Your essentials are your invitations and information cards; you can't get away with not telling people the plan! The other options are also important, but if you're on a budget then these are the things you can do without. Just remember you need to provide a way of receiving your information back from your guests.
I like to meet with my couples to talk through their wedding from the word go. You can gain a lot of vision when speaking to them face-to-face and I get to understand what they want from their day. The ideas come to me from that; I will show them some imagery or draw sketches and we build on things from there. Even if you're just doing save the dates it's important to have a theme for your suite; it tells a story!
If you've sent out Save The Date's then I would suggest sending formal invitations 4-6 months before the wedding. if you haven't opted for Save The Dates, then earlier. The earlier the better to avoid your guests making other plans!
There aren't really rules any more; some couples like a laid back feel, others like it more formal - it's up to you!
Most people like their suite to flow if they have a colour theme, but it depends on the individual. Go with what you feel is right.
This is my favourite part of stationery; doing new things! I have made invitations that are paper planes, bespoke laser cut designs, used acrylic for the invites and table plans... The wackier the better!
Working with local suppliers and supporting small businesses is really important to me and also allows me to turn things around quickly sometimes just as long as 2 weeks!. It depends on the suite you have chosen as the more components the longer it will take.
I can create beautiful illustrated maps - this is a much more attractive and interactive option that an A4 google maps print out! Illustrated maps are increasing in popularity.
Most couples haven't decided on their wedding breakfast when they send invitations, so my advice is to include a space for dietary requirements in your RSVPs. Your caterer will then provide dishes suitable for them.
Yes - I have done this for couples. It really adds something having your addresses written in a lovely calligraphy script.