How on earth do I decide what wedding stationery design to choose?

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These days Pinterest is the first place many brides go to find inspiration. But let's be honest, the options are ENDLESS and quite frankly OVERWHELMING!

• Begin as soon as you are able to look at design ideas. Early on you will probably have an idea what style your wedding will be. Create a board on Pinterest specifically for your wedding stationery,  and search for stationery that appeals to you and fits the style of your wedding. When you save a pin that you like, ask yourself, "Why does this appeal to me? What do I like about this design? What do I not like about it?" Use the answers to these questions to communicate with your designer.

• Once you've chosen the colors and flowers you will have at your wedding, you can be more specific in what stationery you are looking for. But do not limit yourself to only stationery that has the exact colors and flowers of your wedding. There may be aspects of a design that you like, but the colors and flowers don't match. No worries! If you choose a stationery designer who offers custom design, changing those things are usually not an issue.

Following are a few wedding styles and how to choose your stationery to match:

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Modern/Minimal • Your stationery should be clean and have plenty of white space with minimal design elements. (I use this term pretty often in the rest of this post, so to clarify what I mean, when I use design elements I'm referring to everything that is used in your design outside of the text and backgrounds, this could include flowers, lace, watercolor swatches, swirls, etc.) To keep it extra clean and minimal, do not use a script font. If you use a script font, choose something clean with few flourishes. Adding a pastel color to some of the text adds a bit of interest but still keeps the design clean.

 

 

 

 

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Rustic/Western • Background options for this style include: cream paper, brown (like kraft) paper, or cream paper. Often sunflowers or roses are the flower of choice for this style, baby's breathe is a nice accent flower. Using lace in the design works well. In my experience, this is a design style where it's easy to go too far with adding different design elements. So keep in mind that the flowers and other design elements on your stationery should give your stationery a cohesive feel and lead the eye to the important parts of the invitation, namely the text.

 

 

 

 

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Vintage • Watercolor flowers and design elements are currently popular with this style. The stationery could have a hand-made feel to fit well with your wedding. Lace adds a vintage touch. The design could be as minimal as the modern style, but often has a few more design elements that add interest, movement, and texture.

 

 

 

 

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Garden • This style is very whimsical, fun, and carefree. Your stationery should have lots of floral elements using different shades of complimentary colors. It should have an unexpected fun feel. Use a neutral background to give the eye a place to rest. Using a script font for some of your text works really well with this style.

 

 

 

 

Because you are unique, your stationery should be unique as well! It should reflect who you are as a couple and be cohesive with the wedding you are planning.

Part of my design process, with custom stationery, is providing the brides I work with, with a number of different options to choose from, so not knowing exactly what you want right from the beginning is okay. But, I will add, knowing the basic design style is important at the beginning stage.

If you are still unsure of how to decide, contact me and I'll be happy to help!

I'd love to hear from you! How has this post helped you? What questions do you have concerning your wedding stationery?

3 Ways To Make Your Wedding Stationery Look Expensive Without Breaking The Bank.

I get it you want wedding stationery that's unique and beautiful, but most of the options (gold foil, handmade paper, embossing, hand lettering, etc) you are looking at add too much to the cost.

Following are three ways you can make your wedding stationery look expensive without breaking the bank...

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1) Add a belly-band. It's a sweet way to add beauty and detail to your stationery and it's practical too, it holds all the different items in your guests' envelopes together. This is especially helpful if you have a separate details and rsvp card and envelope for said rsvp card, along with multiple other items. I personally think that belly-bands add nice a finished touch to a set of wedding stationery.

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2) Have your designer craft a monogram, just for you. A monogram gives your stationery a very custom look and adds so much to make your design stand out from the crowd. I like to think of a monogram as your logo for your wedding. Just like a logo for a business, it should be unique, speak to the style of your wedding and who you are as a couple, and add a touch of class.

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3) Less is more! Choose your stationery design carefully. The more simple it is, if it's done well, the more high end it will look. Crowding a lot of design elements, along with all the text, could make your stationery set look cluttered and cheap. Going the simple route gives your stationery a classy, expensive feel.

Your wedding stationery should appeal to the senses, specifically sight and touch. It should have some bulk to it, not flimsy. It should look appealing and exciting, yet classy and depending on your style understated.

My job as your designer is to make sure that you ultimately get the wedding stationery that fits your dreams better than you ever imagined. I'm also here to direct and help you choose a design that not only fits you perfectly but also looks beautiful.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I'd love to help you!

So, You Just Got Engaged. . . Now What?

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He just popped the question and you said yes! Congratulations! This is such an exciting, love-filled time of life. But the stress of the wedding planning can drain the excitement very quickly and suddenly your relationship goes from hanging out and having fun to talk about all the wedding things, ALL.THE.TIME. I get it, you've never planned a party for 300+ people. There are so many details to keep organized, so many things that need to happen in a specific order and quite frankly it's totally overwhelming.

You don't get to see the fruits of your labor in the early stages of planning and sometimes you just want to see something tangible coming from all your hard work. Your wedding invitations are one of those first tangible things in all of the planning.

There are a few things that need to happen before you can order those invitations:

:: Choosing a date and time is one of the first things. The length of your engagement needs to be something you are comfortable with, some are able to do all the planning and pull off a beautiful wedding in as little as 2 months. My husband and I had a 5 month engagement and wouldn't have wanted it to be any longer.

Take your family as well as close friends (bridal party) and their schedules into consideration because it is important that the most important people in your lives are able to help, attend, and be part of your big day. Once again, drawing from my experience. . . We got engaged in January. My parents own a greenhouse business and the busiest season is March-May. So, we were either going to need to have a super short engagement or wait until that busy season is over, so we chose June.

Time of year also plays a large role in when you decide to get married. Have you always dreamed of a summer wedding? Or do you prefer the fall months?

:: Compile a guest list. . . You should invite approximately 10% more guests than your target number, since between 10% and 20% of those invited will decline. This will aid you in looking for an appropriately sized venue. Having a guest list before you order your invitations will help you know how many you need. It's nice to have a few extra invitations in the event that you missed someone, as well as keep on hand for sentimentality's sake. But having a whole stack of extra is a waste of money and paper and end up being clutter that you will eventually throw away. 

:: Next, search and book a venue that has an opening for the date you've chosen and is an appropriate size for the amount of people that will be attending. Keep the comfort of your guests and convenience of your vendors in mind: accessible parking, ease of going from ceremony to reception, short walking distance, kitchen on site at reception, etc.

:: By the time you are engaged you may already have an idea in mind of what theme and colors you would like use for your wedding: vintage, classic, elegant, western, rustic, etc. with corresponding colors. This is something you should have a decided by the time you contact the person who is designing your invitations as they will set the tone for your wedding. Your invitations are the first impression the guests will have of the type of event they will be attending. If you are undecided, the designer should be able to walk you through choosing an invitation style that will fit your wedding. Most designers are more than happy to provide you with a few different invitation proofs to choose from. But if you are very specific with what you are wanting that isn't always necessary and will, in the long run save the designer time. The designer will be able to help you choose a size and type of paper that will work well for your invitations, as well as a few other details. After the invitation design is decided, the rest of the wedding stationery can be designed to match (colors, fonts, design elements).

I wish you all the best in your wedding planning! Remember to take some time to still date each other, to spend time not talking about wedding. You will do great and will have a beautiful day! 

What's The Story Behind The Name?

Have you ever wondered what the story is behind a particular business name? I know I have. This post is all about the story behind this business name: Inspire Design Co.

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Twists and Turns + a few bunny trails: There were a few twists and turns and definitely some moments when I wished I could start over again. See, I'm not naturally given to thinking ahead of the curve. I tend to live life, taking things as they come, instead of intentionally avoiding problems. It's one of those personality traits that has gotten me into trouble more than once!

