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Getting married? Helping a friend plan their wedding? Your invitations are very important because they represent people’s first impression of the wedding.

To help you design something special stationery queen Christina Re (who has worked with Naomi Watts, Milla Jovovich, Nicole Kidman and Megan Gale) has these tips.

* Take time to write a checklist of all the items you wish to include in you wedding stationery. Work back from the wedding timeline for posting each item, and then start designing the invitation.

* My favourite way to become inspired by a new project is to create a mood
board. Collect favourite pictures, photographs, patterns, motifs and paper swatches and arrange on a pin board. You will be surprised how quickly your ideas come to life.

* A hand-delivered invitation is always a special touch. In some regions of
Europe, young couples accompanied by their parents, often travel great
distances to visit family and friends, delivering each and every wedding
invitation in person. This method of delivery is also ideal for delicate,
hand-crafted items.

* If you are printing onto a layer where you will be punching holes, print a dot where you intend to punch. This little trick will save you lots of time in marking the right spot each time.

* To make paper styling easier and more precise, I use templates to create
decorative shapes and bomboniere. For a neat finish, always remember to
print, trace or photocopy the template onto the reverse side of the paper.
Then fold inwards so that all the dotted lines and trim marks are concealed.

* Petal-toss cones are a charming keepsake for wedding guests. Once unrolled they can also double as ceremony programs or even little fans on a hot summer’s day. If you wish, print a favourite poem or verse on the inside of the cone and allow guests to be pleasantly surprised as the worlds unravel and the petals tumble out.

* Make a complete mock-up of your invitation first to check spelling and
alignment before printing and cutting the entire set of invitations. Always
print extra copies to allow for little mistakes and never rush.

* Bird and butterfly decorations make a charming addition to floral
arrangements. Take samples of your favourite paper design to your florist
for inspiration. A talented florist will match your flowers to those in the
patters and use the same pastel shades in your bouquets and
table centrepieces.

* To give meaning and add sentiment to your wedding stationery, include
poetry or inspirational quotations. Add them to ceremony booklets and place
cards, or print them on the inside of bomboniere or petal cones to create
treasured keepsakes for guests.

* The pure simplicity of a white or crème colour palette allows for infinite variations of texture, light and shade. Experiment with layers of textured pearlescent, flocked or transparent papers for a subtle yet striking effect.

* My key stationery trends for 2009/2010 are strong black and white colour combinations and lace will still remain dominant in design.

To visit Christina Re’s website – www.cristinare.com/