The wedding date is set, the venue is booked and you successfully found the dress of your dreams. Pat yourself on the back and take a well-deserved breath. Now get back to work.
Hey, no one ever said planning a wedding was easy.
The time has come to turn your attention to finding the perfect invitation. Not to put any added pressure, but keep in mind, this will be the first glimpse your guests will have into your big day. If you are looking to hire someone to create a unique way to announce your wedding and really “wow” your guests, than Matthew Wengerd of A Fine Press is your guy.
Based out of Tampa, Wengerd is the creative director behind the luxury stationery company, which first launched back in 2010. He incorporates his passion for creating memorable wedding invitations that are as unique and custom as each bridal couple he works with. He pulls from his musical background and extensive skills as a graphic designer, funneling that creativity into his inspired, one-of-a-kind designs.
He was led to the wedding industry organically, while pursuing a master’s degree in jazz studies.
“I realized music was not about creating music at all. It was simply about the act of creating… and creating manifest’s itself in many ways, including working in the wedding world,” he explained, when talking about how he made the transition from music to stationary.
Wengerd believes that the proper role of an invitation is to not only announce the wedding, but to delight the guests prior to the big day.
“The invitation is where it all begins. It builds a foundation for the experience that my client’s are providing for their guests at their wedding and it enhances it,” he said, adding, “My ideal clients are those who want something other people may not even think is possible.”
To achieve this, Wengerd often thinks outside the stationary-standards and uses his imagination, creativity and resources to design those standout pieces for his clients. He may look to a fabric pattern being used in the wedding, whether on the wedding dress or in the table linens, and subtly incorporate it into the invitation or pull from the color palette and use shades that compliment, without matching precisely. He also likes to experiment with the type of material the invitation is printed on.
“I think sometimes we take materials for granted. We think it has to be quarter-inch thick cotton paper, but there are so many other options out there. I don’t want to be the guy who exclusively works with leather, or wood, or letterpress. I want to be the guy who does whatever is perfect for the client and their wedding,” he explained.
Wengerd looks for ways to hide things that relate to the couple in the invitation’s design, whether it speaks to their overall style, how they met, or their favorite travel destination. When coming up with the overall concept, he looks for that spark, the one thing that the couple gets most excited about when talking to him.
“My ultimate goal is to create something that if you removed the names from the invitation and then sent it to your guests, they would still know it came from you because it matches your style, your personality and it speaks to who you are,” he said. “Invitations can be so much more than basic information like the date and time. They can tell a story and become a piece of art that your guests will cherish. It’s a memory your guests will want to keep and hang on to, and that, in a way, is priceless.”
If you’re looking for an invitation similar to one you saw on Pinterest, than Wengerd says he’s not the guy for you. His company does offer a small selection of made-to-order options in a series called Humble Beginnings, but his main focus is on custom designs. His focus is to put fresh ideas out into the world so people can see more than what’s currently available to them.
“What sets me apart is, I will dream. I will not say anything’s impossible. As long as the budget’s there, I can make things happen that other people can’t because I’m willing to go that extra step,” he said, adding, “My best work comes when my clients are ready to dream big along with me.”
He recently finished an exciting project where the invitation itself was made out of concrete sheets and hopes to experiment with the concept of 3-D printing for invitations in the near future.
“My work and my vision are for the grander scale, the never-been-done-before, push-the-envelope type of projects. The goal is create the best experience for my client’s guests. It stops where the client needs it to stop and if I can’t make it happen, I’ll source it. Either way, the finished product will impress.”