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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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

A Crane Connection 55 Years in the Making

virginia-wedding-picWe’ve always been proud of the fact that Crane & Co. has been in business since 1801, operating as the Liberty Paper Mill and run by Zenas Crane. Since then, we’ve remained in Massachusetts and our factory now calls North Adams, a quaint, quiet town the The Berkshires, home.

As with any small town, there are always one or two companies that employee a lot of the community. Crane is one of those companies. Not only is it common to meet an employee who was worked there for 30-plus years, but it is also common that he/she is a second or third generation Crane employee. And those in the community who don’t work for Crane inevitably have at least one relative who does. Simply put, there is always a Crane Connection here in North Adams.

virginia 2

But even though connections are common, we are still elated when we hear stories like Virginia’s.

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Personalized Profile: A Mother of the Groom Takes Note

fresh-ink-personalized-stationeryThese exquisite gold engraved cards and notes were created for a recent client by Fresh Ink, located in Jackson, Mississippi. The client, a “mother of the groom,” wanted distinguished stationery for correspondence regarding parties, notes of appreciation and general letter writing during such a special family time.

After admiring the sea glass note for many months, she settled on gold engraving and a fleur de lis motif.

An elegant ivory correspondence card with a unique monogram, engraved in gold also, gave her a different option in her wardrobe.

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Real Weddings: Andriana and Alexander

We always say that a couple’s wedding invitation should set the tone for the big day. Which is why for Andriana and Alexander’s wedding in Santorini, a city that exudes classic, traditional elegance, only a stunning script engraved atop our ecru paper will do. With the help of Bruce Ebling at Siegrist Engraving in Kansas City, the couple chose just that. Here, the seasoned stationer shares his opinion on invitation style and the bride talks about falling in love and finding “the one” (perfect invitation, that is).

andriana and alexander

The Bride: Andriana

Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding stationery—did you have something in mind and did that change?
Siegrist Engraving in Kansas City, Missouri was absolutely wonderful! Bruce Ebling was so accommodating and we had a fabulous time pouring over all possibilities before finding “the one.”

Describe the stationery you ended up with and why you fell in love with that design.
The invitations we selected were very classic and stunning. I immediately fell in love with these invitations! Our invitation created an atmosphere and inspired our selections for every last detail of the wedding. When I was first able to see my invitations and touch them, it almost brought me to tears because they were so gorgeous.

Was there anything about the process of choosing your stationery that you weren’t expecting?
I was not expecting to receive so many phone calls and compliments regarding the invitations. I thought they were amazing, but I did not expect that the invitations would make such an impression. Continue reading

Real Weddings: Avo and William

Every couple’s invitation ordering process is a unique experience. While some may prefer to order them online from the comfort of their couch, others would rather spend time browsing invitation albums in a store, where they can touch the paper, see the details of each design up close and have the professional guidance of a retailer. Most, however, choose a combination of the two. They’ll peruse various wedding invitation sites online, discover what they like (and don’t like) and then head to a local stationer to see samples and place their order.

QuYinfeiNewlyweds Avo and William first visited our website, found a design they liked and then worked with the team at Paper Source in Austin to make it their own. Here, the couple talks about the importance of quality paper, while Laurie, the stationer who helped them, shares why Avo and William’s design choice was right on-trend.

The Couple: Avo and William

Tell me how you and your fiance met, and how did he propose?
My fiance and I have been very close friends since we first met at his mother’s birthday party in 2009. After this long-term friendship, we started our relationship with our friends’ and families’ blessing. In February 2014, we went on a trip to Alaska, and my fiance proposed to me in the snow under the magical northern light. I still feel the excitement every time I recall that scene!

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