Local Artists Create Custom Wedding Keepsakes

In today’s digital world, wedding invitations might seem like a good place to economize in your wedding budget. And it might be, depending on the type of affair you are planning. But think carefully here. Your invitations (or save the date cards) are the first official announcement of your wedding. As soon as your friends and family leaf through their mail and see your invitation envelope, they will have a feel for what you are planning. Did you choose an earthy recycled paper envelope for your rustic wedding? A coppery metallic for your modern industrial styled event? Or ever the traditionalist, did you choose a high quality ivory envelope with a wax stamp to suite your classic taste? Whatever your taste, your invitation is on par with your dress in setting the stage for the rest of your planning and your wedding itself.

Wedding invitations have come a long way since their origins in the 1400s when a town crier made the announcement as he walked through the streets and square. As literacy increased, nobility began sending written invitations hand-calligraphed by local monks, often with their coat of arms or crest included and they were sealed with wax. With the advent of the printing press in the 1600s, more middle class people began to use engraved invitations. Since then, lithography, thermography, letterpress and even laser engraving have brought the wedding invitation to the 21st Century. At the same time, you can still find many elements and qualities of the past in today’s invitation.

For today’s weddings, especially if you are a New Orleans bride looking for something worthy of your wax seal, you can find it right here in New Orleans with our own fair city’s stationary designer Alexa Pulitzer. Her work epitomizes sophisticated elegance and creativity. She can design for you a customized and personalized crest or custom monogram. Perhaps you’d prefer a whimsical character, anything from a crowned alligator to a well-dressed deer. She can create not only your invitations but a cohesive suite of stationary from save-the-date cards, rehearsal dinner invitations, and thank you notes, as well as your wedding favors, cocktail napkins and cups. If you are looking for earth-friendly invitations, Alexa’s wood pulp papers are archival grade and acid-free, purchased only from paper suppliers who work with responsible manufacturers practicing good forestry management, and utilizing best harvest practices. Her work is available at retailers locally and world-wide. You can find her at www.alexapulitzer.com.

If your heart and discerning taste dictate that a beautiful hand-calligraphed invitation is in order, Maria-Helena Hoksch of Calligraphy by Maria- Helena is the one to see. She is nationally recognized for creating keepsake quality hand-lettered designs that you can have engraved or printed with letterpress or thermography. She will work with your budget and style to calligraph just a few words of your invitation such as just the bride and grooms name. She can then hand calligraph all your envelopes to match. As she says a “hand-lettered envelop says to the receiver – something special is about to happen, this is no ordinary event.” She uses waterproof Japanese sumi ink for black calligraphy or she can custom match the ink to your own invitations. She offers a wide variety of styles including simple and contemporary in addition to curly script with abundant flourishes. See more of Maria-Helena’s work at www.calligraphybymariahelena.com.

Perhaps you would like something more whimsical with hand-drawn artwork or a wash of watercolor, or maybe an Art Deco styled invitation for your themed wedding. Local artist Megan Jewel of Megan Jewel Designs creates custom invitations and handmade cards. She can work with you to create a completely unique invitation to suit your wedding style. “I love to design creative invitations that reflect your personality and your unique event.” Find her at www.meganjeweldesigns.com.

Of course any discussion about wedding stationary would not be complete without highlighting Betty Hunley of Betty Hunley Design, Inc. Having celebrated her businesses’ own 30-year anniversary in 2014, she is a mainstay in the field of New Orleans’ custom designed invitations and fine stationary. She offers everything from fun to classic. If you are seeking a full-service shopping experience and a broad array of choices from wedding invitations or a hand-made guest book, you can stop by her shop at 6057 Magazine St., New Orleans, or order online at www.bettyhunleydesigns.printswell.com.

Whatever your taste or budget, your wedding invitations are an important component in creating your wedding style. They will set the tone for the rest of your planning. Your invitations may be one of the most defining and tangible keepsakes that you and others will treasure and look back on years from now, marking your timeless taste “in stone” (or paper, as may be the case).