Atlanta-based author, television talk show host and game show star Steve Harvey adds a very important line to his resume later this year: Father of the Bride.
In keeping with the interactive nature of “Family Feud,” where he charms the competing families while keeping the audience laughing, Harvey wants YOUR help in choosing which invitation is perfect for the wedding of his daughter Karli.
The hilarious host also invites your input regarding other aspects of the wedding planning, such as the bachelor and bachelorette party destinations, the song that should be played during the Father-Daughter Dance. (Cast your vote here).
What’s not up for debate, though, is who will create the one-of-a-kind invitations. Harrison Rohr of Exquisite Stationery in Buckhead, has been tasked with that job. Exactly which design will be used is where the public gets to weigh in.
“I’m very fortunate,” Rohr said. “I want it to be perfect.”
The former director of catering for the St. Regis hotel in Buckhead, Rohr opened his store, at 480 E Paces Ferry Road (right next to the restaurant Aria), about two years ago. Furnished with chic yet cozy seating with plenty of open space to compare designs, the shop is appointment-only so that each client receives personal attention.
“I wanted a place to feel comforting,” he said. “I wanted it to feel like home.”
Rohr, who uses a Cartier rollerball on heavy ivory cards with his name letterpresses in charcoal for his personal correspondence, honed his attention to detail while overseeing elegant events at the St. Regis. There were times, though, when sourcing the perfect invitations seemed more difficult than it should have been.
“I think we can make this better,” he remembers thinking. Then he proved it.
Atlanta businesswoman and philanthropist Su So-Longman was one of his first clients.
“Harrison created the most intriguing invitations for a birthday party I threw for a friend of mine at St. Regis a few years ago,” she said. “The invitations by themselves were the talk of town for the creativity and the sheer beauty of them. Harrison has this innate gift of translating a client’ vision and making it far superior. His professionalism, his vision and his creativity can be matched by no one.”
Sally Dorsey has worked with him on business card and party-invitation projects.
“When the mail comes with an invite he has done, even before it’s opened, I know it was produced by Exquisite,” Dorsey said. “He is an amazing talent and so humble about it. His work is meticulous and stunning.
“Our fist job together was a invitation I was putting together for Shepherd Center’s Legendary Patron Party. It was perfect, and we have done a dozen or so jobs since then,” Dorsey continued. “I would venture to say he is the best stationer in the Southeast.”
Marlene Alexander has known Rohr for years.
“I first became familar with Harrison’s style of work when he was at the St. Regis Atlanta,” she said. “His attention to detail, creativity, business sense, and exceptional service – I knew when he started this venture that those qualities would go with him, and flourish in an environment of his own making. I have come to trust that when it really needs to be special and personal that Harrison is the right person to work with on stationary. There is a lot of stationery out there, but Harrison’s are unique, beautiful pieces of me. I have trusted Harrison with my wedding invitations, holiday cards, and my personal stationery as well as other small pieces. His creastions are not simply a hallmark. They evoke the spirit of ther person they are created for. You cannot put a price on that.”
Noted Patti Dickey, “It’s always a treat to receive an envelope by Harrison because you know that the card or invitation inside is a visual feast!”
Tony Conway, CEO of Legendary Events, has collaborated with Rohr in the past.
“I’m currently working with Harrison on a couple of stationery projects and each time I have the opportunity it’s always a great experience,” Conway said. “His creativity and attention to detail make the project so much easier. Our clients are demanding and he gets that! His company is named perfectly: Exquisite!”
Rohr has enjoyed the transition from hotel catering to his own business, albeit one that serves something of a niche market.
“A ton of people said, ‘Aren’t you nervous about going into a business that’s going away?'” he mused.
Indeed, a Crain’s Chicago Business report from 2011 charted trends associated with many consumers’ preference for online greetings: Annual first-class mail volume had plummeted by 43 billion pieces a year over the past five years, total first-class mail volume had dropped 25 percent during that time and single pieces, such as letters, Christmas cards or invitations, had dropped by 36 percent.
At the same time, the number of stationery stores had dropped by 25 to 30 percent.
Rohr has succeeded despite those numbers, by focusing on providing unmatched service to an exacting segment of consumers.
“There are times when an Evite is appropriate,” he said. “People are always going to want to feel, touch, see and hold onto luscious card stock, especially when it’s been engraved. Anytime you have anything that’s heartfelt to say, be it a thank you or an invitation to a party, coming in a note that’s handwritten communicates that it’s heartfelt.”
And that’s certainly the case with weddings, whether the bride is famous or not.
“Despite the ubiquity of technological communication,” Rohr said, “when it comes to wedding invitations, they’re going traditional.”