Okay, I’ll ask the question… Do you think 10 years from now we will still be sending those expensive paper wedding invitations through the mail? That is, if the postal system is still in existence! Take a look at the main way we communicate with friends and family today:
Write a letter and send it through the USPS – are you kidding me?!?
Email – this even seems to be on its decline
Texting – yes, this is very popular for short, quick messages
Facebook – most definitely the most widespread way to stay in touch, share pictures, have interactive discussions, etc.
Let’s face it, pretty much everyone checks Facebook to see what’s going on with friends and family. We have it on our laptops, tablets, and phones. Why? Because it’s fast, easy, logically organized so you can easily sort through messages and pictures, you automatically get updates when something new is posted, there’s no paper taking up space, and best of all its totally free! So isn’t it logical to think that eventually we will be migrating to totally digital communication to include save the dates, invitations, RSVPs, and even thank you notes? As much as I love the feel and tradition of a high quality wedding invitation, I think we may be in the last generation that will use them.
If you are feeling really brave and want to break with tradition early, there is a great option. Punchbowl.com is probably the most popular party planning site out there now, and for good reason. It does pretty much anything you would need to plan, organize, invite, track, and thank all your guests for any type of event. Plus, their system works on mobile devices and allows you to send invitations through Facebook private messages or wall posts as well as Twitter. The user interface is easy for both the planner and the guests. They have an amazing amount of customizable animated save the date and invitation designs for almost any occasion. Here’s a few samples.
Some of my favorite features includes the Date Decider. Since you want to make sure your guests are able to make the date of you your events, why not offer options and let them decide? Punchbowl.com makes it easy with the Date Decider:
Their RSVP feature is very easy to use. Here’s a screenshot:
And like I said, I think being able to connect the application to Facebook is essential. Here’s a screenshot of Punchbowl’s interface.
For many of you, taking the leap of going totally online with your wedding planning may be a little too much. Why not try it for your smaller events like your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or even just a small party?
I think Punchbowl.com is on the right track but there are a few things that I didn’t like. The free version is loaded with ads which really takes away from the experience for the guests. You have to upgrade to the paid version to get rid of the ads. The other thing I think Punchbowl does need to work on is provide secure RSVPs so people can only RSVP with the number of guests you invite. I believe it’s important to be able to maintain control of your guest list. We designed this feature into our wedding website product. To see what I mean sign-up for a free trial and give it a try.
So, what does the future hold? I think it will be common for brides in the 2020’s to do it all online. Send out save the dates and invitations through direct messages in Facebook, accept and manage RSVPs, manage to-do lists, find vendors, gift registries, take polls about dates to hold the events, and never send out a piece of paper. Are you ready to break with tradition? What are your thoughts?
Here’s the current top-rated Save the Date card on Minted. This caught my eye not only because of the simple but great design….
But, because of the unique interior design options! I love the idea of being able to post some fun pictures inside along with the ability to include short paragraphs of information about them and I really love the time line idea!
Minted is truly a unique wedding invitation company. Our Wedding Plus has been affiliated with several wedding invitations companies since we started in 2007, but we have found that Minted is significantly different from the rest because of the way they get their designs and decide which ones to sell. They use “crowd-sourcing” to pick the designs that they actually sell on their site and all their designs come from hundreds of independent designers from around the world.
So how does this work? They are continuously holding design competitions in which independent designers from around the world enter their designs, then you, their customer vote on the designs. Minted literally gets thousands of design entries and have thousands of people voting. There is a whole community out there that you can be a part of that interact in a social network. When I was writing this, since 2008 they had: 66 Challenges – 45,812 designs – 111,484 comments – 3,266,345 votes cast. Watch this video to get a good idea about how Minted operates:
So if you didn’t know about Minted and you are a designer, always had a hidden desire to design, or are just interested in stationary design go check out Minted’s Design Challenge page you can interact with hundreds of people like you, you can vote on designs that Minted will sell on their site, and if you submit designs, you may wind up make a living at doing what you love! You can start off by checking out their Leaderboard page to see what is trending. The top rated designs, designers, and commenters are all ranked on this site in real time. It’s pretty cool!
By the way Minted.com is set-up, you can be sure to find not only truly unique designs, but ones that have been through the scrutiny of thousands of people just like you so the ones that are sold on the site are the best.
Here are a couple of winning wedding invitations from a couple of their recent design challenges held this last fall.
