I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to share with you this amazing insight into the world of all things wedding stationery. In this Q&A I ask Polkadot Stationery everything you need to know about working with a wedding stationer.
This includes how to work with a stationer, how they can help to bring your wedding style to life and why it is so important to be picky!
The wonderful Beccy started Polkadot Stationery back in 2012 “as a way to explore her passion for all things paper”. Beccy loves everything botanical and finds inspiration for her hand-drawn collections from the great outdoors.
Can you tell us more about Polkadot Stationery & your design style?
Botanical and hand-drawn! I love the outdoors and there’s so much choice with which flowers and plants I could draw for the next range. I like to keep my designs quite relaxed and rough so you can see the pencil marks too. I think it adds a more human quality to the designs which I like.
Where do you draw inspiration for your ranges?
There’s some woods near my house that are really lovely to go and have a walk in – if I see a flower or plant I like I’ll take a photograph of it on my phone so I can reference it later. I have an album on my phone called ‘Polkadot Inspiration’ so it gets popped in there until I need it. For colour palettes I find a lot of nice imagery on Instagram and Pinterest too. Sometimes the colour palette I use is based off what is trending too though, for example at the moment deep greens, ferns and eucalyptus are most definitely in as well as softer more neutral tones such as blush pinks, terracotta and burnt orange.
Which is your favourite range & why?
I’ve just released a range called Wildflowers which is probably my favourite so far. It’s just really simple and elegant. I also love Hand-painted Dahlias – I used gouache paints for this one for the first time and I’m really pleased with how it turned out – it’s still got that rustic, imperfect loose style that’s important to me.
I love that a lot of your designs are hand drawn, do you use any other processes when designing?
It’s a bit of a mixture really. I’ll use my iPad sometimes as I have some software on it called Procreate that effectively turns it into a drawing tablet. I use an iPencil with that and I absolutely love it because you forget you’re not using a real pencil. I also sometimes just use pen and create a really simple 1-colour design – Hydrangea Garland was created just using a really fine nib pen and then the drawing scanned into my iMac. I’ve also recently started experimenting with gouache paints as I love the texture of them.
What types of paper do you use when creating your collections?
The print of all of the wedding stationery orders is outsourced to a professionals printers. They use really nice thick, textured papers as well as more unusual stocks such as recycled kraft and vellum. I think paper choice can really make or break a collection so I always take the time to really think about which paper best suits the design.
What would you say is the benefit of working with a wedding stationer?
I think knowing that you’re working directly with a graphic designer on the design of your wedding stationery means you know you’re going to get exactly what you want. If you can imagine it, we can most likely create it! Even though I offer ‘off-the-shelf’ designs, there’s the flexibility for couples to change parts of one of my ranges if they want to, so go for a semi-bespoke design. I also do totally bespoke designs for those wanting something that’s 100% unique to them.
Have you got any top tips for couples looking to work with a wedding stationer?
For bespoke designs a Pinterest board is always really useful for me – it gives me a good idea into the style of the wedding they want to create and gives me a better understanding for the vibe they’re wanting.
What should couples bare in mind when working with a stationer?
I think just not to worry too much about being picky and saying what you want. Tell me as much as you can about what your day will be like, what colour scheme you’re going for, the venue, the flowers…even what you’ll be eating! It all helps me build up a picture of how your wedding is going to look, so helps me create the perfect stationery for the day.
When would you advise couples start to discuss their wedding stationery?
Some couples send their save the dates out as early as a year and a half in advance and others a few months, so it varies massively. If you’re not sure which supplier to go with it’s a good idea to get some samples sent out to you to see the quality before you make a decision – we offer free samples direct from our website. If it’s a totally bespoke design that’s going to be created I would say get in touch 2/3 months before you’re wanting to send them out as this will leave enough time to make amends and finalise any artwork.
Do you offer a consultation where couples can discuss their ideas?
Yes couples are free to contact me as much or as little as they like. This can be over email, the phone or even via Zoom! To help them visualise my designs even further I also offer free samples direct from my website – couples can choose up to 3 of their favourite designs to see physical samples of. If it’s not possible to meet up in person to discuss bespoke designs, in the past couples have sent me swatches in the post of their bridesmaid dresses so I can match the colour. However they wish to work with me is fine by me, I’m very flexible in that regard.
What processes are involved in creating a bespoke stationery suite and how long does this typically take?
Generally, if you went for a bespoke range I’d say get in touch approximately 2/3 months before you’re wanting to send your save the dates out. Creating designs from scratch that are hand-drawn can take a lot of time, so I like to make sure that nothing is left to chance. If it’s one of my off-the-shelf designs then I would say the lead time would be anywhere between 2-3 weeks, it’s much quicker. Couples are sent PDF proofs of their designs until they are happy with them and they are then sent to a professional printers to be created.
How long can a couple expect the print and assembly process to take?
From placing the order with the printers, it usually takes between 4-6 days for the final items to arrive with them. This depends a lot on the size of the order though and some items can take a little longer e.g. die-cut, irregular-shaped items are more complicated so have a longer turnaround time.
How often do you release new ranges?
I’ll always try and get a new design up online as soon as I’ve created the invite design, even if the rest of the suite of matching items haven’t been developed yet, just so clients can see if it’s something they might like. Generally speaking, I would say every 3/4 months I’ll try and release something new.
What can we expect from Polkadot Stationery in 2020?
I think it’s going to be tricky this year because of the pandemic, but I would like to say more hand-painted ranges because I’ve really loved getting to experiment with the gouache paints. I’m also planning on offering a new product for summer wedding but I can’t say too much about that yet, it’s a secret! But they’re going to be beautiful!
I hope this has inspired you to start thinking about your own wedding stationery and just how beneficial it can be working with a designer. Especially if you want to ensure that level of quality and attention to detail is carried throughout your wedding.
It really is important to not underestimate how much of an impact stationery has when conveying your wedding aesthetic. It is the first glimpse your guests will be given of your wedding day and helps set the tone for what’s to come.
With this in mind, I always recommend working with the same stationer to create your full stationery suite where possible. From your save the dates and invitations, right through to your place cards and menus. Keeping your stationery cohesive will make sure to add the perfect finishing touch to your big day.
You will find out more about Polkadot Stationery and the beautiful ranges Beccy has to offer by clicking the links below.
Let’s bring your dream day to life!
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