10 Awesome Wedding Escort Card Ideas

It’s May – which means LOTS of weddings just around the corner! For those of you searching for some inspiration for your wedding day stationery, I thought I’d round up a few favorite escort card ideas!


1. Beautiful watercolor escort tags by Blue Eye Brown Eye Calligraphy

2. Forest green painterly brushstroke + gold ink escort card tags by Anne Robin Calligraphy 

3. Escort cards paired with boutonnieres for guests! Dreamed up by the ladies of Karson Butler Events with calligraphy by Meant to Be Calligraphy / Photo by Jodi Miller Photography via Style Me Pretty

4. White calligraphy + kraft paper is the perfect combination for a garden party wedding! Event design by True Event with floral design by Petal Floral Design / Photo by Judy Pak Photography via Style Me Pretty

5. Feather shaped escort cards paired with gemstones! / Photo via Snippet & Ink

6. Mini scroll escort cards by The Aerialist Press / Photo by Delbarr Moradi via Martha Stewart Weddings

7. Square escort cards with rosemary sprigs against a dark wood background by Carissa Jones

8. This bow + arrow escort card display is bananas in the best possible way! Arrows by Mineral + Matter with calligraphy by Curlicue Designs / Photo by Rebekah Westover via Ruffled

9. Color dipped escort cards with gold ink by Wild Hart Paper Co

10. Mini envelope escort cards by A Fabulous Fete

Brick + Mortar Q + A: Perfecting your Stationery Show Booth


Illustration by Emily McDowell for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Dear Emily, 

I was sketching out booth designs for the National Stationery Show and had a few questions (see below!)

xoxo, Sarah

Parrott Design Studio

1. Do you find it helpful to label the card category (eg Birthday, Thank You) above/near the cards?

NSS 2014: The Paper Cub via Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Paper Cub uses their own signature lettering in a larger size, making it well branded and easy to read!

Labeling cards by category is a great idea, but make sure it integrates well into your booth. It should be well branded with the rest of your booth design, not a messy/half-done afterthought. These labels are your table of contents, and act as your megaphone (Hey! These are the cards/accessories I sell! Come in for a closer look) so use type that’s large enough to read if I’m standing in the aisle. Also, don’t feel constricted to the normal categories. Birthday, Thank You, Baby, Wedding, Sympathy are all important, but if you have an unusual category let us know what you call it, that can start a conversation. If you don’t create cards in traditional categories, think of this as a reminder to highlight or embolden your line in smaller sub-groups, so that buyers can view it in bite-size chunks.

2. I have never highlighted what is new and what is a best seller, but I found I was constantly pointing them out to buyers. Is it helpful for buyers to see this or is it a better idea to highlight these categories in their own section? 

NSS 2014: Fugu Fugu Press via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Fugu Fugu Press highlights new additions on their stickers with a different color, the perfect visual cue to buyers.

It’s a good idea to highlight new and best seller cards for obvious reasons, but I would be careful that these tags don’t become visual clutter. I like little flags/stickers that note new cards cards because this shows you’re coming up with fresh content. Noting “best sellers” may be smart, if you’ve done a significant volume of sales. But if you’ve never sold wholesale before, or only have a few stockists, it may be a subjective/possibly irrelevant distinction to the buyers you meet at the Stationery Show. By telling me what a best seller is, you’re giving a recommendation, so make sure you’re confident. I would always recommend a small sticker or flag next to the card, rather than creating a whole section to note new or best sellers. A mailer or email is a great way to send me a visual of all new cards, but at the Stationery Show, I want to see all of your birthday cards together, because I’m comparing them against each other to make my selections.

3.  A lot of exhibitors are taking orders digitally. I still love writing out an order and feel like too much can go wrong at the Javits (wonky wifi, computer error), etc. As a buyer, do you like leaving a booth with a physical piece of paper/receipt, or are you happy with an emailed order?  Or does it really matter as long as we take the order quickly and correctly?

