Welcome to the very first Dusty Dialogue interview - yay!
I've decided to write some wedding-related content and then "interview" some trusted and talented wedding industry suppliers. The goal is to create an informal platform for potential clients to get to know some of the service providers out there and to hopefully understand a bit more about what that specific industry is all about and to know the faces behind the brands.
I think it is incredibly important for couples to get along with the people they hire to make their wedding day a reality. It is such a special occasion to get married and I can't even imagine what a strain a wedding planning journey can be when couples and service providers clash. Your wedding planning months ( or years ) are time-consuming and financially draining, why would you want to add unnecessary stress into that mix by hiring people you won't and don't get along with? Yes, you did not hire these service providers to make friends but you spend so much time with these people planning your day - why wouldn't you want to gain a friend in the process?
On that note, my first Dusty Dialogue interview was with Teresa McGregor.
Creator, illustrator, designer, owner of Lemon Salt Design & Print and downright awesome human being. You have yet to meet a kinder person than Teresa. I've first come to know her when I did some behind the scenes photography for a styled shoot she put together with other wedding industry suppliers. From there on out, Teresa was my go-to person whenever I had an idea for a new styled shoot, my recommendation whenever someone needed design work done or even when I needed custom designed wedding photography gifts for clients. We've since become friends and I want everyone to know the magic that she creates - everyone needs Teresa in their life!
Enjoy the read fellow friends, brides and clients to be... Teresa even opened my eyes as to what wedding stationery represents and what a massive influence and contribution it can have to your dream wedding.
What do you love about the part you play in a couple's wedding planning journey?
I adore helping a couple make sense of the wedding day and pull together the look they want to achieve. Your wedding stationery is the first thing your guests will get from you and the only glimpse they will have until you walk down the aisle... It's as important as branding is to any business. It shows who you are as a couple. So this sets the tone of your day and gives your guests all the info they need. On the day it pulls together all your elements and again guides your guests to navigate your special day. So what I love is that I can help a couple find their style and invite their guests into their world for a once-in-a-lifetime journey...
What planning process do you follow when designing a couple's wedding stationery? Do they need to come to you with X amount of information or do you help them from scratch?
My planning process really all depends on the couple. 90% of the time couples leave this too late and then we just need to jump straight into as much information as they can give me and by this time they already have a moodboard that I follow.
But oh, if we had time... Then the magic really happens. The absolute best is to have your florist, decor team and stationery designer collaborate to make sure that whatever you place on the table or in the room fits in effortlessly with for instance the floral decorations or the table linens. That understated elegance where every piece speaks to each other and enhances the overall feel. So technically I do both depending on the client.
What does your typical stationery set/package include for wedding stationery? Do you offer custom stationery sets if a couple wants something different?
I don't have set packages as no bride in my 15 years of designing has been the same or wanted the same. Everything is custom to their likes and desires and most important BUDGET. But if I have to break it down then it mostly revolves around the "on-the-day" stationery. A Welcome sign of some sort, menu's, name place-cards, table seating list etc. But really every wedding is different and everyone adapts to what their specific need and budget are. And that is what I love. To work within what is available and make suggestions to fit the couple's budget and ideas.
Let us say a bride wants to go ALL OUT with her stationery. Ie. She wants a stamp of her and her groom’s initials for their save the date, she wants a custom design of flowers or patterns for the table seating chart etc.
Is this type of bespoke designing also something you include in your design service? ( feel free to expand in your answer )
Yes, yes and yes please! Reminder earlier I said if we had more time... Ok fine we also need a healthy budget for this type of work since everything is custom and bespoke and these things need to be ordered well in advance from specialized suppliers and that is excluding the time it takes to design. But yes we can and yes we adore doing it! The sad truth is that most couples leave this last minute and then it's just not possible to do...
Wedding websites, wax seals, stamps, custom illustrations, laser-cut cake toppers designed with your new surname. All can be done if given enough time.
