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Bespoke Wedding Stationery, What Are The Benefits? with Philip Field from Card and Light

Bespoke Wedding Stationery, What Are The Benefits? Philip Field from Card and Light shares some amazing design ideas that are unique to a bespoke Wedding Stationery commission!

Listen to Philip on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…


Philip Field, Card and Light


James: [00:00:02] Hi Philip thanks so much for joining me today. 

Philip: [00:00:05] Hi James. Thank you for having me on the webinar. Looking forward to it. 

James: [00:00:10] Absolute pleasure to have you. So your company is “Card and Light” and you do bespoke wedding stationery. So a really, really great question to ask you would be…

“bespoke wedding stationery, what are the benefits?” 

Philip: [00:00:26] So the benefits of coming to a bespoke stationer like ourselves, is that we’re actually professional graphic designers. So I’ve been working as a graphic designer for 15 years now, and as the wedding market’s evolved, so have graphic designers. And they’ve moved into this market bringing their commercial print skills with them. So what I look to do with all our projects is we’d look to try and create almost like a brand for the couples. So a lot of the time, you’ll have an idea or theme, or you know, I’d like rose gold, or the bridesmaids are wearing purple, or it’s going to be an outside wedding, or whatever.

But it’s trying to take those aspirations and thoughts of the client, and actually put it into the stationery.

So that when it arrives on the guest’s doormat in it’s envelope, they really get a flavour for what the wedding is going to be like. And then we flow that through then all throughout the day. So it’s not just… most of the time people are like, can you design our invites? But it’s actually more than invites. It’s the invites, order of service booklets, on the day signage, etc. 

Philip: [00:01:50] I’ve got some examples here. This is a package that we created for, she’s actually one of the great British netballers who won one of the Commonwealth Games, a gold medalist. She wanted something with a really sort of traditional, classic feel, playing on the gold. And then tying into the sort of dark emerald green colour that would be featured throughout the clothing of her groom. And here we’ve got this beautiful little wallet that then opens up, we’ve got the gold foiling throughout. And then inside they’ve got a series of inserts.

Now, again, where we get a little bit more bespoke is that we can do finishes such as this. Every single guest name would be individually gold foiled onto the invites. 

James: [00:02:48] Very nice! 

Philip: [00:02:50] The branding and so forth is also on the back. And it’s knitted through into the front, and that flows through to lots of different parts of this. Such as like the details and timings cards and things. But then as you go through the actual wedding day, we produce things like an order of service cover. So at the same time as having the invites produced, we would get one of these covers produced with our printer. This then sort of sits ready and waiting, until a couple of weeks before, when we actually know what the service guide is going to be. And then we produce the inserts as well. 

Philip: [00:03:32] So guests have arrived knowing that they’ve seen this kind of look and feel come through the post. This then sort of continues in the church. And then as they come and sit down for their meal, they have things like little table names, which they have, which again have been gold foiled with their own names on. And this guest also had things like, for her favours, we laser cut the motif out of a piece of acrylic. But it’s a nice little coaster that went on the side of the table, by the menu. And was something for them to take away. And it’s providing that whole service. And we even go so far as to produce things like laser cut cake toppers. This was a big cake that this went on, based on the size of the topper. 

Philip: [00:04:24] But you know this is where I feel that this, to me, is what sums up bespoke. There will be web sites out there, which are perfectly fine for people to use, based on on your budget. But they’re touting themselves as bespoke, by the sense that you could perhaps just change your name on that. So you could just put “Philip and Madeline” on there. And for them, you’ve made that bespoke. That’s just sort of scratching the surface for us.

And it’s more about creating this brand that’s knitted together, and having a bit of a sort of can do attitude.

As a graphic designer I’ve worked on projects, you know, where I might not be madly in love with the concept that their client has, but that’s their wishes, and that’s what they want, and it’s our job as a professional to achieve that for them. 

Philip: [00:05:21]

So you know if you’re having a wedding in the woods and you wanted all your invites to go out on a thin strip of bark, which has your details laser etched into there, great we’ll do it! Or if you want a more traditional route, that’s fine.

We can do pretty much whatever you like. Another example we’ve got here, for a couple, this was a while back. This couple love the purple and silver theme and they wanted some flight inspired cards. So a bit like you get if you checked in to BA back in the day, and you got your flight cards. In here you’ve got your wallet and then your invites that would come out. And then you’ve got a little RSVP which is the tear off, that you’d send back. And this pretty much just looked like a flight card, that would go out. And they were mad on travel so it’s a little bit quirky and a bit different. And at the same time as doing that, we produce things like place names and little luggage tags. So that I think is where that sort of bespoke nature comes in. It’s just if you’ve got an idea then we’ll realise it for you. 

