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.

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