Stationery for any event is so much more than just a printed piece of paper. Your stationery is incredibly important for setting the tone of your special event (you can read more about the importance of custom stationery on my other blog here!). Because they’re so important, sitting down with a custom stationery designer is one of the best things you can do when planning your wedding. Before you do, here are a few things that your custom stationery designer wants you to know!
1. Not everyone can do it
Custom stationery designing is a cultivated skill that takes years of schooling and practice. For me personally, I studied color theory, typography, layout design, and much more in college, and I hold a B.A. in Graphic Design from a college of Fine Arts. I then worked in the graphic design industry for several additional years before delving into the stationery world. While you may know someone who has Canva or posts very “aesthetic” pictures on their Instagram, there are so many more skills and techniques that go into something like designing custom wedding invitations or other stationery items. We are professionals. Please respect the artistry that it takes to design custom wedding stationery. And, like any other professional service whose skills are honed for years, most designers have a starting base rate for their services.
2. Start your stationery early!
When you are working with a custom stationery designer, you are not getting something premade. A lot of time, planning, and hard work goes into the layout, fonts, the spacing of the letters, colors, and other design choices. As a stationery designer, I always prefer more time to less. Accordingly, I typically recommend starting to think about your wedding invitations about 5-6 months before your wedding (Read my other blog here to get a more detailed timeline for your stationery!). This provides time for consultations to discuss your vision and creating your perfect design as well as order all the papers and envelopes that you will need.
3. Not everyone needs an invitation
This may come as a surprise, but not every invitee on your list needs their own invitation. Some clients assume that 100 guests must equal 100 invitations. On the other hand, there are also those who account for less than half of their guest list receiving an invitation. My rule of thumb — and something that I recommend to all of my clients — is to count 70% of your guest list and add approximately 10 extras. Those extras are an important safety in case there are any issues with printing, you realize you left someone off the guest list, or maybe you just want an extra keepsake. Plus, it is always a great idea to provide your photographers with your stationery so they can take some beautiful photos of the details as well!
Also, be sure to account for outside factors when determining your invitation count. It is often suggested that you should expect that approximately 20% of your invitees will not attend. However, after COVID-19 and quarantining, everyone wants to spend more time together. We are currently seeing higher “yes” RSVPs than in past years, so keep that in mind when creating your guest list.
4. This is YOUR stationery
This is the most important thing that I can tell my clients: wedding invitations are incredibly important to your guests, but first and foremost they need to reflect you and your big day! I love when clients send me photos of their venue, flowers, dress, decor ideas, or things that are very special to them that they want to reflect in their stationery. For example, I recently had a client who loved her venue so much that she wanted a custom illustration of it on her stationery. How fun! Since stationery can be totally customized, you don’t have to be locked into those boring online designs. Feel free to use examples as inspiration for a specific font or layout. But, the best part about hiring a custom designer is that your invitation is totally unique to you. So have fun exploring different items that inspire you!
5. Count on Me!
This might sound silly to have to say, but it’s true. As an experienced professional in the wedding industry, I am here to help you in a wide variety of ways. If you are unsure about proper verbiage, ask me! If you are still looking for another category wedding vendor, ask me! I have a wealth of knowledge on many different things in the wedding industry. It is my job to make your planning a little easier. I have even created documents for my clients to provide information on topics like verbiage, addressing, and much more. Don’t worry if you have lots of questions, because I have lots of answers! If I don’t know an answer, I will go out of my way to help you find one.