Mailing your Wedding Invitations

So you're wedding is around the corner and it's time to mail your invitations. You may have quite a few questions looming about how to finalize this important piece of mail so they safely arrive to your guests. Let me start by telling you that I have made plenty of mistakes in this realm. I mailed square envelopes with forever postage and failed to add additional postage. Some made it fine, other guests (yes, guests...face palm) had to pay the additional postage, and some were returned. I have since learned the ins and outs of mailing invitations, which I can help you with.

Take your Invitations to the Post Office and Speak to a Postal Clerk

When your wedding invitations are stuffed and sealed, I suggest taking one or two to a Post Office to tell you exactly how much postage you need to affix. This is a suggestion for whichever postage method you choose. Depending on how much your suite weighs, the size and shape, and whether or not it is machinable are all ways that change the postage price. If you commission JCE to add postage, purchase vintage or custom postage, I will take your invitation to the Post Office to confirm the *correct postage amount. Please note: Unfortunately, each Post Office works differently and sometimes employees have different opinions, so Jill Christine Events is not liable if the Post Office rejects the amount of postage on your invitations. <-- I understand that sounds scary. Most of the time, being proactive with your postage will not lead to an issue.

Hand Canceling

When it is time to mail your invitations, I suggest going to the Post Office during a time that may not be super busy. Avoid the lunchtime and closing time rush hours. Depending on where you live this may or may not be an issue. Personally, I would ask for them to be hand-canceled. This means that they will hand stamp your postage rather than feed it through the machine. The machines are not gentle, especially if you have a wax seal or ribbon inside the outer envelope. If the clerk tells you no, you can try another local Post Office or come back at a different time. If the person does not give you an answer you'd like to hear, try again. Be courteous and tell them you're mailing your wedding invitations. They may be more apt to hand cancel. It sounds like I'm giving the Post Office a bad rap but honestly, there is no consistency.

Vintage Postage

Vintage postage is such a fun way to add a special look to your outer envelopes. There are many Etsy shops that sell vintage stamps. You can search via color or theme, depending on the shop. I do offer the procurement of vintage stamps as an add on. I enjoy tracking down the perfect color palette to go along with your suite. I'm a huge fan of vintage so this detail is something I really enjoy. One of my favorite shops is Verde Studio. Vintage postage is the most expensive way to send your invitations. Securing the stamps cost more than going to the USPS and purchasing the current forever stamps. One way to minimize the cost is to purchase one forever stamp and add on the additional postage with vintage stamps.

Custom Postage

Custom postage is a great way to take elements from your suite and carry them through to the envelope. I offer this service in two different ways. I can create the graphic for you and you can order your postage through Zazzle or I can order the postage as part of my stuffing, stamping, and sealing service. Custom postage pricing is less than vintage but again more than USPS postage.

Current USPS Postage

Purchasing postage through the USPS is the most cost effective way to mail your wedding invitations. Currently, there isn't a "wedding choice" as there has been in the past. However, there are some pretty options depending on your wedding suite style and color palette.

Contentment Challenge 2017
 

Happy 2017!

I hope you spent your holidays surrounded by family and friends. We had a whirlwind of holiday cheer with family. It was a fun one. I wanted to finish my goals for 2017 prior to the first but that didn't happen. They've been on my mind but I haven't written them down, so here goes. 

In late 2016, I left my full-time marketing job to take this business full-time and stay home with my cute baby (that's what I call him). After a little adjustment time, I knew I wanted to set some big goals to focus on in 2017. 

When Kat from Dear Sweetheart Events announced she was doing a Contentment Challenge for six months, I immediately decided to join in. I love to spend money, hate budgeting, and couldn't tell you where it goes. However, luckily for me, my husband is a huge budgeter and very frugal but that's still not enough sometimes. It was a hard cold reality when I wanted to attend a workshop in Seattle that I couldn't afford because of my spending habits. I can no longer let a Sbux iced coffee and another pair of jeans or the home decor or the random Target purchases (the list goes on) hold me back from life experiences. 

