Invitation Etiquette-the more complicated questions

When working on your wedding invitations some pretty common questions will come up, simple things like “when should we send these out?” or “does great Aunt Maggie need an invitation considering she’s 102, I haven’t seen her since I was 4 and she lives in the backwoods of Alaska?”. Most of these questions can be resolved by a simple Google search or a quick call to an informed relative.

Gradma's future so bright, she's gotta wear shades

Ends up Aunt Maggie would love to come but she has that bear hunting trip that weekend. (via BBC news)

1. How to tell your guests that their kids aren’t invited

I’ve written about kids and weddings before and it is one of the most common questions I get while designing invitations; How can I (nicely) ask my guests not to bring their kids? Now, most people don’t mind children at the ceremony, especially if it’s in a church or even at a separate location than the reception, since many people have children in the wedding. However, for those of you who would like a child free environment, there are some simple ways to communicate that. Generally on the invitation, the last line is in reference to the reception (Reception to follow at 6 pm  at the Hilton Garden Ballroom, Reception to immediately follow in Rose Hall, etc) so you can simply  put the word “Adult” in front of reception and problem solved ( Adult reception to follow….). Or if you are having a details card you can put “Adults only please” or, even more gingerly, “Because of limited space, we request no children”. Inevitably there are people that are going to think “Psh, she knows I have a 3 month old so I’m sure it’ll be fine if I bring the kid to the wedding, we are 3rd cousins once removed after all.” The next step is to thoroughly read the response cards, if you send the invite to a couple and they include 3 people on the “number attending” line with no indication of who this third “mystery person” is, it’s time to pick up the phone and ask. If they imply that the third person is their child, respectably inform them that the party is adults only. Some people might be offended but what is MORE offensive is that those people explicitly ignored your polite request on the invitation. There is also the issue of whether or not a 16 year old is a child or not, that will have to be considered on a case by case basis of course, and it is totally your call.  BUT I would say in 99% of cases, parents are totally stoked about having a night off from their kids where instead of being wrist deep poopy diapers and spittle all they have to worry about is whether or not they can still do the worm or if the wine will run out before the party does.

Yep, he's still got it  (vi onewed)

Yep, he’s still got it
(via onewed)

2. How to limit the number of guests YOUR guests are bringing

Weddings cost money, SURPRISE! You’ll figure that tid bit out when you start planning your wedding, the next thing you’ll figure out is that it isn’t just the wedding itself that costs you, its the people. When you begin to do your budget, you’ll start referring your cost as “X amount of dollars a head”, the more heads you have, the more money it’s gonna cost you. SO, what many do in order to not sacrifice their vision, they cut down on the number of guests. Instead of coworkers and 3rd cousins, you generally keep it to 1st relations and good friends. The issue that arises in this instance are the people who want to bring EVERYONE with them. You may invite Aunt Carol and Uncle Mike but they want to bring Mike’s step son, Eddie, from a previous marriage who is living with them and of course he’s gonna want to bring a date so when doing the response card under the “number attending” line they put 4, though they’ve only indicated Carol and Mike on the “names” line.

Oh Eddie, you really never could get your life together...I personally blame the dreads.

Oh Eddie, you really never could get your life together…I personally blame the dreads.

So, you know that there will be some people who are going to try to bring whoever and how many they want, how do you keep it from happening? Start with the outer envelope, “Mr. Mike and Mrs. Carol Whatstheirname”, then the inner envelope is more informal, “Aunt Carol and Uncle Mike”. The INNER envelope is where you would indicate if they can bring others, “Aunt Carol, Uncle Mike, and no-good-kinda-cousin Eddie”. The OUTER envelope is addressed to those who own or are the primary residents of the home, so if you’re also sending the invite to a couple whose children are in college and don’t know their dorm address, then you’d address the OUTER envelope to “Mr & Mrs Jerome White” and then the INNER envelope will read “Uncle Jerome, Aunt Molly, Jenny & Krystal”. SO if you want to be completely clear on who’s invited, the inner envelope would kinda spell it out for them. If you’re really REALLY worried about people inviting more than their share, you can send them the invite with the response card PRE-FILLED, where you go ahead and filled out “2″ or “1″ or whatever on the “number attending” line before you send it out. The best thing you can do overall is put “Number attending” instead of a basic yes or no on your response card, so if someone does write an unexpected number, you can always pick up the phone and ask.