Okay, I’m sure by now you are interested in checking out Minted. So, what about the wedding invitation give away mentioned in the title of this post? Minted is currently running their 3rd Annual Wedding Invitation Give Away! One lucky entrant will win $500 in Minted credit each week until March 9th, good towards all Minted wedding stationery. All you have to do is click on this link: Wedding Invitation Giveaway, and enter your information by mid-night (Pacific Time) on March 8th, 2012. So, go check them out and let us know about your experience with Minted!
Since Wedding Paper Divas is having a big sale on Save the Dates I figured I’d dedicate this post to some of their most popular designs. First off, all save the dates are 20% off at Wedding Paper Divas and if you spend $149 or more, you save 25%! Just use PROMO CODE: WEDSAVE25. This sale is only through Feb 16, 2012 so it might be over a little quickly for you folks just getting engaged on Valentine’s Day!
Circle save the dates seem to be becoming more popular. These are another unique way to catch your guest’s attention so your save the date doesn’t get lost in the rest of the mail. This one shown here is a great option for a vineyard wedding since it looks like the bottom of a wooden cask. They are shown here with their matching wedding invitations. Click on the image to get more information.
They are each cut in 5.25 inch circles and square white envelopes are included for free. But please take note that the USPS charges extra (0.20 to 0.44 extra per card) for square or uniquely shaped cards. This can add up if you are sending out a lot!
Save the dates are definitely a good idea to help prepare your guests for your wedding. This is especially true if your guests will have to travel and definitely a requirement if you are planning a destination wedding. This will help them plan their vacation and travel plans long enough ahead. So, I recommend you start looking for the save the date design that goes with your wedding theme early and then order them once you set the date for your wedding. You don’t need to include a bunch of information at this point but it is a good idea to include your wedding website address along with the date and location of your wedding.
It seems the most popular save the date designs are those with pictures of the couple on them. These cards are easy to make online at WPD and if you had engagement photos taken I’m sure you have plenty of great photos to use.
Here’s some examples of the current top three best selling save the dates at Wedding Paper Divas along with their matching invitations. Just click on the images to get more information.
What are you looking for in a Save the Date? Share your ideas!
Everyone wants their wedding to be memorable and special; not only for themselves but also for their guests. So what can you do that’s different from the rest? In many cases the first impression your guests are going to get about your wedding will be when your unique wedding invitations shows up in their mailbox. As soon as they open your invitation they will start forming an image of your wedding in their mind. Is it going to be a typical wedding or is this going to be something that will set the standard? As you know, when a typical wedding invitation shows up in your mail box, the reaction is “oh yeah, we got (fill in the blank)’s wedding invitation in the mail today.” But when a unique wedding invitation shows up it will be something like, “you have got to see (fill in the blank)’s wedding invitation! I have never seen anything like it!” And, because it’s so unique, they will bring it to work the next day to show everyone the most unique wedding invitations they’ve seen!
What kind of wedding invitations will get such a reaction? We have found a few that we think are over the top but aren’t custom made so the prices are still affordable. But you can still be sure that when these show up in the mail it will be a topic of dinner conversation and best of all will get your guests excited about going to your wedding!
This first one is the Cabana Wedding Invitation from HansonEllis. This wedding invitation is ideal for a destination wedding to a tropical location. Each invitation comes in a bamboo wood gift box, with ivory cardstock, and a cabana leaf motif. These unique wedding invitations are fully customizable. You can include the invitation itself as well as other items like an RSVP card, menu card, and a map & directions. They also sell the mailing boxes to put the bamboo box in. Plus, these unique wedding invitations are completely eco-friendly! To find out more Unique Message in a Bottle Wedding Invitations from HansonEllis.com
This next one is our old favorite, the Message in a Bottle Invitation. Again, this invitation is a great option for destination beach weddings and is from HansonEllis. These unique glass bottles are filled with sand and real mini seashells! The custom message is on natural oil paper with cedar leaves. You can add directions to your event, an RSVP card, and more in the bottle and then you use the provided cork to cork the bottle. Each bottle is decorated with a raffia ribbon. You also have the option of getting each bottle engraved with something like you and your fiancés name and the date of your wedding! Again, they also sell corrugated mailing boxes to mail these unique wedding invitations to your guest. If you choose you can use these unique bottles as wedding favors or to send out your thank you cards. Unique Message in a Bottle Wedding Invitations from HansonEllis.com
The Wedding Scroll Invitation Tube gives a little bit different look than the Message in a Bottle Invitation and is also great for destination beach weddings. HansonEllis, again, is the provider of these unique wedding invitations. As you can see they have some great options that will knock your guest’s socks off! Just click this link: Unique Message in a Bottle Wedding Invitations from HansonEllis.com I recommend you go check them out to see what else they have. Anyway, these invitations come in a glass tube which comes with a cork. Again, like the Message in a Bottle Invitation, this invitation comes with sand and tiny sea shells. The paper invitation that goes in the tube is a top quality ivory linen paper scroll with a gold cord attached. The paper can have your custom message placed on it and then is rolled up like a scroll. They also have personalized labels that can be placed on the outside of the tube. Additionally, they have custom RSVP cards that can be attached. If you are interested in finding out more about this invitation just click the link above and search their site for “tube”. It will be the only result.
