We asked Kerrith, owner of Simplicitè Creative Studio to give us a bit more insight into her company and to help brides understand exactly what goes into wedding stationary.
How long have you been in the wedding industry?
I have been in the wedding industry for nine years, but have been doing wedding stationery for the last three years.
What made you get into weddings specifically?
I am obsessed with details and that is one of my favourite things about weddings. Incorporating all the details about the couple into their special day.
Do you have to study to do wedding stationery?
There isn’t a set course to study for wedding stationery but most designers study graphic design and then decide to specialise in wedding stationery.
How big is your team?
I am the only designer but I do have an admin assistant that facilities all of the client quotations, invoices and the production with suppliers once I have finalised all of the designs.
How do you price your stationery for weddings, is it per person or does it depend on the type of items the couple wants.
It generally starts with the design fee (per hour) based on the amount of elements that need to be designed and then we move on to the production cost of each item which would then be multiplied by each guest.
We always get this question, “I have 100 people at my wedding, how much will my stationery cost?” As professionals, we know that there is much more that goes into the stationery design and the per person options, but can you explain this in more detail for those that are not sure how much these things cost?
It is important to first distinguish the couples wants in terms of what they visualises for the look and feel of the day. For example, is signage important to the couple such as welcome signage etc, directional signage etc. For the ceremony, will a ceremony program be necessary if there are hymns and special readings? When it comes to the reception stationery, how many table numbers are necessary, would they like personalised menus for each guests, thank you favours, what kind of seating chart? Then once the needs are set out, it is time to work together with the planner and florist in choosing the finishes and details in order to create a cohesive look and feel. I always feel that the stationery should complement the rest of the wedding decor. Budget of course plays a huge role in this, so it is always helpful to provide the stationery designer with an estimate budget allocation so they know what to suggest to the couple.
What trends do you see for stationery 2021?
I am still seeing a large pull towards minimal inspired design and a strong emphasis on typography which is my favourite. There is still a bit of greenery and floral inspiration when it comes to graphics being incorporated. I am starting to see a bit more silver as a metallic accent where before gold and rose gold were the stars of the show. Matte pastels are also not going anywhere and add a fun modern look wedding stationery suites. Vellums and acrylic also don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Do you have a minimum spend when it comes to weddings?
I don’t have a minimum spend, I have created stationery for elopement dinners and those can be just as special as for a wedding of 200 PAX.
How many weddings do you do a year, and do you ever do more than one wedding on a wedding day?
It all depends on how busy the season is, but a minimum of 40 weddings is usual. I can luckily do more than one on a day as the stationery is generally handed over in the weeks leading up to the wedding and I am usually not required to set it up on the day.
How has the lockdown and the corona virus pandemic impacted your work?
The lockdown has had quite a devastating effect on my business as it has brought it to a grinding halt. Luckily I have great working relationships with the planners that I work with and they were great at communicating the progress of postponements with me when the lockdown was first enforced so I could pause all printing immediately. Fortunately nothing went to print that couldn’t be used and I have allocated the new dates to the existing clients, but it has been tough in terms of new business as brides do not know what dates weddings can start up again, so it is very difficult to start working on save the dates and invitations. Another challenge is that “on the day” stationery is usually left quite late in the process once the rest of decor look is conceptualised and the budget calculated, so it is super quiet at the moment while it is all so uncertain. I am anticipating a huge rush when we eventually start up again, but I am missing it so much so I am ready for it.
Your top 5 tips for couples with regards to stationery.
1. Prioritise what is important to you and rather focus on those key elements and allocate budget to those and make them amazing instead of doing every little idea you come across on Pinterest.
2. It sounds silly but take the time in the beginning of the design process to ensure you have the correct spelling of guest names and proof read everything to avoid expensive printing mistakes as there is nothing worse for a guest at a wedding to have something with their name mis spelled.
3. Take into account the entire table setting and how much space the guest will have when sitting at their place setting. Comfort is key, especially while dining, there is nothing worse than them having to squeeze their personal belongings such as a clutch bag, phone, wallet etc around a place setting that has glasses, thank you gifts, menus, name cards, large table numbers etc. Try to double up on stationery elements such as a personalised DL menu card that is placed on their under plate or side plate for example.
4. Table numbers and seating charts are one of the most important parts of ensuring a smooth entrance for the guests into the reception, make sure that they are clearly laid out, legible and easy to see and access to avoid confusion and guests aimlessly wandering around.
5. Think very carefully about what thank you gifts you provide your guests with, will they be easy to transport home without being damaged or will they be left behind, thus costing you unnecessary money which could have been spent else where. If you are giving sweet treats such as cupcakes or macarons, make sure the packaging is pretty but also practical and protective. A thank you favour is always a wonderful gesture for your guests but it is important to be intentional when selecting them.
To get in contact Kerrith and chat about your wedding stationary, you can view all the details on her website: https://www.simplicite.co.za/