Customised Wedding Stationery – How Does It Work?

One of the great things about our Wedding Stationery ranges are that they can be completely customised. I thought I’d take a moment to just run through the process of how this works. Our ranges are really flexible, and there’s a lot you get included, with no surprise costs involved!

sense & sensbility inspired watercolour greenery wedding sample pack

You can find our current price list here:

Giftast Standard Price List 2019

Invitation Suites

All the items which make up our suites are priced individually, so you’re not sold a pack of anything, and you can be really flexible. For example, if you want to miss out Save the Dates and ask for RSVPs by text, no problem! You only need to buy what you actually want. 

customised wedding stationery - how does it work?

If you like a design, but it doesn’t fit your theme, then we can change the colours for you for no extra cost.

The cost on our price list per unit is the cost you pay. 

Want to include extra info on the invite? No problem – just let us know the text you want, and we will look at your options. It may be that we have to make a double sided invitation, or we might suggest you include an additional info card if you have a lot of information to share. We can mock up designs for your approval, so you know exactly what you’ll be getting when you order.

Again, this is all priced by unit, so no nasty surprises. 

gemma pink and grey save the date

The same applies for adding any extra info to Save the Dates and RSVPs – just let us know what you want to include, and we will do our best to accommodate it on the original design, all for no extra cost.

Unit prices also include kraft and white envelopes, as well as a range of different paper finishes and double sided printing.

On The Day

We’ve talked here about what you might want to consider when you’re planning your On The Day Stationery – this also works using our range items. 

Just as with our Invitation Suites, everything can be personalised, from colours to text, to suit your needs. If you want a menu, even though we don’t have one of those in our samples, we can mock one up for your approval using the basic designs we already have, and it will be priced as per the price list. The same goes for any extra signs or notes you want to include on your day.

Elegant Place Cards

Want something different?

Our price list doesn’t include items such as stickers, belly bands or envelope liners. Simply contact us and ask for a quote, and you’ll be provided with a unit price based on your needs. If you want these to match range items there will be no bespoke fee.

We also offer free consultations by Skype or phone, to discuss your wedding stationery ideas and requirements. Just drop us an email to book in.

Don’t forget, you can save 10% when you sign up to our Newsletter!

Using Pinterest for Wedding Planning

Here at Giftast, we’re big fans of using Pinterest for Wedding Planning. Whenever I’m planning a new range, or searching for references, Pinterest is always my first port of call. There’s such a wide variety of ideas and inspiration. Whatever your theme, you’re sure to find something you love.

Giftast Pinterest board - using Pinterest for Wedding Planning
Check out the Giftast Pinterest Board for inspiration!

When it comes to planning your bespoke wedding stationery, Pinterest can be super helpful as well. Not only will it give you lots of ideas on what might be possible, but it’s a great way to pass those ideas on to your designer. 

A picture really is worth a thousand words, and creating your own ideas board will save you lots of time.

On the Giftast Pinterest board, we showcase all of our ranges, as well as sharing other wedding ideas we absolutely love! From Cakes to Photographers, and from Jewellery to Bridesmaids’ dresses, there are loads of ideas just waiting for you.

Image by Hannah Larkin Photography

Downsides? Pinterest, like Instagram, is a beautifully curated collection of ideals. Not all the photos you see on Pinterest will necessarily be achievable within a sensible budget. And just like Instagram, not everything you see will be real!

However, as an inspirational tool for when you’re first starting your wedding planning and gathering your ideas together, Pinterest is a brilliant starting point.

Giftast Loves… Top Pinterest Boards:

Personalising your Wedding Ceremony with Yvonne Beck, Celebrant

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of chatting with Celebrant Yvonne Beck. Yvonne is based in Berlin, but has worked all over the world, and regularly hosts ceremonies in the UK.

Going into the conversation, I had no idea what a celebrant did. Yvonne really opened my eyes to what was available to couples who didn’t want a traditional or religious ceremony. I wish I’d known this much when I was planning my wedding!

Yvonne and I chatted about different types of ceremonies, and how couples can make theirs personal to them. As tends to happen in conversations with me, we also got onto my favourite subject – animals at weddings!

I really enjoyed speaking to Yvonne, and learned a lot. If you’re feeling restricted by the idea of a traditional ceremony, then this is one for you. 

Check out the video below, or the transcript beneath for more info. You can see more of Yvonne on her website, on Instagram, and Facebook.

