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.
Newlyweds 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!
Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding invitations—did you have something in mind going into your 1st appointment and did that change?
We had a very clear idea of our wedding’s overall theme and the design elements we liked. We wanted the wedding to be elegant and classy and avoid the tacky decors and motifs that get used in every wedding nowadays.
Going into our first appointment, we had already decided that we wanted to go with a traditional style and use a two-letter monogram. After browsing through all the samples, we were particularly impressed by the monogram, font and overall layout of the design we chose. We also much preferred using engraving instead of thermography or digital for the gold lettering for a more polished and metallic finish. We also looked at the elements used in other samples to find a frame design that paired well with our monogram and font.
Describe the invitation suite you ended up with and why you fell in love with that design.
Our invitation suite is based on the Hand Engraved Embassy Wedding Invitation With Monogram style found on Crane’s website, but we personalized it by adding an ornate yet still very classic frame, which I believe ties the whole card together and accentuates the monogram. I love the color pairing of gold and regent blue, which brings a sense of elegance. The monogram’s wreath design and script font are extremely intricate and compliment each other.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the amazing quality of the engraving printing technique. Not only my fiance and me—everyone who received this invitation fell in love with this elegant design and its high quality.
Was there anything about the process of choosing your invitations that you weren’t expecting?
No. I am lucky that the whole process was very easy and smooth. The Crane website is quite useful, and the staff at Paper Source is also very helpful.
Do you have any advice for brides-to-be on the invitation process?
I have three pieces of advice for brides-to-be on choosing the wedding invitation:
First, before going into the appointment, think about the wedding’s overall style and have an idea of what design elements you want for the invitation. There are a lot of designs and templates to choose from, and it could be overwhelming if you don’t know what you are looking for. Without a core idea or a theme, some people end up choosing a very generic design or something that’s incoherent with the wedding’s style.
Second, texture, weight and feel are just as important as appearance for choosing the right invitation. Feel and touch real samples, because a good weight and texture add more elegance and solemnity to the invitation. Don’t just focus on the pictures, rather, look at real samples and examine how a color appears on different paper stocks using different print methods. This can give you a much more accurate idea of the finished look because the difference sometimes can be quite big.
Finally, high quality invitations are definitely worth the price. Multi-color engraving and premium paper stock can be expensive, but I think it’s definitely worth it. This invitation helped to set an elegant tone for our wedding from the start. After they received the invitations, the guests were all very excited about our wedding and are looking forward to the big day. As the bride-to-be, that was heartwarming because my happiness and excitement are already being shared by my family and friends even before the wedding day.
What was the moment most looked forward to on your wedding day?
To watch everyone behind my veil when I walk onto the aisle. I will be able to see their expression, but they won’t see mine! [Laughs.]
The Stationer: Laurie, Paper Source Austin
Tell me about your first meeting with this couple and a little about the process you went through to get to the final decision.
This was a unique situation for us in that we only briefly met with the bride—William, the groom, came in to meet with us a few times before placing the final order. He was great to work with because he knew exactly what he and his fiancée wanted. They were very clear and creative in coming up with a print solution that would allow them to get the colors and style they wanted by the date they needed them and within their budget.
What questions do you always ask at that first meeting?
First, I congratulate them on their engagement and then I inquire about the wedding date and their style. I ask if they have browsed invitations previously or if they may have found a design online that they may like. I try to gather as much information as possible to make an informed recommendation, especially in relation to the couple’s expected timeline. I then get them started browsing our invitations collections.
What are some of the big invitation design trends you’re seeing these days?
Foil! Lots of foil. Gold is the hot color in that respect and continues to be popular in thermography, as well.
We’re starting to see more invitation designs with a watercolor effect or hearing that brides are water-coloring their own suites. In this part of the country, marriage monograms or duograms continue to be popular, as well. As far as actual orders placed, though, we have noticed that classic, text-based elegance continues to reign supreme above highly designed suites.
What advice do you have for couples who are ready to make their first invitation appointment?
If you’re coming in together, try to chat beforehand about what you’re envisioning to get on the same page and make the most of your time in front of the books together. Be communicative with each other and be kind about your partner’s tastes, even if you may disagree on some elements. And while you don’t have to come prepared with all the content, it helps to have a sense of what information you’re going to be communicating to your guests and the amount of it—that will help us narrow down what type of suite will best serve your needs and accurately price out the components.
When it comes to choosing wedding invitations, how is today’s couple different from those five years ago?
The inclusion of the wedding website directly on the invitation is definitely a sign of the changing times. We’re seeing that more and more often, even if we make a suggestion to include it on a separate card.
The cost of weddings continues to increase, and with many couples paying for their own weddings as they get married later, budget-conscious couples are comfortable just including the website there on the invitation card. It’s also been nice to be able to have samples in our books now for same sex couples to make them feel just as special and valued as every other engaged couple!
If you are a bride or a retailer who would like to have your Crane wedding invitations featured in our Real Weddings series, please email us at email@example.com.