After almost 6 years of running my own graphic design/ stationery business and working with over 60 brides, I have several factors that are always true. Here are the ten things that your stationer wants to tell you, but probably does not, but probably should, so here I go!
1) My feelings will not be hurt. This is not my wedding. I was married to a wonderful man almost 11 years ago. I had my wedding. This one is not mine. I actually do tell brides this. My feelings will not be hurt if you do not like a sample design I created for you. I cannot tell you how many times I have presented sample invitation designs to a client, and they are hesitate to tell me that the color is wrong, or they prefer a more script font. No big deal...that is why I am a custom designer, so I can custom design the invitation to your liking. So, please, be bold and let me know the changes you want to see.
2) This leads me to my next tip..I am not a mind reader. I am good at interpreting your design style, but I cannot get into your head to try and figure out whether you want a sunny yellow or a mustard yellow. It really helps me out when brides tell me up front "I do not know what yellow I like best", Okay, good!. I can do a few more samples to try and help you narrow it down. I can ask questions to try and lead you down the decision road, but if we are leading down the wrong road, let me know!
3) I am not listening to anyone but you. At our meetings, you may have your mother, your future- father-in-law, even the groom with you. I think it is wonderful that so many of your loved-ones want to be apart of your special day. It truly is a joyful time in your life and it is nice to share. However, I am not listening to anyone but you regarding your invitation design. I will joke with father-in-law, have sympathy for the groom that he does not see any difference in the 5 samples I have jut shown, and compare baby stories with your mom. But you are the most important person at the table. You will ask your mom 10 times "what about this one mom?", but I will not:)
4) You are paying for my talent, my time and my labor along with the actual paper. I am designing you a custom wedding invitation, which means that there is not other wedding invitation like it. Your invite will be a true original. I can change the colors, the fonts, add 5 more leaves to that tree branch, make the 5x7 a square and turn the bird the other way. However, a custom designed wedding invitation takes time. I have had a bride say to me "but it's just a piece of paper". It may look like that at the end, but I spent a substantial amount of time "converting to curves" to get the perfect shape on that bird.
5) This leads me to my next tip....if you do not care that your invite is custom, then I may not be the stationer for you. I have had a mother of the bride say to me "we ordered our other daughter's invites from William and Arthur and they were beautiful, but half the cost". Do I even need to go further? The fact is that I am one person with one printer. The big on-line companies can crank out thousands of invitations in one day, and yes..they tend to be less expensive. However, you get a few color choices, usually one paper choice, etc. If you go on-line and find an invitation you love, go for it!
6. I need time to fulfill your order. It might seems silly to start the invitation process 6-8 months prior to your wedding date, but the truth is, it takes time to develop your design. If you contact me 2 weeks before your invites are suppose to go out, I will do everything I can to get it done, but you will not get the benefit of a full custom design.
7. I will make mistakes and it is your job to catch them. I spend much more time on the design of your invitation then the text. While I read through your invitation 100 times while it is up on my screen, I still may not catch that I have spelled your future husband's middle name wrong. It is very important that you thoroughly read what I have sent you for approval. I will not print unless I get approval from you.
8. You can have your custom monogram or image...for a price. I would love to give you the monogram I designed in a pdf or vector file, but it does cost. While I do not charge extra for custom monograms or images (some designers do charge extra for these in the design process, but I do not), for the rights to those images to use on other items such as thank you notes or for another designer to make a cake-topper, I charge a fee.
9. I will not steal another designer's design. If you bring me a picture of an invitation that you want an exact replica..or even a close replica of, I will refer you to the original designer. We, in the design world, take this seriously. I love inspiration, so please show me all the pictures and pinterest boards of the invitations you love. I will be able to design something that takes the aspects you love and make it your own.
10. I truly want you to have the best invitation. I love what I do...few designers get into this field because it's a great money maker or it's just the family business. You either love design or you don't. I am good at what I do because I love it! and after talking to you I am excited to get what is in my head on the screen. It is important for you to be happy with your wedding invitation and I will work hard to make sure that happens.
I am so thankful that I have found this path in my life. I love my brides! I Hope these tip help make your invitation process run more smoothly!
As always! Celebrate Perfectly!