There really is so much to think about when it comes to planning your wedding and sometimes it can almost feel quite overwhelming too. That’s why I wanted to share 5 wedding planning tips to help keep you on track.
Use Hashtags # to search for your wedding suppliers on Instagram.
Try typing into the search bar your wedding location and the type of supplier your looking for e.g. #yorkshireweddingphotographer #yorkshireweddingflorist. This is a really great way to find suppliers in your area.
Keep your wedding priorities at the heart of every decision you make.
Remember, these are the must have elements you can’t see your wedding without and will form the focus for your planning and supplier sourcing going forward.
Creating a cohesive design for your wedding is a progression of ideas.
It will take take time, a lot of consideration, evaluation and tweaking, but don’t worry that’s only natural! When you start to feel overwhelmed with ideas take a break from scrolling on Pinterest. The rest will help clear your head.
Create a spreadsheet & get everything in one place.
Have your budget breakdown, suppliers details, payments and details of key dates listed in one place. Having everything on one spreadsheet makes it easier to stay up to date and on track with your next steps.
Take time to think about the little details.
This can be anything from the way you want to feel on your wedding day, the wine you serve with your wedding breakfast or the colour of your taper candles. All these little details make your day personal to you, the experience you have and atmosphere you create, so don’t underestimate them.
Are you struggling with elements of your wedding planning or just don’t know which bit to tackle next? Why not book a wedding planning hour with me! You can use this hour to ask me any questions you like. I’ll then go away and type everything up including suggestions, wedding planning tips and recommendations for you to refer back to.
It is really important when choosing your wedding suppliers to be mindful of these 5 things!
It makes the world of difference when you work with suppliers who adore what they do. Who put their love and attention into everything they create. Who listen and understand you, your day and what you hope to achieve. By following these 5 pointers I hope it will help you to select a team of creatives who align with you and your wedding vision.
Are the images their own work?
Make sure the images used by the suppliers you are considering are their own! Check for image credits, look to see if they were a part of that shoot/wedding or is it a #repost of another suppliers image or has it just been stolen as ‘inspo’?
One of the main reasons you will be considering that supplier is because you admire the quality of their work, their ability to interpret a brief and because their style aligns with you and your wedding vison. It is always worth double checking this, as come your wedding day you want to make sure they can provide this level of product/service.
What experience do they have?
Now you don’t have to hire the most experienced person in the room to get the best level of support and service by any means. However, it is important that the suppliers you choose to be a part of your day have the right level of skill and knowledge for what you are wanting them to do.
This also leads me nicely to point number 3!
Are they sharing their knowledge?
Are they sharing top tips, helpful advice and giving you an insight into their knowledge on their social media, website and blog? If not, it might be worth asking yourselves why?
You want to be confident that the suppliers you choose live up to your expectations and the role you are hiring them to fulfil. So, never be afraid to ask them questions, pick their brains, make sure that you have the confidence that they are the right fit for you and your day.
What does your gut say?
A gut feeling can be a very powerful thing when it comes to choosing your wedding suppliers and is something which shouldn’t be ignored.
– Do you like the person behind the brand, their values and what their business stands for? – Can you see yourselves working together from now until your wedding day? – Do you feel they will take the time to understand you and your vision? – Can they provide you with the level of support and reassurance you need?
Don’t leave it to the last minute!
A lot of suppliers (due to Covid-19) are booking up fast! When you find a supplier you like pop them a message or give them a call straight away as it is likely their diary is becoming very full.
It is never too early to secure your suppliers, 18 – 12 month prior is a good target to aim for especially if you have chosen a peak month (April – September)
So, my advice is always do your research and don’t be afraid to ask suppliers questions. Make sure you love their work so much that you just can’t wait to work with them.
Looking for more wedding planning tips and support? Then why not join my mailing list – LET’S TALK DETAILS!
It’s nearly the week before your wedding and you, rightly so, want to make sure you have everything ready. You’ve spent months and months planning and want the week leading up to your celebration to run smoothly. So, here it is, my 1 week prior checklist to keep you on track, stress free and ready to go.
You may find not every point on this list is relevant to you and your unique day, however I do hope it helps you to double check no detail gets missed or overlooked.
