Mar 12

Save the Date for This Weekend's Wedding Expo!

Little Woman Design will be participating in The "Brides and Grooms" Wedding Showcase this Sunday, March 17th at Talamore Country Club. This will be the third show we've done this year with The Bridal Event by Bouche Productions. As always, we are expecting this to be a great event! We'll be on hand to meet with couples to discuss their designs, review our samples, and chat about any questions they may have about their wedding stationery. While we have quite a few samples of our work featured in our online portfolio, couples who attend this show (or schedule a free consultation) will be able to see our latest designs before they hit the web! For more information about this show and to register for tickets, visit The Bridal Event's Talamore page

One of our most popular pieces is Francesca's custom-illustrated save the date! Based upon photographs our couples provide, these unique save the dates can incorporate their color palette, clothing, and any other design elements that are important to them! For a look at how closely these illustrations resemble our couples, be sure to read our blog by clicking here

While we have quite a few projects on our website, we hold many back until after our couples' events. However, after reaching out to one of our brides, she was happy for us to give our readers an early look at her save the date!

Shira and Terence are a fabulous couple that we are currently working with on their wedding stationery. Owner Randi Martin, of Always Fabulous Events, reached out to us back in the fall of 2012 to set up a meeting with us, Shira and her good friend and bridesmaid Tamieka. Once Shira saw Francesca's save the dates, she knew she wanted one to set the tone for their upcoming August 2013 wedding! While many couples opt for a two-sided, paper save the date, Shira asked us to print her design on a glossy magnet. We were so excited to send them out to her, and thrilled that she loved them! 

If you are interested in any of our products and services, schedule your free consultation with Francesca by emailing or calling 267-481-4093.

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Mar 04

Frequently Asked Questions at Wedding Expos

Little Woman Design was thrilled to participate in three wedding expos in the past two weeks! Over the weekend of February 23, 2013, we exhibited at the Main Line Bridal Event at the Radnor Hotel as well as The Bridal Event at The Philadelphia Racquet Club. On March 3, 2013, we had the pleasure of being a part of the Sixth Annual Gay and Lesbian Wedding Expo in Bucks County! At all three of these shows, we met with many wonderful couples who were not only interested in checking out our samples, but also had many questions about their wedding stationery and timelines. We've picked the most popular questions that we heard over these past two weekends for this week's blog!

