Sample Table Design

Do you see beautiful table designs and ideas in magazines and online and wonder how the brides made that happen? Well, oftentimes it's the hard work and creativity of their wedding planner! Planners aren't just for keeping the logistics anymore - they are full fledge event designers who help you create the overall look and concept of your big day. 

Tina LaMorte of Oh So Fabulous! in sent us this mock table setup that she created for a client with one of our sample menus that she keeps on hand.

From Tina herself...

"This is a sample for a September wedding in Philadelphia. We used shades of cream/white florals with a tiny touch of green. The linens were custom gold beaded english lace over an ivory satin linen. We had gold plated flatware, gold ball glass chargers and dinner plates and tons of candlelight. We brought in a pop of color with the pale turquoise napkin finished off with a rhinestone buckle treatment, but offered the bride another option of a white napkin pocketfold with a rhinestone pin and feather treatment."

Creating sample set-ups like these (and sourcing the products) are just one benefit of working with a planner. But if you are dedicated to creating your look all on your own, be sure you check out Etsy, Artbeads.com and your local craft stores for ideas and supplies.


Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

I've had the honor of watching Laura Hooper Calligraphy grow from a vision to a flourishing company, as Laura and I have been friends since long before she began her business. She is such an amazing artist and also has a passion to please, so I had no doubt in my mind that Laura would be successful. I also had no doubt in my mind that I wanted her to be in charge of my invitations, should I ever get married.

I had been looking forward to working with Laura on our invitations since right after the proposal, and this was the perfect week to get started. Laura emailed me to find out about colors, design and wording and then got to work on the invitations. I was concerned about having too much pink in the invitation (the colors in our wedding are pinks, blacks, ivories and grays.) I did not voice my concern regarding too much pink, as I wanted to leave it up to her as a professional to create the first draft. Laura must have read my mind. She emailed me a proof and I loved it. The invitations are ivory, with the design and calligraphy in gray. Pink is being used to line the envelopes and also to tie bows. Everything was just as I expected it to be...perfect.

To stay on top of my "to do" list, I went to the post office to buy stamps for the invitations. I'm sure the postal clerk must have thought I was nuts when I asked her if she had any other designs about a hundred times. There was no way I would be messing up a beautiful invitation with the stamps USPS offers. I went home and promptly emailed Laura about a Zazzle stamp design to complete the look. Just when I thought our invitations couldn't get any more exciting, Laura sent me a stamp design that added another splash of pink and a personalized feel with our names and wedding date.

I am so excited to see the finished products when everything comes in, and of course I will be sure to share the look with you all.

With love,


Real Wedding: Houston, Texas

Last August we featured a blog post on our first world map that was created for a couple soon-to-be-wed in Houston, Texas. We are so pleased to have received photos of the wedding from their photographer, Clint, and to see that the wedding was included in The Knot Texas!

In our original post we mentioned that we also created table signs featuring the locations of the map and are so exciting to share them today!

The couple also used compass place cards to keep in line with the travel theme...

...and had us create this adorable card box and sign for their gift table!

Finally were the cupcake signs at the dessert table - very sweet!

All calligraphy was done in brown ink in our Carpenter script (except the gift sign which was white ink on brown paper).

See more on The Knot spread on Clint's blog.


Zazzle Stamps - On Sale Now

We've recently shown you many of our custom stamps available and Zazzle, and we are happy to report that Zazzle is now having a sale of 25% off Zazzle Stamps!

Use promo code WELUVINVITES at checkout to secure your deal on these custom stamps perfect for weddings, birthdays, showers, anniversaries, baby announcements - anything! You can purchase your stamps for various postage amounts as well as three different sizes to suit your various envelopes.

Custom stamps can truly tie together an entire suite - just like this one we did for my sister's engagement party back in January (yes, we've shown you these, but I still love them!).

Visit our Zazzle store to find these love bird stamps and others...and don't forget to use code WELUVINVITES for 25% off!