1 Week Prior
Attire & Accessories
Pick up your wedding attire & accessories – wedding dress/wedding outfit/suits
Pick up your wedding parties outfits.
If you are hiring suits and they are being delivered, make sure you have confirmed arrival time & location with the hire company
Collect your wedding rings
Make sure each outfit is packed separately in it’s own garment bag. That way you can keep everything needed for that outfit in one place, helping to keep everyone organised and calm when it comes to getting ready.
Relax & enjoy having some pamper time getting your pedicure, manicure, tan, brows, hair cut/colour, beard trim
If you are planning on pampering yourself before your wedding e.g. hair cut/colour, brows, tan then my advice would be to book this for the beginning of the week.
You want to give your tan & new hair colour time to settle before the day. We all know we look our best a couple of days post pampering.
If your staying away from home the night prior pack your bag for this & the night of your wedding
Pack for your honeymoon. Make sure to pack this in a separate suitcase/bag to your wedding night so you don’t have to re-pack and faff later on
Pack any styling & décor details you are providing for your ceremony & reception set- up
Get yourself as organised as possible for setting your wedding breakfast tables. Make sure all the décor, linen, stationery etc. for each table is packed in a separate box and labelled with the table name/number. This way when you get to your venue it is easy to identify where everything is going and saves so much time
If you are setting up your wedding yourself without the help of a wedding planner or stylist then get organised.
Create a plan for how set up is going to run and what details will be on each table. Make sure you pack each table separately. This way when you get to the venue you know exactly what is going where.
Set-up can take hours so don’t add to your work by not coming pre-prepared.
Packed any wedding gifts which are to be handed out by your wedding planner/venue coordinator during the day. Make sure each one is clearly labelled with who it is intended for
Make sure your vows/wedding script & speeches are finalised and printed ready
Have your wedding playlist ready to go including music for your ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast & evening reception (if you’re providing this yourselves)
Check-in with Your Venue, Suppliers& Wedding Party
Re-confirm timings & logistics with your venue & team of suppliers – if you have a wedding planner they will do this on your behalf
Make sure your venue & caterer has an updated version of your guest numbers, seating plan & menu pre-orders
Make sure you have made all payments necessary & have a plan for any on the day payments (either your wedding planner will take care of this or allocate a member of your bridal party to do this)
Re-confirm morning prep timings with your wedding party. Make sure everyone knows what time they have to be up ready for. Remember you will need to be in your wedding outfit 1 hour prior to leaving for your ceremony. This will give you plenty of time for photos and additional hair/makeup touch ups.
Create a plan for the morning of your wedding. If guests are staying over the night prior make sure they are aware of breakfast times, where they can grab a coffee etc.
Set-up all your styling & decorative details ready for your arrival (if your venue allows)
Final details meeting & walk through with your venue coordinator
Ceremony rehearsal (if you are having one)
Rehearsal dinner (if you are having one)
Try to relax. Maybe you have plans to spend time with family & friends or just chill, whatever your plans enjoy them!
Try to make sure that you don’t leave any jobs to the last minute. The last thing you will want to be doing is rushing around, packing for your honeymoon or creating your playlist the night prior to your wedding.
I hope you’ve found my week prior checklist helpful in getting you thinking about the lead up to your wedding. To keep updated with all my latest top tips and wedding planning videos follow me over on Instagram @hannahrachaelweddings.
Want to double check that no detail has been missed or unaccounted for ahead of your wedding day? Want to double check you have everything confirmed and ready to go with your venue and team of suppliers? My Wedding Planning Hours are the perfect opportunity to run through your wedding plans and make sure no detail has been missed.
Want to know more? Then just pop me a message and I’ll send you over some more details!
I hope you had an amazing festive break and are looking forward to getting started with your lovely wedding planning even after the latest lockdown announcement.
I want to say a massive welcome if you are new to my blog. This is definitely one of my little happy places. It’s where I come todiscuss all things weddings, share my top tips and help you to navigate the wonderful, but sometimes overwhelming world of wedding planning!
And what better way to kick start 2021 than with a new blog post – how to enjoy wedding planning and avoid overwhelm! I don’t know about you, but I find a new year tends to be filled with anticipation and a lot of excitement for what’s to come. It’s a great time to start or re-start your wedding planning and to put some wonderful ideas into motion. While that may all feel exceedingly exciting I also understand just how quickly this can turn into feelings of stress and overwhelm. Which is something I want to help you avoid at all costs!
