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About 13 years ago I entered into the world of catering.  I was in between careers and always loved event planning & cooking and at that time, there were no high end caterers in Louisville. 

I happened upon this great little shop, First Impressions Fine Stationary and Engraving, that was very near my house.  I needed business cards and letterhead and wanted pretty stuff.  Marsa Cornell and her husband Don sat down with me and went over everything that I needed to really be a heavy hitter in the entertaining world of Louisville.  Not the big stuff; the small parties, the clients that only wanted the best and then she introduced me to the very best in the business.  Marsa's motto was that a business card was the very first thing that you told your clients about you.  It was what you wanted them to know from the beginning and it needed to reflect your philosophy and be your emissary, your ambassador.  We designed gorgeous engraved cards, matching letterhead and invoice paper.  They truly were fantastic.  Since then I have been to her frequently for personal stationary, Steven's stationary, my sister's wedding invitations, my wedding invitations, school awards and graduation programs, and for any business advice they had to offer and they are like family.  They also are now the largest engraver in the country after a recent purchase of Jenner Engraving.  Their client list has always read like a who's who is the world with clients like the Princess of Saudi Arabia, the Reagan's, the Bush's, and while we were there planning our wedding invitation, a package arrived from the Obama's.  They know their craft, to say the least.  

Fine stationary (especially engraved stationary) is a dying art in the U.S.  In an age of technology, hand written cards and letters are really not used much anymore.  Everyone can create an invitation from their computer and print from home so why bother?  While printing from home certainly has it's advantages, it does not have the feel of an engraved invitation at all.  To hold the weight of the paper or card in your hand, to feel the raised print, the embossed edges of a seal is a great tactile pleasure.  And one that sets the tone of an event or message immediately.  It is such a gracious and civilized thing.  I miss the days of handwritten notes and letters.  I have saved all of my handwritten notes from the years.  To go back and see letters in someone's own hand is a great joy and feels so much more personal to me than emails.

Marni Rothschild Photography

Most recently, I have had the profound (and long awaited) pleasure of designing wedding invitations with Steven and all of the accouterments that go with that affair; menus, place cards, thank you cards, announcements, the whole nine yards.  Steven designed the leaf symbol that was used on all of it (an unexpected recurring theme for the day) and they created a die to engrave it and matched the ink color of the leaf to our wedding colors.  They will all be framed, you can be sure.  Simply stunning, timeless work and so special to the two of us, which is what it is supposed to be. 

I wish for all of you lots of lovely stationary and cards with hand written notes of love awaiting you in your mailboxes in the upcoming months.  If you haven't received any, go check out Marsa and Don's place and have her create something beautiful for you.  And then send me something.  You know I love that stuff!  




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  1. I found your blog today, Jennifer, and am thrilled to see a photo of your place card with my calligraphy. It is wonderful to know the story behind that leaf, which I was just admiring today. I'd love to have permission to use the photo of the place card on my wedding blog.

  2. Of course!! They were just stunning! I have lots of other photos of them also. If you would send me your email address to, I will send you the rest of them! Thanks again for such beautiful work!!