THE RIGHT INVITE
Lahra Macnab, the creative director of LaLa Design, catches up with Tijan Biner to discuss the establishment of her business, the inspiration behind her designs, and what’s trending in the world of wedding stationery.
Take us back to the beginning – what inspired you to create LaLa Design?
“I started in 2003 with a friend’s wedding – back in the day when all invites were handmade with layers of papers and embellishments, and you advertised in the Yellow Pages to get yourself out there! When I was helping my friend, I noticed the papercraft stores were a bit outdated and lacking in service and atmosphere, so I decided to fill that gap in the market.
“I opened my retail shop Lala Design in Leederville, which specialises in selling all invite supplies, as well as [made-to-order] invites. Now, in 2018, we have closed our retail storefront and moved into a lovely bespoke design studio, taking our focus right back to the one-on-one service we are known for.”
How much work goes into creating a wedding invite?
“It’s [about] more than just paper; the experience should be creative, exciting and easy. Every job – no matter how many we do, or how big or small the order is – always gets the [same] love and passion. We always make sure the customer and their experience is always placed first, above anything else we do.”
What can customers expect when they come to you?
“A lot of talking! My role is to interpret what our client wants, even if they don’t know [it] themselves. I will also [ask] a lot of questions about… their vision [for] their day, even [about] how they met and what is important to them. This helps me build a picture in my mind of their day and what [their] love is about. During this, I’ll show them lots of visuals [and] samples [to] inspire them – touching and seeing stationery provides such a different experience [to] ordering online. I will then talk [about]… prices, and do my very best to [work with] the budget as much as I can. After all [of] this, I provide… detailed, written quotes.
“Once booked, we hold our client’s hand through the designing and proofing process [to ensure] we’re making it as easy as possible for them. We [also] send [text] reminders… to keep them organised; we find couples have so much to do, so these little reminders help them a lot.”
Where does your inspiration come from?
“It comes from everywhere – fashion, interiors, and even engagement rings! [However], what really inspires me is the couple’s style; we don’t stick to one style for our designs, we make sure each order… is unique to that couple.”
What are the most popular styles of stationery at the moment?
“There is a definite trend towards the use of modern font styles – [nothing but] fonts in the design, with the couple’s names as the main feature. The colours we’re seeing a lot of are grey, rose gold, blush pink, and white.”
Are there any particular trends emerging in wedding stationery?
“Foiling finishes are still going strong, [as well as] non-paper materials like acrylic, vellum, leather and metal. Couples [also love] imperfect [designs] – raw, handmade… papers paired with handwritten fonts that are loose and messy, and then finished off with a wax seal.”
What is your preeminent piece of advice for couples when planning a wedding?
“Plan early – you’re going to have moments when you don’t want to do any wedding planning at all, so get started early. [At least] start talking to the suppliers you want, [because] the really good [vendors] are going to be booked out well in advance. We find ourselves [constantly] booked out, and [it] can take us six to eight weeks to fit client orders in.”
What does the future hold for the company?
“We plan to keep doing what we love [until] we’re old and grey. Our future focus is on quality, not quantity, and keeping ourselves current and passionate.”
Images courtesy of LaLa Design