This is why I want to dive straight in with a few vital top tips to stop this from happening. All to help avoid the unnecessary pitfalls of wedding planning.
Let’s get started
I can’t promise that you won’t find certain elements of your wedding planning slightly stressful or without overwhelm. However, what I do hope is that my top tips help to limit the amount you feel this!
So, where to start?
1. Start by sharing your amazing news
I know everyone says it, but it really is important to enjoy being engaged. It’s such an exciting time and an amazing next step in your life. One which deserves to be celebrated.
I know that might be tricky at the minute (due to Covid) but don’t let it stop you telling all your friends and family. Take some time out to enjoy being engaged before throwing yourselves deep into wedding planning. Have fun collecting wedding magazines and losing yourself in different blogs. Fill your heads with excitement and the newness of being engaged.
2. Identify your priorities
I always advise my couples to start by identifying their priorities (in other words their ‘must haves’). These are the things you just can’t imagine your wedding without. These ‘must haves’ are your ticket to creating a day which is truly unique to you.
Here are my favourite questions to get you thinking about your wedding ‘must haves’
What words would you use to describe your personalities?
What do you enjoy doing to relax, what hobbies & interests do you have?
How would you describe your dream wedding?(e.g. fun, informal, relaxed, elegant etc.)
When would you like to get married?(think about the season, day of the week, year)
What types of food & drink do you love & why?
Where in the world do you see yourselves getting married & why? (abroad/close to home/where you grew up?)
These questions should help you to identify what makes you stand out as a couple. They should get you thinking about what you love doing, eating and drinking. What you enjoy doing in your spare time and where you like to go on holiday. And most importantly why you love these things so much! By asking yourself why you will start to focus on your ‘must haves’, the elements you just can’t see your wedding without.
Your wedding is a representation of you as a couple, your loves and most importantly your personalities. Identifying your must haves, the elements you can’t see your wedding without, will help you to prioritise these the further you get into your planning.
3. Create a budget
Next up is budget, the one thing every couple hates talking about.
Believe me, if you don’t take the time to establish your wedding budget early on you run the risk of overspending very early on. This in itself can be stressful.
By prioritising your budget from the beginning you therefore have a clearer understanding of what you can achieve and what you have to spend on each element.
Questions to ask yourselves when identifying your budget
Roughly how many months are there until you get married?
Will anyone else be contributing financially to your wedding? If so, how much?
Total amount you have to spend?
Because establishing your budget and wedding priorities is such a big topic, I have decided to release a wedding planning guide all about it. To get a hold of your copy when it launches (and the rest of my free planning guides) just click the button below.
Now you’ve identified your wedding priorities and budget, give yourself plenty of time to explore your options. You don’t have to, or need to, do everything right this minute, all in one go. Yes, some suppliers do get booked up 12 to 18 months in advance, but rushing this part of your planning won’t secure your dream team.
Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are some of my favourite places to start researching venues and suppliers. Think of these as the perfect way to get to know suppliers, their style and what they can bring to your wedding. Treat their profiles as their portfolio.
When looking for your suppliers ask yourself, does their work, imagery and personality align with your wedding vision? Do you like what they stand for? And can you see them being a part of your day?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to suppliers. Feel free to ask them questions about their work, their services and their processes.
Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are also a brilliant source of inspiration. Use these as a way to gain a better understanding of what you like and dislike. Save images which catch your eye and inspire you.
The further you get into your wedding planning, the more you get to know your style and the overall aesthetic you’ll want to create for your day. So don’t worry if you feel as though you don’t have a clear idea of what you want just yet.
5. Book your venue & your ‘must have’ suppliers 1st
I know this may sound a bit contradictive, as I told you to not rush earlier, but it is never too early (once you have found your favourite suppliers) to secure your wedding date in their diary.
The first supplier I advise you to secure is your venue. Your venue really does set the tone for your whole wedding and should align with your ‘must haves’.
If catering is important to you make sure to ask each venue about the different options available, menu choices and if this is something you can outsource.
If you want an outdoor ceremony, check the venue can accommodate and make sure this complements your vision.
Once you have your venue and your date secured, the next step is to book your ‘must have’ suppliers. As I mentioned earlier, it’s never too early to start discussing your wedding and choosing the right team for your day. By securing your ‘must have’ suppliers first, you then have an idea of your remaining budget and where you want to allocate this.
6. Don’t leave things to the last minute
The final key to avoiding wedding planning overwhelm is to not leave everything to the last possible minute. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to tick off your to-do list, sign your contracts and pay your deposits and to do your research. Because if you don’t you will end up rushing and forgetting to do those small but very important tasks.
Create a spreadsheet or checklist of everything you need to do and when you need to do it by.
This way you have a clear direction to your planning and avoid missing any important details.
Make sure your to-do list/spreadsheet is accessible at all times. Print it off and put it in your wedding file, have it saved on your phone or stick it to your fridge. Having this written down and easy to access will help to keep you on track and motivated.
So, there we have it, my top tips for how to avoid overwhelm and to enjoy your wedding planning. There really is no denying that wedding planning, at times, can feel like an extra job on top of everything else you have going on in life. However, with a little bit of pre-planning and some helpful tips along the way, it really doesn’t have to feel overwhelming and stressful too.
Want more tips and wonderful tricks to help you through the many stages of your planning? Then sign up to my mailing list to receive my free wedding planning guides.
So here it is! The next in the series of my mini Wedding Planning Guides and this has to be one of my favourites! Why? Because it’s all about the tastiest part of your wedding, your wedding catering!
You might not know but before I created Hannah Rachael Weddings I was a Senior Event Manager for a Yorkshire based wedding caterer. So, this is definitely a topic which is very close to my heart and one I know a great deal about.
And believe me this really is something you want to get right!
The food served at your wedding is likely to be one of the biggest investments after your venue, so why take any risks?! I’m here to give you my 3 top tips on what to consider when choosing your wedding caterer. As well as my 5 MUST ASK questions.
Top Tip 1
Taste the food before you commit to your caterer. This is so important! Just because everything looks amazing on Instagram unfortunately doesn’t mean it is in real life. Make sure you arrange an initial consultation and where possible a tasting before putting down your deposit. Your wedding catering is likely to be the biggest investment after your venue, so make sure it compliments you and your day.
Top Tip 2
Be true to yourselves. Food is such a big part of your day and you cannot please everyone so honestly don’t try to. It’s your day. Use it as the best excuse to have what you want, whether that be a five-course tasting menu or a dirty burger and fries. Eat the food you truly love.
Top Tip 3
Canapés are so important! They bridge the gap between your ceremony and wedding breakfast stopping guests getting hangry (which you definitely don’t want). Guests get peckish, especially if your wedding ceremony falls over lunchtime & they’ve had a few champagnes. Believe me, your guests will remember feeling hungry, so do not let that be the lasting impression of your day.
Now on to my 5 MUST ASK questions. My new Wedding Catering Guide is full of them, but these are my top 5. The 5 you need to ask in your initial consultation in order to get to know the caterer and to understand if they are the right fit for you!
Must Ask Questions
How would you describe your catering style?
What menus do you offer? (plated, BBQ, sharing, buffet etc.)
Can you create a bespoke menu for our wedding?*
Have you worked at our venue before and what do you require from our venue?
Do you offer a menu tasting before we book and is there a charge for this?
*Not everyone will require a bespoke menu for their wedding, however if you are looking for a specific dish or themed menu, you must ask this at your initial consultation. Some caterers do not specialise or offer certain cuisines or variations from their set menus.
I could honestly talk about this ALL DAY LONG. Not just because I love food, but because it is such a pivotal part of your day. There is just so much to talk about from menu styles, service and presentation to how to use your food to tell a story.
But what I really want you to take away from this is; the food served at your wedding is what brings your guests together. It’s what gets everyone talking and will be what everyone talks about, good or bad, long after your wedding. As well as showcasing who you are as a couple.
You spend so much of your wedding day eating, so make sure it truly represents you and is something that you’re excited about. You only get one shot at this, so make sure your caterers are the best fit for you and your unique day.
Now this really is just a quick sneak peek into the world of wedding catering. Everything you need to know, including all my must ask questions can be found in my free Wedding Catering Guide. To get hold of your copy all you need to do is click the button below!
