Wedding invitations

Month: January, 2012

Wedding Stationery explained

When it comes to planning a wedding, the options are endless. There are so many choices for every single thing you need and it can be very overwhelming and confusing. I thought it might be useful to go through what options are available for the various stationery items and explain the differences.

1. The wedding invitation – this really comes down to personal choice and budget as there are so many different styles. You can narrow it down by deciding on the shape (DL or square), the size (standard or mini) and whether it will be a flat card or an opening invitation. Once these choice have been made, then it comes down to the embellishment. Will you choose lace, flowers, ribbon, feathers, textured papers, crystals, pearls or none of the above!

2. RSVP – the traditional format for the RSVP card is to have a seperate card with a return envelope. However, the postcard style RSVP with the return address printed on the reverse has become increasingly popular. If you wanted to save money or were a little short on time, you could include a phone number, e-mail or website to collect the RSVP’s.

3. Wishing well/Gift registry cards – these are small cards that are printed with the clients preference to have a wishing well at the wedding or with the details of the gift registry. Alternatively, this information can be printed directly on to the invitation.

4. Maps & Directions – with the increase in popularity of destination weddings, many couples are choosing to include a card with a map on one side and specific directions on the back. These cards are very helpful for out of town guests or if your ceremony and reception are not close by.

5. Order of service books – depending on the kind of ceremony you are having, these books can help your guests to follow the service and to participate by including the reponses to the readings etc. Some couples opt to print the entire service whilst some prefer just an outline of the ceremomy. For destination weddings, many couples provide their guests with an outline of the day’s events and locations and times of where they need to be.

6. Place cards – where do I start???? There are many more place cards choices than just the traditional format. Nowdays you can tie the guests’ name to the napkin ring, to the stem of the wine glass or even have a personalised mini menu for each guest. Also becoming popular are table charts whereby the names of the guests seated at the table are printed on one card. This allows the guests to choose their own seats at their allocated table.

7. Menus – the most common menu format is the tall opening menu one per table. Alternatively you can give each guest a small menu with their names printed to serve as a place card as well. To save money and space on the table, the 3 sided table charts are making a strong appearance. These have a welcome message on one side, the names of the guests and the table number on another and the menu printed on the third side. A very practical choice.

8. Thank you cards – it is proper etiquette to thank your guests for attending the wedding and for their gifts and best wishes. Most couples send thank you cards when they return from honeymoon. We have also done generic thank you cards that are included with a photo of the happy couple and sent off straight after the wedding. Time poor couples are also choosing to thank their guests with a thank you message printed on a small tag attached to their bombonniere.

9. Reception seating charts – this is a list with all your guests names printed with the number of the table they are sitting at. Ideal for any guests who might arrive late to the reception.

10. Table numbers/names – most venues would provide table numbers, however, we can make them to co-ordinate with the rest of the wedding stationery. Some couples choose to give their tables names after meaningful places or events in their lives.

All the above mentioned stationery items can be designed to match/compliment the invitation and the rest of the wedding theme. All items are optional and it is up to each and every couple whether they choose to include them or not. Visit our website for more information, images and prices. Be sure to like us on facebook at for updates and more tips.


Bridezillas – an exaggeration or reality?

If you have ever watched an episode of Bridezillas on Foxtel, you will probably be flinching as you read this. For those of you who haven’t, allow me to shed some light on this show. It follows brides in the lead up to their big day and on the day itself. Harmless right? Wrong. These women are fruit loops. We watch them scream and yell abuse at everyone, become violent, throw tantrums and basically turn into someone scarier than Freddie Kruger.


Here are some examples of what I have seen these women do. You tell me if this  behaviour is normal. The bride who expected everyone to refer to her as ‘the most beautiful bride in the world’ in the 5 days leading up to the wedding. She would ignore anyone who did not start their sentences in this way. Or the bride who had her bridesmaids humiliate themselves with a weekly weigh in. Mind you, she herself had obviously not seen a mirror in a while. These women use their bridesmaids as slaves, treat their mothers as personal assistants and their grooms as punching bags. I am convinced that the only reason they turn up at the altar is out of a fear for their lives.


The term ‘bridezilla’ has become synonymous with wedding planning. People assume that all brides will turn into crazed women at the sight of a wedding magazine. Not so. In fact, most brides that are labelled as bridezillas really don’t deserve this title at all. At Paper Lily, we have never come across a bride who would warrant being called a bridezilla. Brides are certainly very particular about what they want and will tell you if they want something changed. They have every right to be this way. They are paying for a service and should receive what they requested. They way in which they speak to you is what will determine if they are a bridezilla or not. Giving me a call to say ‘Hey, Tina, love the colour of the ribbon but do you think we can try a thinner ribbon instead?’ is normal. Leaving an abusive voice mail or sending a text filled with expletives is clearly not.

