Image via The Rustic at Heart

Sending out your invitations can often be left to the last minute becoming a little rushed and unplanned. But the invitation itself is a little window or preview into the mood, vibe and excitement of your most planned and thought about event. It should reflect all the love, style and flair that you are planning for all your elements on your wedding day. It should tell a story, your love story, show your style and celebrate the quirky parts of your relationship that make your relationship unique.

Spend some time planning this part of your wedding to ensure your ideas and creative style is visualised in your stationery. Our guide to effortless stationery is below and will hopefully make planning this part of your day a breeze.

Images via Kaitlin Maree Photography

When to send:

We recommend Save the Date cards to all our couples. This allows your guests to think ahead and start planning around your date. Whether you send this to all your guests or just the close family or guests travelling long distance, it can save some tricky date juggling down the track. We recommend sending your save the dates a minimum of 6 months before your wedding day and ideally up to 10 months in advance for weddings with overseas guests.

Knowing when to send your invitation is important. Your wedding venue will advise you of the date they require your final numbers. This is the date you will work back from, not your wedding date.

Image via Bonnie Jenkins Photography

My little cheats guide is below for different wedding types:

Weddings with overseas travellers: Save the dates – 10 months out. Invitations – 12 weeks out.

Destination weddings: Save the dates – 6-8 months out. Invitations – 12 weeks out.

Local weddings: Save the dates – 6 months out. Invitations – 6-8 weeks out.

Small weddings: Invitations – 6-8 weeks out.

When to Order:

Depending on the style of printing for your invitations and whether you would like some DIY stationery elements, the best time to order will vary for stationery order times. Most print yourself invitations will be ready for download within a few days to a week and ready for you to start your own printing and preparing.

Standard printing may only take a few weeks however the more intricate printing styles of engraving, letter press or acrylic printing will be up to a month. It is best to research this in advance, to ensure you have enough time to achieve the stationery look and style you are dreaming about.

Image by Fig Tree Pictures & Calligraphy by The Pleasantry

Choosing your Style:

The best weddings we go to as guests are the ones that show a couples love and story that has lead them to that day. An invitation is the first place to start telling that story. Do this, and your guests will come to your day ready for fun, love and excitement.

Your venue will provide a little clue to your guests of the style of your wedding. Eg. Beach side venue will suggest a coastal theme. Your invitation style, texture and colours will also help to get your guests ‘vibing’ your wedding day mood. In addition to choosing a style and colour, you can also choose a printing style. There are so many options on the market for paper alternatives that if you wish to buck tradition you will be spoilt for choice.

Images by Kaitlin Maree Photography

RSVP Management:

No longer are we stuck with waiting on guests to call with their RSVPs. Today we have options like websites and online RSVP options to help us with managing our replies. Wedding websites are a fantastic way to keep guests up to date with small wedding day detail changes, travel and accommodation options and RSVP management.

Most guests will be quite happy to click a quick button and update their RSVP status online. Let’s be honest, who has time to chase up guests the fortnight before the wedding. Wedding websites can be easily added to the RSVP line on your invitation, saving you the trouble of Reply cards and return stamps.

If a more traditional RSVP is your style, or you have some older guests who would feel more comfortable with a traditional RSVP card and envelope, we would recommend sending these with return stamps and your address on the envelopes. An invitation can include envelope liners, RSVP and info cards all with matching colours and prints, or it can be simple and sleek and look just as incredible. The key is to make it a little personal, a little unique and keep it in line with your other wedding day plans.

Get Pinning on Pinterest. Create your own mood board in Powerpoint. Search wedding blogs and Instagram. Allow enough time and make them look WOW!

Image by The Rustic at Heart

Ms Zebra Says: I love the incredible designs that people are now choosing for the invites and wedding stationary. There are so many great options that will truly reflect the look and feel of your day – thank you to the Rustic at Heart for sharing these great tips with us!
At The Rustic at Heart it is our passion to tell love stories through event stationery and signage that is created out of materials with texture and elegance. We offer Wood, leather, acrylic and linen paper all laser engraved with modern designs to create unique stationery packages. Any theme, colour or style. We love to create packages to suit all our couples stories.

