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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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.

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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.

fresh-ink-fleur-detail
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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Real Weddings: Avo and William

Every couple’s invitation ordering process is a unique experience. While some may prefer to order them online from the comfort of their couch, others would rather spend time browsing invitation albums in a store, where they can touch the paper, see the details of each design up close and have the professional guidance of a retailer. Most, however, choose a combination of the two. They’ll peruse various wedding invitation sites online, discover what they like (and don’t like) and then head to a local stationer to see samples and place their order.

QuYinfeiNewlyweds Avo and William first visited our website, found a design they liked and then worked with the team at Paper Source in Austin to make it their own. Here, the couple talks about the importance of quality paper, while Laurie, the stationer who helped them, shares why Avo and William’s design choice was right on-trend.

The Couple: Avo and William

Tell me how you and your fiance met, and how did he propose?
My fiance and I have been very close friends since we first met at his mother’s birthday party in 2009. After this long-term friendship, we started our relationship with our friends’ and families’ blessing. In February 2014, we went on a trip to Alaska, and my fiance proposed to me in the snow under the magical northern light. I still feel the excitement every time I recall that scene!

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Personalized Profile: A Soon-to-Be Miami Mr. & Mrs.

A couple years ago, Kelle McCarter—talented illustrator and founder of the lovely Paperswell magazine—sent me a thank you note for profiling her in our Post Script series. It was written on her couples’ stationery (pictured below), which, instead of the traditional printed names or monogram, featured a fantastic illustration of Mr. and Mrs.—drawn, of course, by Kelle. I immediately pinned it to my bulletin board and vowed (no pun intended) to re-create the look for the next couple I knew to become engaged.

kelle-engagement-note-cards-blogFast forward to a few months ago, when family friends Juanita and Joe, who live in Miami, finally decided they would be making it official. Personalized stationery should reflect an individual’s or couple’s unique style, and I knew that Kelle’s illustration would fit theirs perfectly.

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Introducing Our New 2015 Wedding Invitation Designs

Recently, we introduced our new 2015 wedding suite designs, and, as always, the assortment is rich in process and celebrates Crane’s legacy of timeless, exquisite wedding designs. Of course, we added a handful of bells and whistles that weren’t available in previous collections and highlighted some of those below—hope you enjoy!

First, we’ve added suite names that reflect the personality of each design and hopefully will inspire brides as they go through the exciting process of choosing an invitation. For example, the Catalina suite is awash in coastal charm. Our Beach Glass paper is paired with elegantly blind embossed motifs, making it perfect for the sweetest seaside affair.

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Catalina suite invitation
Our Alexandria suite is dressed in a 24-karat-gold gilt edge and a new duogram atop premium weight paper. A beautifully drawn monogram is the perfect way to introduce wedding guests to the (future) Mr. & Mrs. Engraved in gold and accompanied by elegant black type, this invitation is the perfect choice for the classic couple. Continue reading

Crane for Paperless Post: The Etiquette of Online Wedding Invitations

Paperless_Post_Computer_044_screen_5Crane & Co. has been advising enthusiasts of classic correspondence for more than a century. In our archives is proof of this: petite, elegantly covered books boasting topics such as “Visiting Cards for Men” and “Country House Stationery.”

We’ve continued such advice in the form of the Blue Book of Stationery and the Wedding Blue Book, revising as decades have come and gone to reflect the ever-changing times.

Some advice — the importance of thank you notes, the use of “honour of your presence” for a church wedding to name a couple — has proved timeless. Other advice, however — addressing wives who are also medical doctors, a brides’s monogram using a hyphenated last name — has been added, updated and, sometimes, scrapped altogether.

While we value tradition, we also embrace the kind of change that still feels correct and special. And so when online invitation purveyor Paperless Post approached us to partner on a collection of wedding stationery suites, we made sure that every design was a perfect blend of the online invitation company’s fresh, modern aesthetic and our timeless, classic elegance.

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Wedding RSVP Etiquette: A Q&A with Wedding Guide Magazine

When Wedding Guide magazine contacted us to ask us a few questions about RSVP etiquette, we of course happily obliged. After all, receiving — or, rather, not receiving — responses from invitees is an issue most couples find themselves dealing with, and considering we wrote the book on wedding etiquette, it was only appropriate that we weigh in…
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Ask the Crane Concierge: Your Stationery Etiquette Questions Answered, part 2

crane-conciergeOur Crane Concierge spends her days offering etiquette advice of the epistolary variety to brides, businesses and everyday correspondents alike. We thought we’d share a handful of recent queries. If you have a question for our Concierge, email her at concierge@crane.com.

NICKNAMES

How do I include a nickname with my name on stationery? I am known by the nickname in my community, i.e. Susan Hindle (Su) George. Would this be acceptable? Or is there a better way?
If your correspondence will be mostly personal and not professional, I would suggest using your nickname (Su George), as this is the name your friends and family know you by. If, however, you will be using it for professional stationery as well, I would suggest using your given name and — for your personal notes — signing with your nickname.

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