3. How to get your guest your gift registry information

This is quite the controversial topic in the wedding industry and there is no one right answer so I am going to tell you my personal opinion on the matter. When it comes to your wedding registry, it is up to you and no one else on how you get this information to your guests. Some people say that you should never EVER put your registry information on your invitation because it’s tacky but I completely disagree. In my opinion, the best way to include your registry is by putting a line on a details card that simply says “We are registered at Target and Pottery Barn” or if you want to seem super polite “You presence is all the gift we need but if you feel so inclined, we are registered at…”. Another way is to have a wedding website that has your registry information on it that you can direct your guests too. Many of my clients have a line on the details card that says “For additional information including maps, accommodations and registry, please visit (wedding website)”. The traditional way to get registry information out to your guests was through bridal showers and word of mouth, but if you’re inviting 200+ people to your wedding, that a lot of people to get the word out too. Keep it simple and just put it in the invite, is my opinion.

It also help to take the guess work out of gift-giving. Do you really want 5 toasters because you were afraid to put your registry information out there?

It also helps  take the guess work out of gift-giving. Do you really want  five toasters because you were afraid to put your registry information out there?

4. Going to the web to save money

GET A WEDDING WEBSITE. Seriously, get one. It is the #1 thing I tell my brides in order to save money. Most wedding website are free and easy to use and will also save you a lot of headaches. When it comes to invitations, some people have gone completely online. I would not recommend this, obviously because I would be out of business if I did but also because weddings are special and intimate, emailing an invite seems so informal it’s almost cold. HOWEVER, there are ways you can use the web to your advantage when making your invitations. Every time you add more information to your invite, the more expensive it becomes. Some brides require not just a response card but an accommodations card, reception card, map card, rehearsal dinner card, etc. That’s a lot of printing, and a lot of paper, when you can condense everything onto a simple details card-”Details, for more information including accommodations, maps, and reception information, please visit http://www.weddingwindow.com/jenloveschris”. To save on postage, instead of doing a mailer as your response card, direct your guests to go to the website for response or a designated email address. The controversy with this is that there will be people in your family who don’t use email or still refer to the internet as the “world wide web”.

"Dang ol' talky demon box, I remember in the good ol' days when we'd use a carrier pigeon to RSVP to weddings.

“Dang ol’ talky demon box! I remember in the good ol’ days when we’d use a carrier pigeon to RSVP to weddings.

The truth is, there’s a pretty good chance those individuals who will have a hard time using the website for information, are probably not going to be getting themselves to the wedding anyways. Putting certain information is an antiquated formality on invitations, for example, if you put “Accommodations have been made at the Courtyard Marriott in Georgetown” without the phone number attached, who’s response is going to be “Which Courtyard Marriott? There must be at least 100 in Georgetown, HOW WILL I GET A HOLD OF THIS MYSTERIOUS COURTYARD MARRIOTT!?!” The answer is no one, no one will respond this way, they will Google “Courtyard Marriott Georgetown” and be on their merry way. So, when is comes to the wedding website being added to your invite, no one is going to freak out because they don’t know what to do.

In conclusion…

So to sum it all up, all I can say is that when it comes to etiquette, you need to do what makes sense to YOU. You are not being rude or insincere if you take specific measure to make sure you stay in budget and get what you want for your wedding. If people you see your  modern approach to wedding invitations and have such a negative response to it that they don’t want to come to your wedding  (ya like that’s actually gonna happen), you don’t want them at your wedding anyways.

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So much more than pretty paper

The only thing a bride wants more than her wedding to be beautiful is for it to be unique. When it comes to putting pretty things on paper, we’ve got you covered but what you might not know is there are TONS of other ways to getting the word about your wedding out there. Here at Nuptial Necessities, we’ve compiled a list of fun wedding invitations that will help you think outside the paper box.

4. Wood

This trend has been around for the last couple years but has become less expensive by substituting laser engraving for printing. Perfect for a nature inspired or rustic wedding, these postcards can be completely customized in full color on two sides. The also come in several different colors of wood too. The standard size 4 x6 and can be mailed without an envelope and you can also order smaller sized card to include wedding details or for the RSVP. Cost wise, they’re just about $3 each depending on wood choice.

3. Acrylic

These are sure to make a lasting impression. Classy and creative, acrylic invitations can be engraved or screen printed and are also available in a variety of shapes and sizes. I have been questioned before about how fragile these cards are but don’t let their delicate look deceive you, acrylic is strong and can be mailed. They can get expensive (some quotes to nearly 20$ an invitation) but the general pricing from our suppliers were about $8 each.

