DIY Part 1: The *real* cost of DIY invitations

August 31, 2010 § 3 Comments

DIY – everyone is doing it 😉

In the world of weddings, doing it yourself has never been hotter. Today we start a four-part series on DIY invitations, which I hope will be helpful to the brides out there considering putting on their stationery hat and getting down to business.

First, a little background on my perspective. Hip Ink is primarily a custom invitation studio; but, I just can’t keep all that fantastic paper, awesome embellishments and handy tools to myself; so, we do also sell papers, supplies and tools to DIY brides to craft their own invitations. From a business point of view, both are great – I love working together with brides to make their fantasy invitation come to life, whether it’s on a custom project basis or helping them create a masterpiece on their own.

From a personal point of view, I know from experience that DIY can be great in theory; but, sometimes in practice…not so much. Hopefully, this series of blog posts will give you the tools to decide if DIY is right you and the information on how to make it a success.

Let’s get to it! While there are a number of brides who create their own invitations because they just love paper, love crafting, love the idea of doing something personal etc., the vast majority do it because it saves money. At least that’s the perception. Today, we’re going to look at the real cost of DIY – hold on to your garters ladies, you may be surprised!

First, let’s look at the tangible costs of your DIY invites. You’ll need paper, embellishments and tools – you’ve probably figured that out, right? But are you really taking into consideration the cost of everything you are going to need – not just paper and embellishments (and lots of extra please, because there *will* be wastage!) but adhesive, a paper cutter/trimmer, bone folder, ruler, ink…the list goes on. Of course you can find cheap tools, but you always get what you pay for – and you will pay for ‘cutting corners’ in frustration – trust me, I’ve SO been there. What about shipping? Taxes? Duties, if you are ordering from another country? Postage? Now we’re getting somewhere.

But you’re still saving money, right? Probably – but you aren’t saving what’s really important.

The real cost of DIY is TIME – plain and simple. How much is your time worth? Believe it or not, *that* is the ultimate question to ask yourself when you are considering the DIY option for your invitations.When dealing with the stress of planning a wedding, big or small, time is the most important thing you’ve got and it’s precious.

Is DIY still worth it? Maybe.

First, try to figure out how long it will take you to make your invitations  – now *triple* it. Seriously. This is the most common mistake that DIY brides make and it can be a killer – be realistic about how long things take, and remember that unless you have a lot of experience, progress will be slow and you *will* make mistakes (Hey, you’re not a professional right? You’re allowed!).

Consider this – what is your time worth? If you had to pay yourself to make your invitations, how much would you charge? $10 per hour? $15? $20? Now take the time you’ve estimated and “pay” yourself. You might find that you could very easily pay someone else that amount to create your invitations instead, while you avoid the stress and manual labour and concentrate on the 3.547 bajillion other details of your big day! The upside – you will also end up with a professional looking invitation – handmade, not homemade.

So, by now hopefully you’ve got a good idea if DIY is right for you. Next time, well find out if YOU are right for DIY…

Same Hip time, same Hip channel 😉



See also:
DIY Part 2: Is DIY right for you (or are *you* right for DIY)?
DIY Part 3: Tips and Tricks for sensational DIY Invitations!
DIY Part 4: Fabulous Resources for your DIY Invitations



PSA: How to proofread your invitations (the right way!)

August 24, 2010 § 2 Comments

Okay, consider this a public service announcement from Hip Ink:  Proofread carefully to see if you any words out 😉

One of the most important aspects of the invitation process is proofing – making sure everything about your invite is exactly the way you want it, spelled correctly and so on. Strangely, it seems to be something many clients give very little thought to. I’ve had a few clients tell me it’s because they don’t really know *how* to proofread; so, I whipped up this handy guide to send out with final samples.

Feel free to use it to help YOU avoid those errors that may end up costing you time and money!

How to Proof

In order to avoid confusion and social faux-pas (perish the thought!), it is critical that you proofread your invitations several times until you are confident that all of the information is correct.  Proofing your event information to ensure that is complete and contains no errors will help to avoid guest confusion and additional costs caused by missing or inaccurate information.

Here are some tips to help you proof your invitation suite. Make sure you proof not only your invitation, but also your RSVP, additional enclosures etc.:

TIP:  Proof from a printed source
If you have received a full physical sample of your invite, you should always proof from your printed invitation. If you received only a digital proof, it’s best to print your invitation and accessories and proofread a hard copy rather than relying on the on-screen version.

Read your invitation aloud
Proofread all parts of your invitation suite by reading it out loud. If possible, have another person listen and read along while you read it out. This method is a good way to catch missing words or doubled words, as well as general grammar issues.

Read everything backwards
Read everything backwards focusing on the words themselves. It may sound strange, but this is a powerful tool for finding spelling errors, as sometimes your mind will subconsciously fix errors making it appear as though everything is correct when it really isn’t. In this case, familiarity breeds mistakes, so taking time to concentrate on each word out of context will make your proofing that much more effective.

Check names
Check the spelling of all names on the invitation (including parents, children etc.). You would be surprised at the errors you might find!

