All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.
Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “Tradie Tuesday”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.
Be My Guest
Business Name: Be My Guest
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business? I’m Amanda, and I design wedding invitations and stationery. I believe wedding invitations should communicate exactly what your wedding day is all about – whether you’re going for a fun and relaxed day, something more sophiscated and elegant, or anything in between. I work out of my home office in Dunedin, but as I’m an online business I get to work with couples worldwide – I am about to send some invites to New York!
What do you love about your job: I love getting to problem solve – being given some ideas from a couple and then having an ‘a-ha!’ moment when an idea clicks into place that I know fits them and their wedding day perfectly. It’s such a high! I also love picking up the printed invites from the printers. The texture, lustre and colour cannot be replicated on the computer screen, so it’s very satisfying finally seeing the physical result, after working on it on the computer.
What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I’m a wedding nerd – in my spare time I run www.southernbride.co.nz – but I’m also Mum to Henry who is 3, so my days with him revolve around going swimming, grabbing a coffee with friends (not particularly relaxing with a pre-schooler) and tidying up after him … I’m not pariticularly glamorous! My husband works away from home during the week, but in the weekend I try to help him restore a beautiful old ’69 VF Valiant which I want to claim as my car!
What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? Don’t send your wedding invitations out too early! Your guests will lose the invite, you’ll change your mind on who you’re inviting, guests will procrastinate on RSVPing, they’ll RSVP and then change their mind – it’s not worth ‘being organised’ and sending them out months and months in advance. Send a Save the Date if you’re worried and hold off till 3-4 months before to send your formal wedding invite.
Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? As much as I love Pinterest, it can promote some really unrealistic expectations, and be overwhelming if you don’t reign it in and keep focused. It’s common for people to email me a photo or screenshot from Pinterest and ask ‘how much to get this invite’ Recreating someone else’s designs is illegal and unethical, and it’s an awful conversation to have with a couple, because 9 times out of 10 they don’t mean to put you in that situation.
Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? I have been really lucky to make some amazing friends – both former clients and wedding professionals. I’ve had coffee dates five times this last week and two of them were brides I have become friends with and the others were friends I’ve made who work in his industry. How cool is that?! I have a lot of people say ‘wow, you must get a lot of bridezillas’ when I tell them what I do. I’ve been really lucky – I’ve never had one! There’s been some couples who are really particular about certain aspects of their wedding day,and perhaps some guests might see that as demanding or rude, but when you get to know why a couple might want things a certain way, it’s justified.
What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Start with a budget, and a guest list. If you don’t know how much you have to spend, or how many people you need to feed, you’re going to have a hard time making decisions on everything else down the track.
Also – just do one thing at a time. Yes, wedding planning is overwhelming – but I promise you it’s doable! Just pick one thing and work on that. Then worry about the next thing! If you’re really struggling, reach out to your wedding professionals for help, even if it’s not in their area of expertise. They have the answers or know people who can help.
One insider tip/trick to pass on? You don’t need one invite per guest it’s one invite per house-hold. So if you’re having 150 guests, you’ll probably only need 80-90 invites. It’s not uncommon to hear of couples who didn’t realise this till after they’ve sent out the invites – and buying too many invites is a waste of money! Also (ok this is sort of two tips, please forgive me) unless you’re hand delivering all your wedding invites, make sure they’ll fit within the ‘medium letter’ (1 stamp) size with NZ Post. Any larger and you’ll double your postage costs.