Branding Your Wedding
By Elizabeth M. Tettleton | Photography courtesy of Grace Anne Byrd and Sheri Scruggs
Tell your love story from the save-the-date to the thank-you cards with custom-designed stationery.
The internet is flooded with options for brides. From blogs to Pinterest, professionals and amateurs, brides can become quickly overwhelmed when being told what they should want when it comes to wedding papers and stationery. Instead, they should be getting assistance in discovering what they truly need.
It can be an undertaking that comes with a hefty price tag, especially because brides are usually looking at professional services for stationery for the very first time.
Two Oxford-based stationery designers Sheri Scruggs of p. press papers and Grace Anne Byrd of Grace Anne Byrd Designs help couples craft images that depict their unique styles and can brand the wedding from start to finish.
Know Your Budget
“You have to decide what is most important to you,” says Scruggs. “Knowing priorities dictates where you use your budget.”
Your budget for your overall wedding is important to establish, but deciding a specific budget on save-the-dates, invitations, thank-you cards, enclosures, etc., is most crucial to determine in the beginning phases of the journey, Scruggs emphasizes, especially if stationary is one of the top prioritized must-haves.
“I don’t want to show a bride something she can’t afford,” says Scruggs, who has a PDF packet she emails to brides who reach out to her. “It helps me establish with her what the real cost of what ‘she’s seen before’ actually is before we meet in person.”
Scruggs has found this approach helps her brides reduce frustration and not waste time, and they can both gauge if meeting for a consultation will be beneficial. Her company provides options for a range of budgets. By offering digital printing and outsourcing to other printers, she says she is able to offer brides exceptional rates.
Artists Bring Details
Artist Grace Anne Byrd provides hand-calligraphed images. Her work is uniquely “you” and is an example of personalization for a signature life event.
“Every piece of artwork starts as a conversation with the client to nail down what’s important to them,” says Byrd. “How I can perfectly encapsulate words and artwork will become a treasured work of art for them for years to come.”
She offers four types of calligraphy, and specializes in hand-calligraphed envelopes, papers, cards, and enclosures, but she also takes her art to a larger format that continues to narrate the couple’s love story long after the wedding day.
“These custom pieces of artwork have contained scripture verses from the wedding service, wedding vows, lyrics from the first dance, or a quote that is meaningful to the couple,” Byrd explains.
One piece of Byrd’s work that has caught attention on social media was the laundry room of a friend she recently hand painted.
“In years past I’ve tried making wallpaper from a collection of hand-painted watercolor patterns,” says Byrd. “When I wasn’t able to make the wallpaper designs transcribe to wallpaper like I wanted, my friend asked me if I could just paint a pattern on her laundry room wall.”
Getting What You Pay For
In the business world, “you only get one first impression” with your next client, and the same can be said for every detail of a wedding when communicating with guests.
Some styles of paper printing dictate the thickness and type of paper required, but aside from that, the weight, touch, and feel make a more significant impression on the recipient. Scruggs understands that this realization is not something that translates for brides without them being able to feel the product in their hands.
“I require an initial consultation,” says Scruggs. “I have found that you cannot translate quality online, through photos or through email.”
And there’s a distinct difference between ordering a save-the-date from an online printer versus a quality printing house that solely prints as their craft.
“I don’t print anything from my home,” says Scruggs. “I outsource to quality vendors I trust that handle those aspects. I create the layout, the design, and mediate the order, but I’m not printing and pressing in my own home.”
Scruggs then has items drop-shipped directly to the client, or to herself and then delivers to the client. Essentially, p. press is the intermediary and the quality control that the “do-it-yourself” option doesn’t provide. Invited guests, quite literally, will feel the difference.