Winter Map

As we say good-bye to 2009, we thought we'd leave you with this adorable winter wedding map of Vermont!

You can really feel the winter wonderland of Pittsfield, Vermont from the adorable snowman to the horse-drawn "Just Married" carriage!  The white background gives the impression of snow-covered grounds and you can just imagine the fire roasting in the Mountain Top Cabin!

Congratulations to all of our 2009 couples -- It was such a pleasure working with ALL of you!


Real Wedding: The Westin South Coast Plaza

Yesterday we showed you the rehearsal dinner seating chart from Ynes and Ryan's winter wedding, and today we wanted to bring you the wedding itself - designed and coordinated by the talented Courtney Toney of Joyful Weddings and Events!

In addition to addressing the invitation envelopes and creating the rehearsal dinner seating chart, we also calligraphed the names on the escort cards for the wedding reception.

{Costello script in black ink}

This wedding was chock-full of precious details - many of which were produced by Joyful Weddings and Events themselves. From the candy jars, sweets signs and labels to the cake backdrop and sign, Joyful Weddings and Events had everything covered!

{all photography by Amy Squires Photography}

See more of this classic wedding on Joyful Weddings and Events blog or on Wedding Chicks. You can also visit the Joyful Weddings and Event etsy shop for more signs, jars, labels, backdrops and other fun items!


Rehearsal Dinner Seating Chart & Ideas

Back in October we showed you some of our latest sports-themed seating charts, and recently we were able to do one for a local team ~ the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim!

{the proof}

The bride thought this would be perfect for her and her fiance's small rehearsal dinner group. We sent her the chart we had made featuring the Cardinals, and her fiance just loved it! He picked his favorite players and manager (you can use coaches, too), and guests were seated at tables named for each of these key people. The table signs were folded up t-shirts of that particular player/manager, and the favors were adorable baseball sugar cookies. At the wedding itself, the groom's cake was even an adorable Angels baseball jersey and ball!

{the actual chart}

The sports-themed seating charts, usually take only two to three weeks to complete, so it's an excellent last minute touch if you want to personalize another aspect of your big day.

According to the bride, we "made [her] fiance's wedding experience much more fun!" and that is always a good thing!


Adventures of a Maid of Honor

Early this month we set out in search of THE dress for the wedding. Beth had set up 3 appointments for the weekend and we set off to beautiful South Pasadena on Saturday morning to shop. The first store, The Ivory Suite, we went to had several options to choose from which would all work with the theme of the wedding and all looked great on the Bride. This store was quaint and personal. Both the owners were there for our meeting and they could not have been nicer. I was a little surprised that we weren't more emotional about the process. I had personally envisioned a few tears or something but while my sister looked great in all the dresses I don't think any of us were overcome with emotion. There was one dress in particular that Alyssa really loved, and my mom and I loved it on her, but we all agreed that she couldn't make such a big decision without even exploring our options a little further.

After our appointment at the Ivory Suite, we walked around South Pas for a bit and then drove 10 minutes to downtown Pasadena were the second shop was located. The second was completely different than the first place...it was crowded and there were tons of huge ballgown-style dresses with long trains and glitzy sparkles. While most were admittedly quite beautiful, this is not at all my sister's vision of a dress. I was fairly certain we were not going to find what we were looking for here.

Apparently, our mom didn't either. (Actually, she was annoyed at us for ganging up on her about her driving skills! ha!) Alyssa introduced herself to our saleswoman, Nora, who was so nice. She immediately started pulling dresses that we were picking out and we ended up with about 10 dresses in various styles for my sis to try. Alyssa had actually seen a dress she loved in a magazine and told Nora about it. As it turned out they had the dress and one that was close but just a little different than the dress in the magazine. It was admittedly just a little bit out of her budget but when she tried it on I think we all knew that this was "The One." My mom even got teary eyed when she tried it on. The dress was more than we wanted to spend, but it was gorgeous. We agreed to go to lunch and talk it over. After much discussion (and an offer of complementary alterations from the dress shop) Alyssa came to the conclusion that this dress was, in fact, the dress she would wear at her wedding.

I for one was really excited that my sister chose this dress, and I know my mom loved it. It definitely has the "wow factor" and sister just felt really beautiful in it. We were all glad to cross such a major task off our list and could now spend the rest of the month Christmas shopping, instead of dress shopping!


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays from Laura Hooper Calligraphy!

We will be out of the office today through Sunday (December 25th-27th), but look forward to hearing from you next week!


Real Wedding Reception Pieces

Chocolate brown and baby blue is a popular color scheme ~ add in a yellow pop for the perfect spring combo!

We love these photos from a wedding we worked on a few years ago. They are simple and classy and displayed in an adorable fashion! The escort cards were arranged on different varieties of pasta for the Italian theme.