Use my Wedding Catering Guide as a tool to help you hunt out the most delicious menus you can possibly find.
My Wedding Planning Guides are designed for couples looking to create a day which is unique, exquisitely planned and full of detail. Why risk missing any detail when you can have your own mini wedding planner with you every step of the way? Keeping you on track and up to date with everything you need to know.
The Importance of A Wedding Timeline – another wonderful blog post voted by you. This is one I’m really excited to get stuck into as I know it’s a part of wedding planning that a lot of you find challenging.
Wedding timelines are something you will hear me talking about A LOT! This is because your wedding timeline is absolutely crucial to the smooth running of your wedding, set up and supplier coordination. It is fundamental to making sure all the plans you’ve put into place come to life just how you imagined.
Do not underestimate the importance of a wedding timeline! It’s one of the main reasons your wedding day runs smoothly and to plan.
So here is my run down of the elements you need to be thinking about when establishing your wedding timeline.
1. Venue Access
This is a big factor – the time you/your suppliers can gain access to your venue from. This plays a big part in the setup of your wedding. If you can gain access to your venue the day prior, then bonus. If not you will need to be even more organised with your schedule.
Things to consider
How much time your suppliers need to set up. This will vary depending on your suppliers, their needs and the elements they are providing for your day. The main suppliers to consider will be your caterers, florist and stylist. These suppliers will usually have the most to set prior to your arrival onsite.
The earlier you can gain access to your venue the better, you can never have too much set up time.
2. Your Ceremony Time
This is the most crucial timing of your whole wedding day – the time you get married. The length of your ceremony will vary depending on the style of ceremony you opt for.
A Civil Ceremony will usually last for 30 minutes whereas a religious ceremony will take longer. For instance, a church ceremony will usually last 1 hour.
Things to consider
I would always advise you to be in your wedding outfit ready to go 30 minutes before your wedding ceremony, no matter which ceremony style you choose. This gives you plenty of time to have a make-up refresh, grab a drink of water (or bubbles) and make sure you can have a couple of photos. The morning of your wedding will fly by so give yourself plenty of time to get ready.
Do factor in time to travel to your ceremony. If you are getting married on site, then you may only be a 2 minute walk away. However, if you are getting ready off site, make sure to factor travel time to your ceremony into this.
If you have opted for a civil ceremony be mindful that you will both have to meet with your registrars before your ceremony. This pre-meeting will be conducted separately, so they can ask you a couple of questions in private. One of you will usually meet the registrars up to 30 minutes before and the other 15 minutes before. You must be on time for this, your registrars keep to a very strict schedule on wedding days.
Now consider the time you have your venue until, the time your bar closes and your epic wedding party has to come to an end.
You now have the 3 crucial timings which the rest of your day will be factored around. Now you need to work out which details will fall where in relation to these timings.
Always liaise with your suppliers. Most of your suppliers will advise what they need from you before your wedding day. For instance, most hair and makeup artists advise how much time they will need per person to get everyone ready. Your caterer should advise how long your wedding breakfast should take to serve. Your florist should let you know what they require from your venue and how long they will need for setup.
However, don’t be afraid to ask these questions yourself. Don’t wait for your suppliers to tell you. You can never be too organised when it comes to the timeline and the logistics of your day.
Remember there is only so much you can realistically squeeze into one day. Be mindful of this, step back and really consider what is involved in your day. Make sure you have allowed time to enjoy your day.
You can almost overfill your day, remember sometimes less is more.
Identify who needs to be at your venue for setup and how long they require.
2. Wedding Prep
Liaise with your hair and makeup artist to establish how much prep time you will need to make sure everyone is ready prior to your ceremony.
Discuss with your photographer what time they will be arriving to take ‘getting ready shots’ prior to your ceremony.
Make sure to give yourselves plenty of faff time – time to eat, drink, have a chat and take a breather.
Guests will typically arrive up to an hour prior to your ceremony. Make sure you have someone on site to greet them.
After your ceremony factor in time for photos.
4. Drinks Reception
Be mindful of travel time – if you have to travel from your ceremony to reception venue allow for this in your timings. This will be crucial for your caterers to know.
Your drinks reception typically takes 1 hour 30 minutes and allows the perfect amount of time to say hi to your guests and have photos taken.
