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Browsing for ideas
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.
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:
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.
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)
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
Plus one rules
Link to Bride and Groom’s Website
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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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’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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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!
Wishing Well Front:
Wishing Well Back: