The Penstroke Wedding Invitation Collection

After going back and forth in my mind about how i would like to be able to cater to my brides, I have decided that i will be creating a collection of designs for letterpress but without the custom fee. The production time will be the same, but you’ll have several designs in the collection to choose from just in case you don’t have your perfect vision already in view. So, come spring 2015, the Penstroke Collection of Wedding Invitations will be available for online purchase.

5 Common Mistakes Brides make ordering Invitations

OlusadaThere are a lot of things that can give a bride anxiety while planning her special day; the cake, the dress, the guest list, the venue, bridesmaids dresses, tuxedos, Floral arrangements, etc. and one of the big ones is the wedding invitation. The invitation encompasses the style of the wedding, the colors/theme, the feel, and what your guests should expect when they arrive. So with something so important yet so small, I want to highlight 5 of the most common mistakes that brides make when ordering their invitations. We all want less anxiety when planning such a significant event as a wedding,and if you avoid these 5, at least inviting your guests will be a lot smoother.

The Top 5 mistakes Brides Make when Ordering Invitations

5) Waiting too late to order

The #1 stressors for brides planning their wedding is time and money ($$$). Normally these two go hand in hand; the less time you have, the more money it’ll cost. Make sure you order your invitations at least 4-6 months in advance so you can send them out 2-3 months before the wedding. This is the best way to get an accurate guest count, avoid rush fees, spelling errors, and to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you want.

4) Taking too long to approve a design

With every invitation, each design is custom (at least the text is) simply because it’s designed specifically for Your Wedding. When your stationer sends you a proof, it is extremely important that you look at it thoroughly, proof read it, and reply back so that any necessary changes can be made and your invitations can stay on schedule.

3) Not Setting a budget

A very common misconception about invitations and stationery is that it won’t cost as much. In comparison to a lot of the other details that pertain to your wedding, yes, this is true; However, depending on what you like, your stationer, and the materials involved, your stationery can range anywhere from $300 to $2,500. Make sure to set a budget for your stationery and be up front and honest about how much you’re looking to spend.

Bailey-Wedding2) Not ordering enough

Please make sure to order enough invitations the first go round. It costs more to order extras after your initial order. **Also** Don’t forget your keepsakes! If you like to keep mementos, make sure to include them in your count.

1) Not Proofreading the Proof

This is the #1 most common mistake that I’ve found (I do try to catch grammatical & spelling errors in common words & phrases). The text of your wedding invitations and stationery is unique to your event. When you receive a proof from your stationer, please check, double-check, and triple-check your invitations to ensure that the wording is right, the spelling is correct, and that everything is to your liking. Once the design is approved and sent to press… That’s It!

I hope this little list will help to reduce some stress as you plan for your big day. Remember, the More time you give yourself, the less money it’ll cost. Happy Planning & Congratulations!

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How Much is Too Much to Pay for Wedding Invitations?

Good question. A lot of Brides who are just now starting their stationery search are seeing beautiful inspiration boards on Pinterest, gorgeous photo shoots on the knot.com, brides.com, and munaluchibridal.com, and have all these exciting visions of what their wedding invitations will be… but then reality sets in and the real question arises: How much is Too much to pay for my wedding invitations? I mean seriously, bridal magazines will give you THE MOST BEAUTIFUL inspiration you can imagine, but when you take it to your stationer & ask them “how much?” their answer just might leave you looking like…

shocked-face

So… what is a good price for wedding invitations?

Answer: Honestly, it depends on the stationer, their experience, the paper you’re using, the type of printing being chosen, and how many invitations you need. All of these factors are taken into account when your stationer gives you a quote on how much your invitations should cost. For example: My starting price for Letterpress Invitations is $365. This price includes (25-50 invitations, envelopes, the plate used to print your invitations, the ink used to print your invitations, the time, love and dedication to create a special design JUST for your wedding, and my expertise as a designer for over 10 years, plus shipping)

Now, if someone who you’ve never heard of with not much experience tries to throw a crazy number at you without asking what your budget is first… RUN AWAY!!!! A GREAT stationer who honestly loves what they do and is interesting in gaining your business will ask you a series of questions first before giving  you a price. Why? Because we want to be accurate, we want to be fair, and we as stationers want you to have the most fabulous wedding EVER!