CRAVE Los Angeles - We're Published!

We are so excited and honored to have been selected for the recently published CRAVE Los Angeles!

CRAVE los angeles innovatively connects urban gals to the sassiest, gutsiest, most inspiring people they need to know in LA. The modern marketplace of soirees, gatherings and online networking serves as your ambassador to everything there is to CRAVE in the City of Angels.

And to top it off Laura Hooper Calligraphy is giving away 10 copies!! Simply leave a comment below and if you are one of the first 10 comments please email your address to laura@lhcalligraphy.com - yes, it's that easy!

Visit the CRAVE Los Angeles website for your guide to LA or to find your own city's CRAVE.


Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

Today was an interesting day, mostly because neither Stephen, nor I knew much about Men’s Formalwear, yet figuring out what the men would be wearing the day of our wedding needed to get done.

Stephen told me a while back that he wanted to wear a tux and I immediately envisioned this goofy looking 80’s style get-up. I told him “no way,” which left him completely confused. Later that evening I looked into men’s formalwear and realized my vision was completely off. To my surprise, they had updated the tux since the 80’s and I loved the look. I admitted defeat and let Stephen know that wearing a tux was a great idea.

We headed out to our local men’s suiting store with very little knowledge of what was about to transpire. We were met at the door by a salesman who immediately started joking with us and set us at ease (so much for the “stuffy suits” prejudgment.) I had quite a few questions, which were all answered with great detail. Thanks to my inquisitive mind, I feel like Stephen and I now know more about tuxes than theknot.com! Stephen decided on a basic black one-button tux with a black vest and tie. I was more than pleased, as I wanted the guys to look very classic and stunning.

I am definitely looking forward to seeing my Husband-to-Be on our wedding day. He looks great in his uniform and suits, so I can only imagine how handsome he’ll be in his tux!

With Love,

P.S. I am so excited to begin the invitation process with Laura! What fun to work with such great talent! I’ll tell you all about it soon.


WINNER - Perricone MD Giveaway: No Foundation Foundation

We are happy to let you know that the winner of the Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation is...

...Stephanie - comment #9!! Stephanie please email us at alyssa@lhcalligraphy.com to claim your prize.


Zazzle Stamps

Following theme from the nautical wedding we featured yesterday, here are a couple stamps that would work perfectly for any summer weddings or events. Our sand dollars are extremely popular during these months, and this stamp would complement them beautifully (here they were used for a Save-the-Date)!

This charming whale stamp also goes well with any coastal theme for weddings, showers or birthday parties.

Visit our Zazzle store for more options and to order!

Final Reminder - Contest Ends Today!

Last chance to enter to win this free No Foundation Foundation from Perricone MD! Comment on last week's blog post to enter - click here to go back to the original entry! The contest ends today at 12pm Pacific Standard Time and our winner will be announced Monday...

WARNING! Don't comment on this post - it won't count!!


Real Wedding: Palm City, Florida

This adorably nautical wedding took place at the beautiful Harbour Ridge Yacht Club in Palm City, Florida!

To coordinate with the theme, the couple used our popular compasses as escort cards and displayed them in a sweet little display.

The rest of the wedding details were equally as charming - we especially love the story of their love and courtship!

Photography by Jessica Lorren Organic Photography. Visit her blog for more photos on this wedding!

Visit our website for more information on our compasses.


Vendor Spotlight: Three Designing Women

We love finding new cute products, and this line of personalized self-inking stamps is just that - simply adorable! Gone are the days of generic {ugly} address stamps!

Available in many unique, sophisticated designs, the stamps can be fully personalized with address information, family names, name and monogram or designed as book plates and of course on any and all wedding pieces!

Also available from Three Designing Women is the new personalized and Single Initial designs, embossers, and a full line of InSTAMPables – paper products that are intended to be stamped to create personalized stationery, gift and wine tags, and more.

