Even though you bought every wedding planning book Barnes and Noble carries, pinned every wedding board on Pinterest, and Googled every organization tool known to man, you still aren't sure what you need to send, print, or make yourself.
Weddings can be very overwhelming and having a graphic designer help you will all of printed, digital, and miscellaneous things on your DREAM list, can really save you some hair-tearing-out later. Even as a graphic designer, I had trouble remembering all of the many pieces that go into a wedding and even missed a few. Afterward, all I could think was, "I should have done that!" In this blog, I wanted to outline all of the many print and digital pieces that go into a wedding. Whether you are a do-it-yourself or you hire a graphic designer, this is a good check-list to go by.
1. Save the Dates
Ahhhhh.... Save the Dates. This is your first opportunity to let everyone know YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED!! Wooo! However, this is also the first opportunity to be overwhelmed.
There are a few different Save the Date (SD) options you can choose from; the postcard, the photo card, or the traditional card. Many budget conscious couples choose to send postcards for their SD. This option is low-cost and gives the recipient an immediate view of your theme, photo, or destination! The photo card is almost the same as a postcard, but is usually sent inside an envelope. The envelope protects the photo paper from getting wet or damaged in the mail and also gives a bit more privacy than a postcard. Although there is an added cost to purchasing both the photo card itself, the envelope, and stamps, this is still the most common SD option. The third option is a bit more costly than the card, but is considered more traditional/formal. The traditional SD will be a card on heavy card stock or linen announcing the impeding nuptials of the couple. The envelope is usually a heavy card stock or linen to match the card.
If you have a wedding website, which I will address later, you should include that on your Save the Date so that your guests can begin following your posts, Facebook updates, or look up your registry.
This is the BIG one. Everyone knows that the invitation is the most important part, besides the actual day and there are so many different options out there for invitations. To a graphic designer, there really are only two directions to go; traditional or non-traditional. These categories are very broad but, really they are the only two options.
Traditional invitations are elegant and have many pieces to include. The two main pieces are the invitation card and the RSVP card with a return envelope. (It is customary to write out your return address and put a stamp on the RSVP envelope for your invited guests) You can also add a registry card, directions card, (especially if there is more than one venue or it is in an obscure location) and any additional information you would like your guests to know. The invitation should include the place, time, and date. (You would be surprised how often those details are overlooked when brides DIY invitations)
Many traditional wedding invitations are printed on high quality paper or linen and can range from simple text text to photographic prints. Some choose to deliver their invitations in an invitation Pocket Fold envelope. These special envelopes allow you to adhere your one-sided invitation to the inner panel and have a pocket on the right or left hand side to slide in the additional pieces and RSVP. They are gorgeous, but pretty pricey. If you are looking to save a bit of money, a non-traditional invitation or less expensive version of the traditional invitation may be a better way to go.
For me, we included a 2-sided invitation (saving a bit of money on buying less paper and using more of the space) and the RSVP card with an envelope. You don't need to put all of the additional materials in the invitation, especially if you direct them to a wedding website that has all of that additional information there.
A non-traditional wedding invitation is just what it sounds like... non-traditional. Instead of trying to explain it, I thought I would give you a few examples.
3. "Day of" Materials
Depending on what your wedding entails, this could be A LOT of pieces or only a few. Below is a list of "Day-of" material that may or may not be used depending on your theme, venue, and wedding size.
THANK YOU CARDS!!! So many couples are not sending out thank you cards after their wedding. This is such a nice touch, especially for your family and friends that came to support you and gave you gifts. These don't have to be fancy or extravagant, but it is another opportunity to use those awesome shell stickers you bought waaaaaay too many of for the wedding. :)
You may also want to use some of your design choices (colors, images, etc.) to add to photo albums, scrapbooks, etc.
5. Misc. Additions
There are a few miscellaneous additions that I would like to mention, just as an afterthought.
Website are a great way to keep your guests updated and informed on everything. This is also a great place for them to look at your registries, RSVP online, and ask you questions. There are plenty of free wedding website options out there and they only take a few minutes to set up. I would highly recommend doing this!! Have questions on how to get started, email me! I have done quite a few websites and a few of them were wedding websites. :)
If you are engaged, or about to become engaged, these are some loose guidelines to follow when thinking about print and digital material for your wedding. I am always happy to help or give advise to those Brides and Grooms to be!!
Good luck and get planning!
Testimonial - Creekside Kennels
I recently finished a website upgrade for Creekside Kennels. They breed and sell German Shepherd puppies in Black River Falls, WI. Jay and Jennifer and AMAZING people to work with and I was SUPER excited to do their website. :) I was happy to provide them with a clean, modern site, with an easy to use interface that they needed. Below is a testimonial from Jennifer.
When I asked Megan with M Grant Media for her help with updating our website I was just honestly relieved that someone who knew what the heck they were doing would take on the huge job of transferring my old information from my old website to the new website and making it more user friendly. What she did was more than just transferring our information. She created a beautiful, modern, easy to use website for people to learn about our German Shepherds. She continues to provide assistance even though the website has been done for a while. She even made a training video for me. I am so happy with the job she did – and can highly recommend her to anyone! Excellent experience from beginning to end.
