Wedding Stationery with Janine

Wedding Stationery – a topic which has varied opinions.
Many tackle the task themselves, doing what they can to cut costs, using a friend-of-a-friend to create something which you saw on Pinterest and just HAVE to have for your wedding day!

Problem is, our expectations and reality don’t always meet and more times than not, we are left disappointed or not that content with the results. 

So why do we put the stress of this onto ourselves? When do we stop trying to DIY our invites and hand it over to the professionals? At the end of the day, there are hundreds of other things for you to stress about – sometimes you have to make the decision – is your time, energy and stress worth it?

We have Janine from “Handmade by Janine” with us today putting things in perspective with regards to the process of designing and creating your wedding stationery.

Katya Fedkina Photography

Inspiration vs Reality.
How are brides able to know what they can expect to get with their stationery budget? 
Janine: If a bride has a low budget for her stationery, keeping it simple is best. Envelopes, foiling, ribbon, wax seals and laser-cutting/perspex invites all push the price of invitations up as they look amazing but are definitely added extras. You CAN have a beautiful invitation that is simply printed, with gorgeous florals and eye-catching fonts.

The Process
Can you explain the process behind designing and creating wedding stationery?

Janine: When designing an invitation, a lot has to be taken into account, such as venue, budget, brides mood-board/colours and her dream design. This process can often take a few hours especially with proofing and changes going backwards and forwards.

Once the design and proofing are done, then the actual printing and making up of the invitations are done. Sometimes this involves folding and glueing pockets, making wax seals, tying ribbon, etc. – all time-consuming!

If a bride wants a coloured envelope with a liner or printing, this is all hand made as generally good quality coloured envelopes are not commercially available. All this has to be taken into account when costing out an invitation

Conway Photo and Film

Choosing a stationer
What should a bride-to-be take into account when choosing a stationer?
Janine: I believe that one of the most important factors is experience. I have been designing and printing invitations for 25 years. This means I have a vast amount of knowledge with regards to the best boards/papers and printing processes and designs for a bride. Most “non-stationery/printing” people have NO idea how much paper, ink, design programmes, ribbon, etc actually costs. As a designer and printer, I have ensured that I have all the tools available to design and make gorgeous, bespoke invitations. I currently also do all my own foiling as I invested in a foiling machine.

None the wiser
What is one thing you wish every bride knew about the stationery process?
Janine: Designing in Word or Canva does NOT help me.
Also, buying your own board/paper and believing it will cut your costs, is not a good idea.
HSN**: This boils down to “trust the professionals!”

A bride’s best friend or worst enemy?
Janine: Mmmmmm….it can be both.
It is great for inspiration and giving me a clearer idea of their vision. The problem comes with cost and availability. The most gorgeous invites on Pinterest are generally the expensive ones – perspex, silk ribbon, foiling, laser cutting…. all these elements are more costly than a simpler, printed invitation. Brides see a beautiful invitation in a picture and don’t look at the elements making up that invite. The second problem is that often, the items used in the photos are just not available in South Africa. Or they can be bought and shipped in, but at a great cost. So we have to try and look for alternatives.

The DIY Bride
Brides who want to DIY their stationery, is this a feasible option or not as easy as it sounds?
Janine: I think a lot of creative brides, believe they can do their own invitations – “ How hard can it be. We have a printer and some board” Unfortunately, it is just not that simple. I cannot tell you how many invitations I have had to “save” from DIY brides. Unfortunately, a home printer and Canva or Word are not going to make a classy invitation. Once again this is where experience and Graphic Design make the difference

Blissfully Yours Photography

Final thoughts from Janine…
You really do get what you pay for. If you want classy, handmade, bespoke luxe invitations and stationery, you will be paying more than if your local printer down the road does it. Designers like myself (and there are others) who only do wedding and event stationery are invested in your special day. Because we LOVE what we do!

Your wedding stationery is one of the FIRST aspects you share with the guests of your wedding day and can set the tone of what they should expect.

You do not want to be sending out an at-home printed invitation you designed on Word so PLEASE remember to set a stationery budget from the start.

Get in touch with a couple of stationers, and see what they can offer you along with their prices – you might just be pleasantly surprised!

If you would like to get in touch with Janine, click here. 

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