Announcing Hitched by Hip Ink: Eye Candy Part 4

March 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

Whew! Thanks for sticking with us – proud to show off the last 5 designs of the brand new Hitched by Hip Ink invitation collection!

SAKURA

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ROSES

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MAGNOLIA

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ANEMONE

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BIRDCAGE

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Stay tuned – more details on Hitched to come next week 🙂

Announcing Hitched by Hip Ink: Eye Candy Part 3

March 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

And we’re back…lots more eye candy to come!

LEAVES

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GLASSES

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GALLERY

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BIRCH

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MODERN

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Finally, we round out the rest of the collection in just 15 minutes 🙂

Announcing Hitched by Hip Ink: Eye Candy Part 2

March 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

Ready for more? Here we go!

WATERCOLOR

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SILHOUETTE

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CHEVRON

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GARLAND

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HEXAGON

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Next up, Part 3 in 15 minutes 🙂

Big News: Hitched by Hip Ink Has Arrived…Sort Of!

March 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

Have you ever had one of those days? When it seems that technology has forsaken you? Yep…that’s today (and yesterday, and most of the day before), which so happens to coincide with the launch of our brand new Hitched by Hip Ink invitation collection.

Sort of…I say sort of because our new Etsy store that was supposed to be ready to show off all our fab new designs is not quite ready for it’s big debut – that will be early next week though, I promise!

But, I won’t let some pesky tech issues keep me from showing off our twenty new Hitched designs…nuh uh. In fact, I am going to post them right here, right now over four posts – so get ready y’all 😉

First up, some of my favourites:

LOVE

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STRIPE

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AMPERSAND

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BANNER

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MOROCCO

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Woo – 5 down and 15 go. Watch this space over the next hour for 3 more posts full of Hitched eye-candy just for you!

Thursday Throwback: Are Custom Invitations Right For You?

March 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

It’s true – Friday Rewind is now Thursday Throwback (which pleases me greatly, for you know how I love alliteration!). Enjoy this post from last year on how to figure out if custom invitations are the right fit for you…

So, in the past we’ve touched on deciding what type of invitation is right for youdetermining if DIY invitations are right for you, etc. But today, we’re going to look specifically at custom invitations (after all, that is my bag, baby), and why you might want to choose a custom designer to help you bring your invitation vision to paper.

Okay, so I’m biased. I think everyone deserves what a custom invitation can offer – a completely personal and unique way to set the stage for your big event. But why should *you* choose custom invitations?

Here’s just a few reasons:

+ YOU WANT A UNIQUE INVITATION THAT NO OTHER BRIDE WILL HAVE (EVER)!

Custom designs are unique and tailored specifically to each client and event. Your invitations are designed just for you, incorporating your personality, style and vision of your big day. Having an off-beat event? Even better! Many clients who choose custom invitations are looking for something that is a real reflection of themselves or their event, not something that has been mass-produced to appeal to a wide variety of audiences and situations.

+ YOU’VE SEARCHED EVERYWHERE, BUT HAVEN’T FOUND AN INVITE YOU *LOVE*

You deserve to have an invitation that you will be excited to send out to your guests, one that sets the tone perfectly for your special event. Custom invitations don’t have to be expensive, and in almost every case they will be of a higher quality (both in design and paper/construction) than the standard ‘book’ invitations out there. You’re already spending money on your invitations – you should be able to have what you REALLY want, not the next-best-thing. Working with a designer can actually help you stay within budget, as they can work with you to achieve the look you are after, while keeping your overall budget in mind.

+ YOU FEEL LIMITED BY YOUR CHOICE OF STANDARD INVITATIONS

Every custom invitation suite is created from a vast array of available papers, embellishments, styles and graphics. There are literally millions of options when it comes to custom designs, so if you’ve looked at invitation books and just aren’t finding anything that fits your vision, custom is a great way to allow you to pick and choose the colours, textures and style that you love and combine them into a one-of-a-kind show-stopper!

+ YOU ARE PRESSED FOR TIME AND NEED FULL SERVICE

You’re a busy bride with lots on your plate and no time to do it. Many designers can provide full service invitations – from design to assembling, stuffing, stamping and mailing – the only thing you’ll need to do is collaborate with your designer on your idea of the perfect invitation and then leave the rest up to them. If you’d like to be more involved, it’s always an option, but choosing custom invitations can actually save you time in the long run, although you will need to make a time commitment up-front to meet with the designer and share your ideas etc., as well as review proofs etc.

