What is the process to design a fully Custom Invitation?

The best way to explain our process for our Custom Designed Stationery Package is to outline the steps that we take with our clients that inquire about designing a custom invitation.

Step 1:  Call, email, or inquire directly from our website.

Step 2:  Within 24 hours (except Saturdays and Sundays) of an inquiry you will get a call or email from Christine Eberle in order to set a conference call or in-person meeting to discuss your custom design project.  She will also have a few questions for you in advance regarding what you are looking for so that she can best prepare for the meeting.

Step 3:  During the meeting or call, Christine will speak with you one-on-one about your design project.  Together with Christine’s help, you will choose paper colors, sizes, printing method (digital, thermography, letterpress, foiling, engraving, etc.) and any other relevant information in order for her to provide you with a cost estimate.

Step 4:  Once the estimate is agreed upon, a deposit and contract is due in order to begin the design process.  The deposit or initial payment is determined based on the turnaround needed from the client.  If the client needs the completed project within 6 weeks then payment in full is due upon contract signature.  If the turnaround of a project is less than 6 months from the date the contract would be signed then there is a 50% non-refundable deposit.  If more than 6 months, the non-refundable deposit is $150.

Step 5:  A “Getting Started” email will be sent to you once the payment/deposit and contract is signed.  This email, or series of emails, will provide you with wording samples, wedding etiquette, and any other relevant information you will need to provide us with the wording for your invitations so that we can begin the design.  During this time you are free to ask as many questions as needed as we are here to help you.

Step 6:  Once the wording is provided to us, we will begin the design.  Digital (PDF) proofs of the design ideas will be emailed to you.  For any order OTHER THAN wedding invitations, once a digital proof of each piece to be designed has been approved via email a proof approval form will be emailed to you.  Once the PDF proof(s) along with the client proof approval form has been signed, you will fax the signed copies to us and your final payment is due.

For wedding invitations, once a digital proof of each piece to be designed has been approved via email a meeting will be set for you to come and view an actual proof of the invitation for approval.  If you are not in the Atlanta area, a proof will be mailed to you.  Upon proof approval, the final payment is due and you will sign off on each piece to be printed.  If you are requesting any type of specialty printing (thermography, letterpress, foiling, or engraving) your proof will be digitally printed.  This will still give you a great idea of what the invitation will look like once printed.

Once your order is printed, you will not be able to make edits to your design.


Do you have a minimum quantity or amount?

For any invitation set that requires more than one piece in the set (including the mailing envelope) we do not have a minimum quantity to work with us but we do have a minimum spend for our Custom Designed Stationery Package, which always includes more than just one piece for the design.  We have 3 package/options for our clients to choose from:  a fully custom designed invitation, a semi-custom designed invitation or a non-custom designed invitation.
For our fully Custom Designed Stationery Package our minimum spend for invitations is $750.  This minimum spend is for the main invitation set only and does not include other stationery (like programs, table numbers, thank you cards, etc.).  After that original $750 is met with the main event invitation set, then there is no other minimum spend for any other stationery (programs, table numbers, escort/place cards, signs, bridal shower invitations, rehearsal dinner invitations, etc.).  Our Custom Designed Stationery Package includes an initial phone conversation where we go over basic ideas and details, an in-person meeting or FaceTime call (if you live out of Georgia) where we will discuss your project in more detail and you will pick paper and style selections, a custom proposal, up to 5 PDF proofs of each piece of the overall design, and a digitally printed sample of the invitation before full production.  If you are not able to meet in-person, we will mail the paper sample and the printed digital proof to you.
Our non-custom package, Portfolio Stationery Package, is perfect for that client that loves our work and still wants something of very high quality but may not have the time and/or budget for a fully custom project.  With this package there is no minimum spend and the client will receive up to 2 PDF proofs of each piece.  However, this package (along with the Semi-Custom Package) does not include an in-person meeting nor does it include a hard copy sample prior to full print.  The client does have the option to set an in-person meeting and/or receive a hard copy sample if they would like but there are additional fees for those services.  Our Portfolio Stationery Package does not allow for any change to the design or the font selections but the colors of ink or paper can change.   Our digitally printed invitation sets for our Portfolio Stationery Package do start out at $6.00 per set and that includes a digitally printed invitation, response card with envelope, one additional insert (Hotel Accommodations or Reception Information or Parking, etc) and single outer envelope.  If the client loves a design but doesn’t love one of the font selections within the design, we could do a Semi-Custom Project where you will be allowed one font change for a nominal design fee (typically around $25-50).

 

The minimum fee does not apply to any digital file order where the client will simply receives a PDF image of a design and prints on their own nor does it apply to any invitation design that only requires a single invitation and envelope (one piece design).


What is the turnaround for a custom design project?

Throughout most of the year, the typical turnaround for a digitally printed wedding invitation set once the proofs have been approved to print is 6-8 weeks.  We can finish invitations sooner than that, but it will be at the discretion of Christine Eberle depending on the current workload and deadline schedule.  For any other printing method, the turnaround is between 6-9 weeks.  For items other than wedding invitations, the turnaround is typically 1.5-3 weeks depending on the design chosen and whether or not any specialty materials need to be ordered or assembled.


Do you offer any DIY services?

Of course we do!  We love DIY brides…that is, after all, how we got into the business!  We offer 2 different options for our DIY bride.

1)  Design only:  we will design the invitation for you and you can then print and assemble on your own.  You will provide us with the size or sizes of the pieces to design.  The design fee is determined based on the scope of the project.

2)  Design, print and cut only:  we will design the invitation, print it for you, cut the items and then you will do all of your own assembly.  We can order materials or specialty stocks for you but you will do your own taping or gluing of cardstock layers or pocketfolds.


If I designed my own invitation, can you print it for me?

At this time, we do not digitally print work from anyone other than the staff at Eberle Invitations.  However, if you would like your invitations to be letterpress printed, thermography printed, engraved or foil printed the decision to print will be at the discretion of Christine Eberle.  Please contact Christine Eberle if this is something you would like to do and she can discuss the project in more detail with you.


What is the difference between thermography and engraving?

This question is one we get all of the time, especially since they both provide a similar print detail but one is more expensive than the other.

Thermography is an offset printing process. The design gets printed onto the paper as flat ink and then while the ink is still wet, a very fine powder is dusted onto the paper.  Once that is done it is run through a very high heat oven that causes the powder to liquify and then harden to form the raised print.  The benefits of thermography are that it is very cost effective and gives an elegant “raised” appearance to the text.  The drawbacks are the design cannot have too much intricate detail because the resin then “runs together” and does not give a clean look.  Also, the ink tends to look shiny/glossy…some people don’t like this and some do.

Engraving is the most traditional form of printing wedding invitations.  Engraving is a plate based printing method that requires the design to actually be etched onto a copper plate. The engraver then forces the paper onto that plate from the back of the stock with very high pressure and the result is a raised image on the front.  You can see the “bruise” of the plate on the back of the paper.  That “bruising” effect is the indicator of true engraved stationery. Additionally, when metallic ink is used, the paper passes through the process once more to burnish the ink and give it a finished, smooth look.  The benefits of engraving is that it allows for intricate detail to be captured with raised printing, the ink is a matte ink and not glossy (except for metallic inks), and it allows you to print light colored ink on dark stocks (white ink text/design on black cardstock for example).  The only drawback is the cost.  It is an expensive form of printing due to the detail and expertise required in designing the plate and printing; however, if you are having a traditional wedding and you have the budget this is the perfect invitation printing method for you.