Afternoon all! We have another introduction to an incredible supplier that will be at The Unruly Wedding Show on 29th October 2017. White Cottage Weddings are a married wedding stationery team based in Northamtonshire who are setting out to create beautiful contemporary pieces and pretty paper designs for your day. They have kindly shared some advice about choosing wedding stationery with us, but you will be able to see them at the Wedding Show in a couple of weeks.
1. What information should couples put on their wedding invitations?
So you’ve got your staple deets; who, where, when. Beyond that, what is it that you need your guests to know? Do you have lots of guests travelling, or is your venue in the middle of nowhere? You may want to include local accommodation options. Same goes for public transport, so local cab companies, nearest train and tube station etc. Speak to your venue as they will probably have great recommendations for local services. They may even have preferential rates that you and your guests can take advantage of. You should probably address gifts in the invitation too. Some couples find it awkward but if you don’t, you might make your guests feel awkward and then you may have to address the whole thing face to face! The other super important must have info is your RSVP requirements. Detail how your guests should respond, when they should get back to you by and tell them everything you need to know. Meal choices and dietary need, the number of seats on a minibus, that sort of jazz.
2. What are the most common stationery pitfalls you have to save couples from?
Over ordering is by far and away the biggest boob that our customers make. Or attempt to make as we try to help our peeps avoid this! When doing your calculations, remember that you don’t need the same amount of invitations as you have total guests. Most of your guests will be part of a couple or family and they are likely to only need one between them. So count up your couples and families and then however many you have, order a few more. We usually recommend 10-15% more. You’ll pretty much be guaranteed to have forgotten someone, or you make new friends in the run up to the wedding, or your mum tells you that you have to invite Auntie Jean that you haven’t seen for ten years or her friend Norma from across the road…
Not as common but worth mentioning is the trap of going too techy with your stationery. An increasing amount of our customers want to minimise the info and opt for detailing who, where and when and simply a wedding website address for further information and RSVP. Our research has told us that in general, this results in an increased number of late responses and guests not reading all the ‘need to know’ stuff. If you are setting up a website, it’s worth considering adding an alternate way to RSVP to your invitation and if there is stuff your guests really should know, it’s worth getting it on there too. You’re quite secure in the knowledge that anything you put on a physical invitation will end up under your guest’s nose but there’s no real way of guaranteeing that they navigate their way to and around a website successfully.
3. Describe your stationery style?
Our style. Tricky! We don’t like to pigeon hole the folk we work with and our customer base is pretty varied. We try to get to know our customers, you can tell a lot more about a couple and what they are looking for in their stationery through a chat than you can by plowing through sprawling mood boards or a Pinterest black hole. We try to make sure that our stationery designs are a reflection of not only our couple’s wedding style, but also their combined personalities. Including stuff that is important to them and using the language they’d use. Needless to say we draw a lot of pet portraits and some of our invitations have very colourful language! But if we were forced to choose three words to summarise our gig; Unique, Illustrative, Rad 😀
4. What stationery should couples have on the day?
In terms of on the day stationery, there is no hard and fast rule but I always advise our couples to use their stationery as a tool to minimise confusion and ease the flow of the day. Of course if your stationery looks beautiful and wows your guests, well that’s a double win! Using stationery to coordinate your seating arrangements is very important and most people getting married will have something in place by way of seating chart or individual cards detailing guest seating allocation. Then usually there would be stationery on the tables that clarifies which table is which and place names. Even if you are foregoing the seating plan for more free and easy style dining, it’s important that your guests are informed of this lack of formality, so use signage or cards to tell them. Menus are a great inclusion to the stationery line up whether it be via table based cards or larger signage. Individual menus per guest are fab for personalising a place setting, particularly if you have lots of people with different menu options. Anyway of informing guests of what’s going on through the day is also worth considering, so think formal order of service booklets right the way through to hand painted wooden signage welcoming reception guests with a lowdown of the evening’s events.
5. Give us your best stationery tip?
If something is important and your guests need to know about it, include it in your invitation. Use the invite as a way to avoid having the same conversation a hundred times! If you are a worrier and you want to be safe in the knowledge that your guests are going to be firmly in their seats by the time you need them to be, stipulate an arrival time instead of, or in addition to the ceremony time. If your venue is fanatical about their curfew, get that on there too and recommend your guests have their transport booked to arrive by X o’clock. Want a relaxed do with no formal attire? Then detail that in your info section. Secondly, don’t be scared to let your personalities into your stationery. Even if you’ve opted for the most formal and grand affair, you should talk to your stationer about how your stationery can best reflect you. Don’t be afraid to shop ‘off the shelf’ and explore independent studios. There are so many good ones out there! Above all, love your stationery and take care when choosing the right designer for the job. When the day is over, it’s one of the few things that you can keep forever so it’s worth your time, attention and investment. Happy stationery shopping!
You can still get tickets to The Unruly Wedding Show here