2. Blackboard Response Card

Image from http://foxflat.wordpress.com and poorly Photoshopped by me but you get the idea

So while researching items to include in this blog, I kinda came up with an idea. So far we’ve talked about a couple ways to make your invitations unique but how about giving your guests a way to be creative too? Through my product search software, I found some mini chalkboards for about 3.00 each (starting at 100 pieces, 1.98 at 200). How cool would it be to include a a chalkboard and a piece of chalk with your invitations and tell your guests to write their response and take a picture at an interesting place or doing something funny then email in the photo as their RSVP. Then you can use the pictures at the wedding to decorate the walls or use them as place cards! If you don’t want to spend on buying and shipping a small chalkboard just ask you guests to do the same thing but with paper.

1. Plastic Cards

Now I know the word “plastic” doesn’t bring up the image of luxury but plastic cards are incredibly unique and can be the less expensive alternative to acrylic. Plastic cards can be done in white, frosted or clear and are also available in full color. I wish I had a product photo but unfortunately I haven’t gotten a chance to order these!

So it’s a short list but hey don’t we all like things in list form regardless? If you have any questions about the products shown or you have you own unique idea but aren’t sure how to execute it, feel free to call us at (512) 732 220 or email me at hayly@nuptialnecessities.com

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Tell us what you think!!!

So for the last couple month we’ve (I’ve) been creating an entirely new website. The goal we had was to make the custom ordering as easy as possible. SO in order to see if all of our (my) hard work has paid off, we’re rewarding y’all for your opinions! All you have to do is attempt to order either save-the-dates, koozies, or stadium cups and then follow the link below to a quick survey about your experience. Then just wait for your 10% coupon code to show up in your inbox. Easy right? That’s the point. We’re trying to make things more easy for y’all!

Image

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Our save the date board…

Keeps getting bigger!

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Saving money on invitations

You know what wedding invitations are made of? Paper. But with what some people spend on them sometimes, you would think they’re made out of gold and give you a cupcake after you fill out the RSVP card. We completely understand that invitations are the first look the guests have to the style of your wedding, so if opulence is your thing, by all means make your invitation as luxurious as you want!  But for those who must be a little more budgeted on their inviting, here are some ways to help save.

1. Out with the old, in with the new!

There are a few classic invitation traditions that have fallen by the wayside because of either style or changes in technology. More traditional invite elements such as tissue or having an outer and an inner envelope have been basically phased out. These options no longer come standard with very many invitation companies (save a few books from Carlson Craft) and would have to be requested, thus costing more money. Traditional calligraphy is also an elegant but costly element that is being excluded and instead many brides do digital calligraphy instead. Hand-done calligraphers can cost anywhere from $2-$4 per invitation, while we do in house digital calligraphy for $1 each invite (and that includes the return address on the back flap).

Do you think the tissue is there in case the guest is over come by the beauty of the invitation? Or maybe you know they have chronic sniffles?

2.Size does matter!

Going for a basic rectangular (4×5 or 5×7) shaped invitation will save you! Keeping the shape simple, as opposed to a square or any over-sized envelope, with save you money at the post office. Depending on weight and size, you could be spending over a dollar per invite just to mail them!

Ya, this might cost you a bit.

3. Go by the book!

Custom invitations are the best way for a bride to get EXACTLY what they want, and we do beautiful, inexpensive, custom invitations all the time!  However, for the very budgeted bride, ordering through invitation books like Tatex’s Value with Style or Carlson Craft’s Affordably Inviting  are a great option. They are not only cost-conscious but ecological solutions to invitations as well. My favorite is the Seal N’ Send which is basically a long folded card that has a perforated bottom section to be used as an RSVP postcard. On the other two sections of the card there is a space for the invitation and also an accommodation, reception, or other details information (which ever you prefer). They also come with seals and include return addressing, so all you have to do is fold, stamp, address and send. No envelopes, no stuffing, no hassle. They are incredibly affordable and use less paper! If you’re no 100% happy with the in-book design, you have the option of doing a custom design for just $20.

4. If you choose to go the custom route and you want your invitation to lean heavier on design than color or paper choice, think about your friends who are artistically inclined. If you have something very specific or complicated, design charges can add up. If you have a friend who’s a graphic designer, or a computer savvy artist, see if they’ll be willing to help out!

This totally gets me out of having to get you a gift, right?

5.When it comes to paper you’ll be printing on, there are tons of ways to save. If you don’t have a bunch of information to give to your guests (say you just need the response card, no accommodations or reception card) skip the pocket which start at $1.70 each. Instead of doing a response with an envelope, do a postcard. If you do have information to give, print on both sides of the card. Just do one or maybe two underlays. IF the majority of your guests are a bit more hip to the internet, include the accommodations, receptions, details, attire or whatever on your website and include that! These small changes can really add up!

There’s a card for the reception and accommodations and directions. Also a details card. Oh and also we need a card for attire. And menu. Oh and also a card reminding to them to bring their directions card so they don’t get lost. Oh, ya and a response card.

6. Be careful with online invitation companies! We’ve have numerous brides come in who’ve ordered their invitations from large, internet based stationary companies and have been disappointed with the quality of the product after they received it. Some so much that  scraped it all together and ended up having to pay twice as much to get new ones made. If you do go online make sure you have easy access to representatives from the company so you have someone who can answer questions and help you with any issues. Of course, we would always encourage you to shop locally! Plus, there is the added benefit of one-on-one contact and specialized service from someone you can just run down the street and talk to.

You’d be surprised how the smallest mistake can turn you into this.

Cutting costs can be a hard thing when you’re getting married. You should be able to get what you want no matter your budget. Hopefully these small changes can help you have an inexpensive inviting experience with out cutting into your style.

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Finding Wedding Inspiration

Remember when you were a little girl and you played with Barbie dolls? Do you remember when you set up a wedding between Barbie and Ken in the backyard of their dream house and Skipper was the maid-of-honor and your Care Bears and Cabbage Patch Kids were the bridesmaids? Maybe your brother’s GI Joe was the best man or maybe he was actually the groom because you decided  Barbie needed a more manly,  stable husband?

She's been a doctor and a pilot and a princess and a lifeguard and a STARFLEET officer and you think your shiny suit is gonna impress her? Seriously, Ken? Check out the buns on Joe over there!

Well, I don’t. I was probably rolling around in the mud or cutting the hair off my sister’s Barbies or whatever I did, I don’t really know. This is why when people refer to the day “you’ve been planning your entire life”, I get confused and assume they mean the inevitable day that I win the lottery or, at least, the day I graduate college. Have I thought about what my wedding would be like? Of course! Have I decided the colors, location, food, venue, father-daughter-dance song, if I’m gonna smash the cake into my husbands face or not? No! So when brides come in and they have little to no idea what they want for their wedding,  I’m incredibly sympathetic.  So I decided to compile a list of things to help inspire you!

Most people have a "First Dance", but I will have a "First Instance of Spousal Abuse with Confectionaries as a Weapon"

1. The Season

Now just because you’re getting married in the fall doesn’t mean you’re gonna have a Halloween themed wedding where you dress as a The Corpse Bride and register at the Army Navy store  (you know, to stock up for the impending Zombie Apocalypse) but that doesn’t mean you can’t draw from the natural ambiance of the season! One of the biggest jumping off points for planning the theme for wedding is color. Pinks, yellows, and light blues lend themselves most to spring while deep reds, dark purples,  and silvers are crisp and classy for a winter wedding. This is also reinforced by which flowers are in season for you wedding.

We're getting married in July so our theme is "America F$#% Yeah!"

2. Your relationship 

Guess what? You’re relationship it as unique as a snowflake (which I hear is like some kind complicated sky-ice-cube, I don’t know, I live in Texas). Sit down and think of what the themes of your relationship have been. Ask yourself questions like, where did we meet? Where do we both like to go? What kind of movies do we like or music or books? Look around y’alls home too! You’re bound to start seeing a pattern in your relationship that you might not have originally noticed. My friend Allan and his fiance always take hikes together. It wasn’t like they were Sherpas, but they enjoyed hiking around their property because its where they could be alone and spend time together. Its where they were happiest so when deciding a theme for their wedding they went with “Water and Stone”. Water for the creek by the trail they frequented and stone for the same reason. Their colors where dark grey and serene blue with tasteful, well placed rhinestones for shimmery dew.

I'm still think "Lightsaber Blue" and "Sith Red" compliment each other beautifully.

3. Awesome wedding websites

To the internet! Oh so much wonderful goodness on the web. There are literally thousands of websites and blogs dedicated to weddings so where to start can be a bit tricky. Stumbleupon.com allows users to “stumble” across the world wide web to random sites related to their chosen interests. You can choice “weddings” as an interest and find funny, compelling, and beautiful wedding ideas. Etsy.com is also a fantastic website for weddings because it focuses on handmaid and vintage items. If you are so inspired to purchase some of their wedding goods, you’ll have the added bonus of knowing that the items you bought aren’t just unique but possibly one-of-a-kind. Pinterest.com works similarly to Stumbleupon and Etsy but you basically build a profile of various interests so you can keep track of what you like. I’m helping my cousin plan her wedding and she introduced me to this website. I “follow” her as she “pins” different wedding details she likes and I have a better understanding of what all she is looking for.

