So you've decided to start a wedding stationery business - congratulations! And you don't want to spend a fortune on products while you're starting up - understandable. We've got a few tips and tricks below to help make things as simple and cost effective as possible.
Materials for Your Stationery
One of the biggest costs to start with is going to be materials. If you're designing bespoke stationery together with your customer, you likely want them to have a range of choices and that's great, but there's no need to spend a fortune on specific products. To get a sample of one product in every size, colour and style would be an enormous cost on the off chance that just one customer might want a pistachio green place card some day. It's considerably easier to have one sample of a place card / postcard blank / card blank / pocketfold in any colour, and a swatch pack* of colour options to choose from.
For many bride and grooms, the classic white, ivory and cream options are still a popular option, with accent colours added through embellishments, layering onto more card or design options. However... there are so many shades of white ivory and cream. I can recall helping our two directors when The Paperbox first launched and let me tell you we just sat and stared at the sheer range of shades of white on offer. And that's before we even start looking at textures! Back then we were only looking at stocking one shade, but today we stock enough ranges that there is a difference in colour between them and you certainly want to make sure your bride and groom are happy with it. Again, swatch packs are the most cost effective way to show a selection of shades and textures for bespoke designs.
Even if you plan on having a number of specific designs for customers to choose from, it doesn't hurt to give them other colour options. Just remember if you're used to designing a particular style on a certain colour, consider how a darker or lighter coloured base might affect the final look!
If you are set on providing multiple samples of one style in different colours, consider the current wedding colour theme trends. Pistachio green, while a beautiful and unique shade, is significantly less likely to be chosen than a rose gold or navy theme. Your swatch pack is going to come in handy if that customer does come along with dreams of a pistachio hued day!
Be familiar with card blank and postcard sizes - this may sound silly, but although you and me may eat, sleep and breathe card and paper sizes, not everybody does. It is always worth double checking that when a bride says she wants it in A6, that A6 is actually what she's envisaging. From our experience the most common misconceptions come from A5 and A6 sizes.
There are a few things to consider with pricing; your time, possibly delivery and the materials themselves.
Firstly, for card blanks and postcards, are you going to purchase these already cut and pre-creased, or are you planning on getting A4 and cutting it to size yourself? Figure out what you have the means to do effectively at home and what you need supplying already sized/creased. This might change over time, but when you're starting out don't put too much pressure on yourself to do everything from scratch. It can be more cost effective to spend a small percentage more on something the right style and size than spending half your day creating the same number of blanks sheets from marginally cheaper A4 products.
Some materials cost more than others in the same style, make sure to factor this in! Pearlescent card is typically more expensive than matte card, so decide if you're going to price individually based on the specific product or if you are going to factor the difference in to an overall cost.
Is the product on sale? While that's a bargain for you, don't base your pricing on this because it will eventually return to full price and possibly leave you short.
Although we don't have listings for every colour we stock in A4 available in other styles (such as pocketfolds), we do try to help wherever we can. So if that pistachio green themed wedding we've talked about does come along, don't hesitate to get in touch and we'll see what we can do!