You might remember me featuring Peace, Love & Letterpress previously on In Spaces Between, but if not, let me introduce you to the woman behind this gorgeous Australian company, Bec Connell.
Based in Victoria, Bec’s career trajectory has seen her dabble in graphic design, fashion and hospitality over the years, but it was in discovering (or more appropriately, falling head over heels in love with) letterpress printing that she knew she had truly found her passion. After convincing her husband Jase, who does the behind-the-scenes stuff for the business, that letterpress was the way to go, Bec purchased her first ‘Heidelberg’ Letterpress (affectionately referred to as “Mike”) in 2008 and the rest, as they say, is history.
I asked Bec if I could pick her brain about wedding invitations as firstly, I adore letterpress, and secondly, I know – only too well! – that finding the perfect stationery for your wedding can lead to a whole lot of head scratching and deliberation over fonts, wording and all the rest.
I have no doubt you’ll find her responses as useful as I did. Make sure you head over to Peace, Love & Letterpress when you’re finished to say hi and check out Bec’s beautiful designs!
Bec, I’d love to hear a bit about the Peace, Love and Letterpress story. How did you get lured into the wonderful world of wedding invitations/ stationery?
I am a romantic, I LOVE love! I adore weddings… but I have to say that it wasn’t really my intention to get into weddings. It all started with the love of letterpress printing. With a background in graphic design, I’d always loved using different print techniques and the first time I ran my fingers over a letterpress printed card I was hooked! I bought my first press shortly after and learned the ropes from retired printers. The business started with greeting cards and personal stationery, but quickly grew to include custom designs and invitations. Now weddings are most of our business.
Where do you find your inspiration? Any favourite blogs or sites you frequent on a regular basis?
I find inspiration from all over – fashion, wallpaper, all things vintage, photos from our travels, food. Cookbooks always inspire me as well, even though I don’t like to cook! I love fabrics, I’m big on mags and am a blogoholic. Favourites of the moment are Oh So Beautiful Paper, Design* Sponge, Grey Likes Weddings, Lotti Loves and I adore all interior blogs (especially Scandinavian ones).
Wedding invitations really set the tone and feel for a wedding. What are some of the big trends you’re currently seeing? What themes or ideas are you personally loving?
Whimsical wording and handwriting/calligraphy are very popular at the moment. I’m loving couples veering away from the very traditional wording and adding a touch of their story and personalities to it.
When it comes to the wording for wedding invitations, what information needs to be included?
Wedding Style Guide have an eBook available called Very Inviting – it is a gem if you need some help with wording. You may also like to include an additional information card with the invitation which could include things like suggestions on accommodation, a map of locations, gift registry information, dress code etc.
How far out from The Big Day should brides be looking to order their invites?
This varies depending on the printing methods and design you are after. For a custom letterpress suite, I like to begin the design process anywhere between three to six months before you would like to send them out.
And when should the invitations be mailed?
Traditionally six to eight weeks before the big day – but because people are so busy these days it’s starting to extend out from anywhere between eight to 12 weeks.
Do you think ‘Save the Dates’ are a necessity, or are brides embracing alternative ways of notifying their guests of their nuptials? I’ve seen ‘Save the Date’ videos and email/ online invitations – are these becoming more popular as a cost-saving measure?
‘Save the Dates’ of any kind are a great idea, especially if you are inviting a lot of guests that will have to travel. I think the format depends on how much detail you want to provide to your guests. As a paper person I’m always for sending (and receiving) things by good old snail mail, and I think this is the best option if you are suppling guests with details like accommodation suggestions. In saying that there has been some very cool save the date videos floating around the web lately and I’ve LOVED them!
While we’re on the topic of budgeting, what are some costly mistakes to avoid when ordering wedding invitations?
Remember the number of guests you are inviting is not the quantity of invitations you need. Some will go out to families and a lot will go out to couples, so do your guest list and work out who you’ll group together on an invitation before you finalise your numbers. Ordering double what you need is obviously costly, but finding out you are short and needing extras printed can also be an expensive mistake. Make sure you check and double-check your proofs. It’s always handy to have a fresh set of eyes look over it as well.
And finally, as a “happily married” who has been through the wedding planning process (and come out the other side smiling!), do you have any advice or words of wisdom to impart to brides-to-be?
On the styling side of things, gather together images you like and create a mood board or folder (I loved the Kikki K wedding planning folder) of the look you’re after. When making decisions look at these images and work out what fits in with the overall look and what feels best. This process will also help you explain to florists, stationers and photographers what look/feel you are hoping to achieve. Most of all have fun with it. The lead up and planning is so exciting and is such a lovely part of it all. Make sure you enjoy it and don’t sweat the small stuff!
Big thanks Bec for all your wonderful, practical tips! And lovely brides-to-be, the inspiration doesn’t end there…
Beautiful wedding stationery resources:
Rifle Paper Co.’s products feature the whimsical designs of Florida-based Anna Bond, often including hand-painted illustrations and lettering to compose a style that feels both nostalgic and timeless. Most of Rifle Paper Co.’s goods are printed on soft, heavyweight paper stock and all stationery products are coupled with classic pointed shaped envelopes.
Graphic designer Kimberley Canale infuses vintage elements and found objects in her work, preferring to work with time-honored techniques. She favours engraved invitations and calligraphic envelopes, while finding creative ways to make mass-produced products feel chic and timeless.
Oh So Beautiful Paper showcases fabulous stationery design and is dedicated to providing a resource for readers seeking inspiration and designers for their personal stationery projects, from wedding invitations to business cards to calendars and seasonal holiday cards.
Love vs. Design offers modern vintage wedding stationery and cards, available in three different printing options to fit everyone’s budget: DIY Ready-to-print PDF, Digital Printing and Letterpress. Love vs. Design also offer printable templates that can be downloaded instantly for free or for a small fee.
Hello! Lucky are a specialty letterpress printer and design studio and have been creating wedding invitations, greeting cards and personalised stationery since 2003.
Established by Kate Holland in 2005, the Ruby & Willow philosophy is simple; to create a beautiful product that reflects not only the tone of the event, but your personalities as well, all whilst providing an enjoyable and seamless experience.
Minted is a global community of independent graphic designers and an online store that prints and sells the best of their designs in the form of paper goods.
A few more fabulous vendors + a helpful guide:
+ Betsy White (be sure to check out their gorgeous blog too)
+ U + U
+ Benign Objects: Vintage style printed hankies
+ Wedding Invitation Ideas Lookbook via Invitation Crush
Well, didn’t that turn into a gigantic post! Hope you enjoyed it!
There are also a plethora of fantastic Etsy stores out there that sell creative invitations, so have a dig around and see what takes your fancy. Finally, if you have any suggestions or think I’ve missed some of the big ones, please feel free to add a link in the comments. I want this to be a growing list that continues to be added to over time, so please feel free to share away or pimp out your business if you work in the wonderful world of wedding stationery. x
Other posts in my Ultimate Guide to Your Dream Wedding Series that you may have missed: