Wedding Invitations on a Budget

Planning any event can come with a hefty price tag, specifically weddings.

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You begin to plan your celebration with X amount of dollars saved up and what you have budgeted for your wedding festivities- then you're blindsided by unforeseen costs. Things add up quickly, what’s another dollar here and another there. You’ll find the most cutest things to accent your decor, make a statement with, or to mark the occasion just right (like those adorable Mr. & Mrs. pillowcases) you just have to have. But here’s the thing- this is your big day, THE day you have waited for most your life! So why not go a little overboard, indulge and make your experience fun and memorable. After all this is supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, right?!

So how and where can you cut on some wedding costs?

Typically wedding invitations and the other stationery details are often the very first thing to go light on. Hey I get it, it’s paper your guests will only throw out after the I-dos anyway, sound familiar? Sure there are a select few who will hold onto your wedding invitation and maybe some other pieces from your wedding stationery for keepsake or to later inspire for when it’s their turn. 

Truth be told, next to your save the date, the wedding invitation will be the very first piece of valuable, exciting, eye-catching information to announce the details of your day- the first impression. Of course your wedding invitation (paper or not) is very important but that does not mean you have to break the bank to set the tone just right.

Let’s think about your wedding day for a moment….

Will the ceremony and reception take place in one location or two? Where? How about your wedding style, the formality and theme? Guest list size? These are very important details to consider and can drive the direction of your wedding invitation design and what I like to call, packaging, the presentation of it all.

When shopping around Thinking Paper’s online website and store for your invitations and other stationery items I will always first recommend checking out the Invitation Styling Idea gallery. In here you will find completed sets to spark up some of your own ideas or a starting point to build on.  Keep in mind though, the more embellished invitation styles you see the higher the cost will be.

Thinking Paper’s online store is structured À la carte to enable you with not only the creative freedom to design your invitation the way you want (overall), but to have financial freedom as well. You can create your own cost by building the invitation pieces together.

How to create your wedding invitation within budget.

  1. Paper Choice: Choosing paper can be tricky online. You can’t see or feel it so how do you know if it’s good quality? Request paper samples first. Thinking Paper offers various card stocks for printing in either White or Cream/Ivory with three different finishes (flat-uncoated, textured, shimmer). Flat-uncoated White is the most budget friendly choice and is thick so you cannot see through it- I promise! Cream/Ivory uncoated-flat is a little heavier but will cost more. Textured is by far the most popular pick in White and Cream/Ivory. The cream textured isn’t as “creamy” in color as the flat, it's more in-between ivory and white. Nonetheless, textured takes the cake of all paper stocks and is most popular. Shimmer, while it’s NOT the most budget friendly (it’s actually the most expensive paper to print on), it may very well be ALL YOU NEED because it is a truly elegant paper stock. There’s also Kraft paper if your wedding is more on the rustic side. This paper will not only match that style but is also very budget friendly compared to the others.

Click on WEDDING INVITATIONS to see a variety of designs to choose from. Click on a design to view closer, along with the paper stock options available. You can also select how many matching insert cards you'll need. Price your invitation cards/prints out by selecting those options, quantity, and by clicking ADD TO CART.

Most budget friendly invitation paper in order:

  1. White Uncoated-Flat
  2. White & Cream/Ivory Textured (both cost the same)
  3. Cream Uncoated-Flat
  4. White & Cream/Ivory Shimmer (both cost the same)
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2. Enclosure /Insert Cards: You’re not alone if you feel at all confused about this. In the dropdown you will see the following:

  1. Invitation Only (Blank envelopes will be provided free of cost)
  2. Invitation + 1 Card (More than likely this will be your RSVP card. Blank envelopes will be provided free of cost)
  3. Invitation + 2 Cards (RSVP card along with either Reception or Wedding Details cards)
  4. Invitation + 3 Cards (RSVP, Reception card or Wedding Details, Hotel Accommodations or Directions)
  5. Invitation + 4 Cards (RSVP, Reception card or Wedding Details, Hotel Accommodations, Directions)

If you have any questions about this process, please reach out any time! Contact

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If you’re wondering which cards are needed for your wedding, check out this blog article: Present Your Invitation in a Reminiscent Way

The most budget friendly approach is to consolidate your information as much as possible. In today’s world we have the internet and GPS at our disposal. There are plenty Free wedding website templates you can use to your advantage as well. One of the insert cards can simply state, “For additional wedding information, details, and directions please visit our wedding website at: ….”

Wedding direction cards are often the first thing to cut, and this can save you money with the printing cost. Wedding Hotel Accommodations can be its own card but there’s nothing wrong with adding a line about the cocktail hour and reception towards the top and titling that insert card, “Wedding Details.” Think of it this way, the less you have printed the lower your invitation cost will be.

There are some exceptions though, like the overall presentation/packaging of your full invitation ensemble or set. This is where the cost of wedding invitations can really add up depending on your style and taste.

Click on POCKETS & MORE to see a variety of 'packaging' invitation styles to choose from. Click on an invitation style to view closer, along with the size options available (5x7 or 6x6). You can also choose assembly services as well. Assembly WILL add onto your cost but keep in mind if this option is not selected then each piece will need to be assembled together. Read More. Price your invitation add-ons out by selecting those options, quantity, and by clicking ADD TO CART.

3. Pocket and Invitation Embellishments: As I mentioned earlier, it’s good to have an idea or price around the website to see what IS within your budget first. This can help with narrowing down the many options available. You will also want to avoid anything that would be considered oversized according to the USPS, so you may want to steer clear of those squared shapes.

Invitation pockets have become widely popular because they are simple, elegant, and organized. Less is more but if you only need 1 or 2 enclosure cards than a pocket invitation style isn’t really all that necessary. The layering of those cards will look and be 'off' within the pocket pouch.

If you’re trying to stay within budget, I recommend just adding a pretty colored matte to your wedding invitation and let the enclosure cards be free. You can also wrap your invitation prints with a nice satin ribbon bow or tag to keep the cards together or tuck them behind depending on some styles.

Top budget friendly invitation packaging ideas:

  1. Flat Card prints as is with a nice ribbon bowtie around
  2. Layered Invitation Card
  3. Ribbon (or lace) Layered Invitation Card

4. Quantity: Ahh this is very important. Did you know that only one invitation should be mailed per couple/household? Many do not realize this and end up ordering too many invitations. YES! You are not ordering 1 for each guest invited. And if you’re not inviting siblings within that household with a +1 (guest) they can actually be bulked on one invitation. Anyone above a certain age (at your discretion) and or who is invited with a guest should receive their own invitation. And it’s always a wise decision to order 5-10 extras just in case someone pops up. Having to reorder only a couple invitations can be very costly due to ‘minimum orders’. Nonetheless the quantity is something that can really add or lower your invitation cost.

5. Timing: Adding onto what was mentioned above, take your time with placing your wedding invitation order- but don’t wait too long either. The ideal time is typically 4-6 months out from your wedding day. At this point in your wedding planning you will have a pretty firm estimate of how many actual invitations you’ll need to order because your guest list will have been revised several times prior. 4-6 months away will avoid your having to place a rush order which can also raise your cost.

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Thinking Paper’s recommended Budget Friendly Wedding Invitation Ensemble

  1. 5x7 White uncoated-flat or textured invitation prints
  2. Layered Invitation card or Accented Layered Invitation Card
  3. 2 enclosure cards (rsvp and wedding details)
  4. Place your order before no less than 4 months out from your wedding date

 

So there you have it, some great tips on how you can control the cost of your wedding invitations while still mailing something beautiful and elegant. If you have any questions or want to chat about ideas in mind for your invitation ensemble please reach out any time | CONTACT TRISH

Memorial Day Party Ideas

Ahhh Memorial Day.... let summer commence! And let us also not forget what this federal holiday represents and pay tribute to those who have fallen for us. 

