How to Pick Wedding Invitations Your Whole Guest List Will be Talking About
A wedding is an extraordinary event in one’s life, and most couples spend considerable time ensuring that everything is perfect. Careful planning is the key to a successful and beautiful day, as there are so many details to consider. But this should be a pleasurable experience as it gives the bride and groom the opportunity to imprint their unique personality on the occasion, sharing the love they have for each other with family and friends. The wedding invitation, as the first public announcement of their joining, is a beautiful and sentimental keepsake.
Define Your Wedding Style
A wedding invitation isn’t just about letting people know the location and date. It sets the tone of the entire affair and indicates the formalness of the event. Is the wedding to be traditional, classic and elegant or modern, glamorous and stylish? Do you have a special theme, such as a wedding on the beach, a gathering in a wooded area, a traditional Irish ceremony or a Medieval affair? The invitations introduce the personality of the occasion. Visit stationary designers’ websites and online photos of invitations for inspiration and ideas so you have a clear vision of what you’re looking for.
Theme, Colors, Shape and Size
For colors, white, cream or ivory with a black or gold font is classic if your wedding is formal, but for less formal occasions, there are no set rules. You can select more colorful or metallic type, paper, envelopes and liners for greater visual appeal. Just make sure the type style is not overly ornate, and that the ink and background colors are adequately contrasted so that the invitation can be easily read. Stay away from light text on light backgrounds and dark text on dark backgrounds. The standard size and shape of wedding invitations is 6.25 inches by 4.5 inches and rectangular. However, you’re certainly not beholden to that and other invitation shapes are available.
The One-of-a-Kind Wedding Invitation
There are many variables to create your own unique wedding invitations, such as the design, the type of paper, ink color, typeface and special printing techniques such as engraving and letterpress. You can also use a custom design and include decorative touches such as enclosures and envelope liners. Hiring a calligrapher to address the envelopes adds an exquisite, personalized touch.
Many varieties of paper stock are available. A heavier paper feels more luxurious, but you can also choose linen paper with a textured surface. Do you prefer a matte finish or metallic paper? You’ll also find natural paper stock such as bamboo, imported papers and rustic recycled papers.
Deciding on the typeface (font) can be a dizzying adventure in itself. There are many to choose from, so narrow it down by your wedding theme. Is the affair to be casual or formal? Traditional or modern? Are you being married on the beach or in a formal and elegant cathedral? There are typefaces that are formal and traditional, informal and whimsical, contemporary, high-tech and retro. Choose a font that will capture the personality of the couple and the occasion.
Once you’ve selected the paper and the typeface, what type of printing would you prefer? There’s offset (flat) printing, thermography, letterpress and engraving. Thermography gives you raised print using special inks and heat. In the letterpress technique, letters are pressed into the paper. Engraved print is raised from the paper.
Keeping the Information Basic and Beautiful
Although there’s key information you must convey, a printed wedding invitation is a work of art, so placement of text and a balance of white space is important. Not only will the invitation look better if it isn’t jam-packed with non-essential information; it will also be far more legible. Include the location, date and time of the ceremony; the hosts’ and couple’s names, the dress code for the occasion (if there is one) and RSVP details. Any directions and information about the reception should be either on separate cards enclosed with the invitation.
With all the choices for unique and beautiful wedding invitations, you can create a stunning masterpiece of your very own.
Photography Feature: Amanda Ambrose Photography
As part of our featured photographer series, we’d like to introduce you to the stunning wedding portraits of Amanda Ambrose Photography. Her portfolio of distinctive New England weddings includes a recent wedding ceremony and reception at Hampshire House, exquisitely captured. This collection features posed portraits of the bride and groom, wedding party and guests as well as pre-wedding preparations, a romantic stroll thru the Boston Public Garden, located just across the street from Hampshire House, and a celebration at the legendary Cheers bar, formerly the Bull & Finch, popularized in the “Cheers” television series and located on the bottom floor of the Hampshire House. There are candid moments as well where the love and joy of the couple and their family shine through.
This artistic and lavish photographic series offers not just a close, intimate account of a couple’s most wonderful day, but also an artistic glimpse inside the historic, warm and richly appointed Hampshire House. There’s the carved oak paneling, Italian marble fireplace and elegant chandeliers of the library, which makes the ideal setting for an intimate wedding ceremony. The upscale New England pub atmosphere of the Cheers bar is a cozy place for celebratory cocktails in the grand Boston Brahmin tradition. A formal wedding reception dinner is then set in the library for the happy couple and their guests, wonderfully luxurious and romantic.
