Even at the very first meeting with a wedding couple, I am already thinking about the postage. Why? Because there are so many design possibilities - and stories to tell - with vintage stamps.
The decision to use vintage stamps needs to be made at the beginning of the process for a variety of reasons.
1. Whether you do it on your own or with a stamp curator, the sizes of multiple stamps have to be considered with the size, weight and shape of the envelope. We do a physical mock up and take it to the post office (sometimes more than once) to make sure that we are absolutely covered.
2. The calligrapher will need to know the stamp layout as well. Many lettering styles have mixed sizes and scales, orientations can be varied (I love diagonal, just saying), and then there's the ink color. We consider all of this when thinking about the stamps.
3. The face value of vintage stamps remains the same: an 11 cent stamp still has 11 cents of value on the envelope. However, if it is a rarer stamp, it will certainly be more expensive. Good news: not every single envelope has to be the same.
4. We work on a theme and build from there. Can be where each of the couple are from; can indicate where they met; can hint at the wedding location; can indicate a shared passion...well, you get what I'm saying.
5. Make sure that the vintage stamps are unused!
The color palette and nautical theme were woven through out the conversations and the wedding suite. I thought it would be fun for you to hear from the bride in her own words how some of the selections were made:
"Every invitation had a navy service medal stamp as a color anchor and nod to the Americana of Newport. Grace Kelly was known to have spent time at Castle Hill Inn while shooting a movie and a spot on the property is now officially named "Grace Kelly Beach". Also my husband's mother grew up with the Kelly family in Philadelphia and was especially close to her brother Jack. Grace's timeless elegance in the stamp felt so perfectly Newport.
The Audubon blue bird stamps are one of my favorite stamps, ever. The birds depicted in the stamp, as well as the beautiful script felt like another perfect touch of elegance and balanced out the composition of the stamp suite.
Some envelopes had a Connecticut statehood stamp as that's where we live.
On the reply cards, I used the beautiful Edward Hopper stamps featuring his painting "The Long Leg." Having grown up sailing, this painting actually captures much of my memories of being out on the water with my family. I remember when these stamps were issued in 2011 that it was so beautiful I would have to use it for something special in the future. They are a beautiful touch to our navy and gold suite."
And that, dear people, is a love story in stamps.