Whenever a holiday rolls around I just love to cruise through Pinterest to get some ideas on how I can 'wow' my guests. And this Memorial Day party decor is simply superb. I just love the vintage theme, it's classic for this holiday celebration, don't you agree? 

View more details here

View more details here

These festive ideas I am just an awe over. I especially love the firework table- snap, crackle, pop and how each of those jars are titled just as they sound.

How creative are these ideas??! If you're getting together for a BBQ at a park, beach, or block party decorate your car the same as a 'trunk and treat.' And how about those handy utensils wrapped with a bandana that you can use for a napkin, wash to keep for later use. Love it- AND this idea is easily doable on the cheap.

Get the recipe for this Patriotic Parfait here

Get the recipe for this Patriotic Parfait here

Are you ready to celebrate this weekend? Post your party pics to Thinking Paper's FACEBOOK page or tag #thinkingpaper on INSTAGRAM.

Get more ideas from Thinking Paper's Pinterest Board: Patriotic Holidays

Happy Memorial Day!

XO TRISH

Patty’s Girls

Recently we celebrated Mother’s Day and while on that topic of moms I can recall my first conversation with Patty. She came across Thinking Paper while booking her daughter Annie’s wedding photographer, the beautiful and talented, Jeri Houseworth. Jeri’s blog features previous weddings we both had the pleasure to be a part of- Patty took notice and reached out. (Thank you Jeri!)

Patty was planning her first daughter Annie’s wedding and ordered an invitation sample so that she could see Thinking Paper’s quality in-person. We later spoke over the phone in more detail and I hoped it helped ease the complicated invitation process for her. Which by the way is quite challenging and seems to always catch everyone off guard because it is such an important part of your wedding planning process. All logistics of your wedding day need to be thought out, organized and worded a special way throughout your invitation ensemble so that your guests can know and plan ahead accordingly.

Patty and I began working together one year ago and now she has not one but two beautiful daughter’s married and one graduated from college (and just recently engaged). Talk about a busy year for her, Patty deserves a much needed vacation!
Annie’s wedding theme focused around LOVE with beautiful quotes strategically displayed throughout- from the wedding invitations to the ceremony and reception. I just adore this wedding idea, it could not be any more perfect for this occasion.

Annie was married at Windows on the Water in Seabight, NJ and as you can see, her navy and gold wedding colors paired together are simply divine. Annie’s invitation ensemble was a layered pocketfold style, embellished with a love quote seal closure. We printed on cream/ivory textured paper stock layered over gold leaf shimmer, mounted inside a navy pocket. Annie’s wedding invitation was just a glimpse into the enchanted evening ahead.

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Not long after Annie’s wedding in October, Patty and I dove right into Maggie’s wedding in March. With a shorter timeframe this round, I assured her that by now she was a pro and we would nail it again... and we did!
Maggie’s wedding was equally breathtaking as well and her talented photographer, Katelyn James who captured the essence of that day so beautifully.

Maggie's destination wedding took place at a picturesque vineyard in North Garden, Virginia, Pippin Hill Farm. Her colors of ivory, champagne, and blush- simply timeless, and Maggie's Lace Layered wedding invitation set the tone beautifully for her wedding day and decor. 

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That view!

That view!

For me, this experience of working with Patty and her daughters is one for the books. This experience backs me up in saying how bittersweet my role can be. I’ve worked with Patty for one year, we’ve discussed wedding papers and the details - in detail. We’ve exchanged well wishes on our personal celebrations and holidays. I’ve been with her up until each of these wedding days, and like a happy puppy amped with excitement, I wait patiently to see how it all turned out. How did everyone, the bride, family and friends look? How did everything come together? Did those centerpiece ideas turn out? How about the table cards and menus? Was it not one of THE BEST nights of your life or what?!!

Thanks to social media and blog posts from the other vendors, and even better when those I’ve worked with email and share personally- The entire work experience for me comes full circle. Not only did my time with you begin with us thinking out loud of ideas and using our imagination of what that day will look like, and how we can best express and represent that vision on paper- I also get to see how your vision, hopes and dreams came true.

Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful weddings with me!

XO -TRISH

Pins for Mother's Day

Celebrating Mother's Day

Oh it’s approaching fast, Mother’s Day is coming and I am not prepared yet, are you? This Mother’s Day will be the very first for many new moms out there- congratulations and hugs to you, and to one of my very best friends, Marissa <3

So when I’m not prepared and short on time, I need a little boost to get those ideas and creative juices flowing. And just like all of you I'm sure,  I hop on Pinterest. Instantly I find myself getting lost in a sea of possibilities and the slight panic fades away. THANK YOU PINTEREST!

My mom is not big on the idea of going out for Mother's Day because of the crowds and long waits, so each year we go to her and try to make her day super special.  I tend to always lean more towards Garden ideas because she just LOVES her gardening. Planting and maintenance is her seasonal thing. It’s her therapy and vacation resort., so this year I'm thinking of tying that in with a fancy homemade continental style breakfast. 

There will be 7 of us on Sunday with possibly 2-3 more. So I will need to come up with a simple, easy, and impressive way to feed us all (I'm the oldest). And it has to be good enough for travel because I live about an hour away. 

I'm a sucker for presentation and appreciate all the many ways you can serve food. My initial thought was a food bar setup. It's the best way to easily serve a number of people all sitting at the same table, (in my opinion). You won't have to worry about getting bothered every two seconds to pass a dish or the clutter on the table. I love Grab & Sit. 

Then I saw the individual decorative food boxes below and thought, not only is this PERFECT but it's also a practical solution to transport the food. It eliminates the table clutter and will totally wow my mom with its cuteness. I can see her getting a kick out of this idea and telling all of her friends and coworkers about it :)

Okay. Continental breakfast arranged strategically inside individual decorative boxes- check. Garden theme- check.

Now it's time to think of the table arrangement.

I love baby's breath and I know she does too, so this idea is a must. I also love the idea of incorporating a gift into the decor as well, like a new wine glass or plate set.

And then I found this on Sugar and Charm! This tablescape took my breath away. Just look at how personal and intimate this is,  how special. Such a beautiful way to honor someone. I HAVE to do this photo idea. Especially when it is known that I am the 'Photo' person in my family. Photo gifts are the best and I always love to give them because they're just too perfect.

So now I'm left with dessert. My mama just loves cannolis and so last year I made a connoli dip. It tasted pretty good but it just wasn't a cannoli. This year I want the real deal. I think I'm leaning towards the box idea again... but I love the tiers too. And then I found this...

Just the cutest little things, I swear it. Hey, I told you I was a sucker for this food presentation and decor stuff. I think I'm good to go now. All of these details can be easily executed rather quickly (and are low in cost). I invite you to check out Thinking Paper's Mother's Day Pinterest Board, you'll see so many precious ideas, crafts, and gift ideas.

Hope you're inspired- Happy Mother's Day Weekend.

XO TRISH

Who’s Trish?

Trish is the designer and founder of Thinking Paper, est. 2009.

In the beginning, while working her corporate Graphic Design position, she was often approached by family and friends for her role in design for gatherings, weddings, and events. It wasn’t long after by word-of-mouth and some bridal shows, Trish became ‘Thinking Paper’ known to specialize in the custom creation of wedding invitations and matching stationery.

To date, Thinking Paper has since moved online only and will mail paper samples of your choice so that you can feel the quality papers and see colors in person for yourself.

