Let’s face it. There is a girl inside of all of us who loves stationery—think neatly arranged rows of gel pens, stacks of crisp coloured cards, and perfectly lined notepads. There’s a sense that when our stationery is lovely, all is right with the world. That’s why the thought of choosing your own wedding stationery might make your heart simultaneously beat with excitement and apprehension. Afterall, it is just paper goods for the most important day of your life. Right? Thought so.
Below we give you find 5 tips to find your stationery soulmate.
Photo by Lisa Dawn Photography
1. Look in the Right Places
We love paper-themed blogs for the best wedding stationery inspiration, such as Oh So Beautiful Paper, and Paper Crave. UK wedding blogs such as Love My Dress, Rock My Wedding, and Bloved Weddings are good for real wedding inspiration, with a strong love of stationery too.
Start a Pinterest board just for stationery, and pin all your favourite stationery ideas there. After a few pinning sessions, you’ll begin to see trends emerging—your favourite colours, finishes and styles will start to repeat. Super exciting!
2. Assess your budget
Your budget is affected by lots of factors. The printing process is an important one to consider. Digital printing tends to be the most cost effective, whereas luxury finishes such as letterpress, foiling and laser cut are on the higher end of the spectrum. Here’s more on that. Other things will also affect the price tag of your dream stationery, such as the designer you use, whether you want custom design, and quantity.
Sit down and work out all the items you’ll need, and all the items you want. Needs, for example, are invitations, RSVPs, info cards, thank you cards, place cards, menus, etc. Wants are fancier items, such as photobooth signs, illustrated table cards, cocktail sticks. Your budget will need to cover all these items.
3. Find your soulmate (No, not your fiance. Your stationery soulmate, silly)
Thanks to all that pinterest research, you’ll likely to have found a few names of designers you’d like to work with. Look according to the price point you’re after; most stationers will have a price list on their website. Higher-end designers who specialise in custom work will more likely ask you to contact them for a custom quote. Now is the time to get a sense of their pricing, their timeline (we get super busy during the first half of the year!) and whether they are a good fit for your celebration. Chat over email, or the phone, and see if you like them, and that they get you. Send them your pinterest board and ask them if they can achieve what you’re after within your budget. If you’ve fallen in love with a templated design, show them the colour changes you’d like to make, if any. If you’re after pretty finishes such as foiling, or a colour of your bridesmaids’ dress you’d love to have matched, mention that now! There might be extra time and charges to do with these processes, and it’s best to mention it now to avoid running out of time or budget.
Note their customer service too. Are they timely with their responses? Someone who doesn’t answer their emails promptly before you put down your deposit is not likely to get any more efficient after you’ve paid. A good bit of customer service goes a long way when you’re on the final stretch of your printing deadline, with 200 envelopes to address, stuff and send. Some stationers have a team, while others are one-man band. In any case, their service should be in top shape.
Image by BerinMade; names stamped with Love Stamp
4. Know the Perils of DIY
This is an interesting one as DIY weddings are so popular at the moment—we’ve got lots of DIY materials to show it!
Some brides DIY because they love to craft. Other brides do so to save on budget. If you choose to DIY, here’s what you need to know. DIY-ing will sometimes help with trimming down your spendings, if you do it smartly. However, if you opt to go down this route, know that you will be spending many weekends and evenings after work trimming card, printing and reprinting on card stock, and fiddling with gluesticks. There is a certain trial-and-error when it comes to DIY, and at the end of the projects you might find that you will not have saved a whole lot doing it yourself.
Our recommendation for brides looking to DIY is this: do 50/50. Order the minimum stationery you need, and DIY the rest by stamping your own return addresses, lining your own envelope liners. For those who love our lettering, we offer Invitation stamps, so that you can stamp your invites on as many cards (or fabric, or wooden veneer, whatever you like) as you like!* This is, in our own opinion, one of the most stress-free ways to DIY and save up, and at the same time, getting that professional guidance you might need with designing your invites by buying your invites from a stationer.
*As a side note, even though we sell stamps and patterned papers for DIY, this does not mean we transfer the copyright of our designs to our clients in anyway. This is the same for stationers who do custom illustrations for you. Please check with your designer if you would like to replicate their designs without using their production methods as you might risk breaking copyright laws!
5. Check out the Samples
Almost all stationers will offer sample packs at a cost that are redeemable against your future order. When looking at sample packs, be sure to check out their paper stocks, colour reproduction, and quality of finishing.
Paper is one of the most tactile aspects of your wedding… how many people are going to come up and feel your dress? But every one of your guests will have held an invitation in their hand. It’s a chance for your guests to get really up close and get a sense of what your celebration is about. Our advice is this: always buy a sample before committing to print the entirety of your invitations. After all, it is something your guests are going to handle; your parents might frame after the wedding; and maybe even one day, your grandchildren will find in a scrapbook.
Stay tuned for part 2 of Perfect Wedding Stationery series on How to Work with your Stationer!