Celebrating the Big Day

We live in uncertain times, with disposable income reducing for many of us and all of us unsure about what BREXIT will really mean. When everything around us is changing and we feel unsettled we often focus on the things that are dear to us... our family and friends and this increases the significance of remembering special occasions, celebrating with those who are important to us and spending more time together. This is actually great news for the card industry as giving a card can be a significant part of marking a special occasion and if you can’t be there in person sending a card is a good way of showing you remembered!!

At this time of year the wedding season is really starting to get going with venues being fully booked from April onwards and while people get married all year round, Spring sunshine really does give this industry a big boost.

Cards for special occasions often use better quality boards and more detailing and finishes to emphasise just how special the celebration is; weddings and anniversaries give publishers a great excuse to push the boat out.

Traditional brands like Simon Elvin often contain verse, maybe with a paper inner that has further messaging on it, and glitter and ribbon details to add the finishing touch. More contemporary brands like Belly Button use textured boards with foiling and embossing detail these cards from their Platinum range are a good example of this and the range evolves as design and colour trends change.

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Jeremy Corner of card publisher Blue Eyed Sun says that “Bright water colours are a lovely developing trend at the moment’ as shown on these invitations from Ivy Ellen which are really popular.

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Blue Eyed Sun also has two card ranges out that feature water colour painting on them called Charming and Daydream and these images are best sellers from the Daydream range.

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Jeremy comments that:

It’s really nice to see painterly work coming to the fore as a counter balance to the popular manufactured process like foiling and embossing which were such a strong trend last year. There’s something very joyful, playful and fun about this particular trend for water colours. Perhaps we all need something colourful and cheerful in our lives to keep our minds off the doom and gloom of Brexit.

Speaking of cheerful, we know that the sales of humour cards are significant and they are an important part of any occasions offer too. Giving a humour card for a wedding has to be carefully judged and it is a clear sign of how well you know the couple getting married to be able to send a humour card knowing it will be well received. There are plenty of great cards that will make you laugh and some that might shock you too.

 Dean Morris

Dean Morris

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And while we often think of weddings cards as being white based designs there are plenty of really colourful cards around which will brighten up any display and broaden the appeal of your range.

 Jess Hogarth

Jess Hogarth

 Poet and Painter

Poet and Painter

In the last three years, same sex wedding cards have become more available and should now form part of any good card retailers range. There is a great selection available and here are a few from publisher Memelou to whet your appetite.

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Hopefully your customers will be celebrating anniversaries too be they 1, 2, 20 years or more! And anniversary cards are as diverse in style as the wedding cards I have featured earlier!! 

 Happiness

Happiness

 Caroline Gardiner

Caroline Gardiner

 Off the Leash

Off the Leash

The great thing about weddings and anniversaries is that they drive a whole tranche of linked events that are card giving occasions. As retailers we need to consider whether these present an opportunity for us in terms of the products we offer. Once Easter is over it could be a strong product focus for you if you believe it is relevant to your customers and there would be enough demand to justify the space and stock investment needed. Consider the other types of products you could be offering from wedding planners, to hen party paraphernalia and table favours. Busy B are known for producing well thought through products and in developing their wedding planning range they have focussed on the needs of the busy bride and bridesmaid to create beautiful, useful organisers that help bring a sense of calm to organising a big life event like a Wedding!

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You could also consider packaging; flat wrap, roll wrap, gift bags and packaging accessories are all fabulous product options that can add on sales to drive up your average transaction values - something we are all trying to achieve at the moment!  This bottle bag from Caroline Gardiner shows just how nice these products can be.

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As a retailer you can really get in to weddings big time and build a whole section for related products not just sell the cards. And if you decide to go for it make sure you let the local shoppers know you have these great new products for them by creating a fantastically eye catching window and using social media, the local press or wedding events to spread the word.