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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Mysteries of Stationary Suites Revealed: Customize your Destination Wedding!

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox & Valerie Carlson, founder of Spark Letterpress
Photos courtesy of Spark Letterpress

One thing I've learned since becoming a part of the wedding industry is the importance of quality stationary. Before I saw the unbelievable talent and creativity in the letterpress market I assumed invitations were a minor detail. However, having custom, professional stationary can not only set the tone for your destination wedding, but ensure your guests get the necessary information about your event. To weigh in on the options out there, as well as all the components of a comprehension invitation suite, is Valerie Carlson, founder of Spark Letterpress.

If there’s an event where paper is a key player in not only setting the tone, but also disseminating pertinent information to the guests, it is a destination wedding.

Whether your destination is your remote hometown in the mountains or a beach in Maui, your wedding stationery will guide your guests and excite them about your big day. We work closely with couples from all over the world to help them tell the story of their wedding. We do this through our service, but even more so through our designs.

We have developed several destination wedding designs to give couples a starting point with their stationery. All designs can be purchased as-is, but our process is truly custom allowing you to change any aspect to suit your needs. Many brides see stationery and don’t realize just how customizable the pieces can be – from the color scheme to various design aspects.

We have several great designs that our destination brides really gravitate towards, for example:

• Two especially fun designs – a Passport and an Airline Ticket design – have become increasingly popular. We have a library of different maps and patterns that can make these designs perfect for your destination. Many couples implement both of these into their invitation suite: one for a save the date and the other for the actual invitation. The Tessa suite (Airline Ticket) shows a luggage tag that a couple could use as a save the date or as a welcome basket tag.

• One of our designs from Spark’s brand new Impress line, the Andrea, is a formal invitation design with a fun laser-cut belly band. To complement these pieces, we’ve designed a weekend events booklet for your guests which explains day-by-day the wedding events, as well as local activities, attractions and accommodation information.


We suggest the stationery suite be expanded a bit for a destination wedding, as there are often additional events surrounding the wedding. A lot of times, further details need to be provided to guests. Below is a list of possible components brides should consider for your destination wedding stationery:

Save the Date

• Consider a more comprehensive save the date that gives guests additional details about your wedding. This is necessary if you want to take a formal, traditional route with your invitation and not include as many details there.

• If you go simple, be sure to include your wedding website so your guests can begin planning their travel.

• While your hotel may offer special rates on rooms for your guests, the deadline for them to book will be too close to the time that invitations are typically mailed, so it’s best to include this information on the save the dates.

• Your save the date is the first formal communication about your wedding that guests will receive, so really think about the tone you want to set for the event. This is established with both the text and the design.

Invitation Suite

• Your invitation suite can be more formal and somewhat of a departure design-wise from the save the date. However, for even more fun, it can follow the same style. The invitation should include the basic information – date, time, ceremony and reception location (this can be a separate card).


• The reply card can be multi-purpose if you have more than one event you need guests to respond to. Your reply card can also ask about meal selections, what hotel your guests will be staying at, or what songs they like to dance to. Be sure to choose a reply-by date which gives you enough time to confirm your guest count with your reception location.

• If you have a lot of information on your reply card, we suggest using a reply envelope instead of doing a reply postcard.

Day-of Pieces

• Invites for other weekend events can be included by creating a weekend events piece. This can be in a small booklet format or a flat, folded or trifold card – all depending on the amount of text. We find that most couples are opting for a comprehensive piece about the weekend events to keep it simple for their guests and then have them RSVP to all events on the a reply card.

• Some couples leave a gift for their guests in their rooms in the form of a gift basket or guide and we can create a nice thank you card or tag to attach to the gift. If you want something more detailed for your guest, we often create a custom map of local attractions and recap the weekend events or mark them on the map.


• Programs are a nice piece no matter if you’re having a simple exchange of vows on the beach or a church ceremony. We can make a small card with the order of events, a multi-page, or a large panel fan for a warm location. Many couples want a formal booklet-style program which is ideal for a longer ceremony and when there’s more information to include.

• Menus are a great addition to any beautiful reception table. Whether you offer one per table or one per guest, the menu can double as a place card with your guests’ names or be an added decoration by doing a die cut shape.

• To name a few ideas, place cards can be a die cut shell for a beach wedding, tied to your favors, or a formal folded style. There are many creative ways to get your guests to the correct seat.

• Another fun idea are coasters featuring your signature drink. These are a great addition to any cocktail hour and can be designed to tie in to your overall theme.

Thank You Notes

• No destination wedding is complete without properly thanking your guests for traveling to attend your wedding. The ”thank you” can be a continuation of your wedding stationery and feature your new married name or monogram.

• Keep in mind your thank you notes can be used well past your wedding, so consider ordering more if you choose a traditional design. Another option is to have your design printed in two different color palettes – this will allow you to have one associated with your wedding and the other to be your stationery moving forward as a couple.

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