Archives for category: Custom Invitations

I recently had the pleasure of working with newlyweds, MaryLynn and Josh, on their wedding invitations. What a fun couple! I hope you enjoy getting to know them a little. That dancing picture! It just makes me smile.


How did you meet?  Joshua and I met during our Sophomore year of college at Kutztown University. We lived in the same dorm and had a few mutual friends. Joshua noticed me studying with one of his roommates in the study lounge and it was only a matter of time before he swept me off my feet with his magic card tricks.

Tell me a little about the proposal… After just about 6 years together, Joshua decided to propose! He came up with his master plan (which didn’t quite go as planned). We traveled to Citizens Bank park to see The Zac Brown Band in concert. The proposal was planned for before the concert but Josh had to improvise when he realized we would be late, partially because of traffic and partially due to my lackadaisical manner of getting ready for the night (obviously I had no idea about all the scheming that had taken place)!
After the concert, we traveled to Spruce Street Harbor Park at Penn’s Landing. We posed for a photo together in one of the over-sized wooden chairs when Joshua jumped off to get down on one knee. I said YES and the rest is history!

What surprised you most about planning your wedding?  It was a lot less stressful than I had thought it would be! LISTS were my best friend. As the actual day approached, I found myself constantly running through everything I had to do in my head. It got overwhelming so I started writing down every single thing I thought of. Whether it was in the Notes app on my phone, a notepad on my night stand, or a sticky note at work. This helped me with all the tiny details I knew were important. No need for any unnecessary stress… this is a day I wanted to ENJOY… not worry about!

What (or who) did you find was your best resource for planning your wedding? My photographer, Caroline Morris Photography, was one of my best resources. I was struggling to come up with a logical timeline for the day. When I asked her opinion, she had it covered. She has done so many weddings, she knew exactly what needed to be included in the timeline and what smaller details didn’t necessarily need to factored in. She actually did the timeline for me which was a giant weight off my shoulders!
In addition, the Barn on Bridge had a wonderful checklist that I referred to often. It was lengthy, about 5 pages or so of small print, but had tons of information that when I had first read it, had never even crossed my mind (I almost forgot to book a hotel room for Josh and I – Ha!). It was overwhelming during the early stages of planning, but as the date approached, everything kind of just fell into place and I was checking off every little box. Such a good feeling!!

What was your inspiration for your wedding day details?  The venue itself was my inspiration. The restored barn feels nothing like a typical “horse barn” and has been so beautifully refurbished. I call it “rustic-chic,” which was ultimately the theme for our wedding. Some vintage touches like my lace dress and the groomsmen’s thin brown suspenders and thin ties rounded everything out. It is so easy to get caught up in some of the “over-the-top” ideas on Pinterest, but with the Barn on Bridge, less is more because it already has so much of it’s own charm and character.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding?  Our “first look” was the best part of the day for me! Originally, I was against the idea of seeing Josh before the ceremony. The first look was such a good decision because it saved us so much time. Instead of doing bridal party photos during the cocktail hour, we did them before the ceremony and got to enjoy the cocktail hour with our guests! I am an emotional person in general, so it helped me get some of the nervousness (and tears) out before walking down the aisle. It was also really nice for us to be able to see each other in private (except for the photographer) before everyone else got to see us. And the photos of that moment – WOW!!

Best part of the wedding planning?  I am an Event Coordinator for a small, local catering company so I am always planning events for my clients. It was amazing to be able to focus on my own event plans for a change!

What advice will you give your friends getting married?  In the end, everything will come together. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was pleasantly surprised at how willing to help all of my vendors were, and let’s face it… THEY are the real experts! Listen to their opinions and be willing to change your mind on things you thought you had been set on. I wound up changing the color of my bridesmaid’s dresses on a whim at the actual dress shop. We went from light pink to a more dramatic burgundy and it was one of the best decisions I made while planning.

Mary Lynn & Josh’s wedding vendors were:
Ceremony & Reception Location: Barn on Bridge
Photographer: Caroline Morris Photography, Philadelphia, PA
Florist: Enchanted Florist, Skippack, PA
Music: DJ Paul Evans, Silver Sound Entertainment, Philadelphia, PA
Invitations: Invitations by Stone Hill Paperie
Hair: Justin Magdule
Makeup: Yvette Delgado
Transportation: Chics Limousine, Blue Bell, PA

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Wedding invitations are a small part of the big day, but they play a major role. Your invitations are the first impression your guests will see of your wedding day. Here are 5 things to think about when choosing and ordering wedding invitations:

  1. How do you picture your wedding?

Tara and TimWill your guests be dressed to the nines,
dancing late into the night in an elegant ballroom with champagne in hand? Or will they be dressed casually, dancing in the grass under twinkly lights with a mason jar in hand? There are so many different wedding styles, themes and colors. They sky is the limit! Think about the type of affair it will be and work with your invitation designer or stationer to choose the invitation that will best convey the style of the event to your guests.

2. What is your invitation budget?

You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to get Norabeautiful invitations. If you discuss your budget and the style of wedding you are hosting with your invitation designer or stationer, you will most likely be able to come up with the perfect invitation to meet your needs.

