Those classic folds in dresses and skirts make for dramatic details when interpreted for stationery. The rice-paper cards arrive as modest little rectangular shapes (bottom left) that unfurl into color-blocked rosettes when untied (left). Bring the motif full circle by hanging accordion garlands (top) at your wedding venue and capping your favor boxes with petite pops of pleats (below). Bird + Banner invitations. Bellaterra shallow slide boxes in sand.
In the fifties and sixties, dress hems were often adorned with a border of flirty seashell shapes. This elegant stationery set co-opts that iconic feature and updates it with a mix of gold foil stamp and teal calligraphy. Three pieces -- invitation, information card, and RS VP holder with reply card -- stack to form glittering tiers. To add a similar sparkle to your wedding, use place cards wrapped in gold thread and sequins (far left), coasters bearing the invitation's design (far right), and packets of sequins for guests to toss. Sugar Paper invitation suite and coasters. Calligraphy by Lisa Holtzman. Clear glassine bags, clearbags.com. M&J Trimming loose sequins.
All the traits of traditional formal menswear -- sharp tailoring, pinstripes, a black-and-white color scheme -- are enlisted here for this posh invitation set, which uses both letterpress and engraved elements (the black cards). The corners are hand-painted with a black edge and folded over to reference a real lapel. And that pocket square peeking out of the envelope flap? It slides out to reveal a note about the dress code. Cheree Berry Paper invitation suite.
On the runway, transparent fabric overlays look romantic and ethereal. But when adapted for stationery, they appear contemporary and graphic. Here, two vellum cards, each bearing the bride's and groom's initials in vibrant yellow and blue, announce different information. Place them on top of each other to form the full invite (not to mention a new pattern and color palette). Save-the-dates, table numbers, and RSVP cards continue the see-through style. Enormous Champion invitation suite, save-the-dates, and place cards.
Expert tailoring and luxurious fabrics are the hallmarks of high-quality style. But it's often a decorative detail -- say, a delicate ruffle or a beautiful bustle -- that makes a piece feel extra-special. The stationery version of these embellishments is calligraphy. Its graceful curves and rococo tails are all you need to create an awe-inspiring invitation, like this one. Calligraphy by John DeCollibus of Beyond Words. Printing by Stationers Engraving and Printing Co., 212-242- 4600. Paper Source cover-weight paper and envelopes in gravel.
Here's a nod to the craftsmanship of those skillful seamstresses behind handmade garments: a letterpressed suite that mimics the tactile quality of fine stitching. The thank-you note is adorned with the couple's monograms, and the reply card depicts a line of thread where the guest signs her name. Consider matching the color of the calligraphy to that of the letterpress -- extending the palette to your envelope is an easy way to pull it all together. Delphine stationery suite. Calligraphy by Nancy Howell.