‘When Should We Post Our Wedding Invites?’ – A Froggy Guide.

Hey guys!

Ok, how is it October already!?!

With autumn arriving in all her glorious colours it’s had me thinking about you wonderful couples getting married next year and I felt this post could be of some use. If you haven’t already done so, this is the ideal time of year to start thinking about your stationery. So snuggle up, grab a cuppa and enjoy…

A question I’m frequently asked from couples is ‘When should we post out our wedding save the dates and invites?’. Well, no two weddings are the same, so my general thoughts on this are to send them whenever you feel ready. However, with so much to think about and hundreds of decisions waiting to be made while you’re planning the wedding, I thought I’d share my stationery timeline guide to help make your process that little bit easier.

First things first! You’ve discovered your ultimate venue and have secured that all important date, the wedding game is officially afoot! With this in place you can begin to envisage how the day will look and feel; be it boho, rustic, modern, romantic or vintage, etc. These ‘themes’ can all be expressed through your wedding stationery choices too. From commissioning someone like me or going down the DIY route, you’re now ready to get cracking with creating stationery loveliness, so let’s hop to it!

THE BRIDE TRIBE

If you’ve not yet exploded with excitement after the engagement and blurted out who you want in your bridal party, a really sweet way to ask them is to give your chosen I Do Crew a ‘will you be my bridesmaid/groomsman/best man/ maid of honour? postcard. Alongside your written words, it makes for a great little memento they get to cherish. Deliver postcards whenever you’re ready to ask and these beauties are just the start of the wedding stationery fun!

Frog & Pencil Bridal Party Postcards available on Etsy

 

SAVE THE DATES

Eeek, posting your Save the Dates certainly starts to make it all feel real. It’s also the first glimpse of your wedding day that guests will see, so make it playful…be a tease! Your lovely Save the Dates are typically sent 6 to 12 months before the wedding day, however, once you have your theme in mind, I suggest posting them sooner rather than later. This ensures your guests can pop it in their diaries and start making plans; especially if you’re having a destination wedding.

Save our Date example for Stationery Timeline Post

WEDDING INVITATIONS

Traditionally these are posted 3 – 6 months before the big date. I’m inclined to deliver them with plenty of time to spare, especially if you’re including accommodation recommendations; everyone will need the information to make those bookings. Alongside your invites, you might want to include other key pieces, such as a map and extra information about the day. Have a good think about what your guests are going to need to know as these can all go together in one fabulous package. Remember, the more you include, the more time will be needed to create them.

Boho-Tipi wedding stationery collection.invite

Boho-Tipi Wedding Collection Map

RSVP

The last thing you want to do in the run up to your wedding is chase rsvp’s and scramble together the seating plan. Discuss with your caterer and venue when they require final numbers and allow for some extra breathing room. I suggest 6 weeks before your wedding is a manageable date for your friends and family to reply by. Having these numbers sooner not only keeps the stress levels down but will also help when it comes to preparing the ‘on the day details’ below.

Boho-Tipi Wedding Stationery Collection RSVP

ON THE DAY STATIONERY

I LOVE On The Day Stationery and it’s certainly something you should ponder over. These details range from an Order of Service, Schedule of the Day, a Bridal Party Who’s Who Board to a Table Plan, Menu, Table Numbers (remember, they don’t have to be numbers, they can be more personal to you; places you’ve visited together, your favourite gins, animals, anything goes…we had different cakes!) and Name Place Cards. These little details can absolutely add character to the wedding decor and are another brilliant way to express your personalities. Allow at least 4 to 6 weeks for these last-minute pieces to be made and printed.

Boho-Tipi Wedding Collection Name CardBoho-Tipi Wedding Collection Hoop Table PlanBoho-Tipi Wedding Collection Menu

THANK YOU CARDS

Who doesn’t love a Thank You Card? After all the excitement of the wedding day and a blissful honeymoon to look forward to, these can easily be put on the back burner. It’s a kind gesture to thank your guests for attending and for any gifts you may have luckily received, so please don’t forget these. My advice is to send them no later than 3 months after your wedding has passed.

Boho-Tipi Wedding Stationery Collection Thank You Card

FINAL FROGGY THOUGHTS

If you decide to commission your wedding stationery have a good think about the whole package.  If you want to keep it cohesive from Save the Date through to Thank You Card, it may be cheaper to bundle it all together in one order. One thing I know for certain is that these pieces take time to make, potentially up to 6 weeks, especially so if they’re bespoke. Get in touch early on, be sure to ask about current work schedules and time estimates, then you’ll be able to figure out your wedding stationery postal timings accordingly.

And there you have it, I hope you found my Froggy guide helpful. If you have any questions or would like a quote for your wedding stationery then get in touch with any ideas you have in mind, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time lovelies, happy wedding planning!

