Frequently Asked Questions
Q: WHEN SHOULD I ORDER MY INVITATIONS?
A: As soon as you know your event date and venue, you are ready to book your invitation design with us! We recommend ordering your invitations 4-6 months in advance, the earlier the better.
Q: HOW DO I PLACE AN ORDER?
We try to make the ordering process as simple as possible. There are 4 simple steps to place an order:
- Fill our contact form or let us know by phone or email what invitation model do you like (and if you have an specific style, colors or theme), the quantity of invitations that you need, and the shipping zip code (to calculate the taxes and shipping costs).
- We’ll send you an email with a detailed estimate
- Make the deposit payment here or by any of our accepted payment methods
- Complete our invitation information form for: Quinceañeras/Sweet 16 or for Wedding, or send us the information by email to email@example.com
Q: WHEN CAN I EXPECT MY FIRST PROOF?
Please allow 1-15 business days from the date all order information and deposit payment is received. After an initial rough draft has been completed by one of our designers, a digital proof will be sent by e-mail for your changes or approval. Subsequent proof changes are usually done within 24-48 hours of the change request. We will never take a job we cannot fulfill - the PROOF stage is usually that longest part of the process, as we can go back and forth numerous times with changes and corrections until you are happy with the format.
Q: WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY ORDER?
Once the prof is approved, the final product will generally print and ship in 15-30 business days days. Elaborated invitations with custom die-cuts or finishes, may take up to 6 weeks after approval. This is a rough estimate more or less depending on our production schedule, quantity and complexity of job. This does not include shipping transit time.
Q: I NEED MY INVITATIONS THIS WEEKEND! IS THIS POSSIBLE?
In some cases expedited service is available. However, most orders require at least 4-12 weeks to process to completion (delivery). Please contact us for options.
Q: CAN I CHANGE THE COLORS OR WORDING OF AN INVITE I LOVE?
A: Yes! Our design process is what makes us unique! All colors, fonts, wording and graphics can be customized to fit your event colors and theme. We love new themes and challenges! Let us design the perfect invitation, customized just for you.
Q: DO YOU PROVIDE INVITATIONS IN OTHER LANGUAGES?
Yes! We offer translation service for Spanish and English only. Although no translation service is available for other languages, we do provide invitations in other languages. To date, we have done invitations and programs in French and Finish, but we are always open to others!. Please allow additional time for bi-lingual invitations or programs and the proofing can take longer.
Q: DO YOU HAVE A MINIMUM ORDER?
A: Our minimum order is 50 invitations.
Q: I AM NOT SURE HOW MANY INVITATIONS I WILL NEED UNTIL LATER - DO I NEED TO KNOW THE QUANTITY NOW? WHAT IF I DECIDE I NEED EXTRA INVITATIONS/PRODUCTS AFTER I RECEIVE MY ORDER?
No, we do not need the exact quantity when you place your order. However once your order has been approved for printing, we cannot make any changes in the design or quantity. As all of our products are custom made, please note that we'll produce the exact amount of invitations you ordered, no extras as back up. If any corrections or changes need to be made (in the design or quantity of invitations needed), please point those out clearly BEFORE you approve the final proof for printing. Change to the order is not accepted after processing. Any update to the original order will be regarded as a new one. Once proof is approved Ale Pineda will NOT be responsible for any costs incurred to reprint your order. To avoid this complication, we advise all clients to carefully review their sample and quantity needed before approving the final proof. We need your help to do the job right the first time and save YOU the expense of reprinting.
Q: HOW CAN I CALCULATE THE QUANTITY OF INVITATIONS THAT I SHOULD ORDER?
A: First things first, you do NOT need as many wedding invites as you have guests! While it might seem like common sense, many times we hear that the our client needs 200 invites. When in all reality, they are expecting 200 guests to attend the special day. The best way to combat this mistake is to remember the 60% rule: 200 guests = approximately 120 invites.
But wait, don’t I just need exactly half of my total guest list? In a perfect world, yes, you would. But think of it like this – invites are sent to couples. Then you need to consider the families with children and any single and looking invitees. While this mix of guests can even each other out, generally speaking, the extra 10% is covered.
Now, we’re not saying you should go out and order whatever 60% of your total guest list ends up being. All we mean is that it is a great place to start to get an estimate of what your actual numbers will be and help you determine your budget.
But what’s the safest way to figure out how many invitations do I actually need?
Luckily for you, we have a tried and true system that allows you to stay organized and it helps make the invitation process easier down the line. (Want it to be even easier? If you choose Ale Pineda Invitations & Event Branding for your stationery needs, we offer the option to digitally print the return and guests addresses for you, too! Score.)
- Use a spreadsheet – Excel is a great example or download our guest addressing form.
- List each household you need to send invites to in a separate row. For example:
- Each Couple in its individual row (Mr. and Mrs. Smith)
Each Family in its individual row (The Smith Family)
Each Single in its individual row (with or without plus one)
Note: Make sure you include yourself, your parents and closest family members individually. While it might seem ok to skimp out on ordering their invites, because duh, they are invited, these are the people who will cherish the invitations the most.
- Once you’re done, if everything has been inputted into the spreadsheet correctly, the number of lines within the spreadsheet will be the number of invites you will need*. Yay! So easy!
*Important tip: order extra invitations
You’ve got the exact numbers now, but you’ll still need just a few more. You might be thinking, “Huh? I thought I had my numbers down?” Let me tell you from experience, you will thank yourself later by ordering extra.
Start with at least 10 extra invite added to your guest list total from the spreadsheet. That’s a minimum you should stick to. Have a think on this for second. Let’s say your guest list is at 200 and you’re spreadsheet indicates you need to order 100. Add in an extra safe cushion of 20% to cover all emergencies and order 120 invites.
20%? That’s way more than I will ever need! Before you forego the idea of this comfy safety net, consider all the scenarios that could possible happen in the two months before you need to send the invites to the post office.
A.) Mother of the Groom insists on adding 4 more guests to the list.
B.) You’ve realized you forgot to invite your great aunt Sarah.
C.) Your mother decides she needs to invite a few people from work.
D.) Your grandmother tells you she wants to keep one for posterity – and then so does your mother, the mother of the groom, etc.
E.) Your Groom insists you send an invite to his college buddy who is overseas – even though they won’t be coming to the wedding.
And we still haven’t considered any invitations that could get lost in the mail or returned due to having a wrong address!
Bet that extra 20% sounds like a lifesaver now!
All things considered, do yourself a HUGE favor and order just a few more invites to have on hand in any scenario or situation. Event planning is stressful enough as it is and if you can save yourself the headache, or worse, a last minute panic, the better! (Believe me, it’s WAY more costly to have to order more invites down the road then ordering them all upfront.)
Q: I DO NOT LIVE IN HOUSTON CAN I STILL WORK WITH ALE PINEDA AND ORDER MY INVITATIONS?
A: Of course! All our consultations are complimentary and can be done over email and phone for our international & out of town clients, and we ship worldwide!
Q: WHEN SHOULD I MAIL OUT MY INVITATIONS?
A: Invitations should be mailed 6-8 weeks prior to the event.
Q: WHEN SHOULD WE MAIL OUR SAVE-THE-DATES?
A: Save-the-dates can be mailed 4-8 months in advance or for destination weddings up to a year prior to the event.
Q: CAN I MAIL INVITATIONS WITH BULKY EMBELLISHMENTS IN ENVELOPES?
A: Yes, it is possible to mail invitations with bulky embellishments, but we need to use an additional padding material, placing it on top of your invitation and sliding them both in the envelope facing the back. Why the back of the envelope? The main reason for this is at the post office the cards goes in a machine to read the address face up so it much friendlier to have a flat and smooth surface for the machine.
The safest approach to sending a thicker or bumpier card with embellishments may be hand canceling a stamp in person at the post office. Although the sender must wait in a line at the post office to accomplish this extra step, the benefits outweigh the extra hassle. The sender eliminates the uncertainty of the card surviving the postal sorting machines. The USPS verifies total postage amount to ensure prompt delivery. Finally, hand canceling provides a personalized touch for that handmade card with beads or eyelets.
Please consider that even with the additional envelope padding and hand canceling, there’s always a risk that the envelope/invitation can be damaged, broken or bended during the mailing process and Ale Pineda Invitations & Event Branding is not responsible for those damages.
Q: DO THE INVITATIONS COME ASSEMBLED? CAN I ASSEMBLE MYSELF?
Our custom invitations come fully assembled and we do not offer any discounts for self-assembly.
Q: CAN I SEND YOU ARTWORK I HAVE ALREADY DONE FOR MY INVITATION?
No, we do not accept artwork ready for print - we are a foremost a design firm and offer the printing and assembly services as a courtesy to our customers. However if you have a specific design in mind you can send us your artwork or a diagram for us to "copy" and we can make it look generally the same.
Q: CAN I GET A PHOTO-READY COPY AND PRINT MY OWN INVITATIONS OR PRODUCTS?
No, since each order is unique we prefer to see all orders through to completion of the printed piece.
DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION WE HAVEN'T ANSWERED HERE?
Please contact us and we'll be happy to help you!