How does a couple select the right stationery designer? "Finding the right stationery designer is similar to the way you would find any other vendor for your wedding. The key is to feel comfortable with that person and trust that they will carry out your vision for your stationery. Another good tip is to look for a professional who has a graphic design degree. Someone who is professionally trained in graphic design will have a much broader design sensibility, and knowledge of all the different fonts to ensure your stationery design is uniquely yours!" How long before the wedding should you pick your stationery designer? "Depending on the needs of your day, I would suggest starting to think about which company you’d like to design your stationery a year to 8 months in advance of your wedding. If you’re looking to send out save the date cards, you might want to think about this decision even earlier." What are some tips you can give soon-to-be-newlyweds to reduce stationary costs? "One of the first things I suggest taking off your radar, are pocket folders. Yes, they hold all of your inserts but they can also be bulky, and add weight to your invitation which will likely result in having to put more money into postage. Make the main invitation the focus of your suite because that’s likely what your guests will keep on their fridge for the next few months leading up to the wedding. Envelopes, and folders or other embellishments usually get tossed as soon as they are opened." Should a couple try to get their menus, escort cards, ceremony programs, and other paper details made by the same stationery designer? "Yes, absolutely! I think it’s always a really special touch when all of the day-of stationery coordinates with your invitations. Your invitations are meant to set the tone for your whole day and if you include details like a crest or monogram, those design elements can be repeated throughout your day-of stationery on items like menus or on a seating chart." How important are visual similarities between save the dates, invitations and thank you letters? "I like to think of wedding stationery as a mini brand for you and your partner. That visual consistency, or even consistency in the wording that you use, (be it casual or formal) help your guests to determine what type of event they will be attending. Including special details like your pet bulldog or yorkie on custom stamps or even within the design of a monogram on all of those different pieces can be a unique way of shedding some light on you and your partner as a couple, and your life together." How much of wedding budget should be set aside for stationery? "We like to suggest anywhere from 2-4 percent of your budget. But if you’re a stationery fanatic, you can definitely go over board on extras like custom stamps, wax seals and other embellishments." When and how should a couple convey sensitive information such as no children allowed or strict dress code? "The best way to address sensitive information is to be clear and concise, leaving no room for interpretation. We suggest addressing your envelopes to the precise people who are invited. For example, 'Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Jane Smith.' You can also add, 'and Family' if there is more than one child invited. If you’re not inviting children, just keep it to 'Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.' Then, on your RSVP card, add a line that allows you to fill in the number of seats reserved in that guest’s honour. So, something like '_____ seats have been reserved in your honour,' and then make sure to fill that out by hand before you send out the invitations. Same goes for dress code—make sure it’s stated clearly on either the main invitation or detail card. You can say something like 'formal black tie reception to follow' at the bottom of the invitation or add a little bow tie symbol with 'black tie attire' underneath it on the detail card."