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Be creative, design your own invitation


Jane Ciabotti (left) and Kathy
Weidenman of A Touch of Whimsy
talk to a customer about custom
wedding invitations.

When it comes to weddings, the first thing people see is the invitation. To be sure yours is truly special, consider designing it yourself.

"The invitation is your first opportunity to captivate your guests," said Raymond B. Hirsh, owner of Let’s Have an Affair in Whitefish Bay. "You don’t want your invitation to look like the one you received for the last 20
weddings. You don’t want to just pick something out of the book." Going completely customized can be extremely expensive. Nor is it necessary.

Desktop publishing provides an economical option. "You can find kits for use on your home computer that include ribbon, vellum and background papers," said Jane Ciabotti, owner of A Touch of Whimsy in Delafield. "You can take it all home and run it through your laser printer to save money."

When designing your own invitations, there are several things to keep in mind.

Give plenty of information. "The hard and fast rule is that it is never
a sin to give too much information," Hirsh said. "The more you give, the more your guests will be prepared. Be very descriptive about what is going to happen."

Work with a professional. "Working with a professional can make a real difference," Ciabotti said. "We have loads of samples, access to odd-size envelopes and upscale papers, and can advise the best way to print your
invitations. We make sure everything is by the book, etiquette-wise."

Take it to a printer. Even if you design your invitation from scratch, if you are using upscale paper stock, you will need special equipment. "It’s not like printing a flyer," Hirsh said.

Pay attention to mail requirements. "Keep in mind that wedding invitations tend to come in odd shapes that may require extra postage," Ciabotti said. "Square, for example, is a new trend. Adding jackets or sleeves all adds up. With reply cards and return envelopes, it can make a heavy package."

Try something new. The newest look is vertical with a matching envelope addressed on the vertical.

Let it be your invitation. "The sky is the limit," Ciabotti said. "It’s your day and the invitation sets the tone for it. You want it to be a reflection of you."

>> Part Two