We interviewed the lovely Jade Pearson, editor of Wedding Ideas magazine, to get the inside scoop on the wedding stationery industry and how to create that magical bond between a bride and her stationer.
Congratulations on getting engaged, Jade! Firstly we have to ask; is there going to be a particular theme to your wedding? We love a theme here at printed.com!
Thank you, I’m super excited! It was really hard to pick a theme – I see such gorgeous weddings day in, day out, so I took a lot of inspiration from all sorts of sources. If I had to label it, I’d say it’s a woodland theme laced with Canadian maple leaves (inspired by how my fiancé and I met) and coral details.
Have you had any pitfalls when trying to keep to your theme?
Finding woodland details was easy, but one company’s coral is completely different to another’s, so that was difficult. I ordered coral bridesmaid dresses that were more pinky coral, but the ribbon I ordered for the table plan was more orange coral. It was a bit of a nightmare!
What would you say has been the biggest challenge when creating your wedding stationery?
There was a lot of to-and-fro between myself and my stationer; In The Treehouse. Luckily for me, Jenny is really good at getting back to my emails and was very patient when making the changes I requested, even on the 8th or 9th version! It’s so, so important that stationers check their emails and keep in frequent contact with their clients. It makes the client feel appreciated and respected.
What has been the best part of your wedding stationery experience?
Seeing my ideas brought to life! My stationer had their own collections, and I chose my favourite then adapted it. They were very open to my ideas and gradually I saw the combination of our ideas turn into truly unique designs.
Wedding stationery etiquette – what would you say are the must haves when it comes to wedding stationery?
Ooh, where to start. I have come up against a lot of problems regarding my stationery – and none of it involved the designers! After you’ve had the huge hassle of finalising your guest list, it’s time to write the invites. It is so important that you are clear with the details inside. If there are no children allowed, perhaps add a note in the cards of those who have them to say that, with regret, children will not be invited to the wedding. With ‘plus ones’, ensure you write the name clearly of the recipient by hand, so that they know there is no mistake – you only meant to invite them!
As somebody in the know about wedding stationery, what advice would you give stationers who are just starting out?
Be unique. This is a very competitive industry, so it’s important to have your own style. You can’t take any pride in ripping off what others have done, but if you have your own unique vision that then becomes successful, it will be all the more rewarding. Also, word of mouth can only get you so far. I know it may be painful having to dig into the pockets, but advertising in wedding magazines really does work – especially when they offer editorial perks to go with it (like Wedding Ideas!).
As a bride, what would you recommend other brides ask their wedding stationers?
Firstly, you need to check that what you want is actually in budget. Do their prices include VAT and postage? Are there hidden costs if you want to make amendments? Make sure you build a rapport with your stationer, because as I have mentioned with my experiences, communication is key. Also, always make sure you order extra invitations, just in case you mess one or two up, or if someone can’t make it you have spares for upgrading evening guests.
And more importantly, what questions should wedding stationers be asking their customers?
They need to listen. Get to know your customers and try to achieve their vision. Whether you think it’s your perfect design or not isn’t really important. The main thing is that the client is happy. Remember, good recommendations can give you lots of business, almost as much as bad recommendations can be detrimental.
Any tips or tricks that we simply must know (we won't tell, we promise!)?
People love surprises! Send the invites to the customer in quirky packaging that’s lovingly labelled and tied with ribbon. Personally write them a card to say thank you for their business, or you could even chuck in a box of chocolates or something. These tiny touches don’t cost a lot but will leave a great lasting impression.
Which part of your big day are you looking forward to the most?
Hearing the music start up as I wait to walk down the aisle. I’ve been waiting for that moment since I got engaged!
And finally, have you got any quirky treats for your guests?
Plenty, but that would be telling!