Hi there, it’s Katherine from Giftast Wedding and Events Stationery, and I’m here today with Yvonne Beck, who is a Celebrant based in Germany, in Berlin. Yvonne, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Yvonne, I’m a celebrant that’s based in Germany.

I divide my time between Berlin and London, but I also do ceremonies in different parts of England.

And also lots of ceremonies now in Southern Germany, where the mountains are. So it’s elopements as well, which have been really coming up this year. I’ve had quite a number of your elopements last year and this year.

That’s nice – very romantic! I always think elopements are the most romantic. How did you get started being a celebrant?

I was looking for a change of career after spending many years working in the public sector, in education and training. I was invited to be a guest at ceremony in Australia, from some friends who’d worked in London but married in Australia. They introduced me to their celebrant, and as we had the ceremony in the vineyard overlooking the ocean at sunset, it was just magical.

I’d never experienced anything like that,

so when the time came, I was looking to see whether celebrantsy was something I could do in in England. I was based in London looking at what kind of training I could do, and I trained with the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants in 2011. So I’ve been a celebrant for about eight years now, and yeah, I’ve never looked back.

I mean many of my couples to begin with were from Australia and New Zealand and America because they already understood the kind of role that a celebrant can play in terms of personalising the ceremony. Now that over the years has changed,

so more and more English and UK couples are looking for that kind of choice and flexibility on their wedding day, to have ceremony that’s really about them.

Because you don’t just do weddings do you? You do birth naming ceremonies, things like that. I was looking on your website – so what’s your sort of favourite ceremony to do?

Well I suppose weddings really, because it’s all romantic, and it’s exciting. I mean, it’s a real honour and a privilege to be asked to create a ceremony and lead a ceremony. But I think the whole day, you know, it’s family, it’s friends. It’s usually a slightly bigger event than perhaps a baby-naming, where in actual fact you’ve probably got 100 children and 40 adults. That’s quite a challenge sometimes! I think all ceremonies that celebrate life’s major milestones are really important, so they really resonate with me.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realised the importance of celebrating the things you can while you can and enjoying life.

Ceremonies I think are a way that we you know can ritualize experiences create memories. Therefore I think in lots of ways, starting a new life together as a couple is probably one of my favourites, because that couple are standing in front of me looking each other in the eyes, and saying the most heartfelt tender and sincere words. Because they write their own vows mostly, and I just stand there in awe. Love is such a powerful thing, and so yeah, I love weddings.

Ah, that sounds so wonderful. Is there any difference between what people want – because obviously you work globally – so is there a difference between what people tend to want in the UK and other places like Germany and New Zealand and Australia?

I think they want a ceremony that’s flexible and it’s about them.

They also want ceremonies that are outside out in nature, and I’ve done lots and lots of ceremonies in the gardens of manor houses, and private gardens in woodlands open areas that allow people to really express themselves and feel relaxed. I think you feel more relaxed when you’re in nature, because it reminds you of days when you were at the beach or picnicking or doing something – you know, bimbling around and in the woods.

I think that going into a formal situation like a big grand house can be quite overwhelming and intimidating. And I have done those ceremonies, but those are for couples who’ll use historical buildings because it’s their theme.

I think with the celebrant, know that there’s nothing that’s off the table.

So any of their plans and ideas are fine with me. This year I’ll be creating ceremony for a couple from Australia in a castle in Warwickshire, and they’ve asked me to dress up in 15th century costume. And that will be my first one, so I’ve come a long way I think from my first ceremonies. One of my very first ones was on an animal sanctuary in Sussex, and the couple wanted animals to be part of their day. And so the week before the wedding, I was introduced to a herd of thirty bulls and cows that were in the sanctuary, and they were looked after so lovely.

I was just told to watch where they’re putting their feet, because they can step on you. They can’t see where feet are, but these animals were so lovely and on the day and we have the ceremony in the field with the cows and bulls behind us. Because they’re curious animals, they came up behind me, and I could feel breathing down my neck!

It was most incredible, but loving.

I mean the couple actually wrote a poem to themselves, to the animals, and because they both believed very much in animal welfare, and the rights of animals to live a happy life. I mean, these were sanctuary animals, so they’d been kept as pets or in petting zoos or farms – you know in in those sorts of environments where in the end people couldn’t look after them. Huglett’s Animal Sanctuary – big shout out for them, they do the most amazing vegan breakfast and they they were really lovely! So yes I’ve done stately homes and houses, historical buildings and farms.

I think what what couples really want is this ability to express their ideas and their plans and their story.