Do you have a specific stationery set design that pops up if you think of that one ( or two or three or ten ) job/brief that was just a perfect fit to your design style?
If yes, what made that specific brief so dreamy?
Ok, I'm going to be honest. The best one comes from a styled shoot I did with you guys :) It was my favourite colour ochre yellow... It had lots of texture and I was allowed to play with ideas that normally couples don't have the money for because they already spent it all on other things for the wedding. I get it! We all need to save somewhere but oh I dream of the day that they just let me go wild. We used pleather and foiling and vellum and the most glorious colours! Bright and bold and luxurious. The real wedding was a wedding I did for Kraak where I did a custom illustration of a house on the couples family farm where they got married and the invitations and stationery for the day was all letterpressed and foiled on crips white thick stock. It was gloriously romantic...
You don’t limit yourself to only designing wedding stationery. You are an incredibly talented artist with quite a wide scope of (business) interest. Why don’t you expand a bit on all the other aspects of your design business?
Some days I wonder what am I thinking for taking it all on but honestly I would not have it any other way. I mean I am first and foremost a creative. Which is why I love what I do. So let's list it!
Graphic and web designer by trade, I love working with small brands and startups to create a cohesive look and feel across all platforms of a business at a reasonable price. (pretty much the same goes for weddings, that cohesive feel that just pulls everything together!) Then came the printing... Bespoke clothing prints, branded aprons, whatever I can print on I will try at least once. And finally, illustrations, whether it's a couple portrait or a pet or my big love drawing motorcycles which you can find over on @openroadpeople.
Seeing that these questions are being asked based on everything wedding-related, it is quite obvious that your wedding stationery designs are directly linked to this industry.
How can brides make use of your other design services?
It's as simple as sending me a DM or an e-mail! I have done custom couple illustrations for couples for their one year wedding anniversary. Surprise gift-boxes to announce a pregnancy to the father-to-be. Designed all the stationery needed for the kids birthday parties, gifts for friends for birthdays or Christmas and stickers for going back to school. Really anything that needs a design or needs to be celebrated, message me...
What should a couple choose paper wedding stationery instead of digital stationery?
I wouldn't say they should or shouldn't. It really depends on their situation. If the whole family is all over the country or overseas then posting an invitation in South Africa is super expensive. And it will most likely get lost in the mail... Then it really just makes sense to have it digital. But just because an invitation is digital does not mean it needs to be boring or badly designed ;) A well-designed wedding website can take a lot of stress off a bride! All those RSVP's in one safe space to download as an Excel spreadsheet for your designer/planner/caterer is a win-win in my book!
But if they are mostly in the same vicinity and you can hand-deliver the invitations, then go for it... Because really when last did you get something specially delivered bar a utility bill... So when it makes sense do it, when it doesn't there are options that can also look amazing!
What trends are you in love with at the moment and what have you had just about enough of?
I've had enough of plain white stationery with no special elements or thought put into them. Yes, it can work but then let us be creative with laser- cutting it in a different shape or using a very subtle modern font. But the same look, the same white paper, the same font, the same everything just makes me sad some days.
I would love to see more colour, more vibrancy, warmth. This is where it would really shine if your planner/florist/decor person and stationery designer can work together. I mean imagine a napkin printed with the guests' name as a place card instead of another little square of paper stuck to your plate.
What can couples expect when working with you on their dream design?
Couples can expect that I would do whatever it takes within their budget, to get them what they desire. I like to think that I am approachable and that I am easy to work with or so my clients say ;). They can expect everything to be done on time and ready for the big day!
And that concludes the very first Dusty Dialogue interview. As you might have noticed, Teresa can help you with any and all of your design needs. To contact her, visit any of her social media pages or just follow the links below.
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/lemonsaltdesign/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/lemonsaltdesign
Website : http://www.lemonsalt.co.za/
Teresa's make - up : Ida Webster
Lifestyle photos of Teresa : Debbie Lourens