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Invitations and Stationery

DIY Wedding Invitations at Old City Press & Co.'s Workshop

Grab your spouse-to-be and spend date night creating gorgeous paper goods.

By Caroline Cunningham Image courtesy Old City Press & Co.

Aside from the photos, the paper goods—save-the-dates, invitations, and programs—are some of the only tangible keepsakes you’ll have from your wedding. They’re great to frame with a wedding photo or two, and they are the first taste of your celebration that your guests receive, setting up a precedent for what they should expect at your wedding. All this to say: your invitations matter. So why not give them the ultimate personal touch and make them yourself?

Banish your ideas of sloppily-cut ribbons and cheap printer paper: Old City Press & Co.’s wedding invitation workshop pairs couples with an instructor who will walk you through the fine art of designing and printing invites on the shop’s 1950 Vandercook letterpress using Crane cotton paper.

The workshops are scheduled on your time, so make a weekend of it with your sweetie and schedule out six hours on two consecutive days. But if that sounds like a lot of time to block out, Old City Press & Co.’s Pete Juratovic says that most couples don’t need that much time to complete their invitations. “Normally, everything can be completed in one day with the exception of cutting,” says Juratovic. “We do that on off hours and have the invites ready within a couple of business days.”

The design part is where you can show some creativity, though Old City Press & Co. has plenty of templates to choose from for those who’d rather stick with the tried-and-true layouts. “We have a design element book with borders, monograms, fonts, and motifs. (Couples) can select out design elements and design their own invitation or tweak a current pre-design,” says Juratovic, who noted that couples often bring in a design of their own, and spend the workshop focused on printing.

The workshops run between $400 to $1,000 on average, depending on the number of invitations. In addition to a 5x7 invitation card, the workshop’s wedding suite includes an RSVP card and an information card—a pretty good deal when compared to other paper good suppliers.

“As far as how our pricing compares to other vendors, we are 30 percent less then other vendors offering the same value and quality,” says Juratovic. “Since we do the design, make the plates, and print on site we can offer an amazing product in half the time, and almost half the cost as other letterpress vendors.”

If you’re still not sold, Old City Press & Co. offers $75 letterpress workshops on Saturday, so you can test out the process, get your hands dirty, and maybe even make some of those “Thank You” notes you’ll be needing down the road.

To schedule a workshop, fill out the form on Old City Press & Co.’s website, and check out the pricing for their wedding suite package pricing below.

Old City Press & Co., 102 N. Fayette St., Alexandria, 571-858-5940.


Wedding Paper Divas and Marchesa Team Up to Release New Bridal Stationery

Now every bride can afford to have a piece of Marchesa on her wedding day.

By Irina Grechko

Just on the heels of last week’s New York Bridal Fashion week, celeb-favorite couture and bridal designer Marchesa and bride-beloved stationers Wedding Paper Divas have teamed up to release a new bridal paper collection. The über-feminine stationery line includes eight designs featuring details such as intricate lace, vibrant watercolor illustrations, and fanciful floral patterns—motifs familiar to fans of Marchesa’s bridal and designer runways.

“When it comes to creating gowns, we’re always driven by the fabrics, accents, and embellishments we love—and we let our favorite pieces from our bridal and runway collections guide the design process for the Wedding Paper Divas stationery collection,” said Marchesa cofounders Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig in a press release. “We experimented with modern touches and darker color palettes in our recent designs and carried this aesthetic over to the invitations, as well. We think the designs translate beautifully onto the printed page, and we’re so excited to make our mark in the stationery world.” In addition to invitations, the suites will feature save-the-date cards, response cards, enclosure cards, and thank-you cards, all offered in a variety of paper options and trims. View and shop the full collection online.


New Product Launch: Moleskine’s Wedding Journal

Make your wedding planner jealous with this new bridal organizer from the iconic notebook brand.

By Irina Grechko Photograph courtesy of Moleskine.

