It’s a tricky time planning a wedding right now – I know, I get it. Restrictions on numbers, Covid safety protocols and local lockdowns are all contributing to the uncertainty. The possibility of having to postpone (sometimes more than once) or downsize is very real for many couples. One of the biggest challenges during this time will be what to do about your handmade wedding invites and stationery.
Even if your wedding is still a year or more away, you’ll no doubt already have questions. How can we order? What if we have to postpone or downsize? When’s the latest I can send my invitations? The key to keeping things stress free on the stationery front is to try and keep it all as flexible as possible. Here are my answers to those questions and some of the ways I can help you to plan and order your handmade wedding invites and stationery in a pandemic.
How can we order our handmade wedding invites and stationery when we’re in lockdown?
Arrange a virtual consultation for your handmade wedding invites and stationery
I get it, you don’t want to order your invitations online, you want to talk to and work with a lovely local business and a real human being. While I’d love to have you visit the studio to chat through your requirements and see samples of designs and different materials, local lockdown restrictions won’t always allow this. But, we can still meet via Zoom or phone, and I can also send you swatches and samples in the post if needs be. We can look at Pinterest boards together, I can share online photo albums show you samples over Zoom. It’s not quite the same as welcoming you to the studio, but it’s a pretty good compromise.
Get quotes & proofs by email, make payments online
Once we’ve come up with the perfect design for your handmade wedding invites and stationery I’ll send a quote by email. Payments can be made online and proofing will also be done via email. This means I’ll lay out all the text and graphic elements and send you a pdf file – you’ll be able to see exactly how everything will look when it’s printed. We can go back and forth with design tweaks for as long as it takes to get everything looking just how you want.
Have your handmade wedding invites and stationery delivered
Normally, when your stationery is finished I would arrange a time for you to collect it from my studio. If local lockdowns or travel restrictions prevent this then I will either deliver to you personally (if you’re local and travel restrictions allow) or I’ll arrange postal or courier delivery. Either way, you’ll get your stationery.
Could my ‘Stamp & Send’ service help?
I also offer a ‘stamp and send’ service, effectively an entirely contactless wedding invitation ordering option. Meet with me over Zoom or phone, design your invitations and place your order. Make your payment by credit/debit card or online bank transfer. Get and approve your proofs by email. Send your guest list complete with postal addresses (I’ll even send you a template to fill in). I will make your invitations, print the guest names into them, print the envelopes, seal them up, stamp them (you choose, first or second class) and take them to the post office on your behalf. I’ll get proof of posting for them all as well, just for your own peace of mind.
What if we need to postpone or downsize our wedding?
Check & confirm details for your handmade wedding invites and stationery at every stage
If you order your handmade wedding invites and stationery with me I will check in with you at every stage (i.e. save the date, invitations, on the day) to confirm exactly what you need and the numbers required, before I start to print anything. Flexibility in numbers is built in all along my scheduling and production process, and if necessary your payments will be adjusted accordingly.
Flexible deposits & production scheduling
As a stationery designer, I am slightly different to many of your other wedding suppliers in that I don’t need to actually be there on the big day. Therefore I can be a little more flexible when it comes to moving dates. Rest assured that, should you need to postpone I will transfer all deposits paid to your new date and reschedule any stationery accordingly. In the unlikely event that I would be unavailable for your revised plans I will arrange suitable refunds with you (subject to any design or production work already completed).
Change the date and wedding postponement cards
If you need to change your date I will supply you with a digital ‘Change The Date’ image for you to share with your nearest and dearest. This applies to any orders that I currently have booked in, and for any new ones going forward. If you would prefer printed wedding postponement cards we can talk through the options available and find the most cost effective solution for you. If you want to, you can use my ‘stamp and send’ service for these too.
When is the latest we can send our invitations?
As late as 10 to 12 weeks before the wedding
Normally I’d advise sending your invitations 6 to 8 months in ahead of the big day. With all the uncertainty around, understandably many of you want to help off for as long as possible, so you’re not spending out on invitations that then may need reprinting. Practically, you can send your invitations as late as 10 to 12 weeks before the wedding.
Do consider sending save the date cards
While I would usually say not to worry about Save The Date cards if your wedding is less than 12 months away, in the current circumstances they could be a good option. Sending a relatively inexpensive save the date card to your guests means you can wait a little later to send the invitations, safe in the knowledge that they have the date in their diary and won’t double book.
Introducing my new ‘Design & Hold’ service
Here’s the thing. Your wedding is planned for less than a year away. You want to get started on your invitations, but you’re a little nervous about whether the restrictions on numbers will allow you to have the celebration you dream of by then. You don’t want to get invitations made that may become useless if you have to change the date. My design and hold service could be the answer.
For a small deposit, I will design and supply proofs of your wedding invitations, getting them to a point where they are ready to print and make as soon as you give me the go ahead. I will then put them in my production schedule for a mutually agreed date (say 12 weeks before your wedding).
In the meantime, I’ll supply you with a digital ‘save the date’ image to share with your friends and family. To help you let them know to keep the day free and that their invitation will follow when things are a little more certain. Once you give me the go ahead to produce your invitations I will invoice the balance for the quantity you need and get them made as quickly as possible for you, usually within a week or two. As with everything else, if you decide you want to change the schedule or the numbers just let me know.
The key to ordering handmade wedding invites and stationery in a pandemic – keep it flexible and keep in touch
There you go, three of the most asked questions about ordering wedding invitations and stationery in a pandemic. The key: keep it flexible. Being a small business, I am an expert in flexibility. I can change plans and schedules quickly and I always try to communicate efficiently and effectively with all my clients. If you have any questions or are unsure about anything, just ask. It’s a bumpy old road, wedding planning in a pandemic, but it’s not impossible. I’m here to help and make it as stress free and enjoyable as possible. If you’d like to find out more about how I can help you with your wedding invitations and stationery, or to book an appointment for an informal chat.
With so much going on in the world at the moment and wedding plans often having to change by the day, check out my other advice that will help you through.