Each table was named after an Italian city (Florence above and Rome below, amongst others).  All the calligraphy was done in Bickham Swash- one of my favorite calligraphy styles.

Every guest was greeted with a personalized menu at his or her place setting. Menus are a great way to tie in your event colors and theme with your table, and if you are doing assigned seating, they are the perfect placecard and an elegant keepsake for your guests ~ people love to see their name in calligraphy! The back of each menu had the lyrics to the bride and groom's first dance. Very clever!

All photography by Miki and Sonja Photography.


Escort & Placecards - Simple to Elaborate

We have seen so many different place cards and escort cards, we could never name them all! But one thing we do know is that there is a wide range of what different couples want in terms of their escort or place cards ~ if they even want them at all (which we do recommend to avoid the awkward "one-seat-left" at a table created with uneven group numbers)!

We'll start off with a more simple card and presentation, with a very elegant script!

{Hamlin Chocolate Brown Ink}

These were some adorable Bamboo shoots given to each guest with their table number on them ~ so creative!

And these place cards were decorative additions to the the table that they adorned!

Whatever idea you have for your own wedding, you can most like make it happen. We've written on seashells, wood, glass, tiles, leaves...almost everything!

What fun ideas do you have for your reception?


Adventures of a Maid of Honor

For Alyssa and Ryan's wedding, our first real meeting was with Beth Helmstetter over at the Event Studio in November. Parties in attendance were my mother, the Bride of course, and me. The Groom to be is off in Oklahoma, training for his new job in San Diego until just before Christmas. My primary observation is that there sure is a lot that goes into planning a wedding that you would never even think about. My mother and sister were more than happy to hand the reins over to Beth to control all the mundane details and logistics for the event itself. Since I have no idea what goes into planning a wedding, I am pretty much just tagging along for fun since I know most of the vendors we are using already.

We started off the meeting with Beth diligently taking down notes of all Alyssa's (and our mom's) ideas and visions for the wedding. After discussing colors, officiants, music, bridal party, hotels, catering, bar and flowers for at least 2 hours, my sis was actually all talked out! At the end of the day she knows that pretty much anything Beth produces is going to look amazing, and if I remember correctly the phrase "oh Beth, whatever you think will be perfect," was used at least a dozen times! I'm also fairly certain that Ryan, is pretty happy to be temporarily relocated to Oklahoma for 5 weeks so he doesn't have to deal with these things!


Compass Placecards

We love weddings, but we are always pleased when we get to do something for other events like bar & bat mitzvahs, showers, anniversary celebrations and birthday parties. And this client decided to use our compasses for her husband's 50th birthday party!

It was a lavish affair with gorgeous stemware and elaborate floral arrangements!

Each place setting was adorned with a rose and compass, for a fabulous look.

The names inside the compasses were written in copper colored ink on off-white paper in Copperplate script. They truly accented this splendid affair! Visit our website for more information on our compasses and other placecard ideas.


Norfolk, England Map

This adorable map of Norfolk, England is being used as a postcard Save the Date for a wedding next June. It's simple, showcasing the countryside of England, while also including the classic tourist icons of England - phone booths, double-deckers, Big Ben and the British flag! It even has the Statue of Liberty  and American flag for those coming from the States!

Calligraphy style is Copperplate.


New Year, New Location!

I'm so excited to announce that as of last week, I've permanently moved my meeting space to the Event Studio in Burbank! The studio is such a fantastic place to meet clients and I could not be happier. It's currently owned and run by Beth Helmstetter and Mary Sushinski of Occasions and is located on Magnolia Street.

The studio is a place where wedding vendors (such as myself) who work out of their homes, can meet with clients in a professional setting. We've successfully managed to meet clients in our home studio for the past several years, but since we've been remodeling, it's been a complete disaster. I've loved the space so much and am there so often that Beth and Mary graciously invited me to move in!

The studio is open by appointment only -- and, if you're a vendor interested in meeting clients here, please contact Beth for details.


Adventures of a Maid of Honor

Okay so, I honestly thought that when my lil sis got engaged things were going to be a lot more difficult, but thus far, the blushing Bride to be has been pretty agreeable to work with. I mean, my sister is a lovely girl but is she is definitely a Type A personality. However, she's been really diplomatic about the process thus far.

In November, I sent Alyssa a link to a really cute bridesmaid's dress option and she really liked it. She had been browsing around, but when she saw it, she said, this color would work perfectly with her palette and I was ordering them for me and the other two bridesmaids literally the following day. The great thing is, they are formal enough for her vintage-inspired, vineyard theme, but I know I would be able to wear my dress again without a doubt (every bridesmaid's dream, right?)

