A Royal Wedding

It's Royal Wedding day...cheers to Prince William and his new bride!

{the royal couple's official engagement photo}

{a save-the-date mock up featured on Aisle Dash in January}


Maps: United States

This United States map is part of a printed wedding ceremony program and depicts the journey of each guest's travels to the destination wedding taking place in Oahu, HI!

This is such a fun, creative way to thank your guests for travelling near and far and to incorporate them into your ceremony. While showing the entire United States and the trip to Hawaii, the map specifically highlights the nine states that guests will be arriving from.

And while we all wish the Hawaiian Islands were this close to the mainland, please note that this map {along with our other custom maps} is of course not drawn to scale!



Often the images we share of our maps are actually the proofs, not a finished printed product itself. This allows for a closer-up shot of the map to share the details with our readers. Of course when we share invitation suites, those maps showcase the final printed look! Here is a sample of Key West, Florida wedding bi-fold invitation that included a custom map and matching envelope liner...from proof to print!

The proof itself includes all of the pieces and the client approves for text and overall look. The proof also includes the dimensions of each piece.

Now here is the same invitation, in its final printed form!

The set also included an adorable RSVP card, shown only in its printed form.

We love the lime detailing that captures the essence of Key West - the key lime pie created here in the 1930s!


Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

This is my last entry as a "single" girl. As much as that brings me joy, it also brings me sadness as I have looked forward to sending over my blog to Laura every Sunday evening, recapping my wedding events and to do's for the week. People always ask me what I am going to do when this whole wedding is over, and I can finally say I am going to go on my honeymoon and relax, and not worry about if napkins have been printed or what flowers were picked out and just "breathe". As the week winds down so many things have just fallen into place. We have now begun packing for our trip out to Santa Barbara on Thursday. From the moment we land in Santa Barbara, we will be up and running with things to do, and we will enjoy and embrace every moment as they will go by in the flash of a light and we will wonder where the whole year of planning has gone! Everything is all set and the timeline has been printed, confirmed and reconfirmed. My dress has been pressed, picked up and is off at the Colgan's house so Wes does not peak! Now I just hope that I have packed everything I need...and want. I am so excited to see everyone near and far that is coming for the wedding. 

Till next week, when I share my wedding photos with you.

Always with love, for the last time as a "single" girl.


Adventures of a Maid of Honor

Last month we were able to steal Laura away for a bachelorette weekend in Santa Barbara. And although we had envisioned lounging by the beautiful Barcara Resort pool, this wet So Cal season had other plans for us! But alas, we didn't let the weather get us down, and we still enjoyed a fabulous weekend toasting the end of Laura's singledom!

We started out with lunch at a lovely winery in Carpinteria then ventured up the coast to relax at the amazing Bellezza Vita Spa in Summerland.

After decadent massages, we stopped off at the Summerland Winery before heading to our hotel where we got ready to shower Laura with a few "unmentionables"!

We won't go any further with those! After enjoying some glasses of champagne, we braved the rain and headed to the hotel bar for some appetizers and drinks, then headed out to dinner at the Hungry Cat.

We failed to capture to much after that, but did managed to almost lose Hannah in the rainstorm! Turns out she was just trying to salvage her defective umbrella...

We shared some girl talk that night and finished off the weekend with a fabulous brunch at the Bacara!

Congratulations to the bride-to-be and the lucky groom who snagged her!



Antigua Invitation Suite

Perfect for a tropical beach or Miami wedding, these letterpressed square invitations use sage green and chocolate brown to invite your guests to your tropical paradise wedding!

The invitation is printed on ivory cardstock and the envelope is made of kraft paper for a truly natural look! We love the square style and the tie top envelope is an extra unique touch!

The calligraphy style is Citadel in chocolate brown ink.
Photography by Steve Steinhardt.


Destination Bride-to-Be

It’s official - 6 months until the big day! Is that really possible?! During the past 2 months we have been focused and committed to other friends’ weddings, bachelorette and bachelor parties, bridal showers, baby showers…you name it, it has taken place. However, I did find my dress! While shopping with my friend, Marisa I found a dress that I absolutely adored and I decided to bring my sister back with me the following weekend with the intention to purchase said dress. As we walked into the store a new dress caught my eye, funny enough it caught Sabryna’s eye too. I left the store with the new dress, forgoing the dress I was set on buying, ha.

I did find some time to celebrate my 30th Birthday with friends at a tea party!

