Paper Love

I’m conscious as I write this that the issue of stationery does not sit highly on everyone’s agenda.

For some brides the dress is the top priority, for others it’s all about the blooms. Perhaps for you it’s the all-important cake and dessert table. My own personal list has photography and videography vying with each other for first place so the boy and I have split it fairly.

But it’s ok you know to be different, for us all to prioritise according to our personal preferences otherwise the world of weddings would feel that little bit smaller, right?

I love that some brides go hell for leather on their entertainment rather than having oodles of flowers or opt for making the decor themselves so they can have the dress of their dreams.

So whilst I’ve already mentioned that photography and videography are of paramount importance to Ste and I, papery goods are also sit fairly highly on the list.

Admittedly this has confused some people whose view of stationery is simply that – something that serves a purpose, be it an invite to the main event or a sign that tells you where to sit. For us though, it’s a tiny taster of what’s to come, a vital part of the theme, another little bit of decor.

So this post really is partly inspiration for you gorgeous lot, a healthy portion of gentle persuasion for those of you who don’t rate stationery all that highly and a smidgen for me just so I can indulge in paper pretty.

You Are Cordially Invited…

Here at RMW HQ we’ve noticed a subtle advance towards glamorous stationery of late rather than the vintage kitsch which has been huge in the wedding scene these last few years.

Flourished fonts, coloured foils and pretty penmanship are all coming into their own once again albeit with a modern feel. We’re also seeing attention lavished on designer envelopes with ornately calligraphied addresses and bespoke stamps for a more ‘finished’ feel.

Ladies – elaborate invitation suites are back with a vengeance!

Two main colour schemes have been huge this year, watercolours and metallics. I adore them equally and wanted both.

The boy said no.

Moving on…

There are few rules when it comes to the metallics trend, golds and silvers look amazing when combined in the same stationery set, be it in the form of stamped foils, shimmering envelopes or stationery edgings.

It’s like holding a little bit of luxury.

Invitations caressed by a watercolour wash are also utterly romantic and perfect for a summer or spring wedding. For me stationery suites using this medium make me think of artisan weddings from long ago, a kinder time and place. If you’re worried that a watercoloured invitation might feel a bit too much why not try restricting the colour to the edges and keeping the rest of the colour palette neutral.

I’m also a huge fan of letterpress invitations and whilst they are on the expensive side, when you’ve got one in your hands you can’t help but run your fingers over the glorious textures. It seems like lots of brides are in agreement as this is another trend experiencing a resurgence of late.

Lastly I’d recommend tying together all of your various invitation components with contrasting ribbon or twine for the final detail and that little bit of something extra.

Order Of Play

I’m sure that you lovely lot are all familiar with the traditional order of service, but there’s another piece of paper pretty that’s making itself known on the big day which I wanted to share with you.

With its roots in America – the wedding programme is designed to complement rather than replace the order of service by informing guests about what’s on the agenda for the whole day rather than just the ceremony itself.

This selection of pretty does a darn good job of showing how wedding programmes are also used to introduce the bridal party and share thank you’s as well as explaining the significance of certain elements of the day – like the first dance for example. Plus they’re all blinking gorgeous too.

I love this idea probably because I am a control freak.

Yes there we are, I admit it. But there’s nothing worse than going to a wedding and not really knowing where you’re supposed to be at which times. How many of you have missed a cake cutting recently? I know that I’ve failed to see this special part of the day at least once out of the five weddings I’ve been to this year.

That makes me sad.

Take it from me RMW-ettes, to be forewarned is to be forearmed – you’ll never miss a photo opportunity again!

Of this clutch of beauties, the silhouetted wedding party is my favourite. Actually I might rob that idea for my own day.

Is that allowed?

I also have a whole lorra love for something that gives you more bang for your buck. In this case we’re talking about programmes that go the extra mile, that are more than just a simple schedule for the big day.

We’re talking fans folks.

This concept is particularly useful at warmer weddings allowing guests to be cool and informed all at the same time. Simply pop your beautiful programme on a stick and you’re away.

Best Seat In The House

Do any of you keep your place names from weddings you’ve been to? Or this this yet more proof that I’m a little bit odd?

Regardless, we’ll come onto place names in a minute. Right now I want to talk to you about table plans and escort cards.

No, not the kind that you find taped up in the windows of neglected telephone boxes – honestly the state of your minds folks. I’m talking about another American tradition which has filtered its way across to our shores.

For those of you not familiar with the concept, rather than displaying tableplans at the entrance to a venue, our American cousins choose to give each guest a card with their name and table name or number on it.

I love this idea not only because it adds an air of intrigue to the whole ‘where am I sitting/who am I sitting with’ question but because it provides massive scope for you to integrate the cards into your general decor.

Take a look at these gorgeous examples, escort cards as leaves in a wreath, pegged onto lines, beribboned and inserted into brown pockets or tied around bottles are all simple and effective ways of making them something more than just a sign about where to sit.

