Your wedding stationery gives your guests a glimpse into what they can expect at your wedding. The save-the-date card will let them know which weekend to clear and, if you're having a destination, where to book a hotel and flight at a discount. Your invite will tell guests if the wedding will be formal or casual based on its design, date and time. It's important to put a lot of thought into your wedding stationery because you don't want to give guests the wrong information and impression -- how embarrassed will Uncle Ed be if he shows up in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt for your black-tie affair.
To help couples create a unique wedding stationery suite, I asked Ceci Johnson, founder and creative director of Ceci New York for her expert etiquette and style advice. Ceci's couture invitation designs have attracted royal and celeb clients. Though we can't share who they are, you may have seen her exquisite invites and stationery details in Martha Stewart Weddings, BRIDES, InStyle, The Knot and Glamour. Here's what she had to say:
What's the hottest color palette for invitations this year? Is there a color palette that has been done so many times that it's over?
Color is always important when it comes to your invitations. This is where you're setting the tone.
Pink and chocolate, green and chocolate, and blue and chocolate are all overdone and a bit boring. Metallics are very important, timeless and beautiful. I recommend using a champagne pewter ink instead of a chocolate ink and pair it with a metallic foil in rose gold for your accent color.
Email RSVPs are often discussed for the 21st-century bride, but is it okay to ask guests to email their response or should couples still include a reply card?
Email RSVPs should only be used on less formal events surrounding your wedding like the rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch. I believe you need to stick to tradition and not eliminate the RSVP card. This is not the place to cut corners. Period.
The post office just launched a new wedding stamp. What are your thoughts on wedding-themed stamps? Should a couple create a complementary stamp that coordinates with their invitation suite or do guests even notice this small detail?
I believe beauty is in the details and the stamp you use can totally make or break your whole finished look. Your guests will always notice. To me, it's like getting dressed up in a gown and not wearing high heels. You're just not pulled together.
What's your advice on designing save-the-date cards?
I love having fun with save-the-dates. It's the perfect time to let your personality shine. We just did a comic book save-the-date that told the story of how the couple met and how they got engaged. The groom grew up drawing comics and had a sense of humor so it was perfect! We called it "The Adventures of Joanne and Drew." Very cute!
How important are wedding programs?
Wedding programs are not required, however I do think they're important. It's a nice detail for your guests to read and get to know your bridal party and the flow of your ceremony. But more important, I think they are a great keepsake for you to always be able to look back and remember all the details of your wedding ceremony: Who was in it, what songs you walked down the aisle to, etc. It's also a wonderful place to put an "in loving memory" dedication to loved ones and acknowledge them being there in spirit.
If a couple is looking to cut costs, where in the stationery budget can they save money?
My best recommendation is to select a less expensive printing method so you don't have to sacrifice a great design. For example, at Ceci New York you can get the same beautiful design in flat printing vs. letterpress and save a lot of money.
What's the most common stationery-related item couples forget?
Thank-you notes. I always recommend to my brides to order their thank-you notes with their invitations so they have new stationery ready to go when wedding gifts come in. You don't want to feel rushed and have to go buy a pack of cards that don't match your invitations. It's much better to kill two birds with one stone and be prepared.
Besides ordering a Ceci New York design, how can a couple create a memorable invitation and stationery suite?
Just remember to be yourself. Don't pick a stock design. Work with a design studio that will truly offer you a beautiful creative unique invitation suite that represents you and your style. Working with an artist who will create exclusive designs for you is the ultimate treat! It's also a keepsake you'll have forever.
Below, invitations by Ceci Johnson: