When it comes time to select your printing company, there are a few basic things you should know. Printing can be very expensive and time-consuming so you will want to make sure you have all of your cards stacked up before you dive in.

There are several types of stationers you can work with: online, custom and stationery shops.
Online Invitations
Many web-based stores offer a wide range of standard invitation packages. Pricing for this style of invite is usually better than going to your local stationer. The downside however is that you cannot touch and feel the paper or really see the quality of the final print.

Custom Stationers
Invitations from custom shops are usually hand-crafted and designed with your specific motif in mind. However, this customized option usually brings with it a hefty price tag. This style of vendor includes letterpress shops (which are my favorite).

Invitation Boutiques
Shops or individual purveyors that represent multiple printing vendors are a great option for lots of selection. They often offer full mailing services, including stuffing, stamping and mailing. Invitation boutiques are the best choice for the majority of brides.

Things to Know Before You Print
-A complete printing package is called a suite. A suite can include: save the dates, invitations, thank you notes and seating/escort cards. For a really detailed event consider carrying a consistent theme or design scheme throughout the entire suite.

-Select a style and design befitting to your wedding; if it is eco-conscious, consider recyclable papers, or for a more formal setting consider letterpress.

-Once you have your guest list you can determine the amount of pieces you need to order. Always add at least 10% more than your current number just in case you need to send a few extra.

-Save the dates should be mailed at least 6 months in advance and invitations 2 months prior (at minimum) to the date. Whether you are mailing them yourself or having your vendor do it, make sure the accurate amount of postage has been determined and applied to all pieces, including RSVP cards.

-If you decide to use a calligrapher, be sure to account for the time needed for addressing and stuffing. And make sure the style of address is legible because elaborate scripts are often held up in the postal system.

Like with all other elements of your special day, you should not be afraid to be a little unconventional. Alternatives to traditional printing suites include using an electronic invitation (very eco-friendly), mailing save-the-date refrigerator magnets, or offering a thematic object (like a seashell) with the information inscribed inside.

Invitation by Signed and Sealed by Steph