+ YOU NEED A DIFFERENT FORMAT/STYLE/LANGUAGE ETC. THAN WHAT’S AVAILABLE

Destination, unique/personalized and multi-cultural weddings can often require elements (inserts, enclosures, multiple languages etc.) that many catalog companies can’t (or won’t) deal with. Enter your trusty custom designer who can help you create an invitation that suits your specific needs with all the style and flair you deserve.

+ YOU WANT EVERYTHING TO MATCH (DON’T WORRY, WE GET IT!)

Many standard invitation catalogs offer very few matching items for their invitations, and you may be stuck having to track down and purchase items that “sorta” match from a number of sources. Most designers can customize just about anything for you (table numbers, seating charts, favour tags, guestbooks, out-of-town guest bags, water bottles, luggage tags…you get the idea!) and everything will match exactly.

+ YOU WANT TO WORK WITH AN ACTUAL PERSON, NOT A BIG COMPANY

Many custom designer work on their own, or with a very small staff, so your invitations are handled by a minimal number of people from start to finish and you’ll get the opportunity to create a relationship with the person who is responsible for every aspect of the creation and production of your invitation. Questions, comments, issues? You know who to call (or email). You’ll get a much higher level of truly personalized service when working directly with a custom designer.

Sounds great, right? Well…I happen to think that it is!

But, and there is always a but, working with a custom designer is not for everyone – couples who find decision-making overwhelming or who are on very short timelines, I’m looking at you here – so make sure you consider all the possibilities before choosing the type of invitation that’s right for you.

Workshop Wednesday: Sneak Peek At Our Brand New Hitched by Hip Ink Collection

February 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

Ok, so the Invitation Advisor took a break from doling out pithy commentary on invitations and etiquette this week to get our brand new invitation collection, Hitched by Hip Ink, ready for launch on Friday!

And so normally what you’d find on Workshop Wednesday is some photos of one of our custom invitation project – today what you’re going to get is a sneak peek at one of our new Hitched by Hip Ink designs…

I am really excited to finally be able to share this collection – it has been months in the making, through many trials and tribulations, re-designs, throwing out ideas, bringing them back, wanting to give up, feeling elated – what a roller-coaster ride it has been.

But, I’ve kept on because I think there is room out there for some hip, funky modern invitation designs that fit today’s wedding – the kind where anything goes. Casual, backyard affairs to ballroom extravaganzas and everything in between!

On Friday, we’ll have a full launch post, with many more details on the line and a link to our brand new Etsy shop where you can purchase Hitched by Hip Ink.

‘Till then…here’s a look at one of our new designs, Hexagon:

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Click on the image for a larger version

Click on the image for a larger version

Each invitation design includes a matching RSVP and additional insert card design, and most designs can also be used for other wedding-related paper needs including showers, engagement parties, save the date cards etc. and will be customizable in a wide range of colours to suit your event.

We’ll be adding to the collection over the next few months as well – exciting times ahead!

In order to give each of the new designs a little time in the spotlight, we’ll be upping blog posts to 4x weekly (yes, 4 times!) and shuffling things a bit.

We’ll keep Tips n’ Tricks Tuesday (home of The Invitation Advisor) exactly where it is, as well as Workshop Wednesdays (showcasing recent custom work from the studio), but we’re moving our encore posts to Throwback Thursdays and introducing Feature Fridays, when we’ll be featuring one of our Hitched collection designs weekly.

Really excited to share all this new stuff with you…soon. The countdown is on!

Friday Rewind: What Are Your Invitations Saying About Your Wedding?

February 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

 

Happy Friday all – as a follow up to last week’s re-post of our video blog, I wanted to feature this post from last year, which addresses some of the same issues. Enjoy!

Before we begin – allow me to say the following, lest anyone misunderstand what I’m getting at here: There is no shame in having a modest budget for your wedding. None. This post isn’t about convincing you that you need to spend more – it is about convincing you that you need to allocate your budget to stationery accordingly, to avoid confusing your guests. I may be unpopular for putting this in print, but it doesn’t make it less true.

