WEDDING STATIONERY TIMINGS: A USEFUL GUIDE

The questions we receive most often at Ananya from our couples typically revolve around timing of their wedding stationery, and the stages of the design process. Of course, there’s no right or wrong, and the details will depend upon what makes the most sense for the kind of event you’re hosting – but we thought it might be useful to provide you with an overview of recommended timescales.

As soon as you’re engaged

Photography:  by Lumiere

Photography: by Lumiere

Start researching any stationers whose style you love – it’s never too early to reach out to them to let them know you would like to work with them, so they can start scheduling you in and give you plenty of time to work with you, especially if you would like bespoke wedding stationery. Many couples like to send out an engagement announcement, maybe with a lovely photo of the proposal!

As soon as you know the date and venue

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You can place your save the date order at this stage – and you can give as much or as little information as you like. Date and location are key, but of course if you already know it will be a certain type of celebration (for example, multiple days), that’s something you can let guests know now.

6-12 months before the wedding

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This is a typical timescale for sending out save the dates, but of course this will depend on your guest list and venue. If you are planning a destination wedding, giving your guests more notice is advisable, so they can make holiday plans as needed.

6 months before the wedding

Photography:  by Lumiere

Photography: by Lumiere

Start discussing your invitation design with your stationer, particularly if you’re looking for something bespoke or that requires more specialist printing techniques and finishing touches, such as wax seals or calligraphy. Having an idea of your style of décor, dress, colour palette, and flowers, is a great help when deciding on your stationery suite, as it can be a lovely way of setting the tone. Do ask for samples and physical mock-ups when you can, as holding the paper in your hand is very different to seeing it on a screen! When placing the final order, it’s always a good idea to order extra (at Ananya, we advise 10%) to account for last-minute invites, personal keepsakes, and any mistakes during addressing and assembly.

2-4 months before the wedding

Start discussing your on-the-day reception stationery, like menus, table numbers, orders of service, signage, place cards, and so on. You won’t be able to place the order until you have the final guest list and menu, but this is a good time to brainstorm the design.

2-3 months before the wedding

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This is a typical timescale for posting invitations out, but again, this will depend on what is right for you. If your guest list is large, and you’re thinking of doing ‘waves’ (that is, waiting for some RSVPs to come in before inviting another group) then do try to give yourself a little bit more breathing room.

1 month before the wedding

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Typically, your RSVPs would be due by this point, which means you should have a final list of who is attending and their dietary requirements (which means menus can be confirmed, too). You should also have a good idea of what your ceremony structure will be at this stage. This information should be passed on to your stationer as soon as you have it, so they can finalise the on-the-day stationery order. Many couples also order their thank you cards at the same time, so they have them ready for when gifts start arriving, or for when they return from honeymoon.

2 weeks before the wedding

Photography by:  John Nassari

Photography by: John Nassari

One of the elements of the on-the-day that is ordered latest is the seating plan, as this can often be amended quite last minute!

1-3 months after the wedding

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Couples often like to send their guests a thank you card within a few months of the wedding, thanking them for their attendance and gifts. Including your favourite photo of the day, or any you’ve received from your photographer at this stage, can be a lovely touch.

We hope this guideline has been helpful in making you better informed about wedding stationery timings. If you have any questions or require further clarification, please get in touch; we would be delighted to assist.

 

5 NOT-OBVIOUS THINGS YOU NEED TO ASK YOUR WEDDING VENUE BEFORE BOOKING: PART TWO

Here we continue our tips and advice from Part 1 of Kelly Chandler Consulting’s guest blog.

This is Part 2 of the key areas and questions couples NEED to ask their venue or potential wedding venue before booking.

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4. Minimum Spend and Minimum Numbers   

Do ask about minimum guest  numbers you are required to pay for if  you decide on this venue or what  minimum spend  exists (minimum spend is sometimes used by restaurant type venues who  don’t  mind  how  many  guests or  your  choices but need you to  hit an overall amount  of revenue that  they  would  expect  to  earn  from  hiring  their  venue  exclusively  to  you  for  that  certain  date  and  time). Some  venues  charge  venue  hire  and  that  is  that  but  others  charge  a  venue  hire  based  on  a  minimum  number  of  guests  paying  X  for  catering,  so  be  sure  you  are  clear  on  what the  financial  investment  will  be  (including  VAT)  from  the  outset. It’s  all  very  normal  to  have  some  kind  of  minimum  as  at  the  end  of  the  day,  the  venue  knows  how  much  revenue  they  need  to  earn  to  maintain  their  building,  keep  it  running  and  in  great  condition,  provide  the  staff for  your  wedding  pre-planning  and  on  the  day  and  plenty  more.