The computer is a great tool, and it makes it easier for small business owners to create their own fliers, brochures, postcards and even websites. So why would you want to use the services of a professional graphic designer? Here are seven reasons why small business owners are best served by hiring a design professional to create their marketing materials.
1. You don’t have time.Small business owners have a lot on their plates. That means you may put off doing a new marketing piece, even if it is something you really need. Hiring a designer to help means you can get that project done and begin using it to make you more money.
2. You can’t afford not to. By the time you learn how to use that page layout software that came free with your computer, you may have invested several hours. Couldn’t that have been used more productively? If you could have paid a designer $500 and used your time to earn $1,000 for your business, you have not chosen wisely.
3. You are trying to uniquely brand your business. Now, not every small business needs to stand out. If you’re a locksmith in a small community, for example, it may be enough to just show up in internet searches and be in the phone book. But if you’re in a market with a dozen other locksmiths, you want to stand out. You don’t do that with a clip art logo or canned flier that looks the same as 10 of those 12 competitors. Using marketing materials that are unique and stand out are a way for people to remember you. And if they think they’ve seen you before, they are more likely to choose to contact you for your products or services.
4. You want to keep your look consistent. If you use different logos, different fonts and different messages everywhere, it’s going to be hard to look professional – never mind standing out in a potential customer’s mind. Designers know how to watch those little details and ensure that every piece of marketing communications fits with everything else. Sure, your customers may not notice if you used “Times New Roman” in one ad and “Calibri” in another, but the subconscious mind picks up details and uses them to form an overall opinion of your business. You look and seem more put together if everything does, in fact, fit together.
5. You save yourself a lot of headaches. Let’s say you do put together something yourself, and send it off to the printer. When the proof – or worse, the finished product – comes back with problems that you didn’t anticipate, fixing or reprinting will take even more time and money. Designers know what to do to make sure a file prints out correctly.
6. You get a brand new source of ideas. Designers are generally pretty creative folks, and they like to help their clients get the most out of every project. Hiring a designer is likely to mean that you’ll end up with a better finished product than you could have put together, even if you’re skilled at making things look good. His or her ideas may lead to a more eye-catching, more appealing and more polished piece than you would have created – thus leading to more attention from potential customers and more sales.
7. You take more pride in your marketing materials. Have you ever been in a situation where you had an ugly or boring business card? Were you less likely to hand it out? If that brochure is outdated and uses a weird color scheme, you may just keep it behind the counter instead of displaying it. All your marketing materials should be the best they can be for your business, or you’ll have some hesitation in presenting them to new customers.
From Visual People Design Blog
Becca & Dan Burnett - Testimonial
My husband and I worked with M. Grant Designs for our wedding invitation suite, bulletins, and table numbers, and we couldn't be happier with our choice! We came to Megan with a general idea of what we wanted the theme to be and she quickly responded with exactly what we were looking for. She was incredibly responsive throughout the design process, listened to and incorporated our feedback, and provided recommendations when I didn't know which direction we should go. I can honestly say that we experienced less stress while planning our wedding because we knew that we could trust her to get the job done. Thanks for making our invitations feel so much like us!
It was my sincere pleasure to work with these two amazing individuals! You can view their invitations and placecards on the Past Projects - Wedding page. Wedding design is one of my most favorite projects and I love how these turned out. The invitations were printed on linen paper and the other elements were printed on a matte cardstock.
Looking for someone to design your wedding suite? Contact Us!
My name is Megan Grant. I am the owner/operator of M. Grant Media. I thought, for my first blog post, I would introduce myself and tell you why I started M. Grant Media.
I currently work for a non-profit organization as their Manager of Marketing, Communication, and Design. (It's a mouthful, I know) I am responsible for all marketing material for conferences, meetings, promotional material, etc. I also maintain/update our website and social media. My secondary position at the company is the Managing Editor of our bi-monthy scientific Journal. (Which is, by far, my favorite part of the job. I get to make scientific articles pretty and organized in a 64-72 page journal. How awesome, right??!!) As you can tell, this job keeps me busy, however..... this non-profit is all geared toward health-care.
Don't get me wrong, I love health-care. My grandmother was a nurse and my mother was a social worker for a nursing home, so I'm used to health-care.....It just gets really boring to only work with images of patients, syringes, medications, etc. You can only get so creative with that type of subject matter....
That brings me to M. Grant Media. I was really starting to miss some of my more "artistic" days from college when I got to create anything I wanted. (I mean, how cool is that red door photo to your left??? ) I decided I wanted to be able to be creative again. I had done birthday party invites, baby shower invites, wedding invites, and senior pictures on the side for the past few years, so why not make it a business?? In taking on this new adventure, I am hoping to have plenty of happy clients who trust my work and know that I will give them 110% on every project, every time.
If you know me, you know I am a perfectionist and EXTREMELY dedicated to everything I do.
Stay tuned for more updates, tips for the trade, and testimonials from my, already loyal and happy, customers!
YOUR DREAM IS OUR VISION.