Image by Leo Farrell

When it comes to bringing together your Wedding Day, one needs to start from the ground up. You need to create the whole picture to ensure that all aspects are coherent and reflective of your finalised space and surrounds. As planners, we believe that it’s integral that you and your partner are 110% confident in your decided setting and love it equally – this is not the occasion to settle – it needs to feel right and then the fun begins! From here, you start to bring your relationship and own personal touches to your Day and venue setting.

Image by Tori & Sal

There is hands down, no right or wrong between ‘Sit Down’ or ‘Cocktail’ style receptions, however individually, they do have their own unique set of pros and cons. The aspects highlighted below will depend on your overall vision, gathered guest list and other must-have ‘On the Day’ items – and they may make this decision one of the easiest on your wedding planning journey.
Seated receptions require adequate space to accommodate your required number of tables and chairs to match your confirmed guest list. (Yes, make sure your guest list is all outlined before starting your venue hunt so that you are looking at applicable spaces and not creating more work for yourselves from the outset!).

Image by Valley & Peak

There must be suitable space for staff to easily service guests at their tables and also room to accommodate any other feature elements that you might like to add, such as grazing stations, formalities and photo booths etc.
Cocktail style celebrations also require a certain amount of room, however these set ups can be more flexible in terms of working with the area available as you utilise varying furnishings to facilitate your required amount of seating. It is important to note that both layouts must ensure dance floor and band space – this is a non-negotiable for plenty of couples – after all, this is where the true party is at!

Image by Corey Wright

Cocktail receptions are commonly considered to be cheaper in terms of per person fees, however we can professionally dispel this myth immediately, as we have seen the time, care and attention taken by kitchen teams to intricately create your bite-sized delicacies – in grand quantities – to ensure that your nearest and dearest leave with full and happy tummies.
Gone are those sleepless nights tossing and turning about who will sit next to who (or who won’t sit next to who!) as a cocktail style functions allow guests to mingle at their own leisure, and nibble their way through your delicious menu selections at their own discretion.
We have found that statement grazing stations have been a fabulous add-on to the typical cocktail celebration with feature charcuterie boards, mouth-watering dessert bars and even late night toastie bars being a welcomed addition – items guaranteed to keep the masses happy! And this doesn’t necessarily limit itself to cocktail Receptions, a decadent cheese station can be shown pride of place during canapés or even once the dance floor opens at seated receptions – today, anything goes depending on your palate and priorities!

Image by Julia Archibald

Professionally and personally, we cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring there is seating for all guests, at all times, with cocktail styled functions. Standard wedding timings can have one on their feet for potentially 8 hours (i.e. 3pm Ceremony with a 11pm Reception conclusion) if not longer, therefore at some point, one does need to pull up a pew. You can be creative with this practical item and style the space with a variety of benches, stools, ottomans, banquette seating and even hay bales – you can also play with heights, colours and textures too. Trust us, your guests will be happily referring to your thoughtfulness at the end of the day, and so will their feet!
In saying this, seated receptions are not to be dismissed. For those of your guest list who enjoy being ‘waited on’, delight in being able to take their nominated seat confident in the fact that they have their own plate of food per course, can comfortably sit and listen to speeches and know exactly where their glass, bag and suit jacket is at the end of the night – the seated reception is held very closely to one’s heart!
We love the coming together of styling elements with seated receptions as these finer details – place cards, menus, table numbers, centrepieces etc – are all intricately thought-out and highlighted for all tables to compliment your venue setting. This form of styling is often more uniform as the details are delicately replicated on each table to create an overall theme.

Image by Morgan Vandermark

Seated receptions can mean that your overall floral and stationery elements are increased however again, there are clever ways to double-up some details – for example with stationery, one can combine a place card and menu, table numbers can feature in your florals. We are also very dedicated in ensuring that any florals are either taken home by guests at the end of the night or donated to local hospitals or charities – share the love – so that such gorgeous creations can go on giving long after the dance floor has emptied.
You must be comfortable and confident in all details that form your wedding – if it doesn’t sit (or stand) right, then keep exploring your available options until you can wholeheartedly proclaim that your reception is exactly as you envisaged. To sit or to stand, either sounds absolutely fabulous to us – the big question is, how would you like to celebrate?

About will&jac: They are Melbourne based Wedding Planners, Catherine Williams and Clare Jacobsen. Together, they offer superior customer service, coupled with expert advice and guidance in the field of weddings. will&jac offer varying service options to exceed your Wedding Day needs, and leave you and your guests with the most memorable experience of a lifetime.

If you’ve ever dreamt of having a classic car transport you to your wedding, you really need to know about Triple R Luxury Car Hire. That is, if you don’t already! Their name is synonymous with car hire in Melbourne. Triple R is a family business with over three decades of experience and have provided wedding cars to over 20,000 couples! Plus, there are some absolutely stunning cars in their fleet (scroll through the interview to see some of these beauties stealing the show in real weddings). Today we chat to Alex Jovanovic who shares how his father started the business, how it has grown over the years, and what bridal couples can expect when booking their wedding transport through Triple R.

How long has Triple R been in the luxury car hire game?
Triple R started way back in 1982, so over 37 years ago now. Back then, my father Micky bought an old Bentley to compliment his wedding photography business, as he would offer it to couples as a package and up-sell. The business really just blew up from there and in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we had as many as 50 cars in the fleet and as many as 20 wedding photographers. Although the fleet has changed colour over the years we actually still have the first car that Micky bought for the fleet, a 1951 Bentley Dawn Sedan. Still to this day, it is one of our most popular cars going out on weddings almost every weekend.

You’re a family owned and operated business. Which family members are on board and what are their roles?
We certainly are a proud family owned and operated business. At the moment it’s Manuela, her sister Pia and myself in the office looking after all the enquiries, sales, bookings, appointments, logistics and marketing. Being a small business, we all wear many hats and all share the workload. Down in the workshop is Micky, who now spends most of his time maintaining the cars, and restoring and tinkering with some projects. It’s a team-based effort and each and every one of us brings our own set of skills to the table.

Images: Immerse Photography

Where are you based?
Our showroom is based in East Brunswick, just 6kms straight up Nicholson St from the Melbourne CBD by the number 96 tram.

Do you travel further for weddings?
Yes, we do. We are often travelling to the Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges, Daylesford area, Geelong and Mornington Peninsula for weddings. We tend not to travel too much further out than this as these cars are all over 60 years old and we like to keep them somewhat close to home base. So weddings that are 200km plus from the CBD we tend to not take part in. For weddings 30+kms outside the Melbourne metropolitan area there is a travel fee.

What cars do you have in your fleet?
We specialise in classic European luxury cars with an emphasis on Classic British marques. The bulk of our fleet consists of vehicles from 1949 to 1960 with a few either side of those years. The marques we carry are all premium luxury brands, including Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz and Daimler.

Image: Lovers Narrative

Which one is your personal favourite?
My personal favourite is the 1958 Mercedes Benz 220S Convertible. Such a beautiful looking machine and is lost of fun to drive. It just oozes Hollywood glam.

What cars seem to be the most popular with weddings this year?
They have always been very popular and the backbone of our fleet but even more so than ever are our Rolls Royce Silver Wraiths. We have three of these and they are always booked out in advance. These cars are our flagship vehicles and a grand sized hand built machine that really stands out and makes an impression on the big day.

What are the steps involved in booking a car through you?
We try to make the booking process as easy as possible. Most couples send us an email enquiry with their wedding details, we then provide a quote based on their needs. If they are happy to proceed we require a $150 deposit (per car) to lock in their vehicle for the day. This deposit can be paid via direct deposit, over the phone via credit card or in person at our showroom. The final balance is due two weeks before the wedding and we will confirm all the details around 1-2 weeks before the wedding.

