Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zac's 2nd Birthday Party Invitations

Lindsay and I used to go to church together. For a year or so, we were in the same small group and I remember vividly the night that her husband, Brian, came to the group without her. I asked him where Lindsay was and he just grinned and handed me an ultrasound picture. 

What made this even better is that Lindsay, like so many women out there, had worried that she wouldn't get pregnant. There were some health considerations and months earlier, she had shared her nervousness about the whole "trying" process. Knowing that made the ultrasound picture bring even more joy to the group that night. 

So having Lindsay ask me a few years later to make her soon-to-be two year old's birthday party invitations filled me with a whole lotta nostalgia. That's what I love about this business - the stories behind these invitations. Because there always is one. 

So here's what we came up with for little Zac. He likes bugs. As you will soon be able to tell. 

How cute is that little guy? Seriously.

I crafted that little bee (and all of the critters) in Adobe Illustrator and we used some fun new fonts for this invite - Organic Fridays, A Bug's Life, and Antipasto (that one's actually not new at all, but the other two are).

Lindsay had given me two pictures to work with and instead of just picking one, I had to put the second on the back.

It was just too cute. I mean, look at that big grin.

So I just had to interrupt that wedding invitations to bring you this birthday party invite. Next week I'll be back with another wedding invitation to show. :)

Have a great week!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Value of Custom Wedding Invitations

So, there are definitely questions that brides don't ask, but I'm almost 100% sure they are thinking. This is one of them:

Why are custom wedding invitations so expensive??

Instead of directly asking this question, they indirectly inquire about it in a couple of different ways.

"I had no clue what to expect when pricing invitations and man, was I surprised..." (I'm paraphrasing. No one calls me "man.")


"I didn't realize how much I would have to budget for invitations..."

I get it. I really do. Invitations are made of paper and it just doesn't seem like they should be over $1.00/invite, right?

As much as I could try to convince you that you should care more about your invitations, because this is the first impression your guests will have of your wedding, I'm not going to. Instead, I just want to explain in the best way I know how why custom wedding invitations cost what they do.

First, let's take a look at some basic, run-of-the-mill-cards that you can find at your local Hallmark store.

Just lovely, huh?

Now, how much will you pay for these? They might be 99 cents (you know I frequently hit up the 99 cent card rack), but probably not. I'd say you'll pay about $3.00-$5.00 per card, based on my experience at Hallmark (which is extensive, let me tell you).

And none of us think twice about buying one of these cards, right? Someone's having a birthday, a wedding, a graduation. They need a card. You buy one.

But they're at least $3.00 (I can't remember the last time I saw one for less). 

And they're mass produced.

And they're not personalized. 

Now let's take a look back at Tonia's invitation that were blogged about earlier this week. 

This is a standard pocket fold wedding invitation. I'd say that 90% of my brides come to me wanting these. They are beautiful, and they hold everything right there in the pocket so nicely. 

Now, pocket folds are not the only invitations I do. As you can see here, herehere, or here, I do plenty of other invitations. But for the sake of this example, let's check out all of the different parts that go into making a pocket fold invitation. 

1. Supplies

1 pocket envelope (this is the pocket that everything folds into)
invitation backing
2 inserts (cards that have direction/accommodations/reception info on them)
RSVP card
RSVP backing
RSVP envelope
Outer envelope

*This is just an example - some brides only have one insert, or don't back their RSVP cards, etc. You can do whatever your little heart desires.

2. Design

Your invitation is custom designed especially for you. It is unique to your taste. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. I design it with your tastes in mind.

3. Printing

This includes printing of the invitation, the inserts, the RSVP card, and the envelopes.

4. Assembly

This includes mounting all of the pieces together. Picture me doing this while watching The Bachelor or an old episode of Friends. It's pretty much how it goes down.

5. Stuffing

This includes putting the inserts into the pocket. The only thing left out is the RSVP envelope, which is later stamped and stuffed behind the RSVP by the bride.

Let me get to the point. 

When you come to Vivian Elle Invitations for your wedding invitations, you're most likely going to pay somewhere between $4.50-$12.00/invitation suite. This depends on the kinds of papers you pick out and how simple/elaborate your invitation is. 

But here's the thing. 

1. Custom wedding invitations are unique. They are a reflection of your personality. They give your guests a first look at what's to come at your wedding. They are not mass produced and they don't have a standard greeting like the cards you would find at Hallmark. 

2. There is value in your experience with Vivian Elle Invitations. I do everything for you. During an extremely busy time in your life, you get to have at least one burden lifted off of you completely. 

But I'm going to let my brides speak for me. Here are some quotes from emails they've sent to me. 

