In our 3.0 world, opening an actual envelope is practically like unwrapping a present. To deliver your news in truly monumental style, send one of these six invitations. Your mailman is going to feel like Santa.
Remember the childhood delight of playing with wooden matryoshka dolls -- removing each top to reveal another little doll inside? Cheree Berry's "Nesting Tiny" suite is the stationery equivalent. Guests receive five letterpressed cards in diminishing sizes. The tiniest one is proof that good things do come in small packages.
Magnify your news with a "Say It Out Loud" poster by Fig. 2 Design Studio. Its large-scale font can be screen-printed onto 15 3/4-by-22 1/2-inch paper of your choosing. Fold it down to envelope height and width and simply secure it with a sticker label featuring your return address (favorite emoticon optional). Then, pop it in the mail -- no envelope necessary. Thanks to the miracle of e-mail, you won't need a reply card either, making this maximalist design minimalist, too.
Planning a weekend-long event? Mail invitees this accordian-folded booklet by Paisley Quill. Along with all the requisite info, it features a pictographic "map" of what high jinks are happening when and where, plus a perforated postcard recipients can tear off and use to respond. Then, let the games begin as guests choose their own adventures.
Modern princess brides can set the mood for a "royal" wedding with this lush calligraphed scroll. The best part: It's an elegant DIY option that doesn't cost a king's ransom. Calligrapher Molly Jacques will create a digital file of your text, which you print on the paper of your choice (we experimented with Japanese varieties from nycentralartsupply.com). Roll it up and tie it with a ribbon, then slip it into a kraft mailing tube. If you're looking to impress even the Queen Mum-in-Law, add return-address calligraphy and have the labels handwritten.
The only thing square about this fun-filled "Garland" invitation by Milkmaid Press is the shape of the 5-by-5-inch panels that you attach to a ribbon so friends can display your banner idea. (When they flip them over, a cute heart pattern is revealed.) You can order the suite printed on eco-matte paper, or just buy a digital download and run off the cards yourself. Either way, you punch the holes, add the grommets, and join the pieces together so the final swag can be strung horizontally or vertically and is as long as you like.
Talk about unexpected: This invitation -- and a keepsake dried blossom -- arrives in its own wrapped box. Antiquaria's "Wildflower Box" comes complete with a flower-adorned reply postcard, tissue, ribbon, and a preserved posy to tuck inside. The blooms are a great way to prime guests for an outdoor affair, but whatever your venue, partygoers will be charmed when you ask for their presence with a present.