So, you’ve all probably heard it before…your invitation is the first impression your guests will have of your wedding. Stationers, designers, wedding planners – we throw that out there all the time, but what does it really mean?

Straight up? What it means is that your guests will make assumptions, come to conclusions, and judge your wedding based on the invitations you send out . It will affect the decisions they make – how to dress, what kind of gift to give, and sometimes whether or not to actually attend. I’d love to tell you that everyone is just so thrilled for you that your invitations don’t matter – but it just isn’t true.

Before everyone gets all defensive – be honest, and admit to yourself that you’ve been there. Everyone has done it, because it’s human nature – you receive an invitation and you automatically make assumptions about the kind of event it is going to be, about how much fun you think you are going to have, and sometimes about whether or not you really even want to go. If your invitation is inexpensive, the impression your guests will receive is that your wedding will be modest. Send out an expensive invitation and you set the expectation of an all-out event. If your invitation is casual, guests won’t be expecting a reception in a ballroom – and conversely, a formal invitation would be out-of-place for a barn reception. A fun, colourful invite suggests a party-type atmosphere, while a subdued monochromatic invite suggests a more serene and reserved affair. I could go on, but I won’t (for once).

First, the overall quality (which in most cases means price) of your invites – think about the message you are sending to your guests. I’ve said before that you should budget according to how important stationery is to you; however, the caveat is that if you are having a full-on formal wedding, but send out print-your-own invites from Big Box Craft-o-rama, it creates a disconnect between your guests expectations and your event. That’s just one example, but the lesson here is that you need to match the overall budget for your stationery to the overall budget of your wedding to some degree, or else risk your guests having lowered expectations about the type of event you are hosting, and having issues with everything from dress code to rsvps. The opposite is true – you may feel that stationery is a very important part of your wedding, but be having a more modest affair – make sure that your invitations don’t make promises that your event can’t live up to.

Next up, the tone or feeling of your invitations. Seems pretty straightforward: simple event=simple invitation, casual event=casual invitation, off-beat event=off-beat invitation, formal event=formal invitation etc. As obvious as it seems, I’ve definitely received invitations that, in hindsight, did not match the event itself. Remember that the invitation is sent out to your guests not only for you to request the pleasure of their company, but also to inform them – providing them with an invite that doesn’t match the style or tone of your event is just as bad as giving them the wrong address or the wrong date – it makes your guests uncomfortable on your wedding day. How would you feel if you received a very casual invitation to a wedding? You would likely assume it was a simple affair – you’d probably plan on wearing a less formal outfit. Would you feel really uncomfortable if you showed up in a sundress and everyone else was wearing a ballgown? It’s an extreme example, but it is the sort of thing that absolutely can happen.

Now, on to a very touchy subject…DIY. Yes, I know DIY is all the rage, and you know that I love my DIYers, but…what does a do-it-yourself invitation say about your wedding? If it’s well executed, it says that you care enough to do something personal to invite your guests, to share a part of you with them, to have a hand (literally) in creating their invitation. If it’s poorly executed…well…it says you’re cheap. I wish there was a kindler, gentler way to put it, but unfortunately, there really isn’t.

Don’t believe me? If you cooked your own wedding meal and it was terrible, would your guests think you were trying to personalize the experience for them, or just trying to save money on catering? If you decided to strictly play music from your 13-year-old cousin’s iPod at your reception and it was nothing but gangsta rap, would your guests think you were trying to be cutting edge, or you were trying to save money on a DJ? If you made your own wedding dress and it was falling apart as you walked down the aisle, would your guests think that you were trying to be unique, or that you were trying to save money on your attire? Exactly – so you see where I’m going here. DIY can be great – if you can make it look like you either know what you’re doing, or you didn’t do it yourself. Lookin’ handmade = personal, lookin’ homemade = cheap.

Here’s my best tip: When you are thinking about invitations – whether purchasing from a stationery store, a custom designer or creating your own, imagine what you want your guest to feel and think when they open that envelope. Write it down. Then put your invitation to the test – send it to yourself, put yourself in your guests’ shoes and write down your initial reactions, feelings, assumptions etc. Do they match what you originally wrote down? Then you’re golden. If not, it may be time to re-evaluate your choice.

It’s not strictly about how much you spend – it’s about making sure you choose an invitation that is a true reflection of your big day. A well-chosen invitation is always bound to make the right impression.