James: [00:06:38] Yes. To my mind Phillip then, it’s like you’ve taken the concept of bespoke, and you really run with it, because…

not only are you sort of personalising the stationery, but you’re actually literally designing a stationery concept. 

Philip: [00:06:52] Yeah. And one of the hardest things for us often is like, everyone would ask, and quite rightly so, how much is it going to cost? And it is a little bit, when you’re talking bespoke, it isn’t just a case of like “Oh it’s you know, one invite’s 50p an invite, and you times it by 100”. We don’t work off preset templates or anything. Every single client job is bespoke for them.

So you can come to us and say, “look, we love what you did for this client. It’s wonderful”, but we won’t design that exact thing again for you, because this belongs to that client. That’s what makes it special for them.

So we sort of split our fees into a design fee, and then a print fee. And our design fees can go from around four or five hundred pounds, all the way up to whatever, depending on the amount you need. And then the print we get sourced through a proper commercial printer, who we’ve got a trusted relationship with for 10 or so years. One who can do all these beautiful finishes. But we just provide that at trade price to the client, because we make our money in the design, and we’re not here to rip the client off and markup the printing as well. 

Philip: [00:08:12] That’s just being able to finish off what our vision has been for the client. So yeah we really do just take that bespoke thought, and run with it as far as we can go. But it’s nice you know, it can be simple things too like, we have these Pantone colour books, with lots of nice metallics in, and things like that.

So rather than just saying, like you’ve got a navy top on now, if that was gonna be the colour of your suit, rather than just saying, let’s go for Navy. Well why not match it to the exact colour of the Pantone Swatch?

So it’s those little details that just, I think you notice throughout the day. It just, or at least provides for the couple, we don’t want them just to think “Oh we’ve given the job to you to do” and come back with it, and that’s that. We like to involve them in it, and ask them to get the swatches, and we’ll show them lots of proofs, and almost let them have an input into how the design flows. Because it’s a one off time in your life, and the stationery I think should be a reflection of who you are. 

James: [00:09:26] Yes, completely! 

Philip: [00:09:26] And you know with things like this, like the cake topper’s been laser cut, but for this couple too, we’d like to produce this actually just without the spike at the bottom. And then you can frame that and put it in a nice frame as a memento of your wedding. And it’s touches like that, where because we’ve started with this strong brand in the first place, you can do pretty much whatever you like with it then. 

Philip: [00:09:55] So yeah, we get really excited about different projects and sort of almost the more wacky, the better sometimes as well.

We’re currently designing a champagne box at the moment for a client. So that’s quite different again, but you will struggle to find any “just” online supplier that will print a champagne box.

It needs to be designed from scratch, and the cut is made to make the box and so forth. But we can do it. 

James: [00:10:29] Brilliant! Well it’s nice that you pointed out the navy, because my suit, my wedding suit, was actually navy blue. 

Philip: [00:10:34] Good choice! 

James: [00:10:36] Also if one of those invites arrived through the post, I would be wowed. You know I think it’s the combination of ultra bespoke, you’re not expecting it, are you? It’s a surprise. 

Philip: [00:10:49] I think so, yeah. And that’s the thing, because it’s not cheap to attend a Wedding. You quite often have to go and stay in a B&B or hotel, and you’re not going to get much change out of 100 pounds, going to a wedding.

So you think, well at least let’s make the guests feel like they’re coming to something really amazing. Or something that you know really reflects that couple.

And you know, we do things too for the clients, like the guests see this come through, but this would be like for instance, a customised envelope that we’d do. This looks nice for the client in the sense it’s got their branding on, but it’s also a nice sort of surprise when it comes through the post to the guest. But the most important thing here actually, it saves the clients so much time, because we basically can just mail merge addresses in any font, or style that we want, on the envelopes, at the same time as doing the name merge onto the invites. So it looks a lot neater, looks lovely and personalised. But you also save yourself hours and having to write addresses and names and so forth, and quite a lot of our clients now comment on that. It’s one of those sort of non jazzy features. It’s not like gold foiling, but they’re like “that saved me four or five hours”. And it’s nice just to be able to receive this package with them all pre packed, and they can just seal them up and send them off. 

