We believe that every bride should have the opportunity to create completely individual wedding stationery and wedding invitations. However, commissioning a design from scratch can use up a huge chunk of your budget.
So we have designed a system through which we can create 'almost' custom-designed wedding invitations within the reach of most budgets. Each design uses a series of basic blank templates that we print and decorate to your personal requirements. You may wish to take elements from several of the ranges and put them together to create your own unique wedding invitations.
Where are you based? In the New Forest, just outside Lymington, Hampshire
Favourite Bijou Venue: They are all beautiful – but I do love Cain Manor
How many weddings do you do a year? It can vary between 150 and 250
Average price/cost: Invitations only, £500. For all the reception and ceremony stationery too, then £1000
Tell us a little about yourself?
As a child growing up in 70’s Britain, my ‘hero-toys’ were a Spirograph, fuzzy felt, a kaleidoscope an etch-a-sketch and painting by numbers. Looking back I can see that I‘ve always loved arty stuff and stationery. Although I’ve been loosely involved with design most of my life, it wasn’t until I was 40 that I found what I really liked doing – which was designing and producing beautiful wedding and special event stationery – which I am still doing 12 years later. I have this romantic notion that in years to come, a young woman will be looking through her mother’s treasured possessions and will find a faded copy of her wedding invitation - and it will be one of mine. So now I get to design every day, sometimes it is daunting and I wonder how I will find inspiration, and quite often I stumble on it accidentally – happily my life is full of serendipitous moments! I have a brilliant team of retired ladies who love to come to my studio, drink quite a bit of tea, indulge in a bit of a girly gossip, and get down to the serious business of tying bows or lacing up cards to add the finishing touches to our stylish stationery. I am very happily re-married and live in the New Forest, close to the sea, with our 2 rescue Westies....
How would you describe your design style and what makes you unique?
There is nothing like receiving a luxuriously thick invitation – it sets the tone for the wedding day and gives the guests a glimpse of the stylish occasion that awaits them. Our design style is clean and classic – probably ‘less is more’ describes us very well. Do you offer specific packages or is it a bespoke service? We have a lot of designs – that over the years we have tried and tested – they can be simple single card invitations, or complete packs that contain information, maps, itineraries, rsvp etc. All of our designs can be customised with colour of board, choice of typeface, ink colours, ribbons… but we can also offer a Bespoke service if the bride and groom already have something specific in mind.
What items do you typically need in a package?
Some of our clients want the whole thing – from Save the Date cards through to Thank you cards, so that everything matches. Others may choose simply to have Invitations…. and perhaps Orders of Service and table stationery such as Menus, Table Names, Place Cards and a Seating Plan. These days there is no right or wrong way! Do you offer custom designs as well as templated styles? Yes. We print ALL our invitations and other items according to how the client would like it. We don’t expect them to comply with a certain template – we can add in logos they may already have, or photographs… there are of course some print limitations, and some ideas will have cost implications, but all this would be discussed beforehand…. Are couples able to see a sample of the design before ordering? We send samples – free to Bijou clients. We don’t usually do bespoke artwork before we have a confirmed order. However, if the studio is quiet at the time then we do if we can.
How far in advance should couples book your services?
For invitations we ideally like to start artwork 4 weeks before the couple would like to receive them. For other items then at least 3 weeks before the wedding to give us time to prepare artwork – proof - and print.
What are you favourite trends?
Well, it seems that the Vintage ‘brown paper tied up with string’ trend is not going away – but I am hopeful that it is going to become a little more ‘polished’. I love Vintage, but not so keen on ‘Homespun’! I think the classic luxe invitation stands the test of time – add a pretty ivory organza ribbon, or a few sparkly Swarovski crystals to give it a softer, wedding look.
If you were getting married, what stationery design or theme would you pick and why?
I did get married 3 years ago – we didn’t have a theme as such. Our style was relaxed, but we still wanted to make this special day stand out – so I chose super thick invitations, a classic typeface, printed in a blackberry ink, with a scattering of Swarovski crystals here and there. I had lots of information cards and a reply card printed with guests’ names. A 12 page Order of Service, with lots of space around the text, and sprinkled with quotes and verse that meant something to us, all printed blackberry, with a thick satin blackberry ribbon and bow on the spine.