Stationery that’s moving with the times
14 Jul 2011
Stationery that’s moving with the times
The wedding invitation is your guests’ first glimpse at what is to come on the wedding day, and if you’ve got a theme, incorporating it right from the beginning is the best way to make the day flow. Sophie Stainthorpe spoke to an expert to find out what’s hot in wedding stationery.
Everybody wants something different, that’s the mantra of Zoe Vawser of Dottie Creations. Together with business partner Mandy Carter, she’s been designing and printing bespoke and unusual wedding stationery for discerning brides since 2008.
“I think people want to make a statement with their weddings now,” she said. “Twenty years ago, weddings were all very similar, with neutral colours and the odd accent of gold. Now, everyone wants something different to make their day stand out from the rest.”
And as the wedding invitation will form your guests’ first impression of the wedding, it’s important to get it right.
Zoe has witnessed people becoming bolder in their design choices, and this is where Dottie Creations really come into their own. “The most popular themes are vintage, which is massive at the moment; regal, which is a really opulent design; lots of black, white and hot pink; butterflies, which took off about three years ago and will probably be around forever now; and lace, brides love lace.”
Zoe and Mandy first met when working together as designers at a plastic packaging company in Wisbech. The pair had often talked about starting up on their own business, and when their employer went under they saw it as the perfect opportunity to follow their dream.
Dottie Creations was formed as a combination of Zoe’s passion for stationery and Mandy’s love of photography, enabling them to offer a full design package, incorporating photographs in thank-you cards and stationery artwork in photo albums. In fact, if you book both your stationery and photography with Dottie, there is a 10pc discount.
Their signature product is an invitation wallet which contains all the information guests need in an envelope-style package.
“I got the idea for the wallet while working on packaging design,” explained Zoe, who has a degree in art and design. “It’s a very neat design, with a bold design on the front and the invite printed on the inside cover, while an RSVP postcard and an additional card which can contain information on gift lists, accommodation or menu choices, are tucked inside.”
Zoe admits that these are the top end option, but for a more cost effective product they do a simplified version that looks very similar but is simply folded card, rather than a wallet.
Beyond this you can take the design as far as you like, incorporating it into place settings, table plans, order of service and guest books. “People are really in to coordination at the moment and we can take the design across the whole range,” said Zoe.
Being such a small team, designing and printing everything themselves, Mandy and Zoe can offer the flexibility to change things so that the customer gets exactly what they want.
“We have a collection of designs but they are not set in stone,” said Zoe. “We can change them to the couple’s wedding colours and often they look completely different. Sometimes people choose very unusual colours and you’re not sure that they’re going to work, but then you put them together and they look great.”
It costs £10 for a sample invitation in any colour, and if a subsequent order is place this is taken off the final cost.
If the couple wants something really different, then Dottie Creations also offers a bespoke design service, which can incorporate any themes they wish.
It’s not unknown for Zoe and Mandy to be so happy with a bespoke design that they add it to their general range. However, this is only done if the couple are in complete agreement, and the bespoke design fee is refunded in full.
“Creating a bespoke design is quite a long process,” said Zoe. “It takes about two months to bottom out the design. The approval process is also very time consuming, then once the design is approved it takes about a month to print, so all said we recommend starting your stationery arrangements six months before the wedding.
“It sounds like a long time but it needs to be right, and when you see the end result, it’s worth spending the time over.”
Dottie Creations, 01354 660804, www.dottiecreations.com