guest blog | suit yourself: 3 steps to invitation suite selection | by erin afarian

Today, I am so excited to welcome my client and friend, the dear Erin Afarian, as a guest blogger. I had the honor of photographing her wedding in October of 2013, and I am so glad that our paths crossed. An experienced graphic designer and owner of the newly debuted Savor Paper, she is here to talk about how to select the invitation suite that is perfect for you and your wedding. Take it away, Erin...

Congratulations, you’re engaged! I took a walk down the aisle a little over a year ago, and it was such a joyful experience. How beautifully have wedding ceremonies evolved with time? Our generation is allowed the opportunity to customize not just the cake and and the colors, but all aspects, even creating an overall theme. This trend enhances the enjoyment of this milestone, making it all the more memorable for years to come.

One such customizable element is the invitation suite. It can reflect both your personalities and convey the overall essence of your event. It is your guest’s first impression of what the wedding will be like, and it may become a keepsake for you and your guests alike, allowing you to instantly recall the sights, sounds, and feelings of the day. Three steps can position you to more simply select the invitation suite design that works for you.

1. Choose Your Elements

Several pieces and parts make up an Invitation Suite. The main attraction is typically a flat card featuring your names and all the primary details - what most refer to as the invitation itself. Other basic elements include a response card, reception card, and matching envelopes. Beyond those, you may choose additional embellishments or an enclosure to hold informative inserts, such as maps and helpful travel details or separate invites to a welcome dinner or farewell brunch. Each of these items work together to form a balanced package and can be finished with custom postage or address labels. As you select the elements of your invitation suite, consider customizing the size and format, the fonts and colors, and especially the wording, to best capture your relationship.

2. Prioritize Paper Goods in Your Overall Budget

My husband proposed on a Thursday. By Friday lunchtime, I had purchased five wedding magazines and set up a Pinterest board. I quickly learned there was an ocean of options available, and that if I was going to keep my head above water, I needed to understand where we wanted to focus the bulk of our budget. It’s going to be different for everyone, but choosing priorities helped us strategize price points. Knowing where your invitation suite falls in the list of wedding investments may help guide some of your paper good selections. Some elements that impact the level of investment are:

●  Printing methods
Conventional vs. Digital
Letterpress vs. Flat Printing

●  Number of colors
When printing on a conventional press, the ink is applied from rolls, onto plates, onto paper. Each roll has its own setup cost. More colors of ink equal more setup cost. Digital printing, however, is always a combination of four colors ­­- cyan, magenta, yellow and black -­­ that can create endless hues and therefore, is not priced per color.

● Unique shapes
Some shapes will require special cutting techniques. Additionally, oversized or square invitations can impact postage.

● Extras
More is more. Simple as that. Embellishments and additional inserts are going to increase your overall investment. If you’re trying to keep your cost down, opt for a postcard RSVP or direct guests to your website instead of including an insert with all the reception details.

Stationery | Erin Afarian | ©2014 Glessner Photography 011.jpg

3. Draft Your Guestlist

Your guest list influences every other decision you make in planning a wedding. (I know, it sounds so obvious, but it’s worth restating.) Besides yielding a quantity for your invitation order, understanding who your guests are will also help you to craft the best experience. If you anticipate guests who are not equipped with smartphones, consider including a map with all the important locations and times in your invitation suite.

And remember that you only need to send one invitation to each household. Include all the names of that household that are invited on the outer envelope.

I wish you all the very best wedding planning experience and hope your special day turns out just how you imagine. And get ready, because being married is even better! 

Erin Afarian is a full-time Brand Specialist
and the owner of Savor Paper. A Boston
native and graduate of Syracuse University,
she now lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina,
with her husband, Aaron.

featured :: tailored occasions :: greensboro engagement photographer

Today, I am so excited to be featured on the blog of local wedding planner Tailored Occasions Event Planning and Design.  I'm honored to call Allyson a friend and a colleague - between designing her website, photographing her headshots, planning projects together like our proposal planning collaboration, and carpooling to our monthly Making Things Happen group in Chapel Hill, I've had the opportunity to get to know Allyson quite well over the past year.

Needless to say, when she asked, I was more than happy to write a guest blog for her readers about preparing for an engagement session. Check out my post, 7 Ways to Dress Your Best for an Engagement Session, here!

Many thanks to Allyson for featuring us!

Engaged?  Contact us today to reserve your wedding date.

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musings from a diy bride :: greensboro wedding decor

I am so thrilled to have Jessica Goodenough, a recent Glessner Photography bride, as today's guest blogger! Jessica and her husband, Shane's, wedding was filled with tons of beautiful and personal details, many created by the craft-savvy bride herself. I asked Jessica to share with our readers some of the ways she was able to incorporate meaningful, personal touches to customize her wedding and how you can do the same. Of course, if you're not feeling as creative or ambitious, you can always have Jessica create custom items for you and your big day by visiting her Etsy shop, As You Fancy. Here's what she has to say...

Something Old

Like every little girl, I loved looking at my mom’s wedding gown in photos. I loved the dress, but I didn’t want to wear a circa 1980s wedding gown (complete with hat) for my big day. Instead, I incorporated the lace from my mom’s gown into my bridal clutch. Just some fabric glue on a clutch will get the job done, or you can order a custom, handmade bridal clutch here.

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Something New

As I was planning the wedding, my cousin had a little announcement. “Surprise, I’m pregnant. Surprise, it’s a girl. Surprise, I’m due in three months.” This new addition to the family made me extremely excited and awakened my creative side. Now that I had a flower girl, I decided I would make, from scratch, without instructions, a flower girl dress. To make this blush dress, all you need is ivory and pink tulle, scissors, elastic, a sewing machine, and stretchy ribbon, or you can purchase it here.

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Something Borrowed

Ok, so I may have borrowed a couple of DIY ideas from Pinterest, but let’s face it, not everyone attending the wedding is as obsessed with pinning wedding ideas as I am! No harm, no foul. One of my favorite additions to the wedding was this “Love” table that was set up in the lobby for cocktail hour. I asked all of my and my fiancé’s relatives to send me some pictures from their own weddings.  Once I received all of these photos, I printed them out, bought a ton of frames from the dollar store, and spray painted a “Love” sign from the craft store gold. The family loved it, and it added a special touch to the cocktail hour.

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Something Gold (Who Likes Blue Anyway)

In my opinion, it is the little details that make the wedding special. I created a dinner menu in Microsoft Publisher and printed it out on card stock. However, the handmade napkin ring was the final touch on the place setting that really tied everything together.  This was one of the easiest DIY projects I gave myself... so easy that my fiancé could help! All you need is a wide ribbon and velcro. Cut the ribbon into 6 inch strips and stick the velcro on either end of the ribbon strip to form your napkin ring. Happy crafting!

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Wedding | Derr-Goodenough | ©2013 Glessner Photography_0029.jpg

Jessica Goodenough, originally from New Jersey, lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband, Shane, and their dog, Baloo. She is a graduate of Penn State University and Elon University, and a Sr. Financial Analyst at General Dynamics. In her free time, Jessica manages and creates new products for her Etsy store, As You Fancy. You can follow As You Fancy on Facebook here.