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Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

​​First Anniversary Traditional Gift: Paper

 July 7, 2023

If you have never heard of “traditional” anniversary gifts, we are here to help! Whether it is your first anniversary or your 30th, there are traditional gifts that go along with each year’s celebration. These traditional gifts date back in time and have been long-standing representations of the love that two people share. The common way people choose to follow these traditions is to gradually increase the gift’s value over time as one invests more time into the relationship.

On your first anniversary, the traditional gift is paper, which symbolizes strength and connectivity of your blossoming relationship. Some of these gift ideas could be a cookbook, custom illustration of the couple, or tickets to a special event! Paper serves as a reminder that you're writing the story of your lives together, page by page. It symbolizes the true interweaving of your lives and natural growth.

Also keep in mind that anniversary gifts do not have to be physical gifts, but could be experiences!

Here are the traditional gifts for the following anniversary celebrations:

Second Anniversary - Cotton

Third Anniversary - Leather

Fourth Anniversary - Fruit or Flowers

Fifth Anniversary - Wood

Sixth Anniversary - Candy or Iron

Seventh Anniversary - Wool or Copper

Eighth Anniversary - Bronze

Ninth Anniversary - Pottery

Tenth Anniversary - Tin or Aluminum

And so on…

Feel free to research these traditional gift ideas on your own and learn all about what they mean and represent!

~Julia Costello

​​Why You Should Order Invitations Through a Retailer

 June 7, 2023

Choosing where you will get your wedding invitations from is one of the first big decisions you will make in your wedding planning journey. We are here to help make this easy!

One of the biggest reasons to choose a retailer over ordering online is you can actually SEE and TOUCH the invitations, which makes a huge difference. When you are shopping online and cannot actually get a feel for the invitation, only have limited options to shop from, cannot ask about mixing options that you do like and it makes it more difficult to design your dream invitation.

The second reason is that you will have an engaging and meaningful experience while shopping with a retailer. For example, here at I Do!, we guide you every step of the way and do our best to give you the amazing experience that you deserve. We want to be a part of your big day. We can bring your thoughts and vision to life!

The third reason is that the editing and design aspect of building your perfect invitation is much more hands-on. At I Do!, we provide suggestions and listen to all edits and ideas that you have for your invitation. When ordering online, you may not have a specialist working with you and supporting you throughout the entire process.

The fourth reason is the quality of paper, different textures, and thicknesses that you have to choose from with a retailer. Not only can you choose paper, but retailers, like I Do!, even offer acrylic and velvet invitations! There are always so many options that are high quality when shopping through a retailer.

These are just some of the many reasons that we suggest ordering through an invitation retailer!

~Julia Costello

​​why do i have to pay shipping charges when i'm picking up my invitations?

 April 8, 2023

This is a very commonly asked question and the answer is simple! Despite the invitations being picked up at the I Do! studio there is still a fee that comes along with them getting shipped to the studio. The shipping price can vary based on several factors, but mainly weight and delivery speed.

Having them shipped to the studio allows us to have the first look and ensure they are to the quality standards we hold ourselves to and make sure your invitations are perfect for when you arrive to pick them up. Also, when you pick them up we will go over assembly, buying postage and mailing instructions.

If you are not local to our studio, we can have them shipped to you and send you the next step directions.

~Julia Costello

​​Before Marriage and 

After marriage: 

whose name goes First?

 March 30, 2023

This is a question that gets asked very frequently, and can get confusing when you do not know the answer. We are here to help you so that next time you need to address something, you can do it correctly.

The typical protocol is that prior to the wedding, the bride’s name will appear

before the groom’s name. This would typically be on your Save the Dates,

Invitations, etc. After the wedding, however, the groom’s name will begin

appearing before the bride’s name. This would be on items such as Thank You

Cards, Address Labels, etc.

What about during the wedding?

Well, when it comes to items at the actual wedding (Welcome Bags, Favors,

Napkins, etc.) the decision is up to each couple! You can choose to follow the

protocol above. For example, with Welcome Bags, technically you aren’t married

yet so the bride's name first. But with favors, technically you are now married, so

the groom's name first. Some couples just choose to base it off their own

preference, so you can do that too! Really the decision is all yours.

What about same sex couples?

We see two different choices when it comes to same sex marriages. The first is that the couple chooses to go alphabetically. For example, Becky and Kristen as

opposed to Kristen and Becky. Another way couples choose is based on

preference. If you go by “Kathy and Debra” to your friends and family, then go

that route instead of doing it alphabetically. At the end of the day, choose what is

most comfortable to you!