Another new line, called Changeables, allows users to mix and match stamp designs that are interchangeable. Changeables are offered in Gift Sets that include 6 interchangeable Stamp Designs and one self-inking stamper, plus a bundle of designer stationery to begin using the Changeable stamper immediately - what a great idea!

Visit the Three Designing Women website to find a retailer near you. This is the perfect product for all your DIY needs!


Reminder! Perricone MD Giveaway: No Foundation Foundation

Don't miss your chance to win this free No Foundation Foundation from Perricone MD! Comment on last week's blog post to enter - just click here to go back to the original entry!

WARNING! Don't comment on this post - it won't count!!

Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

I love shopping. Seriously, I love it so much that I was overwhelmed when it came time to pick out where to register. There are so many options and I wanted to choose wisely. I decided to come up with a list of household items we do not currently have and often run to our neighbor's house to borrow. I also talked to a girlfriend who offered me a great bit of advice. She told me to not just think about the present, but also about the future. Would we be hosting holiday dinners in the future? Would we want fine china or flatware to pass down? This advice and the list I created helped to narrow down our store options. I decided to register for fine china at Macy's and serving & entertaining pieces at Pottery Barn.

I headed off to the stores to begin our registries (I laughingly invited Stephen along and he gave me the "Are you kidding; I'm the guy that doesn't understand why we don't just put the drinks in an ice-chest" look.) I checked in with a sales lady at Pottery Barn, who graciously set up our registry. After entering all our information, she went to the stockroom to get a scanner. She handed me the scanner and began to instruct me how to use it. I didn't hear a word she said, as I was preoccupied with flashbacks of my past career in retail, working 14 hour nights scanning millions of tags for inventory. As soon as I saw that red light and heard the beep, I wanted to throw the scanner down and run, but I had to get through this. Thankfully I went online ahead of time and accumulated a list of items I potentially wanted to register for, so I did not have to hang out with that horrible scanning device for long (yes, the memories are THAT bad.)

After finishing up at Pottery Barn, I decided I would go to Macy's and simply star the items on the list I created browsing their website, and then go back home and register online. I really did not want to spend another hour with a scanner and I was getting pretty tired. To my surprise, when I arrived at Macy's there was a Starbucks Store inside. I ordered a latte, pulled out my list and pen and began browsing the store. When I finished browsing, I returned home and registered online. I am so thankful for the internet (and Starbucks!)

With Love (and total shopping exhaustion),


Adventures of a Maid of Honor

Last week I shared some tips on planning the bridal shower, but I thought it might be helpful too to go over the general role of a maid of honor.

The role can vary quite a bit based on the bride and wedding you have the honor of being a part of. For me, so far, I haven't had to do much heavy listing since my sister is a planner herself. On top of that, she has Beth Helmstetter taking the reins, so for the most part she has just asked for my opinion on various things. But the most important {in my opinion} role for the maid of honor/bridesmaids is to support the bride and make the planning and day as stressfree as possible!

Here is a list of specific basic duties for all of the bridesmaids from TheKnot.com:

•Planning one or more showers for the bride, with the help of the other bridesmaids and/or the bride's mother, sisters, etc.

•Helping the bride choose her dress and shopping for bridesmaid dresses.
•Making sure the bridesmaids all go for their dress fittings and get everything they need for the big day.
•Lending an ear when the bride wants to/needs to vent, whether it be about her mother-in-law to-be or the fact that the napkins don't exactly match the tablecloths.
•Generally keeping the bride sane during wedding planning.
•Making sure the bridesmaids know where they need to be and at what time on the big day.

•At the ceremony, standing next to the bride while she exchanges vows and holding her bouquet during the ring part of things.
•The MOH may also hold onto the groom's wedding band for the bride (although the best man has traditionally taken care of both bands).
•She may stand in the receiving line.
•Bustling the bride's train for the party.
•At the reception, she's often announced along with the best man.
•She may dance with the best man during or after the couple's first dance.

