Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

Supplier Showcase: Graphic Embers PLUS Exclusive 10% Discount For Wedding Blog Readers!

December 14th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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The funny thing about editing a blog like Brides Up North is that it has ceased to be just my blog, and whilst I source the features, curate the content and do all the writing here at Brides Up North HQ, so much of what you see before you every day depends on the fantastic Northern wedding industry who continues to support this blog and brand so wholeheartedly, and YOU my lovely readers who continue to visit each day in your thousands, send me lovely emails with your wedding queries (I can almost always point you in the direction of a wedding professional who can help) and submit your Real Weddings to feature after the event.  Whilst Brides Up North is my creation, the blog is very much your product, and I can’t thank you enough for that as our Northern Revolution picks up pace and rumbles on!

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Today we meet the lovely Angela of Graphic Embers, one of the Featured Suppliers without whose support this double daily dose of wedding inspiration and it’s related real life bridal events would cease to exist.  Let’s give Angela and her pretty, bespoke wedding stationery a warm welcome.  There’s 10% off in it for you…

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Anne

Anne

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What is the story behind Graphic Embers?

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The idea for behind Graphic Embers came into being five and a half years ago, when I made my own wedding stationery. However, it never got any further than a vague idea for something I might do at some point in the future; after all, I was studying for my degree and had a job I loved. However, in 2008 the economic crisis began, and one of the many industries hit was construction, mine and my husband’s industry.

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In the summer of 2010 Matthew, my husband, was made redundant, then a year later, the week I had my daughter, so was I. While unfortunate, the redundancies did spur me on to begin something I had only day-dreamed of for years. I built our first website and Matthew set up the Graphic Embers business selling wedding stationery designs I’d created as a hobby in the preceding years. Graphic Embers got its very first client on October 14th 2011, and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

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In April 2012 I finally re-gained the reins of Graphic Embers after my maternity leave ended and since then I have continued to develop the brand, create a wide selection of stationery ranges and work on some truly unique bespoke work for our couples.

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It has been a tough year, starting a business from scratch with no wages to fund it and no access to business grants or loans. It has taken hard work and dedication to get us to where we are today; nominated suppliers for one of the local wedding venues and winner of The North of England Wedding Awards 2012! For all it has been tough, I wouldn’t go back to my old job now, when Graphic Embers has so much to offer. I love working with brides and grooms and helping create the dream they have for their wedding day. Winning the award made me so grateful to all the couples who have given us the opportunity to work with them over the last year and has made me more determined than ever to offer the best service we can.

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It’s nice to have access to a blog like Brides Up North that is based in the North. So many wedding blogs, or wedding media generally, are focussed in the South. It’s nice to be able to keep up with Northern suppliers and Northern brides. One of our aims for 2013 is to support the local economy and we now have both a Northern card stockist and a Northern print lab, as well as advertising in some Northern media. We’re proud to be a Northern business and it’s nice to see a blog that celebrates brides in the North.

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Bow   Catherine

Bow & Catherine

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Who is a Graphic Embers bride?

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Any bride who wants dedicated service, the ability to fully customise her stationery or have a unique design is a Graphic Embers bride. While we have quite a broad range of vintage and scrapbook inspired standard designs we have worked on everything from snow leopard print chequebook invitations to laser cut hot air balloons. Our aim is to provide every one of our couples with stationery to suit them and their big day.

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Jane

Jane

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Where are you based?  Do you work by appointment/ online?

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We are based in Lynemouth, Northumberland, but don’t currently have a public premises (one of our hopes for the future). We do however offer free at home consultations to couples in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham. We can also work entirely online via email, much as we do for national clients. Our current designs and brochure are available to view on our website www.graphic-embers.co.uk which is regularly updated.

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Dragonflies   Elizabeth

Dragonflies & Elizabeth

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Are all your designs completely bespoke?

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We have a wide collection of standard designs which we can fully customise, however, the majority of our work is bespoke. We regularly have clients wanting something they can’t find anywhere else and we pride ourselves on being able to provide a service which allows us to work to almost any theme. We’ve even had a bride lift her leg almost onto our stand at a wedding fair to show us her snow leopard print leggings as that was the design she wanted on her invitations. Often the bespoke designs are the most fun to work on, and I think my all time favourite was a set of autumn themed stationery we did for a client who married in October. Her invitations and most of her day stationery were laser cut from rich brown and orange card, but her theme also gave us the opportunity to try a laser engraved wooden table plan which was then inlaid with mahogany. The table plan became the inspiration behind our new Signature Range of wooden stationery.

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What products are available in each design?

