Okay so…to be 100% honest with you all…I didn’t really know much about stationery until last week. I know, I know, that sounds horrible but I always just deferred any invitation/day of paper questions to the experts (as they know BEST!) But now that the big day had been set, I started to think about my save the dates + invites and since I knew nothing…I needed an invitation education – enter Nichole Michel from Coral Pheasant, my saving grace of knowledge and expertise to help guide me (us!) through this process!
Before our session Nichole had me complete a quick “Get to Know You” survey so she could see what we were interested in learning about and possibly have included in our invitation suite. For those of you who are new to this, like I was, an invitation suite is everything and anything that gets included within the invitation envelope. For example: the reply card, directions card, details card, website information, rehearsal dinner info, etc. It’s really quite a masterpiece! Being ambitious I checked all the boxes: letterpress, foil stamping, wax seals, envelope liners, deckled edge paper…you name it, I picked it!
As we started looking at samples I learned about all of these different techniques and how they would reflect together as a unit. Boiling it down for you we concluded that I was looking for way too much (shocker!) so I had to make some cuts. I really liked the look of letterpress – a technique that uses a printing press to apply pressure from an inked plate onto paper, leaving a deep impression of the design on your invitation in color. It gives a soft but dimensional texture to the paper that's just so beautiful and brings the whole thing to life!
I also fell in love with deckled edge paper – hand made paper that has a feathered edge and gives off a vintag-ey romantic feel. Unfortunately, this did not make the final cut as Joshua quickly compared it to toilet paper (FACE PALM!) - sometimes I wonder about him haha! Quick sidebar for all you beautiful bride to be’s - I did bring Joshua along and he surprisingly had a HUGE opinion on what his likes and dislikes were, so I’m super glad we included him in this process (keep that in mind with your fiance's too!)
We discussed vintage postage, belly bands –which are either a piece of paper or fabric wrapped around the entire invitation suite to hold everything together inside the envelope – and the difference in the paper weights of each component. We chatted about possibly working with an artist to design a custom piece of artwork for us for the invites and envelope liner (how freaking cool is that!!) as well as custom versus digital calligraphy (huge difference in price my friends!) It was truly an awesome evening and I feel like I have a much better understanding of the process and different elements now.
Speaking stationery isn’t so bad once you get the hang of it, but there are SOO many different and creative things you can do. I initially went into the session thinking I wanted all that and a bag of chips – but I left with a completely different mindset. You don’t need EVERYTHING because it just becomes overwhelming and too much for the eyes too look at. Keeping it simple and staying true to your style is key - but of course adding in a few pops of flair for a delightful surprise - is really all you need! I would highly recommend setting up a time to chat with a stationery designer about all of the different aspects to truly nail down what speaks to you and also for them to inspire you to come out of your box a little bit with their magic!
BIG thanks so Nichole for helping us through the initial stages of this process and teaching us the ins and outs of stationery. We have quite a ways to go but we’ll keep you posted as the finished project comes together! I’m still amazed at how much I’m learning from this planning process and it just inspires me to keep going!
photography credit :: Nichole Michel // Coral Pheasant Stationery + Design