Computers can do a lot. But, to raise an age old question, just because they can do so much, should they? So many people leave the greatest parts of their lives in the hands of electronics. Having a party? Send an e-vite. Walking down memory lane? Scroll Facebook for photos. Trying to think of that poem read at graduation? Comb the net.
When we’re talking about life’s biggest moments, however, shouldn’t more of our senses be involved?
“Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long, forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a – it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It’s-it’s there and then it’s gone. If it’s to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um, smelly.” — Anthony Head as Rupert Giles
Yes, Giles is talking about books and I’m talking about party accents, but the sentiment translates. Some events just demand to be heard, held, and, yes, smelled for all time.
I Invite You to Make Memories
I admit e-vites have their appeal: they’re easy, inexpensive, and green. But paper invitations tell a more complete story.
First, they let the recipient know he is special. As in, he is not just another member of your Google contacts. But that’s really the least said by paper invites. They also paint a picture of the sender — her tastes and style — and give hints about the celebration to come — formal, funky, dance all night. Is the lettering embossed or foil-stamped, metallic ink or CMYK? Does the paper have texture? Single-color or patterned envelope liners?
Want to really make your personality shine through? Consider the Oberon Suite, invitations printed on timber(!) from Akimbo. Or (remember when I mentioned memories that can be heard) check out the functioning PAPER RECORD PLAYER invitation designed by Kelli Anderson.
Show Off Your Gourmet Style
When did you last eat at a restaurant and go on to wax poetic about their menus? Exactly. Restaurants make food, not style statements, so why would you charge them with printing the menu for your graduation bash? Like invitations, menus are a great way to infuse your event with, well, you! Minted offers a fun selection of original designs for presenting the evening’s fare, and beyond.
More Than Just a Pretty Face
If the idea of being green is holding you back when it comes to paper correspondence and party accessories, give some thought to items that do double duty. Thanks to companies such as Bloomin’ and Botanical Paper Works, if it’s a paper product, they can make it grow. Made out of seed paper, invitations, place cards, confetti, and more are designed to give your guests the means to plant wildflowers or herbs. Love it!
For an outdoor gathering, give your guests the gift of comfort with paper fans. Not just any paper fan. Use the flat space to print scavenger hunt items for little party-goers, make a list of photo suggestions, bits of trivia about the person being honored or the holiday celebrated. You could even go really wild and make your paper fan/ceremony program out of seed paper. Mind blow.
When the party is over and the guests go home, they’ll have more than just gigabytes of memories. They’ll have an invitation to scrapbook, a menu perfumed with a bit of that amazing barbeque sauce, or a window box of kitchen herbs. And they’ll have a bit of you.
Photo credits” Sarah Parrot, Zazzle, akimbodesign, Minted,and Botanical Paper Works.