Anyways, back to the story behind choosing a business name. . . Let's be very clear, there are so many options for business names, so many in fact, that choosing just one can be a bit of a problem.

First, I chose the name 'Focus Design' and began with a logo design. Now this is where I did things backwards. . . After the logo design, I did research to see if the name was available. It was, but somehow the name just didn't feel right. Focus can seem like a harsh word, sharp, not friendly or welcoming. So I scrapped that plan and started over.

The search: I did a lot of word searches for synonyms of what I was looking for, then combed though all of the options, considering each one and deeming most of them totally unfit for what I was looking for. I wanted my business, design, and customer service to be fresh, welcoming, and inviting. The word Inspire fit that for me. The name wasn't taken, I could buy a domain with the name and so I jumped for it.

The rest of the name 'Design Co.' took a bit of mental power to come up with. Whatever it was going to be needed to flow, it needed to feel like a creative business, be timeless, so that I don't get some hair-brained notion to change it in a year, and it needed to be me. //And just now, Inspire Creative sounds pretty good.// See I have commitment issues with these things! Back to the subject at hand, Inspire Design Co. flowed really well for me and I felt like I could build a brand around that name. My goal is that each of my designs reflect the word, Inspire. I want the designs I produce to inspire others to creativity. 

This all sounds easy, as I type this, but it really was hard. There were literally 5 or more business name options that I had on the table and was considering. Some of them I didn't like the feeling of the word/s, some of them didn't translate well into a logo, and some weren't usable because someone else had dibs on it.

If you are starting a business and trying to choose a name, take heart. You will find something that is you and reflects well on what you do. I understand and sympathize with the place you're at. Don't do it alone, there are people out there, including myself, who are equipped to help you choose a business name and then build a brand around it to reach your ideal clients and build a successful business.

 

How To Find A Designer Who Fits Your Needs

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Many people become overwhelmed just at the thought of trying to find a graphic designer for their needs. They don't begin the search because of that overwhelm and end up being stuck with designs they created themselves that don't fully articulate them or their brand.

So how does one get past the overwhelm and find someone who fits their needs?

Keep in mind that if you've never had design work done, especially if it's for your business, that you are looking for someone who you are able to cultivate a long-term relationship with. You will save yourself time and resources in the long run, if you take the time to research properly and make sure that who you work with is a good fit. Finding a designer can be difficult and starting the process over every few years can be a serious time suck, because it will take a bit of time to brief the designer and get them on board with your vision.

1) Talk to someone who has had design work done in the past. Find out who they worked with. Where they happy with the service and/or products they received? Did their project move along smoothly, or did the company/designer they worked with constantly drop the ball? Did they have long or short wait periods between revisions? Did they feel heard? Was their design vision executed in the way they hoped? Was the overall experience for them a good one?

2) Once you've established that the designer/company has a good reputation, see some examples of the work they've done in the past. Reach out to them and talk about what you are looking for as far as design and the time frame you are needing your project completed. Ask them about the process that a normal project takes and see if it's compatible with you and your way of working. If at this point you feel like you're not being heard or respected, the designer is not catching the vision for your project, or their time frame doesn't suit yours, chances are, they're not a good fit for you.

3) Cost: This is often top priority in your mind. But, take a minute and put cost somewhere lower on the list. Yes, it is important that you establish a reasonable budget for your project, so you don't over-spend. But working with someone who catches your vision, hears and respects you are more important than cost. I don't believe that you want to pay rock bottom prices for design when the person you are working with just isn't getting you, isn't responsible, doesn't keep their word, and just plain doesn't respect you. I would personally be happy with expanding my budget a bit and cut back in some other areas, just to work with a designer who treats me well.

If you feel you've found someone who you will be able to work with and is within your budget. Yay! I wish you all the best.

If you dropped by to read this post because you are looking for a designer. Head over to my portfolio and see if the work I've done in the past works with your style. Then contact me. If you have any questions at all, I'd love to hear them and help you out.

Drop a comment below to let me know if this was helpful information, or if there is something you would love to hear about in the future.

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