Regarding the palette, if you are following my sister's bride to be series on Beth Helmstetter's blog, you might have heard about the little snag in the original color scheme. I swear that since my sister was 12-years-old she's been planning a green and brown wedding (it would go perfect with her beautiful red hair after all) but Ryan (the groom) announced almost immediately that he wanted to wear a grey suit. I calmly suggested that maybe we let Ryan get his wish about something and we do a grey, cream, and "caspian blue" ~ yes, the wedding is based on a made-up JCrew color...so Alyssa ~ theme instead (as it would work so well for the stationery, of course) and I was surprised my sister even entertained the thought, let alone agreed to it just a few minutes later!

I guess my point here is that I'm really happily surprised that my sister values my opinion so much. Growing up, we did not always see eye to eye. Aside from our obvious differences in looks (me with dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, and her being fair skinned, with fiery red hair and blue/green eyes) we were very, very different people, with very different tastes. Alyssa definitely likes to be in control of what is going on but thus far she’s been pretty open to hearing everyone’s ideas and opinions (ie, Beth’s, our mom’s and mine....and even Ryan's too).

So far, we’ve chosen the bridesmaids dresses, the venue, “the dress,” the photographer, and a few other details and the process has been really fun since I’ve been invited to tag along to all these meetings – something I don’t normally get to see because my job involves such a small facet of what actually goes into planning a wedding. I look forward to watching this all unfold over the next 10 months!


Holiday Cheer!

Fellow wedding industry professionals ~ Join Beth Helmstetter of Beth Helmstetter Events, Mary Sushinski of Occasions and myself on Monday night, December 14, for a holiday get together! RSVP to beth@bethhelmstetter.com, can't wait to see you all there!

Blog "Love"

Gorgeous photography by Corbin Gurkin

Many times I have had clients or other wedding professionals (or even my dad) come up to me and tell me they follow my blog loyally (religiously even!) and tell me how much they love reading the posts and looking at my maps and the various eye-candy photos I like to put up for you all to see. While this is so flattering (who doesn't love to hear this??) my reply is usually something along the lines of, "Really!? I didn't know you follow my blog!"

After discussing this with several other bloggers, I've found I'm not the only one to feel that way. As a reader you may not know it, but we bloggers love to hear when you are happy with what we are writing. When you like our work and you comment on it, it encourages us to keep writing. It can be somewhat discouraging when we bloggers hit up the major sites (Style Me Pretty, anyone?) and there are 50 comments! So please, if you have feedback, leave a remark and I will be ever so grateful  =)

While we're on topic, let's address a few courtesies about commenting (on all blogs, not just ours):

The comments are a great place to ask questions about the post! Like most blogs, the comments my readers leave come directly into my inbox, so if you ask a question, I will respond to you, either via email or back on the comments feature. Sometimes the blogger will even take your question if it's a popular one and write an entire post about it, so please, ask away.

The comments feature is not a place to use as free advertising for another site. On our blog, we require that all submissions be sent via email, so that we can choose who we would like to promote on our blog. If you have a suggestion, we thank you for thinking highly of exposure on our blog, but please send it via email!

Please know that many blogs do moderate their comments. We are one of those blogs. We tell you in our sidebar that we reserve the right to delete any inappropriate comment, or any purely self-promotional comment.

On that note, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who does follow. Please, leave a comment (it doesn't have to be on this post!) and have a safe and happy holiday!

(The calligraphy in the above photo is Elegance Script.
Photo is courtesy of Corbin Gurkin Photography.)


Same City, Three Different Maps

We showed you before how the same city (Washington, D.C.) can look very different as different maps. Here's another example of how Rhode Island can look to 3 different couples.

The above map is full of icons for locations (don't miss the special tribute to the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox too!), while the map below has a simpler look with a more "zoomed in" feature.

This couple opted to leave the full color behind for a pink palette!

Three common features of these three maps? Astors Beechwood Mansion, Claiborne-Pell Bridge & Newport Harbor (and the year - 2009)! Other than that, each couple chose to include the places, streets and icons important to them resulting in three, very different maps of the same city!


Maui Map Save-the-Date

We do many maps for many couples all around the world, but there is still something special about a Maui map! We love the tropics (family trips to Hawaii and the Caribbean, vacations with friends), which probably plays into our love for these maps!

This map showcases so many of the great things that Maui has to offer - scuba, whales, sea turtles, parasailing, luaus, golfing, helicopter rides, waterfalls and pools! This save-the-date map has further information on the reverse side including the couple's wedding website for more information.

Save-the-dates are almost essential for destination weddings so that all of your desired guests can plan accordingly, but more often than not, many couples will send them for any wedding location to ensure that all the important people in their lives can share in their joyous day! Save-the-dates are generally sent out around six months prior to the wedding date, sometimes more for destination weddings and less for local weddings.

