Natalie + Doug – Nathan Tuft Park and Flatbread Pizza, Somerville, MA

We have had some pretty fabulous couples over the years, but when Natalie explained her reception was going to be in a bowling alley…I thought this couple has to be fun! The Flatbread Company is a rustic, meets vintage, meets whimsical bowling spot, which was a perfect fit for Natalie and Doug…but even better because their first date was at this very place!

Before all of the “real fun” happened, this happy couple officially became husband and wife at Nathan Tuft Park in Somerville, MA. It turned out there was not one cloud in the sky that day, so their ceremony, under the shaded oaks and beautiful driftwood arbor, was a picture perfect day.  Rain or shine this ceremony was designed to be intimate and laid back.  There were mason jars with flowers hanging on the aisle chairs (which came from their friend’s farm), paper-wheels adorning the arbor and beautiful handmade programs.  Guests arrived by trolley and another very nice touch, which we LOVED (quite frankly, so did their guests), was that they were greeted with delicious treats upon arrival to their morning ceremony…cider donuts, iced tea, lemonade and coffee!  Such a sweet and thoughtful gesture!

Once the ceremony was over, the trolley’s transported the guests over to Flatbread Company, formerly Sacco’s Bowl Haven.  Guests were greeted at the welcome table with a guest book, a “seat yourself” sign, a box for guests to leave their Mad Libs (which were custom made and found at each placesetting with a bowling pencil) and an adorable, rustic suitcase for cards.

Then as they entered the bowling area there were custom score sheets and socks for the ladies so everyone  could start bowling, mingling, and celebrating the new couple!  Guest tables were very thoughtfully arranged as well.  Each table had a gray chevron table square, bowling pins, paper wheels on a dowel in a bud vase.

When the guests were starting to get full from Flatbread’s organic dishes, the newlyweds asked everyone to, “grab a prop and strike a pose” at their photo booth. These snapshots were destined for success with mustaches, glasses, chalkboards, chalk and eraser, paper flowers, paper ampersand, and an all you need is love sign.  No detail was left unturned. This couple was the epidemy of “do it yourself” and they did it in a fun, creative, colorful, thoughtful way, playing on the fun factor all the way.

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Event Coordination: The Day Of

Ceremony: Nathan Tufts Park

Reception: Flatbread Pizza

Rentals: New England Country Rentals

Hair: Lindsay Griffin Boston Hairstylist 

Makeup: Kerri Herlihy

Photography: Katie Noble Photo

Transportation: A Formal Affair Limousine, Inc



I know you have a lot to think about besides invitations, but if you are able to relax and imagine what you truly want them to look like, you will be able to create invitations that are original and compatible with your wedding. You want your invitations to be something that you CAN NOT WAIT for your loved ones to receive and be proud of.

1. Does your wedding have a symbol, theme, or color palette ?

Invitations are the perfect way to introduce your guests to the theme of your wedding. If you are going to have a specific symbol or “logo” you can use it to create a consistent look with your wedding materials.  Something to keep in mind when selecting your palette…pastel or yellow text colors are difficult to read, so try to work with contrasting colors between the invitation and text you choose to use.

2. Are you including all of the costs?

You are in good standing if your invitations take up 4%, maybe 7% of your wedding budget.  Depending on your expectations and last minute details, you might have to add in some unexpected costs.  It is important to be knowledgeable about the costs associated with particular typefaces, pocket folds, or multiple layers.  Just those three additions alone will be an additional cost to your invitations.  Oh, and the heavier and more details that you choose, the heavier the envelope is going to be, which adds costs to your postage.  We know that you probably can’t wait to drop your wedding invitations at the post office, but weighing a sample invitation (enclosures and all) is a MUST!  This could save you less “to-dos” and headaches later on in your planning.  Trust us, the last thing you want is deal with return mail and having to put rush orders on your invites, as we know, it is important that guests can RSVP on time.

3. What do you include on the invitation?

Keep the information simple for your guests. Who, what, when and where!  If you prefer specific attire at your wedding, you can include a dress code in the lower right-hand corner of the invitation or on a reception card; “black-tie,” “cocktail attire” or “casual attire”.  Since your invitation sets the tone of your wedding, it is another hint for your guests on how they should dress.  You may want to consider an information page where there will be directions, local hotels, or even great coffee shops in the area.  Lastly, if you plan to provide transportation for your guests, this is a good time to find out who will be using it and will help you with the planning and contracting of the transportation.

4. Do you care about paper texture, or thickness?

There are many different textures and thicknesses that you can choose from. The better the quality, the higher the price point. Determining the importance of the paper quality ahead of time will help keep your decision making and budgeting on track.

Bamboo paper: An eco-friendly paper made from bamboo. It’s very soft and thick, and ideal for letterpress printing.

Beveled edge: The slanted edge of heavier stocks that shows the thickness and dimension of the invitation; oftentimes, it’s edge-painted.

Corrugated: Thick wrinkles, ridges and grooves that give paper a cardboard look.

Cotton fiber: A type of paper most often made from 100 percent cotton.  It’s arguably the most traditional option for wedding invitations.

Glassine: A very thin, waxy paper similar to vellum (see below), with a slick, shiny surface. It’s best suited for envelopes or liners rather than actual invitations because of its delicate nature.

Industrial papers: Often made from recycled fibers, industrial papers have a rugged, hip look. Corrugated cardboard and brown kraft paper are examples.

Jacquard: Screen-printed paper that creates an illusion of layering (think: paper that looks like it’s overlaid with a swatch of lace).

