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Planning Your Wedding Stationery – Top Tips From A Stationery Designer

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Ok so you are planning your wedding and you are looking at your wedding stationery but not sure where to start, what to do or what supplier to use. I Emma Louise Wedding Planner got together with one of the best stationery suppliers in South Wales ByJo. Here I asked a few questions that you might be asking yourself and not sure about when planning your stationery for your wedding.

So, who is Jo??

Hello! I’m Jo, a self-confessed perfectionist, paper nerd and beach lover. I design and make beautiful, eco conscious wedding invites and stationery from my little blue studio at the end of my garden, in Taffs Well, Cardiff. I love to meet and work with couples local to me in South Wales, but Zoom meetings are fun too - so I ship all over the UK :-)

What made you go into wedding stationery?

I set up my business in 2006. While on maternity leave from my job (supply chain management for a packaging company - no, not glamorous in the slightest), I decided that I didn’t want to go back to full time working for someone else. I wanted to set my own working hours, satisfy my creative urges, and have an excuse to make spreadsheets (sorry, not sorry - also a self-confesses spreadsheet addict). By Jo was born and has kept me occupied ever since.

What services do you offer?

I make all the stationery you might need for your big day. From save the dates, bridesmaid proposal cards and invitations through to all the bits you will need for on the day itself: welcome signs, order of service, order of the day, menus, table plans place cards, confetti cones & packets. And not forgetting, of course, those all-important thank you cards to round everything off. Basically, if it’s made of card or paper and you need it for your wedding - I can usually make it. I work with sustainable and eco-friendly materials as much as possible, so that your big day will be a little bit kinder to the planet.

What would be the steps that a couple would do when ordering wedding stationery with yourself?

First up, have a good nose around my website and social media. Get a feel for what I do and my style. If you like what you see, get in touch - email, DM - whatever you prefer. If you’re after prices, send me pictures of what you’re looking at - it really helps. Then, if you want to talk more, book an appointment (either in person at my studio or over phone/video). Come prepared with a little more detail about your wedding i.e., date, venue, approx. numbers, and a broad idea of what stationery you need or want.

Once we’ve met and talked about the designs that will be right for you, I’ll give you a quote. If you want to book in, you reserve a production slot with a £50 deposit (you might need two - one for invites & one for on the day stationery). Then I’ll book you in and, depending on your timescales, we’ll either get started right away or I’ll be in touch when it is the right time. Simples - once you’re booked in, I’ll do all the chasing and reminding so that your stationery is ready at just the right time.

So, how long would you say to send out save the dates and would you recommend saving the dates?

Save the dates are not essential but they can be really handy if you're getting married at busy times. So peak summer wedding season (May to August), bank holidays, school holidays, or over the Christmas period. You can send save the dates up to two years ahead of the big day, just as soon as you’ve booked your date & venue.

How long would you say to send out invitations?

You should follow up with the invitations four to eight months before your wedding. This should give you plenty of time to send them out and get your responses back before your venue needs final numbers (often 8 to 12 weeks before). Evening invitations can go a little later if you like.

What would you say are the top 5 things you think couples should know about ordering wedding stationary?

1. Remember the golden rule: it’s one invitation per couple or family NOT one per guest. This goes for save the dates and evening invites too.

2. Don't try and do your table plan too early on. I can pretty much guarantee it will change in the weeks leading up to the wedding. Save yourself the stress and put it on the back burner until then.

3. Pick a colour palette of coordinating shades, rather than trying to match a particular colour or shade exactly for everything. One colour can look completely different in different materials e.g., on the dresses, on the chair decor, on the invites and in the flowers. Relax and don't worry about it - nobody is going to take their invite to the wedding and put it up against the chair bows to see if it matches.

4. There is no right or wrong way to word your wedding invites, do what you feel comfortable with. Traditional and formal or casual and relaxed, it’s up to you. And no, the invites don’t have to come from the bride’s parents (or any parents for that matter), although if they are making a financial contribution then you might want to acknowledge that. I have lots of advice and blogs about how to work your invite and what to put in them.

5. You don't need to have all the finer details ironed out to book production slots with me. I just need an idea of what you want and a good estimate of numbers. We’ll confirm all the details when the time is right, and you’ll only pay for what you need once you finalised the quantities.

What is your process in designing wedding invitations?

I have a whole range of semi customisable designs that I usually use as a starting point, but rarely do two sets of invitations ever look the same. Starting with my designs, I work with my couples to incorporate their personal touches, maybe changing the fonts or colours of the printed designs. Adding finishing watches like was seals, ribbons, or coloured envelope liners. Meeting couples in my studio allows me to mock-up designs with them in person so they can get a really good idea of how everything works together.

Here is a clip of Jo’s process in creating stationery

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or Jo

Hope you enjoyed the read

Emma Louise x

If this has grabbed your interest in getting started on planning your stationery, why not check out a number of blogs that Jo and myself have written to give you more information about stationery for your big day.

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