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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Photos: Santa’s Elves are Hard at Work in the Factory

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.

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

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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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Personalized Profile: A Gift Horse Worth A Look

Over the years we’ve received a mailbox’s (the big USPS blue variety, that is) worth of emails asking us for advice on how one goes about designing personalized stationery for someone else. After all, it is a gift that is so, well, personal. When we came across stationery enthusiast Lauren’s design for her parents, we knew she would have some words of wisdom on the subject.

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What was the inspiration behind this design?
My dad works for the New York Racing Association and my mom is a horse lover through and through. They spend the summer in Saratoga, NY and are out almost every night of the week at someone’s home for cocktails or dinner. I thought these flat cards would be perfect for sending thank you notes to their hosts.

Nothing says classic to me like gold engraved stationery. I loved the idea of a simple equestrian motif, and given their involvement in racing, this horse was a perfect choice. I used my parents’ informal names and chose a striped envelope liner to add a little playfulness to the design.
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Personalized Profile: A Dallas Darling

We may be biased, but we like to think our customers have impeccable taste. So, it’s only natural that we would want to showcase the exquisite personalized stationery they create for their epistolary wardrobe. Dallas resident Beverly Hicks (and mother of our very own financial director) chose an engraved hand-drawn monogram in medium gold ink on an ecru correspondence card. She paired it with our lively and elegant Golden Swirl envelope lining.

“I have adored Crane stationery forever,” said Mrs. Hicks. “Their gold engraving hits the top of my list.”

engraved monogram personalized stationery

We’d love to feature your Crane stationery in our Personalized Profile series! Please email submissions@crane.com to be considered.

How To: Identify a Printing Process

We often get asked the differences between the various printing processes we use to craft our stationery, especially between engraving and thermography. Of course, the best way to tell the difference is to pay a visit to your local stationer so you can feel the difference. However, below we’ve outlined all of the different processes and what makes them unique.

Engraving is the finest, most distinct form of three-dimensional “raised printing.” No other paper manufacturer offers our engraving quality, craftsmanship and level of service.

As a highly skilled craft dating back to the 16th century, engraving conveys an unspoken message of distinction and timelessness. It has a warmth and elegance all its own. Running your fingers over a piece of engraved stationery reveals the textures unique to engraving — finely detailed, raised letters with slight indentations on the reverse side of the paper. There is no substitute for true engraving.

engraved hot air balloon

How it Works

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Introducing Our New Flights of Fancy Collection

Let’s soar above the clouds and look down in awe at the world below. Inspired by all things that reach for the sky, our Flights of Fancy collection features elegant two-pass engraved motifs in a carefully curated color palette that bring visual and textile brilliance to each and every handwritten correspondence.

engraved hot air balloonEngraved Hot Air Balloon: With a flamed burst, one floats upward toward the heavens. The view takes the breath away, as does this engraved card from our Flights of Fancy collection, which features our elegant hot air balloon. Perfect for the correspondent who fancies unbridled leisure and adventure alike.
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Introducing Our New Explorers Collection

When we set out to create new collections for our 2014 boxed catalog, a special date sparked an idea. This year marks the 450th anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s birthday. A vision of motifs inspired by the Italian physicist/mathematician/astronomer/philosopher — engraved in gold in classic Crane style atop our thick ecru card stock — turned into reality and the Explorers collection was born.

engraved astronomer card

Engraved Astronomer Card: Be they tales of galactic proportions or tales of everyday life, our astronomer — engraved in gold — makes this card the perfect choice for the illustrious dreamer and star-gazing correspondent alike.

engraved soleil cardEngraved Soleil Card: Warm wishes — literally — accompany this card, elegantly engraved with our gold sun. Perfect for the early rising correspondent and notes from the most temperate of climes alike.

engraved globe cardEngraved Globe Card: Let’s travel the world, carry-on and cocktail in hand. Engraved in gold, our globe makes this card the perfect choice for the jet-setting and cartograph-adoring correspondent alike.

engraved stars cardEngraved Stars Card: Should it be the subject of leisurely gazing or a beloved lullaby, the star takes its place in the night sky as it does on this card — among friends and with radiance. Perfect for well wishes and the celestial soiree thank you alike.

engraved compass cardEngraved Compass Card: Should one become inspired to embark on an adventure, the trusty compass is an essential travel companion. Engraved in gold on this card, it proves the perfect choice for the globe-trotting correspondent. Engraved across the bottom “Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.” — Galileo

engraved luna cardEngraved Luna Card: Be it over Miami or receiving wishes of goodnight, the moon offers quiet comfort when night blankets the sky. Engraved in gold on this card, it is the perfect choice for the night owl correspondent and soothing sentiment alike.

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The Evolution of a Holiday Card

The evolution of our engraved starfish holiday card…

From sketches…

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To a no-ink press run…

holiday-2013-starfish-and-pineTo the finished product…

View our entire Personalized Holiday Card collection here.

How Our Engraved Stationery Comes to Life

We recently took a spin around the factory floor and came across one of our talented press artisans engraving custom cards for Cartier. Thoughtfully, he laid out all of the elements and layers that an engraved card boasting four ink colors goes through to obtain perfection. Which, we must say, this card certainly possesses.

First, the engraving plate is made.
cartier bird engraving platesThe card is then run through the engraving press one time for each ink color.

cartier bird printing stagesEt voila, an exquisitely engraved bird for the most special correspondence.

cartier bird final

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