Watercolor maps offer a way for the bride and groom to share their favorite restaurants and activities, as well as the location of the wedding and reception. Photo by Love Is Rad Co.

Ask the wedding expert: Katie Linck on pretty and personal details

Katie Linck. Photo courtesy Upstairs Paper Studio.

When it comes to weddings, it’s easy to get caught up in inspiration images. The key, though, is the “inspiration” portion. The pictures of overflowing dessert tables, creative place cards and other out-of-the-box details that are shared daily on Pinterest and Instagram are meant to be jumping-off points for pulling together your own big day. However, they aren’t meant to be re-created directly.

Because a wedding day is meant as an expression of the couple being celebrated, Katie Linck of Upstairs Paper Studio says it’s paramount to include small pieces that offer a glimpse into the bride and groom’s life together, rather than simply copying trendy décor. Everything relating to the day should make your guests think, “This is so them.” So why not start with the first things guests see: the invitations.

“A crest is such a special avenue for couples to get to show their own personality, and to include details for their story into the suite,” she says. “I love to talk with brides and their stories to find out what aspects will work their way into the crest–whether it’s bridal bouquet florals, activities the couple enjoys together, their pets or a detail from their venue.”

In addition, a personalized crest can make appearances both at festivities leading up to the big day, as well as in creative ways at the wedding. From printed on napkins and programs to embroidered on the ring bearer’s pillow, the ways in which the illustration can be incorporated are endless, and will immediately offer a uniquely personal touch.


Another way to elevate an invitation suite is to work with an artist on a map of the wedding location, even if the chosen space isn’t a faraway destination.

“A map is an aesthetically pleasing and practical way to give guests a layout of the city, along with the locations of the wedding and reception,” Linck explains. “Couples may want to include some sightseeing locations for out-of-town guests, or their favorite brunch spot. It’s another detail in the invitation suite which adds a personal element, along with a visual element. Together, it makes the suite extra special.”

Linck says the suite isn’t complete with the pieces inside the envelope, however. The addressing is yet another way to both set the tone for the style of the wedding, as well as make guests feel treasured.

“A sent invitation suite always communicates something to the guest,” she notes. “With hand-calligraphed envelopes, I believe it communicates the idea that each guest is special and not just another name on a list.”


Elevating the experience, the idea that someone took the time to carefully and artfully paint a name onto the invitation makes everything feel more intentional and special. And while guests likely won’t hold onto the envelope as a keepsake, the time and effort put into details as small as the address are sure to communicate the care put into the big day, and the excitement the bride and groom feel to have each individual guest present for their union.

Read more about Linck and the Upstairs Paper Studio in this story from the inRegister archives. And see more of her work, as well as information about commissions, at upstairspaperstudio.com.