When I was starting out, I remember speaking to some of my friends and family about my vision – creating high end stationery for weddings and events, including some of my handwritten calligraphy. Of course, the matter of pricing always came up and I’d be greeted with some variation of ‘HOW MUCH?! But it’s just stationery!’.
Of course, it is just stationery. But it’s also just a dress, just a meal, just a day. In reality though, we all know it’s so much more than that. This is (hopefully) the one day where you gather all of your loved ones and celebrate you and your partner committing to spend the rest of your lives together and, for me (and, lots of other people I’m sure), the stationery is a big part of that.
Let’s start at the beginning. Save the dates. The day you announce your wedding date to the world. This is your chance to get the anticipation building. Even before I started working in the wedding industry, I would get so excited receiving a save the date and I never threw them away. I’d stick them on the fridge, pop them in my diary, take pictures and post on social, tagging the special couple.
Official invitations let you build on this. Just the style of your invitation suite tells guests what sort of day to expect – super formal, casual, contemporary. Guests will start imagining what the day will look like, will there be bold colours? Will it be a huge party? What will the dress look like? There’s also the practical side, adding directions, gift ideas, kids / no kids, nearby hotels etc.
Still thinking it’s just stationery? Then let me continue…
On the day, you walk into the church or wedding venue and you’re handed an order of service which you look at for the whole service. It’s a beautiful memento of one of the most important hour or so of that couple’s life together. I can honestly say that I still have the order of service from pretty much every wedding I’ve been to, and each one reflects what the day was like. Just looking at them brings back vivid memories of a reading, the moment the groom started crying, belting out ‘Jerusalem’.
Place cards, oooooooh place cards. One of my favourite tasks when working with couples is handwriting place cards in beautiful calligraphy, and not always on folded card as you might imagine. I’ve lettered on agate slices, leaves, shot glasses, added wax seals which makes them double up as a lovely personalised keepsake or favour. I see so many pictures on social media of guests posting pictures of their place cards (but not if they are just standard font, cheap everyday place cards!)
I could go on. I haven’t even mentioned table plans, table numbers, signage, menus, thank you cards. Stationery really does touch every part of your day, and guests do look at it, keep it, take pictures of it and remember it. It is also the only part of your day which starts months in advance, and continues after the day is over. So why would you want to skim here?
So please, don’t ever try and tell me ‘it’s just stationery’. It’s not, and any brides or grooms who feel the same way, come and join me.