Hiring professionals for your wedding is something I’m super passionate about and I’m thrilled to announce a fun new series on the blog! I’m a huge paper and stationery lover, always have been, so it’s no surprise that budget permitting I suggest hiring a professional to design all your paper products, from save the dates to escort cards. Having a cohesive suite can really bring your wedding designs together!
Friends, meet Laura Heymann of Art by Ellie!
Tell me a little about yourself! How did you get started in the wedding industry?
Why do you love it so much?
I have been a graphic designer for ages, but magazine and newspaper layouts became pretty boring and I desperately wanted to create pretty designs. As a designer, even working for an in-house design department of a large corporation or at an ad agency, you are confined to sort of working with the same content over and over. Working on weddings allowed me to change it up because every bride/couple is so different and creating custom designs keeps everything fresh and interesting. It’s fun to see how the industry has changed over time and where the wedding trends are heading based on what our brides are asking for in their designs.
If you could design a stationery suite around any wedding theme, what would it be?
Right now I’m really into the marbled look and sliced stones, geodes, crystals, etc. I love really minimalist designs too, with lots of space, and flourishy lettering. But it’s never about me – it’s about my brides!
Why do you think hiring a professional stationery designer is so important for brides?
The food and cake will be eaten, and the flowers will dry up, but your wedding invitations are one of the few elements of your wedding that will remain an heirloom you can share with future generations as you build your life together. I’m obsessed with vintage paper – old postcards, tiny hand-written paper driver’s licenses, and of course, old invitations. These things remain long after we’re gone. In addition, your wedding invitation is your guests’ first preview of your wedding and gives them a glimpse as to what they can expect with regard to the theme and feel of the event as well as the level of formality. It is so important to get these details right and no matter your style, to send something out to your most precious friends and family members that truly represents you.
A lot more brides are going the DIY route with paper goods, what are the pros and cons to this?
Of course, as custom designers, we don’t see a lot of DIY brides. I think a pro might be cost-effectiveness, but I don’t think invitations are an area you want to cut corners on cost (and not because I’m biased). A major con would be that many times, a handmade invitation looks, quite simply, handmade. If you print your invitations at home, on an inkjet printer (and manage to figure out the irritating and impossible “super-easy” templates included with boxed invitations), inkjet printing can easily smear in the mail. Also, a professional, commercial printer will be able to print on much thicker, nicer paper stock.
Photo Credit: Andrea Elizabeth
How can a stationery designer fit into any wedding budget?
I would recommend that brides allow us to handle everything, of course, which we are happy to do, but one major way to cut costs is to assemble the invitations, once designed and printed by us, at home (organizing the cards, wrapping any belly bands, adhering invitations to pocket folders if using, etc.), and stuff the invitation envelopes at home as well. Put together a wedding party party and put your friends to work!
Photo Credit: Tracy Enoch Photography
Anything else you want couples to know? Any advice for the newly engaged?
I probably shouldn’t say this because it’s so not what the wedding industry (or any industry) tells us, but my honest-to-goodness personal advice (as someone who may be overly nostalgic and is answering this on her own 10th wedding anniversary), is to stay true to details that are important to you, and not to stress too much. I adore what I do and I love creating beautiful work that perfectly matches my brides’ visions, but I fully understand that custom designed invitations aren’t for everyone. For some couples, having a to-die-for wedding video they can enjoy for years to come and show their grandchildren might be the thing they are most concerned with, or a stunning coffee table book of gorgeous full-color candid photos of their big day. Maybe the dress is what you’ve been dreaming about since you were a little girl, or a custom 7-tier confectionary masterpiece that everyone will still be talking about a year later as the “best cake they ever had.” Maybe you’ve always wanted to get married on the beach, or in a castle, and the bulk of your wedding budget will be allotted for travel or the venue rental. Perhaps it’s the ring you’ve been eyeing ever since you used to walk the mall with your girlfriends and talk about that perfect guy you’d meet someday, and his perfect proposal to you. Whatever is most important to you, you will find a way to make it work… and no matter where or how you decide to tie the knot, we are happy to help you invite, announce, and thank all of the most important people in your lives.
Thank you so much for all the awesome advice and heartfelt words, Laura! Speaking from personal experience, Laura is such a joy and breeze to work with. She is such a thoughtful and creative designer and I love getting to work with her!
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