When it comes to custom paper, Evelyn Miller’s locally-owned Epitome Papers can do it all. Their timeless, sophisticated, and creative designs have been pleasing customers since the early 2000’s. While we’ve highlighted Epitome before — check out their Vendor of the Week — we sat down with Evelyn again to find out just what makes up a paper suite, how the business has changed with the pandemic, and why paper should be here to stay.
WHAT “CUSTOM” REALLY MEANS
People hear “custom”, but what does it really mean. In three words, freedom for creativity, “We work exclusively custom so our couples can create any type of style they are looking for. If we haven’t done it before doesn’t mean we can’t do it! We love researching new materials, printing methods, and ideas to make each invitation suite unique to the couple,” says Evelyn. This means all types of couples come in for invites, from preppy to modern, traditional to trendy. The best part of a custom invite is the way in which couples can make them unique to their love story, “Having custom artwork created especially for the couple, whether it is an illustrated map of all the places the couple loves to go, or a portrait of their pet for a specialized cocktail menu, [these are just some ways we can personalize their paper elements.] It is something the couple can treasure even after the wedding is over as their own personalized art piece.”
WHAT EXACTLY IS A PAPER SUITE?
As Evelyn explains, a paper suite really depends on the couple and what they want. “It really varies from couple to couple, but the typical wedding paper suite is: Invitation with an outer envelope, RSVP with or without an envelope, and a details card. We also do Save the Dates, menus, programs, escort/place cards, signage (seating chart, welcome sign etc.), thank you cards, personalized napkins/gift tags and more!”
HOW COVID HAS CHANGED INVITES
The pandemic has affected many businesses, among them, stationers. Evelyn tells us, “COVID has massively impacted our business and the stationery world in general! One way is that the unpredictability of USPS causes us to extend timelines to ensure guests receive invitations in a timely fashion to rsvp. Also, we can no longer provide the option of personalized stamps so vintage stamps have become quite popular. Plus, many of our vendors have reduced what they supply to cut costs on their end, so we have been looking at different avenues to make sure our couples are still getting what they want.”
Other than how it’s affecting the business, some of the paper elements have also changed, to allow for last-minute changes, if need be, “The biggest thing that has changed is the RSVP and/or details card. Couples have been adding their website to the details card to direct their guests in case there are any COVID-related changes. Or the couple directs guests to RSVP through their website instead of through the mail as USPS has been having issues with predictable timeframes. As always, I never recommend putting your website on the actual invitation! It’s always best to have it on your RSVP or details card. It keeps your invitation from becoming less formal and gives your guests a little cheat sheet they can keep with them and not worry about damaging the main invite.”
THE FUTURE OF WEDDING INVITES
While months ago we talked about Change the Dates (a play on Save the Dates that became a trend when couples needed to postpone their events), Evelyn tells us Epitome Papers is doing fewer of those as couples are looking forward to celebrations in 2021. “We are in the big season of Save the Dates for 2021 weddings and in full swing for Holiday Cards. Luckily, the remaining couples who have weddings in 2020 have been able to size down their guest list to move forward with their original date.”
As for the future of paper, it’s no surprise that Evelyn has great reasons why she sees that it will stand the test of time, and that, as a wedding element, it isn’t going anywhere. “In this crazy time getting something special in the mail is SO IMPORTANT! Whenever I get a card or invitation I can’t help but do a little happy dance! The guests you are choosing to still be a part of your wedding are truly special, why not give them that little gift months before your wedding even happens?”
And another reason makes one realize the benefits of having smaller events these days, because with the need for fewer invites, “you really can expand your horizons for what you can create with your invitations! Have a custom illustration done, have your invitations come in a box with a ribbon, add personal calligraphy for each guest, the sky is the limit! With the smaller guest count you can go for these luxury options without the spend you would have for a guest count of 250+.” Who knew a pandemic that could have canceled everything, has now forced couples to get more creative than ever before! Epitome Papers is sure to work closely with you to get the paper suite that you need.