“Working with Trish at Thinking paper was one of the best decisions I made when it came to our wedding. Being a graphic designer myself I was very picky on whom I wanted to design our wedding invitations and ceremony programs. I was introduced to the Thinking Paper team at the Ashford Estate. Their work is very high quality. From the printer they use, to the ribbon selection - anything you order from thinking paper you have outstanding results. Trish - Thank you so much for working with me! It was a pleasure bouncing ideas off each other and coming out with amazing results!!” - via WeddingWire

If you’re new to the invitation process, take a look around and see what you like and what you don’t like. What would you change or keep the same? What would you swap? More importantly, what will best represent your wedding day or special event?

Take some notes, tally things up in the shopping cart to compare with what you have budgeted. Where are the costs coming in? Ask more about these details in conversation first to see if there’s something better we can do, a happy medium. Trish will bring you a totally different experience from what you may be expecting when ordering from an online store.

“Trish went above and beyond to make both my save the dates and invitations EXACTLY what I wanted. Our save the dates came out perfect and the value was FANTASTIC compared to name-brand websites, even with one of the zillion discount codes I get emailed daily! When it came time to select invitations, Trish answered all my questions in a timely manner and I appreciated Trish's attention to detail and working one-on-one with her when it came down to proofs. I was fearful of my invitation looking like a sweet 16 and not a wedding invitation. I had seen someone else's review state the same concern and Trish was able to give me a few suggestions to change around the colors I was hoping to use. The "mock-ups" she provided me with to visualize what the final product would be helped tremendously. I am incredibly satisfied with my invitations and would not have printed them with anyone else! All of Trish's time spent on guiding me through the process, proofs and printing made the entire invitation selection process a great one!” -via WeddingWire

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Easter Spring Celebration

I love this time of year and the season to follow, don’t you? Ahh it’s just something in the air, something like SPRING! The beautiful blooms slowly emerging, the grass growing a little greener, and the sun on your face feeling even more refreshing.

In honor of the upcoming Easter holiday and the new spring season now upon us, I present to you what’s caught my eye so far;

What cute little arrangements for your dining or end tables. The grassy tulips in the round tin would make a perfect centerpiece for a spring themed wedding, bridal shower, or celebration party. I just adore the carrots- these would probably fit nicely in one of those tall green olive jars, a super easy and flawless DIY project. 

Egg decorations always impress me. I’ve seen so many creative and eye catching colored eggs but these are my favorite for 2016. Alice and Lois is a great site for DIY projects, like these Marbled Indigo Eggs and Dream a Little Bigger’s Galaxy Easter Egg

I stumbled upon these two blog posts by Ciao Newport Beach and Decorholic that I just have to share with you because I couldn’t stop myself from continuously scrolling! I love all of these Easter celebration ideas and can see how some of these photos might also inspire some springtime wedding ideas as well, or home decorating for the spring season in general.

And let’s not forget about all of the sugary goodness at Easter time too. I especially love how versatile this ‘cupcake in a jar’ dessert can be. The pretty colored layers are enticing and it’s perfectly packaged to take home with you to eat later. This dessert idea can also be for tasty wedding favors or on the dessert table at bridal or baby showers, parties and birthdays too.

Spring theme wedding invitations:  Peony Love | Fluffy Orchids | Gardenland | Chirping Birds

Spring theme wedding invitations:  Peony Love | Fluffy Orchids | Gardenland | Chirping Birds

Pretty cool right? Now you have plenty ideas on how to make hosting Easter this year an unforgettable one by adding these little festive details- or if you're looking around for Springtime decor or wedding inspirations. Find more on Thinking Paper’s Holiday & Celebration Pinterest board.

XO TRISH

Gold Wedding Details

Shiny Gold Shimmer & Metallics.

With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, there’s no better a time to talk about some GOLD! Gold accents have become quite the popular trend in weddings over the past year or so, and I can totally see why. It’s beautiful, super elegant, and tasteful.

You’ll find hints of gold in linens and decor, invitations and other stationery, dress attire and jewelry. Basically anywhere that little burst of shiny goodness can be sprinkled in, is.  

These gold accents display such a classic and timeless wedding style, it’s truly breathtaking, isn’t it?

While on the topic of Gold, I am just so excited to finally announce that Thinking Paper now has some gold of its own! Your invitation design, wording (or both) can be printed in Gold (or silver) Foil to set the tone flawlessly for your glamorous wedding event. If you’re looking to take your invitations a step further or prefer to add some gold or silver accents in other ways, check out these new paper stocks, Gold or Silver Glitter you can layer your invitation prints with.

Ask me how we can create the most perfect invitation ensemble for your wedding! Reach out Now

XO TRISH

Melanie & Michael | Real Wedding

Throwback to Melanie and Michael’s fairytale wedding at the scenic Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, New Jersey overlooking the Navesink River.

Their light and airy wedding color palette of mint green, pops of pink, and silver set the tone beautifully for their romantic, Princess themed wedding and celebration to follow. Unique glass vase centerpieces dressed the tables in pastel colored flowers adding a soft elegance to the dinner reception and mimicked Melanie & Michael’s wedding style flawlessly.

I remember my conversation with Melanie about her wedding stationery and us working closely together to turn that vision she had into a tangible design, reminiscent of her theme. An element of surprise that captured our attention the most was that Melanie and Michael were actually having a horse and carriage at their wedding, courtesy of Dream Horse Carriage. You cannot get any more Princess Fairytale than that! 

We just had to use this concept throughout their wedding stationery and that’s exactly what we did. Melanie and Michael’s pocket-style wedding invitations were designed as if you were opening up a storybook to read about a princess and her prince. The antique, vintage-like border framed their invitation wording like a page out of a fairytale with a horse and carriage design elegantly placed to set the tone for their special day.

Their wedding design theme and style carried over to the day-of Ceremony & Reception Stationery with matching water bottle labels, ceremony programs and most clever, a menu and thank you card duo. Unique and thoughtful details were equally important to Melanie, by adding her very own personal touch- guests will feel extra special, are sure to remember, and will chat about her wedding to their friends and family for years to come.

Melanie & Michael’s wedding day was simply elegant and now they live happily ever after!

Vendors| Photographer: Josh Lynn Photography | Floral: Evans Event Design | Elite Entertainment | Dream Horse Carriage | VEI Limousine | Ye Olde Pie Shoppe | Rev. Joe Schmidt

Favorite FALL themed invitations

Let's escape to a cooler time of the year, shall we?

Ahh… the sound of the crisped leaves crackling under your feet, the cozy warm feeling of that long-sleeved soft fabric, and how about those spectacular colors!  

Over the years, Fall has become THE time of the year to get married, and why not? This season provides one of the most beautiful sights and backdrop for wedding photos.

Wedding couples from top left to right: Danielle & Brenden | Jennifer & Dom | Kim & Andrew | Marianne & Sam | Jessica & David Katherine & Sean | Patricia & Ted | Tami & Matt

Wedding couples from top left to right: Danielle & Brenden | Jennifer & Dom | Kim & Andrew | Marianne & Sam | Jessica & David Katherine & Sean | Patricia & Ted | Tami & Matt

Prior to that wedding day though, there is something very important you’ll need first (aside from the gazillion other things), your wedding invitation! During this time of the year (July) engaged couples should, ideally be in search for that perfect ensemble to set the tone for their wedding theme, or style. If you're still a little unsure of which direction to go for your wedding invitation style, maybe our top favs can help inspire you.

