By Southern Fete - TheWeddingShoebox.com
When I first started out as a wedding planner, I would take brides to look at invitations and there was always sticker shock when seeing the prices. I’ve learned since, what makes up these prices and ways to keep them down as much as possible. There are two options when ordering paper products.
1. STATIONERY SHOP – What you are paying for when picking a design from a local stationery shop with lots of books is the variety. If you’ve ever been shopping for stationery, you know these shops can have 30+ books each with 30 or more designs. The options are endless. Because the shop is not limited to an in house designer, they can carry tons of different lines. The price paid for this is usually double the wholesale price. But without them purchasing the books and making them available to brides, you wouldn’t have access to them. How to get the most? Utilize their resources to find exactly what you want. If you are picky but not hands on, this is a great option. It is a little less involved. Once the information is provided to the stationery shop, there is little left to do but pick them up when they come in.
2. STATIONERY DESIGNER – What you are paying for when working with a stationery designer is customization and direct communication and time with the designer. The process can be a bit more involved. This is a great option for those who may be more visual. Sometimes seeing what you thought you wanted is needed to decide on it. Being able to change your mind after beginning the process is possible when working directly with a designer. Most offer several rounds of revisions available to do any tweaking as you see proofs. How to get the most? If you’ve looked for the perfect invitation and can’t seem to find it, a designer and combine elements you may have seen or create a completely custom design for you. Along with these custom options, usually is a font library of tons of options. I can’t even tell you how much I’ve spent on fonts in the past few years BUT it adds value to the products I offer.
3. For both options, a big factor in price will be paper and print quality. The process of letterpress is extremely time consuming and is done by hand. You can expect to pay between $3-$10+ per invite for a letterpress invitation. The quality is top of the line. Flat printing is the least expensive because it is done by a machine instead of by hand. Ask to see options for the type of printing and paper you will be using to make sure it meets your expectations.
Questions to Ask:
What are customization options?
What does the process look like?
How many invitation designs do you offer?
What is the paper or print quality?
I’ve learned so much watching some of my favorites in the local industry. I dabble in florals but there is SO much more that goes into even a simple bouquet then I realize.
1. Before the wedding day, florists meet with the bride to discuss their vision. Many times, it doesn’t end when the meeting ends. They’ll search for the perfect vases or come up with custom designs. They spend a good deal of time finding the perfect flowers or products to incorporate. A week or two before the wedding, orders are placed for the flowers and when they come in the real work begins. Flowers are removed from the boxes, stems cut, petals opened. Sometimes this process even involves dying. Then they begin assembling. Flowers are so fragile. For many florists, ensuring a bouquet stays perfect for hours of heat and holding means wiring each flower in the bride’s bouquet. Along with the cost of the actual cost of the flowers is the obvious cost of labor as well as supplies, like ribbon, floral tape, etc.
2. On the wedding day, deliveries are made before the wedding. Depending on the ceremony site, there is very limited time for the florist to set up. They’ve got to have prepped everything to ensure they can get in and get out in a very short timeframe. For many florists, their day does not end once items are dropped off. They may need to wait through the ceremony to transport flowers to the reception as well as come at the very end of the night to get vases. And once again, florists normally work every single Saturday. I have so much respect for that!
IN MY OPINION – Over the last few years I have seen all vendors raise prices, some very drastically, along with their cost of goods, etc. Florist seem to be the only ones that have not raised their price much, if at all. Part of this I’ve heard comes from everyone’s assumption that flowers are already seen as higher than normally expected by clients. Some florists may be afraid to further alienate clients. BUT the fact is, their cost of good, especially flowers are raising. Brides, remember if you are booking a traditional flowershop, instead of ordering flowers online, their products are top of the line as well. In your head, you may do the math. 10 packs of a dozen roses from Albertson’s is $100.
Questions to Ask:
What flowers fit your budget based on a color scheme not type of flower? (Orchids & peonies are pricy. $35+ a stem sometimes. )
What size are bouquets? Centerpieces? Etc. Slimming down the same version can save.
Taia Younis of Inspired Occasions founded her wedding and event planning business on the sheer pleasure of making a bride’s fairy-tale come true. Creating fairy-tales is a business that is very personal for Taia, so when a bride comes to her with questions, she answers with the honesty and guidance of a best friend. A common question Taia handles is whether or not a bride should pursue hiring a wedding videographer. The wedding professional uses her personal experiences to provide 5 key reasons every bride needs a videographer.
1. NO REGRET
“I hired a wedding videographer for my wedding 15 years ago and it was the best decision I ever made,” said Taia. Planning a wedding gives Taia the satisfaction of attending to every detail allowing the bride to enjoy the biggest day of her life, so you can imagine how much Taia hates to see a bride return with the regret that her memorable wedding went undocumented by video. Taia uses her own personal experiences to encourage her brides to move forward with a videographer. “My mother and I actually got into a huge argument over hiring a videographer when I was planning my wedding. Back then it was more of a luxury than now. Having a video was not common.” Despite her mother’s resistance, Taia went forward with a video, a decision she never regretted. “Today we still play that video, there are details about my wedding I will never forget because of it.”
2. HEARING IT ALL OVER AGAIN
Video provides something photographs cannot. “I was at a wedding and a little boy wanted to get up and toast the bride and groom,” explained Taia. “So when he got up there he started to sing his A, B, C’s. It was adorable. The photographer had the images, but no one had the ability to hear his voice ever again during that moment. There was no video. ” It was something the bride and groom lost out on and could never recreate. Audio details can quickly fade from memory and video allows couples the chance to hear it again for the first time.
3. SEEING WHAT YOU MISSED
“You are the last person in the room when you are the bride,” said Taia in regard to the ceremony. “You don’t see the way your grandparents looked when they were seated or the way your bridal party looked when they walked down the aisle. You miss all of that and video lets you relive it and see it all happen.” Taia understands how much money and planning goes into making the day just perfect, “and then it all goes by in such a blur.” Taia explains to brides that they can only be in one place at one time. “So many details and people are at a wedding, you can never experience it all as the bride, video gives you that experience.” The reception afterward is a time where the videographer catches brilliant moments and heartfelt imagery. “The party afterward is always great,” laughed Taia. “There are so many fun moments and there is no way you can see them all, a videographer catches what is happening when you aren’t around and it’s great to go back and watch all that.”
4. AN HEIRLOOM
A wedding is a gift that a bride can not only give herself, but her family and future children as well. “When we hired our videographer, my children weren’t even a thought. But, now my children can be guests at my wedding. They can see what their dad and I looked like 15 years ago, they can feel the emotions of that day and hear the things that were said. We have watched it many times together,” said Taia. The wedding video will remain in her family as something that can be passed down. The video also has the potential to serve as a living memory for those who have passed on. It gives family a chance to see and hear those people again. In the future it’s a chance for grown children to go back and look at themselves at a time when they were young. It simply provides a way for time to stand still and give family a chance to reflect and remember.
“A video is a long term investment you pay for now and enjoy 15-20 years down the line,” said Taia. “It’s all a part of your story.” The investment can be made at various levels and Taia often guides brides to a videographer that is right for them. “There is a videographer out there for everyone and their budget. I just encourage brides to have a videographer, whether they want all the bells and whistles or they don’t. A wedding should be documented outside the two dimensional world of photographs.”
Bridal Tip: Hire a videographer! “I truly think it is a shame if a bride decides not to hire a videographer, the memories fade, but they don’t have to if they are captured in video.” – Taia Younis, Inspired Occasions.
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