Friday, November 16, 2007

Note To Bride.... To Bespoke or Not To Bespoke...

Lately, I have encountered something rather puzzling in the world of hopeful brides. You see, I meet with a bride- we go over all of the amazing ways that her wedding can be reflective of HER- we discuss the options out there... she swoons over photos of other events and ideas from magazines.... and then we hit a road bump. It seems that though many brides are buying into lovely, couture weddings- they are experiencing sticker shock. They KNOW what to expect in terms of the overall price tag- but many are so very suprised to see the quotes for the individual elements. A few have even compromised our original visions for less expensive "customized" options. I use this term loosely as just about every company out there is placing a "bespoke" and "custom" tag on their products... with the premise that altering a color here or a pre-drawn image there makes their product specific to YOU (the bride)... when infact, such tags as :bespoke: were created for a select group of individuals who offer tailor-made products... and it is this passion and customization that support their price tag.

In order to properly illustrate this... I have enlisted the help of designer, Margot Moussempes of Atelier Isabey- a truely Bespoke Invitation Studio. Visiting her site, as with all custom invitation studios, you can view the sets for previous clients- and are asked to contact her to start the design on your OWN invitation.... So what exactly happens when you make that bold move and decide to go the custom route??

"To give you an idea of how we work, when we develop concepts and designs for our clients, we start from scratch, drawing, researching and sketch out ideas for our brides. We customize a one of a kind design based on information and details provided by the couple (ie. the flowers in the bouquet, dress details, cake, family heirlooms, etc..)"

"When concepts are ready for presentation we present them to the client along with mood boards for each design concept to help them understand the ideas and the inspirations we drew to create the designs. The moodboard helps to convey the overall feel and, in the example of Jane & George, we drew inspiration from traditional English gardens, flourish typefaces, old vintage shop signs, traditional ironwork, etc..."

"After picking one concept direction to go with, we go through several rounds of revisions. We recommend some color options, suggest paper choices, and make edits to design and copy or anything else that the couple would like to change before sending the work out to print at one of our master printer studios."

"We show one final proof before anything is sent off to press. We work really closely with talented letterpress, silkscreen, engraving and offset printing artists as well as calligraphers that bring our designs to life. Once we've carefully checked over each and every invitation set, we package them neatly into a box and off they go in the mail to be received by the couple."



I want to thank Margot for sharing her process, and truely hope that each bride reading this is able to understand the amount of time, effort, passion, and talent that goes into each of these beautiful pieces of printed ephemera. Next time that you find yourself wondering if the pricetag on any element of your special day is too high- remind yourself that the vendor must make a living as well- and then consider how much time will be going into your product and how that will affect the amount of projects that they can work on at a given time. In turn, be weary of vendors whose pricetags are slightly higher than usual- but whose product and attention to customer service do not reflect the same pricipals of "bespoke" design...

5 comments:

Enjoy Celebrations and Occasions said...

Oh! How right you are. One of the most difficult things for brides to swallow is simply how much money goes in to specific elements of a wedding. When pieces are truly custom, prices are often much higher than expected. Whether it be the invitations, the gown, or the jewelry, creating a uniquely personal and special piece comes with (an often hefty) price tag. I always remind couples that they should splurge on the one element that means the most and look for other ways to save on costs.

kstyle said...

Hi Danielle
I just discovered your blog and love your creative and original content. I'm going to link you on Kstyle asap. I loved the cakes from Portland, Oregon. I live in Ashland, OR so will be good resource for myself and my readers. k

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George @ TTL Wedding Photography said...

Very stylish! Love the custom design and printing.