Couples planning further ahead, with save the dates on the rise

Good morning everyone. Today on the blog I have a really interesting article by bespoke, laser-cut stationery designers, Intricate Creations, talking stationery trends and what brides and grooms are spending on in 2013. I’d love to hear what you think – what does where couples place their budgets say about how they feel about their weddings?

When it comes to bespoke stationery, each couple is unique, with their individual requirements and personal touches. That’s what makes designing their stationery so special, as we really get to know couples along the way and capture their personalities through the design process.

However, when it comes to the type of stationery being ordered, rather than the design or wording, we find there are some clear trends emerging among our clients. The first distinction is budget related. We have couples with a large stationery budget, who would like everything from save the dates to thank you notes and all the pieces in between, couples who have a more limited budget but can be flexible, and finally couples with a strict budget and a good idea of what they would and wouldn’t like.

It’s when budgets are more limited that we see trends emerging in which type of stationery our couples prioritise.

All images in this post belong to Intricate Creations

How much are people ordering?

We’ve noticed that a lot of our couples like to order as much as possible, to carry their stationery theme consistently through their big day. A not insignificant 70% of our orders usually contain more than three different items of stationery such as save the date, invitations, RSVP Cards, menus, place cards, table numbers or names, a table plan and any of the other items we offer.

However, which items they pick within those selections can be very telling. For example, just a year ago, save the date card orders were rare, with an average of about 5-10% of our clients opting to precede their invitations that way. This year, save the date cards are extremely popular, chosen by 40% of our clients.

Putting two and two together, between the increase in orders and couples ordering their stationery further ahead of time, we feel this is due to couples planning their weddings further in advance and placing more importance on stationery with a “wow” factor.

With so much available and  clients making bolder choices, widening the scope for some serious creativity, stationery is not only a source of information for wedding guests, but is catching up with the dress and the cake in terms of its impact. In the last year, we have seen a surge of clients ordering bigger, more impressive stationery pieces for their wedding, from huge, laser-cut menu boards to over-the-top table plans, which make for fantastic keepsakes after the wedding.

Another way to say thank you

Interestingly, thank you cards are our least popular items. Over the years, we have only sold around 20-25 stationery packages that include thank you cards. The process is very familiar too, as they are initially added to quotes, but couples usually opt to take them out in order to boost the budget and prioritise things like the invitations, or stand-out pieces for the big day, with the view that they can order the thank you cards later (which rarely happens) or make a personal phone call to say thanks.

However, where clients are finding another way to say “thank you”, they are sparing no expense when it comes to customising their stationery. Rather than risking ruining their invitations with a wrong step when hand writing, clients are opting to print their guests’ names on invitations and place cards, and are also addressing envelopes this way, rather than by hand. In the last year, over 50% of our clients have chosen this bolt-on option for their stationery package.

The way that couples approach their wedding is changing. Stationery is more personal, from carefully customising each item to choosing a stationery package that tells a story throughout the wedding day, and making personal phone calls instead of sending cards, weddings are becoming more about the intimate celebration and what it says about the bride and groom.

Do you think that thank you cards have become less important? Stationery designers, does this fit with your experience? Is the economic climate forcing you to plan your wedding further ahead? We’d love to hear from you! 

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