Custom Made Wedding Invitations (What is the Process?)
Custom Made Wedding Invitations
Recently I had an enquiry from a wedding planner on behalf of her client. She asked, “So exactly what is your process of custom made wedding invitations, how long does it take what does it involve?” I realised in that one moment, that I didn’t have a document or a blogpost that I could ask her to read that would highlight the process and describe the way that I work step by step.
If you’re looking to work with a custom designer to create some unique wedding invitations, get in touch and we can have a chat. Contact me here or email me at email@example.com
First of all What are Custom Made Wedding Invitations?
Before we dive in, let me explain what custom made wedding invitations are all about. There are two types of custom invitations that I specialise in.
Fully custom stationery
Fully custom stationery is when you require an entirely, new, fresh design that is not in existence anywhere! Perhaps you’d like to use some innovative materials such as leather, feathers, or engraved copper? The sky is the limit and the only one factor that will decide what the end finish of your invitations are is your budget.
Custom wedding stationery gives you a blank canvas to communicate your ideas and work directly, one to one, with a professional illustrator who will work on designing 100% original artwork that is not bought but made from scratch. Even the calligraphy will be bespoke made for you, with many variations being offered.
Semi custom stationery-
Semi custom stationery is when you choose a wedding stationery collection, or two that you like from my Portfolio. You would then like to make very slight changes ( with names and information etc…) but in essence you would like to use a design that already exists. Below you can see an example of some wedding invitation made from a design from my Portfolio but has been changed and amended.
Does choosing a fully custom stationery or a semi custom stationery change the price dramatically?
There is a slight change in price, with the fully custom stationery service requiring much more intensive design. However, when you think of an average wedding with 100 invitations that contain at least 5-7 pieces, the amount of work is almost the same.
How Long does the whole Process of Custom Made Wedding Invitations take from the Beginning to the End?
From my experience with orders of 10 -20 invitations for a small intimate wedding in Paris – when you choose a design from my portfolio, it can still take 4-5 weeks.
For 100 wedding stationery suites, it can take on average almost 3 months, depending on how many pieces need to be design and how long design revisions can take.
On average for one stationery suite, here is a list of what I would design:
Invitation calligraphy and font placement
Envelope for invitation Envelope calligraphy
***A quick note of envelopes – I take pride in hand making and hand painting my envelopes, the main invitations envelope and the rsvp envelope in house (see below). Yet this depends on a client’s end budget. Otherwise of course normal or hand made paper envelopes can be brought in and used instead.
Breakdown of Custom Made Wedding Invitations Stages:
Stage 1: Contracts & Invoices
After emails and communication, a contract and 50% payment request is sent. Only once the contract is signed, returned and payment has come through, will the whole process start. I have daily enquiries come in and only by paying a deposit will your space on my calendar be booked.
Stage 2: Design Ideas | Week 1
The next stage is all about inspiration and design direction. It is best to have a conversation to get the ball rolling. Or alternatively, if it’s more convenient, you can pass on a mood board or a Pinterest board as one of my past client’s did (see below).
I would love to see what makes you special as a couple. What are your likes, dislikes? Show me your most favourite invitation designs and what you need for your invitations and stationery.
Which colour palette / concepts and which types of materials would you like to go for? Would you like hand painted, hand made envelopes, hand made paper envelopes or simple envelopes, which printing techniques ( such as gold foiling, letterpress) would you be open to using. I will often pass onto you a questionnaire and a details sheet, where I ask you specific questions that will help us define the design direction and what is achievable within your budget.
Stage 3: Design Phase | Week 2 – 4
Now that we are all on the same page and now what’s expected in terms of design concepts, colours and design inspiration, we start the exciting phase of design.
This is where I need time to be quiet, focus of developing a range of coherent artwork and design all of the calligraphy collateral needed to form a design. This can often be anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Once artwork has been developed I will present 2-3 design options.
Stage 4: Design Revisions to Make a Final Custom Made Wedding Invitations Suite | Week 3-5
This is when we work on making the final design concept tight and are almost there! Some clients don’t need any design revisions at all. Other clients need a little further design development.
Once a design is locked in, we sign off on them and go to the final stage, print and production.
Stage 5: Print & Production | Week 5 – 9
This final phase of print and production is the most intensive period. I will be liaising with printers, prepping file and making sure that everything is ready to go to print. You will be able to check and see final design spec and proofs at this stage and then everything goes to print. Printing can take about 1-2 weeks.
For hand torn edges – most of the suites that I create are for clients that adore hand torn edges. I can sometimes tear 1500+ edges within one to two weeks and then I start to hand paint all the edges to add that extra layer of dimension and texture.
Once the main suite is complete, I add the postage to the rsvp envelopes and assemble the entire suite. To finish it all off I wax seal envelopes, that’s after addressing the envelopes with calligraphy of course!
This process can take anywhere from 3-5 weeks, depending upon the size of the order.
Stage 6: Packaging & Shipping | Week 8-9
50% remaining payment is now due. Once payment has come through I can start to commence with packaging and ship your stationery.
Time to get excited!
What is the Price Range for Custom Made Wedding Invitations and Why does it Cost so much?
If you think of any other specialised profession, whether it’s a website designer, a graphic design, a data scientist, software engineer, nurse, solicitor (the list goes on) if they were to work for 2-3 months, what do you think they would charge for their take home monthly salary? Believe me it would not be £2, 000 for 2-3 months work!
I am not like other stationery designers that charge £1500 – £2,500 out there. Their husbands are the main providers and they are pretty much running their business for a hobby, or as a hobby.
I now charge at least £8, 500 to £20,000+ for 2-3 months work for the illustrated artwork and hand painted illustrations that I develop.
I have a degree in Art from The Nottingham Trent University and I have worked very hard to hone and develop my skills and specialise in great design, so that YOU can place your trust in me!
Here are some testimonials from past clients:
I just wanted to write a note and let you know how truly overwhelmed, blessed and over the moon we are about our magical invitations. They are the most breathtaking things we have ever seen, and I wanted to thank you both! What a magical way to begin the journey into our wedding, by opening and invitation of pure and utter beauty. This is beyond my wildest dreams, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. You are so gifted and a true artist. – Anoushka
Lovely Rubana, you have been an absolute pleasure to work with every step of the way and I know you poured your heart and soul and then some into this project. Feel very proud my lovely, I’ve never had so many gasps of delight over the stationery at a wedding before. – Wedding planner Michelle
Asking the right questions is absolutely key to making sure you and your wedding stationer are on the same page. Never leave anything up to chance otherwise you could face disappointment down the line!
At Crimson Letters I understand the importance of working together to create the wedding stationery of your dreams, that’s why I work so closely with all my couples. I am very passionate about what I do and I love to take inspiration from the world around me, as well as listen to the exciting ideas that my couples have. That’s how I produce beautifully unique luxurious wedding stationery, made with love.
If you’re looking for a wedding stationer and you’d like to know more about what I do, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch here.
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