Some ball park figures are:

  • anywhere between $300-$400 for up to 25 letterpress or engraved invitations
  • anywhere between $200-$450 for up to 25 foil stamped invitations
  • anywhere between $100-$300 for up to 25 flat printed invitations
Please note, these prices do not include layered invitations, additional colors, adding crystals or any other types of embellishments, these are just designed, and printed invitations with envelopes and maybe enclosure cards.

What should I think about when ordering my invitations?

  • Budget: How much are you honestly willing to spend
  • Type of Printing: What style of printing do you really want
  • Handmade: Are luxury invitations what i want or do i just want something Really Nice
  • Quantity: How many do i need (remember it costs more to order more, so make sure you get enough the first go round
  • Custom: Most Stationers design invitations especially for your wedding, do you want them custom or just a stock design with your name on it

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Call Me!

I would LOVE to be your stationer and can’t wait to get started. For samples, a free consultation, or to begin the beautiful journey into your wedding Stationery, give me a call!

240•812•9568

-Ash

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Buy One Get One Half Off Invitations-Monroe, LA

From September 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014 each Invitation Suite is Buy one get one Half off.

For Fall 2014, I’ve decided to change the special a little bit. I decided to change it up a bit because it’s getting chilly outside and even though it’s still warm here is Louisiana, that doesn’t mean the rates of the DJ’s, Venues, or Photographers are going to change either. So… with that said, I’m offering a BOGO deal until October 31st.

The offer is only good for the first order of invitations and you must purchase at least 50 invitations (2 suites) in order to get one half off. A letterpress suite in one color runs about $365 (design, print, shipping, assembly, etc) and then the 2nd suite of 25 would be $182.

You can have Luxurious invitations on a budget and no one will know except you and your wallet!

Call me today for your FREE consultation! 240-812-9568

-Ashlee

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White Paper for Invitations?… NAAAAHHHH

20140704_142907The Big Question for the Week.. Who said you can only use white paper for your invitations? Seriously… Who said? With all the choices of printing that is available now, Why choose just one color paper for your invitations, or better yet, Why choose just white?

Originally when i came up with this post, I was trying to think of which direction that I wanted to go in and decided that I’ll start here. I’ve been a graphic designer for the past ten+ years and my mind has been blown this past year with all the choices of materials that Brides have for their invitations and stationery.  Not only do you have beautiful pearlized “off-white” papers to choose from, but there are MANY beautiful colored papers that work beautifully with what ever your theme or color scheme happens to be.  IMG_20140408_193024

Some of the more popular collections/brands are Stardream by Gruppo Cordenons, Colorplan, and Shine by Reich Paper because of the large color choices that they offer, but if you’re more of a traditionalist Gmund, Somerset, and Crane’s Crest have some Beautiful letterpress and flat printing papers available.

One tip I have for all brides is this: Don’t let convention define your wedding or stationery. Be Bold, Be Daring, & Ask Questions.

When choosing a stationer, make sure to talk about your exact vision and what you want your stationery to say to your guests without writing it out. Check out the different paper options, and Most certainly ask for swatches.

Summer Special 2014- 50% Discount on Wedding Invitations

Letterpress PlatesFor the Summer of 2014 I’m having a special where the design fee for wedding invitations and suites is 50% off.

I’m building my stationery portfolio and I can’t do it without my amazing customers, That’s You! 

For the summer of 2014. I’m offering a discount on my wedding invitations by taking 50% off the design fee.

It doesn’t matter what type of printing, how elaborate the design or the quantity of invitations. Normally a letterpress suite of 25 wedding invitations with one color would run $386, but from now until August 31, it’s only $286, and a flat printed suite of 25 wedding invitations would normally run $295 is now only $195.

I Know how much wedding stationery and wedding invitations can cost so this special should help with some of the cost as well. If you’d like to see some of my past graphic work I’ve placed a few samples below.

