Yay, you're engaged! Congratulations! Let the planning begin!
Working on your wedding planning, and wedding stationery in particular, is often the first time you're briefing someone on a creative project and putting your ideas into words can sometimes be really tricky! To help you build a great wedding stationery brief, we’ve compiled a list of things you need to tell your stationer when you get started.
Before we jump straight into the things we like to discuss with new clients here at the Swan Pond, let's look at
2 things that help ensure the perfect outcome of a happy wedding couple:
- Picking the correct stationer to work with
- Having a clear idea of what you like in terms of styles and formats
So, how do you pick the perfect stationer?
We suggest looking at the following criteria and go with the company that ticks the most boxes for you!
- Referral – you loved your friends’ stationery and got the stationer’s details from them
- You stumbled on their work online and fell in love with their work and overall style
- They made a great first impression (their website was professional and emails informative, timely and warm)
- Their price came within budget :)
You think you've found the one, now what?
You might want to jump right in and ask a stationer for a quote, but remember, there are MANY variables to wedding invitations so they will need to know the following from you before they can send you an estimate:
- Quantity of each item of stationery you'll need* (don't worry too much if this changes closer to printing time, it's just to give you a good idea of costs, and don't forget that, for invitations, couples and households tend to get one invite to share)
- The amount of information you'd like included with your invitations - Would it just be a single card? Extra card for map and directions? Additional RSVP postcard?
- The format - Would it fold open? Do you prefer a square or perhaps rectangular shape?
- Paper (swoon!) - were you thinking bright white or rather a softer ivory? Do you like smooth or would you prefer a touch of texture? If you were hoping to use kraft paper or navy envelopes for instance, now is a good time to let your stationer know!
- Printing methods – are you trying to save costs so were thinking to go with digital printing or are you head over heels for letterpress, laser cutting or foiling?
- The extra touches – do you like the idea of a pretty envelope liner, rounded corners or belly bands? It's all in the details, let your stationer know what sends your heart in a pretty-induced frenzy!
The above should cover most of the technical questions your stationer might have! Making sure to send these answers to them when requesting costs will eliminate quite a bit of back and forth in the initial stages.
*If you are not sure what stationery items you should have on your checklist, be sure to download our free wedding stationery workbook where we go over the most important items!
The fun starts here!
So the stationer you were hoping to use sent the cost estimate and luckily came in budget (and is absolutely lovely!) – yay! That means the fun is about to start!
If you haven't already jumped into the big wide world of Pinterest, start! Grab a cup coffee, clear an afternoon (or more) and prepare to have your brain overloaded with pretties! We suggest taking baby steps here so as to not get too overwhelmed (and remember that you don't have to Pin everything you like – keep your wedding vision in mind as you go, there will be plenty of other parties to use the other fun ideas on). Don't worry too much either if you see your board's vision change a bit as you go – it's completely normal that your ideas will change and focus as you see more things.
Have a look at our Pinboards too! We have element specific boards (that focus on seating plans, menus, programs etc) but also boards that show off a specific wedding theme or style. These could be a useful starting point to figure out what your wedding’s overall look will be. If you fall in love with our watercolour board, for example, you are more than welcome to pin from here onto your own board!
While pinning, you might also want to start thinking of words or terms that best describe your wedding vision. In our stationery workbook download we give terminology tips that will help you find the right words to describe your vision to your planner, florist and stationer.
Once you have a board that feels like a good representation of your thoughts – send it on over to your stationer! It is a huge help for a designer to see what your personal style and wedding vision looks like.
A good brief to the stationer will highlight the stationery samples that comes closest to giving the ‘feeling’ you were hoping to achieve. Your stationer will look to find a golden thread between your pins be it colours, illustrations or typography and use that golden thread (together with the technicalities of your cost estimate) to come up with a bespoke design. The biggest challenge for the stationer is usually finding the perfect balance between combining all the things you love and creating a cohesive and refined final piece. With this in mind, make sure to give your stationer plenty to work with, this way they can fiddle with the design element combinations until it is utter perfection!
Let’s quickly summerise the above:
- Find a stationer who you connect with (visually and personally)
- Do your homework first and send them all the technical details they will need to be able to send you an accurate quote
- Build a moodboard or pinterest board that communicates the feeling of your wedding day (be sure to pin stationery samples in there too!)
- Highlight a couple of stationery samples you adore to give your stationer great design direction!
In our next post we will talk about the little things that will make your stationery memorable, personal and meaningful. Until then, happy planning!