What is a Full-service Wedding Stationery Designer?
Ever heard the phrase, "You get what you pay for"? It usually has a negative connotation, chastising someone for opting for something lower quality to save a few bucks. But in this post I'm putting a positive spin on the catchphrase. People often ask me what is a full-service stationery designer? And "paper planner" is basically something I made up, so I always explain what that entails on my phone consultations. From the outside looking into the wedding industry or any industry you don't know much about, it's easy to say "you just design + print on paper", or "you just take photos and edit them", or "you cut + arrange pretty florals." Ah, if only it were that easy. The truth is, like most wedding professionals, what I do is INCREDIBLY nuanced. Envelope sizes, does the flap of the liner you ordered from this vendor fit into the envelope from this vendor, color matching, coordinating timing for assembly and timely delivery, does this supplier have this paper in stock, the list goes on. Ordering your invitations online puts you in charge of all the nuance, and expects to you be an expert in a field in which you know very little!For me, it can sometimes be a heavy burden when you are a business of one and managing all this for multiple clients, but over the years I've put checks + balances in place to help double-check work, and each season I certainly learn invaluable lessons, especially as my business offerings expand.Last week was one of serious logistics. Wednesday, where I get the longest block of time to work without interruption from my little ones, was mostly spent reviewing all the little details of my current projects.I find that specific examples are the best way to paint a picture, so I thought it would be an interesting practice to write down all the little things I did, all the non-instagram-feed-worthy work I do behind the scenes to serve my clients so you can see the huge value of working with a full-service custom stationery vendor like me. So here's just a sample for you...
-Ordered A7.5 envelopes (vs. the standard A7) because my client has double thick invitation cards + 3 inserts, and I wanted to be sure there was enough room to fit it all in without issue.
-Ordered stamps for one of my couples early because I knew the USPS was having a system upgrade on their website the following day and there would be a 72-hour delay on all order shipments.
-Explained to one of my brides all about hand-cancellation, the best time to go to the post office, and what to say to convince them to let you do it if they give you a hard time. (Yes, this happens more often than you think.)
-Did a test print on an envelope liner to make sure the crease wouldn't fall directly on the eyes of the bride in the image.
-Had my printer hold on production because of a last-minute ceremony time change
-Sent a color reference to my day-of paper printer because the invite printer was different and I wanted to ensure there would be color consistency. (Blush can be a very tricky color!)
-Tested different size punch holes to see which would be the perfect for for a 1" silk ribbon to go through it.
-Reviewed a client's address spreadsheet and saw they were missing a zip code.
I looked it up and fixed it myself.Getting to final product of an invitation suite is quite a journey, and I love taking my clients along on the creative parts of it. They figure out what they truly want out of their paper story with my guidance, but I manage the logistics of sizing, ordering, etiquette, and lots more!
Photos: Peterson Design & Photo
When I had some past clients take a survey, I asked them what most surprised them about working with a custom stationery designer. A bunch of them responded saying how surprised they were at the ease of working with me. This was so gratifying, because my goals are to always be creative and supportive for my couples.
Knowing I can take a load off their plate and deliver design that truly reflects their vision for me is a job well done.
Looking for more behind-the-scenes info? Be sure to check out our Instastories on Instagram, updated daily!Done with hearing about the behind-the-scenes and craving some pretty weddings? Head over here to see Melissa + Andy's gorgeous watercolor wedding!