Tips for finding the perfect wedding stationery
Save the Dates and invites are hands down one of the most exciting parts of a wedding for me as a guest. There’s little in this world that’s as exciting as receiving stuff other than bills through the post, especially if they’re celebrating something wonderful. Extra points if they’re beautifully designed! But how do you find someone who’s going to be able to put your thoughts and visions into paper for your day? There can be a lot of pressure riding on it as you’re often told it will ‘set the tone’ for your wedding as the first thing people see of it. We asked 4 incredible stationers to share their expert advice on how the wedding stationery process works, how to choose your wedding stationer, and where to begin with designing it.
It’s okay to change your mind
The first thing to know, Lauren from Harriett and Joel says, is that it’s ok to change your mind about your wedding theme and style from your save the dates to your invites. “From a practical point of view, I’ve designed so many save the dates, and by the time we start designing the invitations their ideas have changed completely – which is totally ok!” Hopefully that eases the pressure a little before we deep-dive in…
What’s the process for ordering stationery?
There are two categories of wedding stationery: custom and non. Custom work is when the design is created for you from scratch, and non-custom is when an existing suite design is tweaked to fit your details. The timing differs depending on which option you go for, but as a guide, Nat from the uber cool wedding stationery design studio Keady Row has taken us through her process:
“- Couple get in touch
– We put a quote together based on what they need
– If they’re happy to go ahead, we send a proposal with all the details of the job along with an info form for the couple to fill out and send back
– We send design ideas via email
– The couple come back with comments or feedback
– We make any changes and send the updated files
– Once the couple are happy with their chosen design we send final print proofs for approval
– The stationery is delivered around 12-15 working days later! (the best part)”
How far in advance should you be ordering your wedding stationery?
Speaking of timings – where and when the hell do you start? Holly, the letterpress stationery wizard from Lucky Ink, explains it’s all dependent on the style of wedding you’re planning. “For a destination wedding, a year in advance is courtesy in order for guests to plan and book time off. Ideally, I like to allow a 2 month design to press process – stationers get booked up in advance and a lot of us only like to take a set amount of clients on at once!”
Rachel from Rachel Emma Studio echoes this sentiment. “It’s never really too early to start working with a wedding stationer (well, maybe 10 years is a bit keen.) A lot of “official” advice online will tell you that traditionally invites are sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding, which I personally think is cutting it fine and gives me major second hand wedding anxiety! As a rough guideline, most of the couples I work with send out Save The Dates around 8 months before, and their main invitations approx 3-4 months beforehand. This gives you plenty of time to receive RSVPs and chase up pesky stragglers!”
But remember, you need to add design and printing time to that timeline too! And if you’re already on a shorter timeframe than the above, don’t panic – every single one of our lovely stationers said that they will always try and accommodate shorter timeframes where necessary.
How to find your wedding stationer
“Couples should be looking for a stationer whose design style matches in with the vision and vibe that they have for their wedding,” Nat says. “Otherwise, it’s frustrating for both the couple and the stationer as they try and get the designs to line up with what they have in mind.” This can be both in style – for example, watercolour, graphic, typographic, illustrative – and in printing method – letterpress, digital, etc.
“Another thing to consider is if you want all of your stationery to match,” Rachel adds. “If you want all of your on-the-day stuff like place cards and signs to match your invites, just check that your stationer can do those other elements so that you’re not disappointed down the line!”
And, as with anything, it’s super important to find a supplier you feel comfortable with. Holly says “You want a supplier that makes you feel at ease, and is confident about explaining the process and expectations from both sides. Weddings are a huge expense so you need to feel happy that you can give your suppliers a task and they will deliver a service that will take the worry away from you.”
As small businesses are usually one person bands, it’s usually just as important to the supplier as it is to you! Holly goes on, “Every client is a huge deal and you get a better personal service because their business is built on passion for a craft. It is so important to me that all my clients enjoy and understand the process, quality and love the finished results. If you have any worries or budgets, it’s good to chat through all ideas with your stationer as they will be able to advise you on all options available.”
Lauren backs this up, saying “When I first meet a client, I love to ask a million questions and really get to know them to understand any thoughts and ideas they may have. Creating a Pinterest board is my favourite way to do this – it’s an easy way of seeing what someone is picturing inside their head!”
Can you use the design on other stuff?
This totally depends on your stationer and the agreement you’ve made with them. For Lauren, it works like this: “If your design is totally bespoke to you, then once you’ve paid for it you’re free to use it how you wish. Often, we’re happy to help – we’ve designed a monogram for one couple that appeared on all of their wedding stationery, and they then asked if they could use it across other aspects. They had it iced on their cake and engraved onto an ice sculpture!”
The key is to always ask. “All design copyrights are owned by the original designer and are bought by the client for a specific purpose,” Holly explains. “So if you want to use the imagery or designs somewhere ,it’s a good idea to chat to your stationer about it. Generally I have no problem with providing additional artwork for this purpose. However, I sometimes collaborate with other designers, illustrators and calligraphers, so it’s important that everyone is informed and copyright respected!”
What makes a really fun wedding?
“I wish all coupes knew not to put so much pressure on getting everything “perfect” – this usually means that their design becomes way too safe, a bit cookie cutter and a wee bit boring.” Nat says. “A relaxed couple who are staying true to themselves makes for relaxed guests and allows everyone to be themselves and have fun!”
For Lauren, it’s the music: “Good music is a MUST. I will always be the first on the dance floor at any wedding!”. And for Rachel, it’s all the bespoke touches: “I think the most fun thing for your guests is when they find out more about you as a couple on your wedding day. It’s the personal touches, the in-jokes and the unique details that people remember. Along with music, plenty of food and the odd cocktail or two, obviously…”
Keady Row are the queen and king of cool wedding stationery: they’re a stationery design studio with a contemporary, minimal and distilled style, with an emphasis on typography for design conscious couples. They’re basically an art form all in themselves http://keadyrow.com/
Lucky Ink is a letterpress and hot foil stationery studio – and it’s not just the foil that’s hot. Holly’s style is clean, crisp typography with luxury tactile finishes, hand pressed onto beautiful papers. Whether you’re looking for a gorgeous tonal combination or a pop of colour for letterbox joy, their stunning suites will get your hearts racing and your guests RSVPing quicker than ever before. http://www.luckyink.co.uk/
Rachel Emma Studio is a wedding styling studio creating colourful, sassy and shiny stationery with a personal touch. She loves to design extraordinary weddings for super cool couples – which I know is you! https://www.rachelemmastudio.com
Found this super useful? Why not pin it to your own wedding planning boards? Brill! Go right ahead. You can also follow me on Pinterest too for more inspiration.
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