If you're reading this, you probably recently got engaged. Well, congratulations. That's wonderful news and I couldn't be happier for you.
Now the really fun and exciting journey of planning your wedding is about to start. But the truth is, this journey will at times be a stressful one too. You need to make so many decisions and probably get a lot of advise and suggestions thrown at you left, right and centre. Am I right?
Now let me add my own advise. But I promise I know what I'm talking about (totally unlike your uncle Bob). Finding the right stationery designer to bring your lovely ideas to life is one of the most important tasks of your wedding planning process (I might be a bit biased, though), so today I'd like to show you how to get this done as easily and stress-free as possible.
(Did you know that various recent studies have shown humans have an attention span similar to that of a goldfish? What's that got to do with everything you ask? Oh. Look, a bumblebee. How cute. Where were we? Oh yes... I've decided to turn this into a 2 part blog post when my final draft came in with a reading time of more than 20 minutes.)
Let's begin with where to find the right stationery designer. Some of these ideas might have occurred to you already, but I hope you can still take away one or two new suggestions.
1. Ask a friend, family member or colleague for their input
Do you know someone close to you who recently got married? I know, I know... this seems really obvious, doesn't it? That's because it is. It doesn't always have to be complicated.
My advise here is, that you use any input from friends, family members or colleagues as a starting point only. By no means should this be the end of your journey. Just because your best friend has recommended someone, doesn't mean that person is the right fit for you as well (unless your friend recommended me, then feel free to listen).
Chances are that you and your best friend have a lot in common and his or her advise will be spot on. So go and check out whoever he or she praised so highly. If it works out, great. If you don't quite feel it, move on.
Also, make sure to seek any advise only from people who know you well and who you trust to always be open and honest with you (even when it's not pretty). Asking 500 total strangers in a Facebook group will only lead to overwhelm and headaches.
2. Check out social media, especially Instagram and Pinterest
Another classic piece of advise... I'm specifically mentioning Instagram and Pinterest because they are the two most popular visual social media platforms at the moment.
These two platforms (like all social media actually) can be massive black holes... you can easily loose hours, if not days and weeks looking for inspiration. Only to have to start all over again, because you pinned a million pictures of puppies and kittens... No? Only me then? Oh dear.
To ensure you spend your time wisely, I suggest highly targeted searches. Forget about "wedding invite" or "invitation"... these super generic search terms and hashtags won't get you far.
Think about the direction you want to take with your wedding. You might not know all the details yet, and that's totally ok but I bet you'll already have a few ideas brewing.
Boho bride, destination wedding, black tie wedding, wedding calligraphy, handmade paper, custom watercolour illustrations... try and narrow it down as much as you can at this stage. You'll start to see certain names popping up in your search over and over again.
Collect all images that really speak to you by either using the Save function in Instagram or by pinning them to a secret board on Pinterest so you can always refer back to them.
Now go and visit the website of the designer who created some of your favourite designs and get to know more about
my her work and process.
3. Check out Portfolio sites such as Behance or Dribble
Behance and Dribble are portfolio websites, that allow designers, illustrators, art directors, artists and other creatives to showcase their work. These websites are not specifically geared towards wedding stationery designers, so you might wonder why I even mention them. (You won't even find a wedding category on these sites... you need to type directly into the search bar.)
Well, over the years I've come across some pretty spectacular invitations on these sites. True, these invitations might "only" be a personal project or were done for a friend, but if you have some time to spare, it's worthwhile having a look around.
4. Check out vendor directories of your favourite wedding websites, blogs, and magazines
Which wedding websites, blogs, and magazines are your favourites? Which ones do you always come back to for more inspiration and advise? (Me? Well, thank you. That's very sweet of you.) Narrow it down a bit so you don't get overwhelmed. If you like to keep it close to home, start by selecting local or national websites, blogs, and magazines before branching out into the international market.
That being said, your wedding stationery designer can be anywhere in the world. Don't let location limit your choices.
Most wedding websites and blogs have an online directory where you can look up various vendors, including stationery designers.
One small word of caution... please be aware that vendors are paying for their spot on the directory as well as any ads you see, online as well as offline. Many people mistakenly believe that being listed in a directory means a stationery designer (or any other vendor for that matter) is more liked or better than the rest. But that is not true. It's just one of many ways to market/advertise a business and you should always investigate further when you find someone who appears to be a good match.
Just know that it really doesn't say anything inherently good or bad about your stationery designer being listed or not listed in any directory. Every business owner has different preferences when it comes to getting their name out into the world.
5. Ask other wedding professionals for their input
Have you already booked your amazing wedding planner? Secured your favourite photographer? Spoken to your crazy talented florist? Yes? Good for you, because they might be able to recommend someone to you.
As I've mentioned before, try and be specific and use any recommendation as a starting point. No matter how much you love your photographer, he or she shouldn't have the final word on who will design your invitations.
Always do your own research. Other wedding professionals can certainly point you in the right direction, especially if they have worked in the industry for many years and built a great network over time.
6. Check out your favourite local artists or other (non-stationery) designers
This could be especially interesting for couples who are looking for something unusual and outside the box.
A lovely young lady I follow on Instagram is an amazing watercolour artist. About a year ago she was approached by someone who is a big fan of her art and wanted to know if she could design a bespoke wedding stationery suite. The artist has never done this before but said yes. Now she's doing this kind of project very regularly. And also very well, if I may say so.
Now I'm not saying you can just walk up to Damien Hirst and ask him to design your stationery. I mean you can, but you'll probably won't hear back. Unless you're his good friend Kate Moss maybe. Or someone else really famous. And rich. Very rich.
Do you know a painter/artist/illustrator/hand letterer whose work you really admire? I can't promise they'd be interested, but it can never hurt to ask.
I've also come across invitations that were created by designers, who don't specialise in print such as product or fashion designers. Some of these invitations were remarkable and I think it's because they were created by someone with a very good eye for design, who thinks outside the box. Someone who isn't familiar with stationery design and therefore may be more open to experimentation.
(I know I really shouldn't show you someone else's design, but in this case, I will make a very well deserved exception. Firstly, I believe in #communityovercompetion and secondly, it's truly stunning and just proves my point. Even if you're not a Star Wars fan, once you've seen this invitation you will be.)
With all this being said, it's probably the most unusual, hardest and time-consuming way to find the right stationery designer for you. Nevertheless, I'm convinced it can work. Just be aware that it's more likely to get a negative reply. Designing a stationery suite is a very big deal and not everyone will feel comfortable to try out new things for the first time on such a personal and time-bound project.
And it's a wrap... but unlike your favourite movie franchise, I won't let you wait a full year to read the second part of this post. Just one week. You can wait that long, right? (Pssst... If you're afraid to miss out, you can follow me on Bloglovin for easy and fast access to new posts.)
The task of finding your wedding stationery designer might at first appear to be rather overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. If I can leave you with just one piece of advise today, it's that timing is essential. You deserve to work with someone who can truly capture your unique story. Start looking as early as possible so you don't have to settle for a designer you don't connect with.
Did you like this blog post? If the answer is "Absolutely, it's the best post I've ever read.", then I'd be very grateful if you share it with a friend who will find it as helpful as you did.
Questions? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Leave me a comment below and I'll do my best to dazzle you with even more amazing advise.
Thank you for stopping by.