Well that’s brilliant, I love that you talked about having animals there as well. Having animals involved in your wedding is something I’m so interested in  – big animal lover! That’s the thing I’m always trying to do, because we had a very small ceremony and my cat couldn’t come. Looking back, I wish I’d done things differently – not to have him there, because he would have hated it, but had him involved in a slightly different way. We had a tiny Lego cat on our cake, but other than that, he wasn’t really there. And I think that’s a shame, so that’s why I think that’s absolutely lovely.

Yes I mean we do get ring bearers who were pets now with the family pet,  it can be rabbits or pets but you know dogs. 

A rabbit ring bearer – that would be incredible!

It’s important to give couples that kind of confidence to go with their flow and how they feel. So as a celebrant, I will say to them, you know, there’s no wrong door. Anything and everything you put on the table, we will work through and see whether we can incorporate it. Because there are no restrictions on the time of the ceremony or the length of the ceremony, and it makes for really exciting photography. I’m sure when the couples get their photographs back, not just of the ceremony but of the whole day – you know those memories would just be amazing.

Aw, that’s absolutely brilliant –  big fan of that. Do you have any tips for couples for the ideas and things to help make their ceremony more personal for them?

I think that they should really think about what is important their values and beliefs and how they want to express those.

So whether that’s including rituals like cultural rituals or rituals of heritage. You know many couples come now from different backgrounds, and they want to respect those backgrounds and faiths and so we can include that in the celebrant ceremony. Many couples don’t realise that, because they think it’s a civil ceremony. So they think they can’t have any religion or culture or spiritualism in it, but it can and I can work with the clergy if they want.

I mean I’ve often asked couples if they’d like anything religious, and they’ve said yes, well we have an uncle who’s a pastor or a local priest – my family priest. And if they’re willing to come and give some sort of blessing, then I’m all for that. Because I’m thinking, that is that is truly then authentic, in terms of respecting everything, in terms of the couple’s wishes.

And if they want to have it in a hot-air balloon or  on the beach or just the two of them saying their vows, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Many couples nowadays I think, find that the cost of a wedding, and the size of the wedding and how big  the invitation list gets can be quite overwhelming. I’m seeing a trend to more smaller more intimate weddings, between 25 and 75 guests. So I give them  the opportunity to say what style, what size, where’s the location. And if we want it in our family garden, that’s fine too. You can dress the garden up, dress the tree up.

I’ve often created ceremonies in family gardens. They’ve ranged from a small back garden in London to where the family had a farm, and acres of land. So I think it’s about what makes you happy.

The question really is this:

How do you want to feel on your wedding day?

How do you want be about your ceremony and so what things will make you feel like that? And involving your family your children if you’ve got them. Many couples bring children into the relationship, because they’ve had a relationship and lived together before they decided to get legally married. The ceremony really can include children. With things like a unity ceremony. I don’t know if you’ve heard of these, where the unity ceremonies symbolise the bond that you’re building and the family that you’re building.

So it might be a candle lighting, and you can ask everyone to light the candle, or it might be a hand fasting where ribbons are tied around your wrists and make you tied by family and friends. Or there might be a sand pouring ceremony.

Different colours of sand representing each child and each member of family poured into a vessel creates layered look of these beautiful colourful layers.

The symbolism there is that what is brought together cannot be taken apart,

because you couldn’t then un-mix those grains of sand. So it’s about forming a lasting and enduring bond throughout your married life and family life.

That’s so nice, and lovely that you can personalise it like that. Unfortunately we’re now out of time so that’s been absolutely brilliant, thank you so much Yvonne that’s been great. I feel like I’ve learned loads, thank you very much

You can see more of Yvonne on her website, on Instagram, and Facebook.

What can I do with my 10% Wedding Stationery Discount?

Fancy a 10% discount on your Wedding Stationery? If you sign up to our Newsletter, you’ll receive a 10% discount to use on your first order.

But what can you do with it? I’ve pulled together a quick how-to guide, to help you make the most of your 10% discount code.

Sign up to our newsletter for a 10% wedding stationery discount!

What can I use it on?

First things first – it’s available site-wide. So not just on wedding stationery! You can use it when you commission pet portraits, when you order wedding stationery samples,  for bespoke wedding stationery, corporate stationery, birthday cards, post cards… The only thing you can’t use is the freebie section(!) and it doesn’t apply to postage & packing.

Can I only use it online?

You can use it on any “first order”, which includes bespoke orders made over the phone or via email. Just quote the code when you place your order.

How can I make the most out of my discount?

Place your orders for multiple items at once. If you’ve ordering save the dates, invitations and rsvps, order them at the same time rather than separately. If you commission a bespoke design, the discount will apply to your first invoice, which will include the bespoke fee and whatever items you order featuring that design.

What else do I get out of the Newsletter?

When you sign up, you don’t only receive a 10% discount code. Please note, you will be asked to confirm your email address in order to receive your code, so do check your spam folder! 

You’ll also receive handy blog posts, which will help you with your wedding planning, as well as a little surprise, if you stay subscribed for a little longer…;)

So what are you waiting for? Sign up here and get your discount code today!

Talking Wedding Photography with Hannah Larkin Photography

A couple of weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of talking wedding photography with Hannah Larkin, of Hannah Larkin Photography. We covered bespoke, and tips for looking your best on your wedding day, as well as her how-to for finding the right photographer for you.

You can tell I had a “lovely” time talking to Hannah, because that’s how I responded to everyone of her answers! And it was awkward typing up the transcript, but I stand by my declarations of loveliness. Check out the video below (subtitles available) or you can read the chat below.

You can see more of Hannah on her website and her Instagram. She also has an excellent Pinterest board on pets at weddings which I cannot recommend highly enough!

Katherine: Hi, it’s Katherine from Giftast, and I’m here with Hannah Larkin, wedding photographer. Lovely to see you, Hannah.

Hannah: Hi, nice to see you Katherine.

K: And if you wouldn’t mind just introducing yourself?

H: Yeah, sure. So I’m Hannah, from Hannah Larkin Photography. I’m a London-based wedding photographer, with a second base up in Northumberland, in the North East, and

I travel across the UK and also overseas, photographing beautiful weddings, and also families.

I have a sort of “Lifestyle” style to my photos, just natural, relaxed, and with a real focus on capturing emotions as they happen on your wedding day, so I can create a story of the day as it happens.

K: Oh, lovely. Now, do you have any tips for brides and grooms who might be a bit more uncomfortable with being photographed, for how they can look their best in their wedding photographs?

H: Yeah – that’s a really common concern, and actually most of the brides and grooms who get in touch with me will say that at least one of them either hates having their photograph taken and is camera shy, or feels very awkward.

So what I always recommend is to have an engagement shoot as a chance to practice.

So all my wedding photography packages include and engagement shoot, and it’s just a couple of hours for us to go somewhere where you feel relaxed and comfortable, and we can practice taking the pictures. You can get used to being in front of my camera, I can get used to working with you, and we get to know each other as well, because I think if you know the person who’s taking the pictures and you feel that you can kind of trust them, that you can relax and be yourself and have a bit of fun with it as well, then that will show in your photos.

Images by Hannah Larkin Photography

K: Lovely. What are your favourite sort of images to take in both wedding and engagement shoots?

H: Well, I think the beauty of weddings is that you get to take all sorts of different photos throughout the day, so I get to start off with catching all the special details that you’ve chosen for your day, so I’m – yeah, I love seeing the kind of thought and effort that people have put in to finding exactly the right accessories or rings, you know, shoes, jewellery, the stationery, of course as well, and capturing all those pretty details before the start of the day. Ceremonies are always special, as that time where where everybody is just sort of stopping and watching, so being able to document that, sort of quietly and unobtrusively, but really seeing all those emotions as they happen is so special.

I think probably my favourite bit though is the portraits,

so being able to take the bride and groom away from their guests, give them a little bit of time together to sort of take note of what’s happening and have that space to think “wow, we did it! We got married!” And yeah, having that sort of quiet time just to create romantic portraits.

K: Aw, that’s lovely, I suppose that it’s sort of –

if you do them straight after the ceremony as well, it’s the first time they spend together as a married couple, which is really special.

Thanks for that, that’s lovely.

H: Yeah, and I think that as part of that, I’ll get them to walk around a little bit, so I’m not going to be with them or in their face for the whole time, so they do have a bit of time just to kind of chat and have some private moments, and then of course I’ll be interacting with them to get kind of more close up pictures too, but yeah, I think a lot of my couples appreciate that bit of time where they haven’t got guests coming up to them all the time saying “Congratulations!”, so it is a little moment just to celebrate with their partner.

Images by Hannah Larkin Photography

K: Aw, that’s lovely. I know you like doing very bespoke, personalised weddings and things like that, so do you have any – if you’ve got a wedding with a strong theme, of how to get that into your photos?

