My Paper Anniversary Story: How One Bride Planned Beyond the Wedding Day

Commissioned essay for the Paper and Packaging Board.

Some brides-to-be know exactly what they want their wedding dress to look like – and some know it years before anyone gets down on one knee and asks them that big question. They have a first song selected, a signature cocktail in mind, and are already eyeing up the best venues. Me? Um, not so much.

But there was one thing I knew I always wanted: my wedding invitation, beautifully framed and hung up on a wall in my house. I have no idea why. My best guess is that maybe someone I once babysat for had one, and I always thought it was a neat idea. Anyhow, when it came time to plan my own wedding, I knew whatever invitation I chose had to be something special, because it would ultimately end up on display.

I think knowing that allowed me to go a bit in the over-the-top direction with our stationery. It definitely ended up being one of our “splurge” areas. Because our wedding was held in Washington, D.C., we had a custom skyline of the city’s monuments designed, which was featured on our save-the-dates and invitations’  main envelope. We even had a separate reception card come in its own tiny gold envelope. And letterpress? Oh, yes.

When our one-year wedding anniversary drew near, celebrating the tradition of giving each other “paper” couldn’t have been easier. We carefully put our invitation and its various parts into a folder, and headed off to a local frame shop. They helped us choose a frame and lay out the pieces. It wasn’t cheap, but it was our gift to ourselves, and we were so pleased with the results. It’s our very own custom work of art that reminds us each and every day of our most special day.

Cindy Clark Kramer is a writer and paper enthusiast who lives in Washington, D.C.