If you think the last invitations were a little to “3-dimensional,” you will probably like these very unique, but can be mailed in an envelope, Passport wedding invitations from eInvite. These unique wedding invitations actually have the look and feel of a real passport, right down to the visa stamps and space for the Passport Bearer to sign their names. The cover is actually made using silver offset printing on a dark blue 90lb paper booklet cover. A really unique and creative part of this wedding invitation is the perforated tear-out response card and silver response envelope. Plus, to keep a consistent theme to the end, they also offer matching thank you cards that you can send after your wedding. If you are interested in finding out more about this invitation just click one of the images below.
Finally, we will end with one more unique item but this one is a save the date. Many people send out save the dates at least a few months before the invitations go out so their guests can start planning and making arrangements. This is even more critical for destination weddings where your guests will have to plan and save for travel. These unique save the date magnets will definitely be a great precursor for and of the unique wedding invitations above. They will definitely know that you are planning an amazing event plus it will be a great decoration for their refrigerator that will serve as a constant reminder for your wedding.
This Save the Date Magnet Boat is made of real wood, has cloth sails, and genuine rope rigging. The hull is designed in a nautical wood finish, trimmed in bright white and sailor blue. Each sailboat comes with two magnets mounted on the back so the favor can be placed securely on any metal surface. You can have your names and wedding date inscribed on the front as a save the date. If you are interested in finding out more about this invitation click on the picture.
Of course if you are looking for some more unique wedding invitations, but also very top of the line from the most popular designers, you can check out our large supply in our wedding invitation shop.
The Wedding Program is one of the most important wedding stationary items in your wedding. Your guests will spend more time studying your wedding programs than your invitations, save the dates, or thank you cards. It will keep them busy while they wait for the ceremony to start and will keep them focused through the ceremony. They will feel more involved and in tune with what is going on. Also don’t forget that your wedding program will be one of those prized keepsakes that you will keep for years to come.
The picture above has a couple of ideas. You can have a traditional program that matches your invitation style or like the unique fan style programs on the right, they can fit into theme as well as help keep your guests cool at an outdoor wedding.
There are many wedding program formats to choose from. But once you pick one out what information should you include in your programs? Here are some ideas:
The Standard Stuff:
– On the cover put the names of the couple, the wedding date, and the location of the ceremony.
– Inside on the left you can put the order of the ceremony including the names speakers where they appear in the ceremony.
– Inside on the right you can put the names of the officiate, musicians, parents of the couple, and the bridal party.
Other things to consider:
– On the cover you can also put an image; it could be a picture of the couple or possibly a monogram of the couple’s initials.
– Inside you can include explanation of some of the traditions in the ceremony.
– Inside or on the back cover you can include a thank you note from the couple. This can be a thank you note to the parents, to all the guests, or both.
– A remembrance of close family members who have passed
There are many options and really it is up to you! Any other wedding program ideas?
I just got word yesterday about a wedding invitation sale from one of our affiliates that will start tomorrow, October 1st 2010, and will run for the entire month of October! Jean M has some amazing wedding invitation designs not to mention wedding accessories. Many of the accessories, such as napkins, favors, etc come in matching designs with their invitations. The picture above are a few examples. As you can see they provide wedding invitation designs in various colors to match your theme. They have a whole line devoted to modern black and white wedding invitation designs plus you can get coordinated items such as water bottle labels that match your theme.
The sale is for 25% off of your purchase of $250 or more. This includes invitations or any of their accessories. Just click the link below.
Wax Seals date back thousands of years as a way of authenticating documents and ensuring they weren’t open and read by an unintended recipient. I found some interesting info on SealMaker.com about how Signet Rings were used to make the impression in wax and how people let friends and family know it was genuine.
