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 What drew you to 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.


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



Wedding Etiquette in the Age of Social Media

Navigating through the rules of wedding etiquette has always been difficult, but now social media is taking it to a whole new level. Engaged couples already have enough on their plates without having to worry about when or when not to post, tag or share. To make it easier, here’s some tips and tricks for celebrating a wedding in the digital age.

Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Don’t Change Your Facebook Status First: Getting engaged is incredibly exciting, but be sure to personally contact those who are most important to you (such as your parents, your siblings, grandparents, etc.) before posting your engagement on social media accounts.
  2. Do Think About Different Invites: If you’re going to have a formal engagement party or Jack and Jill, then it’s best to send traditional invitations, but if they’re going to be casual and low-key, then you can feel free to send a Facebook invite.

    UntitledEngraved Embassy Regatta Wedding Invitation

  3. Don’t Brag About The Bling: It’s perfectly fine to post a picture of your engagement ring, but steer clear of creating hashtags or commenting on the carat weight, where it’s from and, of course, the price.
  4. Add Tech to Save The Date: There is nothing more special than receiving a Save the Date! Guests love the personal feeling of being thought of and included in your special moment. Don’t forget to add all of your social media and wedding website information on your stationery! This way, guests will know from the beginning what your hashtag is and will be able to see all of the pictures and information about your special moment from the start.
  5. Don’t Do Everything Online: Wedding invitations should always be physically mailed because the digital ones are impersonal. However, it is perfectly acceptable to allow your guests to RSVP digitally. Simply instruct them to text, use Facebook or your wedding website to RSVP. Likewise, thank you notes should be physically mailed, and hand-written, anything else seems cold and impersonal.

    Untitled1Engraved Marquis Buchanan Invitation

  6. Do Be Honest! If you prefer a phone free/technology free wedding, tell your guests you prefer they don’t take or share photos of your wedding (you can do this online or on your wedding invitations). Be sure to let them know that you will be making wedding photos available for anyone who wants them.
  7. Don’t Update Social Media Immediately: While some couples are so excited they change their Facebook status to married right at the altar, it’s best to wait until after the reception so you can take the time to enjoy your special day.
  8. Do Share Your Location: Be sure to share your Google map location for the church as well as the reception with your guests to make it easier for them to navigate especially for those who are coming from out of town.

Creating a Wedding Website

Creating a wedding website is a fun, easy and efficient way to organize all of your wedding plans and activities. You can use your wedding website to create and share a wedding checklist with the rest of the wedding party, share updates about the wedding with your guests and create a link straight to your bridal registry.

This is ideal for couples who are registered at multiple places because most sites combine all your registries into one easy access gift list. In addition, your guests can quickly and easily RSVP right from your site.

Free website platforms make it easy to find a wide array of wedding themes and designs. That are also well-known wedding sites that offer hundreds of wedding website templates, that make it easy to create and personalize yours.

These platforms allow you to create personalized URLs as well as link your wedding hashtags and all your social media accounts to your site so that all your wedding moments are saved in one place.

How and When to Create Wedding Hashtags

Untitled3Engraved Lily Table Card

For those who embrace having a digital wedding and want their friends to take pictures of their special day, creating personalized wedding hashtags is great way to access all of your wedding pictures and videos online. It is important to make your wedding hashtags are personal so that they stand out from the rest.

When Creating Customized Wedding Hashtags You Should:

  1. Try to incorporate your first, last and/or nicknames. It’s also popular for couples to use mashup names in their hashtags.
  2. Use numbers in your hashtags because there may be a ton of #WeddingReception, or #JackandJill’s out there but few #WeddingReception060516. While it’s best for the numbers to be associated with the wedding date if those numbers are not available, try using the day you first met or another number sequence that is meaningful to you and your future spouse.
  3. Be sure to test your hashtags out to verify that the pictures are actually associated with them before instructing your guests to use them.
  4. Once they have been created, be sure to include the hashtags you want your guests to use on your save-the-dates, wedding invites, and all of your stationery so everyone knows well ahead of time which ones to use.

Naomi Shaw lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids. She is a free-lance journalist and stay at home mom that enjoys writing on fashion and beauty around the web and is a regular contributor for


Real Weddings: A Bride Bets on Tradition

paper-merchant-naples-invitation-blurredWe often say that Crane is a name that is passed down from generation to generation. But we’re still always delighted when we meet someone—especially a bride—who chooses our stationery because it was given to them by a beloved older family member.

Bride Liana wanted to do just that after her mother gave her Crane stationery when she began college.

“She told me that I could write to her, in addition to calling home, if I ever felt homesick,” Liana said. “I loved that paper set, and knew I wanted to go with Crane for my wedding invitations.”

Here, Liana advises on who brides should take with them to their invitation appointment and her stationer—Corinne of The Paper Merchant in Naples, Florida—shares why traditional invitations are making a comeback.
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Real Weddings: For the Love of Layers

paper-merchant-genevaEach month our factory sends us a big box of wedding invitations—samples of orders we print for couples surely anxious for those blue boxes to finally arrive. When the box arrives, it truly feels like Christmas as we hold each invitation to admire. Not only are these the invitations we choose our Real Weddings features from, but they are also how we pinpoint trends in what brides are ordering.

