Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Invitation Etiquette

Your invites are one of the most important elements in your day because they provide guests with crucial information. And while some details of your wedding don't follow a strict set of rules, your invitations do have a set of hard-and-fast rules to follow. Scan these etiquette Q&As for answers to your most pressing wedding-invite-related questions.

Q. When should we send out our wedding invitations? A. Traditionally, invitations go out six to eight weeks before the wedding -- that gives guests plenty of time to clear their schedules and make travel arrangements if they don't live in town. If it's a destination wedding, give guests more time and send them out three months ahead of time. Most couples also send out save-the-date cards. They go out at six to eight months.

Q. When should we make the deadline for RSVPs? 
A. Make your RSVP date two to three weeks before your wedding date -- this will allow enough time for you to get a final head count to the caterer (one week before) and to finalize your seating chart. If some guests still haven't responded by your deadline, give them a quick call and ask for their RSVPs (still via mail) so you have all their information.

Q. Where do we include information about our wedding website? A. Your wedding website should be included on your save-the-date. If you'd like (or if you don't have save-the-dates), you can include the web address in the formal invitations with an insert -- a small card that informs guests they can find more details online.

Free Wedding Website

Q. I'm thinking about using labels to address my wedding invitations. I've heard several people say this is tacky. I know handwriting them is more formal, but I just think labels will be less time-consuming. What do you think?

A. You're absolutely right that labels would be less time-consuming, but the reason most invites are addressed by hand isn't just that it's more formal -- it's also more personal. It shows your guests that you so want them to be at your wedding that you took the time to handwrite (or have a calligrapher hand-letter) their name and address on the envelope. It's true that it can be a hassle to address so many envelopes yourself. Think about getting your wedding party to help you out (make it a party!) and it'll go much faster. If you're really set on labels -- especially if you have a huge number of invites (200 or more) -- at least go with a computer font that looks like script, and use clear labels so your invitations will have some semblance of being hand-addressed.

Q. Can we include our registry info on our invitations or save-the-dates?
A. In a word, no. Including registry info on the wedding invitations or save-the-dates is still considered impolite because it can come off as though you're asking for gifts. Tell your wedding party, parents and close friends where you are registered, and let them fill guests in. Plus, most guests will know that all that extra information (that they didn't find on the invitation) is on your wedding website.

Q. We're having an adults-only wedding (no kids). How can we make sure this is clear to our guests?
A. Address your invitations correctly -- to each guest by name, not “and guest” -- and guests should understand that the invite is meant for only those mentioned. If you find that some reply with their children's names added, give them a call and explain that you're having an adults-only wedding and that you hope they can still attend. If there are a lot of kids in your family, you may want to consider hiring or arranging for a babysitter. It's definitely not required, but it's a nice gesture. Just be sure to include this information on the wedding website.

Q. How do we let guests know our dress code? A. The easiest way to get your point across is to include a dress code in the lower right-hand corner of the invite or on a reception card; “black-tie,” “cocktail attire” or “casual attire” are all acceptable. Your invitation design will also clue guests in. An ultra-formal, traditional invite with letterpress and calligraphy will give guests a hint to the formal nature of the event, whereas a square invite with a playful font and bright colors would fit a much more casual style. Another way is to direct guests to your wedding website, where you can go into more detail about the weekend events and dress code in a more informal forum.

Q. Do we have to invite every guest with a date or a “plus-one”? 
A. No, you don't have to. If a guest isn't married or in a serious relationship, it's perfectly acceptable to invite them solo. Most guests will understand that without “and Guest” or another name on the invitation means they aren't invited with a plus-one. While it's always nice to invite everyone with a guest, if you're having a small wedding, your family and friends should understand your reasoning. What to do if a guest RSVPs for two? Call them up and explain that you're having an intimate wedding and, unfortunately, you were not able to invite everyone with a guest. But if you realize that nearly everyone will be coupled up, extend a plus-one invitation to your few single friends and family.

Q. Where do you put the return address on wedding invitations? A. The return address usually goes on the back flap of the envelope. Also, the return address used should be that of the person(s) whom you've designated to receive response cards -- be it your parents or you (traditionally, whoever is hosting the wedding handles response cards). Don't forget that the RSVP envelope should also be printed with this address (and should include postage).

Q. If our wedding reception is for immediate family only, is it okay to invite people to the ceremony only?

A. In a word, no. Everyone who attends the ceremony (or bridal shower, engagement party or wedding reception) should be invited to the wedding -- that means the ceremony and the reception. In your case, by inviting guests to one and not the other, you're basically saying you want them there for the actual ceremony but you either don't want to pay for their plate at your party or don't care enough to have them there to actually celebrate your newly-married status.