A Contentment Challenge is learning how to be content with what you have along with being generous, showing gratitude, and freedom from the things that hold you back.

Guidelines

  • No clothes. absolutely none. This one is so so hard for me but I will not purchase clothes, shoes, or accessories throughout the entire challenge.
  • Starbucks is limited to 1 time per week. It used to be a daily habit when I was working. Then it became a 3-4 times per week habit. I like to work at Starbucks or other local coffee shops so when I can get out of the house to work, I want to have the ability to purchase a cup of coffee.
  • No new business investments. I will not sign up for anything business related unless by some miracle, I can go to the workshop in Seattle. That's it. No email service, workshop, online course, etc., unless it's free. I spend way too much on things that I don't need or never use. If I come across something, I will write it down on a wish list and save for it. If I still want it after I save, then I can purchase (after June 30).
  • No "wandering Target" purchases. We have Amazon Prime. I don't even need to go to Target. 
  • Stick to a weekly food budget. Look into using Peapod to help with this.
  • Create three achievable monthly goals prior to the first of the month.

Overarching Goals for 2017

  • Book 32 weddings and events.
  • Be present with where I am. If I'm working, focus on work. If I'm with family and friends, focus on them. I often get distracted by social media. I go to post and find myself scrolling. 
  • Drink 6 glasses of water per day. I currently drink maybe 2. 
  • Go to the gym at least four days a week. Spend one hour working out and one hour working in the cafe.
  • Volunteer for different organizations at least once per month. I volunteered for Feed My Starving Children in December and it was such a good experience.  

January Goals for 2017

  • Change my last name on my driver's license. It's ummm been 3.5 years. That's procrastination at its finest.
  • Start the Tone It Up meal plan again by January 17.
  • Get to inbox zero by the end of the month and keep it that way.
  • Create an editorial calendar that includes blogging on a weekly basis, social media, and continuing to grow my email list by sending out useful wedding and event content. You can be added to that list here.
  • Get finances in order. Create a plan. Learn and utilize Quickbooks.

This feels incredibly personal but without putting it out there, I won't do it. I am excited for a great year. There has been a lot of change and adjustment in my life since mid-2015 and I'm ready to get a grasp on all of the things that I have been procrastinating on but thinking about constantly. I am excited for a happier, healthier me and the ability to serve my clients in the most creative way possible. I will be blogging my progress once a month to share my updates.

Cheers to 2017.

 
Dreaming of Flower Crowns and Love
 
Photo by Kite & String Photography

Photo by Kite & String Photography

History

Flower crowns and more often crowns of greenery have been part of history since they were used in Ancient Greece to honor and show respect to the Greek Gods. They were also used as an award for victors to showcase their achievement. Flower crowns have consistently evolved throughout history. Today, they're oftentimes worn at music festivals and weddings. It's a trend to see brides and flower girls walking down the aisle doting a beautiful floral crown.

Vicky & Doug

When Geneva Walker | Kite & String Photography reached out to design a floral crown for Vicky & Doug's engagement photos, I was beyond excited. They had their photos taken at The Morton Arboretum, which is a beautiful place to experience nature, hike, take engagement photos, and more! I only briefly met these two and they were nothing but nice and so excited. Based on their photos, these two are so in love. Love is why I do what I do. I love working with people to celebrate one of the biggest days of their lives. 

FLOWER DREAMS 

As a florist, I get a little too excited when I get to design with some of my favorites. That list includes white Majolica roses, ranunculus, and wax flower. This combination are what dreams are made of. The wax flower is a unique small filler that offers a beautiful but muted color and texture. I love when Majolica roses open. They have the sweetest deep golden center. And ranunculus, need I say more? (Also, I know you're not supposed to start a sentence with "and.")

Let's adorn the world with flower crowns, ok? If you're getting married, let's talk about you and your fiancé and your wedding day. Learn more about Jill Christine Studio's floral design services here.

Photo by Kite & String Photography

Photo by Kite & String Photography

The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.
— Morrie Schwartz

All photos are courtesy of Kite and String Photography