I’m hittin’ the blog up today to bring you some helpful information about an aspect of wedding planning and life events (like giving birth) that I loooove to talk about because of my past as a graphic designer: invitations (birthday, bridal shower, wedding invitations etc) and announcements!
Now, you know that I’m a Reno and Tahoe Wedding and Portrait Photographer – but to do this right – I’m putting on my graphic designer pants (my new skinny levi’s, if you must know) to share some wisdom and tips on what to look for when purchasing wedding invitations, announcements and other stationery online! I’m keeping my photographer hat on through this conversation, too, because photography can play a wonderful role in your invite/announcement/stationery needs!
Invite & Announcement Tips
If you haven’t yet created a vision board for your wedding day, bridal shower, baby shower or other event you may be planning, I suggest getting started with that fun little tool called Pinterest. Just like when you choose a wedding or portrait photographer, you’ll probably start narrowing down a color scheme, overall theme and style you like and then go from there. Then you want to move on to invite websites and start browsing designs. There are lots of invite designs to browse online, so try not to be overwhelmed! I know, easier said than done. But don’t worry, I’m about to introduce you to a fantastic place to start.
I’ve designed a fair share of wedding invitations, announcements and other invites in the past, and one benefit of having your invitations etc custom-made by a designer is that you typically have more control over colors, paper types and the design in general. Well, until now. I have recently found an incredible custom invitation and stationery website called Basic Invite. And they’ve asked me to clue my audience in to their amazing products and features by sponsoring this helpful post! And I’ll tell you, there is seriously nothing at all “basic” about their amazing invites and stationery.
So, here are just FOUR of Basic Invite’s wonderful features that they offer for invitations (for any event) and other stationery.
1. Over 200 Wedding Invitation Sets
Basic Invite has over 200 wedding invite sets. So, when you find a beautiful wedding invite design on Basic Invite (and trust me, you will find something totally gorgeous), you can be sure that there is an entire coordinating suite of stationery to truly match that beautiful design you found. We’re talking save the dates, wedding invite enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs all the way down the line to matching thank you cards!
I love the variety that Basic Invite offers in the first place. Their designs are top notch. Go ahead and browse some of these incredible wedding invitation ideas!
2. Customization (no, really)
The thing I love most about Basic Invite is that you can truly customize the colors on your chosen design. Their color changing preview tool is seriously amazing. You select a design you like, and then transform it into the exact colors you need it to be for your wedding or other event/announcement. Did you know that you can change the color of individual elements on the card to over 180 different colors? WOW. Almost endless options! I tested these features out for myself and I am extremely impressed with the level of control you have!
And this doesn’t JUST apply to wedding invites, of course. You can customize colors on baby shower, graduation or bar mitzvah invites, baby announcements, baptisms and more. In fact, I wish I knew about Basic Invite when I was planning my youngest son’s first birthday.
I had wanted a woodland animal theme for his party, with the color scheme of orange and mint. I ended up spending hours and hours designing something myself. I just checked Basic Invite’s “First Birthday” section…and lo and behold…a card that would have been PERFECT (and easy) for his invitation! For fun, I played with colors on the design for a while – and ended up with a really cute little color combo that would have been a wonderful fit for his party! I loved playing with the fonts, too. I’m one of those font nerds….after all.
And not only do you have a ton of control over the color customization of your chosen design – you also have over 40 color choices for your envelopes. Looking for something classic and elegant? A white envelope with gold foil lining might be up your alley! Want something to match your chalk & watercolor floral invites? The “Lilac” or “Cerise” envelope might be the ticket.
3. Samples of Print Quality & Paper Types
I know a concern about going with an online company might be: how do I know what the finished product will really look like? One of the amazing services Basic Invite offers is custom samples. That’s right – you’ll get to see the paper and print quality in-person before your even place your final order.
Speaking as a graphic designer, one thing that many people overlook is the type of paper used. Unless you’ve printed a large project like this before, you probably aren’t aware that there are many options (if any) of paper. Not to mention the fact that paper types can be wildly different from one another. It’s not just like “kinda shiny” and “shiny.” Speaking of which, I’m a fan of soft, matte paper in general because it’s pleasing to the eye and touch. Basic Invite offers Premium shimmer, luxe velvet (my faaaavorite paper type) or signature matte – just to name a few. And again – you can get samples and feel these papers in your own hands before you make your final decision.
4. Free Envelope Collection & Addressing Service
Addressing envelopes can be a total pain. Believe me, I addressed all of my own wedding invites by hand with my then-fiance. It was a daunting task in itself just to reach out to my friends and family for their addresses.
One of Basic Invites most awesome services is their FREE address collection. What?! SOLD! And it’s not tough to use, like some other invite sites. You simply share a link, collect the addresses and get FREE envelope printing.
Now I’d just like to share a few final tips with you while I have your attention! These last tips come especially from the photographer in me. Because…use your photos!! Often, people let those beautiful images literally sit around in the digital No Man’s Land and it hurts my heart.
Thank You Cards
After your wedding, a birthday party or bridal/baby shower, I highly recommend sending out those Thank You cards ASAP. Using a photo from your wedding / party/ shower is a fantastic use of those photographs. And I say this as a terrible bride who never sent thank you cards out after her wedding. I know, I know – don’t judge me! I was getting incredibly serious about my photography business, working full-time (and way too much overtime) at my corporate job and moving into a house and the list goes on an on. I’m positive there are a few family members out there who are kiiiiinda mad at me for it, which I feel utterly terrible about. Don’t be like me…send out thank yous. As. Soon. As. Possible.
Some of the best uses for professional portraits are announcements. Getting married? Save the date magnets with one of your engagement photos will do the trick! Or perhaps your Maid of Honor is on the hunt for some cute bridal shower invitations for the celebration she is planning for you? Maybe you just had a baby? Share the wonderful news with a birth announcement. In my book, photos and thank you cards/announcements kinda go hand in hand!
It’s actually a huge honor to receive one of my own client’s announcements or thank you cards with a photograph I took. When I see a cute little save the date card with one of the engagement portraits I created (similar to the adorable save the date example in the photo below), I feel like a million bucks – seriously.
And that’s it! I hope that after reading this post, you’re ready to get started on printing some beautiful invites or announcements from Basic Invite. I know exactly where I’ll be ordering my future announcements and party invites from!
Fifth and Chestnut Photo Co. is a Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer based in Reno, NV. I’m available for travel all over the US, but especially Northern Nevada and Northern California. If you want to find out what separates me from the rest, contact me today – I would love to hear all about what you have planned for your Lake Tahoe Wedding or wedding anywhere!