Ordering Your Wedding Stationery:
Top Tips by a Pro
When you first start planning your wedding, the stationery might not be the first thing you think of. Nonetheless, it will definitely be one of the first things you’ll need to sort out. Whether you’re into super detailed weddings or just want the most simple set up, your wedding invites will set the guests’ expectations for the day, providing them with a first hint to the look you chose For this reason, today I have interviewed Ofe from Ollie’s Studio. Let me start saying that I am a big fan of her work. Not only Ofe is extremely talented, but she consistently creates new products that are beautiful and even anticipate new trends. You can follow her work on her website or Instagram.
Hi Ofe, could you please introduce yourself?
Hiya lovely people! My name is Ofe and I’m the dreamer and maker behind Ollie’s Studio, a boutique design and calligraphy studio that is all about the pretty. We create stationery for weddings and events, branding for creative businesses and teach creative workshops all over the world.
I started my business out of a need to be home with my babies. My corporate career wasn’t conducive to that so I took a leap into creativity. I taught myself about design, learned calligraphy, took a deep breath and went for it. 3 years later, I don’t see myself doing anything else!
So I am engaged and I have no clue where to start with my wedding stationery… What do you suggest? What will I need to order?
Every couple is different so I try not to be overly prescriptive, but the basics that most couples go for are: Save the Dates, Invitations, RSVP cards and information cards. Then there’s all the reception stationery which ranges from place cards to table plans.
So get engaged, find your venue, find a stationer that matches your style and budget and then decide if you want save the dates or not. I recommend save the dates if you’re having an out of town wedding, a wedding during a busy holiday period or bank holiday, or if you’re having lots of out of town guests. You’ll need to send these out a year to the wedding.
Then if you’re going for a bespoke design, go back to your stationer at least three months before the date you want to send out your invites (not three months before your wedding, unless you want to send the invitations on your actual wedding day).
Then about three to four months to your wedding, get in touch for your reception stationery.
How long before the wedding should I start thinking of my wedding stationery?
As mentioned above, you should reach out to your stationery designer at least three months before the date you intend to send out your invitations. This date is usually three to six months before the wedding so I’d say reach out to a stationer at least nine months before.
Fifteen months if you’re sending Save the Dates, basically as soon as you’ve decided on a date and location.
Could you guide us through the whole process and how it usually work?
Every stationer’s process is different but mine begins with a consultation. It can be in person, over the phone, or via email. I speak to the couple, get a feel for their theme, likes and dislikes and toss some ideas around.
Then I return with a quote based on our consultation and if the couple is happy, we do deposit, contract etc.
Then I create the designs, they approve or request changes, then we print, package and deliver the boxes of pretty to our lovely couples. And then we do the same again for the reception stationery.
What would you say it’s a realistic price range to pay for wedding stationery?
It varies based on the couple’s wants, print methods, paper type (or non paper even, acrylic and wood have been very popular surfaces) and what kind of finishing they want (calligraphy, gold leaf, silk ribbon, foil, letterpress, handmade paper etc). Some finishes are more expensive than others, and of course there’s the time cost/ design fee.
My basic invitation bundle (invitation, RSVP card, details card and envelopes, digitally printed with no frills) starts at £5 each, exclusive of my design fee.
With all the frills, you could end up paying as much as £50 per set, if not more. It all depends on your style, budget and of course your stationer.
What factors in the final price?
Quantity, rush fees, design time, supplies, printing costs, finishes etc
Photo Credit: Sue Ann Simon Photo
Photo Credit: Captured by Katrina
Common mistakes/misconceptions/wrong expectations your customers have
The most common misconception is that wedding stationery is only paper and will just end up in the bin. That’s bullshit. It’s one of the very few tangible keepsakes of your day. The flowers go in the bin, food in the toilet, etc etc. You definitely can’t stick a piece of the veal from the main course in your scrapbook now can you?
Besides that, your stationery sets the tone for your whole day and can even influence the design of the actual day itself. It tells people where to be, where to sit, what they’re eating and the couple’s names (if they forget lol).
Anything you would like to add? Any tips or do’s and don’ts?
Do be nice to your stationers. If they, for example, leave their family on Good Friday to meet with you because you insisted that a phone call was not good enough and you had to meet in person, be respectful of their time and let them know if you’re going a different direction. It’s just polite. And putting together quotes takes time.
Don’t request free samples only to take them to another designer to do for cheaper (that’s stealing by the way).
Do get in touch with lots of time and with information such as quantity, your theme, your budget if you have one, your Pinterest board link etc.
Don’t ask “how much for an invitation” without specifying which invitation you’re interested in. It’s like going into a store and asking “how much for a shoe?”
Do bring any and all ideas you have. Stationers are a creative bunch and they love out of the box ideas.
Don’t ask us to copy someone else’s work. We won’t do it. But we’ll be happy to create something with a similar feel for you.
Do order more invitations than you think you’ll need because most stationers have a minimum order amount (mine is thirty). So if it turns out that you forgot someone, had some space open up, or need to order a few more for whatever reason, you’ll have to pay whatever the minimum cost is. If you need 5 extra for example, you’ll still have to pay for 30. This is because suppliers (printers, card manufacturers, etc) all have minimum order quantities and in order to make your small order, we have to shell out quite a bit of cash. It’s similar to going to a baker and asking for just one bespoke cupcake. They still have to make enough batter for 12.
All photos by Ofe, unless otherwise stated
Are you looking for more wedding planning tips? Feel free to browse my posts with useful tips and join my Facebook group for ‘Unconventional Brides & Grooms’.
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