by Jillian of Bella Carta Boutique
My dream for this business truly started with my own wedding, almost seven years ago. I had designed a handful of invitations for friends along the way, but getting the opportunity to design every element for my own wedding was what set my business in motion. I didn't know it at the time, but I was creating a brand for our day. Now that I'm designing wedding invitations for clients, I hesitate to use the word "brand". It seems cold and impersonal, when what we're trying to create is the complete opposite. It’s more of your signature wedding… the kind of wedding where your guests get a little preview when they open your invitation for the first time, and then see the entire vision unfold throughout your wedding day.
Working with a stationer early on in the process allows you to curate a thoughtful and intentional event that is quintessentially yours. Your wedding day is about celebrating your love, and family, and the start of your new life together, and the day you create is really an experience for your guests. Every thing they see and do during the day should have your signature on it - starting with your invitation and ending with the favors, every touch point is an opportunity to infuse your personality and leave a lasting impression.
When I started designing my save-the-dates, it was important to me that this very first piece of stationery be a reflection of what was to come. So before I even started designing, I created a mood-board to reflect the vision I had for the day. One day I'll scan it in and share it with all of you, but for now, I'll tell you what I knew I wanted: sophisticated, elegant and timeless. Black, white, champagne and gold. Pinstripes and pearls. Clean, elegant typefaces, and a wedding day that would still be beautiful in 50 years. So I narrowed my aesthetic, chose my colors and fonts and papers, shared all of that with my vendors, and every decision was based on that board. In the end, it all came together exactly how I envisioned it.
As a wife, I look back on our wedding day as quite possibly, one of the most perfect days of my life (right next to the births of my children). As a designer, I look back on our wedding day and realize that all of those tiny details, the ones you don't think anyone will notice, really do contribute to the experience. Here are the top five ways to create your own signature wedding!
1 | Use Pinterest... and dream big!
Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse these days, but I like to focus on the positive. Start with creating a secret Pinterest board and pin like crazy. Honestly - anything and everything you see that fits the vision of your day. This is your time to dream big and outside the box. Colors, bouquets, invitations, attire... pin it all. Don't worry about editing, that's where your stationer comes in!
2 | Research & find a Stationer
Even with a million resources at your fingertips - blogs, Google, friends - I still think it's a challenge to find quality vendors. Personally, I'd start with friends and then move onto blogs. Make a list of 5-8 vendors you'd like more information from and reach out to them. Make sure you look at their portfolio before reaching out! A stationer's portfolio is full of the work they want to do more of. If you like what you see, and it matches your vision, send them an email. Explain that you're looking for an estimate, but more importantly, someone to help define and create your signature wedding.
3 | Communicate Your Vision - visually & verbally
Part of the conversation with your stationer should include the vision of your day - either verbally or visually. Share your Pinterest board, and explain to your stationer what it is you’re looking for. Do you love calligraphy? Do you want a monogram you can use on multiple elements? Do you despise the color pink? Sharing what you don’t love is just as important as sharing what you do love.
4 | Pick your Top Five
Once your stationer has started to work through your wedding "brand", start thinking about how you can tie those elements into your day. The key here isn't to do it all, it's to do the things that matter most. You could go crazy with your monogram - on your cake, the dance floor, favors, signage.... you get the idea. Pick the five things you think would have the biggest impact, and go from there. Maybe a monogram on your cocktail napkins will stand out as a personal detail, or a flag hanging in the barn of your wedding, or maybe it's used at the top of your menu. You want to pick the things that matter most to you, but also those elements that make it seem effortless.
5 | Follow Through
Research the places in which you'll need to order from, and partner with your stationer to make those things come to life. Be organized in your approach, and your stationer will love you forever! List out each vendor you're ordering from, what file type they need and any size requirements, and send that list over. Personally, I charge a flat fee for any form of digital file brides need, and if you send it over like this, it makes both of our lives easier. If you can't find someone to bring your dream to life, let us know! We have wonderful networks of vendors and Facebook groups and would be happy to help find that perfect partner for the rest of your vision!
In the end, creating a day the perfectly represents you, your relationship and captures the personality and enthusiasm of your love, just requires some advance planning. Make your decisions with your heart, and you won’t go wrong.
To see ALL posts in the With this Ring series, click HERE!