Invitations say so much more than merely the what, then when and the where, as they alone make the first impression of events. Imagine opening an invitation you’ve received in the mail. What color is the envelope? Was your name printed on a mailing label, handwritten, or drawn in calligraphy? Did the postage stamp bear the Liberty Bell, a bouquet of flowers or the word ‘love’? What does the invitation feel like? Is the paper thin and smooth, or thick, textured card stock? Is the party information filled-in by hand, laser-printed or letterpressed? All of these elements dictate the air of the event, often overlooked by those who just aren’t looking, but I am looking. As a lifelong stationery aficionado, I’m always looking.
Responsible for setting the tone and overall feel of a party, the style and motif of any party invitation must be given careful consideration, no matter how casual the event. They should be representative of both the hostess and her event. An engraved invitation to a pool party wouldn’t be terribly fitting, nor would an e-mailed invitation to a formal black-tie affair.
Though I have a great affinity for etiquette, the traditional and the formal, I am conversely mad about all things bold and bright. One of the most unique stationery suites I’ve seen was for a wedding between a musician bride and groom. Integrating their musical backgrounds into each aspect of their nuptials, the couple sent invitations reminiscent of vintage vinyl records; each element thoughtfully designed. The wedding information on the invitation and programs read like credits on the back of an album jacket–the roles of the wedding party printed like musicians being credited for performing on the record. The “Guest Artist/Turntable” placecards conducted guests to their designated tables, custom thank-you notes declared, “sorry if we sound like a broken record”. Penning countless thank-you notes may seem akin to a skipping record for writers of said notes, but there was nothing redundant about these invitations. They were a smash hit with me.