Photos: Santa’s Elves are Hard at Work in the Factory

Real Weddings: A Bride Bets on Tradition

paper-merchant-naples-invitation-blurredWe often say that Crane is a name that is passed down from generation to generation. But we’re still always delighted when we meet someone—especially a bride—who chooses our stationery because it was given to them by a beloved older family member.

Bride Liana wanted to do just that after her mother gave her Crane stationery when she began college.

“She told me that I could write to her, in addition to calling home, if I ever felt homesick,” Liana said. “I loved that paper set, and knew I wanted to go with Crane for my wedding invitations.”

Here, Liana advises on who brides should take with them to their invitation appointment and her stationer—Corinne of The Paper Merchant in Naples, Florida—shares why traditional invitations are making a comeback.
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Real Weddings: For the Love of Layers

paper-merchant-genevaEach month our factory sends us a big box of wedding invitations—samples of orders we print for couples surely anxious for those blue boxes to finally arrive. When the box arrives, it truly feels like Christmas as we hold each invitation to admire. Not only are these the invitations we choose our Real Weddings features from, but they are also how we pinpoint trends in what brides are ordering.

One trend we are seeing a lot of these days is layering. Just like with hair, layers give invitations dimension and volume. For this process, our finishing department applies a process called duplexing: the larger card serves as the bottom layer, and the smaller—most often a different color—is affixed to it. Couples love the look because of the thickness it creates as well as its ability to showcase a wedding color palette while keeping the design classic and elegant.

Such was the case with Erika and Ryan, who enlisted the expertise of stationer Sarah at The Paper Merchant in Geneva, Illinois to create their ecru-atop-navy invitation. Not only is it layered, but it also features a gilt edge, a detail that adds such a stunning touch. Here, we talk to both bride and stationer about, among other things, creating this timeless look.
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Real Weddings: A Truly Touching Tale

shannon-and-chuck-invitation-blurredIt isn’t often we are treated to the backstory of one of the couples for whom we are printing invitations. Yes, we see their names and where and when they are getting married, but unfortunately there is no “get to know the couple” space on the order form. So when Georgetown stationer Just Paper & Tea reached out to us with exactly that when a particular order needed a bit of TLC, we had that rare opportunity to learn a little bit more about Shannon and Chuck, and their truly touching tale.

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Stationery for Holiday Season Entertaining


For the eager hostess, no time is more exciting than the holiday season. The delight is in the details: Festive garlands, perfectly garnished cocktails and, of course, beautiful invitations and stationery accessories. Below are our recommendations for making your soiree the toast of the town.


The invitation sets the tone for the event. Exquisite printing in vibrant ink on our coveted 100% cotton paper will certainly evoke one of a soiree not to miss.


Place & Table Cards

Create a feast most memorable by making guests feel impossibly special. Table cards, which guide them to their respective seats, and place cards, which greet them once they arrive there, do just that.


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Post Script: LA Pen Pal Club Founders Margaret and Victoria

Meet Margaret Haas and Victoria Vu, founders of the LA Pen Pal Club. The two stationery enthusiasts host the monthly meetup, during which guests can talk correspondence, share interesting letters they’ve received, saddle up to a typewriter or take pen to paper. Here, they talk about postcards from Italy and the pen pal who wouldn’t have to write anything at all.

Margaret Haas, Paper Pastries

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
I was making birthday cards for family members when I was very young, around kindergarten10832300_895321993813553_338458302_n or first grade. They were mostly decorated with stickers, but a heartfelt message was always the center of attention and what I’d spend most time on. I’m sure there were a lot of typos, but you got the general idea. Picking out just the right postage stamp for the envelope was always the cherry on top.

Tell us about your Pen Pals program and what inspired it.
We get together once a month to pen letters and to show fun mail we’ve recently received. It is fun to share with others this activity that usually you do alone, in a quiet place. The LA Pen Pal Club is never a quiet space! We have typewriters out for people to use, so you can always hear the tapping of keys over the chatter. We love to comment on each other’s mail art or stationery, or postage stamp choice. It’s so much fun to get together with others who share in your love of mail.
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Real Weddings: Capturing Your Wedding Style with Stationery

We always say that the save the date and invitation are a guests’ first hint as to what to expect on a couple’s wedding day. They set the tone and also reflect their personal style, be it modern, classic or somewhere in between. For bride Jennifer and her groom-to-be, a blind embossed background that evoked a beautiful lace pattern matched their wedding, which had a vintage feel “with a lot of lace and soft pastels,” Jennifer said. Here, she shares with us what impressed the groom and why brides should think decades ahead.

The Bride: Jennifer

How did you and your fiance met, and how did he propose?
My husband, Chris, and I met online. On my online dating profile, I mentioned I liked to play Scrabble and wanted to learn how to golf. My husband, being an avid golfer, challenged me to a game of Words with Friends. If I won the game, he would give me a free golf lesson; if he won, then “I still might meet a nice guy out of it.” I won the game of Words with Friends, got my golf lesson and seven months later we were engaged.

