As Shutterfly’s Card Stylist, I review many of the stationery options available for moms today. It can be an incredibly overwhelming time for expectant mothers and new moms, and there are a lot of choices to weed through. So I’ve put together a few tips to make the process more manageable. Here are a few things you can keep in mind when selecting your stationery:
- Quality: Go with a retailer that has a proven track record. If you choose to select card stock, anything above 110lbs is gorgeous. Anything below that might not meet your expectations.
- Reliability: Again, a retailer with a proven track record is the way to go. Pay attention to the shipping timelines. A company that has their own facilities (such as Shutterfly) typically has a quicker turn around.
- Design-forward: Most moms want to remain fairly traditional in their baby announcement color palette and design. Soft pinks and baby blues are obviously our most popular colors, but pairing those with chocolate, warm khaki, or grays is a great way of infusing trend into your announcement while still remaining timeless. Going with an extremely simple design paired with strong photography is also a way to go.
Choosing The Baby Announcement
Now, comes the fun part – choosing the baby announcement that’s right for you. I recommend that you actually start your search prior to the baby’s arrival. There is usually more down time prior to your baby’s arrival, so you’ll have a chance to think things through. Get as much out of the way as possible! You could even pre-order your address labels (if you’ve decided on a design) and envelopes, then have them addressed to your family and friends so that all you’ll need to worry about later is entering in the pertinent information.
Before The Baby’s Arrival
What is your style? What is the baby’s personality? This will be your baby’s first introduction into the world and you want to make sure the announcement makes a statement. What does his/her nursery look like – is it modern or classic? Match your and baby’s style with appropriate shower invitations, announcements and thank yous.
We recommend narrowing it down to 2-3 options and making the final choice after the little one is here. Try different announcements and fonts with baby’s full name to see what best highlights the moniker. Shutterfly offers a great interactive tool to help. Try it out.
When Your Bundle of Joy Arrives
Once your baby has arrived you can make a final decision, select the card, and order it. Common etiquette says that you send out the announcement within 3 months of the baby’s arrival. If more than three months have passed since the baby’s birth, consider including the birth announcement as an insert along with a holiday card or an announcement that includes news about the entire family. And don’t forget to order extras for the baby album.
Since you have already pre-ordered your address labels and filled out addresses you are able to quickly get them out to your loved ones in no time.
Thank you cards
Also consider ordering personalized matching thank yous at this time that coordinate back to your announcement. Gifts and best wishes will arrive once your loved ones receive the announcement…not to mention the baby showers, evenings with friends, etc.
There are several components to writing an appreciative thank you card.
Timing is of the essence. You should have thank you notes on hand after announcing your pregnancy so that you can write your thank you cards without delay. Thank you notes for birth announcements should be mailed within a few days of receiving the gift. You have a bit more time after a shower since you will have more to write.
Sincerity is another key component of a genuine thank you card. Be sure to say “what” you are thanking them for by listing the items they gave you and it is always heartfelt if you can say how you are looking forward to using those items or comment on how adorable or helpful they are.
Another great option is to create a Share site personalized for you and your baby, so that you can easily keep your loved ones informed. You can even create it prior to the birth to share your progress. Then once the baby is born you can share “first minute” photos, blog about the big day, provide updates to your loved ones as the baby grows and progresses. Shutterfly’s Share sites are great because unlike most, they are totally customizable and password protected. Just choose your member list, customize the site, and share!
Do you have any baby etiquette ideas? Or baby etiquette questions? I welcome you to share them by commenting on this article.