After last Tuesday’s post finding out about apple of my eye design and wedding stationery trends for 2011, take a read below for some top tips on selecting your wedding stationery supplier, how to make the most of your stationery budget, how to deal with last minute table plan changes and a bit about the different types of printing you will come across.
First and foremost they should establish their budget. Most stationers publish their prices on their websites, so couples should take advantage of this when selecting designs they like. Once a budget is established and the couple know what items they want they should get hold of samples from a few different stationers for designs they love that fall within their budget.
During this process they should get their first ‘feel’ of the stationers – How quickly was their initial enquiry responded to? How did the response from the stationer make them feel? (i.e. like their business mattered to the stationer or whether they were just another customer in a big sea of customers). How quickly the samples arrived, the quality of the samples.
I think gut instinct is critical. The relationship between a stationer and clients can last up to a year depending on which items the couple require and how far in advance of the wedding the couple involve the stationer. A good stationer should inspire confidence that the client’s requirements are in a safe pair of hands.
Always order a few extra place cards! When it comes to table plans, I offer a service whereby I provide printed inserts for table plans to match the rest of the wedding stationery theme. By adopting the method of having these individual inserts it is really easy to make last minute changes by simply reprinting the table insert with the required changes. I have also had brides order table plan inserts with different name options depending on different guest scenarios. This is a great idea on the occasions where guest issues haven’t been resolved till quite late in the day.
“Flourish” Table Plan Insert Card
Ascertain whether there is anyone creative in your nearest and dearest. Find someone who has beautiful handwriting who can address your envelopes, write your invites and write your place cards. If you are on a tight budget this can save you money on extra printing costs or a calligrapher.
Go for table plan inserts and source your own frame and mountboard to save hundreds on a table plan.
Avoid pocketfolds, bows and brooches and go for elegant, and simple yet beautiful design.
Go for a few menus per table rather than one per person if the budget is tight. Also, rather than one per person, opt for one Order of Service per couple plus enough for lone guests to have one each.
Most importantly, START EARLY – if a stationer is finding they have to squeeze an order in late in the day it may incur extra costs for extra labour required out of normal hours, extra delivery charges for rushing material orders/ delivery to clients etc.
Digital/laser/inkjet printing For small scale wedding stationery orders, digital methods of printing are well suited to the run sizes required. Artwork created on the computer is sent to and printed by a digital press, laser or inkjet printer. This is a high quality and cost effective solution really that is perfect for wedding stationery.
Thermography produces raised printing similar in appearance to engraving but using a different process. In thermography, a special powder is added to the ink printed on the paper. The printed piece is heated and the powder and ink mixture dries to form a raised effect on the paper. A lovely finish is created but this method is quite costly.
In Letterpress printing, ink is applied to the raised portions of a metal or hard plastic plate which is then pressed on the paper. It is a specialised and expensive form of printing and can be considered an art form in itself.
Offset lithography is the most commonly used commercial printing process however the small runs required in wedding stationery orders rule it out as an option for most weddings.
Thank you so much to Shelley for taking the time to provide some useful wedding stationery tips!
Images: Courtesy of apple of my eye design