James: [00:12:26] Amazing. I think another thing that I’m seeing there is this whole concept of, you know, like you said, it is expensive to attend a wedding.

So getting people excited right out the gate, I mean that’s a fantastic place to start isn’t it?

It’s almost you know, you want your wedding to be amazing, you want people to be excited about it. This is their first point of contact isn’t it? The first thing they’re going to see! 

Philip: [00:12:49] Exactly. And I think also it does help create a path which you can then drive down. Because we create a brand, we create a colour palette, we create a sort of look and feel, and we can also have ideas. You know we’re not doing your stage setting for the day, but why don’t we have a think about maybe producing a nice big sign, that would hang from the altar, with your initials in, or you know, doing maybe like a balloon circle around the cake. But if we’re going to do that, this font can be used, and these colours can be used. And it helps the couple conceptualise that, “oh you know, I don’t have to think now that there’s millions of colours in the world, what do I pick?” We can go to another supplier and say “hey it’s all been sort of set out”. We just need you to make what you’re doing now, or supply what you’re doing, to these sort of guidelines. And it sounds sort of quite businessy.

But it does really help, because there’s so many options, that you can just do anything for a wedding. 

Philip: [00:13:56] There’s almost too many options for people. So if you know, look we’re going to have this sort of travel theme, and we’re going to have luggage tags on tables. You can start kind of almost dreaming up, well what are the tables going to look like? And what’s the room going to look like? And we’re there to sort of pass on our vision and excitement to the couple as well, and hopefully this is sort of sowing the seeds for the couple, and for the guests. One little sort of sneaky thing we did on this one here, on the wedding folder, so the inserts, they go inside. But then as they come out, on the very inside, we’ve just done this map of Nigeria, and it says “England by day, Nigeria by night”. But there was about 20 guests coming from Nigeria. And these were being sent out there. So we wanted a way of acknowledging them, because they were quite special guests to the wedding. So it’s just a little nice touch. But the little gold bit here is the province where they are coming from. And it’s just a way of saying, you know, it’s going to be an English wedding, but with a Nigerian party.

It’s just a teaser. Not giving too much away, but making them think, “oh you know, they’ve thought about us, and they’re excited for us to come”.

And it’s just nice little bits like that, that we can do which would really be unavailable, unless you’re sort of hand designing everything. 

James: [00:15:28] Yeah I think those little details are absolutely gorgeous. They make it! They make it so special. Yeah. So thanks so much drilling down into bespoke, and what bespoke really means for us then Phillip. It’s been really eye opening. 

Philip: [00:15:44] My pleasure! 

James: [00:15:44] We’ve actually just got a fun quick question for you, if you don’t mind? 

Philip: [00:15:47] Okay. 

James: [00:15:47] I’m going to read it out because it’s quite a long one. So are there any aspects of your personal life that influence the services you provide? For example hobbies, interests and stuff? 

Philip: [00:15:57] Well I think from the personal side, I’ve always been hugely interested in photography. I don’t do wedding photography, so to speak, but I do travel related work, and actual commercial photography work.

But it’s really nice to use photography in a way to then blend that into some of the stationery that we’re doing.

So for instance, the silhouette that’s on here, there’s the couple jumping together. Now to create the silhouette, a photograph was taken. Then it’s dropped into illustrator. The outline is created. And then it’s placed on. And you know it is something that the couple were really keen to have implemented. So that’s a way where you can take another skill that you have, and just blend it into what you’re doing. 

Philip: [00:16:50] So the photography is a huge part for us, and actually just with photography, or being out and about, you notice that nature just has the most unbelievable colour palette.

And everything nature does is either contrasting, or complementary to one another. So often when we’re picking colour palettes, we’ll be looking just at what the autumn colours are doing, or the winter colours, and so forth. Yeah it’s just being sort of ever aware of your surroundings. 

James: [00:17:21] Brilliant. And just before we go. I’m just going to call it. Wow! I didn’t even realise that that couple, was a photograph of the couple. That’s detail within detail. It’s absolutely fantastic! 

Philip: [00:17:34] Great. Well thank you! 

James: [00:17:37] Thank you so much for your time today. 

Philip: [00:17:40] Thank you for having us on the webinar.! 

James: [00:17:41] We hope to speak to you again in the near future! 

Philip: [00:17:41] Thank You. Cheers. Bye For now! 

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