Images: Duuet, Warren Photography, Tori and Sal, Yervant Photography

Do you give suggestions to bridal couples as to what car will go best with their style of wedding?
Yes most definitely, we want our couples to be happy with their car choice and choose a vehicle that suits not only their basic transport needs but also their style and budget. We will make suggestions on travel times and also suggest utilising the car(s) to make several trips to the venue if their locations permit. We will also recommend other companies that we like to work with who specialise in modern limos if the couple do want a large limo for their bridal party. We will assist in any way possible to make choosing your wedding day transport as easy as possible.

How far in advance should a car be booked for a wedding?
Like many other suppliers for your wedding day, the earlier you book the more choice you will have (and less stressed you will be). This is never more important than on the very busy Saturdays between October to April. Saturdays are the most popular day to get married and our popular Rolls Royce and Bentleys are always the first to go.

We suggest at least six months before your wedding to lock something in, however some well organised couples will book up to a year ahead (while other less organised couples will book just a few weeks out, which may leave them disappointed as there is a lack of cars available). Many dates are actually booked out well in advance and we have to break the bad news to couples that we are fully booked and won’t be able to help them.

Image: Immerse Photography

Can couples view your cars prior to booking?
Certainly, we encourage couples to make an appointment to view our cars at our showroom. This way they can sit inside and make sure the car will suit their needs. It also gives them a chance to see all the cars side by side. Many coupes will have their hearts set on a traditional white Bentley however upon inspecting our fleet will end up falling in love with our 1949 Black Rolls Royce Wraith instead. I can’t count how many times this exact situation has happened.

What’s a typical wedding day look like for your chauffeurs?
A typical wedding day for our chauffeurs will be collecting their car from our depot, then arriving at the bride’s accommodation. In most cases, we will then transfer the bride and her father (with the bridal party in a car following) to the ceremony. After the ceremony we usually have a few hours for photo locations, and after that we will then drop them to their reception venue. This is a typical wedding day, however this is changing as the normal traditions and timeline for weddings has evolved over the years. Many times now we will just collect the bridal party from an Air BnB in the country and then take them to the venue for the ceremony, followed shortly after for the reception celebrations which all happens on site.

Images: Tori and Sal

Do you work closely with wedding photographers on things like timing of photos (on location)?
As we have been around for 37 years, we have a lot of experience with Melbourne’s numerous wedding photographers. We do like to get an idea of where we will be heading to on the day so our drivers can prepare the most efficient route. Sometimes on the day plans change so our drivers will always liaise and discuss the next steps/locations. Working together with all the other suppliers on the wedding day is essential to make the day run as smooth as possible.

Can you share any funny stories from past wedding days?
One of my personal favourites was from the wedding of Paula and Adrian back in 2014. The bridal party was in the city taking photos near Pelligrini’s when out of nowhere a random lady walked her pet pig down the footpath right in front of the bride, groom and photographer. The opportunity was too good to miss so I snapped a few photos on my phone of the bride Paula, taking the pig for a walk.

Best testimonial you’ve ever received?
Mmm, that’s a tough one to answer. We have over 100 hand written thank you cards here in our office and over 440 online reviews. There have been so many beautiful testimonials written by our lovely couples that we really cannot choose.

Images: Joseph KoprekYervant Photography

What do you love about your job?
We love providing our couples a taste of yesteryear luxury and old-world service by keeping these classic cars on the road and accessible for everyone to enjoy and experience. We take great pride in dealing with couples on the happiest day of their lives and we are so fortunate to be able to play a small part and experience that day.

Personally, I also enjoy the different roles we have to play in the business especially the business development and marketing side of things. Although it’s very basic work, I do enjoy cleaning the cars and getting them ready for the jobs. There’s something therapeutic about cleaning while listening to an interesting podcast and getting away from the computer and phone for a few hours.

Thank you Alex for sharing Triple R Luxury Car Hire’s story with us today! Your fleet is beautiful, and your dedication to your clients and making sure their weddings run smoothly is admirable. To find out more about Triple R Luxury Car Hire and to find the perfect car for your wedding, head to their website or check them out on the Polka Dot Directory!