Before you book your wedding stationer…

Before you book your wedding stationer…

The planning!
Planning a wedding is a BIG thing! It’s like a project in it’s own right, but as such the thinking behind planning your wedding stationery should also be treated the same.
Why?

There are lots of important details you need to be clear on before you can really be clear on how your wedding stationery fits in. The thing about your wedding stationery is that it sets the scene. It really does begin to tell the story of your special day, it’s the first and last clue your guests will have about the journey the two of you have taken together, from sending Save the Date cards to Thank you cards when the big day has passed.

I’ve met so many brides over the years who’ve sent save the dates ordered from one of those internet printing places (you know the ones) before they’ve even looked at wedding dresses, it’s something that’s often done as soon as the venue is confirmed.
There’s nothing wrong in this at all, there’s no right or wrong when planning your wedding, but it can be such a missed opportunity.  By just waiting a couple of weeks in the really excited period of your wedding planning you can create such a pretty picture in the storytelling and really wow your guests from day 1. You might have started a pinterest board where you can see everything else taking shape and then realise those bargain postcards just don’t fit in with the theme at all.

Having said that what a lovely unexpected surprise for your guests to then be presented with beautiful handcrafted loveliness inviting them to your special day a few months later – it truly does depend how much the ‘whole’ picture matters to you. Does it all need to be just so?

So before you stock up on stamps and update your address spreadsheet have a think about your theme. Have a think about the ‘feel’ of your big day and what you want guests to remember it for. Do you want it to feel a bit ‘thrown together’ or do you want it to be seamless? Every little detail you take the time over is what will leave a lasting memory, for them but also more significantly for you.

‘There is no Should’

You can make this a picture perfect memory from whatever point feels right to you. Don’t rush into sending Save the Dates just because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do.
Here’s a few things to consider before you begin planning your wedding stationery.
1.  Guest list – are there any restrictions on this ie venue or budget?
2.  VIP guests – make sure you consider grandparents, godparents or anyone extra special in your life.
3.  Dates – when do you need to to send them, when do you wish to receive your RSVPs by?
4.  Timings – are you allowing enough time to have them made?
5.  Wedding details – are both venues confirmed?
6.  Themes – there is a world of choice out there!
7.  Colours – your colours are not your theme, they can be different but still related in some way.
8.  Evening numbers – remember you only need to count your daytime guests once!
9.  Cost to send by post (are they bulky or especially large?)
10.  Your budget – an important one to consider for every aspect of your wedding planning.
11.  The reliability/ reputation of the supplier – have you found them by recommendation or by chance?
12.  Have you got a clear idea what wedding stationery items you need? if you sign up here to receive my newsletters I can send you a FREE wedding stationery checklist!
13.  Can they provide you with bespoke design if that’s what you want? And will this cost extra?
14.  Do you need to make time for an appointment or can it be done via email instead?
15.  Are you ordering from a real person or a website? Consider if its not a nearby supplier that there may be extra costs for them to be sent to you before you can post them out, and the extra time needed for this.
16.  Have you seen their work or any samples or are samples available?

Once you have all of these answered and if you have already found a supplier then move on to the next stage of booking an appointment or ordering a sample. You should always ALWAYS make sure to see a sample of their work no matter how pretty the pictures look, if time is of the essence then see if you can get to a wedding fayre where they are showing their work or something like that, and set your mind at rest. I can’t stress this enough having met so many brides over the years who were really disappointed once they had received samples from individuals whose work just wasn’t of the standard expected. Make sure there is going to be enough time to get everything done as is needed.

I’ve got so many hints and tips to share with you so I won’t keep waffling on for now but I hope this has helped and perhaps given you something to think about that you might not otherwise have thought of.
I’m always here if you have any questions about planning or booking your wedding stationery – I’m just at the end of an email address and available for a cuppa and a chat if that is what you would prefer.
What lovelier way is there to begin organising for the biggest day of your life?

I look forward to hearing from you if you need to know any more,

Much love,
Jacqui xx

Keep Calm! Its ‘only’ a Wedding! 20 tips to keep your inner Bridezilla (or Groomzilla) at bay!

