Wedding Stationery II

 

Ideas    |    Choice   |    Processes   |    Practitioners   |    Documentation

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Browsing for ideas

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The idea behind this self initiated project is to take the first step into investigating how to set up my own wedding stationery business post-university. To begin, I would like to set realistic and achievable goals I can achieve for this project, therefore this will just be the foundations that I will build on once I have completed my degree. This is to create a wedding stationery set to start building my portfolio ready for potential clients to see what I can do.

To begin, I have looked at other websites that already do this to see how they have set up and what kind of things they offer, I have listed more which were my favourites under the Practitioners section.

Papier
Hummingbird Cards
Norma & Dorothy
Strawberry Sorbet
Not on the High Street
The Card Gallery
Tree of Hearts

The above websites are vastly different in what they offer, in terms of style and quality. This has shown me that it would be ideal if I created a broad range of styles to choose from for instance: eco friendly, rustic, calligraphy inspired, modern, traditional etc.

I also came across Paperchain Wedding Stationery which offer Eco Wedding Stationery, which is something I would love to consider doing myself. I also remembered Etsy do a huge range of wedding invites by independents. This would be a great place to start hosting my work onto post-university.

To continue my search, I have also looked at some advice people have posted online to see how to set up a wedding stationery business: (I have more on this on my professional practice research blog here.)

Starting a Handmade Wedding Stationery Business, this website offers tips such as:

  • Creating a professional portfolio – you need a great portfolio to share your designs with publishers and potential clients
  • Wedding industry networking online – a great list of wedding industry influencers on Twitter, get networking!
  • Wedding Fairs – top tips for making them work for your handmade stationery business!
  • Pricing wedding stationery packages – perhaps the hardest part of selling your stationery is getting the prices right, some great tips here
  • Surviving the first year of a wedding stationery business – tips from successful stationer Lisa Forde
  • Where to begin starting a wedding stationery business – more great tips from Lisa Forde
  • Should I turn my hobby into a business? – can you really turn a fun hobby into a full time job?
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Stationery
  • How to set up a business is also something I have begun to look at, thanks to this project. I found the Government website to be very useful and informative –
    I have kept this link to refer back to at a later date: Setting Up a Business – Gov.uk. After finishing university, I would like to create my own business plan for the future, in regards to creating my own wedding stationery business. Therefore I have looked up how to create a Business Plan so that I can come back to this after uni.



     

    Choice

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    As this is a project and I don’t expect to start my business straight away, as it will take a lot of work, I wanted to think about what I would like to achieve for this project. I have decided to come up with invites that will look good in my portfolio to inspire potential clients to contact me.


    Above is a few examples of wedding invitations and other items regarding the same subject matter. These are examples that have inspired me and I will strive to make designs as good as these for this project.

    After starting this project, I was contacted by someone who had admired my summer project work for wedding invites and they wanted to commission me to do their own. This was highly unexpected, as I didn’t think I would get any clients until after uni and trying really hard to find them. Therefore I will use this project to begin my designs for my new client.

    My client had a theme in mind and examples that she liked that she showed me. They were mostly Rustic Wedding Invitations, which was something I have wanted to do as I really like this style. I began gathering a Pinterest board in relation to invites and other items I thought my client would be interested in. Below are some pictures of my favourites for inspiration:


    Now I had a rough idea on what I wanted the invites to look like, I needed to think about the specifics, so I looked at a Wedding Invites Guide to help ensure I wouldn’t miss anything out. I also found this brilliant website called the Offbeatbride which listed specifics for the etiquette on sending invites and what to include on them:

    Save the date:
    4-6 months before wedding (Save the date cards aren’t necessary for evening guests)
    6-8 months before wedding (if abroad or during summer / christmas holidays)

    Invitations:
    2-3 months before wedding
    3-4 months before wedding if abroad or during summer / christmas holidays
    Send Day and Eve at the same time
    Include:
    When
    Where
    Directions
    Map
    Accommodation recs
    Plus one rules
    Dress Code
    Link to Bride and Groom’s Website
    Gift List
    Reception Card: (If wedding is in a different place)

    The same website also provided a list of different types of wording for the invites “that wont make you barf“. This was brilliant as my client wanted nice wording but informal too, that wasn’t cheesy.

