Out of Town Bags -- Chicago Style

Yesterday I was browsing around online and found that Elizabeth Anne Designs was featuring a guest blog by one of my clients, Blair, who had recently commissioned her map of Chicago. The custom map was to be used in the Out of Town Bags, and includes all their favorite haunts, including the wedding accommodations, and several art museums. The reverse side features a schedule and locations of all the train and trolley stations (not shown) so the map does have a sense of practicality in addition to being an artistic keepsake.

{Photos courtesy of the client, via Elizabeth Anne Designs}
Here's Blair, bag in hand, in front of her Christmas tree! The reusable bags she chose are made of recycled fibers, and in addition the maps are printed on recycled papers, always. We try to do our part here at being green! Also, if you need totes, we can get your map printed on totes {We're still awaiting the actual photos from our photographer, Mi Belle Photography} or can be imprinted with a design, much like the one shown above by Blair. Inquire via email for details!


Camden Calligraphy

How adorable the envelopes look when they are all completed and ready to go! Here is a set of ivory envelopes that I calligraphed last month in an antique black ink in Camden style script. Camden is a chic, yet affordable {its in our Tier 1} style -- I am often told by brides they love it because it has a flirty flair to it. Camden is often a favorite for Rehearsal Dinners and Save the Dates, as it is a little less formal but still very beautiful.

Speaking of Save the Dates, here's the set those cute envelopes belong to, the adorable citrus design is by Marit Hanson. Be sure to check out her etsy shop as well!

{Photos courtesy of the client}

Finally, when each calligraphy, invitation or map order is complete, they are all wrapped up and shipped out to the clients using primarily recycled materials!


Best of Project Wedding '08

Last month I was enjoyably stunned to find out we were chosen as one of Project Wedding's "Best of '08!" We are so pleased to be awarded such a distinction! Anyway, I just got all the paper in the mail yesterday and it really made my day so much better.
Project Wedding is a vibrant online community started by husband and wife team, Joe and Margaret {my client!} to help couples find the best wedding professionals in their area. Are you one of the 200,000 brides visiting their site each month? If not you need to check it out. They have a variety of Real Weddings featured daily, so be sure to have your photographer submit you when you get your gorgeous wedding photos back!


Palm Save the Dates

December is the most popular month for engagements, what with Christmas and New Year's Eve and all. Once you get engaged you will want to set a date and send out your Save the Date cards to let your guests know to hold the weekend of your wedding available. Shown here is a classic example of calligraphy with a simple Palm Tree motif at the top announcing a wedding at the fabulous SB Polo Club in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. Whether you are having your wedding on a remote sand beach in the Carribean or Hawaii, California or Florida, this Save the Date is a perfect announcement for your event. It comes in a variety of colors and any calligraphy style can be chosen. Seen here is the Upright calligraphy style in Tier 2 of our website.


Beaver Creek Maps

My second map of Beaver Creek {you'll have to wait to see the first because I am still waiting for photos here myself} was commissioned for Kiwi Cards down in the OC. I love how it is mounted on the black card stock and printed in only two tones to match the theme of the entire invitation set.

{Photos courtesy of Kiwi Cards}

And here is the set below, perfect tucked away into its own little pocketfolder! I love how Krystyn pulled this entire set together. What a lovely use for the maps.


Real Weddings: Dana Point

{Photos courtesy of Michelle Andersen}
One of my favorite clients, Ashley, just sent me these fantastic photos by Michele Andersen, taken at her wedding in Dana Point, California this past August. What a gorgeous event it was....Ashley shares a love of stationery and paper, and it really showed in the choices she made for her event. She chose my Lanai design at our first meeting and from then on we incorporated that beautiful orchid into the entire set.

For the reception Ashley gave out flip flops to the ladies so they wouldn't hurt their feet in heels. Hand-painted sanddollars told each guest where to sit, and cleverly positioned satin ribbons instructed the servers what entrees the guests preferred.

Parasols at the ceremony shaded the ladies from the sun. Each was tied with a satin bow and a custom cut favor tag with the couple's monogram on it. This monogram was also used on the menus {below} and for the gobo lighting on the wall behind their cake.

Menus were letterpress-printed on shimmery aqua paper with sand-colored ink, and tied with a beautiful double-faced satin ribbon. Topped off with a hand-picked orchid to pull the theme together.

Even the program covers were letterpressed, on 100% cotton rag paper made of reclaimed fibers and printed with soy ink. Each one contained several pages outlining the ceremony.

Tables were named after 21 of the best beaches in California. Also printed on the shimmery paper and pressed with sand-colored ink. I wrote each table name on by hand in Elegance script in Sepia colored ink.

