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Ask the Expert, Planning

Ask the Expert: AUCOIN Graphic Design & Photography

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In business for over two and a half years, Aucoin has quite the impressive repertoire of gorgeous save the dates, invitations and more. Lucky for us, the local design company’s owner, Kayla Aucoin, was happy to reveal everything you need to know about these crucial wedding details.

By Alison Greene

Okay, let’s say I’m newly engaged and totally lost as to when I should start sending out my invites, etc. What’s a good timeline to go by?

Wedding planning can be stressful, so give yourself plenty of time. Once you pick a venue and date, you should have a general idea of what direction your wedding is going: upscale, formal, shabby-chic, backyard, nautical… just to name a few. Your very next to-do is your save the dates. We highly recommend starting this process about a year out from your wedding, especially if it’s taking place in the summer! Of course we want everyone to go to your wedding, let’s get it on the calendar first!

After all of your big details have been arranged, the next step will be your formal wedding invitations and rehearsal dinner invites. The design process should begin around the four to six month mark with the end goal of distributing three to four months prior to the wedding. Give your guests a solid month to return their RSVP’s. You never know what can happen with snail mail, so it’s best to keep your options open in case you need to resend an invite. The earlier you know the final number of guests, the better idea you have to move forward with the remaining essentials. Who knows, the final number can determine whether you have any extra money to splurge in another department!

About six to eight weeks out from your wedding, it’s time to think of the little, itty bitty things that sometimes get overlooked: menu cards, table numbers, programs, and any other signage. After that, it’s time for me to say best wishes and enjoy your beautiful day!

Once you arrive back from your honeymoon (yayy you’re married!), it’s time to thank all your guests for their attendance and generous thoughts and gifts. You want to send your thank yous over to guests about a month after your wedding.

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How do I go about choosing the style for my save the dates, invites and so on?

This depends on the bride, ha! Some couples have done their research and know exactly what they want right down to the font style. Some only know what they like and don’t like. And then some just need a little help, which is where I come in! Aucoin is all custom design. When we first sit with a couple, we don’t bombard them with hundreds of template designs, font options and stock samples. This should be fun and stress free so we make it easy. Before they even come in, we tell the couple to find three samples of designs they like and three that they don’t like. This helps us start to nail down the direction we are going to head in. With the details discussed in our meeting, we design three concepts to present to the couple in a second meeting. This is my favorite part.

The save the dates is the first time they are seeing a representation of their wedding. No samples from vendors or past weddings, no Pinterest pins…this is theirs. This is where it all begins.

Have you noticed any popular trends recently?

It’s tough to say, “this is on trend for this wedding season,” because it truly depends on the bride and groom. Every couple is unique and every wedding is unique. The creative world of invitations is an open book and there are so many directions you can go in. Our mission is that no one design will ever be the same. Why run the risk of having the same design as another couple on your guests’ fridge?

When creating the look you are going for, it is important to remember that simplicity is key. Let your stock choice and the layering of different stocks create the detail. As a designer, we love incorporating textures and prints into the overall design. For example, we recently designed a save the date for a Floridian wedding and the design was simple with text over an image which is a standard save the date look. We took the design to the next level by layering it with different papers, one being water colored palm tree leaves, bordered by a copper metallic cover stock. This design was paired with a matching copper metallic envelope with white calligraphy. It is important to choose an envelope that will compliment your design. It is always fun for your guests to receive a beautifully designed envelope standing out in their stack of mail!

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But would you say there’s one trend that will never go out of style?

We believe the letterpress style will always be a classic. The detail in a letterpress design says it all!

Have any fun facts about your business?

We are all about the personal experience and enjoy sitting down with couples to get to know the real team. Our friendships and projects all began with a cup of coffee (and sweets!).

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