Together, we worked on a design that really captured the feel of their wedding day:
Congrats, Colleen & Mike!
Colleen & Mike had plans for a gorgeous, winter wonderland wedding earn this January. To give their guests a glimpse of the monochromatic beauty of their wedding, Colleen had a very clear vision of what her wedding invitations should look like.
Together, we worked on a design that really captured the feel of their wedding day:
The couple even chose a matching envelope seal to finish off their invitations.
Congrats, Colleen & Mike!
If you recall my first post about Colleen & Mike, they are doing a winter wonderland wedding in January 2012.
I gave them three samples, here they are again:
With these three options, the couple chose features they liked from each sample and created their own, unique winter wonderland wedding invitation, complete with snowflakes.
After their wedding, I will post photos of the complete set (since I don't think they want Internet creepers making guest appearances on their special day). But in the spirit of the upcoming winter weather, I wanted to give you a little peak of their final, winter wonderland wedding invitations:
Congrats again to you, Colleen & Mike! Praying that you have a fantastic winter wedding and may the months leading up to your day be stress-free and full of fond memories!
Last Month, my cousin and I went on a road trip to Iowa for a printer's fair. I was lucky enough to have her come along with me, so I decided to be all fancy and stay in an old mansion-turned-B&B, the Candlelight manor:
You're probably wondering what this old mansion has to do with printing ... absolutely nothing. It was just awesome enough to add to this blog.
Anyway, at the printer's fair, I snagged this ah-mah-zing deco border:
Isn't it lovely? And, it was brand new. I have some fun ideas for this in the future, now that I've worked with it, but this weekend I had some serious plans for it.
This summer, I worked with a bride who had an October wedding with sapphire-colored dresses and I had promised to make her some letterpress thank you cards. You probably know where this is going ...
After a few setups, many configurations of the text and a few alignment corrections, 100 thank you cards were born:
Ta-da! The finished product:
Hopefully by the end of this month, I should have a small Etsy store up and running with thank you cards, note cards, gift tags, etc. Stay tuned!
My best friend is a true vintage lover (and vintage snob -- she even has her own vintage Etsy shop) and she knows of my love for everything vintage: My house, my printing press, my jewelry, my husband, etc. Before my wedding, she politely asked me if there was anything vintage I would like as a wedding gift. Actually, I think she specifically asked me if there was any vintage Pyrex I wanted as a wedding gift. :) My response? Heck yes!!!
She knew my kitchen would have aqua accents, and being the vintage snob she is, she found a perfect condition aqua Butterprint Pyrex Cinderella nesting bowls.
So what do aqua Butterprint Pyrex Cinderella nesting bowls look like? Well, here they are (these aren't my exact bowls, I found this image via Google):
Aren't they lovely?! That blue is amazing. Plus, the have handy handles that double as spouts.
For some, vintage might be an insult. But to me, it was touching. My friend took the time to inquire, spent time searching and gave me a gift I use every single day. Really, I do use at least one of these bowls each day.
Plus, they look great in my kitchen buffet (when the kitchen is clean):
See them there? On the right?
Anyway, if you know a bride that likes vintage, feel free to ask her if she would like something specific! Chances are, she doesn't have anything vintage on her registry. Or, maybe just ask her if there is anything not listed on her registry that she would enjoy as a wedding gift.
Chances are, she will be thrilled you asked!
What do you think? Would you ask a bride if there was something off her registry that she would like? How would you feel if someone asked you if there was something specific you would like?
Writing thank you notes may seem like a stale, outdated tradition, but the importance of writing these is huge.
The art of writing a good thank you note has gone by the wayside as the Internet and email has developed. Think about it, you can probably be your own psychic and predict exactly what that thank you note in your mailbox is going to say:
"Thanks so much for the ___________. We are so grateful! Can't wait to see you at the wedding."
"Thank you for the _______/$$$. That was so thoughtful. It was great having you at the wedding"
Okay, I get it. Writing thank yous can be a pain, and not the most exciting way to spend your Friday night, but here are some tips on how to write a great thank you.