H: So yeah, I really love it when a wedding kind of displays either different cultures or traditions that the families bring, or kind of personalised elements that reflect the couple themselves rather than just a kind of generic wedding, so I always sort of spend time getting to know my couples.

I take on only a limited number of weddings each year, so I do dedicate time to chatting with them, getting to know them, so I’ll be asking all about their decisions and choices for the wedding, what are the things they’re most excited for, what are the things they’ve spent the most time looking for and were the happiest when they found, and in that way I can make sure that all of those special details, important people – things that I know they really, really wanted or they put a lot of effort into getting, all of those details are captured for them on the day.

K: That’s lovely.

H: Yeah, and also I sometimes offer a slideshow – a wedding slideshow – of the day and that can be set to music that – so sometimes to the first dance song, or sometimes if there’s a particular song in a ceremony that means a lot to the couple, then I might use that to help kind of also carry that theme on through their wedding pictures.

Images by Hannah Larkin Photography

K: Aw, that’s so lovely. With all that in mind, how much sort of work you do with couples ahead of time, how far in advance do you recommend people try and book their photographer?

H: Well, it depends how long your engagement is obviously, what options you’ve got. I’ve got some couples who’ve been booked in for two and a half years in advance, other couples will contact me with a  few months to go. I’d say ideally you’d want to be booking at least six months in advance, and that’s to give a time to get to know each other, to schedule any engagement shoots, and to think through the timings for the day and the group shots, and just make sure that there’s no rush. But of course, if you’re planning a last minute wedding, especially elopements tend to be shorter time scales, and that’s something that I can work to too, but yeah – so something that fits you,

but if you’ve got the option then I’d go for it at least six months before.

How does that work for you in terms of ordering for somebody’s Save the Dates and then Invitations are some of the first things that people are going to be sending out. What the sort of time scale for doing that?

Images by Hannah Larkin Photography

K: Well, again, it depends entirely on how long your engagement is. Personally, I had a very short engagement, so we didn’t do save the dates at all, we did it far too short to be honest, for any of that, so yeah, we just did straight to invitations. But it really depends on like how personal you want it, because I think there’s this idea that you have to do save the dates, invitations and RSVPs, but at the moment, again, depending on how long their engagement is, and whether you’re going abroad, save the dates might not be the right thing for you, and it’s the same with RSVPs – if you’re inviting a lot of younger people, you might not want to send out paper RSVPs to everybody,

so it’s really mix and match, making it to what fits best with how you’re doing your wedding and how you’re planning your ceremony.

So yeah, it’s so personal. Absolutely. Do you have any tips for couples on choosing the right wedding photographer for them, so for style and things like that, that they want for their photos?

H: Yeah, I guess first it’s about looking at pictures and trying to work out what sort of style appeals to you, what sort of style fits with how you imagine your wedding. Generally there seems to be a range to this one, from super-posed – and all the way through to more paparazzi-style, documentary style images.

I’m somewhere in the middle, so I’ll make small adjustments so everyone is looking their best, but I won’t pose people too much, because I want them to have that natural and relaxed feel.

So I think it’s about finding that style that you think “yes, that’s what relates to me”, and then I’d really encourage you to contact some photographers and start talking to them, and making sure that you really get on with them. Because as a photographer I spend most of the wedding day with the couple, so I’ll be with either the bride or groom in the morning, capturing them getting ready, all the way through the ceremony, that intimate time for portraits, speeches, and the celebrations going on into the evening.

So you want to feel comfortable with that person, that you can trust them, that you can get on with them, and I’m lucky that a lot of the clients that I end up with actually become friends, that you know, we’ve got on so well over that process, so that’s something we can continue beyond the wedding, which is lovely.

Images by Hannah Larkin Photography

K: That’s really lovely. Yeah I think the ideas about really doing your homework, and checking on whether someone’s style is right for you. And it’s the same with invitations as well. Especially if you’re going bespoke, erm, looking at the other work someone does, and checking that it’s in line with your vision. Like, I do a lot of water colour-y, quite soft, pared back ones, rather than the really strong, graphic style. So, it’s not for everybody, and there are going to be other people that, if you want that particular style, are going to be a lot more suited to it than me. So really it’s finding that right person.

H: Yeah, and I guess because you can also make sort of subtle changes, can’t you? So you’ve got your overall style and within that you can make things to be bespoke, and that’s the same with photography,

I think you pick an overall style and then work with them to make sure they capture it. Capture what you want from your day.

K: Lovely, well thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me, Hannah, it’s been lovely.

