How 5 Professional Stationers Create Elegant Wedding Invitations

Ok loves, we’ve got some serious stationery inspiration for you today!

Planning your wedding is a huge life milestone – one that comes with a ton of different decisions to make.

One of the first steps in your planning journey is your paper goods – invitations, save the dates, day-of stationery... you name it!

With so many different pieces to consider – paper, print, foil, envelopes, vellum, wax seals, ribbon, etc. – it’s no wonder that many brides choose to work with a Professional Stationery Designer!

So today, we’re sitting down with 5 of our favorites from around the world to talk about how they create wedding invitations for their clients and what you should know about the process!

Jenny Sanders

Minimalist Design For The Modern Bride

Known for her gorgeous use of texture and type to create emotion-evoking stationery, we couldn't wait to sit down with our new Featured Collection Artist, Jenny Sanders to hear her thoughts on creating elegant wedding stationery for her clients around the world.

Hi Jenny, thank you so much for joining us today! Can you start by telling us a little bit about your brand and how you got started? 

I am so grateful to be joining you, thank you for having me!  I am a stationer and designer specializing in custom wedding stationery and aesthetic brand design.  I also love coaching and mentoring other stationers who are at an earlier stage in their business. 

I have always loved lettering and calligraphy so after being laid off from my corporate job, I began as a calligrapher and shortly thereafter began to work on stationery design.  I initially worked with Design House of Moira for a couple of years and have now been on my own for about 5 years.  

Your work is gorgeous!  How would you describe your brand style?

Oh, thank you for those kind words.  In short, I would say my brand style is simple, refined design.  I do my best to evoke feeling through the use of texture, typography and, layout with negative space to create pieces that hopefully are minimal, but warm.

We love the way you use color, texture and typography to create emotion in your work - can you share a little bit about your creative process?    

That's such a kind compliment, thank you.  My creative process begins with the client. I really try to understand who they are as well as the feelings that they wish to evoke with either their guests, or their potential clients.  I will then create a simple moodboard - usually no more than 5 images - that are a visual representation of the adjectives that I glean from our consultation. 

I then start to imagine how I can bring those words and feelings to life with our paper choices, the typography we use, the layout, and the final presentation.  There are so many places to incorporate small details and I love coming up with a combination of textures, colors, and details that is a reflection of my clients.


What are your favorite finishing pieces to use with your clients?    

I tend to keep my designs quite simple - so I really love to add interest with texture and finishes.  Of course wax seals are a wonderful way to personalize a suite, especially when used in a more unexpected way than just sealing an envelope.

My favorite finish is probably a wrap of some sort - whether that is paper, vellum, silk ribbon, or fine thread; whether it covers the entire invitation, a portion of it or even folds around it.  There are so many options, all different textures and weights of paper, different ribbon wraps and endless shades of thread.

Wedding planning is so exciting, but it can be A LOT to manage - can you share some words of wisdom for our brides embarking on this exciting journey?

A few things that I hope are helpful:

Try not to make things more stressful than they need to be.  There is an element of stress involved in any large event with timelines, but this is such a special time in your life so try not to get so caught up in the planning that you do not enjoy the months of your life leading up to your wedding.

As your budget allows, hire experienced professionals with whom you have a good rapport and you feel that you can trust and they will be a great help and take things off of your plate.

Do not feel pressure to have your wedding look like the one you saw in that magazine.  Whether you have a large budget or a small one, do the best you can with the budget that you have and remember that simple can be beautiful.

And lastly, remember that your marriage is even more important than your wedding.


Photo Credits
 
Photography by: Tara Lynn |  Styling by: Jenny Sanders

Michaela McBride Calligraphy

Romantic Stationery and Design For The Thoughtful Bride

Known for her romantic designs and love of all things stationery - we were so excited to sit down with Michaela and learn more about her story, her brand, and her take on elegant wedding invitations!

Hi Michaela, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your beautiful brand?

Hello! I'm Michaela, the owner of Michaela McBride Calligraphy - I fell in love with the look and process of calligraphy back in 2015 after my own wedding and I've never put my pens down since! My business started as a little calligraphy venture which I decided to document on Instagram - I could never in my wildest dreams imagine it would be my full-time job, but amazingly, it did!

I work from my home studio here in the sunny Bay of Plenty, New Zealand and am fortunate to have a base of wonderful clients all over the world! I adore my job and getting to create for a living - working within the wedding industry is so rewarding! I find it incredibly special to work with couples through one of the most exciting chapters of their life!

How would you describe your brand style?  If you had to choose one element that creates your iconic "look", what would it be and why? 

