Wedding Etiquette In The Digital Age

The rules of wedding etiquette are ever changing, especially nowadays. With the increase in social media and the overall digital presence, it has become more difficult for engaged couples to know how to navigate the rules. Here’s our two cents on the appropriate wedding etiquette in the digital age.

We’re Engaged!  

It’s the best day of your life - you’re engaged! Understandably, you probably want to shout it from the rooftops. However, refrain from immediately changing your Facebook status and posting to Instagram. This is a special moment in your life and you should share it with your close loved ones and friends before sending it out to the masses. We suggest calling your parents and best friends so they don’t hear about it from someone else first.

Time To Celebrate

Celebrating your engagement can be as formal or informal as you want. The old rule of thumb when it came to engagement party invitations was to send out a traditional invitation in the mail. However, with the increase in e-vites and Facebook invitations the norm has slightly changed.  If you’re having a casual, backyard engagement party a paper invitation might not be necessary (although still a nice touch!). A beautifully printed invitation is more appropriate if you’re having a more formal engagement party.

Save the Dates

Save the Dates are always special for guests to receive because it let’s them know you want them to be a part of your special day. Sending a physical Save the Date, rather than an email, is preferable because it gives your guests something to hold onto and serves as a reminder of your wedding day. Picture it on your fridge or bulletin board! We also recommend that you include your wedding website, and maybe even your wedding hashtag, on your Save the Date.

Wedding Website & #Hashtag

Creating a wedding website is a fun and easy, especially with all the free website platforms out there. You can customize your website to have a personal URL, pictures, and theme to suite you and your fiance. It’s also a convenient way to organize all your wedding day details and give your guests easy access to any information they may need. You can include your registry, wedding venue info/directions, wedding hashtag, and link your social media accounts so everything is in one place!  

When choosing your wedding hashtag, make sure it’s one that stands out! It’s common for couples to mashup their names or do a play on words that includes their names. For example, #HappilyEverAdams is more original and unique than #WeddingDay. You want your wedding hashtag to be your own and reflect you and your fiance.

Wedding Invitations

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it; sending a traditional wedding invitation in the mail will never go out of style. Sending a wedding invitation via email seems impersonal. Plus, planning your wedding is fun. Enjoy the process and work with a stationer to choose a wedding invitation suite that reflects your wedding style. A nice option to combine both worlds is to allow guests to RSVP by email or on your wedding website rather than RSVPing through the mail.   

We’re Married!

The big day is over and you’re finally married! It is extremely important to thank all of your guests for their gifts and for attending the wedding. Do not send out a mass email thanking everyone. Thank you’s should be handwritten with a thoughtful message on beautiful stationery. If you are changing your surname, this is the perfect opportunity to let everyone know!

At Fine Lines, we will guide you through the wedding process step by step until you have the perfect invitation for your big day. To accompany your wedding invitation, we provide calligraphy, addressing and mailing services. We also offer custom invitation ensemble items including: save the date cards, menu cards, direction cards, specialty envelopes, and more. Contact us for more information, (914) 232-4856.

 

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

In a time when communication is done through emails, text messages and even emojis, the art of letter writing has become a thing of the past. Although we have become consumed by our fast-paced, digital age there truly is nothing like a lovely, handwritten letter.  With April being National Card and Letter Writing Month, let’s take a minute to appreciate the lost art of letter writing. Here are five reasons we should all continue to write letters and handwritten cards:

1.     Handwritten Letters Are Personal

Laura Marks, founder and owner of Fine Lines of Katonah, has always said, "Letters written on fine paper bespeak a personal statement and a gracious elegance that an e-mail cannot possibly reproduce." And it couldn’t be more true! Opening a letter and recognizing a person’s handwriting is so much better than recognizing an email address in your inbox.

2.     Letters Show Your Sincerity

There is something to be said about taking the time to write a handwritten note.  No matter how short or long it may be, it rings true with sincerity.  It shows you took the time out of your day to think of someone else. It would be easy to send a quick text or email.  Writing a letter or note shows your appreciation.

3.     Preserve the English Language

Nowadays we rely on short, emotionless abbreviations and emojis to communicate. Whereas in the past, people would write heartfelt, lengthy letters to express how they felt. Take Beethoven’s beautifully written love letter, for example. He wrote, “Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, Be calm — love me — today — yesterday — what tearful longings for you — you — you — my life — my all — farewell. Oh continue to love me — never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.” Today, this would be texted as, “I <3 you” or “ILY.” How can you even compare the two? The English language can be so beautiful so let’s start putting it to good use!

4.     Receiving A Letter Is Like A Gift

In the midst of all the bills and junk mail we receive, it’s nice to get a letter from a family member or friend once in awhile. A handwritten note will brighten anyone’s day and bring a smile to their face. It’s always nice to be thought of by someone you care about!