Q. I invited my friend and her boyfriend (by name on the invite) to the wedding, but they recently broke up. Now she wants to bring a friend I don't like -- can I tell her no? 
A. Because you worded the invitation correctly by having her boyfriend's name on the envelope (rather than “and guest”), you have every right to say no. As a rule, invitations are nontransferable when people are invited by name. Try explaining that you're not friendly with her proposed guest and you'd prefer that the wedding be limited to very good friends and family. If you invited all of your single friends sans dates, let her know she won't be the only one coming solo (in case that's her worry).

Addressing Wedding Invitations
Check these points before dropping your envelopes in the mail!
  • Double check the names on your guest list before the envelopes are addressed, to be sure they are spelled correctly.
  • Invitations are always addressed to both members of a married couple.
  • An invitation to an unmarried couple residing at the same address should be addressed with both names on a single line.
  • No abbreviations or initials are used when addressing formal invitations.
  • If children are invited but are not receiving a separate invitation, their names may be written on a line below their parents’ names on the inner envelope. If no inner envelope is used, children’s names are written on the outer envelope below the names of their parents.

Assembly and Mailing Tips
  • Allow plenty of time to carefully address, assemble and mail all invitations.
  • Organize the master guest list in useful form, such as on file cards, in a computer database, or on a worksheet.
  • Before buying stamps, have a completely assembled invitation (or two if variations: one for local guests, another for out-of-town guests that may include additional enclosures) weighed at the post office to determine correct postage.
  • If response cards are used, lightly mark the back of each card with an identifying number in case guests neglect to write in their names when RSVPing.

Invitation Wording
The invitation wording reflects who is hosting the wedding -- traditionally the bride's parents. But, weddings are ever changing. Many weddings are now hosted by both sets of parents, or a combination of the parents and bride & groom. 

This website has an excellent resource for all types of situations:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MayDay Underground

I will be at a craft show this weekend! It's called MayDay Underground. Stop by and see me!

The first fifty shoppers will receive a swag bag filled with handmade items from the vendors. 

Check it out!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby Shower Invite

One of my good friends is having a baby! I had the privilege of designing the shower invitations. She is such a cool chick, and we wanted the invites to be classy...not overly cutesy and babyish.

I love how they came out!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Craft Shows

Last weekend I had a craft show at Hearts and Crafts outside of Java's on East Ave. It was a great day. Here is my booth set up!

I have one more this year. It's called MayDay! Underground. Stop by and see me!

Lastly, I've entered one of my prints to this contest. If I win, my etsy shop is featured on this blog for a month. Vote for me, please!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In and Around Rochester

kj design has been very busy. Last weekend, we set up at the Rochester Wedding Bridal Show. It was a fun day and we met SO many great people. 

My partner in crime, Arika Mastin. We have a lot of fun working together!

Birdcage decoration with a bowl of mints.

Vintage lace invitations on top, black and white wedding invitations below...
Those black and whites are the invitations I designed for my wedding. It's what started it all!

We have so many elegant pocket folders and envelopes. 

Some save the dates and a process poster. Every job is completely custom.  

The entire set up. 

This weekend we will be at another show. This one is a craft show, so I'll be selling my pre-printed stationery. Visit my etsy shop for a sneak peak. 

Java’s Cafe, 16 Gibbs Street, Rochester, NY. This is an outdoor show. Vendors will be lining the sidewalk in front of Java’s and under the awning of the Eastman Theatre.

We were recently accepted to another craft show. This one is called MayDay! Underground. It will be November 3rd from 10AM-5PM.

I hope to see some familiar faces and meet new ones!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A clean house printable!

This free printable will help your organize your cleaning routine. Complete with some blanks for you to customize. 

Put it in a frame, or laminate so you can use it over and over again. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Free Printable: To Do List

Another free printable for you! This one is an inspirational to do list. See how Jaime at Raising Up Rubies used it here:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Sweet Friend

My sweet friend, Jaime, has a beautiful blog. It's called Raising Up Rubies. She is brilliant.

She was kind enough to feature my free printables. She took some cute prints, and made them even more awesome. I'm so thankful! Take a look at her [craft, vintage, DIY] blog -- you won't be disappointed.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Featured in an Etsy Treasury

My "battle print" was featured in an Etsy Treasury. Thanks MojoSteph! If you have a second, check out her shop. She has quite a collection of really amazing jewelry and photography.