I think MMC is an extension of my style and preferences! I adore warm romantic palettes, pretty papers and wispy calligraphy (of course!). The projects dearest to my heart are always embellished with thoughtful elements which add to the overall aesthetic of the suite. Calligraphy addressing, wax seals and ribbons are probably my top three! I think these items really set the overall suite apart and allow for such a beautiful experience as they are being opened by the couple and their loved ones.

Invitations truly are a little insight into the wedding day and I think there’s so much value in these little pieces of paper! As well as a keepsake, which can be forever adored and reminisced. I've never ever had anyone tell me they regret investing into their wedding stationery!

What are the essential pieces to any elegant invitation suite?    

I think it completely depends on the couple, their day and its events! But the starting point is obviously an Invitation and Envelope as well as either an RSVP card (if they wish for guests to mail these back), or a Details card with instructions on where to reply - i.e. website or email!

Some couples with more information on transport, accommodation, dress attire etc., may choose to have an additional card for these details, or direct guests to a website if there is a lot of information (for example, a destination wedding).

What are some of your favorite ways to elevate and embellish your client’s wedding stationery? 

Embellish items are the additional pieces which tie the suite's style and palette together: calligraphy addressing, wax seals and ribbon are a few of my absolute favorite items, but there are so many options - twine, vellum, embossing, envelope liners etc. These items add a little extra magic to the suite. 

What other stationery-related pieces should a couple consider in addition to their wedding invitations? 

It's good to think about your Wedding Day requirements at the time you arrange your invitations - Place-cards, Menus, Table Numbers, Signage, Wedding Programs to name a few!

The requirements will vary depending on the venue and particularly how the reception will function. But these elements are often crucial to the flow of the reception so it's great to think about these early and tie the aesthetic from your invitations to your wedding day details.


What upcoming trends are most excited about for 2019?

Ooh, this a tough one! Maybe because I personally don't really like the idea of trends - I want the pieces we create to be timeless! I hope we'll be seeing a lot more letterpress and foil, handmade papers, romantic palettes and wax seals :)


As our brides begin thinking about stationery for their wedding – what should they know about working with a professional stationer?

When you reach out to your potential stationer its always helpful to have an idea of what you'd like included within your suite as well as an indication of your approximate budget, as it means we're able to make suggestions best suited to you in terms of print methods, paper types as well as embellishment to consider. 


Lastly, what words of wisdom can you share with our brides-and-grooms-to-be as they embark on this exciting life adventure?

Enjoy the process, but remember what its all about! Don't let the details get overwhelming, it's such a beautiful time of life.


Photo Credits
 
Photography by: We Are Origami Photo |  Styling by: Sandra Chau Design  |  Florals by: Trille Floral 

Plume Calligraphy

Organic Design For The Classical Bride

Featuring the artistic works of Aileen Fretz, Plume Calligraphy creates handwritten and organic design for the traditional and timeless bride. 

Working closely with Aileen during the 2018/2019 wedding season on our Plume Calligraphy Collection of wax seals, we got to experience first-hand Aileen's personally attention to detail, eye for design, and love for her work.

Drawing inspiration from beautiful paper, soft color palettes and creating handmade materials, we've been in love with Aileen's work for ages and couldn't wait to share more about her process!

Aileen, thank you so much for being with us today! Can you start by introducing yourself and your brand to our readers?

Hello everyone! I am trained in graphic design and have always dreamt of becoming a stationer for wedding paper. At Plume Calligraphy, we combine calligraphic techniques and graphic design tools to create wedding stationery and brand stories that are beautifully special and unique!

That is so amazing! Are there any other services that our brides can work with you on? 

Absolutely! We offer calligraphy services for invitations, logos, monograms, illustration, envelope addressing, seating charts, menus and place cards. Other services include business branding & identity design, custom stationery & paper goods.

My goal is to create unique, one of a kind wedding paper for my clients.  To create something that they will look back on for years to come as a sort of heirloom that reflects them as a couple at the beginning of their married life.

Now, let’s talk about monograms – classic wedding fare! What are some of the most important steps to follow when designing a monogram? 

When designing a monogram I pay particular attention to how the letters interact with one another spatially. Letters in certain orders will create different shapes, being flexible and allowing the layout to be directed by the letter forms helps create a balanced design.

For all of our brides and grooms out there, why would you recommend having a wedding monogram created by a professional?

When designing a monogram I pay particular attention to how the letters interact with one another spatially. Letters in certain orders will create different shapes, being flexible and allowing the layout to be directed by the letter forms helps create a balanced design.

Speaking of branded weddings – this has become such a big thing – can you share your thoughts on this?