Cx

P.S – here’s a little timeline I made for a wedding fair. Save the image as a handy record to add to your wedding file.

Frog & Pencil's wedding stationery timeline

 

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Frog & Pencil outside Not On The High Street HQ after her Pitch!

Carpe Diem; My PitchUp2016 Experience.

Hello all.

Last Saturday the day finally arrived. With a tummy full of butterflies, my hubby and I were on an early train heading to London for PitchUp2016!

Throughout the previous two weeks, it felt like I lived and breathed this pitch.  I thoroughly researched, carefully chose my products to discuss and nailed down a good structure that would tell my story, show off my products and also touch upon what makes me unique and why I would appeal to a Not On The High Street (NOTHS) customer.

I was feeling pretty confident about my 10 minute pitch and my first run-through came in at 15 minutes…bugger! Even though I have a background in marketing, editing isn’t my strong point. Thank goodness for Lewie! He listened to my spiel and section by section helped me to trim the fat until we were running at just under 9 minutes; genius!

The day before, I was champing at the bit.  I’d successfully completed several rehearsals without glancing at my notes, found a pitch perfect dress and my bags were packed and good to go by early evening.  All I needed was a quality sleep. Hah, good luck Mrs! Sometimes, I hate my brain. I am prone to bouts of insomnia and it kicked in big time, I think I managed three hours and I was NOT a happy Frog!

Luckily, I’m a positive person, so I managed to shake off the rocky nights sleep and focus.  We made it to the train and settled in for the journey, however I couldn’t get rid of my sickly feeling.

We hopped into Richmond with an hour and a half to wait.  We found a nice quiet pub, bought two orange juices and lemonades and I nearly fell off my chair when a £10 note didn’t cover it…I’ve never made a drink last so long in my life. Nonetheless it gave me time to change, calm my nerves and go through it one last time.

At 1.45pm I topped up my lippy, popped on my heels and made my way to NOTHS House.

I was greeted by friendly receptionists and headed to the 3rd floor. The room was filled with experts and suppliers; the atmosphere was buzzing! Looking around, I felt super overdressed as most people were pretty casual. As I waited, I chatted to a lovely jewellery designer Ruby. It turns out we’d already spoken via my blog and twitter, what a sweet coincidence!

As my name was called, I took a deep breath and I was set to seize the moment.

On reflection, it was a positive experience although I’m not a partner…yet! A few minutes into my pitch I felt like I was over prepared, it seemed like my presentation was a bit unexpected. I didn’t even finish what I had planned to say or ask my questions. To sum it up, she loved my products. I showed her my Little Bespoke Book, Ready-to-Write, Portraits and my Alpaca collaboration pieces (still currently top-secret) to show them what a semi-bespoke collection could look like from Frog & Pencil.

Her feedback was great.  She really enjoyed my Little Bespoke Book, especially how personal it could be and hadn’t seen anything like it before. However, her concern, like mine, was the simple fact that it’s too Bespoke for their website to handle. She liked my use of colour, admired my illustrative designs and thought that I had a great eye for detail which was all a nice little confidence boost. She believed there is a gap in their market for Ready-to-Writes and would like to see me develop those further along with my semi-bespoke collections.

She liked my portraits and suggested I speak with the Home Team and proceeded to sign me up. Thankfully, I brought loads of examples of my work, including other portrait pieces. I chatted with the Home Team who liked my designs but they already have a partner who paints people in a similar style. They suggested I come up with new ideas for designs that include my personal elements but without the garland and then to e-mail those over. This is a tough one. I believe that the garlands I paint are essentially my signature.  I’ve spent years battling to find my style and now I have it, do I want to change it?  I don’t want to discount their helpful suggestion so It’s certainly a point I need to spend some serious time considering.

Overall it was an excellent experience and I’m happy I signed up. Not only to gain their advice but I discovered so much about my business in these last few weeks and that is invaluable.  It’s also always beneficial to push yourself and wander out of your comfort zone for a while. Alongside that, it’s exciting to know that they connected with my work and it’s something that could sell on their marketplace.

Be that as it may, I wish they had given a little more input into what those minutes would be like. All we had to work from was to sign up for a ten minute pitch, bring a maximum of five products to discuss and that they shouldn’t be too big.  It’s quite an open brief. I spent a lot of time working on this and I won’t lie, there were points where I stressed myself out so much I was quite emotional. It didn’t need to get that far. Essentially, it was a casual talk about what I do and I didn’t need to prepare as much as I had.

My advice to those who are going up to pitch is this. It’s a very relaxed environment and I would treat it like a chat. Know your products/business inside out and be prepared to maybe answer questions on why you’re unique and why you would appeal to a NOTHS customer. But I certainly wouldn’t have called it a ‘Pitch’, it obviously meant something different to me. Additionally, wear something that you’re comfortable in. Even though I felt pitch ready in my outfit, being so overdressed did make me feel a little self conscious…which is stupid right!? But it happens.