#1 Choose the right tools
Find a stationary that you like! It doesn't have to match your invitations, or your wedding colors. You will probably have left over stationary, so you will want to use it later on. Feel free to spoil yourself with some nice stuff. Then, test out a few pens. You want something that flows nicely and won't run out of ink mid-thank you.
#2 Set a limit
If you are like me, you will want to crank out all of your thank yous in one day. Well, don't. They will become burdensome and you won't enjoy the process. Try to write 10 or so a day, maybe while you drink your glass of wine at night, or with your morning tea.
#3 Be specific
As you write the thank you, tell your guests exactly what you will use their gift for. "Thank you so much for the slow cooker. It's such a helpful kitchen accessory since we are both working full-time jobs. I always loved your pot roast you made in your slow cooker for Christmas!" Or if you have received money, tell them what you will use it for. "We really appreciate your generous gift. It will be such a blessing this spring when we plan on making some improvements to our house." If you can, try to include a memory of them at the wedding.
#4 Send them out soon
Try to get them out asap after the wedding. If you know the list of attending guests, you could start writing out the addresses on the envelopes before the wedding. This will save you a step later on.
#5 Enjoy it!
Don't think of this process as a burden. Each of these people took the time to attend your wedding (or send you a gift), searched for a gift or generously gave you a check or cash. So, take a few minutes thanking each of them for the generosity and their blessing on your marriage.
Yes ... in a sense.
Anytime you opt for something custom: dress, cake, furniture, car, etc., it's going to have a higher price tag than something you would pull off the rack or purchase at a store. There is a lot more work put into anything custom, and the creator will take a lot more time ensuring that they have created a product you love. Wedding invitations are no different. However, there are ways to still get custom invitations and stick to your budget. Here are four easy ways to to keep costs within your budget and still achieve a custom look:
#1 Choose white envelopes
White envelopes will always be clean and classic. As much fun as bright colors, metallic, clear and patterned envelopes can be, they do cost more. Sometimes a color envelope will only be $25 more than the white, but other times, they can be hundreds more. So, to keep yourself on budget, choose a classic!
#2 Opt for a rectangular invitations
You may have seen square invitations (or other shapes) and they certainly are lovely! Depending on what route you go, they could cost more to create, but they also cost more to mail. Yep, postage can be sneaky and not everyone knows that a square envelope will cost you more at the post office than a rectangle envelope.
#3 Go with the Postcard Invitation Anatomy
With this structure of your invitations, you won't have to pay for an additional envelope. That right there will save you a bit. In addition, postage for a postcard is cheaper than postage for an envelope. Right now, postage for a standard envelope is $0.44, and postage for a postcard is $0.28. You can see a detailed version on the invitation anatomy page.
#4 Get an envelope seal or stamp
After writing out dozens and dozens of invitations myself, I wish I had gone this route. Ultimately, the least expensive way to do your return address on your invitations is to hand write them. But after designing more invitations, I always offer getting the envelopes printed with the return address (so all you have to do is write out each guest's address), or go with an envelope stamp or seal. The stamp and seal is generally about $125 cheaper than getting the envelopes printed. However, the added benefit to printing the envelope is that you can add additional designs to the envelope.
Every couple is different and wants a unique feel for their wedding invitations. You don't have to choose all of these options to keep your budget on track, but choosing one or two will help you stick to your financial goal!
In my opinion (this is a blog, after all), stamps for your wedding invitations don't always have to be the ever-expected "love" or roses. You can make it something fun. As I always remind couples, invitations are the first glimpse into your wedding that your guests will see. If you plan on having a traditional wedding, by all means, use the roses. Otherwise, here are some fun option USPS has right now:
Marrying a marine or other nautical enthusiast? Then these would be a nice nod to their watery roots.
These are a personal favorite (and I just ordered 5 sheets for myself!). If you are doing a vintage-inspired wedding, then the quirky little images on each stamp are sure to let your guests know that they are in for a treat!
Yes, yes ... these do have hearts. But! They are different, a little more casual and they have 10 different designs. I still think these are a little unexpected for standard weddings and they are very sweet.
I actually used this King and Queen for my wedding invitations last year. There wasn't much available when I got married and these weren't an ugly cake (the only other "wedding" option). These two are a little scary, but I still like them today.
