A little while ago, I did a Q&A with the folks at Bridesfind.com. Their format is a bit tighter than ours here, so here’s the interview in its entirety:
I have always heard that the formality of the invitation dictates the formality of the wedding. Is this still true? How can brides reflect the overall theme of their weddings in an invitation?
Actually, it’s the formality of the wedding that influences the formality of the invitation. Notice, I didn’t say dictate because what we used to understand as “rules” are now understood as “guidelines.” Certainly, you wouldn’t want to invite people to a formal evening church wedding with an invitation better suited for a garden ceremony at noon. In the case of a formal wedding, it would be most appropriate to design an invitation on white or ecru paper (or another subtle color) with an elegant script typeface engraved with black or dark gray ink. Likewise, for that outdoor garden wedding, blues or greens or yellows work very nicely, as do motifs that reflect the setting. There are as many design options for invitations as there are ideas from the couple to be married in order to make your invitations and other wedding papers as intensely personal as the ceremony itself.
Are there trends you are seeing for the Spring/Summer invitations that brides should consider?
There’s still snow on the ground here in New England, and we’re all looking forward to the colors of spring and summer. Couples getting married in the spring and summer many times create invitations that not only celebrate the marriage, but celebrate the season as well. For Crane brides this year, new colors to celebrate the new seasons range from a rich Dalton Blue, to Willow and Beach Glass. Motifs reflecting the season or the location of the ceremony are also very popular. Again, there are thousands from which to choose or you can create your own motif and submit it as digital art. Though not dependent on the season, a design trend that is beginning to take off is the duogram, where the initials of the bride and groom are presented together.
Between letterpress, engraving, inserts and extras, what’s a printing style that’s worth splurging on?
So much depends on the personal style of the couple, the style and location of the wedding and their budget. For destination weddings, you may want additional information printed such as maps, accommodation cards, direction cards, and schedule of events. For a home town wedding, you may want to have menu cards, escort cards and within the ribbon cards. No matter what the style of wedding, the invitation is what carries the most weight and conveys the most excitement and sense of anticipation. That’s worth splurging on.
Are there any new Crane’s invitation styles that you are most excited about?
I’m one who gets excited about all kinds of new designs. But there are three that flew off the pages when I first saw them:
Pearl White Premium Weight Embassy. This suite is on 192-pound cotton paper. It’s thick, substantial and luxurious. Light French Roman Cap and Bickham small lowercase fonts engraved in black are complemented by bright red accents as well as red tissue envelope liners or Flame Red envelopes for response cards and Save the Dates.
Dalton Blue Embassy. This suite introduces Crane’s Dalton Blue 100% cotton paper. There’s something about this blue I can’t describe, so I won’t try. The invitation is engraved with white ink using Cromwell small and Avant Garde Extra Light Caps. You will see a very contemporary duogram treatment at the top. Matching envelopes in Dalton Blue or in white with French Blue ink.
Ecru Marquis with Hand-Drawn Duogram. This one just blew me away. One of Crane’s major attributes is hand-craftsmanship, whether it’s hand-bordering, hand-engraving or hand-beveling. In this case, it’s a hand-drawn duogram boldly engraved in gold and navy blue. Now, speaking of rules, here’s the back story of this duogram. S and B are the initials of the first names of the bride and groom. But wait a minute, the bride’s first name is Deirdre, so why not a D? In this case, Deirdre is indeed the bride’s first name, but everybody has known her as Brighid since she was a little girl. See my two rules of wedding etiquette below.
What are the rules of wedding invitation etiquette that you swear by?
There are tons of etiquette rules and guidelines out there. Every couple is different; every ceremony is different. There are only two rules of wedding etiquette I swear by and that guide all else:
Comfort and Courtesy
How far in advance should a bride mail her Save the Dates? What about her invitations?
In general, a couple should send out Save the Dates to give their guests enough time to manage their calendars. For destination weddings, or weddings over a holiday weekend, it’s not uncommon to send Save the Dates a year in advance. For less extraordinary circumstances, 6 to 10 months should be sufficient. For invitations, the traditional time frame is 4 to 6 weeks. I would recommend shooting for eight weeks to give yourself some wiggle room.