~Julia Costello

Who to Tip on the Wedding Day 

and How Much?

  March 2, 2023

When it comes to planning your wedding and all of the expenses incurred, you

may not even think about tips, but it is extremely important! So let’s talk about it!

For starters, tipping your vendors completely varies depending on the service. We

are going to provide you with a list of some common services and the standard that

people tend to follow when tipping! Always remember, at the end of the day these

are just suggestions based on our experiences and research, but do what you think

based on your budget.

Wedding Planners/Day of Coordinator: 10-20% or a nice gift

Hairstylist/Makeup Artist: 15%-25%

Wedding Delivery/Setup Staff: $5-$10 per person

Church Officiant: donating $100-$500 to the church/synagogue

Officiant: $50-$100

Musicians: $15-$20 per musician

Photographer/Videographer: $50-$200 per vendor

Attire Alterations: $20-$30

Reception Staff: 15%-20% of food and drink fee, $200-$300 for the maître d’

Band/DJ: $25-$35 per musician; $50-$150 for DJs

Transportation Company: 15%-20% of total bill

Cake Baker, Florist, Stationer: $50-$100, or a small gift

~Julia Costello

Laser Cut Flat Invitation

Laser cut pocket

Laser Cut 101: What You Need to Know About the Design, Burn Marks, Etc.​

  February 13, 2023

If you have not heard about laser cut invitations yet, no need to worry we are here to help fill you in. This beautiful and elegant style of invitation is just what you need if you are searching to level-up your day. There are multiple laser cut elements that you can implement in your wedding stationery, from a flat invitation to a gatefold or tri-fold pocket, and any of the other pieces of your invitation suite, the choice is yours and I Do! is here to assist you with it. While the goal of laser cutting is to provide a detailed and intricate beautiful design the one main point we want to highlight in this article is the potential of burn marks that come with laser cut invitations. As the laser cuts through the paper, it can sometimes leave behind burn and heat marks. This is something we want to address with our couples up front. We always encourage our couples to ask us any questions when planning their invitations!

~Julia Costello


Photo Credit Morgan Taylor Artistry

Photo Credit Lauren Cattie Photography

Photo Credit Andrea Krout Photography

Photo Credit Bride Mel

5 Advice Tips for 

Wedding Invitation Envelopes

  January 6, 2023

1.ORDER EXTRA ENVELOPES (especially if you use a calligrapher)

We advise our couples to order extra invitations and envelopes when placing their order for several of reasons: family and friends move and you may need to update their address, a name could be spelled incorrectly, it could get returned in the mail to you, or you may find out for some reason your guest did not receive the invitation at all. And no matter how many times you go over your guest list we can guarantee something will change between when you order and when you send your invitations.



You want to make sure you send an invitation to everyone that is invited: your parents, each person in the bridal party (including your ring bearer and flower girl), Clergy or Officiant, and guests over 18 (even if still living at home) should get their own invitation.

Who the envelope is addressed to is who is invited, so be as specific as you can. If you are inviting someone and a guest, you will need to write Mr. John Smith and Guest, if you know the guest’s name you should write Mr. John Smith and Ms. Jane Doe.

Make sure you spell out abbreviations. For example, 610 E. Central St., W. Chester, PA 19380 should be 610 East Central Street, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19380. You will want to spell out all directional, street, and state names. Spell out titles of your guest’s names too.


After mailing your invitations out to your friends and family, and you find yourself with a few extra, try your luck by sending some to celebrities and/or companies! Some couples who have mailed invitations to Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse have ended up receiving keepsakes and souvenirs in return. Others have chosen to mail invitations to Taylor Swift, Jimmy Kimmel, Beyoncé, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Starbuck, and so many more. Couples who have tested this out have received notes in response! (See our recent Blog on this -


Instead of licking your envelopes closed you can use a white glue stick.


Take a fully assembled invitation suite to the United States Post Office and get it weighed. Then purchase postage for your response cards and invitation envelopes based on the size and weight. Affix the postage on the envelopes. Take your invitations back to the USPS and ask the Postmaster to “hand-stamp” your invitation envelopes. You can then enjoy getting your responses back in the mail!

~Valerie Osiecki


Order enough invitations

Shadow Box Invitation

Invitation to tile

How Many Invitations Do You Really Need?