{Last two images courtesy of Austin Henninger Photography}

Lastly, here are pictures of her invitation set. The suite included the invitation, RSVP Card and envelope, Reception Card, and a custom map which was offset printed on the shimmery paper {same thing we used for the reception pieces}. It was all tucked into a shimmery pocketfold envelope and tied together with raffia and a tiny sanddollar!

And finally, Ashley completed her order just this past week with a set of Holiday Cards to complement the entire order!

These cards are the inspiration for our new Save the Dates line, launching January 2009!


Calligraphy for your Invitations

We've been getting a lot of requests in the studio from people looking to incorporate hand calligraphy into their invitation suite. Many times brides are designing the invites themselves or are working with their own stationer and do not want to commission calligraphy for the entire piece, but only a few words. It makes for a great effect, and can be used throughout the invitation suite as well as in the reception items.

The hand-calligraphy adds a very classic look to a simple invitation, as demonstrated here with the clean lines of these custom invitations by Laissez Faire Designs. All the calligraphy was ordered via email, and the high-quality print files are sent through email and infused right into the design of the invitation.

The calligraphy was even used on these tiny reception tags! How adorable!

Here is the full set. I love the look of the calligraphy. If this is something that interests you, please contact me via email for custom quotes based on the wording you'd like to use.


Seating Charts

If you are looking for an alternative to the classic escort card, you might want to consider creating a seating chart. I recently created an adorable one in the style of my custom maps for a Pre Wedding Soiree in Los Angeles. The bride and groom were having a joint "shower" prior to the wedding in the backyard of a large estate. This chart shows the layout of the seating area around the very large pool. The event was designed by Michelle of Annie M Events, and I was delighted to receive these photos from her this morning. All the script on the chart is Parisian Script, one of my personal favorites!
Here is a picture of the large seating chart framed and laying on the table. These fabulous charts can be made as large as poster size 22x30" and take about 3 weeks to create.

Once each guest found their name on the chart, they were directed to their table where they were met with tiny trees holding placecards with their names. Placecards a great for large and small events to organize where each person will sit at each table. Frequently at weddings the bride and groom will choose to order placecards for the head table at least, to position the bridal party exactly as they wish. These placecards were written in white ink on chocolate brown cards. For more placecard ideas please visit the website.


More Holiday Greetings

So far we've been overwhelmed by the response to our new Holiday cards. So much so that we'll be launching a similar line of photo Save the Date cards in January 2009. While I am really excited about that, I should mention that it's still not too late to get your holiday cards custom printed. The turnaround is 3-4 days, and the effort is minimal. They are ready to stuff, seal, and address. Stamp them and it's off to the post office. You can get them out before the holiday rush.

The cards can be printed in any color combination, not just what you see here. Below is a red and green example for the more traditionally-minded Christmas card senders.

You must email to order. Mention our blog on your order form and receive 10% off your order of $100 or more if you order by December 10th!

Custom Invitations from Minna Designs

Today I am loving the timeless, yet modern designs of Minna Keum at Minna Designs. These invitations are perfect for those of you who aren't so thrilled with the big retailers books of invitations that all look the same -- her invitations are all custom-designed with you and your taste in mind.

I love how Minna infuses color so subtly into each invitation suite. Making for a charming, elegant set, tailor-made just for you. Their studio specializes in letterpress, offset, embossing, foil stamping, engraving, and digital print methods to fit with budgets for different brides. For a standard invitation set of 100 (including the rsvp, envelopes, & directions/map), prices start at $1200.

As a recent bride-to-be, she was excited by the possibility of expressing her own personality & style down to the tiniest detail for her own wedding! She designed everything from invitations to favors and a new found passion was born! Minna writes, "Now that my wedding is behind me, I absolutely love helping others with their special events. I was working as a graphic designer in the corporate world for many years but decided to pursue what I love doing most and I haven’t looked back since!" Well that's obvious! You can see the attention to detail-- the crystals on this invitation are all adhered ever so careful by hand, one at a time. And it's not just invitations, Minna provides print collateral for engagements, save the dates, showers, holiday events, and reception items. On the photo below the lace was carefully applied at the top of the invitation by hand as well. This takes so much patience, you have to be a perfectionist when doing this type of work.

Minna's goal is to reflect her client’s personalities, interests, & backgrounds in every design so that each piece is unique and timeless. The design process from start to finish typically takes about 1 to 2 months so if you are considering ordering, you should start well in advance. This turnaround is about the standard when ordering custom invitations.