Keep Calm! Its ‘only’ a Wedding! 20 tips to keep your inner Bridezilla (or Groomzilla) at bay!

So you’ve booked your venue

and started thinking about all the things that are going to make your day special. In fact you can’t stop thinking about it and don’t seem to be able to hold a conversation without slipping it in there somewhere. You are not alone!

Here is a fun, light hearted look at some of the ‘wedding things’ that can turn the calmest nearlywed into a fire breathing Bridezilla!

(Genuinely not intended to be patronising, with years of experience in the wedding industry i completely understand this is a very real problem…..)

1. Planning

Make a plan and try to stick to it. You’re probably buzzing with ideas and you may feel like your head will explode if you don’t get them all out asap but don’t let it stress you out. If you achieve today’s or this week’s most important ‘to do’s’, give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself with a bit of a break.

2. Time Out

Make quality time for you and your fiance together – without talking about the wedding. Try if you can to set aside one evening a week or arrange a ‘date night’ where the ‘W’ word is banned.
After all, a wedding is one day your marriage will be for life.

3. Yawn

Don’t become a bridal bore, especially when out for an evening. People are likely to ask ‘how is the wedding planning coming along’ and genuinely want to know, but try and limit your answer to maybe ten minutes. Remember there are other things going on in the world than your big day – however excited you may be.

 

4. Details, darling!

There are going to be lots of finer details that will make all the difference to you on your big day – but don’t sweat the small stuff! Remember that even though you know how you pictured your special day, others won’t know about those little tiny pieces of the jigsaw which may or may not go to plan. The important thing is to remember how you feel about marrying your sweetheart – not what shade of pink your table sprinkles are.

 

5. Girly time!

Make a night to spend with your friends and enjoy being ‘you’. If Bridezilla shows up at your BFF’s house you could lose out on a quality friend (at least for the time being). A good friend is for life not just to hold the train on your dress.

 

6. *Relax* and be HAPPY!

This is the most exciting thing you can plan for and you need to enjoy the journey. Make time to pamper yourself before the big day. Even if you think you will be far too busy to find time for then you should probably make time as a priority. Those last couple of days are undoubtedly easier for having had a nice de stressing massage in the run up to the big day itself.

 

7. Accept help (when offered).

A problem shared and all that. A girly get together to ask your friends for a little help with the planning might be appreciated. As bad as a bridal bore is a bride whose friends feel they are no longer important enough to be involved. Speak with them honestly about whether they want to be involved – but try not to be offended if they say no too.

 

8. Review your plan if necessary.

If in the first few months you feel you’re not getting anywhere, then prioritise. Is deciding on what flowers to have in your centre piece more important than the colour scheme? I would say not. You don’t have to know everything about your big day over a year before. Some of these details could easily change with current trends and you might even change or get bored of your colour scheme along the way – it can start to feel a little familiar as you go along. If all’s going to plan – great, pat yourself on the back and relax for a bit!

 

9. Stop worrying!

There is quite simply no point in panicking about things that ‘might’ go wrong. Worrying will do you no good and can only take away from any enjoyment you may find in today.  A happy bride is a healthy bride!

 

10. Delegate.

Choose one person you can trust implicitly to deal with anything you either can’t or don’t have the time to deal with. Explain to them from the start that its not for the faint hearted but that you do trust them enough to be your first choice – and that you would do the same for them.

 

11. Show your appreciation!

When friends or family (maybe members of the bridal party) go out of their way spending their own free time trying to find you the perfect killer heels or sweetheart necklines, be gracious enough to say thank you. Don’t just assume that an invitation to be your maid of honour is thanks enough.

 

12. Shop and spend wisely.

If you’re going to be planning your wedding for the next 2 years, don’t buy the entire contents of your local craft or homeware shop on day one. So many times I have seen brides trying to sell different styles of centrepiece because the fancy took them when they got up one Sunday morning. You’re not looking to open up a shop afterwards! If it’s a special or limited offer ‘must go today’ that can sound great but just remember – those silk chrysanthemums might look nice on your dining table but do you really want them at your wedding, on the most special day of your life?

