My studio when supplies for a wedding of 200 come in.. Boxes and supplies everywhere, need sorting, counting and to be made into the final product! It can be overwhelming and a mess if you aren't expecting it and don't know where to begin.
As a custom design Stationer, one thing I run into a lot is brides who call me 1 or 2 weeks before the mailing of their wedding invitations in a PANIC.. " CAN YOU HELP ME.. they ask?
These are brides who early on found some amazing complex stationery creation on a blog or a custom site and have decided they will DO IT THEMSELVES, How hard can it be right?
Well, because this happened a lot last year, I decided I would dedicate a blog to my thoughts on the subject. I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to DIY when it comes to your wedding stationery, however I do think most brides jump in with both feet not really knowing how to properly go about it and not really realizing the time, effort and man power involved in producing what they have decided their dream wedding invitation will be.
Alot of brides don't realize the time, effort and skill, yes SKILL ladies, that goes into producing your own wedding stationery. So they jump right in thinking they will get their dream wedding stationery for MUCH CHEAPER than that custom studio was asking. Seems like a good idea until you are right in the middle of the fray, of frantically ordering paper, trying to get the printer set up properly, printing, cutting, assembling, tying 100 ribbons, addressing and trying to make it to the post office before they close. Why is this, because it wasn't as easy or quick as it all seemed initially.
Okay, I am a little biased on the subject, however you wouldn't buy a steak at Publix and take it to Ruth Cris and ask them if they minded if you popped in the kitchen to grill it yourself would you? Or tell the doctor I can do that surgery myself, of course not.. You would trust the professionals to do what they are good at.
A few things to consider, you will spend alot of time and money, not to mention the slave labor of your family and bridal party you will need, to try and tackle this yourself. WHY you ask? Well I answer, for several reasons,
1. you don't do it on a regular basis, so you don't know any short cuts, or tricks to produce up to hundreds of the same product.
2. because you haven't developed these skill, your stationery won't come out every piece the same, which of course is what you intend. You don't want your guest at the reception with menus or escort cards with crooked printing, or glue globs you dropped while trying to adhere the crystals you so wanted to class up your stationery a bit..
3. Do it yourself printing isn't as easy as it sounds. Home printers can really be a bear when they aren't set up or sold to be high volume printing machines, not to mention if you don't order high quality paper, sometimes toner and ink can smear, chip off and just make your stationery start to look like a HOT MESS. Which means you will throw out more than you keep.
4. You don't have the vendor connections to get paper, embellishments, ribbon, etc at more affordable bulk pricing, and don't forget you are not perfect so don't just order exact amounts, there will be mistakes, and mess ups and you'll be in trouble if you need a hundred and you only ordered 100 of each supply.
5. I could on and on.. but I think you get it..
Okay- so here is what I recommend.. There are only a few big events in your life that you will want a beautifully printed and crafted record of the day. Your wedding is one of these. So splurge, treat yourself right.. This is the only thing from your wedding (besides the husband of course) that will stand the test of time. The flowers die, the food get's eaten, the venues change, but your stationery, preserved, will last till your 50th wedding anniversary were you can pull it out and relive the moments.
Now, I understand wanting to be a part of your stationery development to have your "hands in it", so to speak, so find a custom stationer, sit with them, share your vision and they will let you be a part of the creation process, and you'll get exactly what you want with someone who cares as much as you do and will produce the high quality, product you are imagining.
Remember, a custom papery is not just a supplier of materials and embellishments but a specialist in the art of invitation, stationery design and etiquette!
Now-- go into the night.. finds a papery you LOVE, and trust in their proven abilities and you'll be wowed by the result!
Here I am at the staging of a wedding tying 250 vellum printed escort cards with ribbon around 250 votive candles, and then.. ALPHABETIZING (which is never fun) them for your guests-- imagining do this the night before your wedding on top of all of the other things on your "Hurry we have to do this before the wedding list!"