After a seal was cut into a ring, the seal engraver made many wax impressions which were given to the owner of the seal along with the signet ring. The owner then distributed the waxes among family, friends and officials, so that when an important document was sent the recipient could check the unbroken seal against the wax impression to ensure that the document was genuine. After the death of the owner of the seal, the signet ring used to produce the seal was cracked to prevent further use.
Want to add a touch of old world class to your wedding invitations? This would be great if you are having a traditional wedding. You don’t have to get a Signet Ring made anymore. I found out about OldSchoolSeals.com in a recent issue of InStyle Weddings! They have the option of purchasing Initial Wax Seals along with sticks of wax to use. Or, if you want the easy way out they even have Peal and Stick Initial Wax Seals as shown in the picture above.
What has my friend Preston been up to these days? Hey Preston I thought we were close? We used to hang out? We use to talk about how much fun it was to be wedding bloggers way back when you first started blogging in 2007. Well it looks like my advice paid off! Looks like you finally made the big time! You moved your blog to your own domain from Blogger. Good move. BTW, I love your new blog! And, you started your own line of wedding invitations! Wow, and not even a mention to your old friend Rhonda! I had to find out by reading Instyle Weddings Magazine? I guess I know where I stand!
(Sidenote: Hey Preston, if you are reading my blog, just kidding, I’m not insane, just my attempt at getting my readers attention! Readers, yes I did meet Preston back in 2007 but no, I haven’t talked to him since! But read on!)
Preston Bailey did start his own line of invitations and they are definitely Preston Bailey. For those of you who have read his book, Preston Bailey Celebrations, you know he loves flowers and uses them to make a very vibrant backdrop to the weddings he designs. Well his invitations are no exception. Here are a few of his designs to show you what I mean. I like the nice touch of having coordinating envelope seals for each invitation (shown in the pictures).
No, you don’t have to be Oprah to afford these. From what I can tell, they are all less than $3 a piece if you by at least 100. Many are less than $2 a piece. The best part for me is, he chose one of our affiliates, Invitation Consultants to carry them. So if you want to see his full line of invitations just click here! Find your perfect wedding invitation. Free Shipping on orders over $150.
You don’t have to be an artist to make amazing DIY Wedding Invitations, not with LCI Paper that is! I found out about LCI Paper because, unbeknownst to me, we carry their products in our Wedding Shop. I saw we made a few sales of their products in a short period of time so I had to see what made them so popular. I found that we carry over 100 LCI Paper DIY Wedding Invitations in our Wedding Shop. The thing that sets LCI Paper apart from the other printable wedding invitations you see out there is the quality of the paper. They have some of the finest imported paper that you can find. I’ll post about some of special types of paper they sell in the days to come. But you can check it out for yourself at their website, here LCI Paper Co.
Another great thing about LCI Paper is the how to videos! If you are a little nervous about cutting, gluing and layering your papers they have some videos showing you how to do it. LCI Paper makes DIY Wedding Invitations easy with a large variety of Print at Home Wedding Invitation options. Here are a few examples.
I’ll start off with one of those videos I talked about. This video shows how to put together one of the Blue Blossom Pocket Fold Invitations. This beautiful invitation requires some hand cutting as you will see but the sense of accomplishment and pride that will come with all the compliments from your guests will be worth it!
If you’re not into all the cutting and gluing, here are a couple of other unique options. This one is a Blue Vellum Printable Invitation Kit. All you have to do is print them on your home computer and easily assemble them.
LOVE the idea of a Save-the-Date MAGNET! The whole concept is to create something which will serve as a constant reminder to your guest to keep that very important date available. And no civilized person will shove that adorable magnet in a draw or let it get lost in a sea of mail, right? Every guest who receives one will most likely place it on the refrigerator door, which we all know serves as the most logical platform for all important information that we DO NOT want to forget!
Now if you are currently in the market for save-the-dates I beg you to check out MagnetStreet Weddings I guarantee you will not be disappointed. They have the most INCREDIBLE selection I have ever seen, they say 2,071 original designs. There is literally something for everyone. I think they offer every theme and design imaginable, from purely elegant to romantic to lighthearted. They even have an equestrian theme shown top left above, I LOVE IT!
The feature I think you will find most appealing is the freedom to personalize the colors, fonts, and text on most of the designs. If you are looking for inspiration just take a peek at what these incredibly creative couples have done with their save the dates over at Magnet Street’s blog, Truly Engaging.
I love how Nalie and Nate utilized the backside of the Carrier Card by printing their wedding website and other important information for their guests.