10 Minutes With: Christine Traulich
Founder of RedBliss Invitation Design
Find out what’s hot in the world of wedding invitation trends for 2012 (hint, something shiny!), how to cut costs on your own paper suite and what every couple should know if they decide to go DIY for their wedding invitations.
When it comes to the world of paper and weddings, there are options aplenty. It’s so boundless, in fact, that determining what’s right for you and your own wedding can be a little daunting. Do you need place cards and escort cards? How about all those wedding invitation inserts and other ancillary pieces that may look great but also cost extra?
We sat down with Christine Traulich, Creative Director and Founder of RedBliss Invitation Design to pick her brain about the intricacies of invitation possibilities.
Tell us about your design process. How do you work with the bride and groom to design the right invite for them?
It starts with an in-depth phone call or in-person meeting with the bride and groom (and sometimes the event planner) where we ask a series of questions to better understand their style and vision for their wedding day. We also ask them to share any images they have collected to help them realize this vision…either through online inspiration boards or magazine clippings.
Then, we share a variety of our custom invitation designs to help hone in on their likes and dislikes and to use as a foundation to begin the design sketches. We prepare three custom concepts for consideration and collaborate together to fine-tune the winning look. The entire process can take anywhere from 5-8 weeks and the end result is an invitation suite that is unique and meaningful to the couple.
What would be helpful for brides and grooms to know or have with them before a design consultation?
It’s always helpful to know if they have a preferred color scheme or if they are looking to us to help them develop one. We also love any eye candy they want to share that best illustrates their style. We tend to inquire about their fashion, interior design and other design choices outside of their wedding.
As much as we want to find out what they love, we also really want to understand what they dislike as well. It’s also nice to have an idea of how many invitations are needed and what types of inserts they require.
What are the new paper trends you see happening with wedding stationery for 2012?
- Metallics! Achieving this look through metallic inks or foil is a fabulously modern detail for a sophisticated invitation design.
- More metallics! Use unique materials that provide the shine and glamour of metallics. Printing directly onto a beveled mirror is an uber-elegant yet unexpected and unique invitation design.
- Custom envelopes and custom liners. Invitations are bulkier and bigger today and thin paper envelopes are often unsuitable for the best protection and presentation through the mail. We often design custom envelopes with a gusset and/or from heavier-weight papers to better withstand the postal system. In addition, this allows for special die cut flaps and printing on the envelope. Also, rather than opt for common tissue or pre-printed papers, many of our clients have us create a custom envelope liner that may involve creating a pattern, using a unique presentation of their monogram or designing an illustration.
- RSVP by Email. More and more of our couples are including an email address on their response card as an alternative way to RSVP. It offers a modern convenience to couples and guests.
- Cobalt Blue. This color is gaining big momentum right now. It is especially well-suited for pairing with metallics.
Printed materials are going beyond just the invitation and save the dates. What do you think are must-haves for any bride and groom?
The #1 essential is a printed invitation. It is the one piece every single invited guest will see. And it really does influence the tone of what everyone can expect on your wedding day. From there, here’s what I’d recommend:
- Simplify the program. I think it’s important to honor and identify the people in the wedding party and to call out meaningful passages or songs. This can be achieved with a simple card vs. a lengthy booklet, saving on costs.
- Opt for escort cards or place cards (but not both). I think everyone loves to see their name presented in a beautiful way. And it adds a personal touch for each guest to enjoy. Plus, it shows your guests you carefully thought about who will enjoy each other’s company most. If you are having a wedding of 50 people or less, go with a beautiful place card and skip the escort cards.
- Lose the menu. I love the element of surprise when attending a wedding and I think it’s fun to sit down to dinner and wait with anticipation what you will be served. I would personally skip the menu. But make sure servers inform guests of vegetarian alternatives and inquire about food allergies.
- Skip the favor tags. Guest favors are a widely recognized tradition and seen as a token of appreciation from the bride and groom. It is unnecessary to add a tag with your names.
- Thank you cards are a must. Please don’t skip this one and please don’t send an email. As much as the invitation is the perfect start to your celebration, a thank you card is the perfect ending.
If a bride could only choose one special adornment/embellishment to make a pre-made or template invitation stand out, what would you recommend?
An invitation “jacket.” Wrap your invitation suite in a beautiful laser cut wrapper or slip it into a monogrammed sleeve. It presents a pre-made invitation in a personal and unique way.
What's your favorite font?
This is an ever-changing answer. Right now, I love the modern elegance of “Quicksand,” the rustic beauty of “Strangelove” and the old-world calligraphic charm of “Meddon.”
Tell us one piece of advice you'd give to brides and grooms who are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the options.
Decide on one thing about your invitation that is important to both of you. This might be the color, the materials, the printing method…Whatever it is, let this guide your decisions. Make this one thing mandatory and you will immediately filter your options.
What are five ways brides and grooms can cut costs on their wedding invites?
- Opt for matte thermography. It is one of the least expensive forms of printing but has the look and feel of engraving. Is has come a long way from its “shiny” plastic-looking predecessor. And you’re not limited by patterns or complexity, which is often the case with engraving.
- Use a bellyband for your inserts rather than a pocket. Keeps everything neat and in order without the added cost, bulk and weight of a pocket.
- Consider a response card that lists an email address and/or phone number to RSVP and avoid the cost of a reply envelope and return postage.
- Skip the directions card. Print the street addresses of your ceremony and reception locations on the invitation--most people will use their GPS systems, cell phones or Google maps to find their way anyhow.
- Use computer calligraphy to address your envelopes instead of handwritten calligraphy. While I truly love the latter, you can achieve a similar and complementary look using the fonts from your invitation and running the envelopes through a printer.
Last but not least, if a bride and groom want to go DIY with their invitations, what is the one thing they should keep in mind?
The amount of time required to take this on. Budget your time wisely and really be honest with what can be achieved within that budget. Your free time is one of the first things to go when planning your wedding.
Thank you Christine.
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