5 Tips from the Paper Gurus
01 | The List is Key
The list is by far the hardest part of wedding planning. It is a tedious task, but the entire wedding hinges around that guest count! Our advice is to start early, and use an Excel document to make the list easy to navigate. We suggest using headings for each column so that mail merging your document is a piece of cake. It is also extremely important to spell out EVERYTHING! Your calligrapher will address directly from your document, so no abbreviations are welcome here. The graphic below illustrates how your list should be set up, as well as answers any etiquette questions you may have.
02 | KEEP THE TIMELINE ON YOUR MIND
A crucial part of Mariée Ami’s wedding planning is staying on schedule, and the paper process is no different. In a perfect world, your paper timeline starts 7 to 8 months from the wedding with a meeting with Mary or Caroline to discuss the inspiration for your day. Save the dates are typically sent between 4 to 6 months before the wedding date. We encourage our destination brides to mail correspondence as soon as possible so people can make their travel plans! The suggested mail date for wedding invitations is between 6 to 8 weeks out. Keep in mind that if you are using a calligrapher to address your save the dates and invitations, you will need to plan on giving them at least a month to do so. Once the big stuff is out of the way, we begin program/reception merchandise design and hotel box planning around 2 to 3 months before the wedding. Ideally, by one month out we have placed all orders and tied up any the loose ends for your big day.
03 | Curate Inspiration
It’s helpful to both your designer and planner to see photos of what you like and want for your wedding. Inspiration can be found anywhere! Most of our clients use Pinterest to collect images to illustrate their style, but magazines, books, Instagram and blogs are also great resources. We can use anything from a piece of fabric or favorite shirt to a specific flower as a jumping off point. Because paper pieces are often the first thing guests will see from your wedding, we want them to be able to get the feel of your aesthetic for the day.
04 | CARRY YOUR THEME THROUGHOUT
As graphic designers, one thing that we love to do is use your “theme” throughout your wedding. This can be done in many ways, and on many levels. For instance, we can design a logo that is used on your save the date and wedding invites and again in the reception merchandise like napkins and koozies, or we could create a custom pattern for paper pieces that becomes fabric for draping at the reception. If you can dream it, we can find a way to do it! Here are some ideas of past clients…maybe they will get your creative juices flowing!
For this bride, we used the floral pattern that was blind debossed on her save the date in color in other places. You saw the florals on the wax seal on her invitation, her hotel box, reception merchandise, and used as a border on a custom dance floor at the reception.
This bride carried not only her monogram throughout, but also used the same watercolor washed hand-torn paper for all her printed materials. Her monogram was printed on the save the date, used for wax seals to secure the twine on the invitation, and tags for hotel gifts. She included the monogram, wax seals and twine on the escort cards and other merchandise at her reception.
Caroline watercolored a beautiful floral pattern for this special bride. We used the pattern as an envelope liner for her wedding invitations, and as a backdrop for many of the branded items in her hotel box. Most notably, we had fabric made and used as the draping at the reception.
05 | BUILD A BETTER HOTEL BOX
Our go-to hotel box features something salty, something sweet, and something to drink. While that certainly gets the job done, we encourage our brides to look beyond the typical treats and packaging to surprise their guests.
Choose local desserts to give your box hometown flavor or add a travel candle to freshen up the hotel room. Another popular stand out is including the bride and grooms’ favorite things – this can range from sour straws and gum balls, to popcorn and pralines, to champagne and bourbon. Everyone loves a bite or sip that embodies the couple!
Packaging your goodies is equally as important as what you include. First, think outside of the typical gable box or gift bag. Try a fruit basket, a branded tote bag, or more upscale gift box to house your gift. Then, (this is a place to CARRY YOUR THEME THROUGHOUT) use cello bags or clear plastic boxes to showcase treats. Top with a ribbon in your color palette and a sticker with your logo or monogram and you are set! Not only does that look much more custom, but it also shows your guests how much you appreciate them coming to celebrate with you.