Monday, June 1, 2015

Real Weddings: Mariella and Adam

We always tell couples that their wedding invitation should set the tone for the big day. So, we’re always delighted when a couple decides to evoke a particular place or era, as that means the style bar always seems to rise. After all, it’s always a concern about how much “theme” can be infused without coming off as gauche. Luckily, bride Mariella and Arlene of Invitations & Company in Boston—who helped with the couple's Vera Wang wedding stationery—show us how it’s perfectly done.

Here, the two talk about how “just a piece of paper” can create a buzz and why your uncle’s attire might just be an important detail in the invitation design process.

The Bride: Mariella

Tell me how you and your fiancé met, and how did he propose? 
Adam and I met while working at a television station in New Hampshire. He was a reporter, and I was a producer—the little voice in his ear when he'd go on TV. Our story isn't as dramatic as the plot line to Up Close & Personal, but I still love telling it. It was a random Tuesday night in August 2010 when he challenged me to a game of trivia. The stakes were high: the loser had to cook dinner (and since my expertise ends at the microwave, I was determined not to lose at all costs). Eventually, I beat him four times before he finally admitted defeat. A few days later, he cooked me dinner on what was officially our first date. My favorite memory of that night was when he walked me to my car with his dog, Parker. At the very moment we leaned in to hug—Parker ran around us so we were literally tied together by his leash. We've been together ever since.

Then, in April 2014, Adam proposed to me. We were living together in Boston's North End when he created this elaborate ruse to get me positioned under an archway of blue lights in Christopher Columbus Park. I had walked over to the park with his sister, thinking the whole time he was still at the gym. Instead, he was there under the archway waiting with the ring and a blue French horn (How I Met Your Mother fans will get the reference). I learned later that the reason he had called me 15 times throughout the day was because he was tracking my movements—nervous that I would come home when he had no place to hide that massive French horn. After he proposed, he suggested that I try and call my family. The phone rang and rang before he finally told me I wasn't going to be able to get them on the phone. The reason? He had them fly in from Pennsylvania so that they could be with us to celebrate. That night, we had a wonderful dinner at one of the best restaurants in the North End— with both of our families there to toast to the engagement.

Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding invitations and did you have something in mind going into your 1st appointment? Did that change? 
I didn't even think about my invitations until after I settled on my wedding theme. Once I knew I wanted to do an Art Deco/Great Gatsby-style wedding, I ran with it. I went into my first invitation meeting with Arlene basically asking, "How can my stationery suite help my guests feel like they're stepping back in time to the 1920s?" Other than that, I kept an open mind when it came to look, size and shape. 

Describe the rehearsal dinner suite you ended up with and why you fell in love with that design.

What I love about the rehearsal dinner invitation is that it's just so different from anything I've ever seen before. Instead of a flat rectangular card, it's oval and printed on this super thick board that's rimmed with gold. It almost reminds me of a commemorative plaque—like I'm giving my guests something special before they've even been to the wedding. We upped the glam factor even more by using gold engraving for all the text. For a final touch, we added a black, 1920s-style car. We carried the gold engraving over to the menu and favor cards while adding new touches that still went with my theme, such as Gatsby-style logos, peacock feathers and Art Deco borders. We also worked on signs for the cocktail hour that incorporated quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Was there anything about the process of choosing your invitations that you weren't expecting?
I wasn't expecting the sheer number of options that I would have for fonts, borders, paper finishes, graphics, etc. Forget Times New Roman—there were literally thousands of examples that I could draw from. Basically, anything I could dream up could be created.

Do you have any advice for brides-to-be on the invitation process?
Think of your invitation as your guests' first peek at what's in store on the day of the wedding. Consider your wedding theme, color scheme and even the time of year you're getting married when picking your invitations. Since my wedding is black tie with a Great Gatsby theme, I went super formal with my invites and stationery. I used a lot of gold engraving with Art Deco borders and images evoking the 1920s. In comparison, a couple hosting a beach wedding might want invitations that are a bit more casual or flirty. No matter what your theme, you should strive for a product that's going to create a buzz around your event. It's amazing how a beautiful invitation—even though it's just a piece of paper—can really get your guests excited. 
What moment are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
That's an easy one—the walk down the aisle. Adam and I didn't want to take any pictures together prior to the ceremony because we didn't want to ruin the big reveal. It'll be a moment that we can hold on to forever—the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our lives together. Plus—and he'll probably kill me for saying this—I've had him watch so many episodes of Say Yes to the Dress that I think he's genuinely excited to see what style of gown I chose.

The Stationer: Arlene

Tell me about your first meeting with this bride and a little about the process you went through to get to the final decision.
We met first with Andrea, the bride's lovely future mother-in-law who is working closely with the bride on many aspects of the wedding. This first meeting took place about a year and a half before the wedding. Andrea shared with us a list of items that they needed for the Art Deco-themed wedding, from bridal shower invitations and thank you notes to signature drink signs and rehearsal dinner invitations.

After this first meeting, we met with Mariella, the lovely bride. We went through several rounds of proofs for the rehearsal dinner invitation, focusing a lot on font sizes, line breaks and ink colors. How large should we make the car motif? Should we print it in black or gold ink. How many lines of text, if any, should be in gold ink? Should we center the RSVP text at the bottom of the card or make it a left corner footnote, etc. etc. We explored every detail and the time spent on this was worth it—the card turned out perfectly.

What questions do you always ask at that first meeting with a bride?
We display dozens and dozens of invitations in our office, and we typically invite our brides to look around and tell us if they see something that they like. The invitations on view range from traditional to contemporary and everything in between, so once a bride starts to point to designs that pop out at them, it's easy for us to get a sense of what they like and, as importantly, what they don't like.

At the start of the meeting we'll ask questions about:
The venue
Time of the ceremony
Color scheme
Number of guests
Bride's attire (formal or informal?)
Groom's attire (tux or suit?)
Preferred invitation print method—letterpress, thermography, engraving, etc.
Whether they like invitations with illustrations or straight text
Preferred thickness of the invitation card stock

Our goal is to understand the impression we want to make since the invitation sets the tone for the affair. We'll often ask the bride how they want their guests to dress for the wedding so that the invitation conveys that.

What are some of the big invitation design trends you're seeing?
Metallics and glitter card stocks. Letterpress continues to be popular as well as thick card stocks and painted edges. Lastly, gorgeous fonts, especially those with a calligraphic look are on trend.

What advice do you have for brides who are ready to make their first invitation appointment?
Find someone to work with who you can trust, who can expertly guide you through the process, educate you on your choices and make the whole process fun and worry free.

When it comes to choosing wedding invitations, how is today's bride different from those five years ago?
Brides today are exposed to more options because of the Internet, celebrity weddings, wedding-themed television shows and a wealth of magazines. Because of this exposure, today's bride is highly sophisticated, which allows for a very creative and fun experience for everyone.

Are you a bride, bride-to-be or stationer who ordered William Arthur or Vera Wang wedding invitations? 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