Very heart-felt happy anniversary wishes to one of my favorite couples! Their fantastic wedding was travel themed as they met on a tour and they've traveled the world over. The venue was the incredible Youngberg Hill Vineyards and they were blessed with fabulous weather. Their consultant was Amy of The Blush Bridal Consultation Group, always a pleasure to work with and wonderful at wrangling the many, many details of this wedding. As you see, the whole thing was beautifully captured by Lauren Brooks Photography.
The groom is Scottish (see the kilt & sporan?) and I was thrilled they picked Contemporary Celtic for the script for the day.
One of my favorite things about working with them was the careful thought they put into the comfort of their guests (that's the firm foundation of etiquette my friends).
...and vintage handkerchiefs for the tears of joy.
The travel theme was carried through every aspect of the wedding - seating cards with compasses, table markers attached to globes, hand sewn programs... so many personal details for their wonderful day!
Once upon a time I, a genteel person of the highest standing, would be sending you, also a genteel person of the highest standing, an invitation for an elegant soiree at stately Zorn manor. The invitation would be put in the inner envelope which bore your name and that would go into an envelope with your name and address. My footman would bring the invitation via carriage to your stately manor. In the process, the outer envelope would invariably get some schmutz on it. When your butler received the invite, he would remove the schmutzy outer envelope because a genteel person of the highest standing doesn't do schmutz. The invite in the inner envelope would then be presented to you, I'm sure, on a silver tray.
The inner envelope is a great way to be very specific about exactly who is invited to a wedding. Case in point - Mr. and Mrs. Michael Brady. If you want JUST Mike & Carol to come, the inner envelope would read "Mr. and Mrs. Brady" if you're very formal, or "Mike and Carol" if you're a little less formal.
Should you decide you do want the whole family, the outer still says Mr. and Mrs. Michael Brady but the inner envelope would then read:
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Brady
The Misses Marcia, Janet and Cynthia Brady
The Masters Gregory, Peter and Robert Brady
Mike & Carol
Marcia, Jan and Cindy
Greg, Peter and Bobby
Now, if you don't have inner envelopes, don't worry! I probably have 3 or 4 jobs a year that come with inner envelopes (I'm on the Left Coast. Dude, we're way informal.) However, there are some places that say you should NOT put "and guest" or "and family" on the envelope. I sent out some queries and thanks to Mindy Lockard, The Gracious Girl herself, I have word from on-high, Peter Hopkins, Crane and Company's historian.
His answer: This is the type of situation that suggests some flexibility. After all, etiquette exists to make people comfortable in situations where conduct is not necessarily intuitive. And we live in a much more complex world where hard and fast rules can themselves create uncomfortable situations.
With that as a preface, if a couple wants to demonstrate their commitment to the environment by using only a single envelope, a little deviation from the hard and fast is called for.
It is entirely appropriate for the couple to address the envelope:
Mr. Peter Hopkins and guest
Mr. Peter Hopkins
and guest (that's an indent)
Hopefully I've made things a bit clearer when using - or not - inner envelopes. If you have other questions, I'm an email away!
Oh, Etiquette, you funny, funny creature! I've had -and been witness to - so many conversations about the multiple cards needed at a wedding reception, here's a blog post to hopefully help clear things up.
(Photo courtesy of Stewart Harvey Photography. Lettering - monoline flourished formal script)
Let's start with the easy one - place cards are what's set at the place setting where one is required to sit. The place card may also be used to cue a server what entree to serve a guest - suggestions for that are another post for another day :-) Today, here's a place card from one of my most darling brides
Now, how do you get the guest from the door to their place setting? This is where seating cards/table cards/escort cards come into play.
(Photo courtesy of Paul Rich Studio. Lettering - monoline formal script)
These card direct people to their seats. My preference is to call them "seating cards." Some people call them "table cards" but I've had a couple clients confuse them with "table markers."
As for the phrase, "escort cards"... boy howdy, you haven't lived until you've witnessed an elderly stateswoman in the calligraphy world straighten out someone's hash on the subject! Officially & historically, escort cards are what one receive is one were a single woman attending a dinner unescorted. Back in the day, they had to be escorted to the table by a singe gentleman. There would be a little envelope addressed to the woman, let's say "Miss Elizabeth Bennett." Inside there would be a card that said "Your escort is Mr. Darcy."
Today, call them an escort card and I know what you mean. I won't use the phrase in case I slip someday in the presence of a calligraphic doyen and accidently bring their wrath down upon me.
Huh. I used the phrases "boy howdy" and "straighten out someone's hash" in the same post. Apparently I'm channeling my inner Southerner today!
Abracadabra! I'm here to teach you the magic of hand canceling your envelopes or figuring out what the exact postage is for your unusual invites!
Last year there was a bit of a kerfuffle (yes, said it and I meant it, kerfuffle that even involved a TV news story) over hand canceling, but thanks to a seminar coordinated by Kami Aguilar of Wed Portland, I've the scoop!
