Congratulations – you’re planning a wedding! Wondering when you need to order your save the dates, wedding invitations, and other stationery goods for the big day? We’ve pulled together the most important information to create a wedding stationery timeline to guide you. We’re covering all the basics like when to send your save the dates and how long you should wait before sending out your thank you notes (spoiler alert: don’t wait!). This is a really exciting time in your life, and we want you to be prepared to enjoy the entire process of working with us. We’ll offer etiquette suggestions, customization ideas, and we can even help you choose your dream invitations.
Still have some questions? Please feel free to contact us – we would love to chat!
In case you haven’t heard, our January design of the month is Boardwalk, so from now through the end of the month, you can save 10% on everything in the Boardwalk suite! Not sure if the Boardwalk design is right for you? Think again! Our design team put together a few customizations to get you inspired and show different ways this design can work for you. Everything about this design is completely customizable — change the fonts, ink colors, orientation — you name it!
Our first Boardwalk customization takes on a vintage look with olive and fern inks, and incorporates the chevron pattern from the original design all over the invitation.
Need something more modern for your big day? This festive #10 customization features vibrant jewel tones, modern fonts and a calligraphy monogram for a more modern celebration.
Planning a classic wedding with traditional touches? This simplified approach to Boardwalk uses more formal fonts and a slightly different take on the original frame for a more sophisticated look.
Still not sure how to make this design work for you? Take a look at the entire Boardwalk suite and be inspired by the other pieces (like the menu, social notes, and more) for your own special occasion!
Not to toot our own horn, but this little free favor card promotion of ours has been phenomenally successfully – more so than we could have dreamt! Some of the letterpress favor cards we printed even wound up on the Today Show! To see so many generous people helping out worthwhile non-profit organizations instead of giving out little bags of Jordan almonds at their wedding (not that we have anything against those delicious treats) is just amazing to see. It’s so inspiring to see such genuine goodness in people! But of course, we never had any doubts that our clients are just those kind of thoughtful, big-hearted people to make a promotion like this a wild success.
Admittedly though, with there being such a rich abundance of amazing charities to consider, it can be little tough to decide just which one you would like to donate to in your guest’s honor. To get your generosity muscles flexing though, here’s a tiny sampling of just a couple of the organizations we’ve printed cards for so far: The American Cancer Society, The World Wildlife Fund, Kiva, Faith in Place, The Human Rights Campaign, PETA, Donors Choose, Tiyatien Health, The St. Judes Childrens Hospital, Between Friends Club, The ALS Association, The Survivor Fund, The Wounded Warrior Project, Susan G Komen for the Cure, The American Heart Association, The Starship Children’s Hospital and Foundation, The American Lung Association, Ag47, and The Center For Addiction and Mental Health. And this really is just the tip of the iceberg, amazingly enough.
Having trouble selecting just the right charity? You might want to consider making smaller donations to several different organizations, so that way the love’s spread around even more. Another really cool way to get your guests involved is to let them vote for the one they prefer at the wedding. You can list the possible nonprofits you’re thinking about on the favor cards and then let them vote by either writing on the card and handing them back, or by putting them into one of several boxes (one for each charity). Then just tally up the votes, and you’re all set!
So if you’re planning on working with us for your letterpress wedding invitations and think you might like to make a donation to a nonprofit in lieu of favors at your wedding, please let us know – we would absolutely love to print them for you! Please do take a moment to look over the details on our promotion page. And just a tidbit more fine print for this: this promotion is for letterpress favor cards only, and does not include foil stamped favor cards (sorry!). If you would like hand calligraphy accents, edge painting, or corner rounding included on these cards we’ll be happy to include those things as well, but we do charge extra for those kinds of optional embellishments.
With all of the different elements to consider when ordering your wedding invitations, envelope choices can wind up being somewhat of an afterthought. After all, they’re just going to be ripped open and thrown away anyway, right? Well, yes – but that doesn’t mean that they’re not important. They are the first things your guests will see when the invitation set arrives in the mail, after all.
The old standby for envelopes is to have them match the invitations – our standard envelopes are made from a text-weight version of the same cotton paper we print our letterpress invitations on – so the paper and envelopes will be a perfect match. If you’re looking for simplicity and complete uniformity throughout your set, this is definitely the way to go. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with white or ivory envelopes, by the way! They’re elegant and are designed to coordinate perfectly with your invites.
That being said, sometimes you don’t necessarily want everything to perfectly match your invitations – sometimes you want the envelopes to have a little pizazz of their own. And that’s where colored envelopes can fit the bill nicely.
New for 2012, we now offer several different colored envelope options (available in select sizes only for now): bullion, silver, jute, steel blue, and opal. Perhaps you want to add a touch of metallic to your invites (but you don’t want the invitation itself to be foil stamped)? A silver or bullion envelope would be a great option! Looking to add a crafty, hand-made sort of vibe to your invites? Try our jute envelopes! Planning lots of pearlescent touches for the wedding? Think opal envelopes!
Oh, and the best part? Our colored envelopes are priced exactly the same as our white and ivory envelopes, so they’re definitely more budget-friendly than some other color-adding embellishment options such as pocketfolds or envelope liners. Not that these colored envelopes don’t look awesome with liners too – because they definitely do! We especially love the look of a metallic envelope paired a metallic envelope liner – think metallic bronze envelope liners paired with opal envelopes — it’s a stunning combination!
Once you’ve finalized all the details for your letterpress invitations and picked the perfect envelopes for your invitation set, add a beautiful finishing touch by having them hand addressed by one of our master calligraphers! And be sure to check out these tips for all of your envelope addressing needs.
If you just got engaged and have your wedding date set, the next step is to think about save the dates! If you have questions like: When should I send my save the dates? Do they have to be formal if I am having a formal wedding? What design should I choose? — don’t worry, we’re here to help!
When should I send my save the dates?
Typically sent anywhere from 6-12 months before the wedding, save the dates are the perfect way to make sure that guests have advanced notice of your wedding date, and they can also be an excellent way to set the initial tone for your celebration. Save the dates are a nice courtesy for your guests — especially those who will be traveling for your special day — as they’ll have a much easier time arranging for time off and making travel & accommodation plans. Once upon a time, save the dates were used primarily for destination weddings or weddings with a lot of out of town guests, but nowadays they’re popular for all types of weddings.
Who do I send save the dates to?
If your guest list hasn’t been finalized yet, send to as many people on your list as possible. Anyone who receives a save the date absolutely must receive an invitation, so keep that in mind while you’re planning!
What information should the save the date contain?
The bare essentials for a save the date are the names of the couple and the date. We do recommend including the location so guests can plan accordingly, though if you haven’t narrowed down to a specific venue yet you can just provide the city & state. Some couples also choose to include accommodation information, wedding websites, and even information about local attractions. If you plan to invite all of your guests to additional activities on the dates surrounding your wedding (such as a welcome barbecue or a farewell brunch), you can ask that they save the weekend and provide appropriate dates.
Do they have to be formal if I am having a formal wedding?
The wording for a save the date is typically less formal than an invitation, so you can really have some fun with it! Writing the date as 06.05.13 or June 5, 2013 is perfectly acceptable and even more common than “Saturday, the fifth of June, two thousand and thirteen.” It is totally okay to include your wedding website and is actually a great way to introduce your website to your guests. It’s traditional to put “invitation to follow” or “formal invitation to follow” on the save the date, but it’s not necessary if you choose more streamlined wording. If you have any etiquette questions you can see our suggestions or contact us - we’d love to give you more advice!
Any tips for making my save the dates extra unique?
Get creative! There are tons of ways to customize your wedding stationery when you order with Bella Figura (think edge painting, cool custom envelope liners, or corner rounding!) but you can make your save the dates extra special by adding your own personal touch! Have a really cool story about how the two of you met? Include it on the save the dates! Did your photographer take amazing engagement photos? Have your save the dates designed with a “frame” so you can mount prints of your engagement photos to each one!
What design should I choose?
