Monday, May 5, 2014

Real Weddings: Olivia & Yarik

"We ordered two proofs: the modern Vera Wang invitation she ultimately ended up with and a more traditional Vera Wang invitation. Once I received the proofs, I knew there was no question as to which was more 'Olivia!' She went with mushroom thermography and a matching lining." — Andrea Ranno, The Paper Trail

Andrea Ranno is the owner The PaperTrail in Haddonfield, NJ. (When you stop in, be sure to say hello to Mr. Big the Chihuahua, who Andrea brings to work every day.) She met the newly engaged Olivia through a former client and together the two set out on a mission to find a wedding invitation that was a perfect blend of modern and classic. The result was a Vera Wang invitation printed in subtle yet elegant mushroom ink with a modern typeface on the designer’s signature oyster white paper stock. Here, Andrea and Olivia talk about the process of choosing the perfect invitation, how an invitation should be like a Chanel suit and, of course, wedding cake.

Olivia, The Blushing Bride

Olivia and her future groom, Yarik
Tell me how you and your fiance met, and how did he propose?
We met on Wall Street — he was studying for his Series 7 and I was a Sales Assistant. No sparks until he finally approached me at a work Memorial Day party. One day after work, he was cooking dinner and I came home and saw all of my stuffed animals lined up on the couch. He said we had an audience — we are very random and cute, but that was a bit out of the blue. After dinner, he got champagne out and said, "time to celebrate!" and got down on his knee. I always wanted a proposal in public — at dinner or something — but he wanted it more private, so he met me half way with our "audience!" It was a very cute and intimate surprise.

Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding invitations — did you have something in mind going into your 1st appointment and did that change?
I am drawn to modern designs and neutral tones. However, after seeing all of the different varieties and designs of the invitations, I went back and forth on a couple ideas. Andrea at the Paper Trail really helped me narrow down the options and turn them into something more beautiful than I could even imagine. From there, it was easy to choose!

Describe the invitation suite you ended up with and why you fell in love with that design.
The invitation suite we ended up choosing is a perfect balance between modern and classic. I wanted people to open up the invitation and for it to make a statement and for them to not be bored. However, I am very neutral and modern so I didn't want it to be too crazy. AH! Hard right? This invite has mine and my fiancé’s names beautifully written in giant letters on the top, and the date in big letters on the bottom. In between are the details. I love how simple and classy it is, but still makes a bold statement. I also love the mushroom text color against the white: so me!!

Was there anything about the process of choosing your invitations that you weren't expecting?
Absolutely — I did not realize how important invitations are. Not only is it special for your guests to be impressed by a nice invitation, they totally set the idea of the event! My wedding theme is almost like a "black tie beach wedding" which in itself is already a bit out there. I couldn't pick an invite that was too formal, or too casual. I had to focus on every little design, color and detail to fit this theme. It was a process, but the final product was beyond perfection.

Tell me about your upcoming wedding! What are you looking forward to the most?
My wedding is on the Summer Solstice, June 21st, 2014. Who wouldn't want one of the best days of your life on the longest one?! I made sure my guests would feel the same, too. We are getting married on the beach in Pier Village in Long Branch, NJ. Then we are walking on the boardwalk next door to have an upscale dinner at Avenue, followed by a beach reception right outside the restaurant. I wanted to make my wedding very different than the traditional one in a "hall." I think it will be a fun, spontaneous and romantic evening for everyone. I am most looking forward to my cake! My fiancé is Russian, so I thought a cool way to incorporate that into the wedding is to make my cake a White Russian flavor — yum! I can't have too much though — that cake is strong!!

Andrea, owner of The Paper Trail

Tell me about your first meeting with this bride and a little about the process you went through to get to the final decision.
Olivia was referred to me from another client. She lives over an hour away, so I knew we had to make the most of our time. Turns out Olivia is a lot like me: Talkative, bubbly, fun, outgoing… we were all over the place! It was hard to reign her in! After our first meeting, I knew she wanted a modern invite, and I knew the Vera Wang invitation she chose was THE ONE! Over the next two weeks, we ordered two proofs: the modern Vera Wang invitation she ultimately ended up with and a more traditional Vera Wang invitation. Once I received the proofs, I knew there was no question as to which was more “Olivia!” She went with mushroom thermography and a matching lining.

What questions do you always ask at that first meeting with a bride?
I first take the bride over to my invitation wall (a magnetic wall that has every style of invite) and ask them to point out what jumps out at them. This is usually how I gauge how modern or traditional they are. From there, I ask if they have anything in particular in mind. If not, we always start with Crane and William Arthur… my personal faves! I ask questions about how they met, where they got engaged, what the bridesmaids are wearing, what they’re eating at the wedding. I am a details person, and I want my clients to feel comfortable here. They are entrusting me with such an important task: making them look fabulous on paper for the biggest party they will ever throw!

What are some of the big invitation design trends you're seeing these days?
Brides are still asking for pocket invites. I am doing a lot of embellishing these days, too. Adding rhinestones, ribbons, layers.

What advice do you have for brides who are ready to make their first invitation appointment?
Come prepared with your entrée selections (if need be), addresses for church and venue, hotel info, a general idea of headcount, ceremony and reception start times. Be open minded — just because I don’t have the exact invite that they saw on Etsy doesn’t mean I don’t have something for them. Have fun with the process. This isn’t spinal surgery, it’s wedding invites. It should be a blast!

When it comes to choosing wedding invitations, how is today's bride different from those five years ago?
Just about every bride that comes in now has a digital album on their iPad of invites they saw online and loved. Pinterest has made my job much harder! Weddings seem to be more “themed” than they were five years ago. Brides come in with a “rustic barnyard chic” theme. It can be challenging at times. I am very traditional when it comes to paper, so I try to convince them to go with something simple and elegant… timeless. A Chanel suit is and always will be in style… even 50 years from now. Wedding stationery should be the same way!

Are you a bride who chose a Vera Wang or William Arthur wedding invitation? We’d love to feature you in our Real Weddings series! Email us at for more info.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails