I was always adamant that I didn’t want to turn this into a wedding blog but with the impending nuptials taking up so much of my time at the moment, it would be odd not to talk about it. Especially because I’m learning so much along the way that might be useful for fellow brides-to-be. Getting engaged back in April meant that my wedding was always going to be in 2018 – the upside was that I had plenty of time to plan and the downside was I had SO much time to plan! But if there was one thing that I could get excited about straight away, it was my wedding stationery.
I am a stationery fanatic. I mean, on any given day give me a Kikki-K notebook or a Liberty diary and I’m one happy girl. To put it in perspective – I have 7 notebooks in rotation right now for every area of my life. Yep, it’s pretty intense. I’m really particular (bordering on obsessive) when it comes to anything visual or from a design perspective so I knew finding something that I like would be tricky. I wasn’t wrong. Wedding stationery, like everything to do with your big day is incredibly personal. But I wanted to share my experience because when I got engaged I felt surprisingly overwhelmed with where to start and what I wanted so here are a few things I found in my search for the best wedding stationery for my fellow perfectionists.
FINDING A THEME
We always knew we wanted our wedding in Italy. It’s somewhere that we go every year, it’s our favourite type of food, we have family ties there and it’s a really special place for us. This also meant we had a very strong theme for our wedding straight away which I wanted to channel through our wedding stationery. Although there were so many beautiful designs on Pinterest that inspired me, I didn’t want to just choose something pretty without having any connotations to us or what we had planned for our wedding. By finding one small detail (the olive leaves) I could then ‘thread’ this through into every detail in the day – from the menus to the order of service and thank you cards.
DEFINING WHAT I DIDN’T WANT
When I started talking to wedding stationery designers one of their first questions was “do you know what sort of stationery you’d like?” and the answer was a definitive ‘no’. The mere question was overwhelming and all I could do was send over 30 very different designs, making the task impossible. After my third meeting with them in which they witnessed the sheer panic in my eyes, they told me to forget what I wanted and just tell them what I didn’t want. It was like music to my ears – it was so easy to reel off what I didn’t like that it outlined what I was looking for without even realising it.
I knew I didn’t want anything overly complicated, colourful or lovey-dovey when it came to planning the final details so sparkles, hearts and everything you might associate with a wedding invitation was out for us. This, inevitably meant that I needed to concentrate on a simple, chic and classic design with Italian design details and a strong focus on typography (side note: I’m a total nerd for typography).
CREATING WHAT I DID WANT
Finding wedding stationery with those elements became near impossible. For some reason, the USA were all over stylish, monotone invitations but the UK were yet to get the memo! After crunching some numbers and talking to some different brands, the shipping and printing costs were getting out of hand. There was only one option left – to design them myself.
I’d dabbled in graphic design through uni and doing some freelance projects in between jobs but generally try to avoid the stress Photoshop brings to my life! It took me around 3 weeks to play around with some designs and finalise the first draft and ultimately it was around £100 cheaper than going with a company. If you’re looking at designing your own, these are a few things you need to know.
- You can download a 30-day trial of Photoshop HERE which should give you enough time to watch a couple of YouTube tutorials and get familiar with the basics
- Make sure you consider crop marks – where cut-off point will be in the printing process.
- Find a good printer, preferably someone local that you can liaise with. Ask them to send you paper samples to gauge texture and thickness and what format they need the design in (PDF, JPEG etc)
- Make sure you leave enough time and budget for a couple of trial runs. I had a first draft, amended the font sizes, second draft, made the size bigger and final draft were final. It didn’t cost much, perhaps £10 but it’s better not to risk it.
THE FINER DETAILS
I’m a stickler for details and wanted the opportunity to add as much personality to the wedding stationery as possible. A package or bundle is perfect for this as it looks more dramatic and means you can add more accessories to liven them up. In my case I wanted to keep the materials natural and rustic so it was twine and a rosemary sprig to keep with the Italian theme and fill the envelope with a beautiful herb aroma.
With so much thought and detail, the last thing I wanted was the envelopes to let the package down. After all, it’s the first thing that your guests will see when it falls onto their doorstep. I wanted thick, textured envelopes with a beautiful print on the inside but couldn’t find any that had the same print as the invitations. So, after getting the idea of making my own from Etsy I copied the print from the stationery and repeated it onto some A4, printed them at home, traced around the envelopes, cut them out and glued them to the inside of the envelope.
The result was exactly what I wanted and they tied in with the wedding stationery perfectly. It may be a little more fiddly and time consuming than a company but it was cheaper and so much more personal than mindlessly throwing money at the problem.
Although it took a little longer and it was generally a bit more hard work than I intended, I couldn’t be happier with the results. Having our guests message us to tell us how much they loved the invites and that the smell of rosemary hit them as soon as they opened the envelope made the process worth the extra work.
SHOP THE WEDDING STATIONERY INSPO