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We should be able to produce anything a couple wants in any design. If it doesn’t already exit we will make an item to match, right the way through from save the date cards to thank you cards, and all the invitations, table plans and on the day stationery between.

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Ever After

Ever After

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What stationery designs do you think will be popular for next season?

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Vintage designs are still proving popular. Our Country Garden design is relatively new, but is proving to be the design getting most interest for next year’s weddings. However, modern, bold printed statements are also doing well. On request we recently produced what is quite a simple design, text on white card which lists famous couples, with our clients’ names in the middle of the list in a different colour. Since producing the first design we’ve had more requests for a similar sort of thing. Print is certainly getting more attention now than it has done previously, and while handmade designs will always have a strong following it’s certainly no bad thing being able to do our own illustrations to print to suit current demand.

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What other products/ services do you offer?

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We also have the United Kingdom’s first LED lit, acrylic, laser cut wishing trees available for hire. The trees were designed by Graphic Embers and are exclusive to us. The concept is that they appear as elegant ice sculptures during the day, so as not to overpower the flowers and cake, but then in the evening when the lights go down the act as stunning beacons, drawing guests in to fill out their wishing tags. The bases have around 8000 colour options in it, so we can match the trees to almost any colour scheme or set them to cycle through a range of colours which looks really magical.

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Along with tree hire couples get the hire of our wishing tree poem, pens and decorations as well as a set of personalised tags and tag box to keep. We can match the tags and ribbons to a couples’ colour scheme as well as personalising the text on the reverse.

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We are also looking at getting items to hire next year, as we’ve had so many requests for the butterfly table number stands we use at fairs. We already have a half bird cage that can be used as a table plan with the addition of tags but we’re hoping that by mid 2013 we will also have a set of table number stands and perhaps birdcages which can be hired out.

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Laser Lace   Liza

Laser Lace & Lisa

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Who would be Graphic Embers’ dream client, and what sort of design would you envisage for them?

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That’s a hard one, but I think some rock/metal singer type who either wants to play up their character or go for something quirky like a rockabilly themed wedding. We’ve just started looking at making hand bound guest books and while searching for cover materials we’ve found so many great fabrics I would love to make a themed goth or vintage rock book. And can you imagine having something you’d made, right down to hand stitching the pages, signed by a host of celebrity guests?

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What would be your top five tips for Brides Up North when choosing their wedding stationery?

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HEARTHave a look at lots of websites, wedding blogs, magazines and moodboards before you start talking to stationers so that you have an idea what you like and what you don’t, both in terms of theme/style and basic format. Do you want a postcard or a pocketfold?

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HEARTThink about how much information you want to include early on. Stationers will be able to give you a more accurate quote if you can tell them straight away that you plan on including a list of local hotels and a map with directions.

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HEARTIf you have guests coming from a distance and need to include extra information, but have a limited budget then don’t bother with save the dates. Save your money for better, more comprehensive invitations and just send them a bit earlier.

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HEARTAsk your chosen stationer how much you can customise a design, some will limit a design to a set variety of colours, some a set number of changes. If you really want to make your mark on a design then it is worth finding out how much you can do. We will make any changes we can or design something entirely unique just for you. Also, get samples if you customise a design. It may seem like an unnecessary extra cost to buy a personalised sample, especially with print lab costs for one off prints being so high, it is worth it though to check colours as they won’t always print as they appear on screen.

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HEARTGet in touch with your chosen stationer early. We don’t like having to turn couples away and many of the most popular stationers book up six months in advance. Even as a relatively young business we can book up, and we already have an order book which goes up to December 2014! We don’t mind you booking us well in advance, in fact we’d rather book a production slot for you in nine months time than turn you away five months before your wedding.

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What would be your no-nos for Brides Up North when choosing their wedding stationery? 

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HEARTDon’t leave it to the last minute to find and book your stationer. Many of the best book up in advance and we don’t like disappointing couples.

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HEARTWhile going for the budget option may seem like a good idea, it can have consequences. Your stationery is often a guest’s first glimpse at your big day and what you are paying for is both the quality of materials used and the time and dedicated service put in by your stationer. Sometimes the cheap option doesn’t come up to scratch and the stationer can’t or won’t fix the problem. It amazes me how many people we’ve had tell us another stationer has let them down.

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Rustic

Rustic

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Does all the stationery have to match?
 

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A perfectly matching set of stationery can look beautiful, but as with everything in weddings you can do wonderful things by not matching as well. Much like you can have different coloured bridesmaid dresses as long as you tie them together somehow, you can do the same with stationery. We recently did a set of individual menus that alternated colours, half on pearlescent orange card and half on textured brown card for an autumn wedding. You could also have different designs or colours in the same theme, much like many do with mismatched vintage crockery. It all depends on the look you are trying to achieve.

