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: Jessica
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.
Describe the invitation suite you ended up with and why you fell in love with that design.
After looking at binder after binder during two separate visits, I had marked the samples I had liked. There were a lot! However, I kept coming back to this one particular style. It was gorgeous—simple and elegant. We had created our two-lettered monogram previously. I asked Taylor if it was possible to have the invitation embossed with our two-letter monogram at the top. She said it was. I was so excited. It was unique and different—something that David and I have always embraced.
Why did you decide to incorporate a monogram, and why do you think a monogram adds such a nice touch?
I have always thought that monograms were classic. I always wanted to have a two- and three-lettered monogram when I got married to embrace my newly acquired name. Taylor, my mom, David and I put our heads together for different ideas of doing the monogram. I loved the idea of stacking/interlocking the letters. I had a vision in my head. The final product was amazing!
Was there anything about the process of choosing your invitations that you weren’t expecting?
I wasn’t expecting such a quick turn-around between our meetings and seeing proofs. I also enjoyed the amount of creativity that could be applied to the invitations! I did not want to repeat what many other brides-to-be had done. I wanted to be different. I was happily surprised with how many custom options are available!
Do you have any advice for brides-to-be on the invitation process?
Don’t be afraid to say what you are thinking. It may seem a little complicated, but remember “nothing ventured, nothing gained!” If you want to try something, go for it! If there is a way to do it and it has never been done before, pioneer it! Have fun!
What moment are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
I cannot wait to see my dad’s face when he sees me in my dress and veil. Also, I can’t wait for David’s face when he first sees me walking down the aisle to meet him.
Jessica and her mother, Ellen, were a pleasure to work with from beginning to end. Our shop is open throughout the week, however, bridal consultations are one-on-one with myself or my business partner, Megan, where we meet with our bride and her guests to get a glimpse into what they are envisioning for their wedding suite to then make it into a reality.
Tell me about your first meeting with this bride and a little about the process you went through to get to the final decision.
I always begin my consultations asking the bride about how the bride and groom met along with the elements of the wedding that they have started on: colors, themes, florals, etc. Jessica began by telling me of how her and David met—they are a childhood love story with a twist and, from the beginning, I knew I had a connection with them!
They then showed me their amazing engagement photos by Stephen Thrift Photography and they were absolutely breathtaking. Soft and romantic with a grace and elegance that I could foresee taking shape throughout their entire wedding suite.
Jessica and Ellen were looking for a Crane wedding suite that encompasses that same theme: soft, romantic, graceful and elegant with touches of charcoal grey, the color of her bridesmaids dresses. They brought wedding invitations that they have received over the years as inspiration, but Jessica was very firm on making sure that her wedding suite stood out from the rest and that’s where the monogram/duogram started to take shape!
Jessica didn’t want a traditional style monogram/duogram but something that was unique and classic. She mentioned that David loved the clean lines of English style type and thought it would be neat to have their initials interlocking to symbolize their union. I created their duogram and now monogram (to incorporate their marriage last name) using texture to see the difference between letters, with David’s “D” strong and bold and Jessica’s “J” interlocked with a soft and feminine curvature.
What questions do you always ask at that first meeting with a bride?
I always want to get to know my bride and her groom as individuals first to gain and build the connection so that it’s a bit easier for them to open up and really help me envision what they have been imagining for their wedding day, their entire lives.
A consultation can be quite nerve-wracking for a bride, and I always strive to make them feel comfortable and confident that we will be able to create the perfect wedding suite for their special day. After learning about my bride and her groom, I then have them explain to me the themes, colors, location, etc. of the wedding so I can visualize it, just as they are.
Pinterest is vital for most of our brides and we definitely fire up the wifi to see their wedding boards! I then discuss quantity and budget and work from there to develop the perfect wedding suite—no matter the budget or vision!
What do you love about a monogram on a wedding invitation?
A monogram (or duogram in this case) truly adds in the soft, elegant romance for a traditional Southern wedding. Jessica’s wedding suite was printed using thermography printing on an oversized soft white paper stock with charcoal ink and a very calligraphy-esque typeface. We countered this with a custom embossed duogram that was soft and subtle to add the crowning piece to the wedding invitations.
What are some of the big invitation design trends you’re seeing?
Pastels and calligraphy typefaces have been a big trend around here for our 2015 brides. Calligraphy style typefaces that are very organic and free form to appear as if they are individually hand written onto the wedding invitations and then to combine that with soft pastels is very popular as well. Pale corals and blush tones with soft grays or Tiffany blues have been our top color palettes this year.
What advice do you have for brides who are ready to make their first invitation appointment?
My advice is to approach the consultation with an open mind while still staying true to your wedding day. The Lettered Lily has many different forms of wedding suite options that can work within any vision, and it can be overwhelming to see all of the different options—hence, where we come in! I’ll guide them through the process to keep with their theme but still open their eyes to new unique options that will set them apart from other brides.
With wedding trends pasted all over Pinterest and wedding blogs, staying unique is a must and we will work one-on-one with our brides to ensure that they have a one-of-a-kind wedding suite, perfect for her wedding day!
When it comes to choosing wedding invitations, how is today’s bride different from those five years ago?
Today’s bride has a true voice and vivid image of their wedding day that they want their guests to know from the moment they open their wedding suite, fresh from the mailbox. Five years ago, wedding suites were more on the traditional side, with brides envisioning more of the wedding day items rather than the items leading up to the wedding day (save the dates and invitations).
Are you a bride, bride-to-be or stationer who ordered Crane & Co. wedding invitations? We’d love to feature you in our Real Weddings series! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.