Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shapely Invitations

A new invitation idea has just been added to the website; Invitations with a shaped border. This idea is a layered invitation, where one of the layers is printed with wording. One of the cards is cut in a "shapely" manner.

This invitation idea can be made with a variety of card stock options. Get the bottom layer made out of a metallic, patterned, or textured paper. Because of that variety, pricing can vary quite a bit. A good estimate would be about $3 per set, layered invitation card, response card, and envelopes included.

*Estimated are just an average price range valid only at the time it is written. Due to inflation, pricing goes up over time.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lunch Bag Wedding Programs

Save the Date Originals just got an order for something I had never thought I'd have an order for: lunch bags! That is, lunchbag ceremony programs for a wedding.

I hadn't heard about this before, but a quick search found that Elizabeth Anne Designs had blogged about a couple that did this, right near the end of 2009.

Why lunchbags? Well, if the couple has a church or venue that is okay with them handing out rose petals or rice to be tossed as the newly married couple departs, how are those usually distributed? The couple would probably have a few ushers with lunch bags walking around to allow people to grab the petals. Instead, the couple can just use the lunchbag programs to distribute the send-away petals to each guest. Easy. Simple. Even distribution. Genius.

Note: make sure that your church will allow you to throw petals/rice/glitter before doing it. There is probably a charge to clean up after such things!

Photos of the printed white lunch bags:

The wedding party is on one side, the actual program on the other. Double sided printed lunchbags like the white one would cost about $1-$1.50.

Note: There is a limited printable area- about a half an inch from the left and ride side must be left blank, and also about 2 inches from the bottom.

While I was working on these, I also had a thought. One could also attach a printed card or sticker to the lunchbags!

Check out an example of a metallic printed card attached to a brown lunch bag:

And now, a clear printed sticker attached to a white lunch bag:

Note: I currently offer clear see-through stickers with black ink printing only. White stickers are available with full color printing.

Customers can get printed lunchbags, ceremony program stickers attached to lunch bags or just the stickers alone, ceremony printed cards attached to lunch bags or just the cards alone. White lunchbags. Brown lunchbags. As always, I am flexible and it's your wedding!

There is no ceremony program section on the Save the Date Originals website as up June 2011... look upwards for the "contact" link and then email to talk about a project. Pricing will vary as far as cards and stickers go.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Going Postal, Indeed

More and more, customers are postage-conscious. I can see why. When I first started my business, it would cost me a lot less to ship orders- postal rates have been going up.

postage rates going upwards is also no wonder, knowing that the US posal service has had some major financial troubles. The main reason for that is, of course, the internet. More people are starting to read online magazines rather than pay for a copy to be mailed. More people are sending birthday greetings via facebook instead of sending a letter.

Whatever the reason, the fact is that postage costs are going up and rules are more likely to be enforced.

A common issue that I warn customers about is that square shaped envelopes will cost more to mail. An envelope can be close to square (such as 5x4.5) and not cost you extra, but a 5x5 inch envelope will.

Something else I just recently found out about: Think of your typical envelope; It is long/tall, maybe 8x3.5 inches. You would address it so that when you look at the address, the envelope is wide and short. (Horizontal). If you turn the envelope so that it is thin and tall, then write the address, it will actually cost more to mail!

Weight is a given- you know that if you go over an ounce, your postage will cost more.

But did you know that if your envelope is thicker than 1/4 inch, you could be charged a package rate? Something for pocketfold invitation buyers to think about.

And your envelope has to be uniformly thick- those bumps from bows could cause trouble.

All in all, brides and grooms definitely need to consider postage as part of the budget. The problem we stationiers have come across more than once is that if you take a complete ready to mail invitation to a post office, have them check it out and give you a price, and then you take it to another post office, the other post office might give a different price. It is coming up fairly often. You never know which workers at which post office are going to enforce which rules.

Hence, the warning that you may need to roll with extra postage. If the postage is indeed more than you were quoted, try another post office. I've read a success story where someone got their postage quote in writing from the post office- and was able to use that later when the postage quote was higher.

When it comes to save the date magnets, well, there are companies selling cheap thin magnets, and there are companies selling thick sturdy magnets. Even thicker small magnets (2x2, 2x3.5, 4x2.5 inch) shouldn't be over an ounce. You can expect to mail smaller sizes with the usual postage. But larger 6.75x3.75 inch magnets are going to cost a little more to mail out in an envelope.

Postcards come up a lot, with couples considering ways to save on postage. After 7 years, I have words of warning.

1) Sometimes the post office will really tear and dent up a post card. I've been surprised by flimsy cards that made it through. I've also been surprised by sturdy cards that got torn, bent, sections scratched up, or otherwise trashed.

2) You have to design the back to meet with their required outline- no crazy fun postcard backs. You also want to design the front so that if the post office puts a sticker or barcode along the bottom, no information will be lost.

3) Consider your privacy. Postcards display everything for anyone along the way to read.