Get to Know the Wedding Pro: Prêt à Papier Invitations & Stationery, Dubai
Each week, we shine the spotlight on Bride Club ME vendor club members, allowing you, our reader, to get up close and personal with some of the best wedding vendors in town. Here, you can learn more about the people behind some of the businesses you may be using to make your wedding day perfect!
This week we have the privilege of showcasing Reesha Almeida Coutinho, Founder and Creative Director of Prêt à Papier Invitations & Stationery. Below, Reesha provides us with an exclusive insight into her company, tells us all about why she works in this industry, and shares with us what she loves the most about her job.
How long has Prêt à Papier been established, and what makes your company different to other stationery designers in the region?
Prêt à Papier is a boutique invitations and stationery design studio that was established in 2013. We have since been widely regarded for our unique style and ability to tell your story through high-quality luxurious prints. Our clients come to us when they want something more than regular templates or online ready-made designs. We take their inspirations and weave it through their entire day to make it more personal than they ever thought possible.
What made you decide to work in the stationery design and wedding industry?
I have always loved working with paper, colour and interesting materials and this led me to pursue a Fine Art degree in Communication Design. I then dove straight into the world of corporate graphic design but realised how much I missed the freedom of working on creative projects when a co-worker asked me to design his wedding invitations way back in 2007. The ability to put together a look that subtly defines the style of an event by selecting the perfect paper or Pantone swatch from stacks of samples or choosing that one perfect font from an endless list; these things that most people find overwhelming, come naturally to me. So I discovered a niche in the market for custom designed stationery for special events and weddings.
What do you love most about your work?
I love how every day is a new challenge and how each and every one of our designs begins with a great story. I look to my clients for that initial spark but turn to the world of travel, interior design, art, gastronomy, fashion – and of course, beautiful paper products – to complete the tale. I also love how we can make small details so meaningful in someone’s special day, just with thoughtful design. There is so much potential in the mediums we have at our disposal today, that the possibilities just seem endless!
Do you have any exciting wedding projects happening soon? What are you most looking forward to about 2017?
We are currently working on an exciting range of hand-painted wedding invitations. I am in love with watercolours and would like to start painting again. We are also working on new ways to make our designs more accessible to our brides.
Pantone has chosen Greenery as the colour for 2017. It’s so on trend and so versatile that it can be combined to create glamorous styles as well as boho and whimsical themes, so we are looking forward to seeing how we can use this natural inspiration this year.
One of my favourite things is styled shoots! I get to work with the best wedding vendors in the region and together create something that pushes our creativity to the limits. Last year we did some stunning ones so we are definitely looking forward to some more this year.
Describe the experience a bride-to-be will have when hiring Prêt à Papier for her wedding?
Creating your bridal stationery should be one of the most exciting parts of your wedding. When you decide to work with our meticulous and professional team, it is guaranteed that you and your guests will be wowed by the results. Each couple that comes to us will experience the luxury of letting a trained designer guide them through each and every step of the creative process.
Since we are a custom design studio, our clients are never forced to choose from ready-made designs. The beauty of working with Prêt à Papier is that we take your inspiration and come up with 2-3 unique design concepts that you can choose from. Choosing from premium papers and techniques is easy because we handle all the technical issues regarding the professional printing of your invitations. We also help you manage your budget by offering alternate options for the look you are after. We offer on-the-day suites so that your guests can recognise a cohesive theme that runs through the day.
How do you manage trust from your clients? After all, it is the most important day of their lives…
This is very important part of our service. Each and every bride that come to us will have their design consultation directly with me so that nothing gets lost in translation. I get to know them personally, their likes, their backgrounds, their families and their love story so that we can represent their style in their stationery.
Since we do custom work, providing a final sample can be challenging as most of the techniques and finishes require a minimum quantity for production. So we make sure that during the consultation our clients touch and feel similar samples. They get a sense of re-assurance when they see the luxurious quality of our past work and they know what they can expect with their own invitations. Our brides can also read about what other Prêt à Papier couples or other professionals in the wedding world have to say about working with us on our website. We have been blessed with great relationships with all our past clients and they are always willing to recommend us to others.
Unlike most of the other wedding elements such as flowers, catering or décor, whose final work you and your guests will only be able to experience on the wedding day itself, our work is completed months before the big day. So in a way, there is a window for adjustments and trials.
If you could give one piece of advice to our readers (brides-to-be) what would it be?
Start early and hire a professional for items that will be directly seen by your guests. Your invitations, for example, are the first glimpse your guests get of your vision for the big day. You only get one chance to make that first impression. Many times the design we use in the invitations dictates the design of the cake, floral arrangements, and on-the-day stationery. Custom invitations take anything from 4-8 weeks from start to finish, so that would mean that they need to be started at least 6-8 months before the wedding, earlier for destination weddings.
What budgets do you cater for?
With budgets, most of us learn through experience that you get what you pay for. And that is not just paper… ultimately you want talented professionals to do what they do best so that you have one less thing to worry about. The more processes and elements you add to the production process the more expensive your set is going to become. Some brides have a very specific budget in mind and most of the time we suggest ways to come close to that budget by shaving off the premium processes and sticking to essentials like flat printing and standard shapes and sizes. On average, couples these days prefer to spend around AED 5500 – 8000 on a custom designed set, and they can end up with a gorgeous set within this average.
Lastly, why did you choose to list with www.brideclubme.com?
Bride Club ME has always been a source of information and inspiration to couples planning their wedding. Rio, the founder, has worked hard to create an award winning website that is an awesome platform to reach our clients and is a hub of all the latest trends and updates on topics that are so relevant to our industry. In addition to this, she has built up an amazing network of bridal professionals that work beautifully together almost like one big family. We definitely wanted to be part of this family and we are lucky to be featured here with some of the best vendors in the region.