Visit our website for more save-the-date options and other printed material ideas!


Sand Dollar Escort Cards

Last month Bridal Bar Blog featured our adorable sand dollar escort cards! They were shot for a spread in Modern Bride that never made it to print after, sadly, the magazine closed down in October. But thanks to Bridal Bar, we can all enjoy the wonderful shot by Lisa Franchot Photography!

For more details & other wedding planning inspiration, visit the Bridal Bar.
(p.s. you will need to scroll down to November 10 to see this spread!)


Real Wedding: The Resort at Pelican Hill, Orange County

We love real weddings - and this real wedding is dripping with fabulous details! The couple wanted gorgeous two-color letterpress invitations in shimmery taupe and seafoam green, with taupe edging on the sides of the invitation and rsvp card.

{300# custom ordered letterpress paper}

The main writing is done in Copperplate and Splendid Flourish is the calligraphy style for the couple's names and major details. To complete the look, we lined the envelopes with taupe liner.

{Photo by Mi Belle Photography}

Matching vellum petal bags were placed at each seat for the ceremony, as well as large one panel programs letterpress printed in seafoam green on Italian paper.

The reception included large one panel menus letterpress printed on shimmery taupe Italian paper and placecards written in Splendid Flourish, each containing a personal note from the bride and groom!

To see more details on this beautiful wedding, visit Junebug Weddings. All photography by Jay Lawrence Goldman unless otherwise noted.


Buy LH Calligraphy Stamps on Zazzle

We recently opened an online store at Zazzle, and now anyone can easily buy our custom stamps for all of your wedding (and other occasion) mailing needs!

Don't see one you like? Email us with your desired icon and wording and we can create a new custom stamp for you!


Special Offer from The Knot and philosophy

The Knot, one of the most popular wedding sites, has joined forces with lifestyle and beauty brand philosophy on an exciting new partnership - “tying The Knot.”  This just-for-brides gift set was created to pamper the bride-to-be so she looks as beautiful as she feels on her special day.

The “tying The Knot” gift set is now available for purchase on TheKnot.com and philosophy.com retailing for $100. It includes nine essential bridal beauty products, including purity one-step facial cleanser; amazing grace firming body emulsion, bath gel, and spray fragrance to help her feel amazingly clean and beautifully feminine; and kiss me exfoliating lip scrub for soft, smooth, kissable lips.

Surrounding the product launch, The Knot and philosophy announce a unique marketing campaign: the Wedding Day Hope Sweepstakes. This interactive sitelet invites brides to share their hopes and dreams for their big day. Brides who share are automatically entered to win the grand prize of a luxury honeymoon worth over $10,000, courtesy of Viceroy Anguilla Resort & Residences!!


Dartmouth Seating Chart

We've been doing many seating charts lately and have mentioned all of the sports-themed charts, but here is a different take with a college themed chart - "A Dartmouth Love Story." My guess would be that a large majority of the wedding guests were a part of this Darmouth love story and probably loved the tie-in to the wedding!

Also, be sure to check out our new website page on seating charts!


Petit Ermitage Masquerade Ball!

Last Tuesday I attended the Petite Ermitage Masquerade Ball and it was such a blast! I was very excited about this event ever since I was asked to create the invitation.

{Beth Helmstetter, Susie Wheeler, Me, Tara Dowburd-Luftman of Makeup Therapy}

The event was sponsored by Angeleno Magazine, Beautiful Day Photography {thank you for all of these photos!}, Madame Chocolat, Plush Puffs, Sara's Lingerie, Supernova, Bridal Bar, Tick Tock Couture Flowers, X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, Fiore Beauty, Cobalt Events, Custom Candy Buffet Bars, We Adorn You Face Painting and Laura Hooper Calligraphy amongst others!

{Plush Puffs--yummy gourmet marshmellows}

{Harmony Walton, owner of Bridal Bar}

 {X-Rated Fusion Liquer}

{Jaimi Brooks of Fiore Beauty}

The decor was so colorful and gorgeous!

And we were so happy to see our industry friends!

 {Amber Gustafson of Amber Events and Cat Benner of Next Exit Photography}

The event even featured Aqua Lillies sychronized swimmers...it was so exciting!

Beth, Susie and I got a kick out of figuring out the photobooth while Cassandra Santor got her face painted...

Everyone had a great time, and we enjoyed meeting Jennifer Berson of JenerationPR and chatting with Dana LaRue and Hunter Stiebel of Broke Ass Bride and Leila and Kellee Khalil of Be Inspired PR, along with many others.

Thank you to Petit Ermitage, Cobalt Events and the Bridal Bar for throwing such a wonderful soiree!!

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