Invitation Inspiration

The two things that made me fall in love with Martha Stewart Weddings magazine when I was sixteen years old were the gorgeous invitations suites, and the flowers. I just can’t get enough paper and flowers, and weddings are such a wonderful chance to have fun with them! So I thought I’d share some of our inspiration for those two things with you, starting with the invitations.

Originally, I imagined invitations that were classic black ink printed on ivory paper, done with whimsical or modern calligraphy. But when we decided on the Presidio Social Club for our reception, I started to re-think that look, and with the help of my planner, Laurie, a different design started to emerge. I was able to narrow down the enormous stack of inspiration that was tucked into my wedding binder to what I’ve included here, and it all started to come together.

napkin and drink menu from the Presidio Social Club, calligraphy by Betsy Dunlap, take-away menu from La Boulange, vintage Lone Star coasters (photo by me)

At one of our meetings at the Presidio Social Club, my mom and Laurie and I agreed that the red and white striped napkin was a great starting point for inspiration. Simple, unfussy, and of course the colors. Laurie is also the one who suggested a coaster for our reception card, which I thought was a great idea, and totally fitting with the supper club venue.

red-edged menus by The Lettered Olive
white calligraphy on gray envelope by Betsy Dunlap
blind press wreath on a family Christmas card (photo by me)

I’ve loved Betsy Dunlap‘s calligraphy from before I ever started this blog, and her work is even included in my very first inspiration board! Ryan also fell in love with her whimsical style (My husband has an opinion about calligraphy. I love it.), so we knew that she would add the perfect amount of playfulness and whimsy to our invites.

I really love subtle details that I think add so much to an invitation, like letterpress, hand edging, rounded corners. I wanted to include blind press of some sort, because I think it really highlights what’s wonderful about letterpress, which is the texture. My godmother shared this family holiday card with me, and a wreath seemed fitting for the season, without being overly Christmas-y.

invitations suites both from Martha Stewart Weddings

These two suites are examples of tear sheets pulled from my years of collecting issues of Martha Stewart Weddings. Pops of red kept the look festive, and traditional wording kept it classic.

letterpress studio of Alan Hillesheim (photos by me)

Jill Sassa from PS Paper set up a visit to Alan Hillesheim‘s studio so I could see letterpress in action! It was so fun to see all of those old machines, and to know where our invitations came from, and all of the artisanship that went into making them.

the final product (photos by me)

I also always knew I wanted vintage stamps, and for our invitations, they were a great way to bring color to the envelopes. I was thrilled to discover The Paper Nickel, who made the whole process of finding the right color, style and denomination of stamps infinitely easier than if I’d had to spend hours searching eBay for stamps.

It was so fun playing around with our invitation design, deciding on the perfect fonts, sizing for the text and wreath motif, and just the right colors. And I had such awesome people working with me to make it all come to life, namely Jill at PS Paper, Betsy Dunlap, and Holly at The Paper Nickel. Can’t wait to show you some close-ups of the suite details next week!


Laurie Arons Special Events, The Paper Nickel and PS Paper are sponsors of Snippet & Ink. Thank you to Betsy Dunlap for the wedding gift of envelope calligraphy.


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