Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.
So my name is Sally and I'm 31, married and have a little boy, who is 17 months old. I trained in graphic design and have worked in the industry for around 10 years. I am based in the Somerset market town of Frome in England, UK.
What made you get into producing wedding stationary?
I got into wedding stationery after my husband and I got married. I designed our wedding invitations of course and then was asked time and time again to design invitations and other wedding stationery for friends and family. People kept on telling me I should do it professionally, so after having had my son, I thought well, why not, and here I am!
What do you produce?
I mostly design invitations, but I can design pretty much anything for the wedding day: save the dates, invitations (card or tea towels), wedding maps, orders of the day, orders of service, table plans, table names or numbers, place names, speech betting cards, menus, favours (card or tea towels), thank you cards (card or tea towels), signs, chalkboards, congratulations prints etc etc. The list is endless really!
Do you have a specific style?
I'm sure people will tell you I do! My aim is to be personal – I like to make every invitation reflect the couple and what they are after for their wedding day, be it rustic charm, or contemporary chic, I work to their brief. Most of my work is designed around the medium of computer graphic based typography.
Can you explain the process of how you work with new clients?
I meet with couples to chat in person about their ideas – be it lots or little, we go through everything from style and format to printing and text. I then take that information, write it up so we both know we are on the same lines, and then the design process begins. I produce a small selection of designs which the couple narrow down, I then go back and design and so on until I produce a design that the couple completely love. The files then get sent to the printers and usually within a week they are ready for delivery, either by me personally or the postman.
What has been the most popular trend when it comes to this years wedding?
Most couples I have worked with have tended to go for a rustic, relaxed style with hand-drawn fonts and pretty illustrations of their chosen flowers. Natural shades have been popular this year, green particularly.
The couples names on the invites have been big and bold and everyone wants RSVP cards to send to their guests, which I think is a very good idea.
Typographic designs have also been pretty popular and are a good way of condensing information down without losing style.
Saying all this I love when couples want to really stand out – I recently designed an invitation for a couple who had a mix between a Western and a circus theme for their wedding! It was lots of fun to design and it really stood out.
Any advice for stationary trends next year?
Next year is all about wild florals, gorgeous type, golds and possibly even metallics alongside those beautiful rustic tones from the great outdoors. Wedding maps are becoming more and more popular so I am expecting to see a rise in those along with the RSVP postcards.
Do you have any particularly exciting plans lined up for the business?
I really want to take my little business to the next level. I'm exhibiting at lots more wedding fayres this and next year so I'm afraid you'll see me around a lot more! I'd like to get a lot more exposure, so I'm hopping to get featured in more magazines and wedding blogs, but as far as actual designs go as my work is bespoke the couples depict what what I end up designing, so you'll have to wait and see!
Finally, what advice would you give to potential clients in regards to their wedding stationary?
Style wise: If you are unsure of a style, get a selection of wedding magazines rip out pages and make a scrap book of all the things you like – no matter what they are! Do the same on Pinterest. Once you have compiled everything look over it all and see what patterns emerge – relaxed style? Flowers? Contemporary? Rustic? Typography? Chic?
Budget: Don't be put off getting professionally designed invitations if you have a small budget. There are always ways of making things work – the best thing to do is to discuss it with the designer and find out what the options are.
When to send invitations out: Send them before people book holidays if your wedding is in the holiday seasons, bank holidays or half terms. Also sending them out at Christmas sounds great because you can send them out with Christmas cards and save on postage, but don't forget that they can be easily lost (and potentially thrown away) in the chaos of Christmas.
Wedding Maps: I think these are a fantastic way of helping your guests find their way to your reception. It saves the best man being hounded for directions, or worst of all the bride or groom on the wedding day! It means you can easily mark awkward places guests might get stuck finding you – no through roads, unmarked roads, navigating busy streets, parking, if the venue has no postcode for a sat nav to find etc. In the wedding maps I design I try to include illustrations of key landmarks, be it a pub or a school, illustrations of the church or place of civil ceremony and the reception venue as well as the nearest motorways or towns and cities.
RSVP's and people replying in time: To encourage people to reply I suggest couples include a self-addressed, stamped postcard, and have your RSVP date a month before you need to hear. Also a good phone call always gets an answer quickly!
For more information and to get in touch with Sally go over and visit her website here.