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Margaret   My Darling

Margaret & My Darling

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Which of your ranges would you recommend for a bride on a budget/ if money was no object?

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For a bride on a budget I would go for a postcard invitation of one of our printed ranges as, this keeps cost down but still allows for memorable design. If money is no object then I would definitely advise our Signature Range which is laser engraved into wood. It’s our most expensive range, but each piece is a stunningly crafted item. The table plan especially, which is inlaid with mahogany, is a beautiful keepsake.

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Which designs are your bestsellers?

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The Simplicity handmade wallet is very popular, it’s a very elegant but cost effective design and is probably the item we’ve had most orders for so far. However, for clients we’re speaking to for next year our Country Garden pocketfold could easily compete.

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Simplicity

Simplicity

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What sets Graphic Embers apart from its competitors
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When we say bespoke design we mean it, we really can design to any theme. We’re also original, our wishing trees are something that has never before been seen and our stationery designs are exclusive to us. We offer a dedicated service and really value each and every couple who comes to us.

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What are your prices/ price range, are you doing any special offers?

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Invitation prices range between £1.85 and £8.10. Our pocketfold prices all include invitation, information insert and RSVP card as we’d rather give a full price upfront than give brides a nasty shock when they have to add on a separate information card price. However, if you don’t need the information card we are happy to deduct this.

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If you order stationery through Graphic Embers we do offer 20% off wishing tree hire too. Wishing tree hire starts at £75 + mileage.

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Can you offer a special discount to Brides Up North readers?

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We can offer 10% off our 2013 prices for any stationery booking made before 1st February 2013. This includes booking a production slot in advance.

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Victoria   Village Fayre

Victoria & Village Fayre

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How long do you take to turn around an order?

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Maximum timescales for handmade and print stationery is 31 days from full payment to shipment, though 14-21 days is more likely. For laser cut stationery the maximum time from payment to shipment is 45 days, but again we aim for less. The Signature Range is slightly different, as it can take four weeks for the materials to be delivered. Maximum timescales are eight weeks from payment to shipment, this is so we can order in the wood and produce the items. This doesn’t mean you need your table plan finalised eight weeks early, we can delay production of final design proof until four weeks after we’ve ordered the materials, as long as we know approximately how many tables you will need. As long as your details are finalised for us to start engraving that’s fine.

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How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order?

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Website: www.graphic-embers.co.uk

Email: enquiries@graphic-embers.co.uk

Phone: 07581560705

Facebook: Graphic Embers

Twitter: @GraphicEmbers

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Anything else that Brides Up North should know?

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We are running a competition with Matt McGurk Photography. Matt is going to set up a studio day in February especially for brides and grooms to come along and have couples shots taken. For just £40 couples will get an hour long photo shoot, CD of 4 to 5 images with printing rights and a large (16 x 12 inches) print. Book before Friday 18th January and one lucky couple will win 50 save the date cards (or equivalent postcard invitations) from Graphic Embers incorporating their favourite photograph taken on the day! The date for the photo shoot will be confirmed based on interest, but will be a weekend in mid February in a Newcastle-upon-Tyne studio. Pre-register your interest now to be entered into this fantastic competition! To see Matt’s previous work visit www.mattmcgurk.co.uk. Bookings should be made by contacting enquiries@graphic-embers.co.uk. Graphic Embers look forward to incorporating some beautiful photography into some completely unique stationery!

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  – Images © 2012 Matt McGurk

Graphic Embers is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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You Are Cordially Invited – Supplier Showcase: By Wendy Stationery

November 27th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Morning all!  Are you having a fun weekend?  Anyone said I do?  Congratulations if you have! I’ve been spending the weekend in Bath with my newly engaged friend Leah and as you can imagine there has been a lot of wedding chat.  Lucky that I love it!  No rest for the wicked eh?

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Let’s get Sunday off to an creative start as I chat to Brides Up North Featured Supplier By Wendy Stationery about wedding stationery etiquette, inspiration and her popular business. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: By Wendy Stationery

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How and why did By Wendy begin?

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By Wendy began trading in 2007. I’d been ‘playing’ at designing & making stationery on and off for years then found myself with time on my hands when I was on long term sick leave from my teaching job. I realised how much I enjoyed the whole process of designing and then making everything by hand and decided to make the giant leap into self-employment.
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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: By Wendy Stationery

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Are you married? Did you make the invitations for your own wedding? If not, what stationery would you choose for your big day?

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I’m married to Paul & we celebrate our silver wedding next year (obviously I was very, very young when I married!). We have two grown up children, Simon who is 23 & Caitlin who has just turned 20. Caitlin is in her final year of an advertising & design degree and often helps me out at wedding fairs.

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I didn’t make the invitations for our own wedding. In those days (1987) you picked your invitations from a small selection of designs at a local shop, often a newsagents. You had little choice and often ended up with the same invitations as all your friends. I think that’s why I am so passionate about creating unique designs for my couples. I often say that you wouldn’t wear the same wedding dress as all your friends so why should you have the same stationery?

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I did make the Order of Service booklets for our wedding & remember the minister commenting on them saying ‘I’ve never seen these before, how modern’. I guess you could say that By Wendy has always been ahead of the times when it comes to stationery!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: By Wendy Stationery

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What designs are available to order?

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We have a range of about 10 ‘core’ designs available to order online or from our gallery however even these are adapted to suit each couple. I try to be as flexible as possible with even our ‘off the peg’ designs so that every couple can have stationery that is as individual as they are.

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By Wendy Stationery.

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Do you have any new designs for 2011?

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We bring out new designs all the time as it’s very rare that we do two designs the same. I’m currently working on our new collection which we’ll introduce at fairs & exhibitions in the Spring. One of our new invitation styles for the Autumn 2011 collection will be the Pocket Card – a different way of keeping your invitation ensemble together.

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In our Spring collection for 2011 we were inspired by the English Country garden and used a lot of 3-dimensional embellishments including roses and pearls.

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By Wendy Stationery

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Can you do bespoke designs?

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We also offer a bespoke design service so if a couple have an idea or theme they want to incorporate into their invitations & stationery we can work around that. This is a free service and we usually meet up with the couple for a design consultation in our studio at the Just Perfect Wedding & Event Gallery. This gives us all the opportunity to discuss ideas and work together on the design. I feel that it is really important for the couple to be involved at all stages from deciding on the shape of the invitations to the fonts used. We recently completed an order of wedding invitations shaped like wine bottles, complete with wine glass shaped RSVP cards!

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By Wendy Stationery

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What is your favourite design and why?

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That’s a difficult one! My favourite is often the last design I did as I love to create something new and unique. I would have to say that most of my favourite designs incorporate something from the Envelopments range of card stock. Envelopments is a company based in California that supplies the most amazing card stock the likes of which you just can’t get in the UK. I’m delighted to be the only authorised Envelopment designer in the region.

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.By Wendy Stationery

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What is your most popular design and why?

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Our most popular design currently is the Regency. It’s a pocket fold invitation featuring stunning patterned card from Envelopments, luxury satin ribbon and tiny crystal details. We incorporate a background image of the wedding venue and I think that’s the feature that couples really like – it makes the invitation really personal to them.

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By Wendy Stationery

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By Wendy Stationery

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Where do you get your inspiration from?

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Inspiration comes from everywhere. I often wake up in the middle of the night with ideas and have to draw them up before I can get back to sleep! I take a lot of inspiration from the USA. They are a good two years ahead of us in regard to invitation styles & designs, and of course the whole ‘social stationery’ scene in the USA is massive.

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I also get a lot of inspiration from things around me, it might be a vintage tea cup or some spotty fabric, a floral arrangement or a piece of jewellery. Anything can spark the seed of a design.

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By Wendy Stationery

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What products are available in each design?

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We can provide a full, coordinating range of product in every design and colour way. We’ll usually take the invitation design as our starting point then carry through aspects of the design into every item we make. Our products include:

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· save the date cards

· invitations (day, evening, hen party)

· order of service or order of the day

· place setting cards & tags

· favours

· table plans

· menus

· table name / number cards

· escort cards

· camera cards

· thank you cards

· guest books

· wedding day post boxes

· cake boxes

· keepsake boxes

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Basically, if it can be made from card or paper we can make it in any design.

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By Wendy Stationery   By Wendy Stationery

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Who would be your dream client, and what sort of design would you envisage for them?

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My dream clients would be someone quirky & a bit eccentric who would give me free reign to capture their personality in their designs. I would have loved to have been involved in Sir Elton John & David Furnish’s big day. Can you imagine? The flamboyance, the over the top, way out design I could have gotten away with? I would envisage a design that would be totally decadent with no holds barred.

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It breaks my heart when some of my clients tone down their own stationery to ‘play it safe’ with and their true character isn’t allowed to shine through. I always feel that the one day you should be allowed to really express yourself should be on your wedding day.

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What would be your top tips for Brides Up North when choosing their wedding stationery?

