I love getting to know other colleagues in the Minnesota wedding industry and learning about the services they provide- all while being able to offer my bride's educational tips on wedding planning and recommendations of local wedding vendors. This month I reached out to Burnsville based custom wedding invitation designer Sarah of A Milestone Paper Co. to get the 411 on wedding invitations, design and etiquette! Be sure to check out their website for more information about the services and products they offer and follow them on Instagram to keep up with the latest and greatest!
How did you get started in custom wedding invitation design? I took a roundabout path to get becoming a designer. I have always loved design and sketching, but had never thought of it as career material. I think it seemed too fun to be a job. I became a middle school English teacher, but when our oldest son, Jack, was born I quickly found that I didn’t feel good about balancing teaching and parenting. I always felt that I was shortchanging someone. I took a leave from teaching to be home and eventually started dabbling in invitation design with my sisters. We noticed a mostly unfilled niche for great custom design coupled with hands on customer service to fit all budgets, so A Milestone Paper Co was born.
I’ve often heard guests say that receiving the wedding invitation in the mail gives them their first glimpse of the theme of the wedding and sets the tone for the event, would you agree? I definitely feel the invitations set the tone for the event, but there is more to it even than that. They also reflect the couple’s style and should give you a feel for their personality and the vibe of their wedding. We often include a little nod to something important to the couple - the city skyline, the shape of Minnesota, a sketch of a beloved pet…..
Can you explain the design process, what can a bride expect if she’s interested in custom invitations? It’s always our goal to make the process fun and easy, and often clients say they breathe a sigh of relief after our first meeting knowing that all their questions will be answered and they’ll have lovely, personalized invitations. It starts with a meeting at a coffee shop for local couples or by phone or FaceTime for those who live out of town. We talk about the wedding style and vision and then look through lots of invitations so they can show me things they like and don’t like. I take lots of notes and put all of our ideas together in a set of design ideas sent about a week after our meeting. We then start the fun process of revising to perfect the design.
For a bride that want’s to be eco-friendly but still follow traditional wedding etiquette of sending out paper invitations in the mail, what options do they have? In addition to offering recycled paper options, we often suggest sending a reply post card rather than a card/envelope to save on the envelope stock. We also have many suites that combine information onto just two cards rather than the three plus cards traditionally used. Finally, some couples are sending a beautiful paper invitation, but utilizing an online RSVP option to save the paper in that way.
When should a couple send out their wedding invitations to guests? Invitations are sent out about eight weeks ahead of time unless it’s a destination wedding. In that case, they would go out about 10-12 weeks ahead of time.
Do you offer assistance in mailing the invitations suites, such as figuring out postage, purchasing stamps etc.? Most couples pick up their invitations from me ready to stuff, seal and send on their own. I do offer mailing services as well though. I’m also happy to weigh the invitation suite to help in determining the correct postage. For couples who would like to include custom postage I’m happy to create the design and order the postage.
Why should a couple invest in custom wedding invitations? The custom process has two important benefits. First, you will end up with designs that are a perfect reflection of you and your style – no settling. And, just as important, you’ll have help every step of the way with questions, etiquette, and advice. We always aim to be a sweet spot in the wedding planning process.
A special thank you to Sarah for sharing her knowledge of custom wedding invitation design and sending us fabulous samples to photograph!