On a practical level escort cards win hands down because you can easily rewrite a few should you find your Aunty Pam has come down with the flu. A simple rejig of the seating arrangements is not as easy with a gorgeous but pre-printed table plan.

Table Manners

So this is one part of the day where you really get to go to town on all things stationery.

We’re talking menus, place names, table names and even thank you cards.

Bring. It. On.

I’m actually really excited about my wedding paper goods, particularly those that will be appearing on the table. For me, customising elements such as the table names and menus is a crucial part of the theme on our wedding day. I can’t say too much here because we want it to be a surprise for our guests but I promise to share the results at some point.

Ultimately, the point I’m driving at is if you’re having a menu for your guests and name places on the tables themselves then it’s worth thinking about how you want them to look because this is a great way to add some impact without having to incur the wrath of your normally adorable fiancé because you’ve spent the equivalent of a small house on said theme ‘unnecessarily’.

Think about playing with shapes – just because paper tends to arrive in rectangular and square shapes doesn’t mean that it has to stay this way. I love rounded corners as well as irregular layouts too.

Circles are really popular at the moment and are the perfect accompaniment for modern, city affairs. Experiment with fonts and layouts – two or three different typographies on a single piece of paperie looks really punchy.

Have you got a special symbol or motif that means a lot to the pair of you? Why not include that within your stationery set or even resort to pictures over text. I love the menu within this board complete with drawings of crabs, fish and cake. It’s so fun!

You can bring place names to life too by attaching objects to them or by making them a fundamental part of the decor. I came across a beautiful wedding that encircled guest’s names around thin tapered candles which they took with them to illuminate their table.

It looked EPIC.

Confetti Love

I think I may possibly be the only person in the world that actually adores old school confetti.

You know the kind – with the overly saccharine candy colours and 1930’s ish vibe. All paper-shaped horseshoes, bells, bows and misshapen flowers. The kind that if held a little bit too long in a sweaty palm clumps together in a soggy ball which completely defeats the purpose of choosing light as a feather paper loveliness to scatter over a pair of newlyweds.

In fact, I still haven’t met one person that actually loves it like I do. I can’t explain the reasons why I go gaga for it, I just do.

Anyway I digress.

‘Confetti Heaven’ couldn’t simply be all about confetti – talk about overkill – so I had to include a few alternative guestbook ideas too. And whilst confetti and guestbooks aren’t strictly stationery I wanted to show how they can fall into this category by applying a few simple tweaks.

It thrills my bones when I see a bride that has chosen to really embrace the confetti tradition.Where a couple have decided to not only provide customised bags of loveliness for the guests but a smidgen of DIY and paper materials too.

Taking the custom confetti route doesn’t need to cost the earth nor take too much of your time either. In fact stamping plain brown bags with an emblem that reflects your wedding such as the ‘birdy’ bags near the bottom of this board is a great way to get your nearest and dearest involved as well as stamping your personality on the day.

Alternatively bulk buy glassine sheets and sew them into little pockets on the ol’ singer for instant pouches of fun.

My favourite though are the confetti bags which double up as an order of service and favour too! Seriously what more do you want? There’s glittery confetti, and a sweet drawstring sack that you get to take home to fill with candy or use as a travelling make-up bag.

This adventurous creativity is also poking its head through in modern day guestbooks too. The balloon thumbprint poster makes me smile not only because of its sunshiny cheeriness but because each guest has had a hand in making this work of art.

And what about having individual teeny tiny envelopes for each guest to insert some precious words of advice into to be opened by you on a special anniversary or why not scatter coasters around your venue that guests can scrawl on whilst they drink.

Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

So have I managed to persuade those of you who weren’t so enamoured with paper pretties over to the dark side?

Do you now want to brand anything and everything stationery-related for your big day?

I know I do.

But then I would, wouldn’t I.

All my love

Lolly (the crazy confetti fanatic)xxx

Author: Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.

26 thoughts on “Paper Love

  1. Erm, the pink ribbon on the second photo…it’s wanting me to put my hair in a perfect Sandy off of Grease ponytail and tuck a cashmere sweater into my skirt and dance about.

    Obviously, that has nothing to do with stationary. Nothing at all. I’m sorry, Lolly.


  2. Ahhhh Stationery…. I’m a graphics personage, Mr McDuff is a printer. We make wedding stationery ALL the time, easy peasy. Not when it’s your own! Now I have a fab post of loveliness to further add to my confusion, thank you very much indeed :o)
    Letterpress – swoon, way too expensive, even trade price! But I’m a dab hand with the singer and the folding machine so the luscious folded cards with the confetti are a cert, plus the first opportunity to be a official Mr & Mrs!

  3. Oh how I love stationery. LOVE IT.

    Lauren has pulled it out the bag once again – I am particularly in love with the paper cut and fold out trees… So damn clever!

    I am loving all the brown paper too, that is a particular weakness of mine and what about the tandem balloon thumb print idea…? Amazing.

