Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Interview Questions for your Wedding Calligrapher

Wedding invitations are the focal point of your wedding stationary, they provide the first glimpse into the style an formality of your wedding. The wedding invitation serves as the first impression of your upcoming marriage and how they are designed and set-up has an influence and affects decisions of your guests.

Wedding invitations include various attachments to provide help in the decision process and besides inclusion of the wedding invitation of where and what time the ceremony will be, also includes a contact back card which is called the RSVP, where and what time the wedding reception will be, directions, food choices, the date the RSVP is expected back, and other particulars about the wedding period.

Traditionally, calligraphy is often used to announce the wedding. Calligraphy, which is an elborate form of lettering, is used in weddings because it's an extraordinary form of writing, only experts can create good calligraphic writings. Wedding invitations are keepsake materials from the wedding, and special paper and ink are used to last a person's lifetime.

As you begin your search for a personal calligrapher for your wedding, there are a number of things to look for in your questioning. Does the calligrapher create a style that you like? Can the calligrapher prepare your invitations for the dates you want the invitations out, adding a little leeway, can they meet your budget. Your questioning of what the distributor can provide, you want to cover the style of the calligrapher, whether there is a wedding theme or color scheme you want the invitations to match against. You also want to review the type of paper, the size of type, the type of ink used, and the calligraphy or font types to be created.

It's a good idea after the invitations and other material being prepared is reviewed thoroughly. First, have a sample packet created and get your okay before creating the invitations on a massive scale. When all the invitations are ready, inspect all the invitations. Check all the invitation material for spelling mistakes, make sure the ink shows well on every card (maybe a color of ink runs dry when printing and the color tone changes), check for oops ink smudges, and verify name and addresses are correct. It's always a good idea to have two or three sets of eyes looking over the material. Something may be obvious to you but an extra pair of eyes might find a mistake you did not find.

You should give your calligrapher a little leeway when you are working with them to create your wedding invitations. A calligrapher's work is very tedious and you don't want them to make mistakes because you are rushing them and apply pressure. Often behind the scenes they are working for multiple clients and might not divulge the fact because they want your business too. Calligraphers are pretty good at prioritizing their work load or if they feel they can't meet the workload, they probably would turn your request down.

When dealing with calligraphers, add in your mind an extra week for a commitment date. Don't forget to inspect all invitations thoroughly before shipping them out. It's a good idea to order 20 additional invitations per every 100, oops smudges, address and name corrections, late additions often happen as invitations are prepared. Don't forget to inspect the extra material such as the RSVP also.

Work with the calligrapher on verifying, and how to get the invitations to you. Give the calligrapher typed names and addresses to avoid misspelling mistakes. When dropping the invitations or shipping company, also drop the materials off to a live person and inform the person these are wedding invitations, to insure the invitations are properly handled. Never drop the invitations in a mail slot.

Wedding Invitation Theme Ideas
Alma mater, angels, Asian, autumn, beach, border style, bride/groom, butterflies, Caribbean, castles, Celtic, cherubs, christian, cowboy, cruise theme, cultural, daisies, Disney, doves, Egyptian, fireworks, floral, fourth of July, Halloween, Hawaiian, hearts, Indian, Irish, island destination, island theme, ivy, Japanese, Las Vegas, lilies, medieval, Mexican, Miami, nature, New York City, outdoor, rainbow, religious, renaissance, ribbons, roses, seashells, spring, sunflowers, swans, tulips, valentine, Victorian, wedding bells, wedding rings, western, winter.

What is Commonly Included in the Body of a Wedding Invitation

Who is getting married and who is announcing it
Date of wedding (Written out in letters - i.e. First of April, Two Thousand Twelve)
Location of ceremony
Time of ceremony (Written out in letters - i.e. Three o'clock in the Afternoon)
Time and place of wedding reception (Written out in letters)
Dress code
Location of bridal registry
How to RSVP and by what date
Maps and directions
Other info (transportation details, hotel locations and contacts, couples business cards, etc)

The wording on a wedding invitation tends to be formal rather than informal

Possible Other Stationary Needs

Save-the-Date cards or magnets
Wedding announcements
Thank-you cards
Shower Thank-you cards
Engagement party
Bachelor/Bacherlorette parties
Rehearsal Dinner
After party
Wedding Program
Pew Cards
Place Cards
Table Cards
Napkins, Matchbook, Labels for Favors
Seating Chart Board for Wedding Reception
Update to Ancestry Chart (Leave spot for signatures and future children)

Before your meeting with your calligrapher you should know your wedding date, the budget you are working with, have a ballpark figure of the amount of wedding guests, if you've decided on your color scheme bring that along and if you have decided on a wedding theme. Remember to add an extra week in your head, from the committed deadline from which the calligrapher says the wedding invitations should be ready. For every 100 invitations allow one week for the calligrapher to work on them. For example, expect 300 invitations to take 3 weeks to be prepared.