[see it there?...bottom left corner]

This ring from her shop is one of my favorites:

I also made a few sales from my etsy shop in the last couple weeks. I'm excited to see where this all goes!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Studio Tour

I organized and rearranged my office most of the day yesterday. I threw out a bunch of junk, and moved a lot to make it more efficient. Here is a tour and time lapse of my studio through the years....

When we moved in to the house, this is the paint job that was on the walls. What were they thinking, right?

I repainted, but pretty much put everything back where it was. 

Still pretty cluttered...everything in one corner, nothing on the walls really, not very neat looking. 

The last few months, I've gotten some artwork on the walls. This one is my favorite. It's a painting my in-laws gave me for Christmas. It was from an auction that supported an adoption for a friend of mine's cousin [tongue twister].

This filing cabinet could really use a paint job....someday I'll paint it white. Right now, it gets little scrapbook labels.  

So here is the view from where I sit. The shelf has been moved, and a lot of the junk has been sorted and cleaned out. I like how I've spread the furniture out a little more. It's not all on one wall anymore.

The filing cabinet is no longer in the back corner.

This is the second desk in the "L formation" with all my pretty office supplies. 

So, not exactly the "pinterest poster child", but I like it. It's cute, and it works. I get a lot done in this little space!

March 2013:

The big change this time was that I moved my computer to the smaller desk in the corner. I'm loving the open space on my big table to work and meet with clients.

A cute tablecloth to hide all the wires and such under the desk. 

 Loving this little corner on top of my filing cabinet. What's not to love about plants and rustic wooden boxes?

My little corner of stationery samples and office supplies. 

I get a lot done in this little space. Thanks for taking the tour with me! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Website

Spent the day redesigning my website.

The old site wasn't branded very well...this new site shows my style much better, and has a bigger focus on weddings.

Here's a screen shot:

Take a look around and let me know if you find any typo's or broken links ;-P

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fairport Canal Days

I participated in Fairport Canal Days the first weekend of June. It was a huge success! I met a lot of great people, sold some merchandise, and got a good feel for how booths are. 

Here are some pictures from the event. 

My husband, Eric, was my savior in the weeks leading up to the event, as well as the day of.  He took my crazy ideas, and helped me make them happen. The day of, he was "johnny-on-the-spot." If something didn't work or look right, he fixed it. Thank you!

I was able to get this booth at a very low cost because I qualified for the "Young Emerging Artist" category. In my section, I won an award for best overall booth. I was so thrilled!

My sister, Jessy, sat with me and helped me all day on Sunday. She also was a huge help. It was also just a ton of fun to hang out with her. 

I offered a free raffle the entire weekend. Because of it, I have a lot of names that I've been able to follow up with. 

These shutters were an idea i had to display the invitations. This picture isn't great, but they looked really cute in person. The invitations were strung across like a clothesline. Making the shutters happen was quite a bit more work than I thought it would be. 

I first had to track them down. My booth space was quite wide, and I was back to back with another vendor (notice her tie dye sheet), so I wanted them to act as a divider. I found the shutters on craigslist from two different people. Because they were from different sources, they didn't all match. Some were taller than others, and they were all different colors (dark green, white, dark red). 

The first project was to make them all the same height. Eric had the idea of cutting a chunk out near the top, and then gluing the top piece back on the bottom. The result was seamless. 

The next project was painting them. I hired (a few bucks and lunch) my brother, John, to help. It took two full days to scrape and paint both sides of 8 shutters. Most of them needed 3 coats! He did a fantastic job and I wouldn't have finished without him. Unfortuanely, I don't have a picture of him painting, but here is a picture of him looking sharp at his school formal.

Then, Eric hinged them all together. They came out just as I hoped they would!

Overall, people seemed to really like my work. I'm excited to do some more smaller craft shows to sell the rest of my inventory, as well as bridal shows in the fall. 

Which reminds me, does anyone have any suggestions of smaller craft shows happening this summer and fall?

A vineyard wedding...

I just finished some invitations for a lovely couple. Shout out to Danielle and Jay! They are having a summer wedding at a vineyard. How romantic! They were a pleasure to work with. I'll be seeing them a little more as I will be designing their programs, seating chart, and table numbers.

Danielle and Jay wanted something that reflected the vineyard theme, as well as their colors -- dark purple, and green.

After seeing ideas for what they liked, and going back and forth a little bit, we landed on this final product. These were printed on a linen paper. They feel great in your hands -- I love the texture.

One of my favorite parts is the quote at the top, as well as in the background. It says

"Their love continues to grow like a well-tended vineyard, growing stronger and more beautiful with time."


Congratulations to Jay and Danielle. I wish you the very best!