“Avoid ribbons, bulky pockets with inserts, and boxed invitations. Stick to two dimensions.”
You were art director of Kate Spade stationery prior to starting your company.
Right, and then I moved to St. Louis to be closer to family. My clients are still mainly East Coast couples, though; New Yorkers make up 40 percent of my business.
And you kept your 917 number. Nice. How does a long-distance booking work?
I’m in the city at least once a month. I don’t think anyone should order an invitation before they’ve seen it in person. Do you offer ready-made invitations too, or do you customize only?
Most of what we do is in between. A client will say we really like that, but can we do vertical instead? Can we have a rose instead of a sunflower? New Yorkers tend to go custom, whereas clients from Dallas will pick something out of the book.
What’s your typical printing method?
The majority of what we do is letterpress. We do very little engraving, though we would have to if you use a teeny-tiny font or want cream ink on black paper.
You use a lot of color. How much is too much?
For a formal reception, bring in a pop of color with the envelope. If it’s informal, do color all the way. Couples are going for really interesting palettes. We recently did gray, turquoise, and acidic green—all on one invitation.
The invite is a common battleground for traditional mothers versus their less-conservative daughters.
Yes. This sounds crazy, but sometimes we deal with moms only. They come in with binders like it’s their wedding—I think it’s insane.
We do push traditional wording on the client, though, because our designs aren’t. If both the wording and the design are wacky, it no longer feels like a wedding invitation.
How do you arrive at a custom design?
We dig into the couple’s story. We had a couple who got engaged in Paris, so we printed the Eiffel Tower underneath the reply envelope flap and Répondez s’il vous plaît on the reply card. For a wedding that was all about butterflies and ladybugs, we had butterflies carrying away the postage stamp on the reply envelopes. But these days couples are less about the motif. They’re into interesting invitation shapes: square, long and slender, or circular invites.
Bells and whistles make an impact, but can be expensive ...
So cut down your numbers. Offset-print your save-the-dates. Or foil-stamp. That’s in between flat printing and letterpress, and adds texture and glamour without breaking the bank.
How do you feel about wedding websites?
Fine, just keep your URL short! We also make separate web cards.
Nothing beats getting stuff in the mail though.
Right. Oh, make sure to hand-cancel your invites! (They’ll stamp them instead of sending them through a machine.) However, you may need to bake brownies or cookies for the postal worker, because not everyone offers this service with open arms.
Stationery Photograph: Courtesy of Cheree Berry
From the Summer 2009 New York Wedding Guide