With weddings today becoming more and more wonderfully diverse and unique, one-size-fits-all wedding invitation designs no longer apply to everyone. Of course, some couples may want a classic standard design, others may opt for a rustic invitation, or something golden, while others may have something special in mind all together.
If you fit into the latter category, then you may want to commission a personalised wedding invitation with a bespoke design. But how does the process work? We asked bespoke stationery designer Louise Richardson about everything you need to know.
The process usually involves a consultation, mood board and design stages
I normally start with a complementary chat by phone or Skype. During this call, I can answer any initial questions and ask for some key pieces of information. I then follow up with a summary email of the process and approximate costs.
Then clients may book a consultation in person, where I can fully understand the event plans and what items of stationery they would like to order. I also take them through some recent designs so they can see the quality and style of my work first hand.
From there, clients can commission a mood board to be created with ideas. This is a brief overview of what their stationery could look like, with font, colour and design suggestions. It will include design ideas based on the theme we have discussed. I can also make suggestions for their ‘on the day’ stationery as well as the invitations. If they are unsure about the direction they would like, they can have more than one mood board created.
Once we have an approved mood board then I would prepare a full quotation of the initial invitation pieces. Then the design phase can begin.
Once all final designs are approved, I then work with my printer to produce the stationery, this involves seeing proofs and making sure colours are just right.
Designers can also help with the invitation wording
My clients or their wedding planner usually provide an initial first draft of wording. Once an order has been confirmed, I will send them a document to help them write this first draft. Then when I am creating the design, if I feel any of it needs to be tweaked, I will amend it on the design drafts for them to approve.
Wedding invitation wording is as important as the design of the stationery, so it needs to reflect the personality of the couple and the formality of the event. If it is a relaxed, laid back event, then this should be reflected in the way the stationery is worded.
Be mindful of how long it can take
Bespoke stationery does take longer to create. Its only once you are on-board with a bespoke stationer that you see the time and detail that goes into creating them.
I normally start working with my couples about 8 to 12 months before their wedding. Things are done in three stages: firstly the save the dates (normally mailed one year before the wedding), then the wedding invitations (mailed two to six months before the wedding), then finally the ‘on the day’ stationery such as the order of service, menus etc begins after the invitations have been mailed.
For just invitations I would need to start about four to six months before the wedding. This timeframe includes mailing two months before the big day.
There's usually no minimum order
Couples can order as much or as little as they like, that’s the beauty of bespoke! I find that once clients have worked with me on their invites, they are then keen to tie their ‘on the day’ stationery with this design, so it’s all consistent.