H: Well it’s been lovely chatting, thanks Katherine.

K: I’ll see you again soon.

H: Take care, bye bye.

 

What Do You Need To Include On A Wedding Invitation?

What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? Now you’ve sorted your Save The Date, and your wedding prep is making good headway, it’s time to think about Invitations. Let’s start with the basics:

Date

Including Day, Month and Year. It’s better to be as specific as possible!

Northanger Abbey Stylish Wedding Invitations - What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

Time 

It’s worth considering including time of ceremony, time of reception, and time of “carriages”. This information will also be different depending on whether you’re doing separate day and evening invites. Here at Giftast, we can mix and match your invitations for no extra cost;)

Location (Ceremony & Reception)

Let your day guests know if they need to anticipate travelling between venues. Again, the information provided may be different depending on if you’re sending out separate day and evening invitations.

Mansfield Park kraft paper wedding stationery rsvp - What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

RSVP Details

Are you including a card, or asking people to reply by text/email? When do they need to let you know by?

Plus One

Who is invited? Are your single friends allowed to bring their current SO? Can the kids come? Specify now, to save awkward questions later, and from making your table plan more complicated than it needs to be!

What do you need to include on a wedding invitation?  Sense and Sensibility Invitation Inside

Also worth considering…

Dress Code/Theme

Want everyone to wear purple? Going for a chilled out, shorts and sandals vibe? Going Gatsby? Now’s the time to let your guests know, so they can begin planning their outfits.

Gift Requests

Whether you have a gift registry set up, or want money for your honeymoon, or even nothing at all, let your guests know your plans.

Eloisa Wedding Invitation- What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

Wedding Website

If you’ve too much information to include on your invitation and don’t want to include a separate information card, then you you might want to consider making a wedding website, and including the web address on your invitations. 

Taxi Numbers

Your more organised guests will bring the invitation on the wedding day, so they will have all the timing and location information to hand. Including taxi numbers is especially useful in areas with limited internet access.

Budget Wedding Invitation - What do you need to include on a wedding invitation? 

Recommended Local Hotels

Encourage forward planning and cut down on how many phone calls you get all asking the same question – include your recommendations for hotels, including any information regarding reserved rooms at your venue, if necessary.

Directions

Whether your guests are arriving by plane, train, or automobile, and even though a lot of people will just use Google maps, save your guests some time by including some directions to harder-to-find and more out of the way venues. A lot of venues will have this information on their websites, which you can use.

 

And then… anything you like! Every wedding is different and you need to think about what works for you. When DH and I got married, we had a morning ceremony, followed by a wedding buffet which we then left at 3pm to go on honeymoon. We included this information on our invites, to let the guests know what to expect, but also so they knew that the venue was still available for their use once we’d left. 

All I would say is, the more information you include, the less questions you’ll have to answer and the more time you’ll save! 

What Do You Need To Include on a Save The Date?

If Save The Dates are something you’ve decided to go for, you may be wondering what information you need to include. Hopefully this guide will give you more of an idea of what you’ll need to know in advance.

What Do You Need To Include on a Save The Date - Mansfield park kraft paper wedding stationery save the date

Check out our post on What Wedding Stationery Do I Need? to see if Save The Dates are right for you.

The Date

It sounds obvious, but you will need to know the exact date of your wedding. You will most likely need to have booked your venue before you send these out. If your wedding isn’t on a weekend, it may be helpful to include the day in addition to the date. Timings aren’t necessary on a Save the Date, and you may only be finalising these nearer the time.

Your Names

Again, sounds obvious, but sometimes it’s the most obvious things which get forgotten when you’re stressed! It’s your choice as to whether or not you include your surnames.

Note that an Invitation will Follow

Just to avoid confusion for your guests! Your Save the Date is necessarily brief, and as it’s sent well in advance of the big day, you can’t include much information because you won’t know it yet! 

Budget Wedding Save The Date

Optional – Their Names

If you’re sending the Save the Date to an address where some residents are invited and some aren’t, you may wish to include names to avoid disappointment and arguments later. Our personalised Save the Dates can include either a line for you to write in the names of your guests, or be printed with individual names. Otherwise, you can just include names on the envelope and confirm with the invitation which follows.

Optional – Location

If your wedding is taking place in a different country, or somewhere difficult to get to, it can be nice to include a location. Your guests may need to save dates around the big day for travelling.

Optional – Anything else you want.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules. This is your wedding, and all the above is only a suggestion. There is a lot of tradition around what is sent when and what information it needs to include. This may not always be relevant to you and your wedding. The most important thing is that it works for you.