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5. Corkage and Drinks Service Charge   

Sometimes  the  purchasing  of  wines  and  bar  drinks  through  the  venue  is  an  essential  part  of  your  wedding  booking  and  corkage  (so  that  you  can bring  in  your  own  choices)  can  be  seen  as  a  prohibitively expensive  option. On other  occasions  venues  are  happy  that  you  bring in  your  own  drinks  directly  or  via  your  caterer,  sometimes  charging  a  service  fee  for  things  like  refrigeration,  glassware,  removing  empties  etc – it  really  depends  on  how  that  venue  is  structured  in  terms  of  a  business;  there  is  no  right  or  wrong  but  just  ensure  that  if  you’re  wanting  to  manage  the  choice  of  drinks  entirely  (I  wouldn’t  recommend  it,  there’s  a  lot  to  sort  to  stock  a  full  bar)  that  you  have  a  venue  who  can  offer  it  or  that  the  corkage  fee  is  within  your  budget. So I hope your head  doesn’t  hurt  now  but  that  you  feel  empowered  to  ask  the  right  questions  to  ensure  the  venue  you’re  choosing  is  absolutely  spot-on for  you. The right venue should spell  out  a  lot  of  the  above  but  if  you’re  not  clear,  they  should  be  helpful  and  friendly  in  explaining  their  policies  to  you  and  why  (and  these things  should  be  in  their  proposal  or  T&Cs),  so  don’t  be  afraid  to  ask. And happy  planning,  with  the  perfect  venue  booked  and  secured,  you  can  enjoy  the  creative  process  and  all  the  gorgeous  wedding  details,  ideas  and  professionals  to  help  you  bring  your  glorious  day to life. 

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Thank you once again Kelly for enlightening us on the not-to-be-forgotten and not-so-obvious points we need to raise with a wedding venue before booking. We are sure that our Ananya readers will find these tips very helpful.

If you’re  an  established  or  start  up  wedding  venue  and  would  like to  know  more  about  working  with  Kelly  Chandler  Consulting  to  elevate your  offering  and  achieve  greater  success,  do  take  a  look  at  www.kellychandlerconsulting.co.uk or  call 01483  282858  for  details  of  their  consulting  and  training  programmes.  

If you are looking for stationery ideas, please have a look at our wedding collections.

Photo Credits:

Venue: Warmwell House, Dorset: https://www.warmwell-house.com

Photography: Imogen Xiana https://www.imogenxiana.com

Florals: https://www.marthaandthemeadow.com

Cakes: https://www.fanciebuns.co.uk

Bridal Accessories, Hair and Make up: http://www.victoriafergusson.co.uk

Model (bride): http://www.tanyalouisecumberland.com

Bridal gowns: http://www.naomineoh.com

Silk ribbons and silk runner: http://www.pompomblossom.com

Cross back chairs & wooden bar unit for cake/champagne station: http://dpmarquees.co.uk




  





5 not-obvious things you NEED to ask your wedding venue before booking: Part one

Finding  that  utterly  perfect  and  spot-on  location  to  host  your  wedding  celebration can  be  a  tough  job.  The  choice  is  limitless  and  if  you’re  not  tied  into  a  specific  geographical  area,  then  the  world  is  quite  literally  your  oyster  and  your  hunting ground! It should  be  a  fun  part  of  the  planning  and  once  you  have  found  and  secured  that  ideal  venue,  many  other  parts  of  planning  your  vision  do  click  into place. It is  the  biggest  part  of  the  planning  and  so  important  to  get  right,  so  Ananya is delighted to be  hearing  from  wedding  venue  consultant  (and  former  luxury  wedding  planner),  Kelly  Chandler of Kelly Chandler Consulting who  shares  her  tips  with  you  in an in-depth, two part blog, on  some  of  the  things  to  check  before  you  secure  your  venue  to  be  absolutely  sure  it’s  for  you;  there  is  no  right  or  wrong  to  some  of  these  suggestions  and  restrictions, and  some  will  be  fine  for  you,  others  not  -  the  aim  with  this  feature  is  purely  to  give  you  the  knowledge  to  ask  the  questions  of  the  things  that  are  hot  on  YOUR  priority  list.

