How to Start a Wedding Invitation Business With Complete Resources
Your creativity and flair for print design can be put to good use, particularly when it comes to invitations. As a designer, you will want to make the big announcement one of beauty. Working with the bride and groom, the invitations that they envision will become a reality.
As a graphic designer, you can make a wide range of stationery related to weddings, including wedding invitations and RSVP cards, save the date cards (which remind guests of the date of the wedding), orders of service, menus, table plans, place cards, and thank you cards.
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Sales background
- Knowledge of the wedding industry
- Excellent design skills
- Common Business Skills
- Powerful computer
- Color Printer for proofs
- Software, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
- Essential Office Equipment
In addition to our list of common business expenses, your wedding invitation business will require a budget for the ongoing cost of acquiring supplies.
Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:
With equipment, software, and supplies, count on spending anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 at the beginning. Advertising has to be included in this cost as well.
Tips and Considerations:
- Purchasing samples of different paper and ink types for sample invitations is wiser than purchasing a skid a paper that may or may not be used.
- You may want to start a website to help get your name established. Also, try going to bridal expos and other conventions. This will help to get your company name established.
- Create a “look-book” of your designs, fully printed and complete with samples such as invitations, and thank-you cards, for potential clients to browse. While an online portfolio is essential, a print portfolio allows potential clients to view the true look and feel of your designs and will help you close the deal.
- Become familiar with bulk mailing by visiting your local post office. Be sure to know the basics such as the cost and number of stamps needed based on the weight of each envelope. Also find out how to order special stamps such as “Love” stamps and postmarks from cities with romantic names like Loveland, Colorado, and how to create envelope seals that add a special touch to your products, all while following U.S. Postal Service guidelines.
- When you are able to hire staff, consider expanding your line of offerings by adding personal-touch services to your designs, such as hand-written calligraphy for envelopes.
- You can create templates with print design software for basic wedding invitation sizes to help cut down on project time and free yourself up to concentrate on more personalized services.
- A reliable printer is essential. Be sure to establish a relationship with a printer that not only has a long track record of customer satisfaction but also demonstrates evidence of being fiscally sound. It is absolutely necessary to find a reliable printer or printers that can withstand hard times; you don’t want your printer going under in a bad economic climate.
- Browse through as many bridal magazines as possible. Reading up on what is popular in invitations gives you an idea of what services to offer. You will be working with different styles and textures of paper, basic and special inks, and various fonts. A professional at a stationery or craft store may help you learn about paper and what inks are good for each.
- There are several ways to advertise for free (such as sending your business card to wedding planners and bridal shops), along with participating at events such as bridal conventions and expos.
- Advertisements in wedding magazines and trade show magazines are a good way to start. Direct mailings to wedding planners and stationery stores. Online advertising on websites, and setting up your own, will bring in a diversified audience of engaged couples.
- For couples that are far away, you can offer Team or Skype consultations and previews.
Pros and Cons:
- You can be your boss
- You get to put your creativity to use and show your talent and skill.
- Low startup cost
- Works as a part-time business
- People about to have a wedding are often under a great deal of stress and can be hard to deal with at times.
- Clients may change their minds after an order has already been printed and you may find yourself having to start over from scratch.
- Unless you have a high volume of orders you won’t make a lot of money.
Starting Your Wedding Invitation Business
Some of the steps you’ll need to address include the following:
- Researching Your Business Idea
- Writing a Business Plan
- Funding Your Business
- Choose a Location
- Choose a Business Name
- Define the Type of Company You Will Form
- Get Your Tax ID
- Get Special Permits
- Hiring Employees
- Marketing Your Business
For all the details to the above sections and more, see The Essential Steps To Start a Business for all the details you’ll need.