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Save the Dates, Invites & RSVPs – Oh My!

North Carolina Wedding Invitations, Calligraphy and Paper

Imagine going to your mailbox, sorting through your mail and finding an envelope with beautiful handwritten calligraphy. Forget the bills – this is a letter you actually want to open. Once you do, you see a lovingly crafted wedding invitation and think, “If the invites are this good, I can’t wait to go to the wedding!” This effect is why so many couples are opting for all things handwritten and sincere when it comes to their North Carolina wedding invitations!

Everyone wants their loved ones to be excited for the big day, and there’s something special about receiving an invitation in the mail. Even better? When that invitation was made just for you and your wedding. 

Cost – On average, DIY wedding invitation suites (which includes invitations, insert cards and envelopes) cost about $500-$750. Etsy sellers who offer 100 semi-custom invitation suites can run you around $800-$1,250. For 100 fully custom invitation suites, expect to pay somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000. Many stationery designers have a starting minimum of anywhere from $2,000-$3,000. A full, classic suite includes an invitation, envelope, envelope liner, RSVP card and matching envelope, and a details card. The price changes when you add or remove elements.

Remember, invites are per household and not per person. When you order invitations via a mainstream designer, you will not receive guidance on wording or etiquette. Book a full-service stationer six months to one year in advance for a custom design. Send save the dates one year to six months in advance and invitations eight to 10 weeks in advance. 

North Carolina Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations and save-the-date cards are the first glimpse your guests will get of the celebrations. Make them count! No matter what vibe you’re going for – formal or casual, rustic or sophisticated, trendy or totally unique – calligraphy will make your invitations stand out. There are many different calligraphy styles, so you can pick and choose based on your wedding style.

Elevate invitations with wax seals or other customizable elements. Ask your stationer about additional costs associated with monograms, crests, venue illustrations and day-of signage.

You can also personalize the paper, color palette and texture of your invites. Calligraphers and stationers can even help you with your wedding invitation wording, and some will create custom artwork to add even more of a personal touch! There are several different pieces of an invitation suite: the inner and outer envelopes, the RSVP card, the invitation itself and directions, an itinerary and accommodations card if applicable.

Your stationer will be able to help you blend all these elements into a gorgeous, coordinated whole. Maximize your investment and create cohesion in your event design with artwork on both your invitations and day-of pieces. Budget in gifts for your partner, wedding party, parents, vendors, welcome bags for your guests and wedding favors for all.

North Carolina Stationer Ashley Triggiano

Ashley Triggiano creates custom invitations, venue illustrations, couple portraits, favors and more that combine details from her client’s love story and wedding journey into one beautiful, cohesive design that meets their price point. Does your venue have a gorgeous front door? Ashley can replicate the experience of opening that door as guests open your illustrated invitation. Entertain your wedding guests with Ashley’s live painting services at cocktail hour or during the reception. Your friends and family will marvel at her talent, and you will also receive a stunning keepsake to take home and hang on your wall.

Ashley can help you incorporate custom artwork into your wedding day in endless, personalized ways. She creates venue paintings, couple portraits, watercolor maps for save the dates, invitations, gifts and more. Think a signature drink sign with a painting of your pup sounds cute? She’s got you covered. Truly, whatever you envision, Ashley will create it for you. Ashley can paint the beauty of your day as it unfolds. Your wedding guests will be speechless as they watch your live wedding painting come to life.

Q & A with Ashley Triggiano

Q: What are the latest wedding stationery trends?

A: I’m seeing a lot of requests for handmade paper, which definitely comes at a higher price point. A more budget-friendly but beautiful alternative is traditional cotton paper that’s been hand torn for those romantic, deckled edges.

Q: What advice can you give to couples who want custom stationery but have a tight budget?

A: Often clients are interested in custom invitations but might not have room for it in their budget. It’s for that very reason that I’ve created an entire line of semi-custom suites based on past work I’ve done for custom clients. Couples are able to customize the existing designs with their colors and style, and choose print methods and paper that fits their budget, all while getting the custom look and avoiding “cookie-cutter” designs.

Q: What advice do you give couples who know nothing about wedding invites, paper, art etc.?

A: Long before I was a stationer, I was a bride who was totally overwhelmed by the wedding stationery world! My advice is to put together a vision board of what you love in wedding paper, and then step away from it for a few days. Look at all of your wedding plans, colors, venue, theme – and then go back through your board and separate what you “like” from what is “you”. We often find ourselves gravitating to so many beautiful styles of work, but we need to give ourselves permission to love and appreciate a certain style, but also say “it’s beautiful, but this isn’t me.”

Q: What’s your favorite wedding paper/art element? 

A: My favorite wedding art element would be custom watercolor illustrations and using them everywhere! Really zeroing in on what represents a couples unique love story and finding creative ways to pepper those elements throughout all of their paper; from save the dates, to invitations, day-of goods like koozies, signs, and favors all the way to the thank you cards after the big day!

NC Wedding Invitation Designer – If It’s Paper

This family-owned stationery and gift shop is run by mother-daughter duo Sherrie Stewart and Elizabeth Stewart Belk. Located in Greensboro and Raleigh, each store has gifts, paper, ribbons, stationery and wedding specialists who can help you. Their team will guide you through the many paper options and styles, from modern to bohemian to rustic-chic. Some couples want the invitation to be center stage while others want their day-of details to shine. If It’s Paper encourages clients to consider all of the elements they may want to include so that they can budget accordingly for each piece.

Q & A with If It’s Paper

Q: What are the latest wedding stationery trends?

A: We are seeing clients customize more special details for the weekend than ever before – cups, napkins, matches, etc. Hand illustrations, custom crests and monograms are popular items we see our clients carry through from save the dates and invitations to cocktail napkins, cups and other accessories.

Q: What’s one wedding paper or art detail that most couples forget about, but you love to include?

A: Some couples initially think that they don’t want to have wedding programs, but we think they are one of the most valuable pieces of the wedding paper trousseau. The wedding program guides your guests through the ceremony and gives information about the wedding party or family that they may not otherwise know. You can read the origins of family names or the connection of members of the wedding party. Knowing the hymns being sung or the verses being read helps guests participate. It is also a good place to include directions to the reception or ask people to silence their cellphones.

Consider This for North Carolina Wedding Invitations

Remember that the cost of invitations varies based on the number of guests, components included, paper quality and more. There’s lot of choices for color, paper type, ink and typestyles – even the printing processes that are offered. Your stationer will be able to tell you what’s best for your budget. 

You may also want to ask your stationer to design a response card, directions or map to the venue, ceremony programs, reception place cards and menus. Think about what other types of inclusions you want to add to the wedding invitation and RSVP card, such as maps and activity lists for your guests. Wedding weekend paper needs include programs, place cards and menus. Don’t forget to tack on extra dollars for custom design elements. And, if you want to hire a calligrapher to hand-write your invitation addresses or create custom signage for your wedding, book them early. 

Click here to meet more of our recommended North Carolina wedding invitation designers!

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