Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wedding Registries & The Modern Bride

Hello there, lovely readers! My name is Aimee and I’m the Social Media Coordinator for I’m also a bride-to-be! So, who better to talk about this topic than someone who’s planning a wedding?

One of the first snags that my fiancé and I hit during wedding planning was figuring out our registry situation. We’re not particularly conventional people, our wedding will be anything but traditional, and we also already live together. So the idea of registering for tableware or stemware or coffee makers or bedding seemed a little pointless to us. We already have those things.

The reality is that most women cohabit with their significant others before marriage, which means that there’s plenty of time to “feather the nest” before being engaged or married. When I moved in with my boyfriend, we crammed all of our stuff into his one bedroom apartment and if we happened to be missing some necessity between the two of us, we purchased it. With that said, the last thing we need is more stuff. While wedding registries are a great opportunity to upgrade your belongings, the tradition is a little outdated, to say the least. We have a toaster and a high speed blender. We’re not exactly fine china kind of people, and we’re practically drowning in bedding. My fiancé and I have the added concern of possibly needing to move out of state once he is accepted to a PhD program. When we move, we plan on donating most of our furniture to reduce the cost of moving and only once we’ve settled in our new place do we plan to upgrade our things.

As you can see, from a practicality standpoint, registering for physical gifts is not a good move for us. And that reality is becoming a trend with modern brides, especially as many women wait to marry until they’re older and more financially secure. If you’ve had over a decade of living on your own to realize that you need real plates, or how much of a necessity a coffee maker is to your sanity, then you likely already have those things. If upgrades are something you want, by all means, register! Of if you don’t have all those things, a registry is definitely the way to go!

A wedding registry certainly has its perks. You’re making it super easy for your guests to buy you something you actually want. Guests appreciate the ease of going online, picking something, knowing you’ll love it, and paying for it.

But what do you do if, like my fiancé and me, you’re abstaining from a traditional wedding registry?

For wedding guests, my first piece of advice is: be understanding and accepting of the couple’s choice. I’ve heard from lots of people (mostly an older generation of women) who think that it’s inappropriate to essentially ask for money as a wedding present. I’ve heard this choice called tasteless and impolite, but I have to disagree. The reality is that the wedding is about the couple. And it’s up to them to determine how guests’ offerings can be most helpful to them. How awful is it if I register for a ton of expensive gifts, knowing full well that I don’t need them or that I’ll have to get rid of them at some point? Additionally, planning a wedding is hard, and it’s likely that there are already going to be some hard feelings about plenty of things. Don’t add to the stress. You don’t have to agree with it, but if you love the couple, suck it up, shell out whatever you would have spent on a toaster and move on. Consider it a good deed!

As a bride, there are plenty of nontraditional options to look at! Honeymoon registries, housing funds, charitable causes, etc. Honeymoon registries are particularly popular now, as it becomes increasingly difficult to cover the costs of a wedding and a honeymoon. If a couple is looking to buy a house after the wedding and they know they’ll need some help, housing funds are a great way to ensure that every wedding guests’ generosity goes towards the very best cause for that couple.  If you don’t need any money or gifts at all, but you know that your guests will insist, you can always ask them to make donations to your favorite charities in your honor!

My fiancé and I decided to create an online “Starting Our Life Together” fund, which our guests can donate to through our wedding website. This way, our guests know that their generosity is helping us to build our life and home together the same way a traditional gift might, but just a little later! 

We chose to mention our fund on our wedding website, because our website will be a hub of information for our out-of-town wedding. If you don’t have a wedding website, you can include information about registries (or lack thereof) on your wedding invitations, although it’s not recommended because it tends to take away from the importance of the other info on there. If you’re sending save the dates, you can include it there. Or, put the information on a small insert card that you can send in the envelope with the invitation.

Modern brides may approach registry alternatives with some trepidation, because of generations of wedding traditions bearing down upon them, but the reality is that the modern bride has other priorities that take precedence over small gifts “to make a house a home”. How useful are home goods if you don’t have a home to put them, you know? So, if a conventional wedding registry isn’t right for you and your future spouse, don’t feel nervous about asking your guests to help in some other way. They love you, and that’s all that will matter!

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Sorority Stationery Line Gets Featured!

It's always exciting when the hard work of a member of the PaperStyle team gains some recognition out in the world!

Cara Markham is a longtime PS team member who is responsible, in large part, for our wonderful line of sorority stationery! While Cara worked towards her Bachelor's Degree at the University of West Georgia, she was also an active member of Kappa Delta sorority. She is featured in the most recent issue of Kappa Delta's magazine, ANGELOS, for her work with PaperStyle in implementing the sorority line! Check out her fabulous feature on page 12!

L to R: 817-57-KDCHALK, 817-57NP-KDSYM, and 817-49NP-KDPHOTO

We're so very proud of Cara and all the work she put in to help research and design the notepads, stationery, and grad announcements in our Greek stationery line. Way to go, Cara!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer Gatherings!

With summer just around the corner (though, it sure doesn't seem like it in some places, weather-wise), it's the perfect time to start planning all those outdoor gatherings! Pool parties! Garden parties! BBQs!

Whether you're hosting your tenth annual summer extravaganza, or you're feeling a little nervous about your first big BBQ, we want to help you feel as prepared as you can!