3. Are you communicating everything to your guests that you need to?

Chances are you can picture your wedding in your mind and you  know exactly how you want things to be. The more you can communicate with your guests about the big day, the better. You want things to go smoothly Mollyand you want to have a great time, but you are also hosting A LOT of people on a very important day to you. Part of being a good host or hostess is letting your guests know things that might be important to them to ensure they have a good time and relax too.

Things like… If you are having an outdoor wedding, it’s always good to let people know if you’ll be in the grass – it’s hard to have fun when your heels are sinking into the ground. Or… If there is a shuttle service from the hotel to the venue, that is great information to share.  Depending on your plans, there may be other things you’ll want your guests to know ahead of time.

4. Do you have a wedding website?

Wedding websites can be created for free FullSizeRender 2on weddingwire.com or theknot.com and can save you money too! Many of my clients at Stone Hill Paperie opt to include a website card rather than a directions card and an accommodations card. The website card sends your guests to your wedding website where they can find all of the wedding details. Keep the website name as short and simple as possible like the image to the right – some websites have really long names that just don’t look good in print.

5. How do you plan to address your envelopes?

Would you want a calligrapher to handwrite your guest addresses? Would you want your stationer to print them? Or do you have great handwriting? Those are all good options depending on your budget. Tip – stay away from sticking labels on your invitation envelopes. For something as special as this, that label makes it seem much more ordinary. I would rather see your personal handwriting any day!

The question I get asked most often by couples is, how much do wedding invitations cost? My answer is always, that depends on a lot of factors.

  • How many invitations do you need?
  • What pieces do you need?
  • Are we ordering from an album or are you looking for a custom-designed invitation?img_0746
  • What print method do you prefer?
  • What type of paper are you choosing?
  • Are you looking for embellishments?

Number of Invitations: A good rule in estimating the number of invitations you need is to divide the number of guests you are inviting by 2 and add 15%. If you are inviting 250 people, that would
be 144 invitations.

What pieces do you need?: This is part personal preference and part etiquette.

Church Wedding – Traditionally, the items needed are the invitation, invitation envelope, reception card, response card and response card envelope.

Reception Wedding – If the ceremony is taking place at the reception site, you can eliminate the reception card and note “reception immediately following” at the bottom of the invitation.

Destination Wedding – Destination weddings tend to include more pieces because they usually entail more than the wedding. When people are traveling and making a long weekend of the wedding, typically the couple will plan other activities and will then include some sort of itinerary for the weekend events. Also, additional information for travel plans is appropriate.

Album Order vs. Custom OrderWhen ordering from an album, the prices are set. It’s simple to price things out and at times, the companies that provide the albums will sometimes offer promotions. This doesn’t happen very often, but is a great help when you can take advantage of a good deal. Custom orders require more time to estimate, some times they may require more time to print & assemble and, of course, you have to add in the time it takes to design a custom invitation. Custom invitations can be competitive with invitations from albums, but more often, they are slightly higher priced. You should also allow for more time in placing your order. If you plan to order custom designed invitations, 6 months before your wedding is a good time to meet with your stationer or designer. If you wait too long, rush charges may apply.

What type of print do you prefer?: The print method you choose can make a huge difference in the price of your invitations. I’ll go more into depth in a separate blog post on these shortly, but for now, this is the breakdown in regards to pricing:

Letterpress, Foil, Engraving, Embossing – $$$  These print methods are all absolutely gorgeous and add a lot of texture to your invitaitons.

Thermography, Offset Printing  – $$  Thermography is a raised print (similar to engraving). Offset printin is flat printing. This is the middle of the road on price.

Digital Printing – $  Digital printing is done by computer (similar to home printers, but on a much larger scale). This is the lowest price point for printing invitations.

fullsizerender-3What type of paper are you choosing?There is a huge variety of paper options. If you have ever been to my studio, you have seen the crazy amount of paper swatch books I have to choose from. There are smooth papers, papers with a “tooth”, metallic or pearl papers, glitter paper, paper that is lightly embossed to look like tree bark, sheer papers, iridescent papers, and almost every color paper you can imagine. Paper also comes in many different weights or thickness. Some paper is better for different types of printing than others. This is where it is good to work with a professional so they can recommend the best paper for your particular job. As far as pricing goes – the more simple the paper, the less expensive it tends to be.

Are you looking for embellishments? Embellishments can be pocketfolders, bandwraps, ribbon, jewels, labels, wax seals, lace, twine, etc. There are so many options for personalizing invitations with embellishments! This is also where you can spend a lot of money or save. I usually give my clients the option to DIY the embellishments. That allows them to dress up their invitations without paying for someone else to glue jewels or tie bows. You can use embellishments to make a very simple invitation a little more special.

It’s tough to answer that question, “How much do wedding invitations cost?”  But there are many ways to accomplish a goal. I invite clients to come to the studio with a budget in mind, choose the ultimate invitation and we’ll take it from there. A couple might love a letterpress invitation in a pocketfolder, but the budget only allows for a digitally printed invitation with a bandwrap holding all of the pieces together. The wedding guests never saw the pocketfolder, so it is still the perfect invitation!