We are so incredibly blessed to work with Becca Atchison, the founder and creator of Rebecca Rose Creative (RRC), a spinoff of the exclusive event planning and design firm, Rebecca Rose Events. RRC provides the same nationally recognized quality and creativity associated with the Rebecca Rose brand. RRC provides services rooted in aesthetics, including event design, floral design, styling, graphic design and print production. Becca is not only extremely talented but also has a beautiful way of expressing herself. I love talking to her and was thrilled that she graciously agreed to give us her take on etiquette revolving around the ever-expanding print production involved in weddings.
MW: Is there anything your clients could tell you in terms of themselves, their wedding and/or their artistic preferences that would make the invitation suite design go more smoothly?
BA: We aren’t “order-takers” at Rebecca Rose. We prefer to guide our clients through every detail of their invitations and other print. This saves us from getting into issues down the line that could be costly to fix. In general, though, it is important for brides to put thought into how their invitations will tie into their event. Your invitation kick-starts your wedding celebration and should give the guests a visual expectation of what the wedding will be about. Having cohesiveness between the printed papers and your actual event is critical. My best advice to brides is to have an open mind when you sit down with one of our designers.
MW: What are common mistakes made from an etiquette perspective on an invitation suite?
BA: Again, at Rebecca Rose, we use our education and experience to guide you through this process to ensure there are no mistakes. But one thing I have noticed is that some brides don’t request enough information on their response card. The response card is such an easy way to gather information from the guests to avoid following up with them close to the wedding date. For example, in addition to providing the traditional space for the guest’s name and whether or not they plan to attend your wedding, provide a space for them to include the number of guests attending. This way, you are perfectly clear on how many members of their family are able to celebrate with you. Also, to avoid an awkward moment at your reception, ask your guests to include any dietary restrictions or allergies.
There are respectful ways to provide your guests information about your wedding on your invitation as well. For example, the courteous way to tell your guests that children will not be included at your wedding is to address the inner envelope with the adult names only. This is much more polite than stating, “No children allowed!”
MW: What is changing in the world of etiquette?
BA: The design process for invitations and papers has evolved more than the etiquette. Manners are still very important. No matter what anyone tries to tell you, trust me, Emily Post is not dead! We have designed invitations that are objects, not paper, which you would have never seen 15 years ago. But the content included on the object (or the paper invitation) is still pretty consistent. The biggest evolution is the focus on cohesiveness and that the printing methods that go beyond just your standard white card stock with black engraved lettering.
MW: What is the best evolution to come out of these changes?
BA: These changes have opened up a whole new world of fine art for weddings. It’s an exciting time for artists and designers…it’s an opportunity to get very creative while getting the guests really excited about your wedding.
MW: Can you look into your crystal ball and see the next trend to come out for the invitation suite?
BA: That’s a tough one. And honestly, I like that I can’t figure it out. It’s not predictable. But experimentation is everywhere….from different forms of media to different forms of art. It’s exciting to see what will come next!
MW: What other papers do you see adding to the wedding paper suite in the future?
BA: Paper goods really include so much more than invitations….they are a way to inform the bridal party and guests of what to expect. They can also extend better hospitality to your guests. For instance, signs around the reception are a clear and cohesive way to keep guests informed and comfortable.
I love brides to add a turn down service for hotel guests that includes a personal note. I think that is such a nice touch. I’ve also been encouraging my clients to include a handwritten thank you note for every guest at their place setting for sit-down dinners. What a beautiful way to thank your friends and family for celebrating with you.
MW: Is there anything else you would like to add?
BA: The best advice I can give couples is to make the investment and work with the right people who can help you transform your thoughtfulness and wedding design into hospitable, cohesive invitations and papers that convey information about your wedding, your feelings about it and your gratefulness for your guests. This is the only time in your life when everyone you love gathers in the same room with you, other than your funeral, and unfortunately, we aren’t around to witness that one! So remember the magnitude of the event when you are designing your invitations and other printed items for your amazingly unique and special wedding day!