  December 21, 2022

The answer is…more than you think! Most people, when it comes to ordering invitations, order only for the number of couples they have, and maybe a few extras just in case. While that is a good starting point, you need to order more than you really think. Before deciding how many extra invitations you need, be sure to get an accurate count of your guest list.

One of the most common mistakes couples make when accounting for invitations is counting all of their guests instead of households. This would result in too many extra invitations.

Of course, a married couple would just get one invitation, but if they have a child that is over the age of 18 and still living in their home, they should get their own invitation. If their children are under 18 years old they can be on the same invitation of their parents. If you have a flower girl, ring bearer or any other children under the age of 18 in the wedding party, etiquette says they should get their own invitation.

After getting that number more accurate, next think of other reasons for extra invitations. For example, order a few extra invitations for yourself and your parents/in-laws as keepsakes. Get another invitation for your photographer for your details pictures. If you want to have your invitation framed around either your house or your bridal shower, those might be other instances where you need an extra invitation or two. It is cases like this that order a few extra will come in handy.

Additionally, you might get a few invitations returned to you in the mail because someone moved, and you will need to resend, or you might find out someone didn’t get the invitation you sent and need to send another one.

Also, you might want to send some invitations to businesses or celebrities and try your luck. (Read the blog below here.)

If you order some extras now, and you need more later it will save you a lot of money. (Read this blog.) You never know what can happen and always having a few extra invitations on hand can take the stress away!

    ~Julia Costello


Mickey & Minnie Mouse

King or Queen


Did You Know You Could Send Invitations to Celebrities? Keep Reading!

    November 2, 2022

You may have read this title and thought “WHATTTT?!! I can send invitations to celebrities?” The short answer is yes. Although it may seem rather silly and unrealistic, sending an invitation to a celebrity may come with some benefits.

After mailing your invitations out to your friends and family, and you find yourself with a few extra, test your luck by sending some to celebrities and/or companies! Some couples who have mailed invitations to Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse have ended up receiving keepsakes and souvenirs in return. Others have chosen to mail invitations to stars like Taylor Swift, Jimmy Kimmel, Beyoncé, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Starbuck, and so many more. Couples who have tested this out have received notes in response!

When we send you the Excel spreadsheet to be filled out with the names and addresses of who will receive your wedding invitations we have a short list of celebrity names and addresses for you. Or you can find the information for the stars and companies online and even the addresses where they prefer to receive fan mail (which may be a good address to send it to in order to receive a response)!

How wonderful would it be if you got a response, even if it is a standard response? Or even better, if Elon Musk's secretary opens your invitation and looks at the calendar and knows he cannot make your wedding and sends a present? And in the best case scenario, they actually show up! You hear about these stories! It could be YOU!

You never know what can happen, but it is fun to try it out! You never know what or who may turn up in your mailbox or your wedding!

    ~Julia Costello

Escort Cards

Escort Cards

Place Card

Escort Cards vs. Place Cards: 

The Differences

    October 5, 2022

Now that your seating chart is out of the way (phew!) let’s talk place cards, escort

cards, and their differences! Now you may be saying to yourself “Wait…there are

differences? I thought you could use the words interchangeably!” The answer to

your question is yes, there are in fact differences, but lucky for you we are here to

go over it!  Let’s break it down! 

Escort cards direct guests to a table rather than a seat. They are more informal  than place cards and allow guests to choose their own seat at the table. Typically, escort cards are placed outside the entrance to the dining room. Guests will find their escort card and make their way to their table. 

Place cards, on the other hand, indicate a specific seat for each guest, making them more ideal for sit-down dinner receptions. They are placed at each table to designate each guest’s place.

The differences are slight, but it is always best to know this information.

    ~Julia Costello

Escort Cards

How to Easily Create a Seating Chart

September 10, 2022

With planning a wedding comes many, many, many orders of business. One that

you might be tempted to put off at first because you don’t feel like doing it or it’s

too tedious is... your seating chart, but you need to do this quickly after you have all your responses because now you need to make (and print) your seating chart.

With this very helpful DIY tip, you can conquer your seating chart in a breeze!

The first thing you will want to do is get a large piece of paper (or poster board)

and draw out circles for the amount of tables you will have. Next, you will want to

get little stickies and write the names of your guests. Feel free to categorize them

by color like in the picture below! Start placing your stickies around the various

tables until you are happy with the seating layout! The best part of this hack is that you can move around the stickies and test out different arrangements until finding the one that is best for you.

We hope this tip is helpful in your wedding planning process and that it can help

take some of the stress out!

    ~Julia Costello

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