• Elise Hofer Shaw


Updated: Mar 16, 2020

Smitten has been a West Loop wedding staple for 12 years and counting, a go-to for everything from custom invitations to well-edited gifts for engagement parties, showers and more. “Couples will come in for their wedding save-the-dates and invitations because that’s what we’re best known for, but we can also customize menus, napkins, programs, matchbooks, coasters, welcome bags, embroidered hats, koozies—you name it!,” says Smitten owner Kirstin Martin.

For spring 2020, Smitten’s Creative Director of Invitations, Erin Quinn, is calling out clever uses of vellum as a hot trend. “Bella Figura, one of our most creative design partners, just released its 2020 collection, and the vellum iterations are definitely rising to the top,” says Quinn. “Vellum takes a static invite and turns it into an experience. There’s something unmistakably romantic about the soft layering, and interacting with an invitation by opening a gatefold, slipping off a belly band or swinging aside an overlay.”

Here, Martin and Quinn walk us through their favorite uses for vellum across your spring wedding stationary.


“I much prefer a grommeted vellum overlay over a basic flat overlay,” says Quinn. “The latter used to be the norm, but the sheet could get lost. When the vellum layer is single-grommeted to the invitation it acts like a hinge—you absolutely have to interact with it, and move it out of the way to reveal the invitation, but it’s still attached. We’ve seen some couples flip the script, too, opting to print the invitation on the vellum and use an anchoring image as the backdrop.”

Photo credit: Carina Skrobecki and Stylist Cozbi Jean for Bella Figura


“A pocket fold has been around for a long time, but a vellum gatefold veils the invitation without masking it,” says Martin. “Plus, you can get fancy by embellishing it with a wax seal or a ribbon for added oomph and romance. Floral prints are quite popular, too. Plus, people want something that’s Instagram-able or will work well for a flat-lay shoot, and vellum gives that cool reveal and the richness of a layering effect.”

Photo credit: Carina Skrobecki and Stylist Cozbi Jean for Bella Figura


“There’s nothing quite so soft and delicate as a vellum belly band,” says Martin. “Recently, we worked with a couple who wanted to print a watercolor landscape of where their destination wedding ceremony was taking place in Colorado. The mother of the groom painted it, and we printed it on the vellum belly band. The end result was both romantic and personal—and their guests loved it!”

photo credit: David Wittig - Birch Design Studio

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