Providing Peace of Mind

Lately, Ty and I have been doing a lot of thinking, reviewing, and finessing our Vision and Mission statements. As a Creative, it’s tempting to launch into business with a motivation of, “I want to make beautiful things!” but that’s actually not best practice. It took me (honestly) probably ten years to realize that ‘me making beautiful things’ is all about, well, me. A good business isn’t about me—it’s about you, the client, customer, audience, community.

Over the last few years, I’ve been more intent on listening, and learning. The truth is this: name any product you want to purchase and you can probably also name at least four places where you can purchase it. Invitations are no different. We create beautiful invitations, but so do other artists and stationers all over the country. I sit across the consultation table from clients all the time, and I’m listening: What do they really need? Why are they here? And the answer may surprise you: it isn’t that they want invitations.  What we are actually offering here at The Happy Envelope is Peace of Mind.

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We take the confusion out of ordering invitations. We are your guide so that you can move forward with confidence: in the beauty of the finished product, in the wording, in proper etiquette, in clarity of pricing and budget, in the manner of printing… I am literally holding your hand and walking side by side as your guide. Yesterday, a bride picked up her invitations and said, “I love them! And this was so much easier than I thought it would be.” That’s my job, and I love it. Nothing makes me happier than a stress-free bride.

So, I’ve been tackling this role of Guide. A good guide leads—not by charging ahead as you scurry to keep up. A good guide explains as they lead. They are imparting understanding and education as they go. If you take a guided tour through Paris, you’d want to enjoy the journey and leave with a better understanding of Paris, its history, culture, and what it offers today.

It is in this spirit that I’ve tapped in to just a few of my favorite Knoxville guides in the wedding industry. These people are experienced folks, and for those of you currently planning a wedding or thinking that you’ll be involved in that process soon enough, these are nuggets of gold for you. I asked just one question of these guides:

And if you’re in the season of pulling together a rock star wedding team, look no further than these experts!


“WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW BEFORE THEY BEGIN THEIR WEDDING PLANNING?”

I wish that couples knew before and during the planning process that the wedding is about the two of them and their families joining together. It’s a celebration of all your loved ones from all walks of life getting together, and you get to be creative and enjoy hosting everyone you love in one place! If you keep it light and tune out the buzz of everyone else’s ideas of what you SHOULD be doing, you won’t lose sight of the fun and joy of your wedding weekend. Above all else, be present.

Katherine Stinnett
Group Sales & Marketing Manager
RT Lodge
www.rtlodge.com

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As a planner, of course I wish the couple knew from the start that they shouldn’t “go it alone” when planning their wedding. Having an experienced planner they can trust with their vision and the details will allow them to enjoy the process and focus on what is most important: their relationship and the marriage they are entering into!

Eileen Sommi
Event Designer
Windsor and Willow Events
www.windsorandwillow.com

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I’d like brides to be focused on making a real connection with their vendors. When it comes to the beauty team (hair + makeup), make sure that your vision is truly heard and understood, rather than being overly concerned with details like the methods of application, pricing, or specific brands that might be used. Yes, details are important, but a unified vision and trust level should be established first and foremost. If a makeup artist uses a brand of makeup that you like, but you can’t connect with her or she can’t execute your vision, those details won’t matter. If an artist is inexpensive and fits your budget but doesn’t connect well with you or your vision, it’s simply not going to work. You want your end result to be beyond what you expected!

Claire Balest
Makeup Artist
www.clairebalest.com

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I wish that brides would think about how they are going to address their envelopes before they actually need them addressed. Book your calligrapher at the same time you begin ordering your invitations. Calligraphers book quickly and early… and we only have one writing hand! Your stationer and calligrapher can work together to create a cohesive presentation for your guest’s first exposure to your wedding.

Katherine Michalik
Calligrapher
www.katherinemichalik.weebly.com

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One thing a couple needs to know before they can begin planning their wedding would be… THEIR BUDGET.
Vendors are able to guide couples through their wedding planning much easier if they know their budget. As a florist, we can direct them in the things they NEED, and not what they WANT to keep them in the budget. We can substitute more cost-effective flowers to get the look they love for less money to keep them in budget if we know it going into the first consultation.

Lisa Foster
Lisa Foster Floral Design
www.lisafosterdesign.com

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Brides may not realize how much time they will spend with their vendors. Thus, they not only need to work with people whose product/service they enjoy but also who they connect with on a personal level. Weddings can be stressful and they need someone in their lives who is constant, organized, and who brings out the best in them. At the end of the day, your vendors’ first priority should be to serve you and help set you up for a wonderful marriage!

Ben Finch
Photographer
www.finchphoto.com

Your friend and guide,

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