As you can see, the possibilities for fall wedding invitations are endless! Sometimes just changing the overall color palette of a design and ensemble can make it ‘FEEL’ more like fall, without actually displaying that with leaves and branches. Let your creative mind flow, it's your invitation creation, what's your style? 

NEW FALL INVITATION DESIGNS!

NEW FALL INVITATION DESIGNS!

Want to kick around some ideas with a stationery and design expert?

REACH OUT TO SCHEDULE A CALL!

Imagine Your Wedding Day

As we’re getting further into 2015s' wedding season, engaged couples from earlier in the year may already be well underway with their planning or are beginning to think more about what their perfect wedding day vision will be down to the very last detail- but how do you know where to begin? 

One of my very best girlfriends and I participated in this Valentine’s Day couples' fitness challenge earlier this year, (YES, I’m totally into this - you’re invited to follow my personal health & fitness Pinterest Board if you’d like), anyway- over a well earned Starbucks treat afterwards, we finally got around to catching up and chatting all about HER ENGAGEMENT, (Christmas morning proposal) and while she wasn’t actively wedding planning then, we talked over some of the ideas she had in mind...... Fast forward.

Not long ago we met up again and since she’s decided on a vision for her wedding day! Yay! Though I am so excited for her and that she was able to hone in on this vision to follow, I couldn’t help but wonder if other engaged couples’ out there had felt any of the same pressure with deciding on what their wedding day vision will be. And, what could I recommend to them on how and where to begin?

There are countless, beautiful ways to get married- to honor and celebrate your love and commitment to one another. This day will be one of the most important, romantic and meaningful days you will ever share with your one true love, family and friends. So how do you go about narrowing down all of the wedding day possibilities to just one suited perfect for you?

Guest List

Well, I think it’s very important to first sit down and write-up a potential guest list. Regardless how rough or finalized your guest list is, having this reference handy will be a great launching pad to getting you started in the right direction.  

  • Gain perspective on the actual scale of you wedding day
  • Narrow down venue tours to only those that can accommodate your guest list size
  • Pave way for an easier time with planning as you move forward 

*The Knot has some really great tips to getting started with forming your wedding guest list, check it out.

Budget

How much moola will you have to spend? Determining a budget for the wedding day, gifts and festivities involved can make anyones eye twitch. Traditionally, wedding etiquette states that the bride’s parents host the wedding while the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner. Today, we’re finding that more engaged couples are hosting their own wedding celebration or that both families are now contributing towards the expenses.

  • Research average wedding costs to better educate yourself
  • Estimate other wedding related expenses so that you can plan accordingly
  • Confirm overall budget available to spend

*Wedding Wire has a planning tool that can help you with budget planning and tracking, check it out.

Style & Theme

Figuring out the type of wedding you would like to have along with the location can go hand in hand with the size of your intended guest list and the budget available to spend. Will you marry in the same location (on site) as your reception, or will you choose somewhere with a scenic backdrop or house of worship/church with a celebration to continue shortly thereafter? Will you elope or plan a destination wedding?

Once you have narrowed down WHERE you would like to get married, now you can choose a wedding style or theme. This can be based on a feeling, mood or vibe created from the décor itself or by the use of decorations and different textures such as Vintage/Retro, Rustic and Shabby Chic. As you can see, I don’t necessarily mean Pirates or that your guests wear costumes, (though that’s cool too), a theme can be a variety of things, like maybe a set color palette when everything is color coordinated somehow- coupled with a pattern to break things up- chevron being a perfect example and a trend we’ve seen beautifully done. 

A theme can also be based on something more specific and meaningful to you and your relationship like for example- maybe your first date was at an ice cream parlor. A color palette can be made up of ‘3 flavors’ (vanilla/ivory, strawberry/pink, chocolate/brown), wedding favors can be ice cream scoopers or maybe a gift card for a free ice cream cone at that very same parlor. You can hire an ice cream cart vendor to scoop cones for dessert, tables can be flavor names as opposed to numbers. (Okay now I’m getting carried away), but here you can see how sometimes choosing an actual theme can really spark up some inspiration and ideas you might not have originally thought of. 

We hear more of how weddings are becoming not just a memorable day for the couple being celebrated, but an ‘experience’ for the invited guests as well. Today, couples are going above and beyond in providing their wedding guests with a night to remember by providing convenient shuttle transportation, a photo booth and props, entertainment and lounge areas, to special menu selections and little surprises. These unique wedding details will differ from one to the next but exploring ideas that will coincide with your theme, style and mood is ideal when looking to add a more personal touch.

Choosing a wedding theme or style is also imperative for guests to know of beforehand, hence the function and importance of a wedding invitation. In addition to this though, you’ll need to decide on the formality of your wedding day and the proper attire guests should wear. Will your wedding style be causal, semi-formal, black tie?

  • Now you can find a suitable ceremony location and venue
  • Schedule necessary vendor and bridal appointments
  • Plan and prepare for all relative details

All of these factors are key, things to really think about and consider, and will only better prepare you for the beginning stages of your wedding planning.

My girlfriend decided on the idea to have a small, intimate New Year’s Eve wedding and a search for the location and venue is underway!

What Type of Wedding are You Having?

Check out Thinking Paper’s Pinterest Boards for inspiration and ideas!

Morgan & Mauro | Real Wedding

A year ago, Morgan and Mauro tied the knot at The Channel Club in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey located just down the road from Long Branch- a beautiful location and backdrop for a beach themed wedding.

They chose a soft light colored palette made up of peach, coral and ivory colors, a sophisticated wedding style with a beachy ambiance of starfish and sand to elegantly compliment their theme and décor.

I always enjoy looking at the photos from our couples’ weddings, like Morgan and Mauro’s because it’s such a beautiful treat when you can actually almost feel the vibe of their special day- from the mood of the surrounding colors and being on location to seeing the moments captured on film of the emotions and facial expressions. All of the things thought of and planned coming together, creating an ever so lasting tone, an impression made of what that day was all about and how the memory of it will linger on just the same for years to come.

When creating a custom invitation design, it’s important that I almost jump ahead in my mind to this, my interpretation and vision alongside my couples in order to create and design an invitation that will be reminiscent of those details- what the final outcome and tone of their wedding day will be.

Based on Morgan and Mauro’s wedding style and theme, their invitations were made of pairing together both shimmer and flat cream papers with our soft coral colored stock to mimic that sophisticated and classic look and feel. A design accent of just a simple starfish was placed delicately above the wedding location and appeared larger throughout the design of the ensemble’s enclosure, insert cards but as only just a hint of it’s presence, distant in the background. The outside mailing and rsvp envelopes were designed and printed to match, introducing guests to their beach wedding theme before even opening the actual pocket invitation.

It is now one year later and Morgan and Mauro’s wedding invitation design and color palette is still considered to be both timeless and elegant- an invitation ensemble that had truly ‘set the tone’ for their most special day.

Happy First Anniversary!

XO-TRISH

Florist: Bonnie @ Petal Beach | Entertainment: DJ Christian @ SCE Event Group | Photography: Something Blue | Officiant: Capt. Bill Davis of Nautical Star Weddings | Ceremony Musician: Michelle Brick

Present Your Invitation in a Reminiscent Way

For many, what feels to be an endless search for their most perfect wedding invitation can turn into such an exhausted, daunting process. There are so many different design styles, beautiful packaging ideas and materials to work with that having to make the decision to choose amongst them can be so overwhelming. This bums me out for engaged couples’ because the wedding invitation process should be special, fun and turn up the level of excitement and anticipation for their day to come- not add more stress.

