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On the paper trail

SPECIAL TO THE DAILY

Your wedding invitation, as one-dimensional as it appears, is the very first impression you and your future spouse are making as a couple; it literally speaks volumes about the two of you and the kind of wedding you are planning.

And while an invitation’s purpose is simple ” to announce your upcoming nuptials and invite the recipient to come witness them ” the type of paper, style of font, choice of wording and any extra embellishments make your invitation a composite of your individual tastes.

Before you hire a calligrapher and fire up the glue gun, look around a few Web sites (see below, above …), browse through a stationery store or thumb through a few bridal magazines for inspiration. The style choices are infinite and it is up to you to find what illustrates your marriage best. Before you decide on the type of paper and the overall look consider the following tips:

– Branding a product is in these days. Why not brand a marriage? If you have a logo or a symbol you would like to use, find a designer (or a friend with a flair for art) and come up with one. Everything from a location (Golden Gate Bridge) to an activity (sailboat) to a small cartoon (of the both of you) goes. A one-color logo can quickly create a priceless personalized look that no ribbon, vellum or beads can accomplish.

– Think twice about your choice of paper. If you go fancy remember that many layers and heavy stock add up not only at the cash register but also at the post office counter. If you are printing stationery at home, be sure to test a sample and see if ink bleeds or ” worse ” jams up your printer.

– Ink jet versus. engraving or embossing can make a one- to two-digit difference on your stationery bill. While the latter two definitely look sophisticated, ink jet printing be easier to read and, if done tastefully, can look just as pretty. Remember that beyond your nearest and dearest family, invitations decorate refrigerators on a time-share basis.

– What to say on your invitation and how? Keep it simple and stay with the basics for both, font type and words. Important information can easily get lost on an invitation that’s is filled to the margins with cursive swirls and eloquent frills. Check and edit the proofs, once, twice and then one more time. Have friends read and edit them, too. Typos are inexcusable in wedding correspondence and reprinting them will cost you dearly.

– Don’t get stuck in craft hell, because Martha Stewart thinks it’s “neat” to have a dried sprig of thyme tied to each invitation or all envelopes lined in a contrasting hue. Remember that embellishments are costly ” in money or your time ” and rarely reach past cute. If you must tie on bows, make a night of it and enlist a couple of close friends for help. Good conversation and snacks will make the stacks looks less intimidating.

– Tradition and good manners dictate that all wedding invitations be addressed by hand. If your handwriting resembles that of your doctor’s, consider hiring a calligrapher, or begging a relative or friend with good penmanship to do them for you. Anything to avoid printed labels.


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