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Choosing your photographer

Choosing your photographer is one of the most important decisions in your wedding planning process. Months of work that you spent on planning and coming up with the vision for your wedding will be captured on “film” by this person, so you want to be sure that they understand your vision and document it the way that works for you.

The first step is to find local photographers that shoot in the style that appeals to you. The best places to start your search are local wedding magazines, websites, and blogs. Creative wedding magazines and websites like to publish beautiful wedding imagery and always credit the photographer. From there you can visit the photographer’s website and look at his/her other wedding images. The next step would be to reach out and see if they have your wedding date available and find out the cost of their services.

You might be tempted to hire an artsy, free-spirited photographer that has not ever shot weddings. Word of caution from the wedding planner’s perspective. Weddings are quite complicated events requiring heavy planning and timely execution on the day of, so hiring a photographer that understands that and has experience working under these conditions is pretty crucial.

The best wedding photographer is one that can be artsy and spontaneous but can also organize a large family shoot and get everyone smiling at the same time. Trust me, it’s not easy!

The next step is to meet with the photographer that you like in person.
This photographer will be with you on the day of your wedding, the day filled with emotions, occasional aggravation, some of your most intimate moments (seeing your parents when you just slipped into your wedding gown or a first look with your sweetheart) and you want to hire someone that you would feel comfortable with at any of these moments.

Choosing your photographer2020-05-30T21:16:52+00:00

DJ or Band?

When wedding guests talk about any wedding they attended they usually comment on three things: how lovely the bride looked, how good the food was and how great the music was.

The first decision you will have to make is to decide if you want a live band or a DJ. There are pros and cons to both.
Live Band:
A great band will bring any crowd up on their feet and to the dance floor and make your wedding unforgettable.

Look for bands with equally talented male and female lead vocals. You will want that variety because the music you will want at your wedding is meant to satisfy many varied tastes. The same goes for the number of musicians and instruments, more pieces in the band-the better the musical outcome.
However, you will need to budget significantly more money for a live band than a DJ, and not only for their services but also for tips and the cost of meals for the band.

Keep in mind, that each band has its own style and it will perform certain songs in that style. So if you want lots of Adele and want it sounding exactly like Adele, don’t expect the band to pull it off flawlessly (there is only one Adele).

DJ
If you are more of a music purist and want to hear music true to the original, then a great DJ is your best bet.
DJs charge less money (it’s typically 1-2 ppl team vs. 6-8 for the band).
Some DJs offer enhancements in the form of a live sax player or a drummer, to enliven the original tracks they are playing.

When it comes down to the choice between a band or a DJ it is truly a personal preference. Most of my clients knew right away which music entertainment they wanted. But whichever one you decide on make sure you get to see them performing live before booking. It is truly the best way to judge their performance and seeing if you and the performers have that chemistry.

DJ or Band?2020-05-24T19:24:49+00:00

How to start your wedding planning NOW

I know that times are uncertain at the moment, but being an eternal optimist I choose to focus on the positive and look ahead to the smell of sweet summer air, never-ending sunsets, and ice-cream truck songs.

If your wedding was postponed or you just starting to plan for your wedding in the future, read on for real-life tips for a fully online (aka quarantine) wedding planning. Yes, some of the wedding planning steps can be taken virtually. Today’s post is on budgeting and choosing a venue.

First things first

Budget right and choose your dream venue.

Talk to your partner and decide if his/her family will contribute and what percentage, then come up with a $ amount that you can and are willing to spend and also a buffer $ amount in case you want to upgrade certain things or services along the way (trust me it happens!)

Once you have that number, divide it in half, that’s the money that you will spend on the wedding venue (food and drinks, the cake is usually included as well, but if you want something unique and custom you will need to use some of that buffer money here.) Once you have your $ number for the wedding venue, divide that number by the number of guests you will be inviting. That’s your per person price. Now comes the fun part, start looking online for your perfect wedding venue, look for real customer reviews, real wedding videos, and photos, cost per guest (although these are rarely accurate when posted online they can give you an idea if the venue you are looking at is in your budget range). You can also use the app 360 Site Visit to tour some venues virtually.

