WILKES-BARRE — Northeastern Pennsylvania pride and work ethic received notice on the other side of the country as two area companies worked in tandem to produce wedding invitations for Jessica Simpson’s big day earlier this month.
On July 5, Jessica Simpson wed Eric Johnson, former tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California. The pre-wedding preparations for the recording artist, actress, television personality and fashion designer involved both Momental Designs of Wyoming and Corcoran Printing of Wilkes-Barre.
The artistic design of the invitation package was handled by Kristy Rice’s team at Momental Designs. The hand-painted stationery with watercolor washes made each of the 175 invitation suites, 40 rehearsal invitation suites, 175 seating cards, 75 place cards, 185 dinner menus, 70 rehearsal dinner menus and place cards, and 25 table numbers, unique and different.
The invitations featured gold foil printing with custom calligraphy. The edges were torn to resemble the famous wall paper scene in the modern adaptation of Great Expectations, starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow.
“Presented in a floral pattern, hand-painted box, each invite features a pocket holding a lace upholstered events booklet,” Rice said. “The invite was a visual expression of various textures, soft colors and shimmery painted brushstrokes. Truly each was a unique work of art.”
The invitations recently were shown in People Magazine’s July edition.
Corcoran Printing received the order to produce the gold stamping component for wedding invitations and response cards, and silver stamping for rehearsal dinner invitations.
When the high end, rush order came through in late May, Carrie Philbin, inside sales representative for Corcoran Printing, was the first to see it.
“We knew it was for a celebrity but not who,” Philbin said.
Before the identity of the customer was revealed, both companies and their employees had to sign a confidential disclosure, keeping the project a secret, said Bill Corcoran, owner of Corcoran Printing.
The disclosure prohibited all those working on the project from discussing it or revealing any details about it until the news was officially released to a national publication. People Magazine’s recent edition popped the champagne cork and released the details of Simpson’s wedding.
“It is the first job for a celebrity we ever handled,” Philbin said. “I was definitely shocked to see who it was for.”
Rice said her team guessed for weeks on who the new mystery client might be.
“Finding out we were working with Jessica Simpson was quite the moment,” Rice said. “All at once the team was full of excitement but also immediately overcome with a bit of nervous energy.”
Once the celebrity’s identity became known, a buzz went through Corcoran Printing.
“It was exciting,” Corcoran said. “We have done work for national companies but never a celebrity.”
With the skills and equipment necessary to make the specialized stamping, Corcoran said his company, “is one of the few company’s that can do this” type of work.
When Rice was researching a company to do the foil stamping for the invitations, Corcoran Printing came up in her Google search, Philbin said.
“She was surprised to find a local company that could do the work,” Corcoran said.
Philbin said Momental Designs was contacted by Simpson’s wedding planner Mindy Weiss in October. Corcoran Printing received the order for the foil stamping close to Memorial Day weekend.
“I was surprised it was so close to the wedding date,” Corcoran said.
Rolling up their sleeves and getting down to business, Corcoran said his staff completed the order within four days.
“It was an honor to work with her (Rice),” Corcoran said. “It was a very satisfying experience.”