We have save the dates for every style – whether your wedding is vintage, formal, modern, rustic, art-deco or completely unique – you name it, we have a style for you. All of our designs are completely customizable, so we have even more options than what you see on our web site (a lot more options!). If you are totally stumped on what design to choose, consider taking our personal shopper survey! Our survey gives us the opportunity to learn more about you, your wedding, and your style, and then we can tell you what designs and customizations we think would be a perfect fit for you. Plus, we can keep the conversation going until you find exactly what you were looking for!
After you’ve finalized your save the date order, be sure to check out these tips on envelope addressing from master calligrapher Debi Zeinert!
We get loads of questions about envelope addressing. And with good cause – after you’ve invested in some gorgeous letterpress invitations, who wants to make a glaring faux pas when it comes to the envelope? It’s the very first thing your guests will see when they receive your wedding invitations in the mail, after all.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a little crash course of frequently asked addressing questions (or FAAQ) and ran them by calligrapher Debi Zeinert for some answers. Because who’s going to know more about addressing invitation envelopes than someone who does it for a living? Meet Debi in the video below!
Q: Are there any things you find your clients are consistently confused about concerning addressing etiquette?
A: The biggest confusion comes when the wife is a doctor. Mr. and Dr. John Smith is incorrect. When a woman has a title her first name should be noted, and she should be listed first. For example: Dr. Susan and Mr. John Smith. Or, if they are both doctors with the same last name, Doctors Susan and John Smith.
Q: What’s the best way to organize guests names and addresses before someone sends them to their calligrapher?
A: I prefer to get guest lists in the form of an Excel spread sheet – this way I can mail merge it to my liking for addressing. Though i will accept any sort of typed list. When using Excel its best to organize it in columns as follows: Outer envelope name, Name 2, Address, Address 2, City, State, Zip, Country, Inner envelope.
Q: When is it appropriate to use colored ink?
A: I believe that if the return address is printed in color it’s okay to use colored ink. In fact, if the return address is a dark color such as blue or brown you SHOULD used colored ink. If the address is a ‘fun’ color or a pastel you may want to keep the addressing in black to hold on to formality. For a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or non-wedding calligraphy you always want the calligraphy to match the return address.
Q: Is your preference to spell out the name of the state, or to abbreviate it?
A: It’s not just my preference, but I believe it is only proper to spell out the state. If it does not fit on the same line as the city, use the next line.
Q: Do you have any other tips you’d like to share with clients planning to work with a calligrapher?
A: A referred calligrapher is the best calligrapher. If you find someone who does not come with a recommendation make sure you get actual samples addressed to you. Seeing work on someone’s website may not be a good representation of their usual work.
Make sure you schedule your job as soon as you know you want to use them. Don’t wait till you have your envelopes in hand. Most calligraphers book up weeks out. And be sure to pick a realistic date – remember, you are blocking out days of time on a schedule and if you are not ready you may not be able to get rescheduled.
Make sure you have extra envelopes – dip pens and ink are unpredictable! And make sure your guest list is complete as possible. There are always stragglers, bit to add a name everyday for a week is difficult on a calligrapher’s schedule. It’s not as easy as just writing another envelope – each job has set up time, drying time and packing and shipping time.
Q: Any good stories of really tricky addressing etiquette situations?
A: I’ve been doing this so long I’ve seen everything and pretty much can handle any thing. One thing that is annoying to all calligraphers is the extra long first lines – for example: Mr. George and Mrs. Martha Washington or Mr. and Mrs. George and Martha Washington. Way too much to make it pretty. Or when the numbers of an address are all written out – for example: Seventeen South One Hundred and Forty Third Street. That must really annoy the post office! Numbers under 20 can be written out, but the rest should be numerals. I love it when people go ‘informal’ on the inner envelopes – it’s fun to write ‘Nana and Papa’ or nicknames. One time I even had to write ‘Anna and Shithead’ on an inner!!!!
Q: Are any other common questions you get a lot?
