News & Politics

Ask the Experts: The Stationer

Tracy Bloom Schwartz, CSEP, creative parties ltd., Co-owner

Are grooms as interested in wedding stationery as the bride-to-be? It’s usually the bride and her mother who order the invitations. The groom usually comes in toward the end to give his final approval, and to check on the placement of the text and information. Brides tend to worry over color and design. It’s the mother of the bride who’s usually the stickler about the wording on invitations. If they’re footing the bill, they have the right to position their names. It’s interesting to see how the wording has a lot to do with the relationship between the two families.

Have etiquette rules about invitations changed? The only place we really see a change in the rules is in addressing the envelopes, escort cards and place cards. Women don’t want to be addressed as “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” anymore; they want to be recognized on their own. There really isn’t a comfortable option that feels or looks elegant, so we’re challenged with what the new etiquette should be. It’s a tough call.

Any new trends in color and pattern? Fifty percent of what people buy is still classic: black ink on white or cream paper. The other half of our customers are open to new ideas, like different paper textures. People nowadays get excited about things like fonts, letterpress, contrasting colorful patterns within the same invitation, or adding a photograph or graphic designs directly onto the paper.

Are elaborate invitation suites still the rage? Two hundred years ago, the only thing that went out was the invitation. It was understood that the guest would reply. There was no need for a reply card. Couples are moving away from having lots of insert cards, whether it’s to be more eco-friendly, more efficient, or to cut down costs. I often refuse to print directions cards because everyone has a GPS system or MapQuest. It’s wonderful that everyone’s excited to get married, but all the cards aren’t necessary. Send an email.

When is an email invitation inappropriate? Evites are really for other occasions, like children’s parties or less formal events. But they honestly haven’t impacted our business as much as Internet sales of invitations and home printing. People come back to us when they do it at home and mess up. We can also help you with technical details if you want to do it yourself.

This article first appeared in the Winter/Spring 2010 issue of Bride & Groom.  

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