I get a lot of enquiries which, after much back and forth, come down to one thing: cost.
I realize, I am not the cheapest wedding stationer available, nor do I want to be, and i'm sure there are plenty of stationers who would jump at the opportunity to undercut a quoted price from a competitor just to get the business. It happens in every field of business the world over: there is always a cheaper alternative.
But really, there is a lot more to the price of Wedding Invitations than a simple 5x7 piece of card and envelope. This goes for most areas of the Wedding Industry - it is not a case of suppliers wanting to hike the price of their service just because it's wedding related - far from it. There are often lots of factors which influence price.
You can hire a wedding photographer for £300 or you can pay £2,500 - and the same can be said for stationery too. You can hop down to hobbycraft on a weekend and stock up on card and glue and glitter and decoupage butterflies if that floats your boat, and you are well entitied to: it is your day. But it is one thing to head off and pay £50 on materials and compare that to the service received when hiring a stationer.
So what, exactly, dictates price?
I like to use the finest materials available - premium italian cardstock which is FSC approved and sustaionably sourced. I then use premium inks, which resist fading and smudging. These are not your average materials available from your local craft store: these have been sourced after much trial and error.
I create my designs on my computer using the lastest graphic programs, and print using a professional printer with fine pixel print heads.
I have a BA(hons) degree and 10 years working experience in design.
Don't underestimate the amount of time envolved in each order. Each and every single design I carry is the result of weeks of work. Each design goes through multiple evolutions before released for sale. When purchased, each design is then customized and proofs generated for approval. Then they are printed, folded or scored, trimmed, and compiled together, wrapped securely to ensure they are protected during shipment. Just the process of packing an order to ship can take half a day to complete.
Each enquiry I receive can involve upto 10 or even more emails. Those enquiries which lead to an active order can then involve a further 20. Phonecalls and meetings and sample printing. Answering emails often consumes my entire morning.
So there it is: a very basic breakdown of what goes into a Vanilla Retro order. I appreciate cost matters - my own wedding was truely done on a shoestring budget. But please, when considering which supplier to go with on your Wedding Day, be sure to take into consideration the above - comparing an ebay seller who will do 50 invitations for £25 is not the same service, or indeed Product, to a professional wedding stationer. Choose wisely, as your invitations are the first experience a guest has of your wedding day - be sure to give the right impression.