Wedding Wednesday – New Invitation Roundup

It’s wedding wednesday! And it occurred to me that with all the talk I’ve been doing about goals and intentions and etiquette and planning… I haven’t updated you guys on what I’ve been working on in the studio! Here are the latest goodies from my wedding collection:

City Skyline Invitations – I wanted to combine a bold, modern skyline with a fun mix of fonts and a cool layout. This  is what was born! I love that we can feature multiple wedding colors in the skyline for a fun, unique look.

city skyline wedding invitations by fresh paper studios

city skyline wedding invitations by fresh paper studios

Ombré Block Text Wedding Invitations – I love ombré. It’s so hot and trendy right now, it’s hard not to be obsessed. But with a zillion invitations out there featuring traditional text laid out on a watercolor ombré background, I wanted to do something different. So I thought, “why not make the words themselves ombré?” Tada!

ombre wedding invitation by fresh paper studios

ombre wedding invitation by fresh paper studios

Rustic Typography Invitation – These started as a custom design for one of my favorite brides, Shellie! She wanted something quirky and unique with a handwriting feel. A little bit rustic, but a little bit modern. I love what we came up with and now it’s available for everyone!

rustic typography invitation by fresh paper studios

rustic typography invitation by fresh paper studios

Stay tuned! I’m working on some really fun, bold invitation ideas and I’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, what would you like to see from Fresh Paper Studios? Comment below!

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Wedding Wednesday – Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Etiquette

Today’s Wedding Wednesday question comes from Pamela!

We are having a very intimate wedding ceremony with just our immediate family back in our home town and then a huge party with all of our friends in our current city. Who can I invite to the shower and bachelorette party? Just those going to the actual wedding, or can I include friends who are coming to the local party?

Hi Pamela! As small, private ceremonies and destination weddings are becoming more popular, it gets trickier to navigate the old “rules” about bridal shower etiquette. It used to be pretty straightforward–if someone wasn’t close enough to invite to the wedding, it would be impolite to invite them to the shower (where they’d feel obligated to bring a gift). But these days as the definition of weddings changes, I think so can the definition of the parties surrounding weddings.

Let’s start with the bridal shower! I think it’s perfectly acceptable to invite anyone that’s invited to the local reception to the shower. Think of your reception as a “substitute” wedding in your city since your ceremony is back home. Your friends are most likely not feeling left out that they’re not invited to the ceremony–they understand and love and support you. And therefore they won’t feel put out or weird if they’re invited to a bridal shower. They’re your friends! They want to celebrate with you!

If you’re feeling unsure about it or are worried it will look like a “gift grab,” plan to have a more casual, no-gifts shower. Like a girl’s day at the spa, a casual brunch, or even a backyard barbecue.

I will give one piece of advice–in order to avoid confusion, make sure you’ve sent out your separate wedding and reception invites before sending any shower invites. A friend who’s not up to speed on your wedding/party plans may misinterpret a shower invitation. But if everyone knows which part of your celebration they’re invited to attend before any shower invites are sent, things should go pretty smoothly.

I also think rules can be bent for showers with coworkers. A lot of times we can’t invite everyone from our workplace to our weddings, but coworkers still want to celebrate and give their good wishes. In many cases, it’s appropriate and acceptable for a close friend/coworker to throw a “work shower” in which all work friends are invited, even if the wedding can’t accommodate them all. (As long as the host makes it clear that this is a celebration in lieu of being with you on your big day!)

Bachelorette Party rules are even more flexible! Gifts aren’t typically a requirement, so parties like this seem less like an obligation and more like a super fun time! Again, I think it’s fair to invite anyone that’s also invited to the local reception. And if there are friends you’d like to join you that aren’t invited to that, it’s still possible with good communication. You can say something like, “Our venue for the reception has really strict size restrictions and we can’t invite everyone we want to. But I know you really love to party and I’d love to celebrate with you by taking some shots off random guys’ abs. Are you in?” If you know someone well enough to stumble around with her wearing a cheap sash that says “bride,” you probably know her well enough to gauge whether she’d be honored or offended.