  • When should we send out our save the date? The time that you send out your save the date is dependent upon what you're hoping to achieve, and when your wedding date falls. We typically recommend sending out your save the date 9 – 12 months in advance if you are getting married on a holiday, holiday weekend, or during the summer months. Many people make their vacation and holiday plans up to a year in advance, so it would be wise to send out your save the date sooner rather than later. Summer holiday season runs from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend. You should also send out your save the dates 9 – 12 months in advance if you are inviting many out of town guests. If you are sending out a save the date to set the stage and get guests excited about your wedding, you can send them out between 6 - 12 months in advance. 
  • When should we send out our wedding invitation? We normally recommend mailing out your wedding invitation 8 – 10 weeks before your wedding. Your RSVP date should be set 3 - 4 weeks before your wedding day as you will need to let your venue know as soon as possible your final head count. While you may not want to think about it, there will be some guests who you have invited who have forgotten to reply by the date sent. You will need to allow yourselves enough time to track these individuals down before letting your venue know.
  • How much does (fill in the blank) cost? While we have some basic pricing available on our website, there is so much variability in printing methods, paper stock, envelopes, and other materials, that it can be difficult to rattle off a price on the spot. Your quantity also will affect how much the total cost may be. The best recommendation we can make is to schedule a consultation with whomever you decide to meet with for your wedding stationery, be upfront about your budget (if you have one), and ask your graphic designer to make suggestions on how to keep you within the budget you've set for yourself. Several couples we've met recently wanted letterpress invitation suites. By being upfront about their budget, we were able to make suggestions on how to cut the cost of the suite while still having their wedding invitation suite letterpress printed.
  • On that note, why is letterpress printing more expensive than digital printing? Letterpress printing is not only laborious but requires the use of many more materials which contribute to the cost: 1. Metal or polymer plates need to be made once your design is finished. 2. Unlike digital printing, letterpress printing uses hand-mixed inks which correspond to the Pantone color swatches giving you a very close color match to your wedding color palette. 3. Normally, thicker paper is used to achieve the best impact of this printing. And, 4. Each invitation is printed one at a time. The combination of these factors increase the cost of the wedding invitation.
  • What wording should I use on my wedding invitation? During our consultations, we will ask the questions that will help guide the writing of your wedding invitation. Who is paying for the wedding? Is the ceremony and reception at the same venue? Is there a dress code? Are you doing a sit-down dinner or a buffet? These are only some of the questions that we ask during our consultations to aid us in determining what the best way to design and write your invitation will be. For instance, if the couple is paying for the wedding themselves, they are the hosts of their own wedding and the copy may be written as "The honor of your presence is requested at the marriage of …" If the couple would like to recognize their parents they may write "Together with their parents …" We are always happy to make etiquette suggestions and will ensure that your wedding invitation communicates all of the important information that is needed.
  • Where do I put my registry information? We strongly advise our couples NOT to put their registry information on their formal wedding invitation. It may be a matter of preference, but it detracts from what you are trying to achieve by inviting your guests! The main reason you are inviting them to your wedding is to help you celebrate, not because of the toaster they are potentially going to buy you. If you want to pass on your registry information to your guests, we recommend the following: 1. Have your bridal party spread the word. Or, 2. Set up a wedding website which includes further information about your wedding including registry information. We can design you either a separate insert card or a business card style wedding website card to communicate this information, if desired.

While these were the most popular questions we were asked, there are still many more that can be answered! If you have a question that you would like us to answer, please feel free to leave it in the comments section below! Or, set up a free consultation with Francesca by calling 267-481-4093, emailing us at, or fill out our contact form here.

Thanks to BG Productions for the photograph of us at The Bridal Event at The Racquet Club!

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Feb 28

In Due Time …

Every couple approaches their wedding planning in different ways. Some couples prefer to let a wedding planner take the reigns and plan each aspect for them, while others must stay in control of even the most minute details. As there are differences in the how every couple plans their big day, there's also many variations on the when you should accomplish different tasks in the planning process. And, the timeline for planning begins with the day that you get engaged—not when you announce your engagement to your family and friends—and ends with the wedding day itself. While this all seems obvious, it's worth remembering because time moves quickly and your big day will come up before you know it! 

Timelines are important to us here at Little Woman Design, and we have made it part of our process to develop a timeline for each and every one of our clients who want customized stationery. With every wedding and wedding planning experience being unique, it's difficult coming up with a one-size-fits-all timeline. However, we thought it would be helpful to offer our advice on when different pieces of stationery should be designed and ready to go. After all, it's great to dream of having a wedding theme that carries through your wedding, from the save the dates to the seating cards, but you may not be able to realize the dream if you wait until the month before your wedding!

We have outlined one timeline with both a 12-month and 6-month starting time. We certainly do not want to discourage couples who have less than 6 months until their wedding day, but we want to offer a realistic approach to planning your custom designed wedding stationery! The timelines we have developed assume that you want save the dates, wedding invitations, thank you cards, and other miscellaneous customizations. 

12-months/6 months: Interview and hire your Wedding Stationer/Graphic Designer. Your guests will need to know the details of your wedding: where is it, what are the menu options, how formal is it. Unless your planning on inviting your guests using Facebook or an Evite (but this is your once in a lifetime wedding, not a bar-b-que!), you are going to need to communicate these details to your guests! Some couples forget that it's just as important to meet and hire a stationer around the same time as your photographer, venue, or caterer. After all, it is your graphic designer who will carry your theme, color palette, etc. throughout the entire planning process and your wedding day. During your first meeting, you will also want to come up with a list of the printed items you need for your wedding day, so that your stationer can come up with a comprehensive proposal. 

