Posts Tagged ‘Invitations’


Should I “DIY” my Wedding Invitations?

February 10, 2017

As couples work through their list of wedding plans, they often find it necessary to pick out certain items and projects to tackle on their own. Understandably. Perhaps because they can’t find what they’re looking for, or more so, because after awhile it becomes WAY too expensive to purchase every little thing “ready-made.”

So what about your wedding invitations and stationary?

As a graphic designer, I work with bride and grooms all the time who come in wondering about professional invitations vs the process of DIY. Because I’m a designer AND a crafty person ((who LOVES to DIY)) I can usually help them sort the pros and cons pretty quickly. This short blog is the process I go through with my clients to hopefully help YOU decide your best option, as well!


The very first question I ask couples is what their weekly schedules are like. If you’re someone with a full time job, lots of hobbies and\or a busy home life then “DIY invitations” are likely not for you. Like starting anything from scratch, it takes up a ridiculous amount of time. So if you can’t do the time, don’t do the craft!

Even with a light – moderate schedule it’s important to consider the amount of time you have before you need to SEND your invites. Typically invitations should be to your recipients no later than 3 months before your actual event. Decide if the amount of invitations you can get done {daily\weekly\monthly} will produce the amount you need and still be done in time to mail.

If you only have a few months to produce 100+ invitations it’s probably best to leave the designing and printing to the pros, and focus your attention on other details. That close to the wedding it’ll be nice to have extra time for “emergency planning” situations that may arise, instead of still worrying about such an important aspect of your event.

Before I start any craft, I like to consider my attention span and patience. If you need more than 100 invitations ((plus RSVPs, ceremony programs, or additional stationary for wedding info)) the process of creating them is going to become monotonous, boring and even frustrating. Resulting in the potential of your invitations becoming sloppy, in-cohesive, or worse, not done! Save yourself the frustration when the quantities become very high and avoid DIY.

Sometimes we like to fool ourselves into believing that DIY is always going to save us a buck. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Buying all the individual materials can quickly stack up your bill! Especially because you’ll want good, “sturdy” materials to keep them together. So the next thing you know you’ve spent $150 on craft items and a new $200 printer, when you could have potentially found a professional option for less than $100 and no hassle.

Before you dive in, list out all the materials you’re going to need to buy to get the job done RIGHT. Not to mention, the real possibility you may make a mistake at some point and have to redo something – requiring extra materials and money. Compare the cost of materials vs. the cost of having them professionally made. The outcome may just answer your question for you.

Lastly, I like people to consider how much of a “perfectionist” they are, as well. That sounds silly, but it goes two ways.

One, depending on the style of invitation, it’s reasonable to guess your 80th invitation may not be as perfect, or as exact, as your 1st. Which may just drive your OCD over the edge.

Two, on top of inconsistency, it’s important that your invitations don’t fall apart before your guests get them. Which means no cutting corners when you’re getting burned out, or run out of glue, so you start using tape. If they fall apart, your money’s down the drain and your chairs at the wedding are empty.

In the end it’s a commitment that must get done. If you’re up for the challenge gather as much help as possible and get started as early as possible! If you’re not up for the challenge (IT’S COMPLETELY OK!!) just put the craft scissors down and walk away!


Did I get you towards your decision, or are you still unsure? Whether professional or craft questions, drop them in the comments and I’ll give it my best!

If you enjoyed this post, remember to follow me here on WordPress by blog or email. Plus, hit “LIKE” on the Facebook page for a regular feed.

On the off chance you now need invitations, check out my online store (more designs on the way) by clicking here —> {SHOP} OR contact me to start a custom project! Until next time…

Happy Creating!



When to Self-Print vs. When to Professionally Print Custom Invitations

June 28, 2016

It’s no surprise that weddings, or really any planned party event, can quickly become expensive. It’s also no surprise that invitations are one of the required expenses in order for people to show up! I always have clients looking for ways to make sure their invitations look amazing, while not having to sell the house, car, or labra-doodle to do so. But where do you draw the line?