 

13. Don’t torture yourself!

You booked your photographer, only to find they had a special offer on 3 months later. Or that your friend’s brother’s auntie paid less for them last year. It is a pity but it really won’t ruin your big day – you picked them for a reason. Know that they will do the job you have paid them for and ultimately you chose them, so you have got the supplier you wanted.

 

14. Choose your suppliers carefully.

Pick ones you can trust. Cheap work isn’t always good, and good work isn’t cheap! If you take your time and choose/use quality wedding suppliers (by recommendation is a good way) build a working relationship with them. They have earned their reputation by looking after their brides, not just by fulfilling an order/request. Your wedding is equally important to them. If you can trust them to produce your wedding favours to the standard you want, to shoot the photos you asked for, to make the eye-catching, mouth-watering cake you saw in a magazine, then there’s a whole lot less for you to worry about. Have faith in them.

 

15. Yours isn’t the only wedding!

A little goes a long way – be courteous to keep them on side. That late night amendment to the wording on your invites is super important to you, but emailing it at 10pm, then texting at 7am and ringing at 9am on the dot to check it has been received (this happened to me once) is probably pushing the boundaries a little. If you have trust in them from the start all will be well.

Daily emails hounding for more and more updates may be a little extreme. Also be aware of the seasonal shifts when trying to contact them. An unanswered phone call mid August to a photographer for example doesn’t mean they have gone out of business, but they may simply be at another wedding! May to September can be incredibly busy for many wedding suppliers often working between 10 and 14 hour days – that was probably one of the reasons you chose them, because they are good at what they do. Please just bear that in mind when you’re about to post a rant on their facebook page.

 

16. Just breathe!

If for whatever reason your planning does go belly up, remember the 7-11 technique. Maybe your venue has double booked you, or changed hands and raised the cost of your wedding package (this happened to a handful of my brides one year). Whatever the case, it will all be okay in the end – as they say, everything happens for a reason.

Stop thinking for a moment, breathe in through your nose to the count of 7, and out for the count of 11. This decreases carbon dioxide levels in the blood (while also giving you something else to focus on), reducing anxiety and panic attack type feelings.

 

17. Contain your ideas.

Either get yourself a pretty box file or a small treasure chest type box – even just a plain cardboard box if finances are an issue. Use it both as storage and as a symbolic tool for your mind. When you are planning you can rummage through everything in there to get your ideas together, when you feel like you’ve had enough, literally just put everything back in the box and close the lid. When the box is closed, you don’t need to be thinking about whats in it, giving you a little bit of space and a clearer, calmer mind.

 

18. And so to bed.

I love the quote ‘Never let the sun set on an argument’. In the same way, make a pact with your significant other not to discuss the wedding as the very last or very first topic of the day – even if you’re thinking about it!

 

19. Hold on a minute.

If things go wrong (as they sometimes can) with any of your suppliers, your venue, or any of your plans, or if they make a mistake, don’t pick up the phone to a friend or rant it out on social media – make a point to resolve it first. Contact the involved party and try to find a solution – they should be keen to do this anyway. The more you think or talk about the problem the bigger it will become and if you haven’t first tried to find a way around it then it can never be fixed. If they don’t know you have a problem they can’t help.

 

20. Last but not least

Lastly, if planning your wedding seems to have taken over your life, find yourself a new hobby, go for long walks with your fiancé or join the gym together. Focus on something you can continue to do when the sun has set on your wedding day, you return from your honeymoon and seem to have a whole lot of time to spare! It could save the potential anti-climax from all those months of planning.

 

And of course – Good luck from me!

Table Names, or Table Numbers? Here’s a list of 20 ideas…..

Table Names, or Table Numbers? Here’s a list of 20 ideas…..

 

The fun part of planning your wedding must surely be making it all about the two of you.

 

There are so many ways to put a personal ‘stamp’ on your special day and your guest tables is a fantastic place to start – after all they will be spending quite a while here after the ceremony!

Many couples just can’t decide what would ‘work’ as a name theme for their tables, and often end up taking the easy option of numbering them. But I think there are lots of fun ways to really make it your own, here are a few suggestions.

1. Names of places you have been together, that make special memories

Paris, London, New York… or town names like Nottingham, Loughborough- maybe they mean something to you. It could be a fun game for your guests to work out why they are special to you.