6-12 months: Send out your save the date. There are several factors that go into when and if you should send a save the date. Most books and advice columns concentrate upon one—how many guests are you inviting from out of town? If you are inviting quite a large number of out-of-town guests who would need to make arrangements to get to your wedding, then you should send them out a year in advance. We are going to also advocate for another reason to send out your save the date early—when are you planning to get married? Are you marrying during the summer months when people normally plan their vacation time a year in advance? Are you marring on on a holiday or over a holiday weekend? In these instances, the sooner you send out your save the date the better! One final reason to decide upon sending out your save the date would be to do something fun and whimsical which you might not normally consider doing for your formal wedding invitation. 

6-9 months: Design your wedding invitation set. Would you like letterpress or digital printing? Embossed or engraved? 100% recycled or 100% cotton (also eco-friendly) paper? There are so many options to choose from, and it would be best to start early so that you get exactly what you want in a wedding invitation. As an engaged couple, you should be able to let your designer know what you'd like, and let them present to you the best way in keeping with your budget to accomplish it. 

4-5 months: Calligraphy. Yes, you can address your invitations yourself, but you're going to have enough to do in the months leading up to your wedding! Trust us, between addressing thank you cards and potentially save the dates, you will more than have your fill of writing out addresses. Nothing classes up an invitation set more than having calligraphy for at least your outer envelope. When your guests receive their invitation, they'll be wowed from the get go, and not likely to leave the invitation unopened on their hallway table. Outside of selecting different lettering styles, you can customize the color ink used as well. Imagine a black envelope with white calligraphy! Calligraphy takes time, so you should plan on getting your envelopes to your calligrapher around the 4 month mark to ensure that you have enough time. 

3 months: Send out invitations. Sure, you want to get your invitations out so that your guests can decide between the Surf and Turf or the Pan Roasted Wild Salmon. But the other reason you need to send out those invitations at the 3 month mark is so that you can have your RSVP deadline set to 6 weeks before your wedding. Why? You're going to need to know a total head count, and probably a count of the number of dishes as well to provide to your caterer or venue. But, it's not just meals that hinge on your final count! Table numbers, quantity of centerpieces, even the size of your wedding cake all rest on your final tally. And, no matter how much you will wish it is not the case, you will need to allot yourself enough time to track those stragglers down who haven't returned their RSVPs.

2 months: Thank you cards. While you may think you don't need your thank you cards until after the wedding, you will be surprised at how many wedding gifts you will receive before the wedding—even from guests who are planning to attend the big event! Getting your thank you cards early will mean that you can make a small dent in writing them out. One caveat: if a guest does plan on coming to your wedding and gives you a gift prior, it may still be a good idea to send the thank you out after the wedding so that you can include how appreciative you are of the fact that they attended your wedding.

3-8 weeks: Miscellaneous customizations. Whether you want a custom designed seating card, or one hand lettered, you won't be able to have them done until after you get your RSVPs as you will need to know both the names of the guests coming as well as the table number they are sitting at. Or, maybe you want tags for your wedding favors, a custom made footer for your photo booth picture, or your own personalized cocktail napkins. While the designs of these items should have been done weeks before this timeframe, you should be taking delivery of the majority of these items at least one or two weeks prior to the wedding day.

We hope these tips will help you with getting the wedding stationery of your dreams! While this may seem overwhelming, it is up to your wedding stationer/graphic designer to devise a timeline for you! It will help make this part of your wedding planning experience a fun and stress-free one!

Special thanks to Lynda Asprinio from Write Away for You for providing us with the calligraphy photograph used in this article, as well as being Little Woman Design's go-to person for our client's calligraphy needs!

Have a question about devising a timeline? Want to know how long it will take to have a custom illustrated save the date created? Post a comment below, or email us at francesca@littlewomandesign.comWe'd be happy to hear from you and answer any of your questions!

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