A branded wedding is a beautiful way to organize the aesthetics of a wedding, creating a consistent style that is represented throughout. A branded wedding gives guests insight into who you are as a couple, designing a wedding that reflects the bride and groom in every detail.


Are there any trends that you are most excited to see more of in 2019?

Clean, modern design combined with softer, more traditional elements like silk ribbon and wax seals is a trend that I’m seeing and enjoying for this coming year!


Esther Clark Co.

Inspired Design For The Botanical-Loving Bride

Featuring Esther's gorgeous calligraphy, botanical illustrations and unique style, we are huge fans of Esther's work and are so excited to share her thoughts on elegant wedding invitations and what that means for her and her brand!

Hi Esther, thank you so much for being here!  Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? 

My name is Esther Clark, and I am an illustrator and designer based out of Saint Paul, Minnesota. I’ve loved art all my life but never expected to be able to have a career in it! I graduated from university with a BFA in Fine Art, with an emphasis on painting and printmaking. My current work grew from the relief printing techniques I learned there!

My designs are delicate and detailed, inspired by the simple, natural beauty of plants and flowers, soft linens, and the Flemish and Dutch still life masters. I really enjoy working on wedding stationery and branding design, and I also run a small shop with greeting cards and art prints made from my botanical watercolor paintings.

How would you describe your brand style? If you had to choose one element at the heart of your design that creates your iconic “look” what would it be and why? 

I would describe my brand style as organic and elegant. Most of my work includes some sort of botanical illustration, and I think that’s a big part of what creates the “look” I am known for! I started out doing lots of detailed, vintage-inspired black and white linework illustrations, and I’ve now expanded into realistic watercolor paintings. Both of these botanical elements show up pretty frequently in my stationery and branding designs as well as in my prints and cards!

Photo by Josie Derrick

What are the essential pieces to any elegant invitation suite?
   

I think there’s a pretty wide margin on what’s essential in an invitation suite! Even a simple design digitally printed on cardstock can be extremely elegant if the design and the materials used are high quality. A lot of brides prefer to include a reply card along with their main invitation, and I do think this definitely elevates the feel of the suite!

However, it can sometimes be worth it to do an online/email RSVP and then really invest in the main invitation, since that’s the piece that guests will hold on to as a keepsake. It’s amazing how much finesse a thoughtful detail - such as vintage postage or a vellum overlay - can add to a suite!



What are some of your favorite ways to elevate and embellish your client’s wedding stationery?

My top favorite way to embellish an invitation suite is probably through the addition of an illustrated vellum overlay! Since I have such a heavy focus on my botanical illustrations, I really enjoy incorporating them in this way. Vellum has such a beautiful texture and I love the layer it adds to a suite, as well.

I also really love the unique character that a set of vintage stamps gives to an invitation, and wax seals are another really beautiful embellishment that my brides choose often!


Other than wedding invitations and save the dates, what other stationery-related pieces should a couple consider for their wedding? 

I always encourage brides to consider what they may need for day-of goods while they are planning their invitations, even though it seems early to think about at that stage! Lots of brides will want a program or order of service, place or escort cards, some small signage, or menus at their reception. It elevates the day so much if these day-of pieces match the invitation suite - carrying that consistency through the day is such a lovely touch! 

What upcoming trends are you most excited about for 2019?

I have been seeing lots of blind embossing lately, which I absolutely love! Blind embossing is the process of using a letterpress plate to stamp a deep impression into the paper, but instead of adding ink so that the impression is colored, the plate stays clean and un-inked, which leaves a really lovely, textured stamp on the paper. I’m also excited to see more and more brides incorporating vellum into their stationery!

As our brides begin thinking about stationery for their wedding – what should they know about working with a professional stationer?

The majority of professional stationers have small operations and few (or no) employees and are also talented artists. This means that the process will be more expensive and more time consuming than working with a larger company!

Everything that the bride orders will be worked on exclusively by the stationer from initial design concepts to final assembly and packaging. In my opinion, it’s really worth it to work with a stationer because we know our craft well and we love it so much!! It adds such a personal touch to the planning process as well as to your wedding when you’re working with an artist/business owner who cares a lot about creating a keepsake that will stick with you for long after your day is over!


Lastly, what advice do you have for our new brides-and-grooms-to-be as they embark on this exciting life adventure?

I think it’s so important to just have fun when planning your wedding! It’s so easy to get caught up on all the details and having everything look perfect, but that can add so much stress to your life and take the joy out of engagement. But as long as you enjoy the experience and get married at the end of it, it’s been truly successful.

Finding vendors that you really trust is also wise; working with people who are a good fit for your style and your day will make the process go seamlessly!