5.     Letters Stand The Test of Time

Since letters are special they are worth saving. It’s always fun to look back at old love letters or notes you sent back and forth with friends. Reading letters from the past allows you to relive old times. It’s a trip down memory lane!

Feel inspired to whip out some pen and paper to write a loved one, friend, or colleague a letter? First, go out and purchase some beautiful stationery to match your lovely, thoughtful letter. Visit Fine Lines of Katonah and we can lead you to your perfect stationery.

Hats Off To Graduates! Celebrate Your Graduate’s Achievements with Fine Lines

With graduation season around the corner, now is the perfect time to begin planning celebrations.  Graduation—from high school, college, graduate school, or even kindergarten—is a major milestone and the perfect occasion to celebrate your graduate’s accomplishments. At Fine Lines, we make party planning easy by helping our customers select and design the perfect invitations to announce their celebrations. Want customized invitations in your graduate’s school colors? Have an idea for a theme, color scheme, or photo to incorporate? The expert team at Fine Lines will be happy to create or suggest invitations that will perfectly match your vision and theme.

Save the Date

If you are inviting friends or family from out of town, it is customary to send a Save The Date card in the months leading up to the celebrations. Here, you can include information about the celebration as well as the graduation ceremonies. The Save the Date can feature a photo of the graduate, or can be coordinated with the graduate’s school colors. Fine Lines also offers a range of fun, themed invitations to get your friends and family excited to share in the celebration.

Open House Parties

The most common graduation party is the Open House, which is typically held in the home of the graduate’s parents. These parties are larger celebrations for anyone in your circle to come together and celebrate the graduate’s achievements. Most Open House parties include fellow grads and their parents, as well as family friends.

Graduations are an exciting life event, and invitations for graduation parties are perfect keepsakes to remember your graduate’s special day. With that in mind, the Fine Lines team helps customers not only reach out to family and friends, but also create special mementos of your celebration. 

Let The Fine Lines Team Make Wedding Planning Even Easier

Fine Lines’ expert team will assist you with everything from designing your engagement announcement to addressing and mailing your wedding invitations. Don’t know where to start? Look no further!

Before The Wedding

Engagement Announcements

Traditionally, an engagement announcement is sent to friends and family soon after you are engaged. The engagement announcement is a chance to share your joy with others, and can feature a formal engagement photo, or simply a photo that the two of you love.

Engagement Party

Some couples kick off the celebrations with an engagement party hosted by their parents. The engagement party is a fun start to your wedding festivities, and a chance to gather your loved ones to celebrate the news. Let Fine Lines guide you and your family through the process. We’ll customize your invitation with the design and text that suits your unique style. We can also address and mail your invitations so you can focus on party planning!

Save-the-Dates

Once you’ve set a date, mailing save-the-dates will keep your family and friends updated on your plans and help them make arrangements in advance to join you in your celebration. Your save-the-dates can include other information as well, such as a link to your wedding blog or website. Save-the-dates do not need to match the rest of your stationery, so we can assist you in experimenting with colors and designs.

Bridal Showers

For the bride, the shower isn’t just a party, but a day she will remember forever. Let the invitation set the tone … theme, colors, menu. Your creativity can be expressed in the invitation. Have fun!

Getting Ready for The Big Day

Our team will not only customize your wedding invitations to match your color palette and theme, but we’ll also design menu cards, direction cards, website cards, and more. Our ensemble packages will ensure that your guests receive all the information they need in style, and even more importantly, give you more time for the celebration!



Fine Lines Stationer Celebrates 20 Years

By Eve Marx, Record Review

"There's nothing like a handwritten note," said Laura Marks, a proprietor of Fine Lines of Katonah, the printing service, stationer, wedding planner, and gift shop.  In September the store celebrated its 20th year of doing business in the hamlet of Katonah.  And after all this time, Ms. Marks believes there's nothing as special as handwritten correspondence.

Fine Lines opened for business in 1995.  "I knew the town because my children attended Katonah Playcare," Ms. Marks said, on a recent quiet Thursday morning in her store on Katonah Avenue.  "We lived in Mount Kisco, but I knew I wanted to open a stationery store in Katonah, and then an opportunity came up." Fine Lines originally opened in the space now occupied by the children and infant shop, & James.

"I opened the store when my younger son David was in preschool at Playcare.  It was fun because I'd close for 15 minutes when his session was over, and I'd bring him back to the store.  We had tons of toys in the store at the time.  That was the beginning," she said.

Business took off quickly because it was the heyday of the printed invitation.

"People used to send printed invitations to everything," Ms. Marks reminisced.  "It was a great time for fine stationery, and very soon after we opened, my husband, Barry, joined me in the business full time.  Bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, cocktail parties, divorce parties, day after brunches.  Every event in those days had a printed invitation.  And since it was the beginning of the years of the home computer, we also sold tons of laser friendly paper, so people could print their own invitations."

In 1999, needing more space, Fine Lines decided to make a move up the street.

"Then came the big flood, the hurricane," Ms. Marks said, referring to tropical storm Irene, which caused devastating flooding in the central business district.  "We had just moved in a few months earlier when the hurricane hit.  We had invested in this new store and then we were washed away."

She described the harrowing experience of being inside the store with her husband when the water came crashing in.  "We were trying to put our design books on a table because water was starting to leak inside.  Then the water crashed through the front window.  We ran to the back of the store, but we couldn't get out, the water level was so high.  We climbed a staircase that went up to a balcony and we were temporarily safe.  We called the police but they said they couldn't get to us.  It was terrifying."

Finally, the couple was able to escape out of the back of the store, but their ordeal wasn't over yet.  "We swam down to Bedford Road.  I'm not much of a swimmer, but Barry had been a lifeguard.  I remember swimming through the water and Barry warning me to watch out for a completely submerged car."  They made it safely to the Katonah firehouse, got a change of dry clothes, took shelter at the ambulance corps, and eventually found their way to one of their cars to drive home.

Ms. Marks said it took strength and courage to reopen the store.  For six months, they ran their business from a temporary location while their building underwent repairs.  "When the water crashed in, the floor collapsed and we had to rebuild the floor.  It was a devastating event, but it never occurred to us not to continue.  We loved our business and we loved being in this town."  The strong community support they received helped pull them through, she said.

The perennial importance of the handwritten note helped nurture their business back to health.  "If you're interviewing for a job at Morgan Stanley, you're going to send a handwritten note," Ms. Marks said.  There's also thank you notes, condolence notes.  Parents still do teach their children that in many circumstances, an email note is just not correct."

"The handwritten note is very important.  It shows thoughtfulness," says Ms. Marks.  To that end, Fine Lines sells boxed stationery and printed programs, place cards for weddings and menu cards.

The demand for personalized, printed invitations, especially for "big milestone events" such as weddings and bar mitzvahs is also a business mainstay, she said.  "The handwritten envelope is the one that catches your eye," she said.  Also she added, "People like to distinguish themselves with paper; they like to see it and feel it and have a conversation about the printing process.  We very much guide our customers through the entire process of creating a custom invitation.  We explain all the options, and if they have a theme, we help them design something to suit their vision."

The store also carries journals, pens, gift wrap, ribbon, gift bags, and an assortment of hostess gift items, such as soaps.

After 20 years, Ms. Marks said, the relationship with long-standing customers are what truly stands out.

"I feel like my customers are my friends.  I have the same customers who come in again and again.  It may start with a wedding and then the bar and bat mitzvahs.  We've become a part of people's families."

Even families that have relocated halfway around the world reach out for help with invitations and printed stationery.  "We hear over and over, 'We couldn't do this without you.'  We have customers who have moved to Hong Kong and Italy, but when they need a printed invitation, they still call us.  They know they can trust us to create anything from a printed invitation to a birth announcement to a holiday card, and help them convey the message they want to send out."

In January 2014, Barry Marks passed away after a valiant battle with cancer.  "I'm very happy that we are able to carry on what we started," Ms. Marks said.  "I think Barry would be very happy to know that we're still doing it." 

The Holiday Season is Coming! Start Planning Your Holiday Cards Now

With the holiday season quickly approaching, now is the time to begin brainstorming ideas for your holiday cards. At Fine Lines, you can choose from a wide array of elegant and eye-catching design options, and our team will customize your cards and invitations to ensure high-quality cards unique to you and your family.

Choose your photos

Start looking through your favorite photos, and relive your memories of the past year with your holiday card in mind. Consider the highlights and milestones of this year: Were you recently married? Did you snap a great shot of your kids building a snowman? Did your family take a fun vacation? If you don’t already have photos to choose from, now is the perfect time to use autumn’s vibrant colors as a backdrop for family photos. Once you have chosen a photo for your card, the experienced team at Fine Lines can help you choose layouts, printing options, and accessories to complement your photo. 

Let us help you design your cards or invitations

After selecting your photo, visit Fine Lines to put the finishing touches on your holiday card. Consult with design expert Laura Marks, and learn about Fine Lines’ many unique style options. We will work with you to choose the best cards for your personal style and budget. We also offer custom gift tags and return address stickers to make your holiday season even easier.  Are you planning any holiday parties? Fine Lines will customize your invitations, and we offer expert design consultations that will ensure that your invitations match your personal style and specific needs.

Fine Line’s excellent customer service, attention to detail, and personal touches will make your holiday card process fun, festive, and easy.