    Through the offbeatbride website I discovered minted.com who not only do wedding stationery but other stationery products too. This is a fantastic website and something I would love to do myself, once I’ve got my wedding stationery business up and running it seems a logical step to start doing other types of stationery too.

    Some further information about my clients wedding, I thought would be beneficial to keep a note of are the websites for the venues she will be using. This is to ensure I have to correct details and if I need to refer back to them for any reason including directions or inspiration. These are as follows: Barford Park and Newhouse Estate.

    Below is a Wedding Stationery Checklist. This was really helpful to go over as these are the things potential clients will ask me to create for them. This list also came with helpful descriptions of the items in case I wasn’t familiar with them. I felt it would be important to keep this list to refer back to at any point, therefore I have pasted it below for my own reference. To skip this and go to the next section of my research click here.

    Before the Wedding

    Engagement Party Invitations (Optional)
    Be My Bridesmaid Cards (Optional)
    Hen Party Invitations (Optional)
    Save The Date Cards (Optional)
    Save the Date cards are perfect for couples who need to give their guests advance notice of the wedding, particularly useful if you are getting married abroad or are inviting guests from abroad so they may begin to make travel plans.

    Wedding Invitation Set

    Wedding Invitations
    Invitations are the most important piece of your wedding stationery. They invite your guests to your wedding ceremony and the following reception and inform them of the date, time etc.
    RSVP Cards (Wedding Acceptance/Wedding Regret/Response Cards)
    Direction Information (Maps & Accommodation Information)
    Maps and direction information is useful to help out of town guests with the location of your church/ceremony venue and reception venue. Accommodation information contains contact details and web references for local hotels or B&B’s for guests who may require it.
    Evening Invitations/ Afters Invites
    Wedding Events Itinerary Insert (Optional)
    This card lets the guests know if there are other activities planned prior to or following the wedding ceremony and reception, such as a welcome party, a dinner the night before, or a second day bbq. Particularly useful for a 2 or 3 day wedding, or if the wedding location is far from home/abroad.

    Wedding Day

    Order of Service/Ceremony Booklet
    The order of service/ceremony booklet is used for the wedding service and contains the names of the bridal party, name of the officiant, the plan and songs, music etc. These differ greatly between various religions and can also be used for civil ceremonies.
    Additional information could be added to make the program more personal to the day such as quotes or poems, bios of the bridal party, “in memory of” tributes to loved ones who have passed on, or a thank you to the parents and guests.
    The Wedding Program/Reception Programme (Optional)
    This informs guests of how the evening/reception will unfold from the meal to the speeches that will be made, the cutting of the cake and the first dance. At Irish weddings this isn’t very usual, but sometimes is written as a blackboard sign. Helpful if you have lots of things planned, or a venue with many rooms.
    Seating Plan/Table Plan
    Seating or table plans are on display at entrance of the reception area and show your guests a plan of the table layouts so they can easily find their seat. These can correspond with the place cards or escort cards and the table numbers (names).
    Place cards
    Place cards are placed at the seat of each guest and inform him or her where to sit. These can form part of a favour left for each guest.
    Escort Cards (Optional)
    The same idea as placecards, escort cards are more usual in the US, but allow more creativity than placecards so are starting to be seen at Irish weddings. They are used to assign each guest to their seat at the wedding reception. This can correspond with the table/seating plan.
    Table Numbers/Table Names
    Placed on each table, table numbers or names are used to identify the table to your guests, so that when they pick up their escort card, they can immediately recognize the table card that matches it.
    Menu
    The Menu Card informs the guests of the meal ahead. It can contain the food options or the set menu and choices for those with dietary restrictions. They are not essential for a buffet or if you are having a relatively short wedding reception with appetisers.

    Other

    Wishing Tree Tags
    Wedding Guest Book
    Wedding Favour Tags
    Sweet Buffet Tags/Labels
    Signage ( this can indicate buffet choices, drinks choices, men’s and ladies’ rooms -basically any spot you can think to customize)
    Thumbprint tree

    Wedding Stationery for After the Wedding

    Thank You Cards
    Thank you cards are sent to your guests shortly after the wedding, thanking them for their gift and for attending your wedding. Thank you cards are also used to thank bridesmaids, flowergirls and the host of your hen party.
    Wedding Announcements
    To announce the couples marriage to family and friends if couple have a small intimate ceremony or elope.
    Change of Address Cards (Optional)
    Change of address cards can be useful if the bride or groom has changed their residence following the wedding.