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Remember that your invitations or save the date cards will be the first indication your guests get of the style and feel of your wedding. The impression they make can not be underestimated so choose with care.
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Think carefully about the style of invitation you choose, by which I don’t mean the colours or design, but whether you opt for a postcard, pocket fold or booklet style. This depends on the amount of information you need to give your guests. If you wedding is taking place in a venue that guests may not be familiar with they may need directions. If guests are travelling then do they need information about local accommodation etc.? If this is the case I would usually advise a pocket fold into which all this information can be delivered together. If on the other hand you are having a small wedding in your home town where family & friends all live this information won’t be required and a simple post card style invitation will suffice.

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By Wendy Stationery

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Choose a reputable company. There are lots of companies out there who will make invitations and do special offer prices, however for many it’s not their main service but an ‘add on’ they think will get you to buy their other products or services. Be careful. If you want your stationery to be ‘handmade’ as opposed to ‘home-made’ go to a specialist stationer.

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Finally, and a tip that can save a lot of stress for both bride and stationers is if you want handcrafted stationery then book early! We can get booked up months in advance so don’t wait until you need your stationery to think about it. Remember that to get a bespoke design your stationer will need time to create the design and order in the required stock. Also I often think that people don’t appreciate that handcrafted stationery will take time to make, some of our designs can take us up to 4 hours per invitation.

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How far in advance should save the dates and then wedding invitations be sent out?

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We recommend sending Save the Date cards out 12 months in advance of the wedding if you are getting married at peak times or during holiday periods. Any later than this and you may find guests have already planned holidays.

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Traditionally invitations were sent out 3 months before the wedding and this is usually sufficient, especially if Save the date cards have been sent out. There are some exceptions though. For instance if your guests are likely to need to book transport or accommodation for the wedding it is best to send your invitations out a little earlier so they are able to make their plans.
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Again, can I mention here – don’t leave it until you want to send your invitations to order them. You should have spoken to your stationer several months earlier if you don’t want to find that they are already fully booked.

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Does all the stationery have to match?

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I’d say yes. That doesn’t mean every item has to be identical, but I would certainly say that there should be common design elements carried through the whole stationery ensemble.

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By Wendy Stationery

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Where are you based and where can you supply?

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We’ve recently moved into our design studio in the Just Perfect Wedding & Event Gallery, Cramlington but we supply stationery to clients throughout the UK & Europe .
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What are your prices, are you doing any special offers?

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We can provide bespoke, handcrafted invitations from as little as 99p. The price depends on the style of invitation, the card stock and detail used and the time taken to make each invitation.

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We often run new items at an introductory price for a limited time. Special offers vary and are often announced first on our Facebook & Twitter pages, and to customers who sign up for our newsletter.

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Can you offer a special discount or a giveaway to Brides Up North readers?

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We are offering a free, personalised wedding day post box to Brides Up North readers who order both invitations & ‘on the day’ stationery totalling £350 or more.
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By Wendy Stationery

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How long do you take to turn around an order?

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We ask clients to give us 6 weeks to design their stationery, source the required stock and make the order. We do often turn an order around in less time than this when required but that’s not always possible especially during peak season.

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Tell Brides Up North about Just Perfect and the concept behind that?

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Just Perfect is our new wedding & event gallery, based at 6K Admiral Business Park, Cramlington, NE 23 1WG.

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It’s a new concept in wedding marketing. It’s an idea that I developed when I first started out in the wedding industry. I decided that I wanted to create a ‘permanent wedding fair’ where couples could browse the products or information from all the different service providers they may consider using for their special day. I wanted it to provide a relaxed, non-intimidating atmosphere where clients didn’t feel pressurised but could feel comfortable to ask questions. From this, Just Perfect was born.

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In the gallery we showcase some of the best wedding professionals in the region. The exhibitors themselves aren’t present so their is no pressure, however our trained and experienced staff are on hand to answer any questions. If clients wish to find out more, or meet any of our exhibitors we can arrange for the company to come to the gallery and chat with them over a coffee in the consultation area.

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So far the feedback from both couples & exhibitors has been very positive, with the most commonly used word in visitor’s book being ‘WOW!’

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By Wendy Stationery

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By Wendy Stationery

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Which suppliers are showcasing at Just Perfect?

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We have an ever increasing team of exhibitors in the Just Perfect Gallery providing anything & everything you need for your big day. These currently include:

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· By Wendy Bespoke Stationery, Favours & Crystal Wishing Trees,

· Tiamo Wedding & Event Planners

· La Dolce Vita Temptation Tables,

· Eclipse Bridal & Prom wear and accessories,

· Fern Florist

· Fi’s Fancies Celebration Cakes

· East of India gifts

· Katie Byram Photography

· Mark Deeks Wedding Pianist

· The Paul James Band

· Simply Bows & Chair Covers

· The Finishing Touch Company

· Wrapped 4 You personalised chocolates

· Sandra’s House of Cake

· Kirkley Hall

· The Novotel Newcastle

· Little B Bunting

- Popcake Kitchen

· RUTH SHAW Make Up Artist

· Ideal Photos

· The Curly Farmer Event Catering

· Hot Buffalo Hen & Stag t-shirts

· DJ Alan Rees

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How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order?

