add more red than blue you get a shade of purple – like a berry or plum colour. This is a striking new fashion colour that is dressing up purple wedding invitations like never before. As contemporary as it is, it works well with a fashion plate like our Vintage Magnolia invitation suite, in fact it works well just about any way you like it. Lush green foliage, magnificent orchids and even…wait for it…sticks of berries work well as centre pieces. Add a little bling (or a lotta bling) and bring back that contemporary style.

So purple has plenty of scope for the bride that wants something special at anytime of the year. Use it to create a vintage look, a spring look, heck – team it with black and create a goth look and match your personal sense of style.

Consider these purple wedding invitations from StationeryOnline. No matter what you are looking for StationeryOnline has a great collection of wedding invitations personalised and perfectly purple.

Visit our collection of Purple Wedding Invitations and Purple Save the Date magnets for all the shades of purple you could want! Enjoy! http://bit.ly/VIGXFj

Ode to a Bridezilla

Bridezillas, c’mon you know who you are!  Well, at least we hope you do.

We hope that somewhere under those scales you grew is the sister, the cousin and the best friend we all love. We hope you can see the change that came over you when you started a file called “My Wedding”. We hope that this temporary insanity is exactly that..temporary! We hope you can laugh with us when we are laughing at you. And we hope you love the logo we designed in your honour.  Stylish and classy, our dearest angel and the scary devil all in one.  Now where to plaster it..a coffee mug, a t-shirt..the M5 overpass??!!

L.T. (you know who you are so have a laugh!) We love you and we know post November 12 this year you will start to love us back again.

We know you didn’t mean to scream when you realised the hemlines were all different lengths. We know that deep down you understand that nobody but you can name the 7 shades of red in the wedding flowers. We know you didn’t mean it when you tweeted ‘Nobody Understands’. We do understand and we know this isn’t the you that we love.

So friends and family, share a laugh with us and toast (or roast!) the Bridezilla you know.

P.S. even wedding vendors have family!

From angel to devil in 6 quick months!

What’s Your Type?

There are fonts I looove and fonts, well, let’s just say they don’t always work out as planned.  The thing is, each font together with each wording together with each wedding invitation design will always look different.

So when choosing your wedding invitation your choices don’t just end with the design itself. Together with your choice of font, you need to consider the size and the print colour.  All of this combines with the invitation design to create the wedding invitation of your dreams.

Here are a couple of things to have a think about and keep in mind when choosing the font for your wedding invitations.

Style of Font ~ Casual vs Formal

Elaborate and cursive scripts are always appropriate for traditional and formal weddings.  The drawback is exactly that though – they are elaborate. You may want to consider a plainer font for the main body of the text and use the script as a feature to draw attention to parts of the wording such as your names.

Casual fonts are a little less complicated and are well suited to more casual styling such as a beach or garden wedding. Simple font lines work well with simple designs.

Here we can see how flourishing scripts can create a formal look to an invitation whilst the simple lines of a handwritten script work well with a more casual invitation design.

The Size is the Point!

Typesetting is actually a bit of an art form.  It isn’t as simple as just getting words on a page and hitting centre – align. Your typesetting is as much a part of the invitation as the design itself.  To make it more complicated there are parts that matter more than others.  Your names – well that’s a biggie, draw attention to them by either using a complimentary font or making the text larger.  And remember that as you make a font larger the weight of the characters will naturally increase.  Using the Bold button – that’s a big nasty no-no and simply looks amateurish. Other text you might want to highlight include the hosts of the wedding, the date, the church and reception venues.  The rest is like the fineprint – people will pause to read.

Like I said, it isn’t a correct vs incorrect thing but you can see the added dimension created when the point size of the type is varied.  It draws attention to the critical details and honestly, I think it makes it a little easier to read.

Choose Your Colours Carefully!

Black is a timeless classic that never goes out of style.  It is crisp and clear and will suit any invitation design.  It is also great with elaborate scripts making them easier to read.

As a general rule, colours, especially red, are best avoided for wedding invitations.  If you do decide to use a coloured ink try and restrict it to your names.

So ordering your wedding invitations doesn’t begin and end with selecting a design.  Use the typography to personalise the design and create your perfect wedding invitation.

StationeryOnline offers over 25 unique and popular font combinations that give you the chance to enhance any of our gorgeous designs.

Have fun with it!