I'm definitely biased, but I believe bespoke wedding invitations are truly worth the investment (of your time and money). I've actually found that most couples will spend just as much, sometimes more, choosing a template from a pre-made invitation site. You spend months making your wedding unique to you and your fiancé(e), shouldn't your wedding invitations be described as something other than "pretty"?
With all the options to choose from for every aspect of your wedding, sometimes picking the right stationer to work with seems like a daunting, expensive and overwhelming task—leading you to head to the pre-made invitations. Here are a few tips to help minimize your anxiety while allowing you to have your one-of-a-kind invitation suite.
Do you have a specific budget in mind, but don't know if it's enough for everything you want? Have you looked around at templates and don't see exactly what you want? Do you have items that are "must-haves" and others that are "would be nice to haves" but don't know where to start?
During our initial contact we can chat on the phone, strictly through email, or in person (if we aren't too far away). I will provide you with a questionnaire prior to this, and we can go over any questions I may have during the call. We can discuss budget and I can provide you with insight into what is feasible for the price range you have in mind.
The only way to really get what you want, is to say it out loud. Sometimes we forget that people can't read our minds, so the best way to make sure you get exactly what you want is to speak openly and often, be specific, and if you think you forgot to mention something, don't be afraid to mention it again — it can't hurt and it's not a bother at all.
The best thing about hiring a stationer is their ability to walk you through your options based on your budget. Chances are they can make your quirky idea come to life for less than you imagined without you having to DIY that little detail after your box arrives from the big box store — one less thing you have to worry about.
Be sure to reach out as soon as possible when you find a designer that interests you. It allows more time for you both to get to know each other, cuts down on rush fees or errors, and gives your stationer the ability to brainstorm and shop around for different material options to best fit your budget.
STYLE & AESTHETIC
Are you looking for something specific: simple and clean, elegant, whimsical illustrations, floral watercolor, a monogram crest? Do you like a certain artist's work, but nothing they have displayed specifically?
It's important to appreciate your designer's style. Reach out and ask if your idea is something they are comfortable doing or may have done but don't have displayed on their portfolio. If you don't like anything they have done chances are you aren't a good fit, but it never hurts to reach out if they were recommended to you by a friend or family member. Some designers are able to create many different styles, but only display the work they like the most. Some clients are surprised when they are shown something they weren't expecting to like and end up loving — like that wedding dress you never wanted to try on.
Do these words make you anxious? Does thinking about timelines, wording, and addressing etiquette really overwhelm you?
Your stationer will be able to narrow down all the choices and present you with the best options. They will make sure everything reflects your vision and is unique to you. Having a stationer handle your invitations and making sure they are complete and delivered to your guests on time will cut out a lot of the stress paper goods seem to create for everyone (other than designers).
I highly suggest working with the same stationery designer from the beginning of your paper journey for all your printed materials. This will allow everything to have a consistent look and feel. A few components to consider:
- Save the Dates
- Invitation Suite (Main Invitation + Outer Envelope, Inner Envelope (optional), RSVP Card + Inner Envelope, Reception/Details/Info Card, Directions Card/Custom Map, Belly Bands, Ribbons, etc.)
- Place Cards/Escort Cards
- Custom Signage
- Other Party Invitations (Engagement, Bachelor(ette), Bridal Shower, Rehearsal Dinner, After Party, Post-Wedding Brunch, etc.)
Finally, ask yourself these questions when you're looking through designer's portfolios:
- Do I like what I see at first glance?
- Is their style/aesthetic what I am looking for?
- Do I understand their process?
- Do I have enough time to work with them?
- Does working with this designer excite me?