Swatches of lace, bits of colorful satin ribbon and elegant script create the more traditional style of wedding invitations. Yet in Maine, blessed with a scenic coastline, tranquil mountain lakes and acres of forest, things sometimes go beyond the traditional. Beach weddings conjure up images of sand, seashells, perhaps a bird or two. Lighthouse celebrations immortalize these slender columns of safety on embossed paper. Even whales get into the act, posing for artists to capture their leaping forms to fit on a nautically themed invitation. In Maine’s backcountry, Mr. Moose might pose for a lake-themed wedding invitation. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Maine Wedding Stationary from Beginning to End
The wedding invitation is the centerpiece of your wedding stationary. It sets the tone for your celebration, sort of a best-foot-forward moment. Ideally that invitation reflects your personality and style. Invitations include all the details of your wedding and give guests a heads up on whether to dress for the beach or put on the formal gown for an after-five high-end church wedding and reception.
Basic wedding invitations come with an outer envelope for mailing, which may be imprinted with your return address. Inside is a lined inner envelope that holds the actual invitation. Sometimes this liner, as well as other parts of the invitation, matches your wedding color/colors. Inside the invitation, at least for formal weddings, is a separate reception card. Last is the RSVP card and return envelope, usually self-addressed.
Other items in a wedding stationary package include save-the-date cards, engagement announcements and thank-you cards. These items are usually matching. Wedding menu cards, place cards, usually for more formal receptions, as well as favor boxes are also available.
Distinctively Maine Wedding Invitations
Maine wedding planners are adept at planning both traditional and themed weddings. Most have preferred wedding invitation designers that coordinate the stationary packages with the overall theme of the wedding. As an example, if you are exchanging vows on the grounds of a lighthouse, your stationary would reflect that. Beach weddings bring out some of the most unusual invitations, everything from “Invitation in a Bottle” where a small plastic bottle is sent with a rolled up invitation inside to a pouch of sand enclosed in a more traditional, yet beach themed invitation.
Some Maine photographers have branched out into creating wedding invitations. This works particularly well for themed weddings in scenic or unusual locations. If yours is a winter wedding at a resort that has a dog sled team, can you think of anything better than a shot with you and your significant other surrounded by the puppies? Or maybe you are getting married on one of Maine’s classic windjammers, followed by a reception at sea. A photo of one of these elegant ships embossed on your wedding invitation creates even more excitement.
Artists craft handmade invitations using dried Maine wildflowers, sand-encrusted calligraphy, bits of driftwood or tiny hand-glued shells. Dried pressed maple leaves are a hit for fall weddings. One of the funniest designs seen recently was two bold red Maine lobsters, facing each other and holding wedding rings in their claws. A similar design used blue crabs, both appearing to look at each other with loving intent. Lobster bake reception anyone?
Maine Wedding Invitations by Cyberspace
Are traditional wedding invitations becoming a thing of the past? No, but they are getting some heavy competition from cyberspace. One Downeast Maine based designer, Jessica Graham, creates digital wedding invitations complete with RSVP email tab. One wedding was taking place on one of Maine’s signature mountains. The design incorporated ski-lifts and a printable “ticket.” It is easy to imagine creating one of these for a wedding at one of Maine’s signature lighthouses, or on a vintage windjammer.
Another firm, Lasting Memories in Kittery, offers “Save the Date” videos that can be emailed around the country, or the world. Imagine being verbally asked to a wedding by the happy couple, via cyberspace. Isn’t 21st century technology grand?