March 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Something I’m often aware of as I write these pages is the need to be inclusive. I know from your emails and messages that not all of my readers have the deepest pockets, a six figure salary or easy access to the bank of Mum and Dad. Here at Brides Up North it’s my job to showcase the loveliest ideas, inspirational weddings and dream dresses, but I also think it’s important that our content is attainable. Sometimes you want the pretty without the price tag.
Half the battle is thinking local and using the brilliant regional suppliers right on your own doorstep and the other half is having all the options available to you. I’m aware that I often only feature high end products and aspirational shoots, but today I would like to introduce you to a stationer who is keeping her prices real but her products still sparkling: Brides Up North Featured Supplier Paula of First Impressions Wedding Invitations.
For those of you on a budget who still want some bling – Paula’s your gal! Let’s meet her…
What is the story behind First Impressions Wedding Invitations?
First Impressions Wedding Invitations started trading in the summer of 2010 initially on eBay. I had just had my second son Ryan and was unable to return to work due to childcare issues. I have always had a creative flair and had done stationery for a few close friends, therefore decided to start my own business doing wedding stationery, which was an instant success.
Who is a First Impressions Wedding Invitations bride?
A First Impressions bride is someone who wants to have beautiful handmade wedding invitations and stationery but doesn’t necessarily have a big budget to spend on their stationery. That is where we step in: creating beautiful wedding stationery at affordable prices so the bride can get the best of both worlds.
Where are you based?
We are based in Wigan, Lancashire. We mainly work online using email and telephone as our main way of corresponding, but do work face to face with brides to be in our locality.
Tell us about the range of gorgeous designs on your website?
Our ranges include our butterfly designs, floral designs and hearts designs. All of our designs are embellished with gorgeous sparkling diamantes, to give each design an elegant and classy feel. In all of our designs we do the following products: save the date cards, wedding invitations, RSVP cards, money request cards, order of services, menus, name cards, table numbers, lottery favour cards and table plans.
Can you produce completely bespoke designs?
Yes. The client would contact us with their requirements and any examples of the designs they like. I will go away and put a design together within that brief and email a proof image to which they can make as many changes as needed until they are 100% happy. We do not charge extra for bespoke designs.
What style of stationery designs are popular at the moment or do you think will be popular for next season?
Our most popular designs are our butterfly ranges. This has always been a favourite amongst our brides. The butterflies represent hope, joy and new beginnings, perfect for a couple embarking on their journey into married life. For next season I predict that people will still go for the more traditional designs but using brighter colour combinations. A popular colour scheme in the last 12 months has been fuchsia pink and tangerine.
What would be your top five tips for Brides Up North when choosing their wedding stationery?
Make sure the stationer can match your chosen colour scheme if this is what you desire, order a sample to make sure it is the correct colour.
Proofs are a must! Avoid companies that do not provide proofs either via post or emailed images.
Find out whether the cost of invitations includes envelopes or if they are extra.
Order your invitations and stationery at the earliest convenience and make sure the stationer can accommodate your needs.
If paying online for your stationery, I always advise paying through PayPal, for that extra bit of protection.
Does all the stationery have to match?
It is totally up to the bride! It is their big day and can have anything they choose, that’s a brides prerogative. They could choose different designs for different items of stationery having them all the same colour or they could have the same design throughout their range. We aim to please all our brides and make it as easy as we can to meet their needs.
Which designs are your bestsellers?
Our best sellers are our butterfly designs including our “Butterfly One range” which is decorated with 11 separate diamantes to really sparkle. One of our new designs, named “Willow” is proving to be a big seller, and is of two birds in a bird cage – another popular trend with recent brides.
What sets First Impressions Wedding Invitations apart from its competitors?
Our unique way of embellishing with diamantes definitely sets us apart from the rest. Our prices, quality of products and customer service makes us stand out from the crowd.
How long do you take to turn around an order?
From our first contact with clients we will advise of a production date. We supply dates on a first come first serve basis, that is why it is imperative to contact us as early as possible to secure your date. We will then dispatch your items within 7-10 working days of this production date.
What are your prices, are you doing any special offers?
Our prices for our handmade wedding invitations and stationery are very affordable but we do not compromise on quality. Our prices range from £0.75 for save the date cards including envelopes to our invitations priced from £1.00 to £1.80 again including envelopes. Our on the day stationery again is extremely affordable with no individual item being over £1.80 and our A1 table plans are £49.99. Our prices include all personalisation and every design hand embellished with our diamantes. We offer free delivery on samples and on orders over £150.00
Can you offer a special discount to Brides Up North readers?
We can offer a 10% discount to Brides Up north readers. When contacting us to place an order quote the reference BUN10% to receive your discount.
How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order?
All our contact details can be found on our website www.firstimpressionsweddinginvitations.co.uk, this includes a contact form, email address, telephone and postal address. We aim to make it as easy as possible for brides to be to establish contact with us. We have a simple an effective online order form and brides are able to purchase samples directly through our store.
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…