I was able to interview Cindy about her design process and I think that her wisdom is invaluable for brides looking or a custom design element for their invitations on their wedding day. I cannot thank her enough for being willing to take the time to answer these!
Invitations, oh my! So many brides are overwhelmed with details of the wedding day and might not understand the benefits of hiring a designer for their wedding stationery. What are 5 benefits to hiring a designer and why are these important?
Invitations are not only the first things you guests get to see that truly represent the look and feel of your wedding, but they are also one of the only things you’ll get to keep as keepsakes of this important day in your life! Stationers come not only with design knowledge, but they also know all the logistics that come along with them:
Where to get the best paper and materials
Where to get the best print quality at the best price
What information you need to include on your invitations
What your reply by date should be
How many you should order
How you should address them
How much postage you need
How and when you need to send them out
What day-of details you may not have thought of & how to make those designs cohesive with your invitations!
The reason why all wedding vendors are worth their value is because they are experts in their field and they make your life easier and your vision come to life!
What are 3-5 common misconceptions about custom wedding invitations that you think all brides should consider? How will preparing for these things help make their experience enjoyable/stress free?
Don’t leave your stationer as your last vendor to hire! Start on your invitations early! So many couples come to me asking for rush jobs but they are simply not possible most of the time. Long timelines are not only due the entire design process, they also include the time needed to source materials (handmade paper may take weeks to make), to print (may take up to 4 weeks), and to assembly and address! Not only that, but your stationer is giving you a buffer incase anything happens (i.e. misprints, paper shortages) because they’ve been there before and know that these are the type of emergencies that short timelines cannot handle! Starting early = stress free both you and your stationer
If you’re going to do custom invitations, it’s worth it to do letterpress and/or foil. Digital may save you a small amount of money but the look and feel of your invitations suffer more than it’s worth in my opinion. Unless you have watercolor-y designs, upgrading to letterpress or foil is always worth it. You didn’t hire a stationer to get something you could find anywhere—you hired them to create something beautifully unique and luxurious! Spending a little more on printing & paper = avoiding possible disappointment later.
The bulk cost of invitations are going toward printing and materials. Sometimes couples have sticker shock but they may be even more shocked to know that the materials and printing fees are higher than the design fees! At the end of the day it’s likely that less than a third of what you’re paying is what your stationer is getting! Understanding these costs means that if you’re looking to fit within your budget, you’re really looking to lower your material costs, not design costs!
Calligraphy addressing is an incredibly time consuming process. You’re not paying for someone to write like normal. Not only do I spend time preparing materials, I also have to warm up my hand to the script style before each session. It always takes me at least 5 or so addresses to get the centering of the script correct. Once I’m finished addressing, I spell-check each address twice and then redo the mistakes. This is why calligraphers usually only allow 1 round of revisions and charge a re-setup fee if you need more after that (for example, if you added people to your guestlist.) Start collecting your addresses ASAP and make sure to triple spell check so you can give your calligrapher the final document to avoid any extra costs or delays!
What are some trends that are being overused? What do you foresee as being popular in the future/what do you think brides should try more of?
A lot of the things I see on Pinterest are overused because couples use the platform a lot to plan their weddings. Mostly these trends are kitschy and rustic instead of elegant and timeless. I personally think being timeless isn’t super important as long as it makes you happy! I think doing whatever you like is what you should do—just find the vendors that fit your vision so you can execute it WELL! :) My number one recommendations that couples should try more of is GET A PLANNER (if you don’t already have one.) Take it from someone who tried to plan her own wedding and it was a hot mess until I hired planners to make it so much easier and amazing! If you plan your own wedding and it becomes a disaster, there are no redos… so why not hire the experts to do it right the first time? Believe the hype of planners; they are worth their weight in gold! Planners also make my life easier and will help guide me towards your vision and help you stay in budget (especially when it comes to what day-of details you should get or pass on.)
Any tips on how a bride can have her invitation suite be an extension of her personality and who she is on a wedding day, or how to not have her invitations that look like every other bride’s aesthetic?
I once heard an artist say, instead of copying someone else’s work, she writes down exactly what she likes about the work and then creates her own based off her notes. If you want something that is unique to you, it isn’t about copying what you see on the internet, it’s about understanding WHY you love what you’re seeing and translating that for your stationer to create. The process is much more organic, free, and exciting!
Do you have any tips of encouraging words for brides who are in the wedding planning process and who might feel overwhelmed?
I find myself overwhelmed when I look at things as a whole. Break down your to-do lists in chunks and aim to accomplish these goals on a daily/weekly basis. You’ll chip at it little by little and before you know it, you’ll be done! Don’t jump from one unfinished task to another because your list will always stay long and overwhelming. Good luck!