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Proof that classic doesn't have to mean conventional: Mrs. John L. Strong's hand-engraved "bespoke" stationery suite features a French fold, in which a sheet of paper is creased vertically and then folded horizontally. In the 18th and 19th centuries the formal technique was typical of invitations, but today it's an elegant and uncommon choice. Another unexpected old-school touch is the sweet motif of clasped hands embossed on the front.
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Globe-trotting brides want an invitation that will turn readers into armchair travelers, giving them a sense of place (along with a healthy dose of practical information). Here, Stripe & Field's "Kent" letterpress set incorporates the vibrant colors and organic shapes found on an Indian caftan. The trifold "Cornwall" program offers attendees a teaser of the adventures that await them, as well as the couple's suggestions for exploring their best-loved spots near the venue.
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Crisp and clean, Paper & Cup's "Jamie" suite is sky-high on clever design but lower on price thanks to the fact that none of it is printed -- both the text and motif were created via rubber stamp. (These were applied by the stationer, but a crafty bride or groom could commission stamps to DIY.) Fun extras include an info booklet with a nod to the nuptials' Boston setting and matchbook-inspired escort cards that flip open for a big reveal.
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This bright, mod-inspired "Maximus" suite feels right out of Mad Men. The stationers at MaeMae Paperie used the wedding location of balmy Palm springs, California, as a starting point for creating icons such as pineapples, palm trees, and beach umbrellas. They then adorned invites, R.S.V.P. cards, and even reception coasters with these motifs using flat printing, a method that's less expensive than engraving and letterpressing and offers a less formal look.
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In this Ladyfingers Letterpress's suite, a hand-painted posy was printed onto the die-cut sleeve of the invitation, whose letterpressed inner card features handwritten text. The accompanying stickers resemble flowers from the clutch. Use them to seal envelopes or decorate reply cards, building guests' excitement about the celebration to come.
Russel & Hazel "Fine" note-card sets; Pen & Ink cockatoo figurine (thefutureperfect.com); BaubleBar "Princess" cuff; Parker Sonnet fountain pen (jetpenscom); Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery notebook (staples.com)