This pretty little packaging of card stocks, your invitation ensemble style is going to not only set the tone for your entire event by being the first introduction to your wedding theme but it’s also the vehicle to passing along need-to-know information to your invited guests. Once you've figured out all of the details that you'll need to share, you can then determine how many insert or enclosure cards you'll actually need in addition to the main invitation itself. 

Choosing an Invitation Style

Beginning with Design. An invitation’s printed design should represent the look and feel of the wedding day and location; the attire, scenery and decor. Is your wedding formal, theme specific (beach, fall, gatsby) or simple and classy?

The Invitation Style or presentation holding your invitation and matching enclosure card prints together should also be of the same, mimicking the look and feel but complimentary to the design as well. For example, if you're planning a small, intimate and romantic type of celebration whether it be indoors or outdoors your invitation style can be something simple like a layered matte card. If your event is more on the formal side and additional wedding information cards are a must (rsvp, reception, hotel accommodations, directions) then opting for an invitation pocket style may be ideal to presenting an organized, more formal and polished look. What’s the vibe you envision for your wedding?

ThinkingPaper_Blog2

So how do you narrow down which invitation styles most appeal to you and will best accommodate your stationery needs?

Typically when we see a finished piece we’ll know right away how we feel about it- if we like it, don’t like it, or we’ll see the potential it has when putting our own creative spin on it- making it our own with little tweaks and changes.

Within our gallery of Invitation Ideas you will find finished invitation ensembles with a listed breakdown of the materials used and the name of the design to better assist you with building together your own version -or the same- when adding embellishments. We offer plenty of options with ability to customize however you’d like, an invitation ensemble can be made to accommodate your specific needs. 

When looking through the different wedding invitations, ask yourself these questions to better help you with narrowing down which styles interest you and will perfectly set the tone for your wedding:

1. What is the size of your wedding? The cost of invitations can add up very quickly, especially with certain paper selections, embellishments, and when adding multiple printed cards (rsvp, reception, accommodations). Figuring the number of how many invitations are actually needed ahead of time can help you with narrowing down the styles and paper selections to accommodate your needs and budget.

 2. How many printed cards in addition to the invitation are needed? Enclosures, inserts, wedding cards (whichever title you prefer) provides guests with additional wedding information they may need in order to plan for your day as well. Almost always you will find a separate card, RSVP with a self addressed and stamped envelope included with the main invitation. If the wedding ceremony and reception are taking place in two different locations, you will find a Reception Card included with the time and location of the post-ceremony celebration. Most couples like to include information regarding travel and local hotel accommodations as well.  

It’s always best to gather all of this information prior to ordering wedding invitations and to see what information can be consolidated and possibly eliminate that one extra card. Of course this cannot be the case with some invitation styles given space, but having all of your wedding information settled ahead of time is highly recommended. 

Design: Cinderella | +1 card | Pockets & More: Printed Ribbon Belt Half Fold Invitations (Printed Card: White/Crystal 107lb shimmer metallic, Ribbon: Shiny Metallic Silver, Outer Seal Paper Color: Silver Shimmer)

Design: Cinderella | +1 card | Pockets & More: Printed Ribbon Belt Half Fold Invitations (Printed Card: White/Crystal 107lb shimmer metallic, Ribbon: Shiny Metallic Silver, Outer Seal Paper Color: Silver Shimmer)

3. What is your wedding theme or style? Will your event be small, intimate and romantic- theme specific, for example Fairytale, Starfish, Black Tie formal? I’ve been referring to “invitation style/presentation” throughout this blog post, and to me that means HOW the invitation ensemble will be presented to guests. Will you plan to stuff all those printed invitation and enclosure cards into one envelope and call it a day? Will you plan to have them displayed, layered in a pocket or tie them up with ribbon? Deciding on the style or theme of your wedding can only help you more with choosing the right design and packaging of your invitation and cards.

4. Will the invitation you decide on, inside and out send the right message to your invited guests? When all of the pieces making up your wedding invitation are printed and assembled together, will the style mimic the look and feel you’re going for? For example, you probably wouldn’t choose a printed chandelier design packaged inside a super elegant silk box for a sandals and flip flop, backyard BBQ styled wedding- right?

Thinking Paper’s Invitation Gallery of completed sets is the perfect place to start looking for different ideas and inspiration to creating your one-of-a-kind wedding invitation. Our online store and step-by-step process was conceptualized to give you:

A.   Creative freedom in building together piece by piece a wedding invitation specifically for you and your event. (think of it like 'Build a Bear Workshop,' but only with paper & materials)

B.   Automatic pricing right up front with a shopping cart tally to better assist you with budgeting your invitation cost.

C. Flexibility to place your order at any time, day or night when it’s most convenient for you, no appointments necessary.

Wedding Stationery Planning

Now that your engagement has been announced to family and friends, are you planning to pop some bubbly and celebrate? Invitations for your engagement party do not have to match the vision you plan for your wedding; these invitations can be simple, fun and speak to where you are in this moment, here today. Your engagement party can be a lavish affair held at a pretty venue or it can be a small intimate gathering of close family and friends at a fancy restaurant or inside the coziness of your home. Despite the scale, this celebration can be planned and take place as early as you'd like! Find invitations for your engagement party celebration here!

J. Harper Photography | jharperphoto.com

You'll find the pace of your wedding planning will begin to kick into high gear once you begin to visit ceremony locations, potential wedding venues and have officially booked your wedding date. Not long after, appointments will schedule fast as you’ll meet with a variety of vendors (Photography/Videography, Florist, Entertainment, Rentals if needed and more) to lockdown your absolute favorite and ensure that their day is spent with you, at your wedding.

Throughout these (what can feel to be) endless layers of your planning, you’ll also need to be mindful of your stationery and when to begin that process as well. Though it’s never too early to peruse through stationery and inspirations to see which designs and styles most appeal to you and will be a perfect fit for your wedding day vision, here is a helpful timeline to better help you plan and prepare for your stationery adventure:

8 Months to 1 Year Away

Once you arrive to the 8 month mark to roughly even 1 year out from your wedding date, it is ideal to mail a Save the Date out to your invited wedding guests. Read more about Save the Dates.

Though 6 months is considered an acceptable amount of time, it is important to also consider that the actual mailing of your wedding invitations will be soon to follow. Sending save the dates less than 6 months prior your wedding day may not be very beneficial, don’t wait too long. 

Save the dates are available to order in simple flat cards, magnets, postcards, and unique drink coasters | Order Yours TODAY!

6 Months Away

During this time of your planning, the overall vision in mind for your wedding day should also be taking its shape now, making your invitation search that much easier as you’ll have a better idea of what to look for. Also, with the guest list now being close to final, you’ll know how many invitations to order which can only help with getting you more accurate pricing while shopping around from place to place.

When you’re looking for the perfect invitation ensemble to fit your wedding vision, it's always a great idea to prepare a little first by having a pretty clear understanding of what information your guests will actually need to know so they too can plan accordingly. Some preparations should be finalized before actually placing your invitation order, which will only make life easier when trying to organize all of the wording throughout the invitation’s contents. The stationery process shouldn’t be left for the very last minute or too close to your ideal mailing date. Six months in advance will give you a more relaxed experience and is the recommended time to really begin working on the invitation process.

4 Months Away

It’s that time to place your wedding invitation order, are you ready? Your invitation will be key to setting the tone, giving your guests that very first exciting glimpse into your special day. A wedding invitation should reflect the couple, their wedding style and decor whether it by the usage of only color, more theme specific such as beach/nautical or just purely simple but elegantFour months out from your wedding date may seem like enough time to get everything together but the reality is, it’s technically two months as your RSVP date should be roughly around 1 month prior to the date of your Wedding. Read more about stationery etiquette and FAQ.

