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.