Invitations come in so many options today and can be presented in about 1000 different ways from informal to formal. Regardless of your style, invites shouldn’t have to break the bank. After all, while they are definitely high on the list they are not the only important expense. Obviously, in the end it will be up to the host to decide where to spend their budget and how much they are willing to spend to get what they want. However, from a professional designer, here’s a few general tips on where to open the wallet vs. where you might save a buck:


Image and Design © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY

Image and Design © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY



YES! Hands down, always professionally print the invitation. An invitation, no matter what style, is formal by nature and should be treated as such. Often it will be kept by your close friends and family, or at the very least, displayed on their fridge\message board for a significant amount of time. Plus, it has all the most important info your guests need: who, what, where and when!  Plus, most (not all but most) professionally printed items add a “coating” over the printed side. This helps make the invite resistant to scratches, scuffs, spills and etc. All things that could effect how the item reads if something happens. So plan to spend the money to make sure they are quality pieces that will last and withstand being mailed.



The RSVP is equally as important as the invite, but this time it needs to be able to get back to you in one piece. So again, plan to have this professionally printed. You will be expecting your recipients to respond with their answer in order for you to effectively plan your event. Like the invitation, professional printing will help to ensure your paper is quality to go through the mail (twice) and still be legible when it gets back to you.



Typically I urge these to be professionally printed if they contain a photo. However, this can be a coin toss for the host.

If there is a photo, often times your recipient will keep it! After all, you chose a design that incorporated an image for a reason. It might as well look nice and be durable. On the other hand, while save the dates definitely serve their own purpose, it doesn’t have ALL your event’s info so it will likely get tossed once the invitation arrives. Making this is one of those budgeting decisions for the host!

Save the Date | Product Photo & Design are © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY

Save the Date | Product Photo & Design are © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY



Don’t feel guilty if you skip the professional printing here. Unless you have an extremely unique invitation set that can only be matched by your professional’s set up, it’s a great idea to print hotel info, reception directions and registries yourself. These items are meant to be functional rather than a formal keepsake. More than likely your guests will be stuff registry slips in their purse or wallet to go shopping, hotel info will be reiterated to them once they book, and most will likely transfer addresses\directions to their personal devices for future reference. Therefore, these items serve a short lived purpose. So whether they are professionally designed, or your own creation, save a buck and print these simply and efficiently!


Thank you all for reading and please drop any questions, concerns or comments below! Follow Noel Photography & Design here on WordPress by blog or email, and be sure to give the Facebook page a “LIKE!”

Happy Creating!



You’re Hiring a Graphic Designer…Now What?

January 12, 2016

Let me start off by saying, “I LOVE working with clients.” I love the people who drive me, give me opportunity for success, and most importantly, make my job……well, a job.

So while in many ways sharing this information does help the designer, my intention here is to further the client’s understanding of the method behind the madness. To really put your mind at ease about what will come next when you choose a professional designer, (besides greatness of course!) I mean, let’s face it. Hiring a designer for the first time can feel like an expensive gamble!

While I can only guarantee the following content is what goes down after hiring me for a job, I’m sure many designers will be, (or if we’re being confident about it, SHOULD BE) similar.

Alright, so you’re going to hire a designer, here’s what’s next:


© Noel 2016



I put this first because it’s something both parties need through the entire project process. Simply put – design is hard! Have you ever played the game where you draw on paper what another is describing with your eyes closed? That is what being a designer is kind of like. It sounds terrible, but don’t get me wrong, designers LIVE for those types of challenges.

We just have to ask for you to be patient with us, and we will do the same for you. Like the game mentioned above, we are trying to make a masterpiece from a mere “thought pebble,” or trying to extract an already completed masterpiece from your head and put it on paper.

Talk about a challenge! Which brings me to my next client tip…



It’s not as scary as it sounds! This may actually go down multiple times throughout a job. Usually once in a consultation before the project starts, and again after each draft, or before the final. Either way, its not a test! I can assure you these are questions you will know, or at least have an opinion about.

After you’ve given your description of the project, an artist may still need more to build the picture in your head for ourselves. The more questions you allow us to ask, the closer the drafts will be to what you were imagining. Often making for fewer revisions and faster completion. These are just a few questions you may hear along the way:

  • a) Any color schemes you’d prefer?
  • b) Size specifications?
  • c) What styles\themes do you like?
  • d) On your examples, what parts do you love? What parts do you hate?

