Your wedding invitations are the first impression you make on your guests, so it is very important to choose the proper one to set the tone for your big day. Wedding invitations can be contemporary and modern or traditional and classic and each individual type of invitation will give a more formal or casual feel to your event. It can also be a strong indicator to your guests how much to spend on your gift and how to dress for the occasion. Finding a wedding invitation company that best suits your needs is not easy, and involves a lot of research. As you begin your wedding invitation company search, there are a few guidelines you can follow in order to help you choose your wedding invitation company that will create the perfect wedding invitations!
WHERE TO FIND WEDDING INVITATION COMPANIES
There are many places where you can find advertisements for wedding invitations, but you want to start with the best sources first. Rather than just looking at the hundreds of companies online, there are certain places that will give you high quality leads for possible wedding invitation companies to help you create your wedding invitations.
If many of your friends are getting married, be sure to ask them for the name of their wedding invitation company or stationer. If you remember a particular wedding invitation you received from a friend that you liked, don’t be afraid to ask them first! Referrals from friends and family are the most reliable because you have personal testimony from someone you know about the experiences they had during the ordering process and you are able to see first hand the quality of the wedding invitations.
Online Chat boards
Many brides join wedding message boards to talk to fellow brides, to get ideas and opinions on their wedding plans. This is a great opportunity to ask where they purchased their wedding invitations. Although these brides are not close to you, they will usually offer honest testimonies and can be quite helpful throughout the wedding planning process for advice and tips. As well, you can usually get multiple opinions or answers to questions from other brides that are going through the same planning process as yourself or who have just gone through the process recently.
Local Bridal Shows
A great place to research vendors is at a local bridal show. There are usually several wedding invitation companies present at one show, which keeps the market competitive. As a result, they will usually offer specials, or mark down their prices. It is also convenient for you as you can check out several different invitation companies at one time rather than visit them individually at their studios.
Every bride will purchase at least one bridal magazine during the course of her engagement. Usually, the vendors in magazines will be large and established companies, so they tend to have a reputation based on the number of years they’ve been in business. Be sure to ask these vendors for references when visiting their studio or research any reviews that have been written about them.
THE STYLE OF YOUR WEDDING INVITATION
While you are doing your research through your friends, online, or at bridal shows and in magazines, you will find that different invitation companies will focus on different types and styles of wedding invitations. You should decide if you prefer custom wedding invitations, handmade wedding invitations, contemporary or modern wedding invitations, classic wedding invitations, or generic and inexpensive wedding invitations to help determine which company will best meet your needs.
Once you have narrowed down your selection to a few possible wedding invitation companies, your next step is to research these companies online. It will save you time and money to check out their websites and what each wedding invitation company has to offer, along with their range of designs and prices before you decide if you need to visit them at their studio. When you do visit each wedding invitation company, be a smart consumer and prepare some questions to ask each company. Here are some general questions you should ask.
How long have they been in business?
It is always good to know how long the company has been running for because it gives you a sense of their establishment.
Be sure to find out how long the process takes as some custom companies may tend to take longer then the more generic style of invitations so you should make sure to allow yourself enough time to order. You should expect an invitation with more detail to take a longer time to produce than a more simple invitation.
What is included in the package?
Some wedding invitation companies lists their prices by the individual wedding card, and you will need to purchase the response card, envelopes, proofs and return address printing separately. Others may include the response card and envelopes with return address print in their basic package. Other extra charges may occur for upgrades such as special methods of print, customizing the invitation, guest address printing, envelope liners or double envelopes. Be sure to get a full quote from each stationery company to make sure you have a good comparison.
In case of wedding postponements, or emergencies, find out ahead of time what their return policy is, and if there are any cancellation fees.
While you are booking different vendors for your wedding, your bank account will always be fluctuating. You should ask your wedding invitation company what the deposit amount is, and when the balance is due, so that you can plan ahead and have the funds available when needed.
Are they easily accessible?
Ask the wedding invitation company what methods of communication they usually work with. Many brides find it much easier to send emails back and forth or give a quick phone call for a question rather than going into the studio every time they need help with the wedding invitation details. Find out how many representatives there are so that you know if they have enough staff to answer your emails and phone calls.
Do you get to preview the wording before Printing?
Most companies will offer proofs and allow changes for the printed parts of the wedding invitations. Sometimes it is included in the pricing and other times it is an extra charge for a proof and for changes to the proof. It is always better to spend the extra bit of money to ensure you are happy with the layout of the wedding invitations wording.
What else do they sell?
While your priority is on purchasing your wedding invitations because they need to be mailed out early, you should also think ahead to the rest of your wedding stationary needs. Inquire whether the company sells other items such as place cards, seating charts, menus, programs, sign-in books and thank you cards. You can have all your stationery created to match, and ordering everything at the same store will allow you to negotiate a discount!