These sensational photographs capture all the majesty and joy of this beautiful wedding, which we were honored to host here at Hampshire House. Kudos, Amanda Ambrose Photography!
All Photos courtesy of Amanda Ambrose Photography
Photography Feature: Christina + Salil’s Wedding
Hampshire House recently hosted Christina and Salil’s wedding fete, offering elegant surroundings and sumptuous amenities. The couple’s nuptials were attended by a gathering of friends and family, who subsequently helped the couple dance and laugh the night away.Photographer Leah LaRiccia captured the entire proceeding by offering her particular style and highly-sensitive portraiture. LaRiccia is quite adept at clearly depicting the most beautiful characteristics of the human condition. She is driven to make each of her imaginative and personal shots better than the previous one. And this evocative assertion is clearly supported by her work.
Hampshire House has been creating wedding memories for nearly a half-century. The venue is entirely committed to hosting the most graceful and sophisticated nuptial gatherings in the Boston area. Located in Beacon Hill, the building was originally built in 1910 and embodied Edwardian-Baroque architecture. Today, it lends Old World charm to any event, whether it’s a simple meeting or a large wedding ceremony.
Photography Feature: Mian + Matt’s Wedding
Mian and Matt were recently married at Hampshire House after first completing a wedding photo tour at Boston’s Park Plaza Gardens. The nuptial exchange transpired under the cozy roof of the Hampshire House, and it was followed by a subsequent reception. In typical style, the event left guests noting the building’s charm and warmth.
Shannon Grant offered her intimate photographical portrayals of the event, ranging from garden and cityscape vistas, to more sensitive and reflective imagery. Grant is a renowned wedding photographer that manages to imbibe her talents into each picture she takes (much to Mian and Matt’s good fortune).
Built in 1910, the Hampshire House has played host to countless weddings, galas and other special events, slowly building a reputation for being Boston’s premier location for intimate special events. The venue offers the perfect backdrop for couples — like Mian and Matt — that are looking to create an unforgettable experience for guests. And thanks to its Beacon Hill location in the heart of Boston, Hampshire House is able to offer all of the benefits that come with being nestled in cosmopolitan city since 1910.
Photography by Shannon Grant. http://shannongrantweddingsblog.com/
Photography Feature: Blair + Pat’s Vintage-Inspired Spring Wedding
Hampshire House was pleased to host the classic, vintage-inspired wedding of Blair and Pat on May 12, photographed by the talented Abby Lorenz of Lorenz Photography in Boston. This creative bride blended her hippie-chic sensibilities with her classy, timeless taste to create an up-to-date wedding at the exquisite Hampshire House. With the intimate ceremony taking place before floor-to-ceiling woodwork and a rococo-inspired fireplace to the sounds of a live harpist in the Hampshire House library, this sophisticated celebration featured sweet, personal touches.
The bridesmaids’ mismatched light pink dresses paired perfectly with the bride’s eclectic BHLDN wedding gown and baby’s breath crown, while the peony and hydrangea centerpieces added a garden party touch to the indoor reception. Blair and Pat accessorized the exquisite Hampshire House with down-to-earth touches, like garden chairs, burlap table numbers, rustic wood serving ware and — our personal favorite — a donut bar stocked with Union Square Donuts.
Abby’s love for photography started while spending summers “up at the lake” at her grandparents’ cabin in Minnesota. After spending days outside, she loved spending evenings looking through her grandmother’s photo albums. She says, “I loved those old, yellowed, rounded corner pictures with grandma Alice’s handwriting noting the month, year and location on the back of each one…And while I felt sad that I wasn’t there for those memories, touching those photos always made me feel a little closer to that time I didn’t know.” She now makes pictures for people so they can remember and share memories, and sees it as her job to tell the story of whatever special event she’s capturing.
See Abby Lorenz’s full post with more images on her blog.
The Best Spring Engagement Photo Locations in Boston
This year’s unseasonably dry spring inspired us to check out a variety of outdoor locations in and around Boston that are perfect for your engagement photo session.
Congratulations to all those newly engaged this spring!