I am so thankful to have found you to work with. Honestly since 2012 hit I have been stressed and frazzled about every part of the wedding except your part. You have done such a great job of making me feel at ease and comfortable. I feel better knowing you are handling such a large portion of the day. I can't say thank you enough. 

I am so impressed!!!! You make being a bride so much fun :) 

Jennifer, thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication. You did a fantastic job personalizing our invitations to make them unique and special. We received so many compliments on them as our guests got them in the mail and we couldn’t be more pleased! These have definitely added a wonderful touch to our special day and it was a great pleasure working with you. I have already recommended you to my friends!! Thanks again! 

Thanks so much, Jennifer. You've truly been a blessing to work with!

I just want you to know how much I enjoyed working with you! You were so much fun to work with and I enjoyed every moment. From designing the invitations, to the seating chart, I  couldn't ask for anyone better to work with. You knew what you doing and I felt so comfortable knowing that I had you to help me with one of the most important aspects of the wedding. It would have been much more difficult without you! Everything turned out beautiful and I haven't stop getting compliments on everything you made.

I can't thank you enough for everything you've done so far and how easy you've been to work with.

I know I’m biased, but your invitations are the best I’ve ever seen.
-Jennifer’s mom

(For more testimonials - none written by people related to Jennifer - check out Vivian Elle's page on The Knot.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tonia and Eric's Pocket Fold Invitations


I love this invitation. I love all of my invitations (that sounds conceited, but honestly, I only print them and put them together...my brides are the ones with the exceptional tastes), but I really love this one. The colors. The patterned paper. The fonts the bride chose. Every little bit.

This here's a destination wedding invitation. For next year. Yep - you read it right. This bride is ON TOP OF THINGS. She wants to send the invitation out now so her guests have everything they need to start to save for and book their trip. This is extremely sweet and very considerate and when I met Tonia - AKA the bride - it all made sense. She is extremely sweet and very considerate. I liked her immediately.

Let's not even waste another second. Here are Tonia and Eric's destination wedding pocket folds.

Didn't I tell you? Great invitations, right? 

When I met with Tonia, she knew what she wanted. Her colors were (if you can't tell) red and Carolina blue (you know, the color of the Tar Heels logo - a random sports fact to impress my husband). 

She picked out a beautifully textured pocket envelope and matched it with a nice matte ecru paper for her invitation and inserts. We brought in a red and gold patterned paper to back the invitation itself and the RSVP card.

Her font is the ever loved Albemarle Swatch and we paired it with its sister font, Albemarle Demo.

Tonia included all of the details about the all inclusive where she and her fiancé will be married, the name of a travel agent, and group rate information. Since there was no wedding website, she wanted her guests to have everything they needed right there in front of them.

We finished the invitation off with a band with the initial of their soon-to-be-shared last name. 

The H was done in Albemarle Demo. We backed it with the same patterned paper that we used to back the invitation and the RSVP card.

And then it tucks nicely into the Carolina blue envelope. 

And this is what her guests saw in their mailboxes. A lovely invitation for what I can only assume will be a lovelier wedding.

On Thursday, I'll be back with an FAQ post on why custom wedding invitations cost what they do. See you then!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rachel and Dylan's Pocket Fold Wedding Invitation

I'm here on the blog today to write a quick and dirty (I seriously had a Prob and Stats professor in college that used this phrase - I may or may not have mentioned that before) post about a beautiful, classic wedding invitation I finished up this past month.

I'll just be posting once this week, but I'll be back next week with another lovely invitation to show plus one more FAQ post on why the heck custom wedding invites are so expensive (there's good reason, I promise).

But right now, let's look at Rachel's wedding invitations.

Rachel and I met a looooong time ago now. It was sometime last fall and if there's one thing I remember about that meeting, it's that Rachel just had a very classic style to her. Simple, sophisticated, beautiful.

Once we started talking about Rachel's wedding, I realized that my initial impressions were confirmed - she did, in fact, have a great, classic style about her that she wanted to bring into her wedding invitations.

So here are her invitations, months later, all ready to send out (a special thanks to Rachel for snapping these photos after I completely forgot to take pictures before giving her all of them :)). 

Rachel picked out a white textured pocket fold invitation and decided to accent with a beautiful deep purple card stock (Majestic by Envelopments). As for her neutral color, she wanted to bring in silver instead of the standard white/ecru card stock. I love how it all came together.

Fonts are Allura and Estilo. I love the classic simplicity of the Allura font combined with the modern elegance of the Estilo font. 

And those are the inserts. Simple. To the point. Classic. Rachel is fabulous and super great to work with. By the way, so are all of my brides. Have I mentioned how thankful I am to work with them?

