It’s time for another installment of my blog series and this is one I’ve been super excited about for a long time!
As a wedding planner and designer, I’ve always appreciated the art of stationery. But it wasn’t until I started planning my own wedding that I fell head over heels in love with paper! But it’s not just paper -- wedding invitations are a beautiful keepsake for one of the most momentous days of your life. They also serve as a first impression for all of your guests. From your color palette, to the paper selection, even the wording – it sets the tone and creates a buzz of anticipation for your big day.
My fiancé MikeMusic and I wanted our guests to know that our wedding was going to be something special. We wanted them to be excited while making it clear that they should come “dressed to impress.” So we had to have one of the BEST stationery designers, fellow Coterie member Olatokunbo Morin Muhammed, founder and creative officer at Ijorere The Invitation, design our very own first impression.
Rose gold was an important element that I wanted to incorporate into our invitations and overall wedding theme because of my beautiful engagement ring, and Ola knew just what to do. We decided on a gorgeous rose gold foil gatefold design with an ivory belly band, and on the reverse was a quote from one of my favorite poets, Rumi.
I was ecstatic when a huge box arrived on our doorstep containing the prettiest invitations I have ever seen:
As soon as I opened the box I was in complete awe. Ola and I had spent months via email and over the phone chatting about this design, so seeing this perfect invitation suite come to life was a thrill! It simultaneously spoke to our wedding theme and colors, as well as my father’s Ghanaian heritage.
Tucked within the rose gold foil embellishments were West African Adinkra symbols. Not only do these symbols serve a decorative purpose, but they also signify meanings that are often connected with African proverbs. Michael and I selected seven different symbols to represent our current relationship and what we hope to maintain throughout our marriage ranging from commitment, endurance, patience, abundance, love and God’s security.
And for an added element of surprise, once our guests removed the invitation card from the middle panel, one of our engagement photos was revealed.
Needless to say, our invitation suites were a big hit and really created a wow factor for our guests. Ola’s background as an architect makes her a master of finding innovative ways to design stationery that’s truly outside the box.“Transitioning from architect to stationery designer was a no brainer -- I absolutely love what I do,” says Ola. “I started this journey wanting to change the mindset of people who think invitations are just paper. I want it to be a conversation piece, a work of art. I try to make it functional so it won’t be discarded or thrown away. People will be compelled and proud to put it on display.”
But when it comes to luxury invitation suites, there are definitely some “Dos and Don’ts.”
“No labels.” Ola advises. “Dressing your envelopes is just as important as the invitation itself. Select a unique die cut envelope flap, custom stamp, and finish it off with beautiful hand written calligraphy. There is something so personal about receiving a hand written envelope in an era where receiving letters or hand written anything is almost obsolete!”
But if you cannot afford to splurge on calligraphy, there are other options. “Although there is nothing like handwriting, digital or screen printed calligraphy is an alternative that’s classy, but won’t break the bank,” says Ola.
Another tip is keeping your wedding stationery cohesive throughout the planning process. “It is so important to use the same stationer from beginning to end,” says Ola. “A good stationer knows that the invitation is a reflection of a couple's personality and will work to form a close relationship with them in order to understand their needs. It looks disorganized when the save the date, main invitation and day of stationery have different fonts, styles, paper type, or color. When you find a stationer you love be sure to retain their services till the end of your grand affair.”
It’s also a good idea to plan ahead and start early. Luxury invitation suites aren’t created overnight. “Look at the creative process like aged wine,” says Ola. “The longer it sits, the better it tastes. In that same respect, when you know you're in the market for luxurious or custom stationery, it's best to select your stationer well in advance. This will give them plenty of time to be creative when designing a new concept.”
And last, but not least, understanding your budget is key. “Most discerning brides looking for a luxury or very personalized wedding suite understand that custom doesn't come cheap, so they set a realistic budget from the very beginning. Luxury invitations come at a premium, so it’s best to give yourself time to save up.”
From engagement announcements, save the dates, and bridal shower invitations, to your rehearsal dinner, ceremony programs, menus and favor tags, stationery is an integral part of wedding planning. I couldn’t be happier with our decision to splurge on this. Not only am I an Ijorere Bride, but I’m also an #ijorerelifetimeclient! I received impeccable service and gained a good friend in the process. I can’t wait to show you all the day-of stationery Ola is cooking up for my wedding! It’s going to be fab!
In my next blog post, I’ll be discussing wedding soundtracks and all things music related with none other than my love MikeMusic!
Xoxo – Victoria