The list goes on and on, and will change throughout the process. If you just plain don’t know on some of the questions – that’s ok too. After all, as the professional we are here to help. Most the time the questions you don’t know will quickly become apparent after the first draft.

There is only one tip I have for clients with absolutely no idea on what they’d like for their project:

“If at all possible, allow a little extra time and\or money to make room for trial and error. It isn’t a matter of IF we can create something you’ll love, but when there are no guidelines, design concepts and revisions could literally be endless.”

Public Domain Image

Public Domain Image



My only end goal is for you to walk away happy, with a quality and successful finished project. Plain and simple. To achieve that, however, expect nothing less than honest communication – from both of us. You likely hired a professional for one main reason:

“You wanted/needed help , and you’re looking for someone with expertise to do so.”

As a client you will want to give your honest opinions of my work, which I need and appreciate. Likewise, I will need to be able to speak to you honestly about your ideas and concepts. It is never my intension to be rude, mean, or talk you out of something you love. Rather, I will always give feedback about your ideas because its my job.

It is my job to try and catch any “red flags” before, or during the design process. If I can be open with you about it, it prevents problems, design flaws, or even costly mistakes. In the end, the famous line I tell every client is,

“I will give you my professional advice, because its what you’re paying for, but its up to you whether you take it to heart, or with a grain of salt.”



Every company and freelancer operates with their own process, so it is here that I speak mostly for myself. First, in general terms, all companies have a “design, revise, deliver” set-up of some sort. Often with their own regulations on money deposits, how many concepts and revisions they offer, how they deliver the final work, and of course, final payment.

For me personally, I like to keep things as simple and clear cut as possible, while still meeting all the needs of my client. Often this means providing different service options with various “price points.” Allowing clients to choose a budget and design process they feel works for them.

Public Domain Image

Public Domain Image

Like all companies, I have rules I follow for payment, delivery and such, but I try to make my services flexible enough for any potential prospect.

Now I ask, does hiring a professional designer seem as scary? I hope not, because we rarely bite. If anyone has any questions they can think of about hiring a designer, I would love to give you my best input. Just comment below!

To get more updates from Noel Photography and Design, follow me here on WordPress by blog or email, and be sure to hit “LIKE” on the Facebook page for posts, offerings and everything creative!


Happy Creating!



Website Updates: Freelancing, Online Ordering and Printing.

April 29, 2015

© Noel Design

It has been an exciting month of April for Noel Photography and Design, and while it’s still a working process, the last few weeks have brought many new features to the site! The first change, was creating a more detailed list of freelance services (pictured below.) But of course new challenges are always welcomed!

© Noel 2015

© Noel 2015



One of my main goals, as a graphic artist, was to make getting designs an easier, more efficient, and inexpensive process. To do this, I have set up an online store, harboring ready-made designs in several different categories, including:

Wedding Invitations, Save the Dates, Special Occasion Cards (Graduation, Baby & Holiday), Posters, Book Covers, Stationary Sets and Advertising materials. (Those without links are coming soon!)

Find A  Design

© Noel 2015


In addition to the online store, I have set up the process so designs can be purchased as digital files, or printed items. This allows clients to print their own design, or select cost efficient printing through Noel Photograph and Design. (CLICK HERE to view some popular printing choices from my site, and a list of products available for printing.)



To further expedite the process, ready-made designs can be ordered simply with the design order forms. Doing so allows clients to browse designs, then place the order immediately after choosing.  Eliminating the time-consuming hassle of too many back-and-forth phone calls, or emailing.

© Noel 2015

© Noel 2015


After the order form is submitted, it will be reviewed, and a final bill/confirmation email will be sent within 24-hours. From there, most design include one revision, and will be delivered, or sent to the printer after payment is made!



Who doesn’t like to save a little money?! Special offers and discounts are offered on my services from time to time. Visit the Freelance Page often to find new offers!

5 Bride

Example Offer © Noel 2015

© Noel 2015

Example Offer © Noel 2015


There you have it, an entire months worth of updates in one blog post! There is definitely something for everyone, so be sure visit the website at:

Follow me here on WordPress, and LIKE the Noel Photography and Design Facebook page for more updates, and upcoming offers.

Happy Creating!


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