If you’re currently in the midst of planning your special day, the first thing you send out is the save the date. Usually a simple and straightforward piece, it serves to notify your guests of the wedding date and time so they can start making the necessary arrangements to attend. It also alerts them to keep an eye out for the formal invitation to follow.
A couple months later, you’ll be sending out the formal invitation suite. Sometimes it’s a thick white envelope with swirls of fancy calligraphy spelling out your guests’ names in a golden flourish, and other times it’s a simple emerald green, with vintage stamps littering the top of the envelope in a burst of color. What you end up selecting entirely depends on your tastes, but without a doubt, it earns a spot on your refrigerator door or displayed in a frame on the mantle of your fireplace. Either way, this curated piece of art, comprised of pressed paper, wax seals, or silk ribbon, lets your guests know first and foremost that they are loved by the two of you and welcomed at your big day.
In this first part of our “Personal Touch” blog series, we’re taking a deeper dive into the art of selecting your paper suite. A talent all on its own, choosing paper types, colors, weights, and all the various accoutrements that eventually pull together in a delicate, envelope-sized bundle is something that can easily incorporate the smallest details that tell your guests about you as a couple.
From including patterns found in the home you share together, or a fabric your grandmother often wore, we here at PPHG believe that the invitation suite is the perfect way to personalize one aspect of your special day.
Our in-house planning team, Abby Frye and Gabbie Accorsi of Peninsula Events, have some tips and tricks of their own for the perfect paper details! Here’s what they had to share:
“To us, paper is the first piece that really introduces guests to the wedding. From the moment they see the save the date, it should (in theory) set the tone for what is to come at the event itself. Whether we pull design inspiration from the couple’s kitchen wallpaper or pull patterns/colors from their favorite hotel in Italy, we strongly believe that paper details should not be overlooked. We have also incorporated motifs that are family heirlooms (like a butterfly that also graced the front of the bride’s parents and grandparents wedding invitations). Personal details in paper can really go a long way and transcend the age of time!”
In fact, the concept of the wedding invitation itself dates back to the 1400s, when town criers in England would walk the streets announcing the news of the day. Weddings were included in this news, and anyone within earshot became part of the celebrations. In the 1800s, wedding invitations were still not delivered by post, and instead were delivered individually on horseback. This is where the tradition of the outer envelope began, as the outer envelope served to protect the inner envelope and calligraphed invitation from taking damage while en route. Post-WWII, when Emily Post began instructing the masses on proper etiquette and the Industrial Revolution made it much more accessible for everyday people to hire services that provided finery that was not previously available, the mass-produced wedding invitation was born.
Whether you make use of the current advancements in technology and select an invitation suite from an online retailer or work with an artist to custom create a design tailored to you and your style, the paper suite is the first impression your guest receives. Selecting something in your wedding colors or adorning the back of the invitation with a sweet picture of you as a couple – it’s details like these that offer your guests a momentary glimpse of what they can expect from your wedding day. Including important details, such as accommodations and travel requirements, as well as other events taking place outside the wedding itself, is also something that should not be overlooked in preparing your guests to attend your event. Additionally, providing links to your wedding website where guests can access all the information they need prior to the event is an excellent added touch.
What’s even better: you can make it pretty! Simple, small details, like custom artwork of pets or the wedding venue, can elevate your invitation design and curate an experience from the moment the guest opens their envelope. Wax seals and silk or velvet ribbon are also beautiful pieces that can be added to help round out the full picture you want your guests to see. Family crests, you and your partner’s initials, things you have enjoyed together as a couple; each of these are the truly personal touches you and your planner can incorporate into all of your paper elements so your guests can get to know you as a couple.
Your guests may know the two of you as individuals, but the invitation suite serves as the first step in them getting to know you as a couple. After that, the menus, signage, escort cards, and all the other paper pieces that go into creating your big day will help your guests in their journey to celebrating you! Whether you want a keepsake expertly designed to withstand the test of time, or a simple note that follows all the standard traditions, the paper suite and its elements are an easy and beautiful way to add pieces of you and your partner’s life together to create a new, unique picture that not only celebrates the event itself, but you as a whole.
Looking for the perfect paper details to contribute to your big day? PPHG can help!
Reach out to our expert sales + in-house planning team today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843.853.1810.
For even more wedding inspiration, check us out on Pinterest.