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You can get in touch via:

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· Contact us form on our website: www.by-wendy.com

· telephone us on 07977 913 281

· email: wendyreed@by-wendy.co.uk

· Facebook: ‘By Wendy Bespoke Stationery’

· Twitter: @By_wendy

· pop into Just Perfect!

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Finally, why do you read the Brides Up North wedding blog?
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I love the Brides up North wedding blog! It keeps me up to date with current happenings not just in the region but nationally too. I especially like to find out more about local companies. We often meet in passing at wedding fayres but it’s really good to find out more about who they are and what they do. I also like the fact Brides Up North is flying the flag for us Northern folk.

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  – Images © 2011 By Wendy

By Wendy is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Featured Supplier, Wedding Stationery | Filed Under | Leave A Comment

Supplier Showcase: Vicky Trainor Stationery (Plus a special Brides Up North discount!)

January 24th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Introducing my fabulous Featured Supplier and creator of divine stationery, Vicky Trainor Stationery!  Check back here later today for the chance to win some amazing Vicky Trainor Stationery goodies!

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

Miss Fondant Collection from the Rose Collection

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How did Vicky Trainor Stationery begin?  What is your story?

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Once upon a time back in the mid 1990’s (sounds such a long time ago) I was a designer/maker of greeting cards, artworks as well as doing the odd freelance design work to large stores such as John Lewis, M&S, Liberty of London, Heals, as well as many lifestyle and gift shops around the country. Then, without searching for Mr Right, he turned up. I met Mr Hunter one August evening, we soon kissed and said ‘I do’ and, before we could slow down time, became a family of four. My little business was packed away in a suitcase for a short time to enjoy being a Mum and also while I worked out how I could master the art of running a business with a young family (maintaining a certain level of sanity throughout). Fast forward a couple of years to the day I re-opened the suitcase and decided that I wanted to do something a little different than before. So I made notes and scribbles, sketched and painted and started to develop the collection to be what it has grown into now – vintage inspired floral stationery. And basically, that is what I have been doing for the last 5 years, working here in my studio, being creative every day, each day being a little different to the last and having a ball.

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

Reception table signs from The Vintage Collection

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What is your most popular design and why?

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The most popular are The Rose Collections; English, Vintage and Miss Fondant. They can be delicate and understated or bright and flirty. If a client is willing to experiment I will entice them into mixing the colour palettes (and at times the collections). Vanilla with Charcoal, French Blue and Red, Cotton and Faded Teal, Blackcurrant with Hot Pink: the combinations of designs and colour is endless. Magazines and blogs have posted articles on ‘the eclectic’ for quite some time now. Finally, there is a general feeling of unlimited freedom, to be creative and play with themes, colour, textures, introducing found objects, personal items, exploring the idea of ‘styling’ instead of a formal ‘arrangement’. There are vintage hire companies available as well as stylists and planners to help you but there is also lots of fun to be had by rummaging around car boot sales, charity shops and auction rooms. We can be as creative with stationery in exactly the same way that you can mix crockery, vases and vessels, bird cages and typewriters. Menus in Rose, place cards in Blossom and an embroidered table number from the Vintage Drawer Collection……

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

The Vintage Rose Collection in blackcurrant

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.  Vicky Trainor StationeryThe Rose Collection English Vintage and Miss Fondant Mood Board for Brides Up North 

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Which is your favourite design in your collection and why?

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It has to be the new Vintage Drawer Collection, all made from vintage and retro linens and haberdashery items. I am really excited about how it has already been received by magazines and the queens of blog-land while it has been in its early design stages. After 5 years of working with card and paper it feels a little indulgent to put time aside to sit in the sewing corner and appliqué flowers, embroider, stitch and bead.

This collection also comes in the form of favours, gifts and home products such as lavender pillows, gift boxes, sewing cases and sweet ‘love quote’ bookmarks. So you don’t have to order this collection for every stationery product. You could have the invitations from our printed range and then some stationery items from the Vintage Drawer or buy your loved ones one of our little gifts as a thank you. We have also produced reception signs – ‘naughty but nice’, ‘please help yourself’, ‘sew in love’ and many more. Little decorated room signs have also been created – so if you want to bring a little of the home-made to your abode you may want to take a peak from ‘boudoir’ to ‘kitchen’, ‘the love room’ to ‘the studio’. Or how about a ‘do not disturb sign’ for your place of sanctuary.

