The "Spotlight On" series profiles local area wedding vendors who offer special and affordable services to brides-to-be.
These articles have helped brides get a feel for what's available out there, but the vendors profiled in the "Spotlight On' series are not just here promoting their company. They are providing you with valuable insider information on their unique area of the wedding business.
This time, we speak to Karen Kellems Bailey of Custom Creations & Invitations.
Bride's Guide: Give us some background on yourself, and what makes you different.
Karen: I believe that what sets me apart from most stationers is that I have such a
passion for what I do. It isn't just a business to me. I love meeting with clients
and helping them to achieve their vision for this most special time in their lives. Most often they have no idea what they want...and if they think they do...when they come to see me, they discover a myriad of other ideas to choose from. I like to think I can design just about anything and my goal is always for the invitation and all the extras to reflect who the bride and groom really are. I also believe that only one guest is going to open that envelope...so every one has to be as perfect as it can be.
B: So you actually hand-craft each individual invitation?
Karen: Every invitation is made by hand. Every detail is considered and refined so that their guests will want to tuck these invitations away with their fond memories of this wonderful day. The pleasure it gives me to receive compliments, or a review done online or a thank you card is joy beyond measure to me.
B: Does this make your invites more expensive?
Karen: I work within my client's budget. If they have constraints or limits, I work within them and still create something that is unique and especially their own...but on a budget. I cater to all client's financial considerations and design from the simple to the sublime. One more thing that I can offer is that I have privileged access to over 3,000 unique handmade papers from all over the world. Most people have never seen many of these papers. They are exquisite. I work with crystals and beautiful rhinestone buckles, charms, embellishments, do creative writing for the invitation wording, memorial tributes, weekend itineraries...you name it. I'll create it.
B: What advice do you have for brides-to-be regarding invites or stationary?
Karen: Be sure that their stationer is knowledgeable and competent at his/her trade. To me, there are "hand-made" and there are "home-made" cards/invitations, and there is a world of difference between the two. You really do "get what you pay for." Make sure they are open to negotiating on some items, that they don't have stringent limitations on minimums and maximums, that they are easy to work with (AKA fun!) and that they respect your ideas and concepts...and don't try to sway you to something you really don't want. Passion for what you do and thanksgiving for the gifts you've been given, to me, are crucial elements. It is always my goal to offer these things to each and every client. My blessings become their blessings.
Tom Santilli has been in the Detroit wedding industry since 2002, and in that time has established himself as one of the top in his field. His company, Complete Video Solutions , was named as the #1 Best Wedding Videographer in Detroit by local brides and Channel 4 FIVE consecutive years and is currently inducted into TheKnot.com's "Vendor Hall of Fame." He also has won several awards for his wedding production, and is a member of WEVA (Wedding & Event Videographers Association.) As the Detroit Wedding Examiner, he has helped hundreds of brides with their weddings, with a local knowledge not found anywhere else. Being in the industry for so long, he is an expert in all areas of wedding planning, not just videography. He welcomes your questions, article suggestions, or feedback, and he can be reached