Save-the-dates and invitations are the first glimpses your guests will get at the look and feel of your wedding, and these pros know how to make a good first impression.
ON THE RISE The betrothed of Westchester have a collective invitation obsession: pocketfolds. “Everyone comes in asking for pockets,” says Maria Solazzo of Impressive Invites in Mamaroneck. What goes into those pockets may be all over the aesthetic map, but the desire for a neatly presented invitation suite is most prevalent in Westchester.
As for the look of those invitations, “Vintage has been huge,” says Alissa Harvey of The King’s Scribe in Chappaqua. “So many clients have come to me asking for an Anthropologie-inspired stationery suite. I also have a lot of couples asking for ‘green’ design and materials—reply postcards instead of envelopes to save paper, post-consumer paper, and organic materials like craft paper, raffia, and wood-grain finishes.”
On the outside of those envelopes, digital or machine-done calligraphy has replaced hand-calligraphy. “We use machine calligraphy for ninety percent of our invitations,” says Herb Leventon of RSVP Designs in Mamaroneck. That’s if calligraphy is chosen at all. “There are more modern ways to address envelopes, and I find that couples want to stand out and be different,” says Laura Damiano of Laura Damiano Designs in White Plains.
ON THE DECLINE “Very traditional Crane invitations” are out, Leventon says. Adds Solazzo: “Even if a bride wants classic and traditional, the simple, plain card is not enough anymore.”
Also losing in popularity? “Invitations with vellum overlays, and single-card invitations with separate corresponding pieces,” Damiano says.
LETTERPRESS It may seem old-timey, but it sure is popular. “This year has been my biggest year with letterpress,” Solazzo says. “It’s the oldest form of printing, but it’s new to this generation.”
“Letterpress is more prevalent than ever because it epitomizes that antique vibe that so many brides are looking for,” Harvey says. “There is a tactile quality to letterpress printing and paper that stands out from the rest.”
However, lots of couples balk at the price. “Many couples like letterpress, but it’s out of their price range,” Leventon says. “They tend to be twenty-five percent more than thermography.” Adds Damiano: “People don’t really notice the difference.”
FONT OF KNOWLEDGE Westchester couples are of two minds when it comes to the font on their invitations—and sometimes use them both. “Fancy scripts are in again,” Solazzo says. “There was a time brides wanted a readable font that’s not too swirly—that’s changed drastically now. Then you get the more modern bride who wants a block and script font. That’s the newest trend. We are doing more and more of this style.” Adds Harvey: “Bold, block faces mixed with swishy calligraphy makes a powerful visual statement.”
Some of the most-requested fonts: Citadel Script âˆ™ Bickham Script âˆ™ Feel Script âˆ™ Burgues Script âˆ™ Trajan.
SHINE ON YOU CRAZY PAPER When it comes to cardstock, everyone’s looking to get a little bit of sheen on their paper. “Shimmer paper has been the most popular the last few years,” Solazzo says. “I can never have enough shiny paper!” Metallic papers also satisfy the need for a little shine.
STYLE “I’ve noticed that invitations are becoming elegant, but whimsical,” says Heather Zschock of Peter Pauper Press in White Plains. “Couples seem to be adding more personal touches, such as embellishments or custom illustrations.”
Most Requested Illustrations
Vintage Swirls/Scrolls âˆ™ Flowers âˆ™ Birds/Birdcages âˆ™ Chandeliers âˆ™ Trees/Foliage
âˆ™ Anchors/Ships âˆ™ Shells
Most Requested Embellishments
Ribbon âˆ™ Rhinestones âˆ™ Monogram Seals âˆ™ Belly Bands
FROM THE PLANNERS “We have seen a lot of hand-drawn illustrations starting with the couple’s save-the-date and remaining consistent throughout the invitation process,” says David Bowen of Bowen & Company in Hastings-on-Hudson. “Many couples want to create something that is symbolic of their relationship. Custom monograms and icons are just a few examples that demonstrate this recent trend.”
SAVE-THE-DATE Sending a save-the-date printed on a magnet is still the ruling method of staking out a spot on the upcoming social calendar, with custom-designed postcards coming in a close second. In either case, photography is the reigning style. “Save-the-dates are the perfect way to show off beautiful engagement photos!” Harvey says.
MOST MEMORABLE “The most memorable invite we have done was a custom pocket of beautiful, sparkling paper. After making the pocket, we had to make the envelopes out of the same material. A black velvet paper from India was used that took days to cut and apply by hand. We had to even use a lint brush on every one of them to pick up and remove the fibers.”
—Maria Solazzo, Impressive Invites
“I recently silkscreened a cotton-and-lace handkerchief with the invitation design, which will be used as the pocket square in the men’s tuxes on the wedding day.”
— Alissa Harvey, The King’s Scribe
“We did an invitation for a destination wedding in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and they had a sketch of the mountains that was put on the invitations, place cards, and wedding program. It tied everything together and set the tone for the exquisite wedding.”
—Herb Leventon, RSVP Designs
Laura Damiano Designs
SAVE Don’t waffle on the quantity of invitations you’ll need to be mailed. “Have your guest list counted—how many invites are being mailed, not how many total guests are coming,” Solazzo says. “It costs almost as much to print an additional twenty-five as it did for your initial order.”
Or, if you’re particularly crafty, you can go the DIY route. “Print your own invitations using an imprintable wedding kit like the kinds we offer,” Zschock says. “Make sure you have a good printer. There are many fine options available for one hundred dollars and under.”
Peekskill (914) 844-4483
Fine Lines of Katonah
Mew Paper Arts
The Art of Paper
The King’s Scribe
Laura Damiano Designs
Peter Pauper Press