It doesn’t really matter. Do the system you’re most comfortable with and do it well. I don’t care if you give me paper that I throw away, I do care if you lose my order. If you are doing digital orders, I would suggest sending an email confirmation asap. I’m making a lot of orders and I don’t remember what I ordered a day later, especially if there’s no physical record, this can lead to confusion a month later when my order arrives. If you are taking the order by hand, do your best to make it clear. Many of the paper orders I get are so messy, I can’t tell what I’ve ordered based on what vendors write down. Which ever way you do it, get it to the retailer clearly and as quickly as possible. (If you do go digital, it’s probably not a bad idea to have a backup system, just in case!)

4. Show Specials – I remember you asking me if I had one last year (I did not) and you were trying to maximize specials at the show and would order from me after if I didn’t have one (and you did!). I am thinking of offering one this year as I think it would help with not only new orders, but re-orders. We have been talking about this on the Tradeshow Bootcamp forum on Facebook and we all seem to agree they are a good thing!

I just think show specials are smart. They are a marketing tool. They serve as: 1) a nice way to say “hey, this is a special time, thanks for coming out!” 2) a good incentive for a buyer who is on the fence about placing an order at the show, or 3) A great way to make existing retailers take their credit card out again. If I know I’ll be buying from you later in the year, I’ll certainly do it now with financial incentive. I talked about show specials in this post, but essentially, I think there are two smart specials: 1) Free shipping 2) A percentage off or free product for buying a little more. How do you decide what this should be? Look at your average order – is it $200, then make the incentive 10% off for orders over $250; or order $250 and get $25 in free product; or order 12 dozen cards get 6 cards free. In other words, you’re giving me a benefit, while giving me the incentive to order a little more than I might normally. Different incentives will appeal to different retailers. If you have a handful you trust, why not ask them now what they’d respond to at the show? (I would love to know some of the ideas that you’ve discussed in Tradeshow Bootcamp!)

5. I would love to hear if you have further thoughts on how booths are laid out and what you, as a buyer, find helpful when you have a million booths to see and what makes shopping a breeze!

Well, since you asked, I do have a few:

  • I would really encourage sellers to display their cards without sleeves this year. I know you run the risk of getting them damaged, but it just looks so much better.
  • Please make your booth numbers easy to read. Consider a nice, bold font that can been seen from at least several booths away.
  • Showcase your work. To me, this means framing your prints and showing your accessories in use. Your booth is a mini-shop, merchandise it!

National Stationery Show 2014: Gingiber via Oh So Beautiful Paper

Gingiber’s pillows are stuffed and cozy and her prints are framed so you can picture them on your walls.

National Stationery Show 2014: Blackbird Letterpress via Oh So Beautiful Paper

I think we can all agree, it’s helpful to see the Blackbird Letterpress 3D cut + fold vehicles when they’re actually put together.

  • Find a place for calm within your booth: Maybe it’s one wall with just your name or a large counter with nothing on it. In a day, I see thousands of cards, prints and accessories. My eyes are exhausted. Smart blank spaces will stand out more than anything. Your deep blue wall from the Stationery Show last year is a great example of this:

National Stationery Show 2014: Parrott Design Studio via Oh So Beautiful Paper

  • Finally, do that thing you’re excited about and a little afraid of doing. You know your line and your aesthetic better than anyone else. When in doubt, when you’re sleep deprived and questioning everything, ask yourself: what you I best? What do I love doing? Then trust it. Add it in to your booth, or pump up an element that seems to be working. You’ll love it, and you’ll be memorable because of it.