Newly engaged brides, mark your calendars. Moleskine just unveiled a brand new journal, and it includes everything a bride could possibly need for nuptial organization. Passions Wedding Journal—or as we like to call it, the Bridal Bible— is divided into useful sections such as Inspiration and Ideas, Ceremony, Reception, and Flowers and Visuals.

The journal features an elegantly decorated white cover, silky violet bookmark ribbons, and 162 wedding-themed stickers and labels, making it easy to keep track of every detail. A 12-month foldout timeline will also remind you to check up on everything from ordering save-the-date cards to packing for your honeymoon; an extra Bridal Book booklet in the notebook’s back pocket will keep hidden all of the “shh!” details you don’t want on display.

For $19.95 a book, you know that these organizers will be flying off the shelves like hot wedding cakes—so don’t wait to order yours online.


Launch We Love: Guesterly

The first of its kind, this glossy booklet is guaranteed to melt the ice between your wedding guests.

By Irina Grechko All photographs courtesy of Guesterly.

Awkward small talk at your wedding is a thing of the past thanks to the launch of Guesterly. The new company creates a tongue-in-cheek take on a wedding yearbook with a glossy booklet that features guests’ photos as well as their bios so they can skip uncomfortable introductions (and the desire to beeline for the door after the last plate is taken away) and go straight to making friends and connections.

The idea was generated while founders Rachel and Lorne Hofstetter were planning for their 2012 wedding. Having grown up and gone to colleges on opposite sides of country, the New York City-based couple knew that most of their 125 guests would be meeting for the very first time—introductions Rachel and Lorne would be too busy to make on their big day. Inspired by Lorne’s old Freshman Herald, a book he received as an incoming freshman at Princeton that introduced each of his classmates, the couple set out to create a similar journal including all their guests. When they couldn’t find a service that would do it for them, the duo made one from scratch themselves and sent it to their guest list a week before the wedding. The result? Thrilled guests who were talking and celebrating like old friends all weekend long.

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Invitations and Stationery

Haute Papier Launches a Stationery Subscription Service

Paper products get a chic redux with Haute Box.

By Irina Grechko

As if we needed another reason to love Haute Papier, the Arlington-based custom stationery shop has launched a newly curated subscription service. For $80 per year (or $20 for a one-time shipment), Haute Papier will send you four goodie boxes—one every three months—with an assortment of its best-selling and newly launched writing utensils, notebooks, coasters, various greeting cards, and letterpress trinkets.

We got a peek at the first Haute Box and it featured a handful of whimsical birthday and thank-you cards, heart-print coasters, a miniature notepad and notebook, and two gold-print pencils. Think inside the box and buy a single package or a subscription for a year—we think it’s a great gift for a bride-to-be.

Invitations and Stationery

We Goofed!

A correction from the Winter/Spring 2012 issue of “Washingtonian Bride & Groom.”

By Kim Forrest

The "Stripe Up the Band" invitation suite. Photograph courtesy of Fig. 2 Design Studio

In the “Ask the Experts” section of the Washingtonian Bride & Groom Winter/Spring 2012 Issue, we incorrectly stated the price of the Fig. 2 Design Studio invitation pictured above. The pricing for 100 sets of this design (called “Stripe Up the Band”) starts at $750 for digital printing, $1,600 for offset, and $1,980 for letterpress.

If you’re interested in seeing this invitation and many more from Bethesda-based Claudia Smith of Fig. 2 Design Studio, her designs are available at the Dandelion Patch. You can also check her out at the Dandelion Patch January Paper Party on the 26th at its Georgetown location. Smith will be offering her thoughts on 2012 trends, as well as helping brides pick out invitations from her suites. There will also be a raffle for 50 free save-the-dates from Fig. 2.

