Monday, January 25, 2021

The Reply Card Debate

At Fresh Ink, we get lots of questions about reply cards. Are they necessary? Why does it seem so few people reply these days?

The beginning is always the best place to begin, and we say that because everyone should be educated to know that it is proper to always reply to a formal invitation to accept or decline. Uber traditionally, reply cards were not included because every invited guest was expected to write a reply on personal stationery to accept or decline.  A formal reply to a wedding invitation would typically read:

Mr. and Mrs Jeffrey Wayne Upchurch

accept with pleasure

President and Mrs. Obama’s

kind invitation for

Saturday, the seventh of May

Beautiful, yes?

Many continue this tradition and send hand-written replies even when reply cards are not included with an invitation.

However as time progressed, there was concern that many people did not know of this requirement and the reply card was developed as a way to ensure the invitee made their reply properly by providing them with practically a fill-in-the-blank version of a properly worded reply. Self-addressed and stamped envelope was included.

Now that we have laid the grounds for the tradition of proper etiquette regarding replies, and it’s evolution to the modern reply card, the question still remains if you need one for YOUR wedding?

The answer, as you can imagine, is complex.

In a market like New York City, you would never consider invitations without a reply card because receptions are always seated dinners.

In our southern market, things are more flexible because we regularly have “cocktail buffet” style receptions where guests meander between various stations and do not have assigned seating at tables.

First you must come to grips with the reality that no reply system is 100% perfect and inevitably you will spend a little bit of time following up with people who do not reply if you desire a perfect guest count.

Which begs another question: do you need to have a perfectly accurate guest count for your wedding?

Our first consideration in the matter is your venue. A restaurant or club with an in-house kitchen may be able to react nimbly to a guest count above what you have estimated. A caterer bringing food to a site may not have this luxury. Always ask your caterer or your wedding planner their feedback on the matter based on their experience.

For larger weddings, where close 500 invitations might be sent, keeping up with individual replies might be a daunting matter. In this case, your planner might advise that they feel confident estimating the number of guests you can expect based on their experience.

If your wedding or reception will occur at home, a more precise count may be critical to ensure you have enough parking, tables, chairs, and other necessary preparations.

In past years, a frequent debate raged: Is including a reply card asking for a response via a website a faux pas? In our opinion, it is not. Reply cards that are mailed back present a physical reminder to the invitee that they need to reply, however the matter of delay from the post office returning the reply card can be an issue. Online replies have the advantage of being instantaneous, but might not be the preferable way for attendees of a certain generation to reply. A happy medium for some couples is to include a reply card that allows guests to reply via mail or online at their preference.

We find that given the expense of weddings, and the expense that can be associated with over or underestimating your guest count, a reply card is a worthwhile asset to help you plan accordingly and over 75% of our couples do choose to include them.

Armed with all of this information, you should be able to make the decision that is best for your event!


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Bridal Registry at Fresh Ink Collective

We are so excited to have expanded our gift selection to include lots of great bridal registry gifts!

With the expansion of wedding web sites, some couples choose to register only online with Amazon, but many people who are attending your event want the option to work with a local business because of unique and special products they offer. When you limit the places you register, because you think it will be more streamlined or you will only get products that you have registered for, it actually works in reverse. If guests don't see options that they like, they start to look other places where you have not made selections and "guess" at gifts for you. The best thing you can do to be gracious for your guests is to register in several places to give them various options to consider when purchasing gifts for you.

Want to see a sample registry? See any of the couples currently registered on our website or see our suggested registry based on recommendations from our founder. If you like the founder's sample registry just let us know to duplicate it for you!

As a bonus, any couple who registers and posts their Fresh Ink registry to their wedding web site will receive a $100 Fresh Ink gift card to use toward any Fresh Ink purchase - invitations, stationery, napkins, koozies, invitations, luggage anything!

Here's how to qualify: Visit - our home and gift items are on this page. See something you like? Click "add to registry" then you will be prompted to create a new registry. Please add a minimum of 10 items to your registry to quality for the registry credit. We will receive a notification that your registry has been created, and we will confirm the link has been added to your web site and then we can apply your $100 credit to a purchase you are working on or mail it to you to be used in the future. Or if you prefer we duplicate the founder's registry for you as a quick start we can do that!

While it is completely up to you what you add to your registry, there are a few helpful tips based on experiences over the years.

Tip 1: People generally don't like to give consumable things as wedding gifts. Items like candles and stationery are rarely selected for wedding gift giving, so consider leaving those off your registry.

Tip 2: People like to give serving pieces in all price ranges. We try to keep at least 3 Montes Doggett serving pieces in the $100 - $200 range on every registry and at least 3 of our top-selling white ruffle melamine serveware on every registry. If you don't need these things then of course don't feel obligated to register for them but they are very big sellers!

Tip 3: Let us know the top 3 things you really want so we can make that note on your registry. Couples want to give you what you want and knowing your top priorities will help us help them!

Questions? Email and we will be happy to help!

Here are some items we recommend for all wedding registries:

1. White ruffle melamine serve ware - with a clean look and durability these are perfect for dressy and casual events!

2. Montes Doggett serve ware - you can't go wrong with artfully crafted Montes Doggett serve ware for versatility.

3. French Cutlery - from steak knives to cheese sets, this elegant cutlery will last for years and years!

4. Glassware - you can't beat our selection of unique glassware to add whimsy or elegance to your table.

5. Sferra Bello Towels - This is a great time to register for household towels and linens that you will enjoy in your home.

Please note effective 1/8/2024 there is a $300 minimum order to quality for the $100 registry credit and a minimum of 10 active items added to your registry to qualify. Sale and out of stock items are not counted toward the 10 item minimum.

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