• Abby: Lunar Handlettering

Lets face it: planning a wedding can be a stressful ol' time, and planning your dream wedding stationery often gets booted to the back of the queue, what with all the other important things to book, arrange and pay for. After all, it's just paper, right?!

(Every time someone says wedding invitations are "just paper", a wedding stationer somewhere falls down dead.)

But the thing is, wedding stationery plays a huge part in setting the tone for your big day, and it's kiiiiiinda your main chance to get all of the vital information across to your guests. When it actually comes down to it this can be really overwhelming, especially if you were initially determined to DIY your wedding invites but now you've only got four months to make them and send them out, eeeeek!

This is where wedding stationers come in, armed with paper and ink and forty different colours of envelope. However, we can still only really work with what we're given, and so I wanted to try and come up with something to make the whole process a little bit easier.

Using my own experience as a wedding stationer, I've put together a list of tips and hints to help you to prepare everything you'll need to hand over to your stationer, hopefully making everything as painless as possible!

1. Don't be tempted to leave it until the last minute!

Your wedding stationer will no doubt have other weddings they are working on at the same time as yours, so try to be mindful of how much time you are allowing them. The earlier you approach them, the earlier you'll have your invitations sent out, and the sooner you can concentrate on all the other stuff you need to plough through on your wedding list!

Giving your wedding stationer as much time as possible also allows time for any tweaks and amendments.

2. Gather your guestlist!

THIS is definitely the bit that tends to stress couples out the most, and it's totally justified!

You may write out your entire guestlist only to realise you're roughly 341 people over your venue's capacity, so you have to painstakingly whittle it down to fit. Or maybe you're having your guests names and addresses handwritten on to your envelopes, in which case you'll need to collect all the addresses and double check they're all correct.

In a nutshell, this is the bit that sounds easy but there's ALWAYS obstacles. Help yourself out and start sorting this as soon as possible, then once you've booked your venue and you know your capacity you can fine-tune it.

It's also worth noting: you'll only need to send one invitation per couple/family, so bear that in mind when preparing your guestlist. You definitely don't need the expense of sending four invitations to each household!

3. Get inspired!

This is (or should be) the easy bit! Browse through Pinterest and Instagram, flip through some wedding magazines and read all of the blogs! Save all of your inspiration in a dedicated file or photo album, or create a mood board. Google is your friend, my friend :)

Even if you end up with a collage of random styles and varying themes, with seemingly no correlation at all, your wedding stationer should be able to recognise any familiarities and suss out exactly the kind of thing you're after.

Although no reputable stationer will replicate another designer's work, a visual of your inspiration will still be hugely appreciated and it'll give them a much clearer idea to go on.

4. Figure out what you want to say... and how to say it.

There is a lot of information that needs gathering for your wedding stationery, and there are often things that are overlooked!

For example, your ceremony may begin at 2pm, but you may want to be a little clearer and request that your guests arrive a little earlier, particularly if your wedding venue is tucked away somewhere more remote. Or if you're having a sit down meal, you'll need to find out any of your guests special dietary requirements in advance, depending on your menu. You may even need to provide a map with directions, or local hotels and public transport information.

You should also think about how to word it all. Would you like it to be worded formally, or would you rather let your own voice through and take a more laid back approach? Which suits you and your wedding theme better?

Have a really good think about what you'd need to know, were you attending your wedding as a guest. Your wedding stationer will be able to pull out any inconsistencies, or parts that need clarifying, but the clearer you can get all of this before sending it over to them, the better.

5. Think about your wedding stationery as a whole...

Determine whether you need to send Save the Date's, RSVP's, menu choice cards, wedding maps... Did you want a bespoke monogram of both of your initials, or pressed flower wax seals? Try to be as clear as possible about the finer details at the beginning to ensure your wedding stationer quotes as accurately as possible, avoiding any last minute costs.

6. Double, triple, quadruple check!

As mentioned above, wedding stationers can only work with what they're given, so make sure to proof read your guest list and wording fully. Reprinting due to a spelling mistake is an annoying, wasteful and expensive ordeal for you to go through!

So there you have it! I hope this list comes in helpful to anyone that may be thinking about approaching a wedding stationer in the near future. There really is a lot to remember, and this is by no means a full list! But hopefully it can serve as guide when putting together your ideas for your wedding stationery.

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