Photography Feature: Irene + Ben’s Classic Winter Wedding
Wedding photographer Nikki Cole captured some special moments from Irene and Ben’s old-world wedding this winter. The pair chose to highlight their classic yet elegant taste with a color palette of white, eggplant and sage and simple yet memorable décor touches, like white rose centerpieces and glowing votives. With the ceremony taking place at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Weston and the reception at our very own Hampshire House, this was truly a wedding to remember.
Irene’s fitted, lace gown perfectly complemented her white and green bouquet overflowing with white calla lilies and roses with green and purple accents. To accommodate for the chilly temperatures, Irene wore a white stole during their 18-degree outdoor photo shoot in the Boston Common. Ben wore a classic black tuxedo with a bowtie and a simple calla lily corsage. The bride and groom shared their first dance beneath the elegant chandeliers and opulent woodwork in the library.
Nikki began her professional photography career in 2003, after 10 years as a wedding and special event planner at the Seaport Hotel. She is known for her eye for detail, and as a self-proclaimed “geek”, she’s fascinated with the mechanics of her camera and subtleties of light. Beyond her technical abilities, Nikki prides herself in the service she provides clients. Nikki says, “I consider myself the story-teller at your wedding; I want to capture the truly unique moments of your day rather than trying to crate them for you.”
See Nikki Cole’s full post on her blog.
Wedding Photography Trends: Drones
Why take wedding photos the old-fashioned way (from Earth) when you can get a bird’s-eye view that captures the scene from up above? Since drones have evolved from high-tech military accessories to affordable, camera-equipped personal electronic devices available to most consumers, photographers have come up with many new and unique ways to use them. Drone wedding photos are a great way to capture your special day through video and still photos.
Aerial wedding photos are particularly valuable if your wedding is set someplace that’s unique in nature or architecture, like on a historic property or in an expansive park. Though you might not expect it, modern-day drones can provide an aerial perspective that’s vivid enough to capture precise details like table settings and ceremony decorations. Drone wedding photography is especially useful for capturing the big-picture special moments — like your post-ceremony exit (the view of in-flight rose petals or rice is really quite astounding from above) or first dance.
Three Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer
Before your big day, you want to make sure that your wedding photographer is prepared to help you achieve your specific wedding day vision. Use this guide to ensure that all of your questions are kept in mind beforehand.
1. Can I see your portfolio?
Ask your wedding photographer upfront about their shooting style and request to see a physical portfolio. This way, you’ll be able to see how his or her photos translate to print. If your photographer leans more photojournalistic, you can expect wedding candids and fewer touch-ups. If he or she has been inspired by the fine arts, you’ll probably get more conceptual or abstract photos.
2. What kind of experience do you have?
A seasoned wedding photographer will have a better idea of what brides and grooms generally want. They’ll know to capture both big-picture subject matter (walking down the aisle and the first dance) as well as minuter wedding day details (table settings and getting ready). But less experienced photographers may have something to offer, too — like a lower price point or a less hectic schedule.
3. What happens if you can’t make it?
If your wedding photographer becomes ill or can’t make your date for some reason, you’ll want to make sure he or she has a reliable backup. Before signing a contract, ensure that your photographer has someone just as skilled to act as the understudy.
The Best Winter Engagement Photo Locations in Boston
Create an engagement album that’s memorable, romantic and unique to your winter love story with these inspiring Boston winter engagement photo ideas.
Maybe we’re a little bit biased, but we love Beacon Hill engagement photos in every season, especially in the winter. The historic row houses and brick sidewalks offer true urban charm for the bride- and groom-to-be that would prefer a touch of traditional in their engagement photos. Beacon Hill’s landmark architecture looks ever-so-enchanting after being dusted with a winter snowfall, too.
Boston’s rich history has left residents with a vast assortment of settings for romantic photos, including the opulent Boston Public Library or bustling Quincy Market. Seasonal twinkling lights and decorative evergreens make these Boston landmarks ideal for shooting in the winter.
Tailor your engagement session to your love story with Boston’s full complement of fun and iconic photo locations. If your courtship was sports-centric, take a few snapshots at TD Garden. If you love all things nautical, your seasonal, sea-inspired photo shoot will come alive at Piers Park. Each of these winter photo engagement settings will help you capture the romance and whimsy of Boston.