I first met Cristy with Lucky Onion last year when we collaborated on a styled wedding shoot. She is one of the first vendors I reached out to! I’ve had the chance to meet with Cristy a couple times now, she is full of advice and creativity when it comes to weddings. I also had the privilege of photographing several of her invitation suites. I will be sprinkling those images throughout just so you can see the inspiration for what your unique wedding stationery could look like if you work with Cristy!
Now, to kick off the new series of wedding vendor tips here is the interview with Cristy from Lucky Onion.
1. The Background behind Lucky Onion
Hello! I’m Cristy, owner and Creative Director of Lucky Onion. I started this business with my husband, Kevin, in 2001, as a freelance company. We have grown in so many ways since then! When we were trying to come up with the name for our business, we knew flat out that we wanted the word “Lucky” in it. But “Lucky” what, we had no clue. We went to a restaurant for dinner one night and after brainstorming like crazy, we got silly towards the end and started naming things on our plates. “Lucky Tomato”, “Lucky Lettuce”, “Lucky Onion”. We looked at each other and paused. We liked the ring to it. We decided to table it. Simultaneously, Kevin was doing research on his family name, Eslinger, which originates from Esslingen, Germany. Turns out, historically, there have been annual festivals where the citizens of the town hung onions all around town to scare away the bad spirits. The citizens were eventually dubbed, “little onions.” It came full circle to us, and we just knew that “Lucky Onion” had to be our name!
After freelancing for a while, I got into the stationery design business as we were planning for our wedding. As it turned out, there were not a lot of stationery companies at the time that offered a lot of variety in the designs. As a graphic designer, and having worked closely in the printing industry, I knew that the options should have felt limitless. I ended up creating my own invitations. That planted the seed for our focus on the stationery industry. In 2007, the same year our daughter was born, we launched our first stationery line, and began printing everything in-house. As they say, the rest was history. Today, our concentration is working with wedding couples who want to have something authentic and unique to them. I get the most enjoyment working closely with couples, identifying that thing that speaks to them, and finding unique and meaningful ways to accomplish that. I love what I do!
2.Why is wedding stationery important?
Wedding stationery is so crucial to setting the tone for the wedding, telling a story about the couple, and helping guests prepare for what is to come. It is what showcases the vision on how the wedding will be, it is what helps to organize the flow of the wedding day, and it is what shares the love and gratitude for the fact your guests came to support you on your special day. The papers, the different materials, the fonts, the colors, all contribute to depicting a mood, an expectation. It is tangible and, when done right, it leaves a lasting impression.
3.What is included in a custom set of wedding stationary?
A lot of people ask what is part of a custom set of stationery. Since no one wedding is alike, we believe that the same applies for your wedding invitations and stationery. In some cases, you may have a small wedding, with an intimate ceremony at a church followed by a reception at a private residence. In other cases, you may have a larger wedding celebration, where you have a rehearsal dinner, welcome party, wedding day excursions, followed by the wedding and reception, and a final farewell brunch. For this reason, we are an a la carte stationery design concierge. We create only the pieces you need and how you need them. Form follows function, but does not interfere with the beauty and message of the stationery.
4. Are there any common mistakes made when it comes to wedding stationery?
A common mistake that many couples make is the number of stationery they will need. This is a concern on two fronts. On one hand, you do not want to order more than what is necessary. On the other hand, you do not want to be shorthanded and have to get more, paying more for a smaller run. So, what is the perfect number? First, consider the number of households or couples, not individual people. It is common for people to think that the number of guests equals the number of invitations. However, unless you are not a couple or a person living with their parents, and of 18 years or older, you only need one invitation per household.
I always recommend ordering 10-15 extra invitations. This will make sure you have enough for yourself, your photographer, last minute additions (which they always happen), and lost mail or changed addresses, (which also happens more than we care to think about.)
5. What should a bride already know when she is ordering stationery? What should she get the designer’s advice on?
Once you know how many invitations you will need, it is always good to know the venue, colors, and any design aesthetics that you would like to emphasize. For instance, you may have your colors figured out, and that you are having a very floral aesthetic to your wedding. However, you may not exactly want to be literal in your invitations. This is good to know ahead of our consultation meeting. One way to help you arrive to this knowledge is to do a little perusing in magazines, blogs, or social media posts to get a sense of what you like and do not like. It is not needed to have this thought completely pat down, but it is good to have a sense, and start that exploration. This way, when we meet, we can start talking about molding those thoughts into a concrete idea. Sometimes it is the paper that tells the story, sometimes it is the way the invitation is formatted that depicts the overall look. There are many ways the invitations can go. No fear, we are here to help with this! I like to help couples make educated decisions on how to get the look they are going for. I like to think of different ways to accomplish the same look, with each having their own benefits in terms of costs and finished outcome.
6. How far in advance do you recommend brides order their stationery? When do you recommend couples send out save the date cards and invitations?
When it comes to wedding stationery, we group these into three different phases: the save the dates, the invitations, and the day of stationery. These recommendations that I am going to make are based on the general population. Keep in mind, that each wedding is a little different, and the timelines may need to be different, based on their circumstances.
As a general rule of thumb, I recommend sending out save the dates 9 months prior to your wedding. Then, invitations 3 months prior to your wedding. That said, with these “send out” dates, I recommend that we meet at least 10 months to a year out from your wedding day. This gives us the opportunity to plan your stationery look and feel and provide ample time to work on the design in a stress-free pace. I find that often times, it is not so much the physical time that it takes to get the printing done, as it is the “behind the scenes” and back and forth process of fine-tuning the wording, design, all in the midst of our normal day-to-day work and personal lives. I think I speak for a large population, who prefer to operate on making calm decisions, feeling really good about the process, and being able to enjoy the whole thing along the way!
7. Any other advice?
As I mentioned a couple times already, I believe that every couple is different and hence each situation is different. As a result, each invitation should be unique to the couple. Embrace that!
The same goes for the process. In some cases, the couple is looking forward to the process of getting their invitations stuffed and mailed. On other cases, the couple, while they appreciate their invitations and the process, do not have the time to concentrate on this. For this reason, we offer the services for assembling the invitations, stuffing them, creating custom stamps, or wax seals, and mailing it for them, each one being hand-cancelled. I want this process to be one that they enjoy and one that they can reflect upon positively. The whole experience should be stress-free.
Lastly, and more importantly, big picture: remember why you are getting married and use that as the sole drive through wedding stationery planning. All too often, we get caught up in the minutiae, and forget the importance of this process and what your wedding day means. To help with that, give yourself time to plan your wedding stationery. And when in doubt, that’s what I am here for!
Wow, you guys I wish you all could go meet Cristy, she is so genuine and kind. If I could go back and redo anything about my own wedding it would 1000% be ordering stationery from Lucky Onion.
If you want to get to know more about Cristy or Lucky Onion go check out their website and social media:
If you’re ready to make your wedding stationery dreams come true then reach out through the contact form at the website link above! If you’ve worked with Cristy before you should definitely comment and share this with your wedding planning friends!
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