Today I’m excited to introduce you to the fabulous designer behind my wedding invitations, Cheree Berry. She and her team took my vision and turned my entire invitation suite into reality. Since they arrived last week I’ve been smiling ear to ear.
The first thing I started working on when I got engaged last year were the invitations. What can I say, I love paper. One day I walked to go get the new Martha Stewart Magazine hoping to get some inspiration. The first page I turned to was Cheree and Jeff’s wedding. That’s when I knew that working with Cheree Berry Paper was meant to be. I fell in love with the design of her invitation. It was exactly what I’d been envisioning. What I love about Cheree’s designs is that each invitation she creates is unique to each couple.
Cheree Berry Paper is located in beautiful St. Louis and their studio is truly inspiring. When I first saw the photos of the office I asked Cheree and co-worker Kristen if I could work for them. I wish I could work in an office this inspirational. What a creative environment, I mean just look at their business cards.
To help out fellow brides, I asked Cheree a few questions about herself, the company and any suggestions she had for brides. I’ve been using her last suggestion and it helps a lot. Enjoy!
Caitlin: Tell me a little bit about yourself and Cheree Berry the company, and your process.
Cheree Berry: There is not a lot of differentiation between the personality of Cheree Berry (me) and Cheree Berry Paper (my business). However, the only downfall of naming my company Cheree Berry Paper is that I couldn’t do my job without an amazing team of people. I have recently brought on a whiz of a business partner (Kristen Armstrong) who keeps the business afloat and allows me to concentrate on the creative vision. In addition, I have two amazing staff designers (Danielle Basler and Megan Irwin) and an intern (Nora Case) who is so much more than an intern.
C: What was it like working at Kate Spade before starting your own company in St. Louis?
CB: Working at kate spade was such a dream come true. I never thought work could be so much fun and that you could actually make a living by creating pretty things. I was surrounded by enthusiasm and insight daily. Even a trip to the water cooler could be inspiring.
C: How does working with long-distance couples work with custom invitations?
CB: Working long-distance has it’s challenges but overall, it’s not too different than hiring a stationer in your neck-of-the-woods. If we don’t get to meet our clients, we send a complimentary package of samples so that our potential client can see and feel the quality of our work. From there, we do everything via phone and email. All design proofs are sent via email as pdfs and once the stationery has been printed, we can ship anywhere.
So, even though we don’t get to meet all of our clients, we are able to create a great relationship with them that lasts well past their wedding day.
C: Do you only offer custom invitations, or do you have some that are ready-made?
CB: Oh yes! Although we specialize in custom invitations, we realize it’s not for everyone. Not everyone has a specific story they want to tell via paper. We do have a “collection” of designs that can be purchased “as is” or we can make adjustments to the design, size, colors, etc. For our clients that make adjustments to our collection designs, we call this a “semi-custom” design. I would say the majority of our clients go this direction.
C: When you are creating a custom design, what’s your process to create the unique invitation?
CB: We ask a lot of questions. We ask for visuals. We look at their wedding website if applicable. We hear their love story. However, a lot of our clients come to us with their ideas and we just put all the pieces of the puzzle.
C: How much is too much on an invitation? (Color, patterns, etc.)
CB: There is no exact rule on what is “too much.” It’s all about balance. We view the entire wedding invitation suite (envelope, invite, reply card and reply envelope) as one canvas. If a client has a few details to incorporate (a specific floral, a quote, a bit of the architecture from their venue), it’s up to us to weave those details throughout the entire suite in a smart, interesting and cohesive way. You can still have a lot of variables in your wedding invitation suite without it feeling fussy.
C: I know you mostly work with letterpress but it can add up, do you have suggestions for clients with a small budget?
CB: In addition to letterpress, we do a lot of flat printing! The majority of our clients flat print their save-the-dates and save letterpress for their wedding invitations. Also, creating a wedding website can cut down on the amount of printed pieces you might need. You can use your website to direct people to finding out directions, things to do, and even RSVPing online.
C: What was it like creating your own wedding invitation? Did you always imagined what it would look like?
CB: I never had a specific vision of what my wedding invite was going to look like but I did have a general vision of it being amazing. Ha! I wanted my invite to feel like you’re opening a paper present. It was all about the details and the multiple winks woven throughout.
C: Any unique suggestions for brides dreaming of their invitations?
CB: Dream big and wide and it will all fall into place. And in case you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, always keep a notebook on your nightstand.
I hope it helps you whether you are a bride or creating an invitation for an event. If you are currently looking for someone to create one-of-a-kind invitations or might be looking in the near future, I highly recommend working with the exceptional and creative Cheree Berry team. Each one of them was a pleasure to work with and created an invitation that couldn’t have embodied our wedding more than it does.
I want to thank Cheree, Kristen and Danielle in particular for the amazing work they did. All of you made my dreams become reality!