5. Wedding Breakfast
Be mindful that you have to get your guests seated – I would typically allow 15 minutes to seat 100 guests.
Speeches play a big part in the timings of your wedding breakfast. This must be communicated to your caterers prior to your wedding day as it can play a big part in service. Be strict with your speeches, make sure you set a time limit on these and stick to them.
The timings of your wedding breakfast vary drastically depending on your guest count and menu choices.
6. Evening Guests
The time your evening guests arrive usually depends on when your wedding breakfast finishes.
7. Band/Evening Entertainment
You need to be mindful of when they require access to your venue to set up.
As well as what time they will start playing.
8. Cake Cutting & 1st Dance
Both traditionally happen once your evening guests arrive.
Your 1st dance usually kicks off your evening celebrations.
9. Evening Food
Again the timing of this depends on what time you have your wedding breakfast and when your evening guests arrive.
One of my favourite times for evening food service is 9pm. Not too early, but just when guests start to flag after all that dancing.
So there we have it, my insight into not only the importance of your wedding timeline, but what to consider when creating yours. This is by no means an exhaustive list as there is just so much to consider. Please remember every wedding is unique and will involve different factors, so this really is only a guide.
Creating your wedding timeline can definitely feel overwhelming, so why not take the stress out of it by creating yours together? Take advantage of my little Christmas discount. I’m offering my wedding consultancy hour at £35.00 per hour instead of £45.00 until 31st December 2020. This is the perfect opportunity for us to discuss and create your wedding timeline. To make sure you have all the little details of your day accounted for.
To redeem your wedding hour all you need to do is contact me via the get in touch button below. As long as your wedding hour is confirmed in my diary before 31st December 2020 (your consultation can take place anytime in 2021) it’s secured at the discounted rate of £35.00.
As you lovelies voted for my next blog to be all about wedding timelines, it really got me thinking.Thinking about how important it is to have a plan for your wedding day.
By now you’ve probably spent numerous hours planning your wedding, choosing your suppliers and the wonderful elements which will make your day special. But have you thought about how all these details will come together on the day itself? The running order, the timings and the set up? Probably not so much and why should you of? You’ve most likely never done this before. So, I wouldn’t expect you to know all the in’s, out’s and tiny details which make up your wedding day.
So, this is exactly why I wanted to put together this bonus blog. Your wedding timeline only works if you have all these other details accounted for. This is why I discuss why a wedding planner may just be the best decision you make for your wedding day. They make sure every logistic and every timing has been accounted for and that no detail has been missed. All to make sure you don’t have to worry about a single thing!
Hopefully, if you choose your wedding planner wisely, they will have worked in the industry for several years before setting up their own business. They will be able to provide you with a wealth of knowledge gained from their experience working in a variety of sectors within the wedding industry.
They should bring a wide skill set, professionalism and guidance to your planning. All to save you an abundance of time searching for answers, looking for suppliers and working out the logistics involved in your day.
Your wedding planner should be able to provide you with knowledge of the industry and how suppliers operate. As well as why certain elements of your day will need to be conducted or laid out in a specific way and how to get the most out of your budget.
Working with an experienced wedding planner can be the difference between you feeling stress and overwhelm instead of fun and excitement when planning your wedding.
Unwavering, real and honest support. To guide and advise you when you’re just not sure which direction to take. Someone who knows your wedding inside and out, just like you do. Who is just as excited about your day and who wants to help you create a day like no other.
Someone on your team who can think ahead of time and make sure everything is on track, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
I want you to have an amazing experience while planning your wedding. I want it to be fun, exciting and personal to you, without causing any overwhelm, stress or confusion. That’s exactly why I work with my couples in an extremely bespoke and detailed way in order to bring to life their wonderful day.
I appreciate that you are unique and therefore, so is your wedding and your planning. That’s why I’m with you every step of the way. Making sure you are on track, happy and supported throughout the whole process, right up to the day itself.
Checking nothing has been missed or overlooked. All so you can relax and enjoy one of the most exciting times of your life!
This is a topic I discuss and delve into in much more detail in my mini Wedding Planning Guides. Make sure you don’t miss a thing by signing up to get your guides as soon as they launch!
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 calledWildflowers 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.