Wherever in the U.S. you may be, you need to find out who your local Mailing Standards Specialist is. Right now, in Portland, OR that lovely person is Lori. You can call her at 503-294-2217 or email her at email@example.com. You'll make an appointment with her at the main post office at NW Hoyt & NW Broadway. You'll bring your complete invitation suite (or whatever you're mailing.) She'll weigh it, check it against the templates, look for bumpies or anything else that may be an issue. She'll then tell you what your postage will be per piece. No more trying to figure out if something is "machineable" or "non-machineable," or if it's regulation size, or is it a "flat" or a "package"? So many questions, Lori is the fairy godmother will make sure your mail doesn't turn into a pumpkin.
We're very fortunate in The City of Roses to have a beautiful postmark to adorn our special mail, like the postmark on this envelope*. Lori's also the go-to person for that. Hand cancelling your envelopes, beside being pretty & special, also means you won't get the computerized bar code across the bottom of your envelope. You've spent time & money on mailing beautiful envelopes , go the extra mile!
*This envelope is from a dear friend's wedding so I've hung on to it for sentimental as well as practical reasons. Everybody say hi to Amy, that's her and her charming husband Jeff on the stamp!
It's time to send my check in to Soiree Boutique - I'm inspired by the gorgeous spring weather we've been having in Portland!
There are some rules of etiquette with which I'm fine playing fast & loose. Don't want "Mr." "Mrs." "Ms." on the envelope address? OK. While the standard with an unmarried hetero couple is to list the woman first, if the guy in the relationship is a dear friend & she's just an acquaintance, absolutely list him first.
Etiquette is all about making your guests feel comfortable and special. The invitation recipient is so special to you that you want them to share in one of the most important days in your life. Being hit up for money does not make people feel comfortable and special, they feel like they're only being invited for the gift. There are some stores <aaaaaaMacyschoo> that will give you business card inserts to include in your invitation. Bzzzzz, wrong answer, thank you for playing. You just turned your guest into a cash cow.
There are other ways to handle getting the word out. "Back in the day," the info got out because everyone knew to ask the family or members of the wedding party where the couple was registered or what the couple wanted for gifts. Still a valid method.
Hello, 21st century and wedding websites! An AWESOME invention. A clearing house for all your info - Aunt Betty on the East Coast hasn't met your fiance? The wedding website has pictures and "our story." Aunt Betty's never been here and needs info on hotels in Portland, Orygun? There's a place for that too. And nestled amongst your fabulous website pages full of photos and witty stories is one called "Registry." BAM! There's your info for all the world to see. If in the cold, cruel light of day it turns out you don't need more wine glasses but cash would be more appreciated, set up a "Honeymoon Fund."
Passive aggressive? Probably, but worlds better than being outright rude. How to get out the website info? If you have information cards with directions, transportation & hotel info, list your website there. If you don't have information cards you can put in a card that says "Please visit our website for our story!"
Regarding the day of the wedding - there are lots of cash-gift-cultural-customs and those are perfectly fine and absolutely cool. At the wedding, make sure you have a basket/box/recepticle for cards because many people will bring cards with cash gifts inside. In some cultures, that's even the standard. Then there are things like the "Dollar a Dance" where people pay the bride & groom money to dance with them. It's all good!
I got married right before my husband & I were moving out of state, friends gave us cash and we were super grateful but we were thrilled with the presentation - they made it look like a Publisher's Clearinghouse-type sweepstakes.
A word about my sweet graphic. It comes from the 1960s Etiquette Record Label from right here in the Pacific Northwest. So darling!
I had the great pleasure of working with a wonderful woman on a tattoo design.
Lacey says: I contacted Alesia after I'd seen her work online and was searching for a local calligrapher to help desgin a script tattoo. I sincerely appreciated the process of personalizing and making into reality, a somewhat abstract notion of what I wanted. My tattoo reads "Don't fence me in", which is a celebration and commemoration of my mother's lineage; a pioneer spirit which originated on the Oregon trail and is clearly evident in the lifestyle my family leads today. With little more than the wording and the vague description "a look reminiscent of a hand written note which was scribbled as a goodbye", Alesia personified exactly what I was trying to dream up. She is a joy to work with, you are in good hands.
Lacey was a joy to work with, I'm seriously hoping she decides she needs a sleeve done!
Seven years ago today was the first official day of business for Alesia Zorn Calligraphy LLC. What an awesome trip it's been! This art piece is near & dear to my heart - I did it on a canvas over a weekend and brought it into my corporate job, tucked into the back of my frame was my 2 week notice. I figured if I was going to burn that bridge I was absolutely going to enjoy it!!
Mediums - acrylic & tissue on a 12"x12" canvas. Lettering - Carolingian
It's been chill-eeeeeee in Portland, one of the best ways to warm up is to remember lovely weddings held in warmer days.
This wedding took place at Timberline Lodge. The bride had such fantastic visions and Rachelle from Champagne Wedding Coordination did a wonderful job of making those visions a reality!
Champagne has wonderful vintage doors & windows among other vintage items for rent. This sat behind the favor table and listed the favors - local coffee and tea and several flavors of finishing salts.
Seriously - chocolate salt. Visit The Meadow's website, I dare you.