Linen finish: A paper type with a surface that’s grainier than pure cotton stocks and resembles the look and feel of cloth linens. Another classic choice for wedding invitations.

Marbled paper: Decorative paper (you can use it for your liner) marked with swirling patterns, similar to the surface of marble.

Rice paper: A thin, soft paper that isn’t actually made from rice but from other fibers, including mulberry and hemp.  Stick to letterpress (see Printing Techniques and Terms) with this paper.

Variegated: A term that describes the look of certain paper that has discreet hints of different colors (almost like a paper with watercolor swirls all over it).

Vellum: Paper made from a cotton blend, with a translucent, frosted appearance and a smooth finish (feels like plastic). Vellum is sturdy enough to be printed on and can be used for the actual invitation.

Watermark: A translucent emblem in fine paper that’s visible only when the paper is held up to light. A watermark denotes superb quality, signifying the exclusivity of the paper company or boutique.

 ~The Knot

4 1/2. What type of printing method do you prefer?

Types of Printing:

Digital: Digital printing refers to a printing method where a computer controls a color or laser copier or inkjet printer. The resulting product is flat printed and the quality varies due the different output devices used.

Offset/Lithography: Offset printing/Lithography is a high quality printing technique in which the ink is used to transfer the image on to the paper using a printing press. The result is a flat printed image. The advantage is that very specific colors can be used and duplicated

Engraving: In engraving, a metal die with an impression cut into the surface is filled with an opaque engraving ink then pressed against paper creating raised areas of the paper coated with ink. Engraving creates the raised surface on the front of the paper while also inking it. This method is of the highest quality and is in the high price range.

Thermography: A printing technique similar in looks to engraving, at a more moderate price. The result is a raised ink image with a shiny texture.

Hot Stamping: Hot Stamping is a dry printing method in which a heated die and foil are used to apply graphics to a surface.

Foil Imprinting: Foil stamping is a special kind of printing procedure where heat, pressure, and a metallic paper (foil) is used to create different shiny designs and graphics on your invitations.

Embossing: Plates are pressed against the surface of the paper to leave an impression of text and/or decoration on the invitation. The pressure raises the surface adding a new dimension to the paper.

~The Knot

5. Do you hire a calligrapher?

In my opinion, if it is in your budget I say GO FOR IT! You spend months upon months putting all of these special details into your wedding that your guests will see eventually.


Invitations written by a calligrapher will really present elegance to your wedding, and set a personalized tone. If this represents the spirit of your wedding, then calligraphy may just be the way to go. There are calligraphers out there whose script is so artful and unique quality that it would be impossible to achieve on a computer. And let’s face it, how many occasions do you have the pleasure of using the art of calligraphy?


Overall, calligraphy is more time sensitive and more expensive.  You will need to prepare more spare envelopes for the calligrapher to allow for mistakes. After all, human error is a reality when doing calligraphy.  Skilled calligraphers may charge anywhere from $2 to $10 per piece, and this can add up quickly depending on the number of people invited. Time is another reason. Calligraphers can only work so fast!  You also need to book them well in advance during high wedding season.  Also you are going to want to double and triple check the invitations, because like I have said before, we are only human. Even though they are highly skilled at what they do, you still want to make sure all of your information is correct.

6. How far in advance do I contact one?

AT LEAST 10 weeks prior to your wedding. Please take note that I capitalized, underlined, colored and put a bold font on AT LEAST.  You will find with calligraphers that if you give them your orders after that 10 week period, it will be considered a rush order, along with additional fees.

61/2. Are there ways around calligraphy?

In order to balance the cost and the quality of a calligraphy wedding invitation, you can consider hiring a calligrapher to write one card for you. You can then hire a printer to scan the writings for you and have it printed. In this case you can still get a real calligraphy with a lower cost.  If you don’t want to hire one period, we all have that one really artsy cousin or friend who can write one out for you then you can scan/print that from there.

7. How many invitations do you order?

Keep in mind that the amount you order is not the number of guests that you’d like to invite. The number is actually the number of households to which the invitations will be sent, so this may or may not cut down your number.  In addition to the 15% extra envelopes for any errors in addressing if you decide to use a calligrapher, order an extra 10-12% in case you decide to have B-List guest.  Most importantly you are going to want to send them to your vendors, so they can have another idea of the feel of your wedding and so your photographer can grab some early shots!

8. When do you send them?

Wedding invite etiquette tells us that you should have your invites in the mail 6 weeks prior to your ceremony, and it is best if you give 8 weeks for your long distance guests.

9.  Did you review one last time?

I don’t think I mentioned double checking your information, so I figured I should list it as my last step (slight sarcastic voice). It is very easy when you are looking at hundreds of invitations at a time to overlook a misspelled word or an incorrect address. After a while no matter how much you adore your invitations they are all going to look the same.

 The best words of advice that I can send all of you brides to be off with is: Be Knowledgeable…Be Realistic…TRIPLE CHECK…And remember once they are sent out there is no turning back, so trust your decisions and BE HAPPY with your designs!

Some vocab that you might hear while designing your invitations:

Tooth: Refers to the paper’s feel — the more tooth a paper has, the rougher and more textured it is.

Motif: A reoccurring theme, image or design used throughout your wedding details, including your invitations and other wedding paper (it’s sometimes referred to as a “dingbat”).

Initial cap: A term for the exaggerated, oversize first letter of a word you’ll sometimes see used in lavish calligraphy or as a decorative typeface. Also known as a “drop cap.”


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