Izzy Birrell lets us into the world of Isabel & Ink and takes us through the wedding stationery process
Tell us a bit about Isabel & Ink and the work you do.
Isabel & Ink is a multi-disciplinary design studio based in London working with both private and corporate clients. We cater for all your stationery, graphic design and branding needs. We can also incorporate calligraphy to any project creating a hand-written, luxury feel that’s tailored to you. We focus entirely on the client or couple in hand. We don’t like to restrict ourselves to working with one type of printer, artist or supplier but will research the best and most appropriate options based on the clients’ needs, budget and requirements. Quality and style are at the heart of what we do with extensive research and care going into each project in order to achieve this.
When it comes to wedding stationery are traditional designs still popular, or are you seeing more contemporary/unique illustrations and designs being used?
The traditional style of wedding stationery is beautiful, classical and quintessentially British! At Isabel & Ink though we like to create wedding stationery sets that are a bit more unique and personal to the couple. More and more I’m seeing people wanting to mix the traditional with the modern which can look really smart and stylish. I think it’s special to be able to bring your personality into your wedding stationery and perhaps a bit of ‘your story’ in some way. It’s the first thing that your guests will see and a teaser of what is to come on the day which is why it’s fun to create something that stands out in people’s minds. Everybody is different and every wedding day is unique to the couple so it’s my belief that the stationery should be the same and set the right tone.
What do you advise couples when it comes to colour, thickness and the font of their wedding stationery? Any other tips?
I like to meet with the couple before starting a project and talk through their story, their theme if they have one, and hear more about the wedding. We then begin to brainstorm ideas and go from there. We want it to be an exciting process and not a chore so if you’re stuck for ideas then we can do the creative thinking for you!
It’s nice to find one predominant colour that can tie in throughout all the stationery from the save the dates and invites to the orders of service and on the day stationery. If you have a colour in mind we can match it. At the moment, the calligraphy style fonts and that hand-written look is very popular and can give the invites an elegant yet personal finish. We have hundreds of fonts in our library so anything is possible! I always say stiff is best when it comes to the main invites as well as a good quality paper for added luxury! You don’t need to go as thick or as weighty on things like info cards, RSVP cards and on the day stationery. We work with some lovely UK printers as well as really beautiful papers.
Is there anything that is often overlooked by couples when choosing their stationery?
I think it’s easy to get over excited and want to gold foil, letterpress and emboss everything! This isn’t always the answer and these are often expensive processes as well. I like to be able to give the client what they want and something they are proud of so it’s important to give the correct advice on print finishes, costs and lead times early on so as to manage their expectations. In today’s world we can often want things done quickly and speedily (I blame the digital era!). Specialist printing can take time and shouldn’t be rushed so it’s essential to allow time to create your wedding invites if you want it to have that unique and bespoke feel.
In terms of timing when do you recommend couples send out their Save the Dates/Invitations?
Save the dates can be done the moment you set the date and have a venue. They don’t need to be crammed full of information and can be done digitally/on email for ease. For invitations for weddings in the same country I would advise sending out around 3 months before the date. For overseas/abroad weddings I would recommend a little longer, around 4-6 months for Europe and anything up to a year for the rest of the world!
Have you had any odd requests for wedding stationery – from invitations to reply cards?
All my brides have been very creative in their own ways and tend to know their own minds which is very helpful to me! I did have a groom ask if it was possible to create an invitation that was made from edible paper for his guests to enjoy after they had opened it but the bride quickly shut that idea down!
Illustrations on featured image by Lulu Pearson
Illustration on last image by Suzie Foster
All photographs: Tom Lakeman http://www.tomlakemanphoto.com