To DIY or Not to DIY….

Recently, I have had several brides come to me as “do it yourselfers.” I have to admit though I am hesitant sometimes because I like to maintain control of what I do and produce, I love this spirit and the great ideas they have! It’s so fun to be injected with new passion for what I do because too often it’s easy to get complacent and do only what’s asked of you or “go with the trends.”

Sometimes though it’s not such a positive experience. I will give them great advice, etiquette tips, and only for them to turn around decide they would rather save money and do it alone. I have to say that it’s saddening at first. I lament their decision and am always said when something slips from my grasp, especially when I know I can give them something even better than what they imagine. This is what inspires today’s post: When to DIY and When NOT to DIY.

When to Do-it-Yourself

1. If you are on a seriously strict budget.

2. When you have lots of time. If you’ve got plenty of time before your mailing date then it’s fine to experiment. Don’t expect to experiment when you are working close to your deadline because mistakes are guaranteed to happen. Often a printer will require 10-20% extra of the total in paper stock because even the large presses make mistakes. Customers simply never see the mistakes and therefore aren’t aware that they occur every time.

3. When you have a lot of patience. If you have the time and patience to sit and watch your printer print each and everyone piece then DIY. It takes a great deal of patience to work carefully with your printer’s alignment and the design layout. Even graphic design programs such as InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop don’t always help with the printing of custom, non-standard size pieces.

4. When you can account to buy for more than you need.  It’s crucial that you overplan when doing it yourself. Whether the paper misfeeds or ink runs out there are always problems.

When NOT to Do-It-Yourself

1. If you are less than computer savvy. If you don’t understand how to format and custom design items it is better to trust a professional.

2. You have high expectations and desire high quality results. Being that your invitation is the very first impression of your event, guests will (for lack of better words) judge by how this piece looks. If you want everything to come out right the first time then don’t print it off your home printer. Awhile agoI helped a bride design, format and print items she purchased from a local craft store. It was a pretty nice set for a great price, but the quality proved to be lacking as the project went on. The box contained uneven numbers of items, the papers were perforated and came apart easily, and items in the same set where of different dye lots and thus varied in colors.

3. You don’t have the time nor patience to complete the job.

4. You really just don’t know what you’re doing. If you understand computers, printing, and design, and etiquette by all means you should do it yourself.  But there are so many aspects that you can overlook that a professional is used to dealing with – from quantity to typefaces to measurements and even proper assembly.

In the end, it can often cost as much as to do it yourself as it can to hire a professional. From the ink to your valuable time, it’s sometimes the best choice to go with someone who has experience! The benefits of hiring a professional (especially this one!) and purchasing from high quality stationery lines:

1. Choosing something offered by a printer means your work is guaranteed to be printed with high quality print presses

2. We can advise you on proper etiquette from addressing to wording 

3. Custom designing and one-of-a-kind pieces (including helping you precisely execute your vision)

4. Access to variety of papers, pockets, and more that you won’t see in other places or on the shelves of a craft store.

5. A Professional can be your advocate. Working with authorized retailers from print and stationery lines means that they are often trained in the products they work with. I make it my goal to deliver my clients the products they purchased. I always advocate for my clients if a print job returns to me that may not be up to par or comes out different than the client had imagined and would never produce something that I did not meet my own standards.

So, choose wisely my dear readers because your invitation sets the tone for your entire event. I applaud the people that try it and do it themselves! But remember, you can always seek the advice of a professional before jumping in. Just as a wedding dress and a venue help convey the mood, your invite sets the stage and introduces guests to what they can anticipate from your event. It sets the stage for the event you have been working so hard on so make every selection count!


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