Written by on June 2, 2011 in Wedding Ideas - No comments

Serving as a wedding officiant in New York represents the culmination, or confluence, of many lifelong interests. I have always been keen to hear about the wedding plans of friends (or strangers). My love of cultures, poetry, and religion found a home in ceremony writing. Likewise, my passion as a wedding officiant and Life-Cycle Celebrant, allows me to fuss over flowers, fashions, architecture, jewelry, decorations, and more—including my long time love: paper and fine cards. Whether selected at a fine store or made by hand, a beautiful card charms any bridal couple or individual or family engaged in a celebration or rite of passage.

Although sending cards and letters has fallen out of favor in our contemporary world dominated by Twitter, emails, texts and IMs, “snail mail” is still my preferred method of communication, if possible. I truly believe that handmade cards and papers are gifts in and of themselves, beyond any message or accompanying gift. Although I live in one of America’s most culturally and artistically rich cities, I am continually underwhelmed with my selection of paper products. Yes, there are still a few nifty merchants including Kate’s Paperie and Il Papiro, as well as nonprofits including my favorite Eco Africa which sells handmade paper, cards, and gifts made by a women’s artistic community in Zimbabwe.  But, I remain on the lookout for such retailers.

This long introduction brings me to applaud one of my favorite card and gift stores Ajandekpole, a tiny little storefront in Budapest, Hungary. As my boyfriend is from Budapest, we return regularly. Visiting this tiny little spot is always on my short list of “must sees” (which, I suppose says something of my current social life). In any event, I am delighted to find cards unlike any others I am able to buy in New York or, frankly, anywhere that I wander. This store, filled with fantastic cards for all parts of my Celebrancy work plus sweet, wonderful gifts galore, lifts my spirits no matter what. The woman shopkeeper is always friendly but speaks very little English. Today I came upon an English-speaking young man behind the counter. It turns out that Peter is the son of the lady shopkeeper. He asked why I might be buying wedding cards in such volume, which was an invitation for me to launch into a recitation about my work, as well as my long-standing affection for Ajandekpole. The conversation opening also allowed me to show him an exuberant blog posting that I did about their shop after my Christmas visit a few months ago (viewed with difficulty on my BlackBerry, of course). I must say that the Hungarians are typically reserved people who typically aren’t drawn into my inane American chatter. Yet, I was truly delighted when he was interested in my essay and forwarded it to his Mother the shopkeeper. I was even happier to learn that it was his Aunt who was responsible for these fantastic wedding cards! How heartwarming to know that this was a family project, and one that I can bring to my clients in New York.

About the Author

As a professional ceremony officiants I believe in the power and effectiveness of ceremony and ritual to serve basic needs, both of society and you as an individual. In close collaboration with you and your loved ones, I love to create and perform personalized ceremonies that reflect your beliefs, your philosophy of life, and your personality.

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