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Paper With Personality



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By Susan Alexander

Though today’s brides love a custom look for their wedding invitations, Sarah Pattison says tradition still rules in the Southeast.

“Thick ivory paper, a classic look – that’s what brides here want,” she says.

Sarah and her husband, Ty Pattison, own The Happy Envelope, a letterpress stationery store on Homberg Drive in West Knoxville. While Sarah and her staff work with brides to design just the right pieces for their wedding stationery, Ty operates the letterpress equipment in their printing shop off Sutherland Avenue. 

Letterpress is an old method of printing that has seen renewed interest in recent years. Letterpresses actually press the paper onto an inked, raised surface, leaving an impression on the paper that you can feel.  

It’s an option that Joy Carver also offers at Dandy Lions, her stationery and gift shop in Maryville, along with engraving (which she says is optimal for gold foil work), thermography and flat-press options. 

Whatever the printing method, brides today may like tradition, but they also want their own personal look to their wedding invitations and stationery.

“Brides are adding elements of nature – ivy, florals, laurel, wreaths – to their invitations and carrying them through their whole suite of wedding paper,” Joy said. “We’re also seeing brides choose blush tones as an accent color for their invitations or liners, and colored envelopes are on trend, even though the invitations themselves are traditional ecru.”

Sarah Pattison said she’s seeing custom illustrations used on wedding suites, and brides also are opting for hand calligraphy.

“Some of the calligraphy is very ornate and traditional, and some is fun and funky,” she said.

Whatever their choices, brides are bringing a cohesive look to all of their wedding paper, starting with save-the-date cards and including the invitations, programs, menus and thank-you cards.

The message they should convey? “That they’ve been thoughtfully put together,” said Sarah. “People don’t get that kind of mail very often. You want them to be special and celebratory.” 

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion,” said Joy. “Make it your look.”

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