Following our Dream Wedding winners’ consultation, New Zealand Weddings caught up with Wendy and discussed how to choose a stationery design you’ll love, and what gets her creative juices flowing.
What inspired you to become a stationery designer?
I’ve always been passionate about design work, but I feed off the excitement I get from a newly engaged couple doing this for the first time. They are creating something that will tell their loved ones they’re invited to the celebration of a lifetime. Every design I create is totally unique to that couple’s taste. I like to think of my design work as the ‘book cover’ of the tale of a couple’s journey to the altar.
Why do you love being a wedding stationery designer?
I love seeing the look on a couple’s face when they receive their little wrapped parcel with their names printed on the front. They can’t stop smiling because now it feels real, and it’s that moment that reminds me why I do what I do. How can you have a bad day when you’re surround by so many beautiful love stories? It just doesn’t happen!
How long do you usually spend designing stationery for a couple?
The time frame varies depending on the size of the set and whether you are choosing a custom or an ‘off the shelf’ design. Custom designs can take anywhere between three and eight weeks from initial concept through to the final proof. It’s a good idea to allow plenty of time during the design process – I recommend allowing six weeks from start to finish.
How does a couple pick the right design?
The right design should be one that reflects who you are as a couple, while giving your guests a taste of what’s to come. Whether that comes in the form of a traditional design, a lighthearted one, or something in between, my consultations help a couple arrive at their perfect solution.
What’s your favourite style of invitation?
My favourite styles tend to be those that stray from tradition. Go the extra mile by bringing out the best in your invitations by adding little extras. Bellybands, swing tags, envelope liners and printed envelopes add dimension and interest. Matching RSVP cards and hand-sketched maps are a nice touch too. There’s nothing better than receiving an invitation in the post that is more like a package you need to unwrap. Invitations with an organic or rustic feel are trending at present.
How soon after a couple gets engaged should they send out their save the dates?
If you have 12 months to plan your dream day, I recommend sending your save-the-date cards out six months before your wedding. This gives your guests enough time to book flights or accommodation if you’re marrying out of town. Your formal invitations should be sent out three months before.
What are three ‘musts’ before deciding on what style of stationery to use?
1) Budget – work out what style will work with your budget.
2) Time frame – if time is tight, choosing a ready-made design may work better for you than trying to create a custom design.
3) Design – choose a style that reflects you as a couple, consider the different variations you like and narrow them down until you decide on the most fitting option.
How much wedding stationery design is usually in black & white versus colour?
More often than not a couple will opt for coloured stationery, but in saying this some of the most stand-out designs I’ve created have been in black and white.
What’s the biggest misconception about stationery design?
The biggest misconception I’ve heard is that there is a set of rules you should follow. Absolutely not! A mish-mash of fonts, a clash of colours; be led by whatever your heart desires. The stationery world is your paper oyster!
Any advice for brides to be?
I’m often asked when the RSVP date should be, and I remind the couple to think about how many things you need to know numbers on before you can book or finalise them – seating plan, catering and so on. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time – the last thing you want is to be chasing RSVPs in the final weeks leading up to your wedding. Calculate how much time you think you’ll need and add in an extra few weeks!