10 Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Stationer
We’re pretty much an open book here at Birdhaus Co. and we love sharing what we’ve learned over the years. Here are some important questions we think you should ask your stationer, or stationers that you are interviewing. And you’re in luck – we’ve answered them, too!
Will I need more than ordinary postage?
Why Ask? Depending on the overall weight and embellishments you choose for your invitation suite (that potentially add to the bulkiness of the piece), you will quite likely need postage that is beyond the “forever stamp.”
Birdhaus Response: We always weigh your suite when you pick up your invitations from our studio so you have a starting point. But we also highly recommend you have your postmaster weigh them and confirm before you stamp them all.
What is the best way to contact you?
Why Ask? There are so many different forms of communication — and many wedding vendors have their own preferences. Your wedding planner might be okay with texting but your photographer prefers email.
Birdhaus Response: While we love to get to know our couples well, we request that we keep it to email. To make our experience together the most efficient and professional, we find we work best when communication is consistent. With everything in our email inbox, we ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
When is payment due, how will you let me know and which methods of payment do you accept?
Why Ask? Again, all wedding vendors do this a little differently. Ask up front so there are no surprises later!
Birdhaus Response: We explain our quoting and invoicing process in our first meeting together. Spoiler: checks and credit cards are happily accepted ;)
If I want my invitations addressed with calligraphy, do you work with someone you would recommend?
Why Ask? This is a good question to ask because some stationers do this in-house, but many work with talented calligraphers that are specialists in one thing (calligraphy!) and do that really well. Ask this question early because it will affect the timeline of your addressing. Hand calligraphy takes time, care, and expertise.
Birdhaus Response: We are one of those stationers who partner with other calligraphers. We require an additional three weeks to your overall timeline to add the hand calligraphy service for addressing.
Do you have a portfolio I can browse through to get an idea of the style of your work?
Why Ask? If the company you are talking with doesn’t have a portfolio, chances are they might be new or inexperienced. That’s not necessarily a bad thing (we all have to start somewhere, right?) but you want to make sure your aesthetic and wedding style aligns with their design capabilities, and it might be challenging to do that without a portfolio. After all, your wedding stationery should be a representation of the wedding you are working so hard to plan. A portfolio is essential to see what you’ll be getting.
Birdhaus Response: We are super proud of the body of work we have grown over the last four years. We’d love to show you our work and find a piece that fits the style of your big day. And if it doesn’t exist already — we will make it! We are creators and designers and thrive on our custom project engagements.
How far in advance of sending out invitations should I place my order? How long does the design and printing process take?
Why Ask? Invitation timelines are a hotly-debated topic! Online wedding sources might tell you one thing, where your planner may say another thing, and your stationer, yet another! Get on the same page with your stationer as soon as you can! Ask earlier rather than later, even if you are still looking for your final vendor.
Birdhaus Response: If we are designing a custom invitation suite with you, we require 8 full weeks from signed contract to final approved design proof. Printing takes an additional 10 business days. If you choose a suite from our Birdhaus Collection, the timeline from contract to final approved design is 4 weeks.
What is your starting price point and what is included in this price?
Why Ask? Wedding stationery, like many other vendors in your wedding planning journey, have quite a range of prices. If you are willing to listen, your stationer (and other wedding vendors) will talk to you about their pricing. It doesn’t hurt to educate yourself on the “why” behind the price.
Birdhaus Response: Birdhaus Co. custom design engagements begin at $1,500 regardless of quantity of pieces needed. We have a few “whys” to share. First, we treat all of our projects with fine attention to detail and care. That takes time, allowing us to meticulously ensure the details are perfect. Second, we are professionals. Unlike some vendors who are “side-hustling” (and hey, that was us at one point in time), we have a full-time and two part-time design professionals working for Birdhaus Co. We have built a career in the graphic design field and have over 20 combined years of design experience. Ultimately, this ensures a better customer experience for you! Third, we pride ourselves on using the finest paper and printing techniques in the industry. Quality – in any industry – comes at a price (and for good reason).
Do you offer assembly and addressing services?
Why Ask? Because there’s nothing like getting your invitations back realizing you have to assemble them all yourself! Make sure you clarify if you are paying for assembly and addressing in your invitation package.
Birdhaus Response: We offer addressing as a component of the invitation suite in the vast majority of our quotes. Assembly is an additional service that we add on as optional. We strongly suggest our clients use our addressing service!
Once my design is complete, will I be able to see a proof before the invitations are printed?
Why Ask? Most stationers will require you sign off on at least a digital proof before everything goes into print production. Some sort of proofing process is essential for you and your stationer. Making sure they have a set process for this is important and will allow you to avoid mistakes and costly reprints.
Birdhaus Response: We provide digital proofs that must be approved by the couple before anything ever goes to print. We offer physical proofs for a small additional cost and added time to the overall timeline. Due to the nature of letterpress, foil and engraving, invitations with these special print techniques will not have a physical proof.
Do you only offer pre-made invitation items or do you sell custom designs?
Why Ask? Many stationers offer a selection of pre-designed invitations (spoiler: we do, too!) This might be a great question to ask if you are searching for bespoke invitations in a lower price point. You might spend your budget on a nicer finishing techniques such as letterpress or foil, but choose a pre-made design.
Birdhaus Response: We have been providing our Birdhaus Collection suites since we opened our doors in 2015. This has been a great starting-off point for design conversations with couples, as well as an option at a lower price point. We release a new pre-designed collection about once a year!