September 2014 archive

Texas Hill Country Budget Ideas for Country Chic – Vintage Weddings


One of the hottest wedding trends for 2014 in San Antonio has been the country chic – vintage style weddings. The best thing about living in San Antonio is that the hill country is so close and more and more brides are choosing to move outside of the city and have their wedding in quaint, small hill country towns that really show the beauty of nature and the vintage feel in historical buildings.


Spinelli’s in Comfort, Texas, is the perfect example! Spinelli’s Hill Country Cathedral is over 100 years old. What’s great about this location is that there are both inside and outside reception options plus the church for the ceremony. Everything is right there so you don’t have to leave!


Here’s a inexpensive way to dress up your invitations to give that vintage feel…doillies wrapped with either ribbon or twine. I’m currently working with a bride that wants to do that for her invitations. I found doillies on clearance for .50 cents per 12, wow!


Last winter I was a consultant to a bride that was on a very tight budget and had her wedding at the Botanical Gardens. She had her ceremony in a beautiful area on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens and then moved to the Carriage House Bistro for the reception. They have a large tent available for renting and is very affordable.


Tree stumps are all the rage this year for decorating. Most brides use them for centerpieces on the guest’s tables or as a cake stand. But what about this idea…using it as a sign in for your guests. You can then hang it on a wall so you can always admire it later on!


Find old vintage pictures of family and frame them to use as a vocal point at the reception. Add lace fabric and an antique vase with flowers for the perfect vintage look!




Here are 2 ways of hanging flowers/centerpieces. The first is simple, you use wire and wrap it around small vases and then hang from trees, overhang or tent. All it takes is a few flowers in each, very economical! A little more upscale idea is to take a birdcage and glue faux flowers, use some moss and attach ribbon or crystals hanging from the bottom to give a beautiful and elegant look! A bride I consulted for a spring wedding made 4 of these to decorate a covered breezeway. It was gorgeous!


I have a large assortment of items that I let my couples who use my consulting services use for FREE! I offer a lot of country chic – vintage items that will add beauty to your wedding & save you money from renting or purchasing! Click here to go to my rentals page on my website to view much more. If you would like more information about my consulting or invitation services please call me at 210-595-9263 or

Checklist and Timeline for Wedding Invitations

carlson_craft_invitations_san_antonio Here is a general invitation guideline to make sure you stay on schedule as you plan your wedding. The entire process from start to finish can take six to eight months so please don’t wait until the last minute to order your invitations. Use this guide while planning!

For a limited time I am offering 10% off all invitation orders!
  •  1 Year – Your engaged! Set a wedding date and then start to gather your list of potential guests you would like to invite (the “A & B” list). This is important so you know the size of the venue you need to book. You would hate to book a venue for only 150 guests and then at the last minute you forgot to add guests and then the venue becomes too small. Plan ahead!
  • 9 Months – Start searching websites, Pinterest and magazines for invitation style NYSS-Booth_20x36_4-2014.inddideas and start narrowing down the style/look/feel you are wanting. Depending on the formality of the wedding you will want to start thinking about all the enclosures you intend on including as well. Think about hotel accommodation cards, direction cards, reception cards, etc.
  • 7 to 8 Months – Decide on how you want to create your invitations. If you decide upon creating a custom invitation from a stationer this is the time to collect your ideas for it. You’ll want to order your save the date cards (from “A List”). Be sure you’ve gathered all your guest’s addresses!
  • 6 Months – If creating your own invitation you’ll want to meet with the stationer and start the process. Be sure to mail the save the date cards by now!
  • 5 Months – If ordering your invitation by templates this is the time you’ll want to meet with a stationer and decide on your invitation. You can view invitations through online storefronts or in-person so you can actually see them. You’ll finalize the wording and enclosures as well. A stationer can recommend calligraphers as well at this time. You’ll want to call them and make sure they know you’ll be using them to address the envelopes.
  • 4 Months – Invitations should be ordered and received during this month. Be sure to always request a proof for your invitation, this is a tip I always recommend! Also, order extra invitations for the “B List” and/or envelopes for accidental mess ups. Once invitations come in you’ll want to get the envelopes to the calligrapher to address or you’ll need to address yourself at this time. Be sure to have a typed out list of guest’s names/addresses so mistakes aren’t made for not being able to read someone’s handwriting.NYSS-Booth_20x20_4-2014.indd
  • 3 Months – Address the envelopes (allow 3-4 weeks). Go to the post office and weigh everything and purchase the postage needed.
  • 10-8 Weeks – Assemble and seal invitations, apply postage. Request hand-cancelling at the post office so the invitations do not go through their machines and mail. Be sure to mail out from the “B List” as regrets start coming in. Place your rehearsal dinner invitation order.
  • 4 Weeks – Last chance to mail out the “B List”. Mail out the rehearsal dinner invitations (or inform responsible party) and post wedding brunch invitations if applicable.
  • 2 Weeks – Contact guests that have not rsvp’d. Normally, caterers need 10 business days prior to the wedding for the final count so get that to them as well. If you are using a seating chart be sure to get this to your wedding coordinator and caterer as well.
  • THE BIG DAY – Try and relax and have a great time!!


