Bespoke Wedding Stationery- (Country Wedding Theme- My Design Process)
Let’s view the entire collection of bespoke wedding stationery – with my latest English country invitation design.
What is bespoke wedding stationery?
Every couple is unique. Think of it this way. Your wedding stationery is your quintessential finger print on paper. Bespoke wedding stationery is for the discerning client who has refined tastes and appreciates sophisticated design. I don’t offer mass produced designs. My couples want to stand out. They want to make a statement.
Individualistic design that speaks to the heart
Today, I’d like to share all the boho inspired bespoke wedding stationery that I have been working away on these past two and a half months! I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m not the world’s most gifted writer. Nonetheless, I am itching to give you a “full immersion” experience and share everything that I’ve been developing and hand crafting.
First of all I’ll show you how I designed so many elements – don’t worry I won’t bore you too with too much information here. I’ll briefly show you how I designed the booklets and then as bespoke wedding stationery connoisseurs we can all enjoy scrolling through the stationery.
Starting off here’s the list of what I had to design for this dreamy wedding:
Ceremony / Order of Service Booklet
Labels for Guests Rooms
Thank You Cards
First of all I must reveal a little something.
When I had the email through from Michelle at Pocketful of Dreams and saw the list of what was needed for my client, Anoushka’s wedding, at The Wilderness, my eyebrows did lift quite high in the air! The problem? I’m a wee bit of a perfectionist.
Seeing that list, I wondered how, 1) I was going to do it all, 2) how I was going to do it extremely well!
I really hate doing things in halves. How was I going to develop all the designs, offer design proposals, agree to a final design and make sure I deliver everything within the timelines? Trying not to panic, I just dove in with anything that was ready to go. We had to delay the place names, room labels and menu until the end. All the information had not yet been finalised.
Designing: The first stage:
I started off with the Ceremony and Welcome booklets. The first stage of the design process was to place all of the text onto the pages we intended to print. One booklet was about 10 pages. The other booklet about 8 pages. Scroll down to see how I presented the designs step by step.
Remember, I don’t buy in any artwork here and also create all the calligraphy myself.
Create the artwork, remove the background.
Again with the calligraphy, create, scan in and remove the background.
Compile designs and present different design options.
Here’s an example of how I presented some of the design concepts for the Welcome & Ceremony booklets. The below three images show you the front page / cover options. Below you have one of the inside pages. All in all it took about 2 weeks back and forth to revise text and layout until we could go ahead with production.
Printing and Production:
Following on, all of the printing and hand tearing, then gluing and compiling the booklets. This was quite arduous and the most intensive in terms of labour. I was so concerned that through tiredness I would mix up the order pages, or add a double page inside one booklet by mistake. So there was a lot of back and forth. Checking, rechecking and triple checking to make sure everything was up to standard.
After ripping the odd 2000+ edges, my wrists really began to ache terribly. I had to call an assistant in to help me for a few days. There was too much to do and I couldn’t afford to rest for a few days while my wrist recovered. Aching wrists aside, it was clearly worth it. Hard work pays off.
Problems: My Tearing the Hair out Moment
Time was of the essence. I zoomed ahead with printing the handmade menus out. Handmade paper. ARRRGHHHH!!!! I have two printers just in case one breaks down. The handmade paper that I was printing on printed, sort of ok up to 50 sheets. Then all the troubles came. I needed to print somewhere about 160 -180 menus. With every 5th sheet I printed, I would have 2 -3 copies that printed awfully with the most horrendous black ink splotches.
Alongside this, the handmade paper broke two printers. Even after buying a second printer and getting to 120 menus, I was running out of handmade paper fast. At this point, I had and HAVE completely fallen out of love with handmade paper.
Menus aside, calligraphy addressing on handmade paper also takes three times as long as normal paper. Handmade paper has many loose fibres that often cling onto the calligraphy nib or are often times dragged along into the ink from the paper itself. It causes so many letters to bleed. Some place names I had to hand write four times! This really was a very frustrating process and made the calligraphy very long winded to do.
Handmade paper is great for letterpress, gold foil but really not for digital printing or calligraphy.
Enough was Enough.
I managed to make the place names on the remaining handmade paper.
For the menus, I reverted to the normal high quality paper I use from GFSmith, my stockist in London and all was well. I have had previous experience with using this paper stockist before. It always prints so very well and is always of a high quality. I ordered the paper in and started to print a fresh batch of wedding menus, which printed out so easily. Thank goodness.
The last thing that you need whilst doing bespoke stationery is added stress!
However, even after my terrible experience above with the printing going terribly wrong, I still had enough hand made paper left in reserve to make sure that the place names would be on that paper. So with a lot of patience and with the odd scream here and there, I persevered with the place names and added them onto the menus.
That way my client still had her dreamy hand made paper in some part used for her wedding menus.
Let’s enjoy the rest of bespoke wedding stationery day of collection
In the end, the menus and place names turned out so well!
To compliment these beautiful boho floral wedding menus I designed table numbers, food cards and room labels.
Handmade Escort Cards
For the grand finale, a wee bit of flaunting is in order here. I slaved away over these escort cards and I am a little bit proud of them. These I had a hard time letting go. Shipping these escort cards was a mission!
Of course I couldn’t resist sharing the way the escort cards were arranged! Flowing out of a bike’s basket! Image courtesy of @seraoflondon.
As always I am so grateful for opportunity to stretch my design skills and make the most of this bespoke wedding stationery project. I hope you enjoyed flicking through all the lovely eye candy. I’d love to hear from you! Are you a wedding stationer? Have you ever had big problems during your order? Do you have any tricks to help you cope with calligraphy or printing on handmade paper?