These cuties are heading out to serve as place cards/favors at a garden party this weekend. I adore the guys at Oregon Decorative Rock in Portland because they don't give me odd looks as I carefully hand pick rocks for texture, pattern & overall feel- or at least they don't let me catch them making the crazy signs next to their heads.
It's National Etiquette Week! I thought I'd celebrate by "addressing" the subject of inner envelopes. ("Addressing," it's a pun! I slay me.)
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.
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.
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!
Every once in a while a bride will ask me to letter a bunch of quotes that she'll use around the reception as decor. LOVE that idea! Chris & Greg, one of this year's superstar couples, askd me to do some quotes for their Tahoe wedding. A million thank yous to Vernon Wiley of Wiley Photo for getting this gorgeous photo to an out-of-towner!
Geez Louise! Where did the time go since the last post?!? LOTS of envelopes, place cards, table markers, signage - there's a small pile of items waiting to get on the blog.
Today, we're talking about slightly larger - and fuzzier - items. Slices of log, complete with bark and moss and fabulous textures! I was contacted by Jordan of Blum, Design in Flowers about writing on these pieces that she prepared with chalkboard paint. They'll be placed next to their respective items at a garden wedding. So cute, unexpected and fun!
I was very fortunate this year to work with a great bride who is a fellow Massachusettsite. We've had a great time talking about things Back East, such as her fiance & his "married into it - Red Sox fan for life" tee. And we had a wonderful time putting together things for her reception.
Amy's getting married in Vegas and my thoughts turn once again to becoming a wedding crasher. Her colors are rich jewel tones, focusing primarily on red & purple. How lush!
Her blank escort cards were provided by the hotel - the writing space was a bit teeny but totally doable. These are the unfolded fronts, the table assignment is on the other side. I alternated names by the tables between red & purple, when they're all set up the color pattern will be random.
Here are the wicked* fun table numbers - I had so much fun doing them, first the number spelled out in red watercolor, then the numeral on top also in watercolor. The watercolor paper was then mounted onto a fabulous metallic purple cardstock. I want to use this cardstock for wallpaper - and I'm not even a big fan of purple.
Amy also asked me to make a sign for their guest book. Of course I had to use metallic purple ink - it's Las Vegas, baby! The phrase is in quotes because they're providing their guests with a photo guide book to Las Vegas (see! more fun! I want to go.) She provided the really lovely frame & mat, it'll be great for a wedding photo later. (I took this photo at The Bridal Loft before Amy came to pick up. If you look in the reflection you can see some of Bead Alex's gorgeous jewelry.)
Last but not least, Amy wanted me to write out quotes that she would post around the room at the reception. They ranged from the sweet A.A. Milne quote "If you live to be one hundred, I want to live to be one hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you" to the more pragmatic Groucho Marx - "I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury." Ah, the sentimentality of my homeland. The writing is in red metallic ink, mounted to purple cardstock with little gold corners.
I had a wonderful time with Amy and I think she did with me, one of her last e-mails to me said:
"Can you do calligraphy for just random things in my life, grocery lists etc, I don't want this to be over!"
Have I ever calligraphed a grocery list? No. Will I? Of course!!
*It was also fun to speak my native tongue - like using "wicked" instead of "very." I'm sure I also dropped an "r" here and there and words cannot tell you how lovely it was not to be picked on for saying "AWrange" instead of "ORange."