English Tea Paperie: Bespoke Wedding Invitations

It's the first of the month so that means another Maggie's Musings guest blogger! Today we have Chloe Minyon, the Owner of English Tea Paperie, a custom wedding invitations and paper company, chatting with us about her services and the unique value she offers every single client! I had the pleasure of meeting Chloe back in January and saw right away that she's easy to talk to and is someone you could grab a cup of coffee and chat with for hours (and that ridiculously charming English accent doesn't hurt either!). I have since had the opportunity to work with her on three separate occasions: two styled shoots and a graduation, the latter of which she offered up for free in order to support a local non-profit. Chloe is bright, charming, and full of life! She is truly an artist at what she does and provides a unique and fun experience to clients during a time that can otherwise be somewhat stressful. When you book Chloe, you are sure to get a unique, one-of-a-kind design from start to finish! Read below to learn more and to hear from Chloe herself on what she does and what you need to know when ordering invitations:

Photo by: Shalese Danielle Photography

"Hey guys, my name is Chloe Minyon and I’m the Owner and Creative Director of English Tea Paperie. I create custom designed wedding invitations and papers, based in Richmond, VA, by way of the United Kingdom. I began designing invitations over 9 years ago, when I struggled to find something I truly loved for my own wedding. I created my own invitations and then opened English Tea Paperie to help other struggling brides create theirs. Many couples have a hard time finding unique and meaningful papers for their wedding, so that's where I come in! Today I will be answering the top 5 most frequently asked questions about custom wedding invitations!

Why choose a stationery designer and custom invitations?

When you opt to use a stationery designer, you get complete design control. You will work from a blank canvas and build up to your dream invitations, choosing your favorite colors, fonts and embellishments. A designer acts as a paper stylist and will custom create something just for you. Most designers will rarely repeat your design in the future, so the likelihood of you ending up with a one-of-a kind is pretty high!

Photos by: Shalese Danielle Photography

Why not just use one of the big online retailers?

Just as you would choose a photographer, caterer or wedding planner, your invitations deserve the same amount of thought and selection. Finding someone you connect with, admire and trust will result in a design that speaks your story. Many of the big online stores have amazing options, but the paper quality is not always the best, or colors cannot be altered. Plus, you run into the possibility of seeing your invitation show up in your mailbox for someone else’s wedding!

What can I expect when booking a stationery designer?

Every designer operates differently, but when a couple contacts me, we typically meet over coffee to chat about their big day and to get to know one another. I listen to their ideas and go over my portfolio. I spend time asking questions to figure out what they are hoping to say to their guests through their paper products and then we start to plan!

Once a custom order has been placed, I create a vision pdf of everything we discussed and this is the first step in the design process. I compile color boards, font pairings and hunt out the perfect accessories (ribbons, jewels etc). Sometimes it can take days, other times weeks to get to a place where the couple are completely and utterly in love with their custom creation. Once we hone in on the perfect pdf design, I pop a physical sample of the invitation in the mail and this becomes the final proof. Upon approval, the custom invitations are ready to be made!

Photos by: Shalese Danielle Photography

How can I make sure I am getting the most out of choosing custom papers? 

  1. Create a vision board. Pinterest is an amazing tool to use when planning a wedding and will give your stationary designer great insight into what you are hoping to see. 
  2. Do not think something is impossible. Want an apple shaped RSVP to go with your orchard themed wedding, a raven carrying a scroll to represent your Poe Museum venue, or a message in a bottle to hint to your love of travel? Nothing is impossible! Tell your designer your wildest vision and he or she will help you figure out a way to create it in a tangible way.
  3. Tell YOUR story. At the end of the day, the goal is to try and stay true to who you really are. When you look back in 10 years, you may regret going with "trendy". Everything about your day should reflect you and your groom; your love story. The goal is to look at your invitations and instantly see your whole wedding day come to life. 

Photos by: Hillary Gaskins Photography

How far in advance should I begin the design process? 

I always recommend at least six months before the wedding. This allows you time to really fine tune your vision and allow for edits. Once you have your date, venue, and style board, you can start the process!"

Photo #1 by: Shalese Danielle Photography | Photo #2 by: Tiffany Heidenthal Photography

Thanks, Chloe! Doesn't that sound lovely? My husband and I did not use a custom designer for our wedding, instead we ordered everything separtely online. While the final product turned out nice, I think it would have been fun to work with someone from start to finish! The other nice thing about working with a designer is that each piece with compliment each other and flow with your theme. Everything from the initial save-the-date, to the final rsvp card will fit within the "look" you are going for. For more questions, or to book a consultation with Chloe, you can email her at: chloe@englishteapaperie.com or visit her website at: www.englishteapaperie.com

As always, thanks for stopping by!