Until next week!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post

Thursday, April 11, 2013

FAQ: How to Address Your Wedding Invitations

If you get your wedding invitations designed by Vivian Elle, you'll get your addresses printed. It's something I pretty much throw in as a courtesy and brides are usually surprised and delighted to hear it. Engagements are a busy time and not having to sit down one night and address 100+ envelopes is a valuable thing.

I send my brides a spreadsheet that they put their addresses in. As simple as it is to fill out name/address/city/state/zip, there are always some tricky addresses that come up. Or some brides are just wondering how to address their guests by name on their envelopes. So let me take a minute and answer that question for any of you inquiring brides-to-be out there.

Honestly, I know there's the super fancy traditional way of addressing a wedding envelope, but in my experience working with brides, they just want the basic Mr. and Mrs. _______ on the envelopes, so that's what I'm going to talk about in this post. If you want to get really fancy up in here, The Knot has this great article to help you.

**As far as the actual address, just make sure that you spell everything out. For example:

100 E. Main Street
Apt. 24
Chicago, IL 60608

should be

100 East Main Street
Apartment 24
Chicago, Illinois 60608

That's really all that needs to be said about that. Let's move on, shall we? Here are some quick links if you want to jump right to a section.

Quick Links

How to address an envelope to:
A Married Couple
A Married Couple - Different Last Names
An Unmarried Couple Living Together
Two Married Doctors
A Married Woman Doctor
Families with Children

Married Couple:

Mr. and Mrs. Blake Ostrovan


Blake and Sherry Ostrovan (this is for a more informal wedding)

Married Couple - Different Last Names:

Mr. James Walker and Mrs. Sarah Galm

An Unmarried Couple Living Together:

Mr. Jim Peterson
Ms. Theresa Wheelock

Two Married Doctors:

Doctors Gabriel and Julie Regner

or, if they have different last names:

Doctors Gabriel Regner and Julie Parker

To A Married Woman Doctor:

If she kept her maiden name:

Dr. Julie Parker and Mr. Gabriel Regner

If she took her husband's name:

Dr. Julie and Mr. Gabriel Regner

To Families With Children:

Because so many brides are forgoing an inner envelope (in fact, I haven't had one bride that has used one), I get asked about how to include kids' names a lot. Here's the easiest way to do it.

Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Dougherty
Jake, Audrey, and Kyle

I've also had brides just simply put "The Dougherty Family." You can do this, but it is just a little less specific as far as telling the parents exactly which kids are invited. Adding the kids' names provides clarity, which is helpful when you've omitted the inner envelope.

So that's it. Not too bad, right?

More FAQs:

Invitation Wording
Popular Wedding Fonts

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Liam's 1st Birthday Invitations

Psst - This invitation is now available at Vivian Elle's Etsy shop. Click here to order it for your own party!

Faithful blog readers, I'm so thankful for you. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for reading this blog (even if you just scroll down to the pictures...in which case, you may not be reading this). Thanks for actually caring about this little invitation business. When I think about you all, it makes me smile. 

This past week I took some time to step back from the blog and really work on meeting deadlines for my brides (my first priority, sup ladies) and when I did, I realized that part of the joy I get from this business is that I weekly share it with you all. It gives me a chance to look back and reflect on each project. My husband made the comment not too long ago that it's really cool that I get to be a part of so many people's celebrations. Yeah, I think so, too. 

So I'm back in the swing of things this week and today I have a 1st birthday invitation to show you that I absolutely adore. 

I met Tarrah way back when she took guitar lessons from my husband. Fast forward several years and she is now a mom to the cutest little boy, Liam. 

Tarrah contacted me a month or so ago because she was having a birthday party to celebrate Liam's first birthday and she wanted me to make the invitations.  She wanted it to be ducky-themed, but not be overly kiddish (oddly enough, my number one request from moms).

Here's what we came up with. 

Not too kiddish, right? You know I love to bring in some chevron stripes and I love love love the artwork I have access to through Envelopments (that's where I got the super cute banner). Fonts are Cafe Rojo and Antipasto.

Did you notice that the duck is blowing out the candle? I had placed the duck off to the side and put a candle over the one, but it was totally Tarrah's idea to tilt the flame to make it look like the duck was blowing it out.

And the envelopes. This is a nice touch for busy moms since it means they at least don't have to write out the return address for every invite.

Love these. Almost makes me want to procreate just for the fun birthday invites. Almost.

So I'm back in action this week on the blog. On Thursday I'll continue with my FAQ series and look at how to properly address your wedding envelopes. See you then!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post