This story originally appeared in the 2015 Kitsap Wedding Guide.
Wedding invitations are just about as different as are brides and grooms.
Just ask Stephanie Hughes.
“There is no normal anymore,” Hughes said. “Brides and grooms are free to create and use any invitation they want.”
And to facilitate that, Hughes puts her graphic design talents to work with custom papers she has in store at her business, Paper Quirks.
Once a date is chosen, and a location set, brides and grooms come to her and start talking.
“They tell me what they’re thinking and we take a look at what other couples have done,” she said. “If they can explain (the concept) to me, I can make it.”
Papers can be solid colors, metallic and prints. The “chalk board” look is popular and colors that are trendy are corals, shades of gray and blue and muted color.
“Bright colors aren’t being used that much anymore,” she said. “And thank goodness the Tiffany blue phase is over.”
Many couples are opting to include their photograph on the invitation, and the simple single fold invitation is rarely used. Tri-folds, or invitations that open like a package are in. Graphics and typography is the focus.
As for what’s said on the invitation, it’s a lot more informal, she said.
“The names of the parents aren’t used that often anymore, unless it’s young brides who want to show respect to their parents who are paying for the wedding,” Hughes said. “Most couples are using wording that means something to them.”
On average, invitations cost from $1.50 to $2.25 per person.
Save-the-date cards are popular, especially for couples who are planning their weddings in advance. Often couples will use postcards.
“One couple I worked with used 12 small tiles on their card with photos of things that told their story,” she said. “They had a picture of their Airstream travel-trailer, their hairless cat and a football team that meant something to them. Then they just listed the date at the bottom of the card.”
A bundle of 150 cards cost them $103.
Hughes will also design invitations and put them on discs to be printed elsewhere, if the couple wants.
“I know some couples are on tight budgets,” she said. “We work on getting something that looks really wonderful and then it will print on a lesser quality paper nicely.”
While Hughes will do all the work for the bride, some brides like to make their own invitations. Hughes has a classroom in the back of her store where the bride and friends can do that if they want.
“Things seem to be more relaxed and not so fancy anymore,” she said. “It usually follows what the economy is doing.”
Hughes also paints personalized wood signs for use at weddings and receptions using the chalk paint process.
Hughes and her husband, Nate, moved to the Poulsbo area from Utah about four years ago. She grew up in the area and wanted to return to be near family. Her husband is a software developer and works for Disney in Seattle. They have a son, 5, and a daughter who is in college.
After making invitations and paper wedding flowers and selling them online, Hughes decided to open a retail store last November. The store is at 18657 Highway 305, Suite 7, in Poulsbo.
She stocks supplies for paper crafts including scrapbook paper, chalk paint, signs, some small painted furniture, and an array of crafty items such as pendants and magnets made from bottle caps.
To schedule a time to create a personal wedding invitation, call her at 206-858-3191.