Kelly Chandler

Kelly Chandler

Part One

1. Exclusivity  and  Venue  Use

Warmwell House
Warmwell House, Dorset

A  great  many  wedding  venues  now  offer  exclusivity  or  some form  of  exclusive-use  such  that  you  are  the  only  wedding  on  that  day  in  that  venue.  This  can  however  mean  different  things  within  different  venues  so  don’t  be  afraid  to  ask  and  get  specific  on  things.  For  some  locations  exclusivity  can  mean  you  have  exclusive  use  of  a  certain  dedicated  banqueting  area  but  say  not  bedrooms,  for  other locations, it  can  be  full  exclusive  use  of  an  entire  home,  gardens  and  grounds,  for  others  it  can  be exclusive  use  between  certain  hours  and  not  others. Do  find out  when  your  exclusive  use  starts  and  ends  as  every  venue  should  have a  policy  on  this  and  sometimes  it’ll  be  for  the  day  from  early  start  and  sometimes  it’ll  include  an  overnight. Find  out  what  their  policy  is  on  other  events  and  other  clients  and  if  they  run  exclusive  use  events  back  to  back  (or  not);  don't  be  afraid  to  ask  about  supplier  access  too  -  in  some  cases  venues  will  allow  suppliers  to  gain  access  early  to  set  up  the  design,  in  others  it’s  a  strict  access  time  for  anything  to  do  with  your  wedding.

2. Recommended/Preferred and Approved  Supplier  List   

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Outdoor seating

Get  super  clear  on  a  venue’s  policy  with  working  with  suppliers  and  outside  wedding  professionals  and  see  that  it  works  for  you.  There  is  a  difference  between  a  recommended  or  preferred  supplier  list  where  the  venue  is  usually  giving  you  the  benefit  of  their  tried and  trusted  list  that  you  can,  but  are  not  obliged  to,  use  and  an  Approved  Supplier  List  which  is  usually  where  you  MUST  pick  from  that  list.  It’s  quite  customary  for  a  venue  to  have  an  Approved  list  you  must  use  in  the  areas  of  catering,  lighting  and  production  and  entertainment  and  marquee  build,  when  you  consider  these  are  the  areas  which  require  a  lot  of  equipment  and  run  the  greatest  degree  of  risk,  it’s  vital  that  venues  have  control  over  the  quality  and  professionalism  of  who  works  with  them  in  order  to  protect  their places  and  spaces  for  all  clients. Many  venues  will  be  more  than  happy  for  you  to  use  your  own  chosen  suppliers  in  many  areas  - do  ask  if  and  how  they  will  be  able  to  obtain  access  to  view  the  venue  in  advance  of  the  wedding  as  this  can  be  needed  in  the  case  of  for  example a  florist  who needs  to  see  a  new  space  before  coming  up  with  full  designs  for  you.  

3. Rules and Restrictions   

It’s  quite  usual  for  venues  to  have  some  rules  and  restrictions  around  the  following,  so  do  ask  away  to  see  what  your  venue  policy  is  and  if  this  works  for  you. Do  bear  in  mind  that  most  rules  are  there  to  protect  the  fabric  of  the  building  in  the  case  of  heritage  properties, to  ensure  guest safety  and  to  ensure  that  the  venue  can  continue  to  operate  in  the  case  of  noise  restrictions  - venue  operators  can  have  their  license  removed  if  noise  pollution  becomes  an  issue  so  understandably  they  need  to  enforce  some  restrictions  to  protect  against  this: Confetti  throwing - is  it  allowed? Sometimes  biodegradable/real  petal  variety  is  in  some  parts  of  the  venue,  but  often  not  on  gravel  or  on  floors that  may  stain. Naked  flames - many  venues  ban  candles  entirely  or  limit  the  use  of  free  standing  candelabra  and  naked  flames  not  in  safe  containers. Dark  drinks - in  some  heritage  buildings  red  wine  &  berry  based  drinks  are  forbidden  except  at  seated  dinners  because  of  the  spillage  and  staining  risk. Dancing - often  this  will  need  to  take  place  in  certain  parts  of  the  venue only  and  between  certain  hours - do  check  and  also  if  you  need  to  install  and  pay  for  a  dance floor. 