Please use this as a guide as you plan your wedding. If you have any further questions please contact Trudy Scott, Professional Wedding Consultant,  and I will be more than happy to help you. You can also contact me to make a personal one-on-one appointment to view invitations in person. I also can help you with bridal shower, save the dates, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette, thank you cards, programs, menu cards and more! 210-595-9263,




Tips about inviting guests to your wedding

facebook_ad_vintage_edited-1As a professional wedding consultant in San Antonio, I have some valuable invitation & guest  tips that every couple should know when planning their wedding.

1. When should I order my invitations? You need to allow ample time for the ordering process, mailing and guest response. Mailing them six to eight weeks before the wedding date is standard. However, if you have a lot of guests traveling from out of town or attending a destination wedding, ten to twelve weeks is best to give them time to make their travel plans.

2. Should I mail out extra invitations so I get the number of attendees I want? As a general rule, approximately 20 percent of the people you invite will be unable to attend. However, don’t be tempted to over invite too much over the venue capacity. You can always have a “B List” and send invitations out to them a few weeks prior to the wedding date if you do receive “No” responses early. Be sure to order extra invitations for this!

3. How do I handle the “no kids” or “and guest” situation? If you do not want children at the wedding that is perfectly fine. Just be sure to address the envelope with the parent’s names only. Never write “No Children” on the invitation. Also, be sure to have the “No Children” policy for everyone. You don’t want hurt feelings. For the “plus 1” situation…It is not mandatory that you have to include a date for single guests. If you address with just the guest’s name he/she may get the idea. However, they may call/email you asking if it would be ok to bring a date. That is a tough call. To avoid a confrontation you may want to go ahead and include the additional guest even though it means an extra dollar amount for you.


4. Who should I and shouldn’t I include on the guest list? This question is always one of the biggest issues couples deal with about their wedding. You should only invite those that you REALLY WANT TO BE AT YOUR WEDDING! Don’t invite guests when you know they won’t show just to say you invited them. Logically, the main part of your guest list will be filled with family and friends. One other group you should include is your boss and close coworkers. If you don’t have the budget to include coworkers, just invite your boss. You do not have to invite ALL coworkers but do so quietly and discretely. Again, you don’t want hurt feelings. Do not invite an Ex, even if you are on friendly terms. I don’t think your fiancé will appreciate that. Don’t feel obligated that you have to invite an old college friend to your wedding just because they invited you to theirs.

5. How do I handle the “B List” for inviting guests? If you have a lot more guests that you would like to invite but just don’t have it in the budget (or room in the venue) then be sure to mail out the invitations 8 weeks prior (give a little more time) and as you receive “Regrets” you can then mail out invitations from your “B List.” Be sure to order extra invitations for this at your initial ordering (it will be cheaper to add an extra 25 invitations with the first order instead of ordering separately later on).


If you have additional etiquette questions about your invitations please call or email me. I would be happy to discuss that with you. Remember, for a limited time I am offering 10% off all invitation/stationery products (excludes Disney) from my online stores and in-person.  Click here for my Carlson Craft Store (discount automatically taken) and here for my Printswell Store (enter code 10%OFFSPECIAL). If you want that one-on-one service please contact me at 210-595-9263 or for an in-person appointment.

Thank you to San Antonio Weddings for posting a blog about my invitation services!–off-invitations-755.aspx