All brides deserve to have the wedding day of their dreams. Stress is to be expected and a lot of patience and understanding is needed during the planning process. Labelling the  bride-to be as a bridezilla will do nothing to help the situation. So, unless you are asked to join a boot camp, dye your hair or get Botox for their big day, chances are they are not true bridezillas.

New designs

We have designed a few new invitations in keeping with the black and ivory colour scheme. This combination looks unbelievable and stands out within our collection.

This first design uses a pearla card as the base with a double scalloped edged black lace across the centre. The bride and grooms names and wedding date are printed on matching pearla card and the design is finished with thin black satin ribbon and a bow.

In line with the increase in popularity of metallics, we have sourced this metallic pebbled paper and have created two new invitations. The first uses the pebbled paper to cover the entire front of the card with a large black bow as a feature. The second is more restrained and only has a strip of metallic paper in the centre and thin satin ribbon instead.



All designs at Paper Lily can be done in various colour combinations and we are happy to mix and match elements from a munber of invitations to create the perfect fit for our brides.







Ivory is the new white

As we have mentioned in previous posts, neutral colours have become increasingly popular choices for wedding invitations. White, ivory and latte were the colours of 2011 and we are already seeing a continuation of this trend as 2012 begins. Our most popular choice by far has been the use of black with ivory, irrespective of whether the bride is wearing white or ivory and in no way related to the colour of the bridesmaids.

Black & Ivory

This design is one of my favourites. It uses an ivory  matte  card with texture – a move away from the traditional metallic and shimmer cards. The lace at the bottom is ivory and the thin black satin ribbon is the perfect compliment to the design. An invitation like this is timeless and elegant.

Here is another example of the use of black and ivory. This invitation is a flat DL card in ivory with a black backing card. The lace and ribbon detail is featured at the top leaving ample room for the text. This ribbon is wide black grograin to add another textural element to the invitation.

We intend on designing more invitations in this color combination so keep an eye on the image gallery in our website



Where did our name come from?

Since we first started, we have had many people comment on our name. All feedback has been positive – whether that is because everyone truly does like it or those who don’t have remembered their mothers’ advice of if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all, will never be known. I thought I might enlighten you all to how ‘Paper Lily’ came about….

When we decided to go into business, the first thing we wanted to do was choose a name. Given that we are sisters, both Librans and slightly on the stubborn side, we knew this was not going to be an easy task. Every name Connie suggested did not appeal to me and she found fault in all my ideas. The only thing we agreed on was that we did not want the name to be obvious, too literal but not too abstract either. We were not making it easy on ourselves.

If dealing with each other was not hard enough, add a couple of well-meaning husbands and their woeful suggestions to the mix. After tactfully declining their name choices, we decided that we would not think about the invitations as such but rather think of the things we find beautiful, the things that make us feel happy and perhaps a name would come to mind this way.

It was hard not to associate invitations and weddings with the name when this was exactly what our business would be. I thought back to my own wedding and all the little details that made it special. I remember going to visit the florist for the first consultation and she asked me about my wedding bouquet. I had a clear vision for my bouquet –  I wanted white lillies. I have always loved lillies more than any other flower and I love nothing more than a beautiful bunch of white lillies in a vase on my dining table whenever I can get to the florist.

I spoke with Connie and mentioned perhaps using the word ‘Lily’ somewhere in the name. She agreed as she also likes Lillies. Finally some progress but what now? It needed more, something to bring it to life, to link it to the business. We tried many combinations of words and then it happened. Paper Lily. Don’t ask me who said it first because it is a blur to me. The only thing that mattered was that we both stopped speaking and realised that we had made our decision.

To make a lily out of paper would require planning, skill, a precise and delicate hand. Crafted by someone with an eye for detail and a passion for the finer things. The end product would be an object of beauty and a symbol of life and love. Everything we believe in and work to achieve is in the meaning behind our name. And that’s where our name came from.

Trends of 2011

Now that the new year is upon us it’s a good time to reflect on 2011 and the trends we noticed. No matter what the ‘trend’ may be, we still feel that anything goes when it comes to weddings. Let’s face it, just because something is popular, doesn’t mean that everyone on the planet will love it and go with it. Weddings are unique to each couple and so too is their invitation style.

Reflecting on all the weddings we did last year, it becomes very clear that couples are selective and specific. They immediately know what they like and don’t like and the process of choosing an invitation was much faster than in previous years. Perhaps it is as a result of all the time spent researching before coming to see us.

Neutral colour pallettes were very popular last year and we feel this trend will continue in 2012. Various shades of white and ivory mixed with a spalsh of colour created stunning invitations. Mixing ivory and black led to the most timeless designs and this colour combination was the most sought after in 2011.

In terms of embellishments, lace was still very much requested. The use of silk and textured papers was on the rise and will continue to be popular this year. Couples were moving away from the metallic and shimmer cards and selecting the matte or textured cards instead. Mixing different textures was also high in demand. Adding layers of card to create a heavier invitation was requested numerous times. Couples really wanted to make a statement with their invitations.