     

    Processes

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    How to create your own wedding invites.

    Printing wedding invites at printed.com:
    Wedding Collection
    Artwork Checklist

    Grab your confetti and your best hat — we’ve got everything you need to craft the highest quality wedding stationery printing.
    When it comes to wedding stationery, we’ve got you covered, with 20 print products to choose from. Think, everything from menus, table plans, and belly bands to invitations, RSVP cards and even magnetic save the date cards. If it’s personalised wedding stationery you’re after, we can offer a range of individually named products too – just upload the guest list with your artwork and leave the rest up to us! It’s as easy as that!
    Plus, with up to 19 luxury paper stocks available across the range, making your mark has never been easier. Choose from textured papers like our gorgeous Acquerello and Nettuno, to sleek Cream and the shimmering Sirio Pearl Oyster or get right on-trend with our brand new handpicked pastel collection, available in four sorbet hues, sourced from quality British paper merchants G.F Smith.

    Foiling
    Foiling with printed.com
    Foiling Artwork Guide
    Quick Tutorial

    Ideal for adding a touch of luxury to business cards, wedding stationery, or making a statement on greeting cards and invitations, discover a world of possibilities with digital foiling. Whether it’s a subtle hint to highlight or accent your designs or you’re making a bold impact, enhance your artwork and go beyond CMYK with another dimension in luxury print.
    Digital foiling is available in three colours, silver, gold and copper and on Silk, Uncoated and Trucard paper stocks. All of our foiled print is finished in velvet lamination – you can choose either one sided or double sided, but whichever side you choose to add foiling to must be velvet laminated (this protects your foil from slipping or scratching). Velvet lamination gives your print a soft finish that’s still easy to write on.
    Unlike traditional block foiling, which uses metal blocks to press foil onto your chosen paper stock, digital foiling doesn’t require the use of plates. This makes it far more cost effective and allows for more freedom when it comes to choosing which areas you’d like foiled on your designs.

    Tip! Because we cannot print with white ink, designs or text that are white won’t be visible on Kraft paper. For the best effect, we recommend very dark colours or bright colours.

    Printing other items like bunting or balloons:
    bunting / balloons
    Hello print balloons

    Stamps:
    self ink stamps vista print
    wooden stamps



     

    Practitioners

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    Norma & Dorothy


    These are quite basic but beautiful bundles. The selection in most of these images is exactly how I wish my final wedding stationery to look like. I feel this will be exciting for friends and family to receive in the post regarding their loved ones’ wedding. This is exactly why I would like my designs to end up like these.

    Jasmine Rebecca


    Jasmine Rebecca’s beautiful designs are often hand crafted designs to begin with and tidied up digitally to create a more professional finish. This is what I intend to do with my own design. This also has given me inspiration for wording on the Wishing Well cards.

    Emily & Jo


    These are stunning designs, which anyone can customise for themselves. These are fantastic templates with hundreds of different selections for layouts, fonts, colours and patterns. I love how some of these fonts are foiled, I would love to be able to foil some of my designs, as I feel this is highly effective – especially for weddings.

    Emmy Designs


    I love the simplicity of these designs, they are highly effective and beautiful to look at. I especially like the layouts of her designs, as these are done very clearly and concisely. I would like to re-create this for my own invitation designs.

    Lucy Ledger


    These designs are lovely but I feel lack in impact like some of the other designers, this could be because of the use of colour is very pale in most of the designs. This is something I need to consider with my own designs, do I go with pale colours on the rustic kraft paper or do I try out a different color that might stand out better, perhaps black?

    Abigail Warner


    I think Warner’s designs are my favourite. They are eclectic and experimental with media and materials. This is perfect for customising individual weddings. I also love how clear and concise the designs are, with beautiful choices of colour. The typographical side of these designs really stands out and make the overall invitations etc even more interesting to look at. I would love it if my designs looked this good at the end. I also love how the designs have been photographed to create a maximum selling impact on future customers – fantastic!



     

    Documentation of working process

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    This is the working process of my wedding invites, once I had done the invites themselves everything else was very simple to do as I knew I wanted them all to look very similar. I am really pleased with their outcome and so is my client which i’m extra happy about!

    Invite Front:

    Invite Back:

    RSVP Front:

    RSVP Back:

    Wishing Well Front:

    Wishing Well Back:

    Belly Band:


     
     


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