How do consults work?
So what exactly happens in a consultation?
So you want to get wedding invitations, but you've never done this before right? What should you expect?
Set up a date!
Ok, step one - book an appointment.
But when? I recommend setting up your initial consult 6-8 months before your wedding. That will give you time to absorb what I have to offer and come up with a game plan for what your ideal invites are.
The earlier you book, the more likely it will be that my production schedule is wide open just for you. I do have to set a limit on the number of projects I can take in any given month. When you book your invitation order with a 50% deposit I block out a full month to work on your designs. Usually that is 4-5 months before your wedding, but it can be any time that you are comfortable with.
Before you come in...
Before you come in, start planning and looking around. Look around my shop and note which invitations you like. Look for colors, fonts, graphics, and layouts that grab your attention. I custom design each invitation so I can combine elements of different designs together.
Get your guest list together! I don't need an exact count, but I do need a pretty accurate ballpark - am I looking at 50 invitations or 200?
Pin, pin pin! If you have a Pinterest board - send it over to me so I can look at it ahead of time!Before you come in, it is really important for you to fill out the Consultation Questionnaire. Before you come in to see me, I go through that information and get myself ready. Everything on there helps me get a better feel for what your wedding might look like.
You can expect your initial consult to last about an hour to an hour and a half. The goal isn't to design your entire invitation quite yet - it's a chance for you to look through my past work, for us to talk about your vision of a wedding invitation and for you to leave feeling confident that I will design you the prefect invitation.
When you first come in, there's a lot to go through, but I want to hear from you first. Tell me about your wedding. What do you already have booked? What is your grand vision for you wedding day? What is your personal style? Bring along any color swatches that you are using as well as pictures of things that you like - invitations, decorations anything! Show me pictures of things you've already purchased, your dress, your bridesmaid's dresses. Anything that I can use to get to know you better.
Next I'll ask the big question - What does your dream invitation look like?
Your invitations are the very first thing that a guest will see about your wedding. It will tell them if it's a formal wedding, casual, or off beat. The tone that you set not only with the paper you choose, but with the wording, fonts and design will set the stage.
It's OK if you don't know exactly what you want though! Think about it ahead of time and look through samples of my work to get an idea of what you love and what you hate. I'll have samples of everything there for you to look at in person, feel the paper, and really get an idea of what designs look like. Telling me what you definitely don't want is almost as important as telling me what you do like. Secret tip - I'm not offended if you don't like some of my designs. I have a variety that appeal to different crowds and I know that one invite doesn't fit all!
The next big questions - How many do you need and what is your budget?
Budgets are so important. I know how expensive weddings can be and I don't want to be the one to cause you undue stress. I don't judge if you want to spend $3 or $15 - I'm here to work for you and to make you something that you not only love, but something that you can afford. There are limitations though so if you love pockets, belly bands, and need 3 double sided insert cards but only have a $4 budget, I know we'll need to find some areas to trim in order to make it work. On the flip side, if you want an invitation to impress and want all the bells and whistles - I can do that too.
Next up, we work on a basic design concept. I'll tell you what I have to offer. We'll go through the materials that I use, colors I can work with, and different styles of invitations. You can look through my color swatches and sample invitations and pull things that you like.
Before you leave I'll run through the different ideas that we have discussed. I can pull together paper colors and swatches to show you what things will look like. We'll talk more in detail about a design timeline and what the next steps for you are. The goal during the initial consult is for you to get comfortable using me as your designer.
You don't have to fall in love with one design, just feel confident that I can make a design that is perfect for you. If you know right away that you want to work with me and we have a game plan in place for your design, I ask for a $250 deposit to hold your design and production dates (4-5 months before your wedding). All of the major details (paper colors, design, quantity, ....) are amendable after this time, but your deposit is not refundable. Your deposit puts your wedding project on my production schedule. I do fill up and turn clients away during peak season - January through August.
The remaining balance of your order will be due in installments as we go through the design process - the remaining 50% before I order the paper and the remaining balance before I hand them over to you.
Need time to think about it?
I completely understand if you aren't comfortable committing to a particular design right away. I am happy to send you home with complimentary swatches as well as a consultation packet that is a summary of the things we talk about, but is also a sample of a pocket card invitation.
Once you leave I will put together 1-2 digital art boards to show what the invitation we discussed would look like. I don't customize any of the text, but I will change thing to your layout and color so you can really see what it looks like. I will also provide pricing information for various options to give you a wide range of choices that fit within your budget. I am happy to show you up to 5 variations, beyond that I do request a $250 deposit on the order.
If and when you decide that I am a good fit for you (and I hope you do!!), I'll ask for a 50% deposit on your order to reserve design and production time for you. I can either email you an invoice or you can stop in and pay it in person.