Paige Tuzée

Minimal Design For The Luxe Bride

Modern, dramatic and totally gorgeous, Paige Tuzée works with beautiful print, texture and typography to create stunning works of wedding and branding art. For those of you obsessed with beautiful type - keep reading to learn more about Paige and how she creates elegant invitations for her clientele!

Hi Paige!  We are so excited to hear more about your beautiful brand - can you start by giving us a little introduction?  

I am a design enthusiast, sushi obsessed, typography lover from Perth, Australia. I am a sucker for imperfect calligraphy, crisp foil press, luxury paper stocks and monochrome details. I graduated from university with a degree in Graphic Design + Creative Advertising in 2014. I currently work for myself full time, building my brand and online presence and constantly being inspired by the creativity around me.

I love being involved in the creative process of a couple’s special day and striving to create an invitation suite that portrays their style and aesthetic. I love working with beautiful paper stocks and foil pressed print finishes to compliment and enhance a design.

Typography and illustration are my two strengths and are the parts of design that I love the most. I try to incorporate these two aspects of design into any job to push my creativity and be as unique as possible.


How would you describe your brand style? What would you say creates your "signature look"?

“Minimal Luxe” I feel describes my brand perfectly. I love a minimal design with plenty of white space, with touches of handwritten or illustrated elements that that compliment and enhance a minimal design as opposed to competing with each other.

I am mostly known for my typography. All of my designs contain some sort of hand lettered text, whether it is the feature of the design or a smaller detail, it is how I keep my work as unique as possible.

What are the essential pieces to any elegant invitation suite?
   

Less is always more. I love a suite that is really stripped down to the essentials - the invitation card itself, and a details card which can cover gifts and RSVP (unless you do the traditional postcard style RSVP).

I also love mixing colors and textures. I have never been a fan of everything being super ‘matchy matchy’ and I love nothing more than a suite made up of all different paper stocks, colors and textures, that all individually bring something new to the overall suite. These colors and textures must be complimenting to one another of course, otherwise you will end up with a mess!



What are some of your favorite ways to elevate and embellish your client’s wedding stationery?

I feel the printing always takes a design to a whole new level. You can be so creative with printing, with all of the different paper stocks and print finishes available these days. A design on screen is beautiful, but it is truly brought to life through the textures and finishes in which it is printed. This is what gives the design character and personality.

Other than wedding invitations and save the dates, what other stationery-related pieces should a couple consider for their wedding? 

I think the ‘on the day’ stationery is often a bit of an after thought (menus, place cards, signage). But you can be really creative with these pieces! Acrylic is really trending at the moment, and there are endless ways to incorporate it into your ‘on the day’ stationery. 

What upcoming trends are you most excited about for 2019?

A trend that I am super excited about at the moment, which I believe will continue on into 2019, is embossing (blind raised print). I love the subtle beauty of blind embossing, it just adds something different to your usual foil (metallic press) or letterpress (pressed in). You will notice I have been using this technique a lot lately, and I am not getting sick of it any time soon!

As our brides begin thinking about stationery for their wedding – what should they know about working with a professional stationer?

Organization is important. Leaving things until the last minute will usually leave you disappointed and / or stressed! Personally, my foil printing takes 3-4 weeks, so you need to allow at least 6 weeks for the production of your invitations (yes it is a while, but all good things take time) Try to approach your stationer with a pretty good idea of what you are after. It will speed up the process a lot if you have done your research!

Lastly, what advice do you have for all the new brides-and-grooms-to-be as they embark on this exciting life adventure?

Stay true to yourself and what your aesthetic is as a couple. I feel sometimes couples get too caught up in what they feel you MUST do and how things SHOULD be, but I am always a huge fan of couples who break the rules and do things differently to the norm. Your wedding day is solely about you and your partner, so it should reflect that


When it comes to creating your wedding stationery – working with a Professional Stationer is SUCH a worthwhile investment. Not only will they personally create beautiful pieces for you and your guests – but they will help you navigate important details such as etiquette and timing!

During one of our recent brainstorming sessions with Creative Community Member: Hope Johnson, she shared some valuable insight that as stationery designers are often one of the first vendors a bride or groom will work with - they often have more and more involvement in the flow and organization of your wedding and day-of as a whole!

Navigating the wedding planning process can be a daunting task – so finding the right vendors is so important!

Now, for those of you who are making the jump and creating your wedding invitations yourself – we are SO excited to see what you create and we want to help!

Make sure to scroll down for a special gift from us to you to help you on your way!

And remember loves, whatever invitations you send, venue you select, or dress you wear – this is one of the happiest, most special times of your life – take time to slow down and enjoy! 

Xoxo,

Ashley
Team Artisaire



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