2. Favourite colours or shades of a colour

Lilac, Purple, Aubergine, Lavender, Orchid for example.

3. Precious gems

Diamond, Pearl, Ruby – This could also work to represent how many years you see together in the future, aim for Diamond, always!

4. Numbers, but not the traditional kind

I love the idea of a table lay out that uses numbers relative to the couple getting married and the guests can have fun working out what they mean. How many days you have been together, how many days between ‘going out’ and getting engaged, how many days you will spend on honeymoon, how many times you watched your favourite film… there are lots of fun ways to get this list together too.

5. Names of your favourite couples

They could be celebrities, or special members of your family like grandparents, great grandparents, couples in favourite films or plays.

6. Sweet treats

Name your tables after your favourite sweets. You could also incorporate this theme into your favours. Love Hearts, Dolly Mixtures, Liquorice Bootlaces.

7. Nature lover? how about favourite country walks you’ve done together

Tissington Trail, Aysgarth Falls.. or perhaps National Trust properties you like.

8. Planets in the solar system

I have done stationery going one step further incorporating constellation names!

9. Favourite films

Moulin Rouge is ours, it is so romantic and has some special memories for us too.

10. Something personal to you both

It could be quite random, what about places you have been to while dating, or maybe brands you both like to buy.

11. Cars you have owned together or between you over the years

Astra, Punto, Captur to name just a few of ours. I’m sure there are far more interesting but maybe your dream sports cars would be another idea.

12. Favourite animals

Think about what kind you like and if their pictures would look cute if used to really theme your stationery.

13. Family members

This can work for you if you want to remember lost loved ones, you could use their names for your tables. I have seen it done.

14. Pets

Names of pets you may have owned or favourite family pets.

15. Glamour

If you are going for a glamorous theme how about Hollywood Movie Stars, or perhaps styles of shoe – Stiletto, Platform, Kitten Heel

16. Sci Fi theme

naming your tables after characters in Star Trek, or favourite sci fi films. Its a great way to get your other half involved if they are struggling to get excited with the wedding plans.

17. Favourite Books – characters and/or quotes

How about Mr Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Georgiana Darcy…. or Bridget Jones and Daniel Cleaver!

18. Numbers

Again.. but what about in a foreign language to add romance to the theme… Un, Deux, Trois.

19. Bird watcher?

No problem, think of your favourite birds, or best places to go bird spotting.

20. Favourite chocolates

Now there’s a mouth watering theme with many favourites! My current favourite is Marvellous Creations!

 

And what a perfect ending to today’s list!

My luxury brand and matching website is one year old!

My luxury brand and matching website is one year old!

It seems impossible to believe that one year ago this week I relaunched my little business as a luxury brand.

It was such an exciting time, and I felt ready to change how the world saw me and my biz. I changed how I had appointments with couples, to be able to treat them to a nice cuppa and cake in a local tea room.

 

It has been an amazing year for Fuchsia Fairy, both personally and professionally and now that I have seen more of the kind of weddings I LOVE to work on, I am even more excited to see many new couples in the coming months too.

I am very relaxed in how I approach couples at wedding fayres, none of that hard sell stuff. I know that when people are drawn to see me at my stand its because they love my work, not the amount of money they might be able to save. This means that the couples are truly happy about booking with me when the time comes, because they have more confidence in me and my products rather than temporarily being happy about perhaps having saved a few quid.

Couples people really can tell that I care about my work for a start.

I am not one of those companies who posts ‘just look how many orders are going out this week’ what seems like every 5 minutes.

Is it a bad thing that I don’t appear to be mad busy all the time?

I wouldn’t say so.

I have always valued good customer service in making my own purchases

and there really is nothing much bigger than paying for your wedding (except maybe buying a house but that’s something else entirely!) because you can invest so much of yourself in it. So I know that brides who value that service are going to be the kind of people I want to work with.

 

I love that I have the kind of business that means my own time is valued

 

I’ve had so many lovely emails from brides in recent months who are genuinely just as interested in having a bit of a chat as they are about getting their stationery sorted out – sometimes we forget it’s a supplier/customer type of relationship and chat as if we have known each other for years.