The prices are for Invitations and Envelopes only. R.S.V.P. cards and other enclosures are available A la Cartè However the design fee for those is also 50% off. You could save as little as $100 or as much as $500 with this special, so don’t let it pass you by. Tell your friends, tell your friends to tell your friends because the special ends on August 31, 2014!

These savings won’t last long…

with this being peak wedding season, this is the perfect way to make sure that your stationery fits your decor, is stylish and unique like you, and doesn’t break the bank!

Give me a Call (240) 812-9568 or Shoot me an e-mail!

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GO BOLD!- Wedding colors aren’t just pastels anymore

In this day and age, blush, gold, ivory and white are all beautiful colors to have as your wedding theme, but Now a days. the Colors are getting Bolder and

http://scmedia.theknot.com/~/media/67B9ADBDD859412F96E4647D0A20E1F8.ashx

Another color scheme from theknot.com that was actually the inspiration for my own wedding!

I LOVE IT!

http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-colors/choosing-wedding-colors/articles/wedding-color-combinations.aspx?page=6

one of the color themes from The Knot.com that shows excellent execution of a vibrant color pallet.

You Should Go bold with at least one of your wedding colors. All of the wedding planners that I’ve spoken to believe that you can have a subtle palate and by adding just a POP of color, it can make all the difference. I recently saw an article on The Knot that proved my point & also gave me LIFE!. I mean basically it was the trend forecast for 2014-2015, and it showed that couples are becoming a lot more daring with their color pallet and making beautiful use of the vibrant colors around them!

When it comes to choosing your wedding colors, make sure that the colors/theme match you two as a couple; this day isn’t just about the bride, it’s about the groom too and it should reflect the both of you. I mean, with all the different ways that you can incorporate different colors into your special day, there are TONS of places where you can make your wedding more alive with color.

As far as the stationery goes, don’t think that you’re limited to white paper & colored inks; there are so many options now that the possibilities are endless. These summer wedding I’ve been seeing have been absolutely gorgeous with their deep jeweled tones, bright vibrant hues, and excellent coordination. I know you’ve probably seen these already while trying to figure out what you’d like to choose for your wedding, but these were too beautiful not to share.

You can view the entire article here on theknot.com.

Beautiful Wood Paper Wedding Invitations

IMG_20140412_181715So I’ve been playing around with some ideas (mostly in my head) when I discovered Wood paper not wood grained paper, but actual wood. It’s wood veneer sheets stacked together to create postcard thick cover stock. Now in the area that I’m in now, this is uncommon (which is exciting because i can bring it to new clients) and it’s pretty cool because the supplier that I’ve found has over 19 different types of wood to choose from. I’ve been able to play around with it as far as printing on it, but I really would love to do a burned impression in a letterpressed format or with white ink (see the post below about my dream printer). Anywho, check out one of my letterpress designs flat printed on birch. They’re Absolutely Gorgeous!

 

 

Graduation Season 2014: Custom Graduation Announcements

This year I was given the honor to design some graduation announcements for the class of spring 2014. I got the opportunity to design for one of my younger brothers (he received his master’s degree) one of my younger cousins (graduating from high school) and one of my cohort members who I would have been graduating with this spring (she received her master’s as well.)  For the most part, the designs were simple and elegant, yet they spotlighted each person’s personality and the real excitement that they had for achieving such a major accomplishment in their lives. Thanks Zach, Myleigh, and Crystal for allowing me to design and print these for you!

The Masquerade

Letterpress Invitation- A Specialty of Mine

Letterpress Invitation-

You all have waited and I’ve been SO excited to share this with you. This particular invitation is a letterpress invite. Printed on Black Touche` cover stock with Pantone Gold (872). The mask is a combination of stardream, Swarovski crystals (small and Jet Black), and Metallic Gold trim. This being my first Letterpress design, I wanted to capture the opulence and mystery of the event being that it’s a masquerade party, but still save the Masculinity of the event being that it was a birthday party for my client’s husband. The jet black crystals were used sparingly to give it that extra bit of sparkle without being overly done.

