Friday, 12 April 2013

It shouldn't happen to a Wedding Stationer.... but I'm afraid it does!

I make Wedding Invitations and Stationery.... let me put this a bit more clearly.... I DESIGN, personalise and make Wedding Invitations and Stationery. Nothing special about that you may think? But in my little shop I must have well over 50 different designs and I'm quite happy to design something around you and your ideas.......So why is it that quite a few Brides now, have trawled the Internet for ideas and insist on coming to me with other peoples samples?

Now.... just so we are clear on this and for those who are not familiar with my work.... this is what I do: Handmade, designed by me, bespoke (tailor-made) invitations that are FOILED. Foiled is that shiny stuff you see on the top quality cards in your W H Smiths or Clinton Cards etc. Here's one...


If you want to see more
pop over to the website:

And just so you get the picture.... here's the huge choice of foil colours.... 

So you see there's a lot of choice...... added to that the FREE design service we offer too!

OK.... so, the bride comes in and the conversation usually goes something like this:

BRIDE: I hear you make Wedding Invitations?
ME: I most certainly do..... have you got any ideas in mind.
(By this I usually mean a colour theme, some sort of graphic idea, perhaps Butterflies, Hearts, Flowers or something like that)
BRIDE: Well I have a few
ME: Great! Let me see what you've got!

And now I am going to relate to the latest Bride that came in to see me... this is a true story! HONEST!

The Bride shifts her hand awkwardly into her handbag and pulls our a card (SEE PICTURE)

BRIDE: I like this one! Can you make one of these?
ME: Well by 'one' I expect you mean more than one?
ME: Well I do, make cut letter pieces to give as gifts (I proudly show her the following)

.... but the card you are showing me is laser cut and those machines cost about £12,000 ... that's a lot of cards I'd have to sell over my lifetime if I wanted to break even... so No... I don't do laser cut cads.... But if you like it so much, why don't you just buy them from the company?

BRIDE: Because they are £5 each!

There's now a pregnant pause, while I wait for the Bride to say something.... silence.

ME: Ok what other ideas have you got?

She tentatively brings out another card.... this time with Top hats and hearts on. Not my cup of tea I must admit.... but there again, it's not my Wedding and I have to learn to butt out sometimes :-)

ME: Ok.... what do you like about it?

BRIDE: I like the navy blue card.

ME: Anything else?

BRIDE: Yes, the glitter

ME: after a long pause (mostly to gather my thought back together. Well for one thing, I don't print on dark card, this is a special printing process... and the glitter is laid down by machine also... so no, I don't do that type of thing either. Look at all these..... I FOIL and make Wedding Invitations, these are MY designs.....

BRIDE: (interrupting before I go any further): I have more....

She proceeds to take out card after card, sample after sample, until we were surrounded by 10 cards in total... all totally different.... NON of them like anything I produce.

ME: (after a sharp intake of breath! So.... what exactly do you like about all these cards? Any one in particular? Is it the colour? The pictures? The design or layout?

BRIDE: I dunno... I just like them.

I quickly... well perhaps I should have been quicker! ... homed in on the fact she was a serial sample collector. As it was over 18 months till her Wedding, I said although I would LOVE to help her, she needed to go away and have a think of what makes her tick and come back when something had really grabbed her imagination. Perhaps she is only having a small wedding and if she collects enough samples, she won't have to buy one??  I really don't know.

Can I just say here... I'm not opposed to ideas and suggestions. I'm happy to offer guidance and inspiration..... but there has to be some input from the Bride!

In one way, I feel she was lost.... in another I feel she was getting carried away with all the Cinderella/Princess/Magical part of it all. She left the studio, without even looking at my Invitations or Stationery.... perhaps she was lonely and wanted just to show me hers? Whatever the reason.... it helps your Wedding Stationer if you have a least an idea of what you want.

I see my job as connecting and interacting with the Bride and Groom, bashing around a few ideas after getting to know them. Some make this easy, some make it hard and some (not many thankfully!) make it impossible. Still.... we hang on in there and the easy to please Brides, with some idea of what they want, far outweighs the difficult times when you want to throw in the towel. :-)

Oh well.... tomorrow is another day.... another dollar :-)


  1. Absolutely classic!
    I agree with you... she should just send out her collection of samples and describe herself as an eclectic bride.

  2. I await her return visit.... lets see eh? :-)


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