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Vicky Trainor StationeryDoor signs for the home from The Vintage Drawer Collection

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

Flat panel place cards from The Vintage Drawer Collection

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If I was to choose from the printed collection it would have to be The Fauna Collection, I just love how you can experiment with the colour within this collection. It fits perfectly against stronger blooms within your reception styling with its leaf based print.

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Vicky Trainor StationeryThe Fauna Collection – Amelie Rose

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Vicky Trainor Stationery 

The Fauna Collection

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Are you married yourself?

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It will be our tenth wedding anniversary this year. We had a budget of £4000 and 80 day guests and 160 for the evening, so the idea of canapés and cocktails was a little out of reach. We just wanted to have a party and celebrate. So we married at the local register office at 3pm and hired an old nightclub for the late afternoon and evening, a fabulous band and an old fashioned DJ. We had such a good time and watching Jamie’s 80 year old Aunt po-going to The Jam will be one treasured memory.

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Ten years later, if we had the chance to do it all again, I would hire the local village hall and ask everyone to bring a little token of home-baking, flowers from the garden and use our caravan as a refreshments bar, and have little pieces of the Vintage Drawer Collection here and there. The following day we would rent a slate covered cottage in the middle of Langdale in the Lake District and hide away for 7 days, no emails, no Twitter, no printer, and enjoy the peace, the quiet, long walks, good food, Cumberland ale, sun and blue skies…I’m a girl who likes the simple things in life.

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

Table number ties for vases – The Vintage Drawer Collection

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Which celebrity would you most like to design invitations for and why? What style would you go for?

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Lately, I have become a little bit obsessed with Helena Bonham Carter. It wasn’t intentional, I think it was after a succession of Alice in Wonderland, Toast, Enid, Sweeney Todd and A Room With A View all within a fortnight of each other and The King’s Speech is planned for our next ‘Date Night’. So with regards to the design (and if Helena and Tim ever decide to tie the knot), what would I choose? I think I would have to layer and mix the Cartmel and Camelia Collection until it was a wonderful hotchpotch of colour and pattern, beautiful and interestingly styled and then sit back totally and visually exhausted.

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Helena Bonham Carter

Image via Jolly People

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

Cartmel and Camelia mixed

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Vicky Trainor StationeryCartmel and Camelia mixed

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Which of your designs would you choose for Kate Middleton?  Or alternatively, what would you design for her?

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The French Corsage Collection would probably be my choice – using a combination of the linen tones with contrasting taupe and chalk. Or maybe the Peonie Collection, duck egg blues and vintage tones of pink.

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

The French Corsage Collection

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

The Peonie Collection

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Is this your dream job?  If you didn’t do this, what would be your alternative career?

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At present this is my dream job, although the hours are very long, I consider myself to be very lucky to be busy doing what I love and every day is interesting and an absolute joy. If I could re-study in something new I would become a landscape gardener or possibly a presenter of Gardener’s World but only if Monty Don would come back and co-present with me (it’s a cords and compost thing)…

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Describe a typical working day in the life of Vicky

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Every day is very different from the next but here is what I did today as an example:

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I got up very early, up at 5.30 am (6 is a lie in) so I can have an hour in the studio to look at emails that have come through the evening and plan my day while the house is still quiet. I love lists. I cannot function on a daily basis without lists. I then stop to wake the girls and make the family breakfast then the school run. My working day is in sections:

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9.00 am – 12.00 noon

*set the printers to finish the remainder of this weeks orders.

*Read and answered emails that came through since 7 this morning. (although this is an on-going job through out the day).

*Made the thread wraps for the sewing cases.

*Posted on the studio blog.

*Drank far too much black coffee.

*Scanned the latest Wedding & Country Living magazines to feed the soul.

*Cut the order on the ‘making table’ (every product is hand cut).

*Stopped for Soup and took my youngest to nursery.

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12.30 – 2.45 pm

*Continued working on the sewing cases.

*Worked on the pages of the new ‘Vintage Drawer’ web site.

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2.45 – 5.30 pm(ish)

*School run, collected, fed and watered the kids. For one whole hour I was a domestic goddess trying to maintain a layer of organisation to the house…

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6.00 – 9.30 pm – the night shift

*Listed the sample requests in the sample diary that had come through today.

*Answered emails that had come through.

*Continued to work on web site and tried not to be distracted by popping over to see what my favourite bloggers had been up to! I’m not very disciplined in the evening.

*Telephoned a client for a quick chat.

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9.30pm

*Cursed as I realised that I had missed half of Mary Portas’s new series, thank goodness for Channel 4+1 and chilled Pinot Grigio…

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

Vintage Love Quote from The Vintage Collection

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Can you give us an idea on price?

