The Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Stationer Before Your Hire Them by Invitation Designer, Ceci Johnson of CeciNewYork {Part 2}

Last month I shared Part 1 of 2 of my Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Stationer Before You Hire Them.  Well, it’s time for Part 2! So let’s continue our chat to help you get your wedding designer selected and your invitations into design mode.  In case you missed the first five tips, or need a refresher, just click here.

Part 2, Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Stationer Before Your Hire Them

6.  How many invitations do I need to order?

Please note that the number of guests you are inviting is not the same as the number of invitations you need. I see brides making this mistake all the time. They think because they are inviting 300 people, they need to order 300 invites. Nope! That’s extra money you can save, so make sure you do your math right. Most guests are invited as couples, so you will need roughly half the number of invitations as guests invited, plus approximately 25 for singles and extras. So if you invite 200 people, you will need 125 invitations. All invites come in increments of 25, so it’s best to round up so you’re covered. DO NOT order the exact amount on your guest list. You will regret it later. You must be smart and order the extra cushion for any keepsakes or extra names that pop up along the way. You will be thanking me later!

7.  Can I see samples beforehand? Once I’ve placed my order, will I be given paper, ink and design proofs so I can see what my design will look like?

If you want to see a sample of the quality before you place your order, a good company will be happy to send you a few designs at random so you can understand what they look like. However, it’s not customary to get the exact sample of the design you’re interested in, and there is often a small fee (at Ceci New York it’s $50) that will be credited to your order should you decide to move forward. Once you’ve chosen to proceed, make sure that you get to see samples of paper stocks, inks, and proofs – all these details need to be approved and signed off on during the design ordering process. It’s important to touch and feel everything so you can confirm that it’s just the way you like it. You don’t want any surprises as colors may look one way online but completely different when printed. Still, please understand that this is done only after you hire your stationer (to avoid people taking samples and copying them). Rest assured that at Ceci New York once you’re signed up, you will see every detail along the way.

8.  Is location a problem?

What if I do not live in the same state or country as my invitation designer? Can I still work with them? I can speak for my company as this is a question we get every day. Absolutely! With email, FedEx and phone, there are no limits to who we can work with. We have clients from all over the world, including Australia, Hong Kong, London, Paris and California. And you will still receive the same special service just as if you were here in our showroom. As long as the company has no problem shipping you samples of everything, you will be completely fine working with them wherever you are in the world!

9.  Help, what do I say? Will you help me with my wording?

You should not be expected to know precisely what to say in your invitation ensemble. Your stationer is there to provide examples and guide you as to what’s proper etiquette-wise. That said, your stationer is not a mind reader. Only you know the exact details of your event, how your parents’ names are spelled, and the times and dates that need to be communicated to your guests. So don’t forget to submit clear, well-written, detailed content for the company to work with. And remember, each proof is an opportunity to edit and check for typos. It’s essential that you check the text and not just the design!

10.  Do you provide calligraphy and assembly services?

It’s important you understand just how full-service your chosen invitation company is. Ask the company if you have to order extra envelopes to cover for any mistakes that may occur. At Ceci New York, if our clients select to use our calligraphy services, they are not required to order extra envelopes. We guarantee that for them. However, if they opt to work with an outside calligrapher, then they will be required to order an extra set of 25. These are hidden costs that could add up so make sure you ask beforehand.

Bonus tip from Ceci Johnson: What is the most important thing for you to get right once you’ve hired a designer?

Communication is everything. If you don’t communicate what you want and be honest with your vendors, then you will be missing out on receiving the full service. No matter how amazing your invitation designer is, they are not mind readers. You’ve hired them for a reason and your feedback and honest communication is what makes the experience so successful. Don’t ever feel shy about sharing your thoughts. We’re here to help you and won’t be offended. Also, make sure you get back to your stationer promptly with your feedback. Remember, it’s a creative, collaborative process; without your feedback, the project can’t be finished.

Love, Ceci Johnson of CeciNewYork