•Generally keeping the bride sane during the wedding itself.

For all of you bridesmaids out there, you can find information on your basic duties here and here!


Real Wedding: Santa Inez

We work on many beautiful weddings, but this particular one that took place in Santa Inez is truly breathtaking! Designed and coordinated by Beth Helmstetter, florals by Flower Wild, and photography by Aaron Delesie, this is truely a treat for the eyes!

We created the reception signs for this elegant outdoor affair starting with this gorgeous mirror. We included signs for the food and drink and also one of our signature wooden signs. All calligraphy is Francine script in brown ink.

It was an absolutely picturesque setting...

To see more of the details or read about the day, vist Beth Helmstetter's blog or Style Me Pretty. Congratulations to the happy couple!


Perricone MD Giveaway: No Foundation Foundation

Ever wish you could get ready faster in the morning, yet still look amazing as you walk out the door? Well, now you can! We are so thrilled to offer this amazing product giveaway from Perricone MD, an award-winning line of skin care products and cosmeceuticals from Dr. Nicholas Perricone. We've teamed up to give one "lucky" A Lucky Orchid Wedding reader a FREE bottle of the acclaimed No Foundation Foundation!

Just smooth on this multi-purpose product for dewy, fresh and {perhaps most importantly} even looking skin! It also has a non-chemical SPF 30 - can't beat that!

Want to win? All you need to do is comment on this post telling us why you need (or simply want) No Foundation Foundation from Perricone by next Friday, June 18 when we will select a winner at random!

Good luck!


1 Dream Foundation

We love working on wedding invitations and calligraphy, but every now and then we get to work on other events. We are especially happy when one of those other events is a charity event such as the annual fundraiser by 1 Dream Foundation!

The 1 Dream Foundation provides youths from Africa, Europe and the Caribbean the opportunity to attend high school and college in the United States. Pulling from the NBA's Basketball without Borders concept, 1 Dream's focus is on helping basketball student-athletes, ages 15-17, to achieve the dream of coming to America to receive a strong education and to better both their own life, as well as provide for their family and friends back home.

The 2010 Annual Fundraiser took place at the Holland Ranch, San Luis Obispo on May 22, 2010. The event was hosted by Director, Tom Mott, along with Event Chairs Kathy O’Connor and Ann (Mott) Bruce. We were pleased to provide signage for various pieces of this event including the food and drinks at the event as well as the auction item board.

Thanks to successful fundraising from events such as this one, each 1 Dream student receives the following:

· Complete Travel Expenses to the USA
· High School Education (Financial Aid Dependent)
· Health Insurance
· Complete Physical Exam
· ESL Courses (English as a 2nd Language)
· Cultural Immersion Programs
· SAT Prep Courses
· Monthly Stipend
· Clothing Allowance
· Fitness & Nutrition Courses
· Basketball Training

Over the past three years, The 1 Dream Foundation has helped sponsor the following projects.

· Tuition & expenses for eight Kenyan girls, four of whom are currently in college
· Tuition & expenses for two African college students currently studying in the USA
· Airfare to the USA for 16 “1 Dream” Students
· Health Insurance while in the USA for 16 “1 Dream” Students
· Summer Mentoring & Immersion program in California for 22 students
· ESL Classes for 22 students
· College scholarship assistance for six students
· Trip to South Africa (18 students and eight adults)
· Trip to Senegal & South Africa (14 students and six adults)
· Trip to Hong Kong & South Africa (10 students and three adults)
· Cultural visits to Hearst Castle, National Parks & major US Cities
· Summer Comedy Jam featuring DL Hughley & Jon Lovitz
· Youth basketball leagues, teams and tournaments for over 400 Central Coast youth

For more information visit 1 Dream Foundation's website.

{Director Tom Mott with Event Chair Ann Bruce}

Photography by Nakamura Photography.

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