Vanessa Kooby


Having worked in the stationery industry since 1987, I know what is trendy, what is timeless, and what is proper in the paper world. Let me share some of my knowledge with you.

Feel free to email me questions or suggestions for topics.

Using Titles on Wedding Invitations and Wedding Envelopes


One of the most complex and, yes, ANNOYING topics of discussion with brides these days involves titles. Social mores and formality has changed so much over the last two decades, that a simple “Mr. and Mrs.” doesn’t cut it anymore! Women have titles and they want to be identifiable as an independent entity, unbound, and yet oftentimes part of a couple.


Frequently I am told, while writing up a classic wedding invitation order:

“I want my mother’s name on my wedding invitation.” The first few times I broke tradition and either dropped all titles, or did some weird version of half of the names with titles…and others without, I was a bit uneasy. As time went by, I became more and more comfortable with the new etiquette. I do feel it is my obligation to educate my wedding customers on what was deemed proper in the past, but now with an open mind, acknowledging that the invitation needs to reflect the personality of the specific couple.



When addressing wedding envelopes, the same conundrum surfaces. While a “traditional” bride might still send out an ecru invitation engraved with black ink, she questions the usage of “Mr. and Mrs.” on the front of each envelope. Guest names and their titles run the gamut.



Consistency is no longer a true concern. It is more important to capture the essence of the wedding guest, and how they would like to be referred to. A classic example of this would be an envelope addressed to a widow. Traditionally, a widow would be referred to and “Mrs. Walter Lipton” on a handwritten envelope. Currently most women would like to have their own first name used, either with “Mrs.” or “Ms”.


The use of “Ms.” Is now universally accepted and preferred for single and married women receiving an invitation for themselves alone. The feeling is that is it less offensive to suggest that a woman’s marital status determines her worth.


Single sex couples much prefer having their names stacked on one envelope. It is insulting them to receive separate invitations if they live at the same address.


Gone is the use of the title “Master” for young boys. The association of the word “Master” is too unpleasant and outdated. “Miss” for some young girls, still sounds socially acceptable, but it is optional.



When addressing wedding invitation envelopes, I think the best rule of thumb is to consider the feelings of your guests, while remaining comfortable with the tenor of the situation. Common sense and courtesy have replaced “the rules” and paved the way for the new age wedding. I am over it!


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Large Invitations

This has been the year of the large invitation. Clients want BIG! A couple who comes in looking for something unique and bold, often finds that an oversized invitation does the trick.


We did an iridescent green and black invitation that measures 8” by 10”, and used a font that resembled that of the dollar for a boy who is a coin and rare bill collector.


Gold and big is also in! A Brazilian bride informed us that bigger was also better in her native country, and after an exhaustive search acquiesced to a crane royalty size invitation in two languages.


It is time to make a statement, and paper is the right vehicle. Don’t be shy, say it BIG and get ready to party!

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The All “New” Blacker and Kooby!

Blacker and Kooby is back and going strong. We have been reincarnated as Blacker and Kooby by Vanessa, and once again we are full retail with the merchandise you have been missing.


Our shelves are well stocked with art supplies, school and home office supplies, leather goods and bags, readers, greeting cards, boxed stationery, elegant clocks, watches, fine pens, and colorful markers. If you are looking for a hostess or baby gift, you don’t have to go to midtown. Avoid traffic, avoid the UN bottleneck, shop local!


…and we have an excellent personalized printing department!

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