Wedding stationery has magical properties, we’re absolutely sure of it. It’s the first time your actual wedding day takes up some space in the tangible universe, rather than just in your head (and your bank account, obvs).
Excitingly, your wedding stationery is the debut of the plans you’ve been working so hard on with your nearest and dearest – in their actual, bona fide, potentially clammy hands. It’s real! Plus, there’s the undeniable magic of receiving something through the post – one of the wonders of the world, I tell ya.
Thanks to our guide last week, you know when you should be thinking about your stationery, but where do you begin with designing it? There are so many variables and questions involved in the process: What should our wedding invites say? What colours should we use? What fonts work? What kind of style are we going for? How many elements should there be? What kind of paper shall we have it on? – and the list goes on. But, because the world does not need one more yawn-inducing guide to stationery wording, instead we’re bringing you a stationery design guide to help prepare you for all the things you may need to think about.
Gather some wedding inspiration.
A good starting point is a moodboard, Karla from Paper Skeleton explains. “This can be a Pinterest board, a folder with images you have saved or even magazine cut outs. If you don’t already have one, don’t panic – this is the perfect time to compile your style into a visual representation. This can even be imagery taken from the other suppliers you have booked, such as what will you be wearing, your flowers, or your venue styling. This allows you to see your style all in one place which will make the design of your stationery a whole lot easier for you to envision.” This can help you assess which options you feel may work, like illustrated maps of your venue, foil printing or calligraphy (or all 3!)
However, it will be inspiration, and nothing more. “Please don’t ask a designer to completely replicate someone else’s work!” Laura Elizabeth Patrick says. “It’s not fair on either party and, let’s face it, if you have a designer at your disposal you should use them to create something wonderful for you. It’s really helpful if you can have a few key elements in mind that you want to feature – for example, you might know you want something foiled with an element of illustration – but it’s the designers job to then work their magic and create something unique for you!”
Consider your guests.
“The who, what, where and whens of your wedding are crucial.” Laura continues. “This often means you’ll want to consider whether you need a paper RSVP, or could this be added to the invite for an electronic reply? Do you need a details or accommodation card to let guests know the set up for the day? Will your evening guests need a separate invite?”
Karla adds: “Posting out an invitation is an interaction between you and your guest, so think about the whole experience your guest will have right from seeing the envelope at the other end of their letterbox. So many envelopes to choose from and even the different sealing options will alter this tactile experience – they could be unwrapping, peeling, un-tying…Then think about what it is they will be unveiling. With so many textures and thicknesses of paper types to consider, think about what type will best represent your style.”
Colours and styles
“Where colour is involved there are so many wonderful options.” Richard, of Com Bossa, says. “I ask many couples to send me images containing their colours or physical swatches of material so that I can then pick out the colours and apply these to your wedding stationery. One of the joys of letter press wedding invitations is that the inks are mixed by hand to a precise formula – with this highly skilled craft it is possible to have your wedding invitations printed in that precise shade you’ve lusted after!
Alternatively, if you’re not defining your wedding colours at all, you really have the opportunity to let your creative spirit run free. Printing in metallic foil opens up the possibility of using any colour of card you wish. Unlike ink printing (which is limited to lighter shades of card) you can print foil on to dark card colours – it’s amazing how the whole effect is changed by the hue of the paper.”