Chris proposed on a road trip we took in August of 2012. We were going to drive up the California coast and make our way all the up to Vancouver, Washington. The first stop was in Monterey. Chris proposed on our way to dinner in the fisherman’s wharf area, on the corner of Wave and Prescott streets. We spent the rest of our road trip celebrating our engagement!

Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding invitations and did you have something in mind going into your first appointment? Did that change?
Chris and I both like things that are very classic and timeless. With the theme of our wedding being sort of vintage with a lot of lace and soft pastels, we knew we wanted invitations that went along with this style.
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Real Weddings: An Invitation Inspired by Something Borrowed

Sometimes, one doesn’t have to scroll through endless Pinterest boards and magazines to find inspiration for the perfect wedding invitation (though it sure is fun). Sometimes, the inspiration conveniently arrives in your postbox. Such was the scenario for new bride Amanda. She loved the design of a family friend’s invitation so much, she made it her own—and we couldn’t blame her. Classic with just the right amount of modern, our ecru paper was paired with an elegant gold script that perfectly set the tone for the romantic Black Tie spring wedding.

* All photos are courtesy of Bonnie Sen Photography.


How did you and your fiance meet, and how did he propose?
Mike and I met junior year of college at an event my sorority was throwing. After college, we dated long distance for five years until I decided to move to Washington, DC. Finally (phew!), after seven years of dating, Mike popped the question at my parents’ house on the 4th of July. It was a private, sweet and simple proposal, which was perfect. We spent the rest of the day and night celebrating with lots of family, friends and fireworks in the sky.

Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding invitations and did you have something in mind going into your first appointment? Did that change?
Going into the process, I knew I wanted an invite exactly like what I ended up with. I actually have a close family friend who used the same invitation suite, and I loved it so much. I tried really hard to find something different, that had the same look, but I could not find another invite I loved as much as this Crane & Co. invitation.

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Must-Have Day-Of Wedding Accessories

Your wedding stationery doesn’t stop when you order your invitations (though, we do admit, that is the most fun part). Day of accessories help tie the event you have been planning for a long time together. They carry the theme of the invitation through to the actual event. Below we’ve included a handful of the most popular items brides order for their wedding ceremony and reception.

Within the Ribbon Card
Cards reading “Within the ribbon” inform ushers that guests should be seated in special sections identified by a ribbon or cord.


Wedding Program
The design of your wedding program should complement your invitation but not necessarily match it. The program should inform your guests of the order of events for the ceremony, who the participants are and any other special notes regarding the reception or other wedding-related information. They may also include expressions of gratitude to parents and guests as well as acknowledgement of a deceased loved one. Continue reading

Real Weddings: On-Trend and Original, So Happy Together


Couple Jessica and David’s wedding invitation is proof that it is possible to be both on-trend and completely original. For their charcoal-atop-pearl white invitation, they incorporated not one but two of the most popular trends we’re seeing these days—monograms/duograms and calligraphic typestyles. However, instead of choosing a duogram design from our album, they chose to have one custom drawn. Below, Taylor of The Lettered Lily in Salisbury, North Carolina shares the details and Jessica shares the importance of sticking to your vision—and always agreeing to go see a turtle.

The Bride:

Tell me how you and your fiance met, and how did he propose? 

David and I met when we were six years old. We had the same group of friends. Although we spoke to everyone in the group, we never spoke to each other. It wasn’t until we were 21 that we said our first words. His older brother was in a horrible car accident three months prior. My father was his neurologist. He and his family were spending some time at their river house near Camden, South Carolina and invited my family to visit. When I arrived, David was playing horseshoes with his father and mine. I walked down the stairs and gave my dad a hug, said “hi” to David’s dad, and then turned to David. I said, “Hello!” He simply looked down at his shoes and replied, “Hey.” We spent the rest of the day talking and the rest is history.

For the next four years, David and I were inseparable. We saw each other as often as we could, mostly on weekends since we were finishing college. We spent many hours on the golf course near his house. One night, before David was set to move up to Washington, DC and start his new job, he and I started watching a movie at his house. His mom went out and his sister, Leigh, went out for a run. About 10 minutes after Leigh left, she called David. She had found a huge snapping turtle on the golf course. We rushed over to see it. (Their grandfather had put one there when they were young. Could this be the same one?)

By the time we got to the spot, the turtle had swum away. David called my name. I turned around. We were eye-level, which was weird since he is about 15 inches taller than me. He told me that I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He loved how we had intelligent conversations and still found time to be silly and ridiculous. He loved me! He wanted to spend the rest of eternity with me! I was stunned. The evening sun was just beginning to set as I said “yes,” not even noticing that we were in our spot at the golf course. We hugged and kissed, completely forgetting Leigh was standing right there. We turned and thanked her. She had been taking pictures. No, there was no turtle and we were eye-level for a wonderful reason!


Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding invitations and did you have something in mind going into your first appointment? Did that change?
My mom and I had been referred to The Lettered Lily for our save the dates and invitations. We both wanted something simple and elegant and went to our first appointment with open minds. Continue reading