Featured Supplier

You Are Cordially Invited – Supplier Showcase: By Wendy Stationery

27th November 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

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