It 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.
For the eager hostess, no time is more exciting than the holiday season. The delight is in the details: Festive garlands, perfectly garnished cocktails and, of course, beautiful invitations and stationery accessories. Below are our recommendations for making your soiree the toast of the town.
The invitation sets the tone for the event. Exquisite printing in vibrant ink on our coveted 100% cotton paper will certainly evoke one of a soiree not to miss.
Place & Table Cards
Create a feast most memorable by making guests feel impossibly special. Table cards, which guide them to their respective seats, and place cards, which greet them once they arrive there, do just that.
Meet Margaret Haas and Victoria Vu, founders of the LA Pen Pal Club. The two stationery enthusiasts host the monthly meetup, during which guests can talk correspondence, share interesting letters they’ve received, saddle up to a typewriter or take pen to paper. Here, they talk about postcards from Italy and the pen pal who wouldn’t have to write anything at all.
When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
I was making birthday cards for family members when I was very young, around kindergarten or first grade. They were mostly decorated with stickers, but a heartfelt message was always the center of attention and what I’d spend most time on. I’m sure there were a lot of typos, but you got the general idea. Picking out just the right postage stamp for the envelope was always the cherry on top.
Tell us about your Pen Pals program and what inspired it. We get together once a month to pen letters and to show fun mail we’ve recently received. It is fun to share with others this activity that usually you do alone, in a quiet place. The LA Pen Pal Club is never a quiet space! We have typewriters out for people to use, so you can always hear the tapping of keys over the chatter. We love to comment on each other’s mail art or stationery, or postage stamp choice. It’s so much fun to get together with others who share in your love of mail. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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.
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.
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 →
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. Continue reading →
We’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.
But even though connections are common, we are still elated when we hear stories like Virginia’s.
We adore it when personalized stationery comes with a story. So, when we learned that this Flame Red correspondence card featuring a gold engraved elephant—illustrated by Alexa Pulitzer—was for a soon-to-be college student heading to the University of Alabama, well, we never knew a university’s signature color and its mascot could come together to create such lovely stationery.
“I must say, it’s truly incredible to be moved by the beauty of engraving and fine papers,” long-time client Elizabeth told Alexa of her daughter’s new stationery. “I was speechless by the elegance and finery of Allison’s Royal Elephant. Your design represents her first impression as she embarks her next stage in life as a student at the University of Alabama. I am genuinely and sincerely in awe. A million thanks!”
We’ve always said personalized stationery makes the perfect graduation gift, and this custom design certainly takes the cake. Or, in this case, the crimson.
If you would like to learn more about custom stationery, please email the Crane Concierge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To suggest to us that personalized stationery makes a lovely gift would be preaching to the choir. Be it for a hostess, a new baby or a new graduate, we have never met a recipient who did not express genuine glee upon opening our signature blue box (baby excluded, of course). However, when we heard that personalized stationery was the gift of choice for one New York City real estate broker to his clients, even the choir’s ears perked up.
Of course, such a gift makes perfect sense. What better way to celebrate the purchase of a new home than with its address printed on an envelope flap? Below, Kyle Haas shares some advice on how to pinpoint someone else’s personal style and the importance of leaving a lasting impression—one handwritten note at a time.
What do you love most about giving personalized stationery as a gift to your clients? When a client purchases a new home, there is no more perfect gift than personalized stationery with their new return address on the envelope. The clients are always appreciative and I, from a business standpoint, know that they’ll think of me each time they use it. That’s so much better than sending a generic postcard or email to keep in touch.
How do you go about choosing a design that best fits your clients’ style? One of the other great things about giving personalized stationery is that it’s, well, personalized. I can take cues from my clients’ décor or personalities to help me decide which fonts, colors and styles to choose. If I’m not sure of design choices, the Crane Concierge has been very helpful.
What is normally the reaction from clients to this gift? My clients are always very appreciative. They all remark about how perfect the gift is and seem taken by the thoughtfulness. I really can think of no better way to leave a lasting impression after my clients close on their new home.
Should you care for more advice on how to give personalized stationery as a gift, please don’t hesitate to contact our Crane Concierge at email@example.com.