I think I’m very lucky to be able to offer that, as well as impeccable attention to detail, which is a must for me.

“Someone said it was the nicest invitation she’d ever received”

If you’re looking for someone who is able to offer that level of service, then why not get in touch?

 

Would you like tea and cake with me?

Would you like tea and cake with me?

I love my time with excited brides and grooms to be.

 

More often than not, we meet at a wedding fayre or my work is recommended by a lovely variety of suppliers I work well with – or by other happy brides who have used my services. However we cross paths, I always like if possible to spend a bit of time getting to know you.

There’s nothing nicer than a sit down and a cuppa!

It’s a nice informal way to have a bit of a chat about the big day, find out what sort of feel it has, and see if my work suits the style of the wedding too. There’s a lovely tea room local to me which works really well for this – they know me in there now as I’ve been using it for a while, I have a table earmarked which gives us plenty of light to see colours as clearly as possible, with enough space should you wish to bring any family or friends with you for the appointment.

 

There’s always a nice relaxed atmosphere in there, it’s one of those lovely places where they have quirky teapots, all sorts of different teas, coffees, soft drinks and a delicious choice of cakes should you wish to try those too (rude not to!) – in fact one of my couples at an evening appointment recently opted for a beer and a gin instead so there’s always that option if you really want to!

 

 

I don’t book my appointments too close together so that you can take your time making any decisions that you might need to make, about the designs, choosing any colours to coordinate with your theme, and have a full brochure of font choices, wording ideas and gift poems too, not so many it confuses but enough different options to really help you personalise your invites and stationery so they suit your personality (there’s none of that fill the blanks stuff when you book with me!)

I don’t ‘do’ the hard sell

(I’m no good at it!) but I tend to find the couples that choose to go ahead and book do so because they love my work and feel comfortable and confident in me and my way of working. I talk you through the booking process at the appointment so you know how and when things will need to happen – and you receive a printed version of this later on once the booking Is confirmed too. I like to make it as easy as possible for you because there’s already so much to think about for your wedding!

 

The main reason for our appointment

Is to get as much information together as possible about what you want for your stationery, I will get the ‘nitty gritty’ detail down, such as names, venue, times and dates for your wedding so that when it comes to creating a sample invite – which costs £5 if you would like one – it looks and feels as close as possible to your finished invites and we can tell from this if the chosen colours and embellishments (if relevant) will work with everything else you are having for your big day. None of this is set in stone, but its so helpful to have a design in front of you with your own names (and makes it feel sooo real too!) so we can make decisions about it moving forward to getting your invites booked in.

 

I do find that by the end of the appointment my couples already have a pretty good idea whether they will be wanting to book with me once the sample has been completed (and some just pay their deposit there and then!) so its important for you too as I want you to know that I am the right person to trust with this very important job.

 

 

Now that you’ve found out a bit more, if you’d like to book your own tea room consultation (no obligation) why not pop me an email and find out what availability there is or to ask me any questions you may have about it. I am all about making this easier for you and I don’t bite – in fact I would love to hear from you and find out more about your wedding.

 

 

I can’t wait to hear from you,

 

Much Love,

Blog Series – Let’s talk about Daytime Stationery. Part 2

Blog Series – Let’s talk about Daytime Stationery. Part 2

If you want to know more about planning the stationery for your Wedding Day then look no further!

I am here to guide you through the various items needed for your Wedding Stationery on the big day.

Welcome to the 2nd in my mini series.

In the 1st post, I talked about why it can make such a difference having all your stationery made to match throughout your wedding planning – it really can make a big difference you know.

Here is the first instalment which will help you understand how important your wedding stationery is in capturing your guests imagination on the big day.

So what are all the different elements of daytime stationery? (let’s call it that, as some of them wont be used anywhere near the table!)

 

Here is a breakdown of some of the first few things you might need – more to follow soon!

 

Welcome signs:

Sometimes, it’s not all that clear upon arrival at the venue where your guests are meant to be going, depending on the type of venue of course – so why not have a lovely personalised sign pointing them in the right direction? I have seen many different styles of these over the years and I can easily make something that co-ordinates with your other stationery – depending of course on the style of your venue. There may also already be something arranged by the venue if it is something they consider your guests to need a little assistance with for whatever reason, perhaps there are additional rooms at the venue and a little guidance is needed.

