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The Creative Process of a Wedding Stationer

With yours truly Freya Deabill, founder and designer at Deabill & Quince


With the flurry of engagement season officially upon us (YEY!) I thought I would give you a little insight into the adventure you will find yourself on when you get those excited butterflies and click 'accept' on your D&Q proposal. I'll let you into some secrets along the way so hold on tight and off we go...



ENQUIRY TIME


You've got the ring, you've started the Pinterest board, you've scoured a million websites for the right kind of vibe and you want to know more right? Hell yeah! Deciding to work with a wedding stationer is (IMO) a seriously fabulous decision to make, congrats, but what happens next?


The best place to get in touch to talk through your stationery is via the contact form on my website. If you send a DM thats fine I will 98% of the time pick it up, but ultimately I will direct you back to the form.


Why I hear you say?

I am a mum of 2, wife, business woman. I have multiple enquiries a week and keeping track of Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Facebook and Email is enough already! So if you are serious about wanting to find out more about working with Deabill & Quince on some seriously jawdropping stationery then the webform really IS the best place to do so.

This form is also carefully curated to give me all the relevant details for getting a cost proposal together for you. Your venues, dates, number of guests, and items you require. There are also a few questions where you can tell me all about the ideas you already have and about the most important bit - YOURSELVES!


LET'S CHAT


Once your form has pinged into my email (and after I do my new enquiry happy dance) I will send over a little note about availability, timings and budget. If the fit works on these 3 points then it's time to book a time slot that suits you to join me on a zoom call.


On our call which is only half an hour initially, we discuss YOU, what you love, hate, your pets, your favourite cocktail (mine's either a cosmo or espresso martini btw depending on the mood) colours, flowers, dresses, venues... literally anything and everything - and yes often it just ends up in a good old wedding chin wag. But thats why talking directly with you is so important, I get to KNOW you which in turn means I can create the most incredible designs with YOU in mind.





THE PROPOSAL


We already know that my work is within budget as we jumped that hurdle 'generally' at enquiry stage, but at this stage, after chatting with you I create a completely bespoke proposal for you to review. This is accessed on a confidential client portal with a breakdown of the items you want to work on, the project timeline, invoicing schedule and general design notes from our chat.


If all is well then you accept and sign the T&Cs all online, all within your portal. At this stage I ask for a few details about delivery addresses and contact numbers.


Once you are ready to confirm your proposal the initial deposit is due and we are GO!


From the moment your webform enquiry is filled in I use an onboarding system set up in Dubsado, it all sounds very impersonal and technical but really its just a project process system which means I can keep track of your project from enquiry to sign off in one place, with all the details, timelines and actions. Working alone most of the time, on multiple projects means this level of organisation is VITAL to delivering the most incredible client experience. Don't worry all emails and correspondence still comes direct from me, not a bot but it just means the journey we go on is 100% streamlined.



WELCOME ABOARD!


The fun begins! I do another happy dance and can never help myself - the creative research & sketching commences.


There's a little bit of admin at this stage, a wedding spreadsheet template wings its way to you to start filling in. This is like the holy grail for me. I use this for inputting guest names and addresses on save the dates, invitations, envelopes, place names, table plans and any other personalised stationery. I use it for stationery quantities, ordering stamps and other details which are quantity specific. You can update it at any point of the journey - a wedding guest-list is the most fluid thing I have ever known!


We will work in three stages - Save the dates, Invitations, then On the Day. Each stage has a concept, development, sign off, print and delivery process and are worked on at different times in the lead up to your wedding.


Save the dates and invitations 1 year+ to 6 months in advance, and on the Day stationery commences 10 weeks before your wedding date.



CONCEPT STAGE


OOOHHHH YES!

Probably your favourite part, and my most nerve racking part - sending over your initial concepts. These are in PDF format (see examples below). You will get flat lay examples of every part of your invitation, as photo realistic as possible with a mood board and any detailing imagery to help.



COLLABORATION

Over the years I have learnt that reaching out to my couples fellow suppliers can create the most magical results. I will ask you for a list of suppliers you are working with and reach out to them if relevant to check details work together, for example - place settings with the napkins / charger plates / florals etc...