A: One question I do get is if there is a discount for quantity. The answer is no – if one envelope takes 3 minutes, 10 take 30 minutes and 100 take 300 minutes – it does not speed up with quantity. And personally, I do not copy computer fonts, nor do I copy other calligrapher’s styles.
Well that’s about it for this little crash course, but naturally there are other questions we’ve not yet addressed here. Have any unique addressing quandaries or concerns of your own? Post them below in the comments section below and we’ll do some homework and get back to you. Class dismissed.
It’s not just metallic gold that’s making a big appearance in wedding invitations this year — all different shades of shine are showing up and we couldn’t be more exited! Metallics instantly bump up the wow factor of any invitation while creating an elegant and glamorous appearance. There are lots of ways to incorporate metallics into your wedding suite: you can go all out with foil stamping and foil edging on your pieces, or pair them with a metallic envelope liner and a metallic envelope to really make heads turn! Not feeling that much dazzle? You can mix in small details of shimmer just by adding foil edging or a metallic envelope liner.
If you couldn’t already tell by all the foil in our new 2012 wedding invitations, we’re obsessed with foil stamping as a way to add some sparkle to your wedding invitations! We offer a wide variety of illuminating foil options, from vintage and formal golds, silvers and copper, to edgy and eye catching forest green, red or indigo. You can combine any letterpress ink with foil stamping in a single design; print your invitation in bold beautiful colored foils (fuchsia! purple! teal!); or go two tone, mixing a gold matte foil with a gold shine foil for a truly wowing look.
Foil edging adds an awe-inspiring, smooth, shiny surface to the edges of important pieces in your wedding suite. It works wonderfully as a complement to a wedding suite full of foil stamping or to add an unexpected pop of color to your letterpress invitations: think fuchsia, blue, green, or copper!
No matter what dose of metallics you choose for your invitations, it’s sure to make a statement! Still not sure what metallic combination will best capture the style of your wedding? We offer free design consultations after you place your order, where you’ll have a chance to talk one on one with our designers about all of your invitation choices (or if you need help now, just ask!).
Bright inks that pop and neon that glows are going to be huge this year! These fun and funky colors add a lively feel to any of our letterpress wedding invitations and are sure to spark excitement about your big day to all your guests. But figuring out how to incorporate these intense colors into your own invitations can be challenging. So we’ve come up with some helpful tips to bring in bright colors!
Want to go all out with big, bright color in your invitations? You’ve got lot’s of amazing options to consider, but some of our favorite letterpress ink combinations that make a statement are: Cornflower and Watermelon inks for a sweet and summery look (like our Modern Fete design); ocean inspired Garden and Aquamarine inks; Jade and Sea-side inks for a destination wedding or Hot Pink and Day-glo inks (like Storybook Romance) that scream chic and contemporary. Pair the color in your invitations with an equally bold patterned or metallic envelope liner. You can use the same colors from your invitations to keep things consistent or spice it up with a complementary color to brighten things up even more. Then top it all off with some edge painting. Again, you can use one of the colors from your set or really up the contrast with a bright new color for an extra eye-catching look!
If neon and bright colors make you a little nervous, and you’re hesitant to put them on your actual invitations, consider adding some vibrant edge painting or foil edging to add a splash of color to an otherwise neutral palette. Adding a colorful edge is a great way to incorporate a bold color you love in moderation. If you’re feeling a little more daring, bring in the brights to your envelope liners. You can add some flare to an otherwise traditional invitation by choosing a graphic pattern in a bright color to really let your personality shine!
No matter what amount you use, adding bright, beautiful colors to your letterpress wedding invitations will surely make a lasting impression!
Hand calligraphy is a gorgeous way to add a unique, personal touch to your letterpress wedding invitations. Whether you’re adding a line of calligraphy accents to emphasize names or a venue, or creating the entire invitation with hand-crafted calligraphy, it’s a completely sophisticated way to set your invitations apart from the rest. We offer over 15 hand calligraphy styles from our 6 master calligraphers, and styles range from traditional and formal to modern and laid-back. If you plan to pair hand calligraphy with a font for your invitations, it’s best to find styles that complement one another. Here are our favorite pairings for calligraphy styles and fonts based on 4 popular wedding styles.