I suggest making a spreadsheet with venue name, address, phone number, and space for your notes and questions to the venue rep. Then start calling or emailing. Here is what you ask them about: 

a) What dates do you have available? (in the season and year that you are looking for)

b) What is your minimum guest count on those dates? Sometimes Friday and Sunday weddings have lower guest count requirements. Early afternoon weddings (12 pm to 5 pm) are also cheaper and have a lower guest count than evening weddings (usually 6 pm to 11 pm).

c) Can I add menu enhancements in lieu of the possibility of not meeting the minimum guest count?

d) What is the price per person ‘plus plus’? (which means that price includes service charge and taxes-that doesn’t mean tips, those will be added on later)

e) Are there any other fees that might be required? (ceremony fee etc.)

f) Are outside vendors allowed? (some venues only use their partner vendors, which in itself might not be bad, but you can’t price shop and you will be forced to spend what they are asking for)

Once you have your sheet completed with all the details, you will be able to make a preliminary decision on which venue would make your heart skip. Give your dream venue a call/send an email and ask what would the next step be. Since we are in a social distancing, they should have a plan in place to possibly take a small deposit until you are able to see the venue in person.

Photo credits in order of posting: Cody Raisig, Samantha Lauren, Joseph Delgado

How to start your wedding planning NOW2020-04-10T17:45:01+00:00

We got some lovin!

We are featured on Wedding Chicks blog!

Click on the above link for a super informative article about us 🙂

See excerpts below …

Chicks, how many times have we made your eyes roll talking about our obsession with pretty paper? We get it, there are tons more to-dos for your event beyond your invitations – but those won’t matter if you don’t have something absolutely alluring to announce said special day. Now, we won’t say that who you invite won’t show up if they get a wonky invitation in the mail, but we can say that if what they get in their mailbox gives them 😍😍😍, they’ll be even more pumped to celebrate alongside you! We caught up with custom invitation studio, Pumpkin Coach Invites, to learn more about their couture suites, their creative tailoring, and their convenience – and we can confidently say that designing with them will be one of the best parts of your wedding planning process.

Yup, that’s right – their invites will [figuratively] drive your guests to your big day, because they’re totally enchanting. Once again, Pumpkin Coach offers couture wedding invitations that can be customized directly on their website using an easy and visual invite builder. Couples can choose from their beautiful predesigned invites and fashion them with personalized monograms, motifs, and embellishments, like one-of-a-kind jackets, tulle mesh overlays, ribbons, and unique envelope liners. They also offer complimentary design services for any client that wants something fully custom.

Speaking as a Jersey girl who literally lives just a few minutes away from Pumpkin Coach headquarters in the Garden State ((my family regularly goes to shows at Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn is seriously the sweetest, most bespoke town around)), I can honestly say that the small shop charm is every bit legit.

That ‘easy and visual invite builder’ is just that. Easy and visual. I felt like a true graphic designer and invitation couturier, and believe me, I have zero know-how in that arena. The site allows you to start from a gorgeous preset template – which includes an invitation card, response card, info card, plus RSVP and mailing envelopes ((starting at $7.99)) – and then go to town on all the could-only-be-you tweaks. I fell in love with the Paper Rose Invitation Suite, and then prettied it up even further with ribbon and an on-point envelope liner (added costs, of course).

At the end of the day, we all lead suuuuper anxiety-filled lives and wedding planning on top of that? It’s just a lot. That’s why an option like this is not only stunning, it’s stress-relieving. Imagine just getting home at night after a long day at work, uncorking a blissful bottle of red, and then sitting down to create with your PIC. The effect of the experience is like that of an adult coloring book, it feels artsy and creative and it calms the nerves. But this time, your work will go up on someone else’srefrigerator in the form of your tailor-made wedding invite.

Pumpkin Coach Invites founder and chief designer, Agnieshka Burke, might be an even bigger stationery enthusiast than we are!! Can you believe it?! Yes! She actually founded National Wedding Invitation Day, July 16th, to fete the designers and printers who put their passion into creating one-of-a-kind invitations for your most special day. Her thoughts are, “If you have ever been to a wedding, you were there because of one thing: the wedding invitation. These pieces of paper are prepared with love, thought, and care.” And we couldn’t agree more #recognize.

We got some lovin!2020-04-10T17:29:55+00:00

Have you heard the news?