1-2 Months Away

Coordinating your invitation design with day-of or ceremony and reception stationery items is an excellent way to tie your wedding style and décor together, ensuring a proper vision flow throughout your most special day. 

These last two months of your wedding planning will move super quick now as you’ll find yourself keeping busy with trying to wrap up the last bit of details. While you patiently await for guests rsvps to start rolling in, flooding your mailbox the time is still ticking and you will need to keep it moving! Though exact quantities needed for day-of stationery items may be too uncertain to estimate right now, it’s still not a bad idea to at least begin creating a list of the items you will need, see pricing and begin working on the verbiage for those items so it’s ready ahead of time.

Day-of Ceremony & Reception Stationery items can include:

  • Ceremony Programs and Signage
  • Designed Cocktail Napkins or Drink Coasters
  • Signature Drinks Cards
  • Escort Cards, Seating Cards, Place Cards or an Alphabetical Seating Chart (basically all different forms of letting guests know where they’ll be seated for the reception)
  • Table Number (or name) Cards
  • Menu Cards (can be one per plate-setting or one/two per table)
  • Signage (for candy and other types of buffets. Can also be a framed poem/ quote, guest book, mention of favors or a photo booth)
  • Favor Tags, Labels or “in lieu of” Donation cards
  • Itinerary
  • And any other creative ideas (we offer custom design creation)

At Thinking Paper, your Ceremony & Reception stationery WILL be designed to match your wedding invitation!

Orders for your day of stationery should be placed around the 1-month mark prior to your wedding day and is not recommended to really be any later than that. It’s important to keep in mind the required production/turnaround and delivery time of these items along with your “need by” date as most wedding venues request a drop-off of all items to be anywhere from as early as 1-week to two days prior to the day of your wedding.

A Little Something Just For You

Download our complete FREE STATIONERY CHECKLIST to better help you plan and prepare for the most memorable and special day of your life ahead!



Casey & Robert | Real Wedding

With today being St. Patrick’s Day and all, I thought instantly of Casey & Robert who married last year, April 26th at the beautiful Shadowbrook located in Shrewsbury, New Jersey.

Their Irish wedding theme incorporated the color palette from the Irish National Kilt in which the groomsmen wore in lieu of the traditional tuxedo or suit pants and the ladies, bridesmaids wore an elegant one-shoulder muted yellow dress that paired flawlessly with their yellow, white and green floral bouquets

Casey knew right away that she wanted her invitations to represent their Irish wedding theme and that she was looking for something not so traditional but more modern and unique.

We started the invitation process by going through the different invitation styles available to narrow down which of those styles would elegantly present Casey and Robert’s wedding details of information in the most organized way. Casey loved the idea of working with our Pocket Invitation and embellishing the outside with a monogrammed outer seal closure. The Botanic Shimmer Green paper matched beautifully with the green color of the Kilt and we chose a Gold Shimmer for the layering of the seal closure. The invitation and matching enclosure cards were printed on our Cream Uncoated-Flat card stock that not only blended flawlessly with those other colored papers but also created a warm, intimate look and feel. 

In continuation with Casey and Robert’s Irish themed wedding, we created matching menu cards from their invitation design and Casey used the iconic Shamrock element for their guest book signage, wine bottle table numbers and escort cards.

I absolutely love and adore the quote Casey used, “May our love be like fine wine and grow stronger as it grows older.” Their special day turned out so beautiful and now their very first wedding anniversary is just around the corner. Such a beautiful couple I’ve had the pleasure to work with and I wish them much love and happiness as they continue along on their journey together.

XO- TRISH

Photography:  Jessica Erb Photography  |  DJ: A-1 Entertainment 


Ashford Estate Tasting, Feb. 21, 2015

This past weekend, we had the utmost pleasure taking part in the Weddings of Distinction tasting at the luxurious Ashford Estate in Allentown, New Jersey catered by Merri-Makers!

Country Estate Weddings | Weddings of Distinction

Country Estate Weddings | Weddings of Distinction

I was so excited to have my sister accompany me, especially because she's never been to this wedding venue before. Her first impression entering the grounds mimicked the same as mine, wide-eyed "ohh" with such an enchanting and magical feeling as you continue to drive through the tall lion guarded iron gates onto a stone driveway, lined with arched pines leading to the Ashford Estate.

The tablescapes designed and created by Weddings of Distinction’s top recommended floral vendors; Magnolia, MDS Floral, and Katydid were just absolutely gorgeously stunning! I've seen their work before and each new time I am still just as pleasingly blown away. These photos do no justice to just how much more beautiful their work was by eye, in-person showing even little bits more of elegant surprises in detail.

These tables added such a warm, inviting and beautiful presence to the already flawless backdrop of the estate. I saw hints of shiny bling, springtime and garden scenes in style treatments of shabby chic and whimsical enchantment, each with soft vintage details creating almost an antiqued colored storybook fairytale brought to life. Each table scene had a completely different look and feel but equally breathtaking, beautiful representations of the spring season.

Whenever I create a complete custom invitation design from scratch, aside from the color palette I always ask what the centerpieces will look like, the vision in mind for the tablescapes because to me, this scene should flow flawlessly with your invitation design. Your invitation should be a glimpse into the style and details planned for your wedding day. The tablescape/centerpieces are typically the second most dominant detail in tying together your entire wedding theme or style.

Boho Chic Invitation Design to the right. Customization is available.

Boho Chic Invitation Design to the right. Customization is available.

The pieces Thinking Paper had on display at this prestige tasting I found to be the perfect "tone-setters" for weddings of a similar spring theme in addition to some others. Our soft and lifelike floral design, Boho Chic matched up beautifully with the tone of the enchanted garden centerpieces on display and of what the view from the windows would be reminiscent of during that warmer time of the season. The Woodsy Winter and K.I.S.S. invitation ensembles were perfect pieces for not only the snowy weather we had that day but also compliments the country elegance of the Ashford Estate property as well.

Woodsy Winter Invitation Design. Customization is available.

Woodsy Winter Invitation Design. Customization is available.

K.I.S.S Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

K.I.S.S Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Invitations on display for the other brides of Weddings of Distinction from Bonnet Island Estate, Mallard Island Yacht Club and The Stateroom on Long Beach Island were balanced between elegant, rustic and beach theme styles. The Summer Shell invitation design and Always & Forever striped ensemble beautifully sets the tone for weddings held at those gorgeous venues on the water. The Simply Chic invitation design inside our rustic pocket dressed up with a ruffled edge ribbon belly belt made a perfect combination for those modern, summer bliss pastel themes with a rustic kiss!  View All Wedding Invitation Designs

Summer Shell Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Summer Shell Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Always & Forever Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Always & Forever Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Simply Chic Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Simply Chic Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Before packing up and heading home, we were fortunate to have had a little Merri-Maker food sampling of our own and WOW, just WOW! Their dishes were prepared and tasted absolutely amazing and the dessert cupcakes made by The Bake Works were super delish and guilt-free!

Even though the snow was falling, it was an enchanting spring and summer day! My sister and I had a great time chatting with the beautiful couples who are in the midst of planning for their wedding at these gorgeous venues this season, and we wish them all much love and happiness.

XO- TRISH

Customize and create the most perfect invitation tone-setter for your wedding day at the Ashford Estate, Bonnet Island, The Stateroom, or Mallard Island Yacht Club by following our simple and easy 4-Step invitation process

Eddie & Don | Real Wedding

Last year, I had the opportunity and utmost pleasure of getting to work with Eddie & Don on their invitations and stationery for their September wedding. Eddie and Don have been partners and soulmates for countless years, wanting nothing more than to celebrate their love and commitment legally, with family and friends at the gorgeous Kirkpatrick Chapel at Rutgers University followed by a dinner reception at the Chart House in Weekawken, New Jersey. 

The vision in mind for their special day was to remain traditional but with style, a touch of fabulous and flair. Their bridal party dressed in formal attire, exquisite navy colored gowns and black tuxedos with stunning, eye catching florals created by Hanna’s Florist. Their hand selected table linens of emerald greens from Fabulous Events paired flawlessly with their color palette and beautifully accented their wondrous décor.

Eddie and Don’s invitations needed to not only provide their guests with a glimpse into their elegant wedding day but also inform them of the special details they’ve planned as well (which I absolutely loved). During the time between their church ceremony and dinner reception later that evening, Eddie & Don invited their guests of family and friends to their home for Champagne and Canapés to celebrate their nuptials!

The design style of their wedding invitations was envisioned to be masculine but with a touch of class and bling. We layered beautiful shimmer papers of navy, emerald green, and ivory together. Each invitation pocket ensemble was embellished with a jewel rhinestone, outer seal closure and addressed with a matching envelope design. Eddie & Don’s design theme carried over into their Ceremony & Reception Stationery with matching ceremony programs, an alphabetical seating chart as opposed to traditional seating cards and individual menus at each plate setting listing the delicious ingredients of the gourmet meals they’ve chosen.

Eddie and Don’s wedding day and celebration overlooking the New York City skyline was one spectacular event filled with love, laughter and divine elegance. Their energy for life, compassion and love for each other is truly inspiring and I am so honored to have been just a small part of their special day.

XO- TRISH

Eddie & Don's advice to future couples planning for their wedding: "Having the ‘day of’ stationery and the seating chart designed and printed removed extra stress that results near the end of the wedding. Don’t sweat the last minute changes that your guests create with cancellations or additions because no one notices them. Don’t rush through reviewing your drafts, have multiple family members review them at different times to find the mistakes early.  Enjoy your day. It goes by fast. Don’t regret not eating or dancing, it’s your party too!”

Video from Eddie & Don's Reception, Classie Events did an amazing job, this will give you chills! 

Build Your Very Own Wedding Invitation

Creating your one-of-a-kind invitation has never been easier!

I'm so excited to unleash Thinking Paper's new online store, conceptualized to guide couples in creating their very own unique invitation ensemble to set the tone for their special upcoming day. From the cozy convenience of your home, 24-7, you can build your invitation at Thinking Paper from the ground up!

We have an array of invitation designs and themes exclusive to Thinking Paper with options to customize available, just let us know what you would like to see. Customization to any design is not only welcomed but expected, so please keep in mind while browsing that the fonts used and the overall color palette of the design can and will most likely change to match your theme. 

Did you know that we, Thinking Paper is NOT an automated system? That's right- once your order has been submitted and processed, you’ll work remotely (email/phone) one-on-one with a professional designer and stationery expert who will make those personalized changes for you by putting together all of the pieces (an electronic mockup) to send via email for your review and approval to print. 

Once you have chosen your invitation design to work with, you'll see options available to pick your paper for printing, along with any additional enclosure/insert cards you'll need. Thinking Paper’s invitations and enclosure cards are printed using the most innovative digital presses with paper stocks containing high percentages of post-consumer product (around 30%) and use wind-generated energy. Invitation card stocks are of White or Cream/Ivory in either a flat (matte), textured or shimmer finish. Kraft is available as well but not recommended for printing of light colors.

A Sample Kit of our card stocks used for printing along with up to 5 color swatches can be purchased to better help guide and assist you with making this decision when it’s time to place your invitation order. Buy your Sample Pack Today with FREE Shipping!

Now, I'm sure we're all familiar with the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover" and over the years I have found that we’re all guilty of that to some extent, but most especially when it comes to narrowing down a specific invitation style. As my mama says with decor, "it has potential" and while the nature of decor and invitations are very different, ironically though choosing an invitation style is sort of the same in thought.

Your wedding invitation style IS a "presentation" you're mailing to your invited guests, a very important piece to not only provide them with a glimpse into your vision but is also a vehicle holding the vital information together regarding your day. This presentation needs to suit not only your wedding style but should also neatly organize all of those necessary, informative enclosure cards (RSVP, reception- if applicable, hotel accommodations or wedding details and directions).

Having said that, our Pockets & More section is configured to display the variety of invitation styles and embellishments available to order- conceptualized without design elements or color present to better help with the decision process. Which invitation style, “presentation” most appeals to you and will favor your stationery needs the best? In addition, you'll be able to price compare the different invitation sets and view completed photos of those specific invitation styles to further inspire, and spark up your creative side when selecting your own colored paper combos/layers and card stock for your print design in the steps to follow.

Let’s get started with building the beginning to your happily ever after!

Ashley & Tom | Real Wedding

Today we’re taking a little trip back to the month of June 2014 when Ashley and Tom said, “I-Do” at the scenic Clarks Landing Yacht Club in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. 

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper1

I absolutely love this shot taken by Artist European Photography capturing the sweet emotions during the closing of Ashley and Tom’s wedding ceremony with the groomsmen clapping proudly, the bridesmaids smiling so big and Ashley and Tom’s “Woohoo, We’re Married” memorable kiss.

Their wedding décor featured a fun candy bar with shades of pink accenting beautifully with the classy glass vase table centerpieces by Wallflowers filled with white hydrangeas and calla lilies infused with pops of white and light pink peonies. Their bridal party dressed to coordinate, the men in grey tuxedos and ladies in blush pink dancing the night away to Jerry Kravate New York band, Tibeca Rhythm.

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper2

When Ashley and I chatted about the vision she had for her wedding invitations and stationery to follow, it was important that the design and overall style look clean and elegant which I translated as, “less is more.” The process began with two key things, her color palette and the overall presentation.

We chose to work with a Layered Pocketfold to neatly organize the informative insert cards for her upcoming wedding and layered papers together to find the right combinations to best compliment Ashley’s traditional, yet modern and soft wedding colors of blush pink, light grey and white. We found the Pearl White Shimmer Pocket matched beautifully, ironically with our Cream Textured printed cardstock and used a Real Grey colored paper stock to border and break apart the two “whites.”

After playing around with custom design samples of their monogram and swirly-type elements, we decided the blush pink should only be used more of an accent to add a small pop of color. After some fine tuning with inspiration of a design created in the past, here’s what Ashley and Tom’s wedding invitation turned out to be... 

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper3

Soon after Ashley's wedding invitations were in the mail, we continued the design style and color palette of the invitation over to what I like to call, Day-Of Stationery, also known as Ceremony & Reception Stationery with matching Tea-Length Menu Cards and Programs, an Alphabetical Seating Chart, and Layered Table Number Cards.

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper4

Ashley and Tom’s wedding day turned out to be exactly what she had envisioned and shared with me, simply classy and elegant!

- XO Trish

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper5

The Scoop on Save the Date

One of the biggest questions we're asked while showcasing our invitations and stationery products at bridal shows is if it's typical or necessary to send a save the date out to invited guests and how far in advance to do so. There are many mixed opinions floating around out there as to what the proper wedding etiquette is or should be for these announcements but the bottom line is, it's entirely up to you and what your budget can afford. Though. There are multiple benefits as to why you might want to consider mailing a save the date to your wedding guests.

To begin, Why not?!