Oranges? People use them as centerpieces, so why not as stamps? I really have no idea why I like these so much, but I do! They are sort of romantic, but subtle.
And for those of you who are using postcard responses, these are for you! They are the only kind that USPS is offering right now, but they are far better than the polar bears I had to use last year!
There are many stamp options available, and if you are willing to pay more, you can even get custom stamps! This is just one small way to make your invitations stand out in a pile of bills.
I always have wedding couples asking me what's proper etiquette as far as invitations go. Well, this isn't always an easy answer. There are a lot of options these days, and alternative phrases and styles are generally accepted. But here are a few rules (from my research and experience) that are almost always true.
#1 The bride's name always goes first
Think of the phrase "ladies first" when it comes to anything wedding related (except when going doing the aisle). Your lady will always come ahead of you in any writing on the invitations.
#2 The ceremony address is not printed
This might not seem practical, but it's the classy way to do things when you are doing a traditional invitation. Whether you are getting married in a church, a synagogue, a park, in a backyard, etc., the full address is usually not printed on the invitation. All that is written is the name of the location and what town and state it's in. Your guests can either do the navigation, or you can provide that information if you are including a map or directions in your invitations.
#3 "And guest" all single people
It's the nice thing to do. Give yourself an age starting point, college graduates, for example. No one wants to go to a wedding alone, especially if they don't know many people there. Plus, it's always more fun to go with someone. I'm not saying all of these people will bring a date, but they will appreciate the option. There's always the chance that they start a relationship from the time you figured out your guest list to the time you send the invitations, and cramming one more person on that list can be stressful. So, do yourself and your guests a favor and "and guest" anyone who is single.
#4 Yes, you must always pay for postage for responses
Always. There's no getting out of this.
#5 The double envelope isn't necessary
These days, the extra envelope inside wedding invitations just isn't needed. The only time it's useful is when you want to do a clear envelope on the outside, and you want to contain all of your piece in another envelope. Or, you are doing a pouchette or pocket envelope and don't want the contents to escape in the mail.
#6 Divorced parents
This is where things can get tricky. It's always important to talk to your parents first and see what they are comfortable with and what they would prefer. Some couples are paying for their wedding on their own and therefore have no need to put their parents' names on the invitations. I work with each couple separately on this to see what all families would prefer.
I think any bride that has gotten married can agree that they could probably plan a dozen different weddings for themselves and each one be absolutely perfect.
When browsing websites, reading blogs, listening to music, etc., I often think "this would be perfect for my wedding" ... but I got married last year. So why not take those ideas and convert them into my own blogs?
For the past couple years, I have been listening to The Civil Wars and fell in love with their debut song, Poison & Wine, when they uploaded it onto their MySpace page (that's right ... that tells you about how long ago I first started listening to them). But that was far from appropriate for a wedding.
Joy William's voice is magical. If I had to plan my wedding again, to the same man, of course, I would have The Civil Wars, To Whom It May Concern be the bridal processional song as the wedding party walks in. It's a sweet little love song about the excitement in meeting "your one", but you haven't actually met them yet.
When Joy sings the last line of "I'm still waiting patiently" and trails off, I can automatically picture a bride waiting at the end of the aisle, finally having her moment to walk down and meet her groom.
Previously, I had started working on birthday invitations for my husband's 30th birthday. This was my pet project to tackle a two-color design. This design is being done in a "purist" fashion meaning that I am using all original methods, old type, old tools and an old Sigwalt printing press. The first color I used was a Navy blue. This time, I will continue the invitation with a red ink.
Again, I have to mention that I am not a photographer, so please forgive the weird lighting, funny angles and sometimes-blurred images. There are also a lot of images ...
First, I set up the chase with the "CHILL-N-GRILL" copy. This type was actually given to me by a gentleman at a printer's swap meet I went to. It wasn't a full set (but it was almost there), so he just gave it to me. Cha-ching! But, it didn't have any spaces that came with it, so I had to get creative with my text, hence the hyphens in between the words.
I added the cards that I previously printed with the navy blue scrolling design.
With the dry run, you can see where the type will sit, and you can see the impression it makes on the paper. This is where the term "letterpress" comes from.