The Joys of White Ink

The Printer of my Dreams

Oh My GOSH!!! I’m Extremely Excited (and a little bit sad i might add) about this new printer that just hit the market recently.  The Geniuses over at mountaincow have introduced a high quality laser printer that prints WHITE INK!!!  Seriously; If you don’t know… Now you know!!!

Why am I excited you ask?

Well, the main reason is because Mountaincow just made it possible for us home based & small business stationers to cut out the middle man and offer this service at a much much lower price to our customers.

What does that mean to me as a bride?

Being able to print with white ink onto dark papers means that the color or hue of your invitations or theme is no longer an issue. If you want black or navy blue invites with the details in white, the card itself can be navy blue & it’ll look a lot more streamline and beautiful for you!

So… if it’s so great… why are you sad? 

I’m sad because as a brand new startup, i don’t quite have the capital to offer such a service until the summer of 2015 (the printer is $3,395.00 without the warranty) . However the time is coming soon when i will be able to offer such a service at a lower cost. but it excites me to know that now it’s possible!

If you would like to book an appointment with me to talk about your upcoming event, you can call me at 240-812-9568 between the hours of 9:00 am-6:00 pm CST, or you can book your appointment online through the website & the facebook page.  Serein Invites specializes in Letterpress, Engraving, and Specialty Papers.

Serein Invites Wins Top 50 in Mom Business Competition

Serein Invites Wins Top Honors in Mom Business Competition

Monroe, LouisianaMay 7, 2014– From among contestants across the United States, Serein Invites has been ranked #47  in StartupNation.com’s 2014 Top 100 Leading Moms in Business competition (www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business).

Hundreds of thousands of votes have been cast in the annual competition, and this year’s flurry of popular support of the 2014 Top 100 contestants was no exception. America has once again demonstrated its immense interest and supportiveness for moms building businesses as they also tend to their families.

“With startup rates at an all-time high, these leading moms are leading the pack in startup rates,” says Rich Sloan, chief startupologist and co-founder of StartupNation. “They’re going after their business opportunities and developing their innovative products and services with fervor,” Sloan adds.

“I’m so overwhelmed and excited about this honor. I’m extremely Thankful for the support I received throughout this competition.” The winner’s profile for Serein Invitescan be found at Startup Nation.com

The 2014 Top 100 Leading Moms in Business ranking highlights some of the dominant trends, motivations and attributes among moms in business. They include:

  • A great eye for providing attractive discounts, coupons, savings and value, all especially important to consumer moms of the recession era.
  • A likelihood to come up with innovative products and solutions to address the challenging maze of motherhood. It’s an environment that demands resourcefulness.
  • Conscience-driven business, where “doing well” is just fine, but the real rush comes from doing good.
  • The attraction of being your own boss looms large for moms wanting to take control they just can’t find in a day job.
  • Sustainable solutions and responsible business practices are increasingly paramount.
  • Making the most of social media for business benefit is seemingly a birthright for the socially adept moms.

The full results of the 2014 Top 100 Leading Moms in Business ranking are available on StartupNation’s website at http://www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business/.

 

About StartupNation

StartupNation (www.startupnation.com) provides over 100,000 pages of business advice and networking for entrepreneurs and serves millions of entrepreneurs annually. StartupNation is a service founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs with the intention of providing a one-stop shop for entrepreneurial success, including articles, community forums, blogs from a host of experts, radio show, award-winning step-by-step advice, and more.

StartupNation co-founders, Rich Sloan and Jeff Sloan, are two of the country’s leading small business experts. The Sloan brothers speak frequently at entrepreneurial forums and recently hosted a Public Television special helping people transform their passions into business opportunities. They are authors of StartupNation: Open for Business, published by Doubleday. The Sloan brothers are regularly quoted and featured in media such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune Small Business, Entrepreneur Magazine, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, FOX News and many others.

For Serein Invites, contact Ashlee Green at 240-812-9568 or ashlee@sereininvites.com