Seating

Fireworks - often  these  are  not  allowed  due  to  disruption  to  livestock  and  damage  to  grounds  but  some  venues  have  preferred  suppliers  who  can  work  on  their  property  if  you  have  your  heart  set  on  this  - do  ask. Sound  limiters - noise  pollution  is  one  of  the  biggest  risks  to  a  wedding  venue  not  being  able  to  continue  to  operate  so  owners  and  managers  take  this  seriously. Sometimes  they  are  required  to  install  an  actual  sound  limiter  within  the  property,  other  times  it’s  monitored  more subjectively  but  do  ask  what  sound  limits  exist  within  your  preferred  venue  and  what  entertainment  most  couples  choose. If  you  have  your  heart  set on a 10 piece  big  band  and  your  venue  has  a  fierce  sound  meter, this  is  unlikely  to  be  a  match;  most  venues  with  sound  limiters  tend  to  lean  towards  DJs  rather  than  live  bands, that said live bands can and do perform  within  the  limits of sound, it will be important to work with a professional band who takes  this seriously and prepares in advance in terms of their instruments and kit - it usually makes sense to work with the venue's preferred list in this case as the band/DJ will  have worked there before. 

Thank you Kelly for the insightful and informative first three points on booking a venue. We at Ananya love working with venues and are delighted to be a preferred wedding stationery supplier for some.

Part Two will follow shortly, so stay tuned.

Photo credits: 

Headshot photo of Kelly Chandler: http://www.annelimarinovich.com

Venue: Warmwell House, Dorset: https://www.warmwell-house.com

Photography: Imogen Xiana https://www.imogenxiana.com

Florals: https://www.marthaandthemeadow.com

Cakes: https://www.fanciebuns.co.uk

Bridal Accessories, Hair and Make up: http://www.victoriafergusson.co.uk

Model (bride): http://www.tanyalouisecumberland.com

Bridal gowns: http://www.naomineoh.com

Silk ribbons and silk runner: http://www.pompomblossom.com

Furniture - white chairs for ceremony: http://www.thewhitechaircompany.co.uk

Cross back chairs & wooden bar unit for cake/champagne station: http://dpmarquees.co.uk

Write here…

10 Tips for a Successful City Wedding

When it comes to planning a successful city wedding, you’re almost overwhelmed with choice. So, good planning and ‘insider information’ is essential for your dream day. London or Paris, Manchester or Milan, you can have a fabulous city wedding.

1.              The Venue

First up, you need somewhere to hold the ceremony and have a great party afterwards. We spoke to Lisa of Carmela Weddings for her take on city weddings. She has oodles of experience and 'insider knowledge'. Says Lisa, “when you're on the hunt for a great city wedding venue, we recommend thinking beyond the standard registry office. Albeit, there are a couple of standout registry offices too! The swift popularity of urban weddings has created amazing choices for stylish wedding couples. There are now warehouses, rooftops and railway arches that are ready to work with you to create a fantastic unique wedding”.

We couldn’t agree more! But as Lisa also mentions, if your style isn't 'industrial', take a look at boutique hotels. In London try Town Hall Hotel. It’s vibrant and gorgeous. Whilst in Manchester for example there’s Great St John Street hotel. In the heart of the city, it’s small but perfectly formed. Wherever you are, there’s bound to be a gorgeous boutique style hotel. 

We couldn’t resist asking Lisa if she has a favourite city venue. Says Lisa "I have so many favourites, but there is a new city wedding venue that has recently caught my eye. It’s God’s Own Junkyard, which is what it says on the tin! It’s a warehouse full of neon scrap, which sounds odd but is the epitome of city wedding cool!”

2.              Venue Style

Do you want sophisticated style, urban chic or urban boho? Or do you hanker after old style glamour and a grand affair?

Lisa at Carmela Weddings recommends a bold approach if you favour an industrial setting. Bring on the eclectic tables, the chairs that you love and a statement bar! It'll certainly give you that edgy city style look. Fantastic!

It’s essential to also think about lighting. Lisa says “Festoons and Edison Bulbs look amazing draped down from open warehouse ceilings". The exposed pipes and brick walls (crumbling or otherwise) are a great backdrop. And if you’re going for old style glamour, Art Deco style is perfect in a city setting.  You only need look as far as The Savoy in London for inspiration! 

3.              A city wedding: Getting from ‘A to B’

When choosing a city venue, don’t forget to think about your guests and how they will get there. Of course, one of the great reasons to have a city wedding is the ease of public transport. But, that public transport may not necessarily suit your guests. None of us at Ananya would want to hack through the city on a public bus in 'wedding finery'!

It’s a real help to guests if they know the best route and transport options available. Be sure to include buses, tube stations, cab services and even chauffeur services. You might even consider whether you put on transport for everyone.

As for your own transport, ring the changes with something like a motorbike and side car. Granted that this type of transport works better with a short bridal dress or trousers! Are you more traditional? Go for a black cab (or a yellow cab if it’s New York). 