The post card RSVP card made it’s mark and it was very rare that couples requested the traditional RSVP card in the return envelope. E-mail addresses and websites were listed to collect RSVP’s and the ‘wishing well’ poem included on the invitation was more popular than ever.

Couples in 2011 were also more inclined to order everything. In the past, the invitations and RSVP cards were ordered with couples opting to make the remaining stationery items themsleves. 2011 was our biggest year for place cards, menus, order of service books, maps, thank you cards and seating plans. All items were co-ordinated to match the invitations and theme of the wedding and this is certainly one trend we hope to see continued this year!

The Paper Lily process

I thought it might be of some interest to know what actually goes on from start to finish when you order your wedding invitations from Paper Lily.

  1. The initial consultation – if it is a Sydney based client, this usually invloves making an appointment time to come and see our range and to discuss the wedding details. For interstate couples, this step is done via e-mail/phone calls. We display all our invitations and allow couples some time to have a look and get a feel for our work. Then we try to narrow down the selection by asking the right questions. We need to establish colour preferences, embellishment likes/dislikes, type of card to be used, size of invitation etc. Couples are welcome to mix and match between all our designs and if need be, we will design something unique for them. We will also discuss if any accessories such as place cards, menus, order of service books etc will be needed.
  2. The quote – we will prepare the quote and e-mail to the client. Along with the quote, we will also send out our Terms & Conditions which need to be signed and sent back to us. Payment of the 30% deposit means acceptance of the quote and the wedding is scheduled on our calendar.
  3. The timeline – in order to assist our couples to stay on track and to ensure that there is no last minute rush, we create a timeline for every couple. This has a list of dates and what information is needed at that time.
  4. Stock – as soon as the deposit is paid, we order the stock needed from the relevant supppliers and once it has arrived we prepare it for when the time comes to assemble the invitations. This may involve cutting lace to the correct lengths, threading pearls on to ribbon, tying bows – anything than can be prepared in advance.
  5. PDF – a pdf layout is done of each item ordered and sent for approval from the client. Changes are made as required until the client gives the go ahead.
  6. Printing and assembly – All items are printed, cut and scored and then the embellishment takes place.
  7. Collection – as each component of the wedding package ordered is ready, the client will receive an e-mail requesting the next payment instalment and a pick up time. If need be, delivery is organised.

The time frame from start to finish will depend on how many invitations are ordered and the date required. Generally speaking, the invitations are ready 6 weeks after the initial consultation with other stationery accessories completed in various stages leading up to the wedding.

The real purpose of a wedding invitation

The Wedding invitation. A wonderfully pleasant item to receive in the mail. We open it quickly to see who is getting married, when the marriage will take place and all the other essential pieces of information we need to know to get us where we need to be, at the right time to witness the event we were invited to attend. However, there is much more to the humble invitation than just relaying the who? where? when?

If the sole purpose of a wedding invitation was to relay information, then why do they even exist in our current society? Could we not just facebook the details, create a wedding website or sms our friends and family the relevant details? If the text is all that matters, why then do so many stationers exist? How on earth are they all still in business? The answer lies in the TRUE meaning of a wedding invitation.

Once the ceremony and receptions have been booked, most couples turn their attention to their invitations. They begin the task of going through wedding magazines or visiting websites until they decide on which invitation businesses they would like to contact to start the process. And then it begins. Some clients come and see us and they have no idea where to start. We play 20 questions until we get a feel for their personalities, colour schemes, likes/dislikes and we soon help them to choose a design. Others know exactly what they want. They have done hours of research so coming to us is just the formality of paying the deposit and getting started. At the other end of the spectrum are the attention to detail couples… We have had brides come to their appointment with folders of information – sample invitations from weddings they have attended, images from the web, fabric swatches to co-ordinate with the bridesmaids or for the exact shade of white to match their dress, pictures of the reception decor, sketches of ideas they dreamt of and the list goes on. No matter which category the brides fit into, they all share the common goal of wanting a particular kind of look for their invitation.

You see, the invitation is very important. It will be the very first clue for the guests as to what kind of a wedding it will be. The invitation should be consistent with the feel of the entire wedding. Whether the invitation is a simple card or a boxed treasure will generally be in line with how the couple want their day to be perceived. It is a reflection of their personalities, their style and will set the scene for what is to come.

I remember growing up as a little girl, I used to look at the invitation and I knew right away what the colour of the bridesmaids dresses were going to be and the general colour scheme of the wedding – why else would anyone choose hot pink card? It used to be the trend to have everything matching. I did it myself for my wedding with my lovely lavender invitations. Today, the trend is to be more neutral and use shades of white and ivory and then incorporate some colour. The message of the invitation is not just in the text we read but in its appearance as well. A black and white invitation screams ‘formal wedding’; the lace and pearl design is for the traditional brides with all the wedding trimmings; the simple postcard is for the no fuss couple.

So, the next time you open your mail box to find a wedding invitation, take the time to look at it from this point of view and you will be surprised just how much you can discover.