All images swiped from Nole’s prior National Stationery Show recaps. They’re great, I’d totally suggest perusing them now. See you in a few weeks!

xo Emily

Hello Brick & Mortar: Real Customers, Merry & Bright

Ed Note: I can’t imagine a better way to sign off for the holidays than with this beautiful post from Emily – with real cards carefully picked out by very real people. I’ll be back next week with my annual “best of” round up and a couple of New Year’s posts, and with brand new content on January 5! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! xoxo – Nole

It’s Christmas Eve! I love this day almost more than Christmas itself, all of the anticipation of tomorrow just bursts today. But I’ll be honest, this shop owner is also very, very ready to settle down for a long winter’s nap. I’ve had a wonderfully full and exciting year, due in large part to many of you who egg me on and share the best conversations and questions. This will my fifth holiday owning Clementine. I know that holiday magic waits behind so many tiny moments: sneaky emails, hiding presents, surreptitious returns to purchase that little gift a loved one adored.  I’m totally exhausted, but equally hooked on the bits of magic that flutter through this season, I hope wherever you are, a bit flutters to you. ~ Emily of Clementine.

OSBP-Hello-Brick-and-Mortar-Clementine-by-Emily-McDowell-IllustrationIllustration by Emily McDowell for Oh So Beautiful Paper

In the past, I have asked customers to hold their card up as they purchase it and tell me where the cards are headed. This year, we are all so rushed, I asked instead for a simple image of the card and story about it’s recipient.

From Nan: I used the box set of cards to send a little bit of Middlebury love to some of my best friends who go to other colleges who I haven’t seen in a while. It’s the perfect personalized note to let them know I’m thinking of them this Christmas season. 


{Merry Christmas With Love from Middlebury ~ Custom Designed cards by Parrot Design Studio}

From Susan: I’m sending this to my Manhattan friend. We have sort of a tongue in cheek “city mouse/country mouse” joke so I love sending her cards that remind me of her hustle and bustle neighborhood. She, in return, sends me cards of farm animals and generally bucolic images…


{Swiss Cottage Designs Christmas on Main Street}

From Chenoa: This card is going to one of our favorite people who cares for our daughter every day. We truly couldn’t live without her. 


{Rifle Paper Co. Snow Globe}

From John: I’m putting together a collection of cards from your store for my wife. She’ll love them all, these are especially beautiful. 


{Peace Wreath and Succulent Wreath by Hartland Brooklyn.}

From Sas: I sent this postcard to my dear friend in Brooklyn; she’s the only person I know who gets into the holidays the way I do! I love that the scene on the card feels like a snapshot of rural Vermont!


{Rifle Paper Co. Holiday Scene Post Card}

From Emily (that’s me!): I chose these diagramed snowmen for my son’s preschool teachers and friends because I love that they take the jolly holiday spirit of a snowman and break them down into their fun little bits. They remind me of all of the toddler activities his teachers so thoughtfully design – taking each craft piecemeal and creating something wonderful. OSBPEmilyGCT

{Girls Can Tell Snowman}

From Meg: My husband and I don’t give each other gifts for the holidays. Instead, on Christmas Day we leave notes for each other and treat ourselves to a delicious homemade chili.


{Pearl & Marmalade’s I want to hibernate with you!}

Sarah purchased a little stack of cards for her employees, a mix of holiday and thank you cards. Like many of you, Sarah is running a small business and knows that the greatest holiday sentiment at this exhausted holiday moment is thanks! From Sarah: This card, among the others, is for the amazing hard work my employees did this year. We would have never gotten here without every one of them. 


{Seriously Thank You Times a Million from Emily McDowell}

I’ll take a tiny breather here to say that this final story is a bit more tender. In other words, it makes me cry every time I read it. But in a good way, and I hope it hits you in a good way too. Stephanie and I have followed each others lives, without ever meeting, after becoming far-away friends on instagram almost three years ago. I tucked a card in to her order last year with no idea how it would follow their life story. This year has been momentous for Stephanie, I am lucky to be the tiniest snowflake in her story and to get to watch this family grow. From Stephanie: Last year I admired the Dear Santa stationary from afar. My husband and I didn’t have children, and at the time, weren’t planning to, but the idea of it was so sweet. I made an order from Emily’s shop and she slipped the Dear Santa card into my order. I squealed when I opened it. It was precious.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 4.31.34 PM

{Dear Santa by Printerette photographed here with another favorite, Parrot Design’s From the Desk of Santa}

When we unexpectedly found out in January that I was pregnant I pulled the Dear Santa Letter out of the Christmas stuff. I wanted to have it for our baby girl’s first Christmas. We named her Wright. At 18 weeks she was diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality that was terminal. We spent the next 6 weeks waiting to go into labor though we knew she wouldn’t be born alive.  For many reasons I never got around to putting the Dear Santa letter away. In late summer we had another unexpected event; a distant family member called, asking us to adopt her 2 year old son. We said yes.