Planning a wedding is exciting and can be so much fun, but, let's point out the obvious, you're going to marry your best friend! You have waited for this proposal and we're pretty sure your family and friends have been excited at the thought of it as well, so why not announce your engagement and upcoming wedding date? Holler it from the rooftops and show off those stunning engagement photos by mailing a save the date roughly 6-8 months in advance.

Destination or Holiday Wedding

Aside from announcing your wedding date of pure excitement alone, there are other factors to consider if you’re still on the fence about the idea. These announcements are almost vital if you’re planning a destination wedding or if your date falls on or near a holiday. Giving your guests a heads up in advance will not only be appreciated but will also provide ample time to help them plan and prepare accordingly. If you're having a destination or holiday wedding, mail your  save the dates roughly 8 months to 1 year out from your wedding date.

Out of State/Town Guests

Save the date announcements are also helpful to invited guests who aren’t local to either or both your ceremony or reception venue's location. They’ll need to make travel arrangements in advance as to them, your wedding will be considered the above, a destination.

Get your RSVP’s Back Quicker

Please note, this is not a promised thing or a guarantee, but mailing save the dates may help with the turnaround of receiving rsvps’ back faster, after you’ve sent your wedding invitations of course. As previously mentioned, if guests are made aware of your wedding date early on, they’ll have ample time to plan and prepare by either marking their calendars to hold your date or will know if they are unable to attend due to previous engagements already scheduled. This early preparation can also assist with mailing those extra invitations to a potential B-List. Which by the way, please do not send a save the date to anyone on a B-list.

Running behind with your Wedding Invitations

Planning for a wedding on top of living your normal life can be crazy hectic and with that comes the passing of time and it will happen rather quickly. Often we find couples falling hostage to this, shopping around under pressure and placing their orders on such short notice. This part of your stationery process is the most important and should not be rushed. Buy yourself some time early on by informing guests of your wedding date in advance with a save the date. Trust us, this will help calm your mind (and your guests) in the event you happen to run a little behind with getting your wedding invitations out in the mail around the 8-10 week mark.

Do and Don’ts

Cost: These announcements do not need to be formal or eat up a great portion of your wedding budget. They should be fun and a representation of you and your partner. The purpose of this save the date is to announce you’re engaged and the upcoming wedding date. Choose an affordable style that works best for your wedding and budget whether it be in the form of a magnet, postcard, drink coaster, simple flat card or DIY home project, there are plenty unique ideas out there.

Design & Style: Some couples ask if their save the date should be similar to their wedding style or planned theme, for example ‘beach’ but really there's no right or wrong answer to this question as it’s entirely up to them and considered more a personal preference. Representing your theme is certainly not crucial during this phase of your planning as this particular piece of stationery doesn’t need to set the tone for your wedding day similar to how your actual wedding invitation will. You may decide to go against the idea of matching your theme and to stick with using only your color palette, that's okay. Save the dates are generally mailed pretty far out in advance from the actual wedding date and with mounds of beautiful inspiration out there, your mind might change here and there if you see something different. By steering clear of a theme and going more generic with your save the date, you won’t box yourself in and your options will remain open.

What Information to Include: As you know, save the dates should include both your names and the wedding date but adding the location, a wedding website, and “formal invitation to follow” statement is an optional choice. There is no right or wrong answer here either, however, consider what your save the date design will look like. For example, if you are adding photos and your faces are clearly visible, it may not be necessary to include both your first and last names, let alone a middle name. Remember, this isn’t your actual wedding invitation so it’s okay to go with the “less is more” approach especially if certain details are subject to change, for example, the location.

In addition, often we’re asked during the save the date proofing process if a wedding website should be included. We personally love wedding websites! Beautiful templates are available through online wedding planning resources like WeddingWire or TheKnot and are free with standard memberships and quite easy to setup yourself even if you’re not the most technically savvy. If you’re unfamiliar with wedding websites, we highly recommend you look into this idea further. Not only is this just another way to share your love story and the details you’re planning, it’s another avenue guests can find additional information they may need at their own accord. We dive into how you can utilize a wedding website in our Wedding Stationery Tips & Guide. 

Who gets a Save the Date: For the most part, we’ve already covered the importance save the dates can hold by providing your guests with ample time to plan and prepare for your big day, however, there are still some things you’ll need to consider. You shouldn’t send a save the date out to anyone you may potentially cross off or move to a B-List. This means any distant relatives you’re unsure of, co-workers, friends, etc. because, by sending them a save the date you’re also informing them they'll soon be receiving a wedding invitation as well. Save the dates should only be mailed to guests you know who are absolutely positively invited to your wedding, including their +1 or more which should also be addressed on the save the date mailing envelope.

Mailing: The ideal time to mail save the dates to invited wedding guests is between 6 months to 1 year out from the wedding date. 

As the holiday season is now upon us, it may be best to either hurry or hold off on mailing your save the dates if this is considered your ideal time. As you know, holiday cards take over our mailboxes during the month of December, your save the date should not be mistaken for just another holiday wish from a family member or friend and should certainly not be overlooked or lost in the shuffle. Again, if you find your ideal mailing date falls subject to this time of year, we recommend getting your save the dates out either right before the holiday card push or in the very beginning of the New Year.

We hope you find this information helpful and invite you to browse through our gallery of save the date designs as you've seen a sampling of here. Turnaround from start to finish (electronic proof to delivery) is roughly 10-15 business days. Rush orders can be accommodated but an additional fee will apply, ask for details.

Please feel free to reach out with questions or leave comments, we look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Planning!

XO

Introduction to the NEW Thinking Paper

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to our new website, blog, and place we like to call home. With a change in season underway there's no better time to introduce the exciting new changes made to Thinking Paper as well.

To begin, I will call-out the obvious, our new ‘look’ and brand. Thinking Paper now has a new logo and color scheme with shared characteristics of the original. A rendition of the Middle Aged waxed seal, a bloomed flower styled in a paper cutout-like design now coupled with an edgy, modern script font and bold characters (letters) to draw attention to Thinking Paper’s design niche, Stationery. With this logo redesign, it was only natural to move forward in continuation of the brand’s new look for the website, a full circle to freshening up the overall design theme of Thinking Paper. 

NEW INVITATION ENSEMBLE STYLES

Since 2009, it’s been an on-going mission of mine to not only provide unique, custom designed invitations and stationery, but to also ensure that each person I've worked with had a fun, stress-free, and delightful experience as well. 

While maintaining these characteristics of which Thinking Paper has become known for today, I wanted to break outside of the box, expand our horizons and introduce new ideas for wedding and event stationery. My signature statement to couples I work with for custom design is this,  ‘We are more visual than we realize, it’s hard to imagine something that doesn’t exist with so many options around you, from the paper and material combos down to what the actual design itself will be. When really, you just need to see something to know if it works for you or not.’ 

As a designer, it’s my responsibility to bring those visions to life, to introduce new concepts by building a foundation great enough to help you visually see the end result. The Mockup/Renderings were born of that notion, to provide you with a launching pad nullifying that stress of having to figure out all of those pieces. While creating these ensembles, my focus was to remain mindful of those who are planning their event by offering versatility to coincide with their theme or style and color palettes- the designs, colors and materials are easily customizable.

In addition to this new invitation process and online store, stationery boutique- it’s imperative to Thinking Paper that we remain interactive and social with our clients/couples throughout their ordering process, a mannerism we pride ourselves in becoming known for. Though remotely, we’ll continue to move forward with the one-on-one working process rather than having you toy with an automated system in order to create and review proofs.

I am so excited about this new chapter for Thinking Paper and had an absolute blast creating these new invitation design styles and concepts. More importantly, I look forward to working with future couples in helping them set the tone for their most special day EVER!

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XO TRISH