Order of the Day:

These might be found on an easel or similar as your guests enter the venue, laid out clearly for all to see, it guides your eager guests to know what to expect, and when – what time can they expect a welcome drink, or the speeches to start for example? When should they be poised with their cameras at the ready to photograph your first dance? All of this information can be incredibly useful for those guests who are keen to find their space at the wedding breakfast table (or perhaps have small people to keep amused for the duration). These look lovely if you have them done to coordinate with your seating plan at either side of the wedding breakfast room as guests enter – or perhaps outside of it so they can read it while they’re waiting. Its also a nice idea to have something on your tables using the gorgeous 3 sided cards I have available, to give your guests all the info they need as they are sitting down listening to the speeches.

 

Table/Seating Plan

Ohhh, now here’s one of ‘those’ subjects. (You know, the ones that are likely to keep you awake at night!)

Are Table and Seating plans the same thing? Yes, it is just a different name.

If you want to be clear where each of your guests are sitting, which table, who they are next to, I would (and I usually do) call it a seating plan. This can be one of the particularly stressful areas of wedding planning, as if you really want your guests to mingle, or perhaps know some of them would prefer to be on a quieter table, you will probably have spent hours trying to figure this out. Read here for a few ways you can keep this simple. As this is probably the case, you don’t want all that work to be wasted when your guests arrive at the venue and battle to sit with their best friend because otherwise they won’t know anyone!

These look really beautiful when professionally done – carefully created to match your theme, all the guest names carefully spell checked and printed underneath the appropriate table name or number. It all helps everything to flow so perfectly on your special day, because who wants the guests trying to find a quick 5 minutes to check with you who they’ve been sat next to?

 

 

It can also help immensely if your guests have carefully chosen what they would like to eat on the day, nothing worse than pickled people as they all try to remember what main course they wanted 3 months ago when the invite came through.

 

***Top Tip***

I have seen this done so often, please save yourself a little time by not thinking you need to know who is sitting where when you plan out your invitation list. There may well be a proportion of your guests that aren’t able to make it, and you will have spent hours poring over these ideas only to have to rearrange everything again. You don’t have to know everything from day one of your wedding planning, you really don’t!

 

Table Name or Number Cards

 

These are essential if you have already gone to the trouble of carefully seating your guests on the seating plan.

It will make it much easier for them to find their way to the corresponding table (these can be named or numbered, depending on what you have decided, but here are some helpful suggestions if you need them).

So imagine you have 6 tables and the top table – you might not think its necessary to point out which is the top table, and that’s absolutely fine, but if you did want everything to fully coordinate then its another way you can just perfectly finish it off. For the remaining guest tables you will have decided which one is number 1, and may have a list of between 7 and maybe up to 12 guests sat there, when they see they are named on table 1, a prominently placed card on the actual table will help them find their way quickly and easily.

This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many times I have this conversation at wedding fayres so I thought it would be helpful to write a little more about what exactly they are. It’s also worth noting at this point that you have choices as to whether they are done on a freestanding card which can sit just nicely in among beautiful centrepieces you will have carefully thought out, or you may prefer to have a single sided one that sits in a little holder and raises it proudly above everything to help them stand out a bit more. It can depend a lot on what is going on with the rest of your table, you don’t want it looking too ‘busy’ either.

Gosh. I have surprised myself with how much there actually is to say on this subject – there are still lots more items to talk about so I will continue it in the next couple of posts rather than overwhelm you with all the information at once. Does that sound like a good plan?

 

 

You can always contact me using the pretty sparkly box above if you need me in the meantime.

I will leave you to think a little more about how this could work with your dream wedding table layout –  I might even be able to put you in touch with someone who can help with the décor if that is still in the planning!

I do have a brand new freebie in the making right at this moment so by the time I have written the next post – you will be able to get your hands on it with any luck! But just for now, if you haven’t already got your hands on the fab FREE wedding stationery checklist, pop your details over to me by clicking on the pretty picture beneath, and I will be right in touch with it for you.


I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Super sparkly love,