An alternative would be to call it a “Ladies’ Night Out” instead of a bachelorette party. Just changing the wording takes the stress of wedding etiquette out of the equation and lets you focus on the fun.

The main thing to keep in mind–with this, or with any etiquette issue–is that your friends and family love and support you. They want to be involved and feel included. They want to celebrate with you! As long as you’re clear and loving in your communication with them, they’ll most likely be happy to party with you!

Wedding Wednesday – Fresh Modern Wedding Etiquette

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about wedding planning and etiquette and I think it’s time to start up a brand new column: Wedding Wednesdays! In this series, I’ll share tips and tricks, highlight real weddings of couples I’ve worked with, and answer your burning etiquette questions.

So I can already see you rolling your eyes. Yes you, the one over there who thinks etiquette is antiquated and stuffy. I hear you mumbling “etiquette shmetiquette. It’s my wedding, I’ll do what I want.” And I say, “Yes! It IS your wedding and you should do what I want!” And I’m here to help you do that gracefully without pissing people off. I think the word “etiquette” gets a bad rap–it’s right up there with “Politically Correct” and “Salad Fork.” But etiquette isn’t just for rule followers and traditionalists. Sure, you can look to etiquette to dictate the proper placement of your water glass and napkin or to advise on the traditional way to address a wedding envelope. But I think it’s really about so much more than that.

To me, etiquette isn’t really about “properness” anymore. It’s not about doing what’s expected or about pure avoidance of offending people. It’s just about respect and grace. You can solve almost any etiquette question by asking yourself, “What will show my friends and family that I love and respect them?” Here are my top 3 wedding etiquette tips to help you navigate sticky situations:

  1. Put Yourself In Their Shoes – You have probably been a wedding guest at some point in your life. Have you witnessed wedding behavior that has rubbed you the wrong way? What did you most appreciate as a guest? If you’re facing an etiquette question, ask yourself, “How would I feel if I was a guest and the couple did/said/wrote this?” If you think you’d feel icky or hurt, think twice before you do it to your friends.
  2. Ask People Directly – Sometimes seemingly touchy subjects really aren’t that big of a deal. If your etiquette question only affects a handful of guests–try asking them what they’d prefer! For example, a lot of couples still address their invitations super formally, but may worry that their independent, forward-thinking cousin doesn’t really want to be addressed as “Mrs. Benjamin Johnson.” Instead of fretting about it, try calling her up and saying, “Hey! I’m addressing my wedding invites–can’t wait to see you guys–Do you mind if I address yours to Mr & Mrs Benjamin Johnson or do you prefer just Ben and Allie?” Not sure if inviting your bestie “and guest” will make her feel pressure to go out and find a date? Talk to her! You can say, “Hey, we have enough room for everyone to bring guests if they want to, and I wasn’t sure if you had someone you wanted to invite. There’s no pressure, a bunch of our friends are coming stag, I just wanted to know how I should address your invite!”
  3. When in Doubt, Love Trumps All – If you make a decision based on love and respect for your partner and for your family and friends, it is usually the right decision. And this goes both ways! If you’re worried that the etiquette police are going to be analyzing every aspect of your wedding, remember that your guests are there because they love you and want to celebrate with you. They are most likely not nit-picking every single detail of your wedding. (And if they are, are they really the people you want to spend time with?) So do your best to keep etiquette in mind, but at the end of the day, cut yourself some slack!

And for those questions that are a little trickier or more complicated–I’m here for you! Today’s world and today’s weddings are infinitely more complex than they were fifty years ago. Weddings range from casual backyard barbecues to million dollar black tie affairs, family structures have gotten more dynamic, and the “who pays for what?” rules have gotten more flexible. So sometimes the old school rules don’t make sense with your new school wedding. If you’re not finding the answers to your questions in the traditional etiquette resources that are already out there, hit me up! I’d love to answer your question in an upcoming post! You can comment below or email me at customerservice[at]freshpaperstudios.com