    The only trouble is that you have to rely on your guests being nice and neat… I’d be standing over the thing ready to pounce on anyone who looked like they might put a thumb out of place…


  4. Great article and particularly pleased it’s all about the stationery, this is of course the equivalent of the ‘dress’ for us. I think there’s a massive shift in stationery design heading this way and it’s really interesting that you’ve picked alot of American suppliers and examples, not a bad thing at all, having visited the National stationery show in NYC earlier this yr, they do have the authority on stationery design, but I like to think us Brits are catching up. I’m also really pro couples really thinking about their stationery as they don’t have to be paper they can be all sorts of materials which make really unique keepsakes of the day, less sugared almonds more stationery as decor and as win. Thanks for highlighting the importance of paper pretty!

  5. Lolly – LOVING this post! 😀
    Stationary is fairly important to me, but luckily my invites & Save the Dates have been designed by a certain super talented Real Bride! 😉
    I always make cards for my family & friends & I really wanted to make my own wedding stationary but realised the syle I really wanted would be heavily reliant on good typography. After many failed attempts I passed all my ideas over (4 pages of ideas, no less – poor girl!) and when the designs came back…..well it was even better than I could’ve hoped for.
    Plus they will definitely give a nice art deco hint to all our guests (when they eventually get them – better get that printing sorted!)

    Loving the silhouetted wedding party order of the day – it’s just so elegant. And I am definitely hoping to make some kind of confetti bags for the church – so the joint confett bag & order of service is a genius idea – definitely going in my book of ideas! 😉

    Thanks for all the paper pretty on this dreary and slow Tuesday afternoon! 🙂 xx

  6. @Pamela I’m secretly glad you love the pink ribbon. This might partly be why this stationery set made it onto the board. See previous posts which talk about my out of control ribbon obsession. Not that I’m shallow or anything.

    @Helen I have to say that I love your work. Cutture always produce the most beautiful paper pieces and you’re certainly helping us Brits catch up with our American cousins. And there’s a national stationery show – I simply have to go to the next one. Is it open to trade only.

    @Rachie your stationery suite looks amazing. So gorgeous and I’m loving the typography too!

  7. I love, love stationery. It’s probably the one aspect of my wedding I’ve had the most fun sampling and deciding on. I love the idea of everything tying in to the wedding theme, from the save the dates to the little on the day stuff.

    I’m actually working on my suite at the moment with a supplier and can’t wait for my results!

  8. The balloon thumb prints……I have died and gone to stationery heaven.

    @Lauren @Pamela – I too love ribbon. I used to wear it in my hair when I was an innocent young girl.

    Peach is my favourite. Although I wouldn’t say no to pink either.

    Charlotte xxx

  9. I love this post!

    Getting the right stationery has been a huge part of our planning process, partly because we both work in design/marketing. We’ve worked with a printer/designer friend to come up with some custom save the date cards, mini posters invitations which will be sent out in ribbon tied scrolls, plus some venue posters.

    I’ll also be using this design work to create the table numbers and escort cards – we are actually using the key idea as it fits the theme perfectly!

    Our families had never received save the date cards before, but they loved them – let’s hope they feel the same about the rest of it 🙂

  10. Love this!! (and all of the RMW posts!)

    All the stationary is beaut and making me very confused for my own wedding plans! Trying to do as much DIY as possible but not sure if I’ll have bitten off more than I can chew =S

    Thanks for all the amazing ideas x x x

  11. Love all these stationary ideas! We’re trying to design our Save The Dates and Invites ourselves but I’m on the hunt for a good quality printer in the London/Surrey area, as would love to make it letterpress (the feel of it just makes me swoon!).. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated from all knowing Stationary Smart Brides! x

  12. Love, love, love this post!!!!! I keep place names too, it’s not just you!!!!! I’m a self confessed stationary geek, and am just sad that I’m not a graphic designer, as I know EXACTLY what I want in my head … now I just need to find someone who can put them onto paper (literally!) x

  13. I love stationery…but then I would just a bit as a designer…but theres so much pressure when you’re a graphic designer to make you’re own stationery amazing! Im a bit scared and can’t make a decision! Need to get onto it though…much prefer designing for others! @Rebecca…thank you xxxx

    1. @Hannah That is my thoughts exactly. I’m still blinkin dilly-dallying, I am my worst customer…! Maybe we should swap!

  14. Aw Lolly I love this, you have made me all excited about stationary! My lovely husband-to-be is an artist and I have been giving suggestions (orders) as to what our save the date cards and invites should look like, so thank you for the inspiration. Xxx

  15. Stationery was incredibly important to me! I like everything to match just so! I think it ties the whole day together and I think nice stationery sets the tone of the day and gets your guests excited 🙂 x

  16. Love this stationery round-up! Great to see some modern and typography-led designs in there as well.

    I think there are quite a few of us stationery geeks out there….! x

  17. This is so lovely to see that someone else is as excited about wedding stationery as we are at VivienB’s. Some beautiful examples of works. We’ll be following your blog from now on! x

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