A formal wedding invitation works best when an all caps font like Impression is paired with an elegant hand calligraphy style like Spencerian. The combination of this regal font with the flourished Spencerian calligraphy style immediately creates a classic and beautiful invitation.
You can create the perfect vintage invitation by simply using a romantic calligraphy style like Victoria. Pull inspiration from love letters written in the 19th century and your invitations will certainly take on an old world feel. If you’re looking to pair Victoria calligraphy with a font, we think it looks beautiful with Utrecht (like in the Delambre Classic design).
Modern, fun and quirky, this customization comes to life with vibrant hues and the Mitty calligraphy style. If your event is a bit informal and playful, look for a calligraphy style that reflects just that. Pair the Mitty hand with Jubilant for a modern look if you only want to use a few lines of hand calligraphy (see our Modern World design for an example!)
This beach inspired customization is perfect for a destination wedding! We paired a light, airy font called Henry with the Harrison calligraphy style, which in itself captures the feeling of the ocean.
We love the look of letterpressed hand calligraphy on a wedding invitation, and a perfect finishing touch is hand calligraphed envelopes. For a completely coordinated set, you can work directly with any of our master calligraphers for envelope addressing!
Photos from Style Me Pretty
Bella Figura offer two kinds of envelope liners for your letterpress wedding invitation suite: metallic liners and patterned liners. Adding our eco-friendly envelope liners to your set will bring color and sophistication to your letterpress wedding invitations. Choose from 8 shimmering metallic envelope liner options (all of our metallic liners are FSC-certified!) to add some glitz and glam, or go the custom route. Our patterned envelope liners are completely customizable, so you can mix and match any of our patterns and inks to complement your invitation set, making them truly one of a kind!
With all of our amazing options, it can be challenging to choose the perfect liner that is right for your set. So to help, we’ve narrowed down some of our favorite liner and color combinations that work well with lots of our letterpress wedding invitations!
Thinking Vintage? Consider our Rustic Crosshatch, European Formal or Jaquard Elegance patterns. Other patterns we like for a vintage invitation set: Elegant Ombre, Vintage River, Vintage Stripes or Simple Lace in ink colors like Shell, Amethyst, Hazel or Olive.
Thinking Formal? Our Formal Flourish, Traditional Oxford and Simple Chess patterns work beautifully for a fancy invitation set. Other patterns we love for a formal set: Refined Mosaic, Modern Floral, Vintage Diamond or Classic Color in ink colors like Camel, Lavender, Pool or Espresso.
Thinking Modern? Bold, funky patterns like our Antique Geometrics, Chic Combs or Classic Chevron patterns add flair to modern invitation sets. We love these patterns for a modern invitation set, too: Modern Herringbone, Sea Stripes, Modern Light or Simple Geometrics in ink colors like Cherry, Fuchsia, Chartreuse or Black.
Thinking Unique? Make sure your invitations make a statement with a liner pattern like Modern Canopy, Rustic Woodstock or Sante Fe, and print your liners in three colors. Other patterns we like are: Retro Marble, Chic Combs, Moroccan Charm or Sweet Polka in ink colors like Yolk, Watermelon, Mustard or Jade.
Thinking Destination? The Moroccan Charm, Sea Stripes or Elegant Chainlink patterned envelope liners make a lovely accent to a destination wedding invitations. Other liner patterns we love for a destination wedding set: Elegant Ombre, Refined Mosaic, Modern Light or Natural Woodgrain in ink colors like Champagne, Garden, Surf or Mediterranean.
Still not seeing something you love? We can create a custom pattern for you based on the elements from your wedding invitation design, or we can create something totally from scratch too! *(There is an additional design charge for this service)
Once you place an order with us, you will also get a free design consultation, where you’ll have a chance to talk to one of our designers about all of your invitation choices. So if you’re not sure what patterns and ink colors to pair up for your invitation design, don’t worry! (And if you need help now, just ask!)