We are the Official Founder of the National Wedding Invitation Day, to be Celebrated on July 16.

MILLBURN, N.J., Nov. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — If you have ever been to a wedding, you were there because of one thing—a wedding invitation. These pieces of paper are prepared with love, thought, and care. National Wedding Invitation Day is a day to appreciate the designers and printers who put their passion into creating one of a kind wedding suites. Wedding invitations are the first peek into the upcoming wedding day and a keepsake for the couple to treasure forever.

www.nationaldayarchives.com/day/national-wedding-invitation-day

Back in the middle ages, it was a custom for the town crier to shout from the rooftops announcing the wedding to whoever was within an earshot. Only very rich families would employ a local monk to handwrite their wedding invitations. It wasn’t until 1796 when Alois Senefelder invented lithography that wedding invitations started to become accessible to everyone.

Who created this day?

This day was founded by Pumpkin Coach Invites in 2019. Pumpkin Coach Invites is an online custom wedding stationery studio that has been creating one of a kind invitations for over 10 years. They create couture look invitations that are available to everyone by offering affordable pricing.

How should this day be celebrated?

Show your love of this unique art by sharing your one-of-a-kind paper wedding invitation on Instagram, #nationalweddinginvitationday.

Have you heard the news?2019-12-01T17:16:50+00:00

A little cheat sheet to your wedding invitation decision

You just got engaged. You are on cloud nine. You called your parents, texted your friends, posted your engagement photos of you and your new ring on Instagram. The next step will be to tell everyone else and that will most likely happen by mailing save the date cards first and the actual wedding invitation later.

Many couples choose fun, whimsical, unorthodox save the dates, even if their wedding is very formal. Rules for savethe dates are more relaxed and allow more room for creative expression.

Wedding invitations typically are expected to represent your wedding, so the more formal the wedding, the more formal and traditional the invitation.

Below see listed from most affordable to least affordable techniques used for invitation printing.

Digitally printed

Probably the most popular type of invitations, are also the most eco-friendly when it comes to the amount of paper being used for printing. Since the process is pretty straightforward (you send the file to the printer and the file prints as intended) it has less trial and error printing that can result in unnecessary paper waste, that is so prevalent in the other printing techniques. New digital printers are also very accurate in producing rich vibrant colors and printing light colors on dark backgrounds. Nowadays, there’s also a much bigger selection of digital papers being offered and one can choose from many novelty and luxury papers that were previously only available for higher-end print techniques.

There is a limit however to how thick the invitation can be since the paper is being fed through the machine, but many paper manufacturers offer double thick stock that is compatible with digital printers.

If you are looking for even heavier stock, you can choose duplexing, meaning gluing two pieces of digital paper together after the top piece has been digitally printed. If you really want to splurge, you can ‘edge’ the sides of your duplexed invitation with metallic ink or duplex it with a textured, novelty backing.

Thermography vs. Engraving

If you like the feel of raised printing that digital printing simply can not offer, you have the option of thermography or a more expensive engraving. Thermography combines offset printing ink with a powdered resin which is baked so that the

resin rises to give the ink a raised, textured effect. The invitation is first offset printed with a slow drying ink. Next, the printed sheets get dusted with powdered resin, the areas with wet ink soak in the resin, while the excess is vacuumed off. Heat is then applied which melts the resin to form a raised print.

Engraving technique utilizes copper plates that get etched with the invitation’s design. Ink paste is applied to the plate and then the plate is pressed into the paper in effect transferring the ink from the plate to the invitation.

The telltale sign of the thermography printed invitation vs. engraved invitation is on the back of the invitation card. An engraved invitation will have indentations from the copper plates being pressed into the paper, while the thermography printed card will appear flat on the back since no plates were used to deposit the ink.

Letterpress

Letterpress printing was the primary technique of printing since its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century and remained in wide use until offset printing was developed. This method is very labor-intensive, hence costly. Each color has to be pressed separately and requires a paper of a particular thickness and quality so the pressed design registers well.

Next time when you meet with your family to discuss your wedding invitations, you can charm them with your knowledge of printing techniques and be ready to explain why you are choosing a specific type of invitation.

A little cheat sheet to your wedding invitation decision2019-11-20T14:48:53+00:00