Interview Questions for your Wedding Calligrapher
1-What is the name, address, phone number, and website address of the calligraphy or invitation company?
2-Ask for a business card, what is the name, address, and phone number of the calligrapher?
3-Can the calligrapher create invitations by the date we need to send them out? (if no, does the calligrapher know of another calligrapher that could meet that date? interview is over)
4-Can the calligrapher meet our budget? (if higher than over 25% of our budget, interview is over)
5-How long has the calligraphy or invitation business been in operation?
6-How long has the calligrapher been creating wedding invitations?
7-How many clients would you say have you done work in your career? in the past year? in the past month?
8-Can we see samples of your work?
9-Can you well me about your business background? have you received formal training? where and when?
10-Is the work you do in-house or is some of it outsourced?
11-How many clients do you currently have?
12-Do you need a guarantee of a certain amount of invitations?
13-Do you offer custom invitations as well as template styles?
14-Can you create wedding invitations to our wedding theme or color scheme?
15-What are our options for style of wedding invitations?
16-What are our options for paper type of wedding invitations?
17-What are our options for color for our wedding invitations?
18-What are options for fonts or calligraphy for our wedding invitations?
19-What are options for size of font or calligraphy for our wedding invitations? what is the character or word limit for the text?
20-What are ink options for our wedding invitations?
21-What should the wedding invitation wording be?
22-Can you review the process of how you make the wedding invitations?
23-Can we see a sample of our order, before committing to producing all out invitations?
24-Once we place the order, how long will it take to have the completed invitations? is rush-order available? are there fees associated with rush-order?
25-What happens if you make an oops mistake? what happens if we find color or tint is off a little? what happens if we find names or addresses need to be changed on the invitations? what happens if there are more invitations need to be added after the first invitations were created?
26-What components of pieces are included in the wedding invitation? is an outer envelope included? is an inner envelope included? is the invitation included? is a reception card included? (if different than the ceremony site) are directions/map included? is a response card & SASE included? (self addressed stamped envelope)
27-Can you give a demonstration how the wedding invitation should be stuffed?
28-If the invitation involves multiple pieces, who is responsible for assembling them? do we? does yourself? are there additional fees? how will the assembly affect the delivery dates?
29-How does the communication process work between us?
30-Do we have an opportunity to inspect invitations before they go to print and before they are ready to be shipped out? can we bring extra eyes along to review the invitations? where does the inspection of the invitations happen? what happens if some invitations need to be redone? how much time would it take for invitations to be redone? who bears the cost for invitations that must be redone?
31-Are extra invitation pieces picked up for oops, name & address changes, toner problems, and additional wedding guest needs? (rule of thumb order 20 extra pieces per 100 needed)
32-How should the mailing process work? do you mail the invitations or do we mail the invitations? or does a shipping company?
33-How should the invitations be stamped?
34-Can we provide pictures that go onto some of the wedding invitation components? how best can we get pictures to you?
35-Do you have any recommendations concerning having our wedding invitations refer our wedding guests to view us on Youtube, our own web page, or on Facebook?
36-If maps are needed, what process do use to create maps?
37-What other calligraphy or invitation pieces do you do? Save-the-Date cards? wedding announcements? thank-you cards? shower thank-you cards? engagement party cards? shower invitations? bachelor/bachlorette party card? rehearsal dinner invites? after party cards? wedding programs? pew cards? place cards? menus? seating arrangement boards? an ancestry chart board with signature spots and future children? offer personal napkins, matchbooks, or labels for other favors?
38-Do you offer a price list?
39-Once we get our wedding guest list to you, how long will it take to create all the invitations from the list? (in your head add an extra week to be safe with your timeline)
40-At what date would you need our invitation headcount?
41-To meet our wedding timeline, at what point are the names and addresses required? (make sure you get a typed list to your calligrapher to minimize the chances of misinterpreting names and numbers from a written list)
42-How much will the wedding invitations cost?
43-Are there hidden charges we need to be concerned about?
44-When is first deposit due and how much?
45-When would final payment be due and how much?
46-Do you offer any packages or is there any discount opportunities?
47-What is your refund policy if for some reason we need to cancel our order?
48-What happens if you get sick or have a personal emergency before the invitations are sent out?
49-Can you lay out the contract in detail, what all costs will be that were discussed? may we take the contract home with us to review before signing? at what date must you receive the contract back and signed?
50-Can we get 3 referrals from other brides that have used you in the past year? (contact at least 2)

To be comfortable in getting a good deal, interview at least 3 calligraphers before deciding who to go with, try to meet with each calligrapher in person, you want to inspect their work in person and not from a picture from an attached file. If the invitations are done through snail mail, have a sample mailed before okaying a batch of invitations processed. It is recommended still to work with a calligrapher in person in the event of mistakes or changes can be turned around more quickly. Keep your wedding invitations as a keepsake in the back of your wedding album.

See you on the other side!

No comments:

Post a Comment