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Prices vary on choice and preference. Price lists are available and are sent out with all of our sample request packs but to give you an idea:

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Printed Range:

Invitations are from £2.25

Place cards are from £1.10

Order of service are from £3.80

Table Numbers are from £2.25

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 Place card from the Miss Fondant Collection in citrus and rosehip from the Rose Collection

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The Vintage Drawer Collection:

Invitations are £9.00 with decorated presentation box

Place Names, flat and tied are £4.00 each

Lavender Pillows are £9.00 each with a decorated presentation box

Reception signs from £8.00

Door signs from £8.00

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Vicky Trainor StationeryTable numbers – The Vintage Drawer Collection

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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We would like to offer a 10% discount to Brides Up North readers on all orders of £200 or more from the Printed Collections (all stationery products) and new The Vintage Drawer Collection (on reception stationery and gift/favour products only) received no later than the 28th February 2011.  Please quote Brides Up North when placing your order.

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Can you create bespoke designs?

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We love to hear ideas. We can re-colour any of the designs and play around with the scale and layout if required. There is an initial charge of £10-£25 for this, depending on the extent of the work required but this is refunded on orders over £250.

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Where do you get your inspiration from?

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Inspiration comes from many sources, latest fashion and interior trends, books, a Sunday stroll (I always have my camera with me), vintage finds, days out, our caravan holidays, blogs, lifestyle magazines, my garden…the list is exhaustingly endless.

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Tell us a bit about your plans for your new collection?

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This new Vintage Drawer Collection is for the vintage loving bride who is searching for something very different, a slice of individuality, a new twist to the ‘make do and mend’ trend that has been with us for a couple of seasons. Each piece is loved and made by hand and therefore each item will be different in its detail. We already have products that will be available to be purchased from the launch date of the 31st January.

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Invitations, save the date, menus, place names are made to order as these require specific, personal information.

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

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Invitations from The Vintage Drawer Collection 

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

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Table numbers, reception signs, lavender pillows, vintage bookmarks and sewing cases are currently made and available to buy from brochure sheets that we can email through to enquirers.

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

Lavender pillows from The Vintage Drawer Collection 

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Don’t forget we have our new ‘house signs’ for your little abode if you would like to purchase a little piece of the collection today. We always let our blog readers see new designs first so there are plenty of images already posted.

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How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you?

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Lots of ways!! You can email me direct with any questions at info@vickytrainor.co.uk. We have our printed collections web site over at www.vickytrainor.co.uk.

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The vintage drawer web site will be launched on the 31st January and will be announced over at our main studio blog and on Twitter.

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We have two blogs:

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The first is our main studio blog and is full of news, current happenings in the studio, things we love and think may inspire you: www.vickytrainor.blogspot.com

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The second is about the day to day running of the making and packing tables in the studio, from sampling, to orders, to sample packs. We don’t get chance to photograph everything we do but we try and show a good variation of what is currently being produced week to week: www.studiosnippets.blogspot.com

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Or you can telephone 01642 491087 for a chat about any of your ideas.

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Vicky Trainor Stationery

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Anything else that we should know?

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Become a follower of the main studio blog as we have the odd giveaway and discounts – so it is always worth watching….

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Check back later today for a Vicky Trainor Stationery GIVEAWAY!

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Vicky Trainor Stationery is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in Featured Supplier, Wedding Stationery | Filed Under | 2 Comments

RSV…yes Please! Vicky Trainor Stationery

December 18th, 2010 | Julia Braime

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Vicky Trainor, designer of gorgeous stationery, got in touch to tell us about the fantastic giveaway she is currently running over at her blog.

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Go there and get yourself some goodies!

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In the meantime, check out my favourites from the gorgeous designs of this lovely lady, who is based Up North in Redcar, Cleveland.  A pick for each season….

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Springtime romance…

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VT Blossom Petal Spring

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Crisp white blossoms against a zingy background would set the scene perfectly for a Spring affair!  I love this Blossom Petal design.

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Summer loving…

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VT Mia Red

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Mia in Red would be perfect a balmy August wedding.  And did I see the word diamante?! Indian summer!

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Autumn amour…

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VT Cartmel Autumn

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Choose berry shades on this beautifully understated Cartmel design to give it some juicy autumnal flavour!

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Winter wonderful…

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VT Winter Dove Grey

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Vicky’s Winter Dove Grey designs are understated and romantic with a hint of snowflake sparkle.

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Head over to the Vicky Trainor blog to take part in her giveaway.

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Or check out her full range of fabulous designs on her website.

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This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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