Flowers and Décor

Black, White, and Green Art Gallery Shoot

A team of talented Annapolis-area vendors stage a high-fashion photo shoot

By Kim Forrest

A gown with architectural details and greenery in lieu of flowers contributes to a contemporary feel. All photographs by David Hartcorn Photography

We love a good backyard, vintage-inspired wedding as much as the next gal, but we’re starting to think that clean, ultramodern events are what’s next in wedding style here in the DC area (we’re thinking a toned-down version of Kim Kardashian’s black-and-white wedding, perhaps).

So obviously we were delighted to see this photo shoot styled by the unique and chic Julie Savage of Strawberry Milk Events (whose blog we’ve admired for a while), and shot by David Hartcorn Photography. Several other Annapolis vendors (listed below) also contributed their creativity and talents to these photos, which were shot at a private residence in Annapolis.

According to Savage, the shoot was inspired by the phrase: “Love is the most beautiful art form.” With a color scheme of black, white, and kelly green, the vendors created lots of inspiring details (the mini champagne bottle save-the-date, the black dinnerware, the graphic menu), that are totally wedding-worthy.

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Invitations and Stationery

Inspiring Invitations

The prettiest invites we’ve seen in a while, from local stationery designer Haute Papier.

By Kim Forrest

The finished product. All photographs courtesy of Haute Papier

When DC invitation designer Sarah Meyer Walsh of Haute Papier sent us these recent creations, we knew we just had to share them. We absolutely love the pink-and-gray color scheme—the pairing of a feminine hue with a modern neutral is pretty brilliant. Turns out these invites were created for Trish, the manager of the super-cute Valerianne boutique in Vienna. Here’s what Walsh had to say about the design:

“The inspiration for this invitation suite came from Trish’s love of textiles. She told us she loves magnolias, so she also wanted to incorporate those into the design. We then went to town creating a beautiful two-color suite, and made a pattern using a magnolia motif for the envelope lining.”

Click the jump for more photos of these invitations.

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Invitations and Stationery

Modern DC-Themed Invitations

The unique paper goods from one of our featured real weddings.

By Kim Forrest

Last week, we showed you Tania and Rafael’s modern black-and-white wedding at the Newseum. But we left out some wonderful, unique details—their invitation suite and programs.

The couple worked with the Dandelion Patch in Georgetown, which commissioned design house Bella Figura to create the two-sided, letterpressed invitations featuring the DC skyline, as well as the fan programs (perfect for a hot September day!). They really take the whole “city skyline” invitation concept we’ve seen many times to a different and undeniably cool level—the black-and-white photograph presentation gives it a vintage-meets-modern look. Tell us: Are you a “fan” of this paper suite?



Genius Idea: Mad Libs Guestbook Cards

Are you kind of bored with the standard guestbook well wishes? These little cards will guarantee some more creative congratulations.

By Kim Forrest

The Dandelion Patch can customize these cards to fit your theme and color scheme. Card courtesy of the Dandelion Patch and Bella Figura

Heidi Kallett from the Dandelion Patch just sent me these letterpressed Bella Figura guestbook cards and I thought they were so clever. Instead of having your guests sign a book that you’ll probably never look at again, give out these cute little Mad Libs-esque cards. Your guests can either write heartfelt sentiments, or be more playful. Then, you can have them place their cards in a box or a book for safe-keeping.

To test them out, we told our interns that we were playing a traditional game of Mad Libs, and here’s the hilarity that ensued:


We are slimy for Sarah and Peter! They are the most swanky cupcakes and we wish them nothing less than slushy dinosaurs for the rest of their lives together.

Don’t forget to always brush your teeth before you occupy and don’t count your chickens before they hatch after the tennis shoes. Peter should always meander Sarah’s lipstick and Sarah should always articulate Peter’s hamburgers. We wish you 7 years of happiness and red signage. With Love, Ernie and Bert


Well, that's some, er, interesting marriage advice.

I definitely see this as a playful ice-breaker to keep guests entertained during cocktail hour. The cards are $458 for 100; visit the Dandelion Patch’s Web site for more information.

Preferred Wedding Vendors