I LOVE , LOVE , LOVE shooting stationery on the wedding day! For me it really sets the style and tone of the day and is the perfect image opener when curating the wedding album. Choosing your wedding invitations, save the date cards and menus can feel overwhelming, so I decided to speak with Sessy Watkins, Owner and Head of Creative at Paper Date.
Here’s what she had to say…
There is a lot to consider when choosing your wedding stationery, more than you might think. Here are a few things to take into consideration.
There are a few things that you should look for when choosing a wedding stationer….
A great wedding stationer needs to be a lot of things; a skilful graphic designer, knowledgable on paper and print processes, a colour expert and a craft maker with an eye for detail and finishing.
Some stationers download their images and designs online. Meaning you may not be able to edit them as you’d like or they may not be able to produce the same design for your invites as your on the day stationery.
Any decent stationer should have tried and tested all the paper it has available and be able to tell you where your paper comes from and the carbon footprint of it.
Mass produced stationery and using online companies to print items can lead to poor quality with dodgy cuts, size variation, bleed showing and sometimes even parts of text cut off! A professional will have hand crafted every single item that leaves the studio. So you get crisp folds, sharp corners and perfectly tied bows.
What do other people who have used their services before say? Were they happy and would they recommend the company?
Don’t be afraid to ask these questions. Choosing your wedding invitations is a big part of your wedding experience. Those stationers doing it properly will talk your ears off about print and paper all day long!
Once you’ve chosen your wedding stationer, next you need to choose the design of your stationery. So here are some things to think about…
First impressions count, and your stationery is the first impression that guests are going to get of your wedding… so make it a good one!
Choose a design that suits what you’re trying to achieve on your wedding day. Is your day going to be formal and traditional, rustic and fun, contemporary and clean? Is it going to be abroad? Your venue and the vision of what you want your wedding to be like should ultimately guide your decision when it comes to the design.
If you have a really specific theme for your day, consider using your stationers bespoke design service.
If you’ve chosen your theme you probably know your colours. Your colours will reflect choices you’ve made about flowers and bridesmaid dresses. Your stationer will have experience and knowledge in putting complementary colours and combinations together, so ask their advice.
If you are unsure of your wedding colours when ordering your Save the Dates, then go for something simple, like a black and white design that can be easily tailored at a later date to incorporate your colours for your invites.
It may seem like there are a lot of things for you to try and remember to include and you may be confused by how to word things properly. This is second nature to a wedding stationer and they should be able to provide you with a simple list of what’s usually included in the invites.
However, you may need a variety of invites that are going to a range of guests. Most weddings usually have day and evening guests and not everyone may need travel advice or being offered accommodation for example. Don’t be afraid to tailor your invites to exactly what you want. A professional wedding stationer will be used to this and know how best to implement your ideas. By hiring a professional to do your stationery means this should be a simple and stress free process for you.
Believe it or not, the paper and print is the most important thing to get right. Even a great design can look awful if printed on the wrong type of paper. Trust your stationers advice on this they (should) know what they’re talking about.
A design may look fantastic on the screen, but you’re sending out a physical product that your guests are going to feel and touch. The quality and thickness of paper will make your stationery feel luxurious. Cheaper paper is a way to save money, but trust me, it’s really not worth it.
This is especially important if you’re having coloured stock as cheaper paper will always have a slight colour variation to its stock. By using quality paper you know that in 12 months time when it comes to ordering your invites, they’ll be the exact same shade as your save the dates, and that your on the day stationery will be perfect too.
How your stationery is printed is also imperative. Your 4 colour inkjet home office printer is not going to do any design justice. Once again, trust your stationer with this, they (should) be print experts. They’ll know whether your design and paper needs variables like hot foil, digital foil, spot white, metallic ink, litho print, lamination etc.
It’s long been said by us print nerds that the weather outside can change what comes off the machine… and it’s true! Printing is an art form in its own right and variables like temperature and clean printer heads will genuinely alter how colours appear and paper reacts.
Your stationer should know about systems to identify and match the exact colour you want and then be able to accurately re-produce your desired colour via print. This is what you’re paying a professional to know about and do.
It is so easy to get carried away with weddings, so having a budget is important and deciding what you’re prepared to spend money on is a personal decision that only you and your fiancé can make.
Some couples can be taken aback by the cost of wedding stationery. It can certainly add up. But paper and print is not cheap. Think about the fact that you’ll happily spend £4 on a single birthday card from a supermarket that has been mass produced and isn’t unique or bespoke in any way. So set yourself a realistic budget.
If you have a budget, tell your stationer. They will usually be able to come up with ways to achieve the look of what you want within the budget you have. Be prepared that this may involve compromise.
The price of your wedding stationery includes the cost of someones time to create a unique design and hand make your items. You are also paying for the stationers knowledge and experience and contributing to the expense of stock and equipment.
Wedding stationery also tends to include the more expensive types of print production, like hot foiling and laser cutting. You are also adding on the extras like ribbons, tags and embellishment. All of which cost time and money. So be prepared that to create what you want, you may have to pay a decent amount of money for it.
Also remember, it’s not just invites! Couples sometimes forget about the ‘on the day’ stationery. Depending upon what you want, this can easily cost just as much if not more than the invites themselves. So remember to budget for this too.
Get quotes from a few stationers, but remember that the cheapest is very rarely the best. The last thing anyone wants is to spend money on something that isn’t right. It is always worth investing to ensure that your stationery is perfect. Is it worth the investment? Absolutely! Stunning stationery blows your guests away and sets the tone of what your wedding is going to be like. From your invites alone your guests will decide if they’re coming and which designer dress to purchase!
the free guide
Chances are that you have put a lot of effort into picking out every little detail of your wedding day. From the shoes to the jewellery and flowers, all these details tell a piece of your love story! Ensure all your details are documented with this guide.