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Most of the couples I work with “get” what I do. They understand that choosing custom wedding stationery is a lot like having a dress or suit made. I need a lot of “measurements” to tailor your exclusive design to you and your fiancé’s special day. I then craft something that “fits” you and your event perfectly. That is a skill that takes time and years of experience to do well.

Occasionally, I work with a couple who likes the idea of a tailored stationery experience but the cost is outside their budget. They often suggest that I do all of the design work and they’ll take the files somewhere else to be printed. Or, worse, they’ll try to print them at home.

Asking a custom stationer if they can print your work somewhere else is basically like making a reservation at a fancy restaurant and then telling the chef that you want to take the ingredients of your dinner across town to have someone else cook it. The chef has no control over whether that dinner will turn out as she intended. It becomes a quality control issue and the chef will get the bad review if things don’t turn out well.

It’s also mildly insulting. Would you walk into a bridal gown salon and ask for the dress pattern so you could have it made by someone other than the designer? Unlikely. There are lots of stationery companies that will create what are known as “printables” for couples that don’t want to do the full-service thing. à deux isn’t one of them and I’ve blogged about that before.

When you hire a custom stationery designer, you’re getting more than paper. You’re also getting access to hundreds of fonts, high-quality supplies, years of design training, and an all-inclusive customer service experience. The important thing to understand is that stationery works exactly like pretty much everything else when it comes to weddings: know what you’re buying before the contract is signed so there’s no confusion or bad feelings during the process.

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