Dear Emily serves the North Shore & Chicago Metro
area with a fabulous selection of invitations,
stationery, announcements & more.
frequently asked questions

How do you charge and what forms of payment do you accept?

There is no extra charge for ordinary stationery consultations, which are gratis with any order. Graphic design services are billed at $75 per hour. Cash and local checks payable to Dear Emily are accepted, as well as Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Why do I need an appointment? How do I make one? How much time should I budget?

Appointments enable Dear Emily’s proprietor, Melissa Mizel, to offer you her undivided attention and seasoned advice as you work your way through the many, many choices that most orders require. Private appointments also enable the client to focus on the decisions at hand free from the hubbub of a typical storefront. To make an appointment, please click here. Ordering a holiday card or personal writing paper takes less time than choosing a complete wedding suite. Do know that, however much time you need, you will receive patient attention and excellent guidance.

How long will it take for my order to be ready? When should I start this process?

Printing technologies vary enormously in the amount of labor they require, and production times vary accordingly. Some manufacturers can produce an order a mere three days from proof approval. Others will take more than a month. Orders that incorporate imported papers may require an additional eight weeks over standard production time. Hand-done calligraphy adds another two weeks to any order. When considering special event invitations, which have a suggested mailing date of 6-8 weeks ahead, having the greatest possible freedom means choosing invitations 6-7 months before the date of the occasion.

What envelopes need extra postage?

There’s more to postage than weight. The Postal Service charges a modest extra fee for envelopes that are square, see-through, too inflexible or addressed on the vertical. There is a more substantial premium for envelopes of significantly uneven thickness and invitations mailed in boxes.

When I invite single people, should I address the invitation to so-and-so and Guest?

You’ll show greater hospitality and exercise more control over your guest list (not to mention expenses) if you contact your friends and relatives and ask them for the full name and address of any sweetheart you’ve met or are otherwise aware of. Then send that person his or her own invitation. For people you’ve had less contact with, inquire if there is someone special in their lives who should be sent an invitation.

This approach greatly reduces the number of casual dates that might otherwise be brought along, not least because the wording that refers to a generic “Guest” can be interpreted as an obligation to produce one. Most importantly, no one wants to arrive at a crowded room wearing an imaginary badge that says “GUEST.” The little-known guest who receives the best hospitality is the one whom a host can welcome by name, e.g., “You must be Monica Lopez. We’re so glad to meet you.”

What percentage of out-of-town invitees will actually come?

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, there is no dependable mathematical formula for answering this question. Instead, review your list and ask yourself if you (or the hosts of your event, if different) would accept a comparable invitation from each of the possible guests on your list. Because relationships tend to be reciprocal, the number of yeses, noes and maybes you arrive at will be highly predictive of the assortment of replies you will receive.

Do I need inner envelopes?

In general, the custom of inner envelopes is fading, and not all manufacturers even make them available. That said, within some communities they remain popular and are actually considered useful, not just for a more pristine presentation but for inviting whole households where multigenerational friendships are the norm.

Is it better to provide a map or directions?

Since men seem to prefer the former and women, the latter, combining the two is ideal.

What purpose is served by at-home cards?

At-home cards can provide the new address of the marrying couple (assuming it differs from the old one), the return date of their honeymoon and how they wish to be addressed. All of this is useful for tardy gift-givers.

How do I choose an rsvp date? Can the replies go to someone other than the host?

Choose a memorable date, such as the 1st, the 10th, the 15th or 30th, that permits you to comfortably check on all your non-respondents and arrive at a fairly solid total in time to report it to all the people who are waiting to hear from you—caterer, rental house, florist and so on. The younger or less socially polished the roster, the greater the number of check-up calls you should expect to make. Replies can be directed to anyone willing to keep track of them. Older hosts, in particular, often prefer to delegate this task to someone else.

Save-the-dates, invitations, thank-you stationery, menus, seating cards—how much of the above has to match?

Some people like to establish a signature look for their events; others feel fine employing a different look before, way before, during and after. At a minimum, it’s a good idea to coordinate things that will be viewed at the same time—the components of an invitation, for example, or menus and place cards.

874 Green Bay Road, Suite 260, Winnetka, IL 60093 P: 847.446.0907F: 847.446.1368Email: