Dubai | United Arab Emirates | Stationery Designer | EXPERT ADVICE | Mariam Bin Natoof
The interview was first published in Martha Stewart Weddings ME Nov-Dec 2010
There must be brides who come to you with a very fuzzy idea of what they want. How do you help them hone their vision?
I advise the bride and it’s crucial to involve her in every element of the design process. If she doesn’t have a clear picture about specific theme, I take the time to listen to her thoughts, and learn more about her style and personality. I then suggest a few concepts that reflects a certain idea or mood for her wedding day.
Do you often get brides who meet you with binders of inspiration?
I’ll admit it’s always exciting and challenging to work with brides who arrive brimming with ideas & inspiration. Once I’ve grasped your style, I’ll advise you on various possibilities and how you can translate your ideas into print, keeping your budget in mind.
Any advice when it comes to the wording?
Creative writing helps a lot! I always suggest adding something personal to emphasize the design. Often a favorite quote or poem lends an evocative feel. Some brides prefer words to be crafted like a fairy tale to create an aura of something special their guests can look forward to on the wedding day.
TOP TIP: Think of your invitation as one the focal points of your wedding day. Put some time & thoughts about the design you want to create. Start collecting everything you like from the moment you get engaged like visuals, photos, colors, patterns from magazines & from the Internet. Once you have gathered these elements, the process of designing your invitation becomes a seamless & rewarding process.
Is it possible to have an invitation that feels contemporary & creative yet formal?
Yes, the beauty of design now is that you can combine more than one element or style in an invitation. It doesn’t have to be too colorful to be considered modern and, for formality, it does not have to always denote white cards. The right designer would know how to incorporate the right balance of contemporary with a formal tone – perhaps the interplay of complementary colors with classical fonts.
What is the ideal time-frame for couples to order their invitations?
First, prepare a list of guests to determine the precise quantities to order. Once an order has been placed, it usually takes between three to four months for a specially customized order. However, if you opt to choose a pre-designed template, then roughly two months are required for them to arrive. If you are mailing your invitations, it is ideal to check with the postal service to properly plan your distribution & avoid delays.
Does the look & feel of the invite reflect the theme of the wedding?
An invitation is the first thing guests receive, so it conveys the first impression about your wedding day. I feel they should reflect the theme of the wedding, as the guests look forward to what they can expect to see.