Romona arrives at Jubilee Invitations and Party Supplies in Solon to make some last-minute additions to her guest list. Owner Cheryl Williams and her staff not only ordered the WKYC-TV 3 anchorwoman's invitations, but they assembled, addressed and mailed them to her 150 or so guests — a surprisingly small number given the bride's high-profile job and popularity in the Cleveland area.
"I never wanted a large wedding," Romona says. "My wedding is really all about family and friends."
Just because she's planning a relatively intimate wedding, however, doesn't mean the bride settled for plain white or ivory invitations. Inspiration struck while she was at home watching a talk show one December morning.
"I saw these beautiful invitations in a box," she remembers as she stands at the cash register. "I knew they were made in New York, but I didn't catch who made them. I wrote the show, but no one wrote me back. So I went on a desperate hunt to find invitations in a box. Someone referred me to Cheryl."
When searches of Internet sites and sample books failed to yield exactly what Romona was looking for, Williams suggested the pair design a boxed invitation of their own. A standard custom invitation was ordered from Elite Personalized Creations in Waynesboro, Pa., that reflected Romona's wedding colors: a metallic pearl Swiss-dot cardstock square with red script mounted on a larger, 8-by-8-inch metallic crimson cardstock square, then tied at the left edge with lengths of crimson and white Swiss-dot organza ribbon.
Williams then ordered standard white handkerchief boxes, simple containers just like Romona wanted, that proved to be a perfect fit for the invitations. Each invitation was slipped between a folded sheet of ironed nonwoven tissue — a clothlike, wrinkle-resistant alternative to regular tissue paper — and placed at the bottom of a box. The box tops were lined with the same crimson cardstock used in the invitations. Reception and response cards, envelopes, folded maps and sheets of hotel information were neatly bundled and tied to the inside of the box tops with a piece of crimson organza ribbon inserted through holes in the cardstock — a clever move that eliminated digging through multiple pieces of paper just to get to the invitations. Finally, the assembled boxes were wrapped in a metallic crimson cardstock band, then preprinted Swiss-dot vellum address and return labels were affixed to them.
According to Romona, the time, effort and expense wasn't a waste.
"Normally, you think people throw away invitations," she says. "Everyone I talk to plans on saving theirs and displaying it somewhere in their home."