On September 14th, C landed at JFK to the waiting arms of my husband. As we began Advent, I found the Dear Santa letter among Wright’s things, and with profound awareness of how complex and fantastic the year had been my husband, C, and I sat down to write our first letter to Santa as a family. Far more tearfully and joyfully than I expected – we mailed it from Macy’s on 34th Street – with our deep grief in our hearts and our overwhelming miracle in our arms.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 5.36.17 PM

{Dear Santa, Printerette Press)

Wherever you are I hope your hearts are full and your holidays are bright. Even if you’re slogging through some of your days, I hope you catch a little bit of the magic too.  May you hug, laugh and create as much as possible. Merriest of holidays to you all and a Happy New Year! xoxo, Emily

Wedding Stationery Inspiration: Dark Botanicals

Just because fall and winter are approaching does not mean that our bright colors and obsessions with florals need to suffer. Choose saturated colors, bright tones, and gemstone hues, add a touch of moody black or blue, and you have yourself some gorgeous inspiration to transition into the cooler months. I really love the look of this wedding party. The mismatched floral prints, darker colors, and bohemian vibes… so let’s see how that would translate into day-of wedding stationery. – Lauren


Image by Studio Castillero via Green Wedding Shoes


Guestbook via The Paper Walrus


Wedding program via Wedding Paper Divas (left) // Julie Wilhite Photography via Gypsy Floral and Events (right)

dark-botanical-wedding-inspration-6Image by Katie Pritchard via Green Wedding Shoes


Table numbers by Kim Smith-Miller via McKenzie Powell Floral and Event Design


Envelope liners (would be gorgeous for escort cards) by Oak & Orchid


Jen Fariello Photography via The Knot (left) // Ashley Kelemen via Wedding Sparrow (right)

Embroidery and Millinery Wedding Invitation Inspiration

As promised, I’m back with more from the talented Kristy Rice of Momental Designs from her shoot at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina! Kristy was inspired by cross-stitch embroidery and vintage millinery details to create two very different – but incredibly beautiful – wedding invitation designs that suit the antique beauty of the estate. Kristy incorporated an incredible level of detail into her designs, from watercolor cross-stitch inspired artwork to floral appliqués. Gorgeous!


From Kristy: This embroidery-inspired invitation reinterprets the look of cross stitch in watercolor and pattern.

 Punchy blooms are made up of tiny watercolor “x” shapes in shades of coral, poppy, blue, and greens. The invitation is stretched into a copper painted embroidery hoop – all presented in a round box filled with fresh moss and tied up with white silk Dupioni ribbon.



With acres of forest woven throughout the property to include restaurants, shops and a winery, a hand-drawn map was a necessity for the navigation of guests. Although George Vanderbilt constructed a stately home with miles of landscaping ingenuity, his desire to live in the simplicity of the North Carolina mountains inspired me to instill this nature-inspired approach in my artwork.





Next up – an invitation suite inspired by vintage millinery details!


This invitation suite was inspired by vintage millinery and paper blooms in a beautiful bridal bouquet. Delicate rice paper magnolia blooms feature button centers and vintage millinery stamens. Sweet beaded strawberries peek out from behind the bloom. The invitation was hand painted in shades of fresh greens, gold, and white to mimic the textures of iconic oil paintings.






Thanks so much Kristy!

Design and Hand Painted Stationery: Momental Designs

Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy

Venue: Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers and the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: With Love and Embers