4.              Choosing Stationery for a city wedding

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Photos by  Amanda Karen Photography  Stationery by  Ananya

Photos by Amanda Karen Photography Stationery by Ananya

When choosing stationery for a city wedding, let the city provide inspiration! Think geometric shapes, metallic elements and bold statement designs that are simple yet striking. For the font, how about something Art Deco style? It’s perfect for settings like The Savoy in London. And, Art Deco can look just as fantastic in an industrial warehouse. Ananya's bold copper and geometric design is beautiful and was recently featured on B.Loved. Want things a little less structured? Try a handwritten font in bold ink and a watercolour design

5.              Aisle style: The Dress and The Suit

For a city wedding it's time to embrace your 'inner fashionista'. We love the opulent and glamorous gowns at The State of Grace . But, if you want something completely different why not work the Bianca Jagger vibe? At Ananya we love designer Caroline Herrera’s trouser suit for spring 2018.

And for the groom, it’s time to look city sharp. Try fabulous groom style at Cad and the Dandy.

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6.              Fabulous Flowers

Whatever the setting, it's important that the flowers aren’t 'lost' in or overpower the room. Think perspective. For example if you’re using country flowers in an industrial setting, show them off as big and bold lavender plants in large terracotta urns. At Ananya we love the idea of masses of peonies. They’re a favourite of every urbanite on our team!

7.              Photography

When it comes to city weddings think iconic architecture, light, and urban life. Don’t be afraid to get ‘graffiti’ couple shots. Or, if you want something more sedate, talk a walk through the city streets – you won’t believe how many people will cheer and clap their congratulations. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, stop by a coffee bar and let the photographer work their magic whilst you take a break.

8.              Food for thought

Think catering that reflects the venue you’re in and your personal preferences. For example, a cocktail party at a riverside location is stylish and contemporary. And don’t forget the cake!  Source a local supplier nearby who can bring your ideas to life. In London we love Cakes by Krishanthi and Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium

9.              Let’s Drink

Photo by   Fiona Kelly Photography  Stationery by  Ananya

Photo by  Fiona Kelly Photography Stationery by Ananya

Drinks are the fun thing to organise for you and your guests. Simplicity is champagne and a selection of wines. But, for real style, offer a range of city cool cocktails, alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

10.              And one last tip for a successful city wedding…

Let the city you’ve chosen to get married in inspire you!

Stationery by  Ananya

Stationery by Ananya

Stationery by Ananya | Flowers by Ladybird Flowers | Cakes and cookies by Elizabeth's Cake Emporium

 

A Wedding Planning Guide For The Fridge Door

When you're planning your wedding, it's easy sometimes to feel rather overwhelmed by the whole thing. You might even be waking up in the night thinking "have I told the florist exactly which roses I want" or "did I book the photographer".

Okay, so you might have checklists galore, special apps on your phone and a long-suffering chief bridesmaid/best friend/mother to let off steam to.

The thing is, you're probably doing just fine. And it's important that you enjoy the build-up to your wedding because it's actually a very special time. You've a wonderful day ahead to look forward to, you've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with ... so don't spoil it by getting over-stressed.

That also means not taking on too much. For example, you may be dreaming of having a DIY wedding and planning to make wedding favours, cakes, decorations yourself. This isn't a great idea because you'll almost certainly underestimate the amount of time all this is going to take you. So work out what is genuinely do-able and outsource the rest.

If you really feel the need for a visual checklist, then we've created these handy two visuals which you can print out and stick on your fridge door so that you can assure yourself you're doing all the right things by the right time.

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Look at it month by month and know that you're keeping up with everything (or there are a few things you still need to be thinking about).

wedding planning chart

For example, you don't really need to have sorted out a florist until about 9 months before the wedding - although if you're choosing one who is particularly popular it's best to sign them up as soon as possible.

Interestingly, one of the most important things to get sorted early isn't choosing your wedding dress, booking your venue or asking your friends to be your bridesmaids. It's actually setting a budget for your wedding day. It's key because it's actually going to affect many aspects of your big day - the sort of venue you can afford, whether you have a wedding breakfast and a dinner, how many guests you have, what wine you serve and of course, what you wear. So set a realistic wedding budget between the two of you and stick to it - you don't want to start off married life in debt.

Get everything sorted calmly and coolly before your big day and you'll see that on the day before your wedding you can actually have a bit of a relax. Help to decorate the venue and enjoy some beauty treatments (a mani-pedi - but don't have a facial the day before your wedding in case of breakouts).

We'd love to help you with your wedding stationery so if there is anything special you have in mind do get in touch.

In the meantime, cut out these two handy wedding planning guides and pin them to your noticeboard or fridge door!