The easiest place to start planning is with the invitation. All you need to know before getting your invitations is a time, date, and location! With the absolute plethora of designs available to you across the web (though, we're pretty fond of our own!), it's easy to pick one that is beautiful, fun, or funny. It can be anything you want! Picking the right invitation, and picking it first, helps make clear to your guests what kind of party this is, and the level of formality they should expect.

Once you've picked your invitations, you can use them as a jumping-off point for decorations. So many invitation designs come with decor ideas built right in! Red checkered tablecloths for BBQs, beach balls floaties for your beach and pool parties. Garden parties are pretty simple to decorate for, because the garden itself is the best decoration! Add some strings of bistro lights and crisp tablecloths, and you're all set. If your invitation is more typographically heavy, take the decorations in any direction you'd like!

Not to toot our own horn, but Paper Style's got you covered in the tableware section, too. Our huge selection of Caspari napkins and plates means you'll be sure to find a design that you love, that also meets up with the ambiance you're developing for your party, and possibly even matches your invitations! You can get your invitations, plates, tablecloths, napkins, and cups all in one go.

How early to send out your invites depends on the size of the party, whether you're requesting a mailed RSVP, and how much individual planning you have left to do. Traditionally, though, it's best to send out invites between 2 to 4 weeks before the party (though with informal party invitations, the time frame is less set in stone). Giving your guests a couple of weeks' notice should also give you plenty of time to hear back from them, and then you'll have your final head count!

If you need some more help figuring out what you want to do for a summer gathering, we've got some other great resources for you:
  • Our Invitation Etiquette page has some great little tidbits about traditional invitation etiquette for both formal and informal gatherings!

  • Our Tips and Advice page has a sidebar full of all kinds of useful articles to help with the planning process!

  • Paper Style's Pinterest page is a great place to find ideas for a cohesive, visually appealing party (we've got boards for all kinds of events)!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday Team Pick {David}

Another Tuesday is upon us, which means it's time for another Tuesday Team Pick! And we're happy to be sharing the pick of Paper Style prez, David! From the beginning, David's been really excited about our line of The Wizard of Oz invitations & stationery, so of course, his pick would be from that line!

We asked David why he chose this invitation, and here was his response:

"Who doesn’t like The Wizard of Oz?  This image is very engaging to capture the attention of the recipient.  It’s very versatile in that it can be used for almost any type of party or even as a Save the Date card (which is how I used it for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah).  With the scarecrow and Dorothy talking about your event, the invite will connote it’s one not to be missed."

Well said, David.

Have you purchased any invitations or stationery from our Wizard of Oz line? We'd love to hear what kind of response you got from your invitees!

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Very Paper Style Valentine's Day!

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we asked our Paper Style team to share with us Valentine's Day highlights to get us all into the spirit! Love in the air, and all that!

And we had some SUPER sweet submissions from our team:

Andrea in Web Content (whose birthday is actually ON Valentine's Day!!) sent in a story about her family's sweet Valentine's Day tradition:
Since I was born on Valentine’s Day, my dad ALWAYS made that day so very special for me and all the girls in his life. My mom would always get the biggest Valentine filled with Russell Stover candy. I would get the next biggest, and then my sisters' were a bit smaller… as time passed, and we all had daughters, my dad made sure to include them as well!

Below is a picture of Andrea's daughters and the Valentines that her dad sent to them the first year they were living in GA! (SO. CUTE.)

Paper Stylist Karen submitted this photo of her sweet dog Millie as her favorite Valentine "because she always loves me no matter what!" And we think Millie makes a great Valentine; it's always an extra special day around here when she comes to visit!

Type Stylist Debbie submitted some pictures of a beautiful tablescape she put together for a Valentine's Day party she hosted! Isn't that "Love" confetti absolutely perfect?

On the other hand, we also had some pretty comical submissions, illustrating the ridiculousness of trying to eat out on the 14th of February:

Our founder, Chris, submitted a great Valentine's Day story from back in his college days:
In college at UGA, my sweet girlfriend wanted to go to a ‘nice’ dinner but there was only one problem.  I didn’t make a reservation anywhere. We both dressed up, she in a pretty dress and I wore a tie… drove all over Athens and after 2 hours of finding nothing but booked restaurants, we gave up and dined at Long John Silver's… not what she had in mind. Moral of story… make a freaking reservation on the busiest dining evening of the year if you want anything other than fast food!

Our Graphic Specialist, Michael, had a similar story:
One year I decided to go big and take my wife out for dinner on Valentine's Day. We got all dressed up and went to a Houston's restaurant. Apparently you needed a reservation, and the hostess wouldn't even let us in without one. We drove to Outback Steakhouse and there was a line of probably 12 couples waiting to be called. We waited for almost an hour and left. Then, I took her to a small Cuban diner... and it was closed for issues with their license. We ended up at a Taco Bell at 11 p.m. that looked like a trip to the 70's, eating burritos under white fluorescent lights. We have not gone out to dinner on a Valentine's night ever since then. We find a recipe that we both like and we prepare it at home.

Definitely lessons well learned.

Have any spectacular (or spectacularly unfortunate) Valentine's Day stories you'd like to share? We'd love to hear them!