Check addresses, dates and numbers
Check all dates and numbers carefully. This includes things like making sure dates are correct, day and date match, addresses are complete and correct (especially street numbers if included) and also checking telephone numbers etc. Having guests arrive on the wrong day or at the wrong location is an unfortunate consequence of these types of errors, and it happened to me at my own bridal shower!

Check response methods and additional information
Check to ensure your RSVP information is correct, along with information like website addresses etc. Make sure to proofread any cards with additional information as well (accommodation cards, itinerary cards etc.).

Check the overall invitation layout, graphics etc.
It’s important that you make sure the details of your invitation are accurate; but, it is also very important to proof the entire invitation for errors in colour, spacing, fonts etc.

Find a proofreading partner (or two, or three)!
Once you have proofread the invitation a few times, have someone else proofread it as well. It is easy to overlook a mistake on your invitation when you know what the invitation should say. Have a few people who aren’t familiar with all the details (co-workers, neighbours, friends) go over your invite for an unbiased review.

As a designer, I think one of the main issues is that clients can often forget that we don’t know the details of their event as intimately as they do, and unfortunately proofreading isn’t part of the service. I can’t say that I don’t “read” your invite, but I don’t know how to spell your father’s first name correctly or what time you’ve decided to start cocktail hour, so that means the responsibility of proofing has to rest completely with *you*.

Don’t be a statistic. You know, I’m only telling you this because I care. Friends don’t let friends make errors on their invitations 😉

Fun, funky Envelopments accessories – now available at Hip Ink!

August 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Envelopments has just released some fab accessories that I am loving right now…can’t wait to get my hands on some for myself! While they weren’t necessarily created for a specific purpose, each one is versatile enough to easily work as part of your event stationery. So let’s take a look:

First up, the incredibly retro-cool “Roll-O-Decks” – so fantastic! The set contains 500 2.25″ x 4″ cards made from 125 of Envelopments solid and patterned papers, and would make a very modern and colourful guestbook option for those hip brides out there. Imagine each of your guests picking their favourite colour card to write you a sweet message on your big day – way more fun than a traditional guestbook! Best of all, its a great way to display item for your home – a bright, beautiful conversation starter that will allow you to take a look at your guests best wishes whenever the mood strikes. Of course, you can also use it for contacts, recipes, a desk calendar…the options are endless!

Next up, Artist’s Pads. Available in 5”x7” and 8.5”x11” sizes, you can choose between warm or cool tones (7 colours, 70 pages) or the full spectrum with 14 colours (140 pages). These books are just awesome to have around when inspiration strikes. Use them as a notepad, sketchbook, for your to-do lists; or, think outside the box…a great way to scrapbook your wedding ideas, a place to catalog your kids art and of course, a fantastic guestbook option! Perfect for smaller events, the blank pages allow your guests to write a truly personal message. Try supplying them with coloured pens, stickers, embellishments etc. and let them create a scrapbook just for you, one page at a time – great for baby showers, bridal showers and bar and bat mitzvahs!

Last, but not least, Envelopments note card sets. Available in 3.5 x 5 and 4 x 5 sizes, each set comes with 8 flat or folded cards and 8 envelopes (with optional envelope liners), in 12 fantastic combinations. Great for thank you cards, quick notes, greeting cards etc. Who needs monogrammed personal stationery, when you can have these modern cards instead? Do you want a combination that isn’t currently available? No problem, Hip Ink can customize your note cards sets in the colours and patterns of your choice or even add embellishments to make them truly unique (minimum quantities and additional charges apply for this option).

As for me, I am so excited to shortly have the amazing Roll-O-Decks take its place of honour on the desk in my new studio (getting there, slowly but surely!) and my Artist’s Pads will be getting a workout for inspiration books as well as client notes. Interested in incorporating these new Envelopments items into your event (or just can’t live without them, like me?) – contact us for pricing and availability! 🙂

A peek at “Our Wedding Holiday” Luxe boxed invites…

August 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Since I had such a great night at The Wedding Holiday‘s Bridal Shower for Make-a-Wish, I thought I would show off some of our high-end invites included in the ‘Our Wedding Holiday‘ line…

First up, the ultimate beach wedding invitation, featuring a real starfish, tied with raffia and and embellished with a mother-of-pearl button, atop a gorgeous Japanese paper wrapped invite, all nestled in an aqua cardstock box.

Next up the super-trendy peacock-inspired invite (with real peacock feather, of course!), featuring gorgeous greens and blues accented with soft gold ribbon in a chocolate brown box. A hidden surprise awaits when you remove the invitation to reveal the whimsical gold polka dot liner, and the enclosures are cleverly contained in a matching pocket at the back of the invite.

I absolutely love designing these types of invitations – “fantasy suites” (and I’m not talking the kind you’d see on The Bachelorette!). Boxed invitations allow for the inclusions of all sorts of wonderful embellishments that would be otherwise impractical, which gives us the ability to really express your theme to the fullest. While these two particular invites are only available to lucky The Wedding Holiday destination brides, either of these would make the perfect inspiration for a fantastic custom piece! Contact us today and let’s get planning your gorgeous “fantasy suite”!

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