Doing this means that we can create a cohesive, effortlessly flowing day from invitations, to flowers, to styling and cake design. You can see examples of this working seamlessly in these case studies :) Charlotte & Alex - NYE at Elmore Court alongside Studio Sorores Ashley & James - alongside Katrina Otter Natalie & George - North Mymms with Dolce Lusso Cakes Shannon & Nic - Clearwell Castle with Andri Benson, Always Andri



DESIGN DEVELOPMENT


You get three rounds of development until we go to art-working and print. At each point you give me feedback on the designs. You can be as to-the-point as you like, you wont offend me. Designing for clients is sometimes like mind reading so unless you are one of the lucky ones that LOVES the initial design then theres going to be a bit of to and fro here. Thats just how a design process works :) I've been doing this for over 20 years so theres not much that will phase me, thats part of the job and partly why I love it so much.

I don't create proofs due to the fact most of my invitations have multiple print elements and it would cost too much to produce one invitation at development stage, but I can organise samples of paper or details if we need to check colours / finishes at this stage.


SIGN-OFF

^ above images show a final design concept PDF alongside the final printed invitation for a new years eve wedding at Elmore Court, alongside Rachel at Salt & Scent Events.


Once the design is confirmed and you are IN LOVE with your stationery designs I set up the artwork files, input individual details, names, addresses etc... and you are sent final sign-off files. Again this happens through the client portal and you can download them and 'sign them off' within this area.


It is your responsibility to triple check all spellings and details at this stage as once its given the green light then its off to the printers we go! Any changes after this stage results in additional fee's.


At this stage the printing invoice will be due, this releases the files for print.





PRINTING


I do very little printing in house - sometimes a stationery suite will have over 20 elements, and the level of quality I strive for in every project cannot be created with a home printer. That is what the professionals are for.


I use a range of very fabulous printers here in the UK, some of whom I have been working with for over 10 years. I have them on speed dial, they know me, they know my kids names, I send them Christmas cards :) And this is something its so incredibly difficult to portray to couples without showing them work in person. The card stocks I use, the finishing of edges, the eye letting, die cutting, folding, fixing... it's all the highest quality and it really does show. Whenever you pick up a Deabill & Quince invitation you can immediately feel the luxuriousness of it, the weight, the texture, the foiling, the silk ribbon... your guests will be speechless when your invitation drops on their doorstep.


If you want to see any samples in person then location dependent you are more than welcome to visit me here at my studio in Oxfordshire (appointment necessary) or you can purchase a sample pack here which will come with a whole host of gorgeous goodies for you to see and touch.



FINISHING

Once your stationery is printed it all comes back to me here in Oxfordshire, I personally* hand finish it, tie ribbons, pour wax seals, stick stickers, package up rsvp's, pack and post to you on overnight tracked delivery.


*I cant leave out Lauren here, my rather lovely assistant who comes once a week to help with all the petty post! More on her another time! She really is superb tho!



DELIVERY

More often than not I pack up your items in one beautiful box and deliver it to your specified address. Sometimes I post out individual invitations / save the dates on your behalf, but more often that not my couples want the excitement of seeing all their beautiful stationery ready to go. There really is nothing quite like it!


For on the day stationery I can post via courier direct to the venue which requires a little more organisation due to venue requests or on a very specific requirement I can drive items to your venue. This is of course is location dependant and there is an additional fee for this, there is also an additional fee if you wish me present on your wedding day to set up - but more often that not your planner / coordinator can take the reins on this.


All fee's must be paid before your wedding date.



WHAT NEXT?


If we are working on multiple stages (save the date, invites, on the day) you will get a kick off scoping call at each stage so we can chat through how your wedding planning and styling is going. You will get requests to review your guest list for couples who may have moved house or parted ways.


If it is your on the day stationery which has been delivered then you don't get rid of me THAT easily. I do ask you to leave me a little feedback and a cheeky review so I can continue to grow and improve my offer for future couples. I also LOVE to see how your day came together when you have your photos back and do ask for any imagery of the stationery so I can continue to share my work with potential new couples.



Hopefully that gives you a little insight into the journey we would take together. I hope it excites you and that you head straight over to the enquiry form to see how I can help you. I'm so excited about my weddings this year, I still have some availability so please do get in touch so we can discuss your fabulous day.


WANT IN?



#weddingdesigner #lovemyjob #gettheprofessionalsin #stationerydesign #workingwithaweddingstationer #weddingstationeryprocess #designprocess #bridetobe #engaged #weddingplanning

 

Disclaimer;


" The views and statements written in this blog are my own and mine alone. They are based on my 10 years experience in the wedding industry working on hundreds of weddings with a huge range of wedding budgets, from 12 guests to over 200. The comments will not be relevant to every wedding ever planned. If you require specific costs or have any questions regarding your own wedding stationery please either get in touch using my contact form"


Over and out lovely people... see you next time.

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