The countdown is on! It is time to really buckle down, concentrate and confirm our wedding plans now that we have a solid idea of how many guests will be attending. Nate and I are thrilled as over 50 friends and family have completely booked their trips through our travel agent. We are expecting over 100 guests to book by the end of June. It is exciting to know that everyone is ready for a vacation and a chance to celebrate as much as we are.
Numerous people have been asking me, what is the hardest part when planning a destination wedding? The answer is simple: everything will come together very last minute. I am a natural planner and I like everything nailed into place as early as possible; which in reality is the complete opposite when planning a DW. We have a small packet from the resort with very little information regarding the ceremony, dinner and reception venues, but that is all. It is very difficult to get solid answers from the onsite wedding coordinator, until about 2 months before the wedding…crazy, right?! They are so busy with other weddings and prices for vendors change so frequently that it is completely standard to not get specific information until about 2 months out. What makes it even more insane, but thrilling, is that most of the final decisions are handled when you meet face to face with the coordinator 2-3 days before the wedding. I keep reminding myself that this is all perfectly normal, as I am silently freaking out inside.

Rachel, Maureen, and me * All Brides-to-Be in 2011

As part of the wedding package at the resort some items are included (wedding cake, bride’s bouquet/grooms boutonniere, spa treatments, breakfast in bed, etc.). But the best part of the package is that any decorations, centerpieces, chair bows and the list could go on and on, that we bring with us they will set up before the ceremony, dinner and reception and take it all down after. The next question is: How do we get it all down there? Numerous friends in Los Angeles and elsewhere have been kind enough to offer their services as bag carriers and are willing to lug an extra suite-case, since shipping items down to the resort is not an option.

Since getting a few answers from the wedding coordinator (or should I say the 3 different coordinators I have spoken with at the resort, who keep moving to new positions within the resort) is a slow and painful process, I have found my savior the Best Destination Wedding Forum

This site is incredibly helpful and I would recommend it to any bride or groom (yes, there are grooms on the site too) who are planning a DW. It is a forum for ideas, suggestions, comments, and concerns revolving around DW in all parts of the world, with the main focus being Mexico and the Caribbean. I have met so many wonderful brides on here who are having or who have had their wedding at the RIU. We share ideas and information that we receive. Some of the most useful information I have been given has come from this site. Let me share one little secret that I learned through a bride on this site; the resort only makes a wedding cake large enough to feed 60 people and each extra slice over that 60 is $9 per person…way too much for a slice of cake in my opinion. Costco is a 5 minute drive from the resort. Costco cake anyone?! I do love their frosting, ha!

Maureen's Bachelorette Party…the first of many this year!

My sister has been tirelessly planning and preparing for my Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower. Multiple people will be traveling from afar so in order to keep it simple both parties will be taking place during Memorial Day weekend. I am so looking forward to celebrating and spending time with friends and family! Fun pictures are sure to follow in my next post.

Lots of Love,


In the Press: INSIDE Weddings Spring 2011

We were so honored to have a full page spread in last month's Spring 2011 INSIDE Weddings magazine!

Our custom, lavender invitation suite features violets and includes a custom map and delicate RSVP card. All three pieces are flat printed on white cardstock and backed in matching lavender paper. The invitation and map were both additionally backed with grasscloth. This gives the suite an organic, tropical feel ~ perfect for Spring and Summer! The embellished calligraphy script helps to maintain an elegant feeling.

Still on stands, you can pick up a copy today!


Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

This weekend was filled with tons of things to do. I had a long list of errands that I had to run on Saturday: pick up hair extensions, get nails done, eye brows waxed, dress fitting, pick up last minutes gifts, and get ready for my bachelorette party. In preparation for the Big Day, coming up oh so quickly, a group of my girlfriends decided to plan a Bachelorette Party for me over this past weekend. We had such a great, drama free night out on the town in Old Town Scottsdale. I was opposed to wearing any "novelty" items, so the girls were super sweet and only made me wear a veil and a few other accessories. Thank you girls for not making me stand out too much, not like the other bachelorettes out that night as well! We started our night at Saddle Ranch for some yummy cotton candy and carafe sized drinks followed up by martinis and dancing into the late hours then to the hotel room for my favorite part - "girl talk" - and some Philly sandwiches.

Here is a sneak peek at a little tiny part of my dress.

I have my final alterations next week and cannot wait to put it on again. My veil is being tea dyed as my something borrowed is my veil from my sister. Who knew you could tea dye a veil to match it to any shade of off white. The seamstress will also be adding in my initials created by my mom for my something blue. That tradition started when my sister got married and my grandmother did it for her. It is going to mean so much and look so pretty. I cannot wait to see the whole dress and look come together.
Next week, we plan on laying low and packing for the wedding and our honeymoon.
Thanks girls again for an amazing night. We do not get together enough.
Always with Love,


Adventures of a Maid of Honor

Laura's wedding plans are coming along nicely, and with Laura and Beth Helmstetter handling all of the details, it's going to be so gorgeous! I've helped out with a few logistical tasks such as the seating, music selection, contacting the guests for their meal selections and the "must-have" photography list. These easy jobs are just up my alley (as an event planner) and I am happy to help out - with the artistic talents of Laura and Beth...there is little else to do!

My mom and sister recently came down to San Diego for a girl's weekend visit. We were so happy to have sunny so-cal weather, and I was very excited for my canine "nephew" Kepler to be visiting!