Holiday Cards

I hope everyone had a really fantastic Thanksgiving! I know I did....Now it's time to send out your holiday cards. If you are like me, you have probably been putting this off and now you are short on time. We are currently offering a BRAND NEW selection of lovely holiday cards. These just in, from the Lanai collection on my site -- they incorporate your favor photo from your wedding or special event, in any color combination you desire. Even better, after choosing your color combination and design we can send you a proof within 48 hours. Once approved, we will ship your order within 48 hours as well.

Each set includes a 4.25X6" full color card with your photo, and a blank envelope in white or ivory. Return addresses can be imprinted with an additional charge, however I think these would be great to send out with a simple return address sticker on the back flap! It's simple, fast and easy. The cost per set is $2 and there is a minimum of 40 sets required for purchase. What better way to share with your friends and family your favorite pic from your recent wedding!

Stay tuned for more designs, I will be putting up more over the weekend for all to see! To order, simply email me.


Letterpress Invitations

I love these invitations from my new San Juan Invitation Suite. This adorable set features a hand-drawn starfish icons and is perfect for all those fun destination events. Order soon, because right now we are offering 15% off all letterpress orders booked before December 31st. If letterpress isn't in the budget, we also offer high-quality offset printing, or thermography printing as well. Contact us for a quote today!


Announcing the Launch of EAD Living

Hello happy readers! This week marks the launch of Elizabeth Anne Designs newest blog, EAD Living. Their goal with this new lifestyle blog is to create an open and artistically expressive community. After your wedding is over and the craziness dies down, where will you go for your daily blog fix?? Here is your answer: Check out this new blog dedicated to making our everyday lives as beautiful and creative as the day we begin our marriage. EAD Living will be filled with crafts, recipes, book reviews, and everything else we love about the home arts.

The blog has already launched with enormous support and has received nothing but terrific feedback. So there you have it...Look forward to favorite recipes, DIY crafts, organizing tips, design, fashion, pets, children, eco living, outdoor life, travel, and much more from the gals at Elizabeth Anne Designs!

A Ginko Leaf Reception

Another great reception idea! Instead of a tent card why not write on fall leaves? These leaves I did for my client in San Francisco. Her whole wedding had a ginko leaf theme, and these settings definitely tied it all together. I wrote on each leaf with white calligraphy ink and they turned out swimmingly for her destination wedding in Hawaii!
In response to yesterday's post, these leaves would function as fabulous placecards.

Ginko Leaves or other leaves can be ordered at our website, Laura Hooper Calligraphy.


Placecards vs Escort Cards

{Paula Escort Cards}

One question I get asked quite frequently as a calligrapher is "What is the difference between a placecard and an escort card?" And the answer, simply put, is that your escort cards will be put at a central location at the reception, either organized on a table by last name, or hanging on a tree, or some other creative display method. Your guests will find their card, and will then locate their table number indicated somewhere on the card.

Often times the bride will choose a small envelope with each guest's name written on it with an insert card inside that tells them which table they are seated at. These adorable envelopes are also available for purchase on our site.
{Calligraphy in Bickham Swash Caps}

The photo above is a placecard. Placecards sit at each individual place setting, and the guests locate their tables using their escort cards that they have previously located. Unless you are having a small event, it's probably best to not have placecards without the use of escort cards to lessen the confusion of your guests!

{Image courtesy of Beth Helmstetter, Calligraphy in Cherise Script}

These sanddollars were used as placecards, layered over the napkin which hugged the menus we created as well.

{Sanddollar Placecards are available for purchase}


Real Weddings: Fancy That! Events

Recently my client Christine Zohrabians of Fancy That! sent me these photos from her own gorgeous wedding at the former Ritz Carlton Huntington in Pasadena, California.

In addition to planning her own wedding this past year, Christine plans beautiful, couture events and specializes in event management, guest management, and event design to ensure that her brides get the best interpretation of their vision for the most important day of their life.
Each event is coordinated with the specific couple in mind, taking into account their budget, scope, traditions, and personalities. The result is an event that is as seemless as it is stunning.

We used calligraphy to make large signs that Christine framed for the entrance to the reception.

Their Gorgeous Cake!!

Petal cones were hung at the end of each row of chairs, with cards instructing the guests to shower the happy couple with petals as they walked back down the aisle after the ceremony.

The calligraphy monogram was transformed into a beautiful light display using gobo on the dance floor!

Photographer: Brandon Humes of Couture Foto
Videographer: Brian Starkman of BGS Productions
Florist: Freelance event florist Gildaz Design for Fancy That! Events
Dance Floor, rentals etc: Royal Events Inc.
Event design +Coordination: FANCY THAT!

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