I couldn’t stop OOOOHing and AHHHHing when I got to see and feel Wiley Invitation’s jawdropping invitations in person. It was a lovely rainy day afternoon at the Milk and Honey Cafe in The Camp that I got to hang out with Emily and Rachelle of Wiley Valentine.
I just HAD to rave about their work to you guys!
We always want to connect with our wedding vendors that we share to our brides. We want to know their work is awesome, their service impeccable, and their love for what they do for brides genuine. Here’s the story behind Emily, Rachelle and Wiley Valentine!
how did you two start Wiley Valentine?
Emily: Rachelle and I were the only two designers in a design firm in Old Towne Orange. After two years, we got bored. My sister and a few girlfriends got married. We got to design their invitations and thought it was just so fun.
Rachelle: I said, “Wouldn’t it be fun if we could just do this like all the time?” Thus, Wiley Valentine started in 2003.
how do you two differ in your styles?
Emily: In Wiley Valentine, there are some things we design very similarly but, in other things, we’ll do things totally differently.
Rachelle: I’m the girly princess. I really love pink and anything sparkly.
Emily: And I don’t. I’m warming up to pink but it’s got to be bright pink. I should like it because it’s a palette that I can wear. But I’m so much more into blues.
LOVE that you named the business after your grandmothers. how did your grandmothers inspire you?
Emily: My grandma (Wiley) was a jewelry maker. She made and repaired a lot of jewelry, pearls and miniatures for Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s. She was so very artistic, a total hippie, lots of guy friends.
Rachelle: I never got to meet her but we would’ve been kindred spirits. Meanwhile, my childhood memories are filled with my grandmother (Valentine) while she lived in Indiana on a farm. We’d pick some sort of art project and, during the whole trip, I’d do all kinds of projects. She’s super creative. She made all my mother’s clothes. She makes her own cards and sends them to me to this day.
how is Wiley Invitations different from other invitation companies?
Rachelle: We use all recyclable materials and keep the environment in mind in how we run our business and how we create our products.
Emily: Nothing we order or print is done overseas. It is all done locally in the United States.
Rachelle: We use the envelope as a canvas as well. We like to incorporate the designs onto the envelope.
Emily: Without it, it’s like leaving a book cover blank.
Rachelle: We really like the opportunity to custom design invitations specifically for that couple and it’s really fun. We just did a custom invitation for a couple who LOVE their dog and the story of Fantastic Mr. Fox. Their dog sort of looks like the character. We incorporated a little silhouette that looks like their dog and the fox and hid him on every single piece. We really pay attention to the story our couples are trying to tell.
Emily: We also offer a whole line of greeting cards (flat printed and letterpress), journals, baby announcements, Christmas cards, programs, menus, gifts, etc.
what’s your favorite style wedding invitations?
Rachelle: I always like when I get to do something over the top! My FAVORITE thing was when we did a proposal, featured on Style Me Pretty here. The groom really wanted something frilly, girly, pink and over the top. That was like my dream! We used an over sized handmade cloth covered folder, letterpress and different boxes, custom silver boxes with rhinestones.
Emily: I like really neat patterns and personal touches, such as this recent bride who used her grandmother’s wedding veil lace on her invitations.
what advice do you have for brides when preparing to meet with you?
- Be sure to come at least 6-8 months before your wedding | Depending on what you want or if you have a destination wedding
- Have an idea of how much you want to spend | We have such a broad range and we can go very elegant or pair it down to something super simple. We can do a single card digitally printed all the way to the letter press and custom boxes.
- Have an idea of what you really want | We want to know what’s most important to you? What looks are you drawn to?
- Have a Pinterest or inspiration board of your wedding details | This can be very nice and helpful so we can have a visual of what your whole wedding looks like.
what advice do you have for brides in finding the perfect invitations for their wedding? any rules of etiquette to note? any mistakes to avoid?
- Send out your save-the-dates 6 months before the wedding | Maybe even earlier if it’s a destination wedding
- Send out your wedding invitations 8 weeks before the wedding
- Plan in advance how you want to address the invitations | Do you want the Mr. & Mrs. to include both their names or just his last name
- Don’t abbreviate | Don’t abbreviate streets, circles, or states. It keeps the look more formal to write it all out.
- Avoid RSVPing to an email/website
- Don’t add the registry information | Include it on your bridal shower invitation or your website, not on the wedding invitation
- NO tissue paper!…or vellum | In the past, invitations had tissues because the ink would rub off. It makes no sense to do it now.
- Consider family expectations | It’s smart for the bride to talk with her mother (and even her in-laws) about what different expectations there may be, price points, how names will be listed, etc. It can be a tricky situation because brides don’t usually pay for the invitation. But if you discuss expectations beforehand, you may save yourself from unnecessary stress.
- Make the invitations about you! | Celebrate who you two are as a couple and your love. At the end of the day, don’t worry about the rules. Make it what represents you and what makes you happy.
do you have any advice to wedding photographers on how you’d love to see your work captured?
Rachelle: Go really close up if it’s letter press. When the light hits it just right, you can see the impressions and all the details of the work.
Emily: Too often, shots given to us are too blown out.
Rachelle: We like to have a wide shot but definitely feel like the close ups get forgotten. I also love to see our paper in the actual setting it was presented in the wedding (i.e. escort cards against table linens, etc). I want to see the front and back of the paper in both shots. We try to give either the bride or the planner a full set so that they can bring it to the wedding to make sure it gets shot. A lot of times the bride doesn’t think to bring the invite to the wedding.
want Wiley Valentine to design your gorgeous wedding invitations?
Check out Wiley Valentine here.
What questions do you have for your wedding? Say hello and send ’em my way for future Type A Bride posts!
With my love,
The Type A Bride