One of the first articles I wrote when I started blogging as a wedding stationer was about buying advice for stationery. It’s been a while and my blog has since moved to wordpress so I thought it was about time to revisit this topic with a shiny new article!
Some things to consider when buying wedding stationery & invitations
Choosing a Wedding Stationer
If you’re looking for a stationer to make your wedding stationery it’s safe to assume you’ve decided not to go the DIY route. After that there’s two main ways to go. If you see the invitations as functional then its best you find something that makes your life easier and on budget. Alternatively you can view the invitations or save the dates as the opening act to your wedding and the day stationery as an integral part. This probably means looking for a design you like first. Google image searches can be invaluable either in finding a pre-existing design you like or a stationer whose style you think could bring to life what you’re imagining. Pinterest is another way to see a lot of images of wedding stationery fast.
What does Bespoke mean
Lots of stationers like to use the word bespoke, it sounds good. But it can be used to cover a variety of differing products and services.
Bespoke means tailoring a product for a client. Like tailoring a suit or a dress that a client likes to specifically fit them. That can mean taking a basic design and making it perfect for that client. Some people call this personalised stationery, though if it’s personalised stationery its likely to mean that there is less tailoring to be done. The minimum level of personalisation being using the Bride and Grooms name on the cover.
For other stationers they mean starting from scratch and listening to what the client wants. Although it wil often start from a new client having seen the stationers previous work and wants something similar. This from scratch stationery can also be known as couture stationery.
At Artemis Stationery we have collections of stationery designs which we call our bespoke collections. They are able to be highly tailored to each client and offer an affordable alternative to starting from scratch yet achieving something totally unique for each clients. We do offer a from scratch service and call this our couture service.
Save the Dates
If you want your guests to keep your wedding date free but haven’t got everything arranged for the invitations consider sending save the date cards. These let you formally tell your guests when your wedding is and that an invitation will follow. They’re not a wedding essential but can be very useful depending on the circumstances.
Guest Name Printing
Choosing a stationer who prints guest names on your invitations can save a lot of time, effort and money (if you were going to use a calligrapher) and look really good. It says that each invitation has been made for each guest. Some stationers will include this in the price, others see it as an extra while some are unable to do this. We print guest names as standard on invitations and place cards.
Have several friends or relatives check any text you send to a stationer. As many will assume any text sent to them is correct and won’t proof read. We generally review text sent to us but cannot guarantee to pick up errors. If you have a friend who is a teacher or works in publishing be very nice to them before you need to do your invitations and stationery!
Ordering Extra Invitations
It can be wise to order extra of each item. You may need to dig a little or ask for the minimum order size. For Artemis Stationery we have a minimum order size but this is based around our design costs. Our production is in house so we can actually print short orders so when a couple of extra invitations are needed that’s not a problem. If a stationer is out sourcing production to a printers they will most likely have a minimum or have to charge much more for smaller runs so extra items may not be possible. If you’re getting names printed on your invitations this means getting extra blank invites.
Order of the Day or Programs
What is an order of the day? It’s similar to the order of service as it can include information on a civil ceremony but also includes information about the day. Such as when photos will be taken and where. Times and places for the meal, start of the evening reception, etc. They can be useful as guests know when they free to wander and when they’re not, which can be especially useful if guests are also staying at the venue. This information can be included at the end of a order of service.
When organising a wedding there’s a lot to do and it’s easy for stationery to take a back seat to other arrangements. But although many stationers can normally get stationery made and despatched very quickly it’s never wise to rely on this. Things happen, couriers run over packages with forklifts. Roads flood or get covered in ice and snow. If at all possible it’s always best to leave enough time for the order to be redone and sent again if the worst happens. 99% of the time everything will be fine but you don’t want to be one of the 1%.
Struggling with the budget but don’t want to cut stationery out totally? There is often a cheaper way to do most things without doing it yourself. We do offer some very elaborate invites but why not go for an A6 version or a postcard sized one. Our postcard invites start from around £1, there is also a larger A5 one which can be mounted. Things like menus aren’t necessary but it can be good to let your guests know what they’re about to eat even if they chose it in advance or there is no choice. Menu tents are good way of putting one menu on each table at a cheap price and these can be combined with table numbers to save further. Order of service can be expensive but one between two will often suffice and there are cheaper ways to build them than with an A5 booklet with 12 or 8 pages inside and a card cover.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or any tips yourself I would love to hear them. You can see all the bespoke stationery collections featured in this article on the Artemis Stationery website.