Your Wedding, Your Rules!

 

6 Steps to Stress Free Wedding Planning

6 Steps to Stress Free Wedding Planning
6 Steps to Stress Free Wedding Planning

If you’re just starting your journey to Dream Wedding™ then here, here and here are some great tick lists of things you need to think about.

What I’m offering here are tips and tricks to help streamline your wedding planning and actually GET SH*T DONE.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, and like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, hopefully this will help. Don’t let it get you down – you can do it, and it will all be worth it. And don’t forget, you aren’t in this alone. Ask for help, and if you can afford it, hire a professional for some jobs. DIY is great but it isn’t for everyone.

What do I know about all this?

Well, in a former life I was an Exec PA at a FTSE 100 company, and managed the time of some of the most disorganised people you can imagine. I have balanced working full time, planning a wedding, starting a business and writing books. And most importantly, I’m an organising addict. I am addicted to getting things done, so I know what works.

Become Your Own Exec PA -Yes, I have a new letter-board-thing, and I am not afraid to use it 😂

I used to find it really difficult to get as much as I wanted to done – I still do, but that’s because the standards I set for myself are ridiculous. But then I realised that while I was really good at organising other people’s lives, I wasn’t applying those same practices to my own life. I was acting as though my things were so much less important than those of the people I was working for.

I became my own Exec PA, because it might not be important to anyone else if I don’t remember to set up my coffee machine the night before, but it will make a massive difference to my morning.

My jobs – your jobs – which are unpaid and only for our benefit are just as important as those which we are paid to do. You are worth organising your time and treating yourself with the respect you treat those you work for, or those you love.

Disclaimer – this isn’t for everyone. No one size fits all here. But what you might find is that once you start crossing things off your to-do list, you get hooked too;) Some of these things might seem obvious – great! It’s all part of the journey to getting things done.

Get Everything Down on Paper

 

1. Get Everything Down on Paper

You’ve probably started making lists already. You can’t sleep because of things popping into your head that need doing. Get it out of your brain and down onto your notebook app, some scrap paper, or in your gorgeous, shiny and new wedding notebook. What you want is a master list of everything that needs doing. Then, you need to break it down into small, easily achievable tasks.

For example:

  • Wedding Stationery:Check Instagram for stationery ideas
    • Compare stationers x 3Bespoke?
      • Colour scheme?
      • Price Range?
    • Order stationery samples
      • Finalise details:
        • Venue
        • Date/time
        • RSVP date/method
        • Guest list – numbers
        • Day/Evening numbers
        • Send details to stationer
    • Collect addresses from guests
    • Write 50 invitations
    • Write 50 more invitations
    • Post out invitations

Phew!

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and depending on how you want your wedding to work, your stationery to-do list might look very different! But have a good think about every little job which makes up all your big jobs. Think about what you’d be likely to achieve in, say, 15 or 30 minutes. Having bite-size jobs makes it easier to complete – you’re more likely to find 15 minutes than an hour, and can slot your tasks in throughout the day.

Once you’re done, take a look at your undoubtedly massive list. Feel a wave of overwhelm and panic wash over you. Let it pass. Breathe. You got this. Remember – you don’t have to do everything yourself. Write initials next to the jobs you can delegate. You know almost everything that needs doing, and you know how long you have.

You have the POWER.

Decide what’s a priority

2. Decide What is a Priority, and Make it Non-Negotiable.

Every day this year (it’s almost November), I have done at least 10 minutes of yoga. I’m not telling you that to brag (much!;p), but I’m sharing it as an example of what can happen when you make something non-negotiable. You find the time in your schedule to make it work. I’ve got up half an hour early to do yoga before I had to go out all day. I’ve travelled to and from London in a day and got home at 8pm, and done yoga before I ate my dinner so I could crack on with the wine.

I never thought I was the sort of person that could do that, but it’s the sort of person I want to be.

As soon as something is non-negotiable, you’re spending your time thinking about how to make it work, rather than how to get out of it. So for wedding planning, it might be non-negotiable that you and your partner need to sit down at some point during the week to discuss – and decide – your guest list. Eat the frog, and plan it in so you can open the wine after, or if you get it all done, you can get a takeaway as a reward. But regardless, it has to be done.

Get yourself a planner
Get Yourself a Planner

3. Get Yourself a Planner

I use a week-to-view diary for my planning. Because I have my master list of little jobs – which I can keep adding to, I don’t need to plan for, say, a month, 3 months, or 6 months at a time. I can be a lot more flexible when unexpected things arise. If you don’t want to buy a diary, or it isn’t the time of year for it, you can download loads of free, blank, weekly planners, draw one in your notebook in a couple of minutes, stick it on a whiteboard, or whatever you prefer.

Working one week at a time, pick your priorities from your master list, and slot the little jobs into your diary. I’d recommend adding in your day-to-day jobs too, like *clean bathroom*, *buy season ticket* and *go to Tesco*. You’re doing them anyway, and they get you into the habit of crossing things off. Once a task is completed, just cross it off. I score through with a line so I can still read it, but that’s because I like to be able to look back and see the things I’ve done.

Don’t forget to add in things you did that weren’t in your planner – and immediately cross them off!

I like to do my planning on a Sunday – be sure to write *plan for next week* on the following Sunday when you’re planning!

You will also have the satisfaction of crossing things off your master list, done in the previous week when you’re planning the next.

Sometimes, if I’m not sure how a job will turn out, or I’m not sure of what I’ve got on all week, I’ll only plan for a couple of days at a time, rather than the full week. It’s about making it work for you, and allowing yourself some flexibility.

I like to go easy on what I put in my planner on weekends. This means I can add in more if I’ve got time, go back to things I didn’t get to, or I can use my free time to do other tasks and get ahead of myself.

But then again, I am a planner addict whose only idea of fun is strictly organised fun.

I have a Pusheen diary for this year, which is just DARLING, and the little pictures of cats make using it more fun. Next years’ is a bit more boring, but I needed it in July, when limited diaries were available. It’s still really pretty, and it has larger spaces so I can write in more little jobs.

Challenge Yourself
Challenge Yourself

4. Challenge Yourself

Once you’ve started, you might be surprised by how much you can get done. By making your master list, the most difficult part is over. Thinking about what you need to do can take longer than actually doing one or two of your little jobs. You can crack a couple of these out in a lunch break, if you’ve planned ahead.

If one wedding task a day is working out, maybe knock it up to two some days! If you’ve a really busy day coming up, find one of the more fun or quick tasks (eg looking at instagram for inspo/texting your third cousin for her address) and pop it in on that day.

Cut Yourself Some Slack
Cut Yourself Some Slack

5. Cut Yourself some Slack

Unexpected things happen. Sometimes you have a bad day, there’s a traffic jam, you just need to sleep. Other people need your time, you have to work late, or what you thought was a little job turns into a big one.

Don’t stress. You got this, remember?

That’s the beauty of working through these little, little jobs, and only planning up to a week at a time. You can cross it off another day. Or you can push it back to next week. Maybe you can give it to someone else to do. The important thing is that you’re in control of everything that needs doing, and you can move things around. You know what’s non-negotiable and what there’s some flexibility with.

There are days – and weeks – where the best thing for me has been to ignore my planner, or not plan at all. If it’s all too much, give yourself a break. You deserve it. Planning a wedding should be fun for you, not just the day itself.

You are allowed to go at your own pace.

And here’s another thing – plan in some fun. Yes, I love organised fun, but that’s not what I mean here. Plan doing nice things. Schedule in a long bath for yourself, or to read a couple of chapters of a romance novel. Schedule in some time with your partner where you don’t talk about the wedding, perhaps over a romantic dinner. Be nice to yourself.

Bask in Your Own Brilliance
Bask in Your Own Brilliance

6. Bask in Your Own Brilliance.

As you work through your week, and then go back to your master list, you’re going to start to be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ve got done. Suddenly, big jobs are completed and you barely broke a sweat.

Using a planner and crossing things off works best for me because I can look back at a week and see everything I achieved. There’s no way I can remember everything I’ve done each day, but when I look back at what I’ve crossed out, I’m genuinely always surprised by how much I’ve done.

I do find that putting something in the planner means it has a higher chance of getting done. Little things I’d otherwise forget, like *take dinner out of the freezer*, *brush the cat* or *soak beans for tomorrow’s tea*. They all get done because I don’t even have to think about it.

I just look in my planner.

So them’s the tips. I know it’s not for everyone but I really hope it helps. The most important thing I can suggest is writing that big list. Seeing exactly what needs doing, physically in front of you, gives you so much more control over what you can get done and how and when you do it.

Don't Worry, You've Got This.
Don’t Worry, You’ve Got This.

What do you find helps you get stuff done? Are you a planner devotee? Or if you’re struggling, what do you find your biggest obstacles are? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!