I googled "internet" and "wedding" and this happened.

4. Movies and Books

Movies and books are around for the purpose of whisking you away into wonder, much like many brides’ goals for a wedding. They, in essence, are tools for wonderment and escapism, so when looking for wedding inspiration, why not pick up a Hollywood classic and use it to develop a sense of whimsey in your theme? Are you a Gone With the Wind kind of girl or Casablanca? Or maybe a legendary hard-back to help spark your imagination? I love the 1920s, Great Gatsby theme! Movies are fantastic because they are straightforward visual inspiration produced to provoke you. Books  stir your imagination and allow you to have limitless, original inspiration.

Ok...this might be a stretch.


When it comes down to it, every bride is inspired in a different way. Some might have had their special day planned down to the napkin rings since they were 13, others might not have thought they were going to have to plan a wedding until  they said the words “the thing turned blue”. Either way, your day will be full of beautiful matrimony, no matter what the aesthetic!

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How to keep kids calm at a wedding

A wedding is the poster child for Murphy’s Law-whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. As cynical as that sounds, it can quite often be true because there are so many specific things that need to happen to make a wedding run smoothly and beautifully. One error can throw the whole ceremony into a spiraling disaster of ripped lace and drunken wedding toasts from you’re fiance’s frat-boy best man. Usually these types of events, say the Officiant forgetting the groom’s name or the Unity Candle setting the bride’s veil on fire, are completely out of the control or influence of those attending. However, there is one loud, messy hub of pure chaos that can be kept from spinning out of control by the guests themselves: children.

This could happen to your wedding

Don’t get me wrong; I love children. I love children when they’re quiet, calm, and someone else’s. I do understand the reasons for having kids at a wedding i.e.  they are the flower girl/ring bearer, they’re too young to leave at home, it’s too hot to leave them in the car with the window cracked but there is no excuse for letting a kid run rampant during the ceremony. So here are some rules to help keep your kid calm.

1. Bring something QUIET that can entertain them.

This one is pretty obvious; if the kid is distracted he or she be quiet. Give them a coloring book or dolls to play with. Don’t bring toys that bounce or fly or roll, don’t bring markers, don’t bring video games that don’t have a mute button OR that will send your kid into a live action shoot-em-up frenzy, or other toys that entice any kind of general bedlam.

Hell hath no fury like a bored kid.

2. If you ask your son/daughter/niece/nephew/cousin/friend’s kid/whatever to be in the wedding and they don’t want be, DON’T MAKE THEM.

First off, remember that kids are people (smaller, dirtier people but people) and if they just really don’t want to be in the wedding, don’t make them. If you do force them into the wedding, they will show you why you shouldn’t have. And don’t expect a three to ten-year-old kid to stand at the alter without being a figgity mess-most adults can’t even do that. It’s completely fine to let the flower girl dump her flowers in a pile at the end of the isle and sit down (seriously, every kid blows the flower girl thing).

"Remember, it's one petal per step or you're out of the family."

3. The second your kid starts crying or misbehaving take them away.

I personally think this should happen every time, no matter the occasion, but weddings are especially important. It starts off as a whiney “Mommy, how much longer” and quickly turns into a screaming, snotty nosed, running-up-and-down-the-isles hissy fit. Take care of the problem before it become a problem.

"Leash" in Norweigen means "I'm doing this for your own good"

4. If the couple requests no children, don’t bring them anyways because you think you’re special.

Though most people don’t request the ceremony be child-free, we have plenty of brides that come in and ask for  “Adult Only” be added to their reception cards. This can be attributed to the fact that most receptions are later in the evening, closer to when the little monsters go into hibernation angles go to sleep. Also, there is mass consumption of “Adult Beverages” that can cause behavior that children don’t need to be around. No matter what you’re excuse, if they say no kids find a way not to bring them or don’t come.

We drink "Adult Beverages" because they help us act like adults, right?

5. If you plan on having kids at your wedding, make sure you prepare for it!

If you want all this craziness to run smoothly you must give the kids something to do during the reception. Some sites suggest you set up a craft room, or hire a babysitter for the party, or have a movie room. The point is, PUT THE KIDS SOMEWHERE ELSE and give them something to do that doesn’t involve them making the table linens into their own personal coloring book with Pâté and mango salsa.

This works too

When it really comes down to it, use your common sense when inviting or bringing children to a wedding. Your best bet will always be to not bring them so you can have fun and not have to worry about your kid barfing on the dance floor, causing the first dance to be a little bit more Spaghettio-ey than predicted.

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