Real Weddings: Pretty On Paper

1Ecruwhite Royalty Wedding Invitation

Meet Jens and Amol, a couple so pretty on paper you would think it too good to be true. World-travelers, yet homebodies when in town, these two businessmen know how to keep the flame alive. Date nights are a weekly ritual and weekends together are a sweet dose of couple activities. Their love for each other seems almost tangible, something which they were able to harness beautifully in their choice of stationery. Crane, being their stationery destination of choice, and a resource they use near exclusively in their home, was an easy decision for their wedding – and the perfect fit. Choosing an invitation suite that accommodated their exquisitely posh – yet within the bounds of casual – affair, was something the Crane team was wholly equipped for, and readily tuned into. The result? Something akin to magic, something near perfect. Their love became a sentiment caught on paper, and one all guests could touch, hold, and feel forever.

2Ecruwhite Royalty Wedding Invitation

Though it may not have been love at first sight for these two, they appear a seamlessly complementary fit to one another. With a wedding that fully articulated their styles, they approached the look and feel with a sort of casual formality that made their day equal parts lovely and luxurious. What all started at a business conference led to a candle-lit proposal, and then to an incredible wedding that included a surprise serenade by Jens at their reception. This beautiful couple planned quite the event – and it all started with their invitations.

3Ecruwhite Royalty Wedding Invitation

So let’s get to know them a little bit more in depth. We promise it will only prove that, though pretty on paper, they’re even better in real life.

5Ecruwhite Royalty Wedding Invitation

Tell us a little bit about yourselves! What type of couple are you – adventurer-seekers, or the popcorn and movie night type?

Jens: We both have hectic jobs that require quite a bit of travel, so when we happen to be in the same place and not working, we really like to just enjoy our time and not be too scheduled…so that could be a bottle of wine at home, a nice dinner out, or hitting the gym. One of my favorite times is our Saturday mornings when we spend hours reading the weekend papers and having breakfast together before working out. We also make sure to have at least one ‘date night’ a week.

Amol: I love our relaxing weekends, and weekly date nights, but when we’re not at home we love traveling (Jens especially!). Over the last two years we’ve been to places like South Africa, Turkey, Belgium, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and the Maldives. Our favorite place is Mexico, for the resorts (Jens) and the spicy, veggie food + margaritas (Amol).

Tell us how you and your partner met, and what was the proposal like? Give us all the details.  

Jens: We met at a networking conference when Amol was in business school and I was representing my employer at that time. Needless to say I was all business and made a bad impression…a couple of months later when Amol was in New York I wrote him to see if he wanted to catch up over a drink. He only realized it was a date about an hour in! The proposal was just as much a surprise to Amol. He had just accepted a new job offer, and I had told him I would come home to cook a celebratory meal. What he didn’t know was that he would be walking in on 400 tealight candles and 1,000 rose petals, as well as a wedding proposal.

Amol: I remember when I first met Jens, and I was so put off because, despite having mutual friends, he wouldn’t talk to me because I wasn’t interested in consulting! I nearly didn’t make it to what turned out to be our first date because it was a cold evening in January, I was coming back from a dinner with a couple of friends, and couldn’t find a cab. I’m glad I made it though! The moment Jens proposed was so indicative of how he is in general — the surprise, the bottle of Dom Perignon he had saved for that very occasion (before he met me, he had that bottle planned), the hundreds of tealights in our apartment. It all felt so perfect and amazing.

Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding invitations and did you have something in mind when you first approached Crane.com? What drew you to Crane.com? Did that change?

Jens: I’ve always used Crane for my personal stationery. I like the combination of a non-fussy design with the formality of the high quality paper stock for a written thank you note. For the wedding we were looking for the same kind of casual formality: black tie dress code at the Harvard Club of New York, but with guests truly enjoying every moment rather than being uncomfortable or bored. The invitation we chose fit with the venue and dress code: heavy paper stock with a very traditional font type and wording. We also worked with a calligrapher, Ashantai Yungai, that came recommended by Crane. He was the cherry on the cake, making sure our invitations wowed people as they received them.

4Printed Ecruwhite Save the Date Card

Amol: We’ve always used Crane stationery at our house, so choosing Crane was our number one choice. Our invitations were hand-calligraphed in navy blue ink, which was one of our wedding colors, and we really wanted them to feel special.

6Printed Ecruwhite Save the Date Card

Was there anything about the process of choosing your invitations that you weren’t expecting?

Jens: I didn’t realize there would be so much choice! Nor did I expect that, once presented with all the choices, I actually had strong opinions about wedding invitations. I was also shocked to see how much (or how little) some of the invitations cost. Crane was a great choice for us: I was very familiar with the quality of their products, and it allowed us to get a very luxurious invitation suite without exploding our budget.

7Ecruwhite Royalty Wedding Invitation

Do you have any advice for couples on the invitation process?

Jens: One of the best tips I received when picking our invitation, was to remember that for months, the save the date and subsequently the invitation are really the only tangible part of the wedding for all of your guests, so you want to set the right tone and create the right expectations. That’s why, for example, we made sure to use a calligrapher for both the save-the-dates and the actual invitations.

Amol: Completely agree. Not skimping on the invitations was one of the best decisions we made. I still have a copy of our invite, which we saved with our album.

Tell me about your wedding! What was your favorite moment?

Jens: The ceremony was actually my favorite moment of the day. We had a dear friend officiate, and the whole ceremony felt very personal. I really liked that we both wrote our own vows. I’ll remember those forever. I also really liked the speeches. We went light on the number of speeches and how long they could go, and everyone did such a great job at keeping them short, sweet, and funny.

Amol: My favorite part of the day was a surprise piano performance by Jens of John Legend’s song, “All of Me.” Jens had every single moment of the wedding planned out, so I was completely taken aback when suddenly this big piano rolled into the room, and Jens sat down to sing and play that song. He serenaded me in front of all our guests and loved ones, it was so beautiful — I was completely struck by how emotional and happy I felt. To this day, whenever I hear that song, I think back to our wedding day, it was really special.

Credits:

Photos by STAK Studios.

Kara Neff lives in New York City by way of Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. She can be found writing freelance for beauty, fashion and interior design outside of her full-time job as a fashion writer. 

Are you a bride, groom or stationer who has a Crane & Co. wedding invitation you’d like to have featured in Real Weddings? Email us at submissions@crane.com.

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Advice from the Expert: How to Hire a Calligrapher

A Crane wedding invitation and calligraphy go together like Bogart and Bacall. Beautiful. Classic. Timeless. For a newly engaged couple, though, calligraphy is something they haven’t thought much about, let alone know how to make an educated decision about. Luckily, our guest post today comes from Laura Di Piazza, a professional calligrapher who creates beautiful flourishes for everything from weddings to workshops.

laura di piazza

Perhaps one of the first comments many clients have made after contacting me is how difficult it was for them to research for calligraphers. Calligraphy work is low tech, in that we mainly work with paper, inks/paints and pens. So perhaps some of us do not have a strong online presence. However, I believe the main reason that it takes clients a bit of effort to find a calligrapher that suits their aesthetic preferences, timeframe and budget is simply because there are so few professional calligraphers out there.

laura di piazza calligraphyPhoto by Jakob Ott

So, how does one begin their search for a calligrapher?
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Post Script: Calligrapher Ashantai Yungai

When it comes to projects of the epistolary variety, calligrapher Ashantai Yungai, founder of Distinctive Inscriptions, isn’t one to back down from a challenge. So, when a bride asked him to pen 1,000 envelopes for her Hawaiian wedding, he not only agreed, he blogged about the two-week-long endeavor. With a good nib, a little Joni Mitchell and a bag of flour, he proved victorious. Perhaps it’s Yungai’s science background (he’s a chemist by trade), but it seems as though he has found the formula for the perfect flourish.

distinctive inscriptions calligraphy founder ashantai yungai

Ashantai Yungai, born to flourish.

Of course, we would never ask him to share his ‘secret sauce,’ be he does share with us missives pertaining to pens, sisters and the future of the handwritten word.

When did your interest in calligraphy begin?
June 2008. I am a chemist by trade. A friend saw my handwriting in my lab notebook and asked, “Did you write that? Wow man, that’s pretty cool! You should do calligraphy. People do wedding invitations and envelopes using calligraphy.” I thought little of it at the time. I bought a calligraphy pen on a whim one day while shopping for art supplies for my son. I began writing with it. From there I was off to the races. 

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Post Script: Calligrapher Angela Welch

Quite often we get asked about one particular wedding invitation design we offer. More specifically, we get asked about the ‘font’ on that invitation.

silver bevel calligraphy personalized wedding invitationThe font in question, we tell them, is actually calligraphy done by one Angela Welch.

calligraphy artist angela welch pen and pauperThe bubbly Alabamian (is there any other kind?) has been providing her fanciful flourishes for us for years, and so we thought it was about time we highlighted the woman behind the nib.

When did your interest in calligraphy begin?
Before the age of six for sure. In first grade I never knew my place in the reader when my teacher called on me to begin reading — I was too busy trying to write a “fancy” alphabet of my own.

My first calligraphy job was in the sixth grade and a teacher asked me to letter, in Old English, the heading of a flyer to be printed. I loved the challenge of making a beautiful mark with lots of different mediums. My fascination with flourishing as a whole arm movement began in the third grade.

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