Graphic designers Kelly & Toby owners of White Cottage Weddings talk to us about the process of designing their own wedding invitations. It's over to Kelly & Toby now.
As a fledgling wedding stationery business, we knew our own wedding stationery had to pack a punch. It had to be that flagship piece of work that represented not only our personalities and the feel of our wedding but also our business and our skills as stationers. No pressure then! We picked up some valuable lessons along the way about what's important and what's less so, when designing your own wedding stationery
Where to start...
Unsurprisingly we started on Pinterest, the oracle of wedding photo goodies. With so many gorgeous examples of clever and beautiful invitation suites, our Pinterest stationery board very quickly swelled and before we knew it we were completely overloaded. Every time we saw an inspirational piece that kicked off our plans, we just couldn't help doing one more search, inevitably throwing up the most amazing thing we'd ever seen. We were right back at square one again.
So our first piece of advice is this; Pinterest and the wonderful world of the internet is great and should be used as the fabulous tool that it is, but don't neglect your own ideas. Sit down with a good old fashioned pen and paper and get those little grey cells going! Make lists, sketches, thought shower. Do anything you can to work out the direction you'd like to go in before you get completely overwhelmed and lost amongst a million and one different themes and ideas.
Standing out from the crowd vs. budget/engineering nightmare
We knew from the get go that we wanted our stationery suite to be beautifully presented and moreishly tactile. We'd spent hours cooing over picture perfect bundles, so armed with Pinterest inspiration, we started designing our multi-layered masterpiece. A quick cost up with our printer and other suppliers later, we had to have a serious re-think about the reality of our complex plans.
This leads us to our second golden nugget of wedding stationery advice; beautiful tiers of stationery may look amazing, but the bigger and heavier your bundles are, the more costly they will be. This may sound obvious, but it's really easy to overlook some of the smaller costs when putting together budgets. Stamps, envelopes, boxes, twine, design and print costs all add up. Design and create to your need. Why have A5 invitations when you can fit your all of your information perfectly on to A6? Can you create postcard style RSVP's to cut out the need for extra envelopes? Double-side your suite pieces to maximise use of space. Overall, try to find a balance between unique design and purse friendliness.
Be prepared to get stuck in
As graphic designers, we are all about stunning typeface, interesting visuals and a clean finish. However, there is a lot to be said about the benefits of hand-finished pieces. We couldn't really find any print size or shape solutions that offered a truly unique format for our invitations and so we had to get creative! printed.com offer Kraft paper printing on large unfinished sheets for a very reasonable amount of money, which got us thinking. The flexibility we had to cut, fold and hand-finish our pieces stamped a whole new feel on our flawlessly printed design. It also provided an excellent opportunity to get the bridesmaids involved for an evening of DIY and cake!
Our final words to the wise are these; if you want wedding stationery that is structurally interesting and non-harmful to the budget, get your DIY thinking cap on! Get your sleeves rolled up and chop, fold and personalise print to impress your personality and theme.
Overall, try not to spend too much time looking at what other people have done and are doing and dedicate a little more time to working out what you want and what your wedding is about. Design stationery that represents and compliments your wedding but also your budget. Work out where you want to splurge and where you need to save. Finally, if it doesn't exist, make it exist! Make some prototypes and see how functional they are. Oh and have fun, but I'm sure that goes without saying :)
White Cottage Weddings are Toby and Kelly, husband and wife (to be!) team and they design and create splendid wedding stationery. They live and work at The White Cottage, their home studio in Rushden, Northamptonshire. You can visit their Facebook page for more information.