I truly appreciate the time and guidance. Like I said it’s an experience I’m pleased I went through and I picked up a lot which is always priceless.

I have to remember that I’m still a newbie and everything is a learning curve. My plan now is to work on my semi-bespoke ideas and create new Ready-to-Writes to present on my return. In the meantime, I have products made and waiting to sell, so I may set up an Etsy shop or apply to sell on Folksy; stick around and we’ll see where that leads.

Thank you to NOTHS for seeing me and if you’ve signed up for future events I wish you all the best of luck!

Until next time you lovely bunch,

Cx

Hopping Over to Suffolk

Hello there!

Last Sunday Frog & Pencil exhibited for the first time over in beautiful Suffolk. We met lovely Donna at A Most Curious Wedding Fair and she invited me to show my illustrative stationery wares at the Truly Vintage Wedding Fair at Glemham Hall.

I find it rather difficult choosing between wedding fairs as I feel F&P needs to find the right audience. So far, from the two I’ve been a part of, only one couple have been in touch (who are awesome btw) and I’m so happy that they’ve hired me. You do need to invest quite a lot of money into a wedding fair and as this is my first year it’s all trial and error…so much is a gamble. However, I decided to bite the bullet and 1) try a new County, 2) see what a summer crowd is like.

My glamorous, hairy assistant joined me and we rocked up to Glemham early Sunday morning to set up. When we arrived, we were greeted by the chickens and a peacock…I knew then that this was going to be a fun day! Glemham is just gorgeous and the grounds are incredible…if you’re looking for a wedding venue, certainly give them a look, you won’t be disappointed.

It’s been a few months since my last fair but we were quick to put our stall together and it was such a great feeling to see new work on display and how it’s all evolving. Definitely pretty proud of what I’ve achieved so far. Once again, I was super lucky with my friendly neighbours, Hopes & Dreams Wedding & Event Dressing and Events Under Canvas. In all, there were around 30 exhibitors set up in a large and pretty marquee; it was light, airy and spacious, perfect for showcasing my wedding stationery.

10am arrived and the queue of couples drifted in with their family and friends. We spoke to many lovely people, mostly those who have just started their wedding planning process. I relish talking with people about their plans, it’s such an exciting time, you can literally do anything you want! The sunshine made an appearance and the weather was simply delightful. I did find though that quite a few times we had a lull in ‘foot traffic’ which I feel was brought on by the weather; who wouldn’t want to be outside…I was a smidge jealous.

In the quiet spells, I wandered around to meet the other amazing suppliers and managed to chat to most people, exchanging business cards. The Truly Vintage team looked after us too and we were given a tasty packed lunch which I thought was a nice touch. The event came to an end at 4pm and we had a pleasant day at Glemham, however I did come away feeling unsure if we’d caught enough interest. We’ll just have to wait and see… 🙂

Check out my snaps from the Truly Vintage Wedding Fair 2016.

I like to share the love after attending these fairs, so here are a handful of suppliers you should check out!

A SPECIAL CROAK OUT TO…

Hopes & Dreams Wedding & Event Dressing: Lorraine is brilliant and it was ace being her neighbour on the day. She specialises in styling your big day and hiring out items. Her stall was a treasure trove of loveliness, she has something for everyone…if I had a bigger car or a van, I would have snagged her gorgeous dresser! Loads of people were buzzing around her stall, so get in touch to hire those goodies!

Events Under Canvas: Oh snap! These guys hire out giant tipis for all events and they are amazeballs! A great alternative to your traditional marquee and there is no end to how you can style them up to looks gorgeous! Another popular stall and also super friendly; give them a bell and don’t miss out…I have a feeling they have one full diary!

Wisheart Tiara Design: Jacqui came on over to say hello right away which made us feel really welcome. This is one talented lady; she creates beautiful tiaras, combs and wedding hair pieces which are all bespoke. With so many styles to choose from, one of these vintage accessories will be a stunning way to finish off your bridal look.

Myrtle & Mint: This florist’s stall was gorgeous with an incredible colour palette. There was a lovely country garden feel to her stall, so if you’re looking for flowers with a relaxed flair, pop into her shop to say hello!

A big thank you to Donna and the Truly Vintage guys for having us, we had a great day! We’re also keeping our fingers crossed to hear back from you lovely couples…you can always hop over to www.frogandpencil.com to discover more.

Things have been a bit quiet on the blog recently, lots of projects I’ve been a part of or working on are under wraps right now but soon I can divulge all. I have a few posts up my sleeve so keep your eyes peeled!

Until next time you lovely bunch!

Cx