Wedding invitations and event stationery in general are a fundamental part of the event design and decor, but, for some reason, in Italy, they are often underestimated. How many times have we been told “but people throw them away immediately after the event…” ! And our answer is always… “yes, they do if they are ugly!” Otherwise, in fact, guests tend to remember the small details of the ceremony and to hold on to stationery items more jealously than to wedding favors.
Moreover, we strongly believe that beautiful flower arrangements accompanied by a suitable stationery suite give the event a completely different tone.
For this reason, one of the services that we offer as Boutique Events is help in defining the design of the perfect graphic suite that can really do justice to the work and care that our couples and clients usually put in the planning of their events, be it invitations, business cards, brochures, or a nice, perfectly coordinated and tailor-made full stationery suite.
In order to do this, we work with excellent graphic designers and with reliable printers that can guarantee the quality of the printing process, be it digital or letter-press printing.
Today, we dedicate this space to a graphic designer that we really love and who offers our clients a generous discount. For both these reasons, and for having accepted to answer our questions, we want to tell Valentina of Cut and Paste that we are very thankful!
How long have you been doing this?
I have been a graphic designer for about 10 years, but I decided to venture into wedding stationery only a couple of years ago.
How did you start?
As sometimes happens in life, when you least expect it, something is capable of changing everything. For me, the turning point coincided with my wedding, when I chose to personally take care of the graphic design. This very personal project was unexpectedly very much appreciated by the people with whom I shared not only my wedding day, but especially the previous months, during which I chose every single detail. The end result of this work was the right push to open a blog, where I could talk about my portfolio and the sources of my day to day inspiration.
Day after day, thanks to my dedication and stubbornness, followers have started to arrive and so have the first collaboration projects and the first tailored-made wedding stationery jobs.
Do you think that the Italian market gives event stationery the attention it deserves?
To be honest, I don’t, and this was one of the reasons that pushed me – first personally and then professionally – towards the world of event stationary design. I often wonder how it is possible that in a country like Italy, which is the birthplace of great artists, designers, and stylists, this reality is often ignored and made anonymous and banal. The only answer I can think of is that, in a country so bound to traditions, it is hard to escape from them and perhaps even to reinterpret them.
What do you think is the importance of stationery for an event?
It may seem obvious, but I think stationery is crucial, because, not only does it help outline the main theme of the event, but it “announces” it by making a statement about the unique “mood” chosen for the occasion.
Your style is very different from the traditional Italian wedding invitation style: where do you find inspiration for your projects?
Inspiration is something that cannot be controlled. I can go days without finding the right solution to put pen to paper and then all of a sudden, BAM! American and British blogs are my “daily bread”, but often that which “unlocks” my creativity might have nothing to do with the world of stationery: it might even be just a walk in the park near where I live.
What elements should always be part of a graphic suite for a wedding?
Starting from the announcements and invitations, which anticipate the style chosen by the couple for their wedding day, I generally recommend they add a coordinated ceremony booklet, or at least its cover, the seating chart with table cards, menus and tags for the wedding favours. Moreover, if they are open to the possibility of extending the graphic suite to get to a truly unique project, I recommend they add containers for the rice, placeholder tags, tags for the candy or dessert buffet and last but not least, a guestbook.
Do you have ready-made customizable suites or do you design a unique suite for each event?
Those who contact me are usually looking for something exclusive and tailor-made. However, in order to offer something original but at a lower cost, over the past few months, I developed a small portfolio of standard suites that can be customized to reflect the color palette chosen for the event.
How do you proceed to design a unique graphic suite after the first contact with the client? How do you figure out what is most suitable for the occasion?
The ultimate goal of a tailor-made project is to reflect the style of the event and the personality of the couple who contacts me. For this reason, the creative process always begins with some kind of a brainstorming that allows me to get to know not only the choices that have already been made for the event – e.g. the location, the floral arrangements, etc. – but also the little things and the interests that have brought the bride and groom together, which, with the addition of a good color palette, can become the basis for the design of unique wedding stationery.
What are the most common requests that you get?
Besides quotes for tailor-made graphic design, which, as such, are very different from one another, the letterpress and laser printing processes (the latter made possible thanks to a recent investment on a laser machine which will hopefully help me enhance my portfolio) are the products which most interest my readers.
Do you take care of the printing process as well or do you provide the graphic design alone?
Generally, those who choose me for the design of their stationery also rely on me for the printing process, but in the past, I’ve also worked on the development of the graphic design alone, leaving the couple free to commission the printing elsewhere.
Which printing techniques do you use for your projects?
My creations can be adapted to all printing methods, but because of the good value for money ratio, the majority of my customers end up choosing digital printing, which the least expensive solution, but also somewhat “limiting”. As a matter of fact, if you want to include something “special” in the project it might be necessary to resort to other methods of printing and finishing.
How long after a customer first contacts you is a the complete graphic suite ready?
The development of a comprehensive tailor-made stationery line takes at least forty days, which includes the time required for brainstorming, coming up with a design, precisely defining the individual elements of the line and actually have them ready for printing.
If you could choose your ideal wedding stationery suite to design, what would it be like?
My ideal wedding stationery suite would be suitable for a small ceremony with a few close friends, celebrated at the beginning of the fall, among the trees, in a small forest on a cliff from which you can see the sea. I would choose a very neutral palette: white combined with green and brown. The wedding announcement, the invitation and the map to get to the ceremony location would have to be engraved on wood paper, wrapped in tissue and tied together with some rustic string. The invitation kit, enriched by a couple of small white-painted pine cones, would be placed in a cardboard box personalized with the monogram of the couple and padded with a soft bed of moss.
During the ceremony, the guests, wrapped in warm green and brown blankets, could follow the function with the mass booklet printed on kraft paper and, at the end of the ceremony, they could greet the bride and groom with white and green paper confetti placed in machine sewed bags.
A series of painted wooden signs would show the way to the nearby reception venue. The American-style seating chart would be made of large wooden boxes filled with moss on which a white pine cone with a name tag printed on kraft paper would be placed for each guest. The table cards would be printed on the same wood paper as the invites, and the menu, one for each guest, would be printed on kraft paper and tied to the napkin with a small white wooden pin out of which the couple’s laser engraved monogram would peep.
Tissue pom poms would frame the dessert buffet table, on which small wooden tag, lit by romantic tea lights, would help even the most greedy of the guests make up their mind. Guests could bring home some sweets and candies to enjoy on the following days using personalized green and brown bags.
Finally, the monogram of the couple, covered in moss, would decorate on its own the corner where the guestbook and wedding favors would be placed. For the occasion, wedding favours would consist in baby pine trees placed in small jute bags completed by the miniature printing of instructions to make it grow strong and healthy.
Which is the creation you are most proud of?
You never forget your first love, right? So, instinctively, I would say the first one, inspired by Ireland, and designed for my own wedding … even though, after some time, and with a critical eye, I would change a few details!
Do you have some anecdotes for our readers?
I have no special stories to tell, really. I’m building my professionalism day after day, sometimes making mistakes, but always trying my best to make a career out of a passion I know I have always had… at least since when, many years ago, I would have my mum buy boxes and boxes of crayons just to find the perfect pastel apple green!
It hasn’t always been easy, but now I have the right green in my pencil case and this makes me proud… as proud as when, just over a year ago, Oh So Beautiful Paper chose to publish my first tailor-made wedding stationery design.
Another big thank you for Valentina! And we recommend that all our future brides and grooms contact us at least 6 months before the wedding so as to be able to plan the perfect design for your event! For further information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org