One trend we are seeing a lot of these days is layering. Just like with hair, layers give invitations dimension and volume. For this process, our finishing department applies a process called duplexing: the larger card serves as the bottom layer, and the smaller—most often a different color—is affixed to it. Couples love the look because of the thickness it creates as well as its ability to showcase a wedding color palette while keeping the design classic and elegant.

Such was the case with Erika and Ryan, who enlisted the expertise of stationer Sarah at The Paper Merchant in Geneva, Illinois to create their ecru-atop-navy invitation. Not only is it layered, but it also features a gilt edge, a detail that adds such a stunning touch. Here, we talk to both bride and stationer about, among other things, creating this timeless look.
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Real Weddings: A Truly Touching Tale

shannon-and-chuck-invitation-blurredIt isn’t often we are treated to the backstory of one of the couples for whom we are printing invitations. Yes, we see their names and where and when they are getting married, but unfortunately there is no “get to know the couple” space on the order form. So when Georgetown stationer Just Paper & Tea reached out to us with exactly that when a particular order needed a bit of TLC, we had that rare opportunity to learn a little bit more about Shannon and Chuck, and their truly touching tale.

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Real Weddings: Capturing Your Wedding Style with Stationery

We always say that the save the date and invitation are a guests’ first hint as to what to expect on a couple’s wedding day. They set the tone and also reflect their personal style, be it modern, classic or somewhere in between. For bride Jennifer and her groom-to-be, a blind embossed background that evoked a beautiful lace pattern matched their wedding, which had a vintage feel “with a lot of lace and soft pastels,” Jennifer said. Here, she shares with us what impressed the groom and why brides should think decades ahead.

The Bride: Jennifer

How did you and your fiance met, and how did he propose?
My husband, Chris, and I met online. On my online dating profile, I mentioned I liked to play Scrabble and wanted to learn how to golf. My husband, being an avid golfer, challenged me to a game of Words with Friends. If I won the game, he would give me a free golf lesson; if he won, then “I still might meet a nice guy out of it.” I won the game of Words with Friends, got my golf lesson and seven months later we were engaged.

Chris proposed on a road trip we took in August of 2012. We were going to drive up the California coast and make our way all the up to Vancouver, Washington. The first stop was in Monterey. Chris proposed on our way to dinner in the fisherman’s wharf area, on the corner of Wave and Prescott streets. We spent the rest of our road trip celebrating our engagement!

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?
Chris and I both like things that are very classic and timeless. With the theme of our wedding being sort of vintage with a lot of lace and soft pastels, we knew we wanted invitations that went along with this style.
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Real Weddings: An Invitation Inspired by Something Borrowed

Sometimes, one doesn’t have to scroll through endless Pinterest boards and magazines to find inspiration for the perfect wedding invitation (though it sure is fun). Sometimes, the inspiration conveniently arrives in your postbox. Such was the scenario for new bride Amanda. She loved the design of a family friend’s invitation so much, she made it her own—and we couldn’t blame her. Classic with just the right amount of modern, our ecru paper was paired with an elegant gold script that perfectly set the tone for the romantic Black Tie spring wedding.

* All photos are courtesy of Bonnie Sen Photography.


How did you and your fiance meet, and how did he propose?
Mike and I met junior year of college at an event my sorority was throwing. After college, we dated long distance for five years until I decided to move to Washington, DC. Finally (phew!), after seven years of dating, Mike popped the question at my parents’ house on the 4th of July. It was a private, sweet and simple proposal, which was perfect. We spent the rest of the day and night celebrating with lots of family, friends and fireworks in the sky.

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?
Going into the process, I knew I wanted an invite exactly like what I ended up with. I actually have a close family friend who used the same invitation suite, and I loved it so much. I tried really hard to find something different, that had the same look, but I could not find another invite I loved as much as this Crane & Co. invitation.

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Must-Have Day-Of Wedding Accessories

Your wedding stationery doesn’t stop when you order your invitations (though, we do admit, that is the most fun part). Day of accessories help tie the event you have been planning for a long time together. They carry the theme of the invitation through to the actual event. Below we’ve included a handful of the most popular items brides order for their wedding ceremony and reception.

Within the Ribbon Card
Cards reading “Within the ribbon” inform ushers that guests should be seated in special sections identified by a ribbon or cord.


Wedding Program
The design of your wedding program should complement your invitation but not necessarily match it. The program should inform your guests of the order of events for the ceremony, who the participants are and any other special notes regarding the reception or other wedding-related information. They may also include expressions of gratitude to parents and guests as well as acknowledgement of a deceased loved one. Continue reading

A Crane Connection 55 Years in the Making

virginia-wedding-picWe’ve always been proud of the fact that Crane & Co. has been in business since 1801, operating as the Liberty Paper Mill and run by Zenas Crane. Since then, we’ve remained in Massachusetts and our factory now calls North Adams, a quaint, quiet town the The Berkshires, home.

As with any small town, there are always one or two companies that employee a lot of the community. Crane is one of those companies. Not only is it common to meet an employee who was worked there for 30-plus years, but it is also common that he/she is a second or third generation Crane employee. And those in the community who don’t work for Crane inevitably have at least one relative who does. Simply put, there is always a Crane Connection here in North Adams.

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But even though connections are common, we are still elated when we hear stories like Virginia’s.

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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.

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

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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