We enjoyed brunch at a Del Mar cottage then went shopping with one specific goal...to find earrings for Laura to wear at her wedding! We scoured tons of boutique shops and multiple department stores as well. We had nearly given up after about three hours of shopping, but I made us go into one last store, and we are so glad we did since we found the perfect earrings!

After our shopping excursion, we enjoyed a cocktail hour and early dinner before taking Laura's puppy to the local dog beach! The fun thing about San Diego is that people take their dogs everywhere, so Kepler was able to shop and hang out with us all day.

After our productive day, we even went home and worked on assembling Laura's wedding programs! All-in-all it was a really fun girls weekend...and happened to be while my husband and Laura's fiance were off in Vegas for the bachelor party! I bought a couple dresses for Hawaii, as did Laura, and we are all getting really excited for the upcoming wedding and time in Hawaii.

Yours truly,


Elegantly Simple Invitation Suite

This clean, classic invitation suite makes creative use of many pieces to share all of the necessary information for their Malibu, CA fete.

The suite included a large main invitation piece plus a bi-fold that featured directions and accommodations along with other things to do...

...an RSVP card with envelope...

...and a custom map!

All together the invitation suite was quite lovely!

For more information on this invitation suite, please visit our Etsy site!


Share Your Wedding!

Want to see your beautiful wedding, shower or other party featured on A Lucky Orchid Wedding? Simply include your Laura Hooper Calligraphy pieces on your "must-have" shot list for your photographer and send us the pics after your wedding...and you may see your big day online!

This photo was recently shared with us by a bride so excited to have received her calligraphed envelopes - and we think she is quite on top of things to have already completed her DIY table signs!

Calligraphy style is Massy in navy ink.


Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

Over the past week I have learned that I do not roll with the punches very well. If only a few things could have gone right this week it would have been great, but if it wasn't one thing going wrong it was another. I will not go into great details because if I start the list it could go on for awhile but SERIOUSLY you have got to be kidding me!! I so needed a wedding planning time out. Thank goodness for a friend's birthday on Saturday. It was exactly what I needed...a time out!

I have started my piles of wedding things in the office. We now can barely move at all in the room, and I have no idea how we are going to get all of this stuff to Santa Barbara!

We have finished up the majority of everything for the wedding day itself. Everything else, not so much (that would be under the category of nothing going right this week). The timeline has been created with the photographer for the whole day, hair and make up is confirmed to make us girls get pretty and all of the wedding tote bag goodies have been delivered. I know I still have so many things to do, but on this week's agenda is to figure out songs to have the musicians play at the wedding.

Some of the ones I think I really like are (and, no, this list does not include our 1st dance song):
"Chasing Pavement" Adele
"Marry Me" Maroon Five
"I'm Yours" Jason Mraz
"Moondance" Van Morrison
"Can't Get Enough of Your Love Baby" Barry White
"Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" The Police

Our "Welcome" sign created from Laura came in this past week. I'm so excited to put it up for all the guests to see. We have so many more things coming this week in the mail, I am going to be excited to get home from my week long Vegas work trip to open up all the boxes! Here is a pic of our "Cocktails" sign!

Always with love,


Maps: Mystic, Connecticut

We often share our multi-color maps, but many clients prefer another look - the single color map! One example is this teal map of the charming coastal town of Mystic, Connecticut.

The sea inspired icons are so sweet from the seashells, seagulls and crabs to the sailboats and lighthouse. The single color creates an interesting effect, especially on the coastline as you follow along to make the outline of the land!


Maps: Puerto Rico

The US territory of Puerto Rico is popularly known in Spanish as La Isla del Encanto or "The Island of Enchantment" ~ and it was the perfectly enchanting setting for a lovely April wedding!

The adorable map features tropical icons (hello Bacardi Rum Factory!), fishing boats in the lower left corner, the ever popular cruise ship along the east border of the island and the well known El Yunque National Forest and waterfall features in the center of the island! The couple shared some of their favorite eateries along with visitor hot spots such as the observatory and local beaches.

Best wishes to the happy couple!

Costello font.


Postage Increase: April 17th

On April 17, 2011 postage rates will increase for some denominations - not including the standard one ounce $0.44 stamp!

The new USPS postage rates will be:
Postcard - $0.29 (currently $0.28)
1st Class, 2oz. - $0.64 - currently $0.61 used for most wedding invitations!
1st Class, 1oz. Odd Size - $0.84
1st Class, 3oz. - $0.84 (currently $0.78)

1st Class, 3.5oz. - $1.05 (currently $0.95)
1st Class, 4oz. - $1.48
Priority, Flat Rate Envelope - $4.95

If your wedding invitation is going out in the mail after April 17, 2011, be sure you have accounted for these increased postage prices or you may find your invitations back at your door! The best thing to do is always to take a completed invitation to the post office for weighing ~ just be sure to request the post-April 17 rates!

For more information and size limits, please visit the USPS first-class mail pricing page.

Top photo courtesy of Zazzle.

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