Hartley Farms Map

This map of Hartley Farms in New Jersey (which was featured on TLC's Wedded to Perfection!) was purchased six months after the wedding as frameable art for the couple's home.

This map is full of charm, especially with the duck ponds, horses, and train to New York complete with a caboose! It was purchased by the mother of the bride as a Christmas gift for the couple's new home! Calligraphy style is Copperplate.


Real Wedding: Washington, D.C.

Thank you to Jen Stiebel at Soco Events for sending us these pictures from a Washington, D.C. wedding at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium.

We used black ink on ivory escort cards and envelopes with Spencerian calligraphy, and the menus were offset printed with the same black on ivory color combination.

Congratulations to the happy couple!


Personalized Gifts from Sash & Bustle

We love these adorable personalized ceramic dishes from Sash & Bustle in Toronto, Canada!

You can keep earrings, spare change, or other small items in these sweet little dishes. They are such a sweet gift for your bridesmaids, mom or even to give the happy bride in your life.

Sash & Bustle is a boutique bridal shop located in downtown Toronto that features chic bridesmaid apparel and wedding day accessories. Visit their website or blog for more information and details on how to order these special dishes!


Lake Michigan Map

It may only be January, but we've created many maps for 2010 weddings - including this map of Lake Michigan for a July 4th Weekend wedding!

Although there won't be any skiing in July, the couple wanted to be sure to include the popular ski resort along with local golf courses, famous lighthouse and Bay Harbor Yacht Club. The especially love the sweetheart mugs for the local coffee shops downtown.


Adventures of a Maid of Honor

This past week was all prep for the engagement party. As of Friday night, I felt like we spent as much effort on this party as some do on a small, intimate wedding. We were up until the wee hours of the night just putting together details, in addition to me trying to finish up my "real client" orders. Beth was able to pull every detail of our vision together the day of and it all turned out great! Seriously, these are the moments when having a wedding planner is so worth it. They do this for a living, and are used to the stress. I, on the other hand, work with a very tiny portion of the wedding planning process, and I am constantly telling my planner colleagues that I have no idea how they do what they do!

{the beautiful bride and my brother in law to be - dress from Anthropologie}

I received an email from Hannah Bergman of Steve Steinhardt Photography today saying the professional shots would be ready soon, but in the meantime, here are just a couple of sneak peeks from my mom's camera:

{My sis and the father of the bride - wearing a tie with an airplane on it, in Ryan's honor!}

{A pic of the letterpress menus, with individually calligraphed belly bands}

{Me with the bride and groom}

So now that the E-Party is over, Beth is telling me it's time to start thinking about the shower, and the bachelorette party. Personally, after this past weekend, I'm ready for some downtime, and am hoping I can push that requirement off on one of Alyssa's other friends!! We'll see how that plays out in the weeks to come...


Placecard Display

A few weeks ago we shared a post on simple versus elaborate placecards. Here is a wedding that included simple placecards, in a creative display. The flowers were lush, and the green moss perfectly welcomed the swirled card holders.

For an outdoor wedding, it's often necessary to secure the cards in some manner ~ and these sticks were the perfect solution!

{Photography by Todd Rafalovich}

{Black ink, Massy script}


Color vs. Black & White

This is a map of St. Helena, CA that we did for a wedding last year. It was full of fun icons including hot air balloons, galloping horses and of course the grapes and vineyards common for wine country maps! Here the map is in black and white:

And here is the same map with full color:

Often couples decide to go with black and white or one-color, and this is especially beautiful when done on letterpress printing. We love the maps both ways ~ so it's up to personal preference! The calligraphy style of above map is Copperplate.


Lovely Logos

In addition to maps and wedding work, we sometimes also do logo work! Here are some examples of logos we've created for various companies.


Vendor: Colby Elizabeth Photography

We love sharing talent with our readers, and Colby Poppleton of Colby Elizabeth Photography is just that ~ extrememly talented! Based out of Orange County, CA and Denver, CO, the mantra of Colby Elizabeth Photography is "Capturing life's moments as they happen, " which is exactly what Colby does.

A self-proclaimed lover of photography, Colby's joy can be seen through every shot. Her bold, crisp and vivid photos uniquely capture each couple's love on their special day in a timeless fashion.

Colby’s passion for photography is contagious to all that work with her ~ just read the client comments on her blog!

In addition to wedding photography, Colby Elizabeth Photography also specializes in maternity and family photo shoots. Follow Colby Elizabeth Photography on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates!


Adventures of a Maid of Honor

Being the bad maid of honor that I am, I just realized I completely forgot to blog about the recent activities in my sister's wedding planning world.  The engagement party is this weekend and last week I was in charge of decor and coordination with Beth. Since my poor sister is down in San Diego all alone (well, not completely alone, at least she has Ryan), we had to do the planning without her. So, we took a trip out to the restaurant in Santa Monica, had a lovely brunch, and then went upstairs to scope out the party space, since Beth hadn't even seen it yet.

To go with the Mexican theme, we opted to have several potted succulents on each table, a cupcake table, and do a few other fun things with the decor.  The invitations turned out so nicely, so I decided we had to have matching menus, which will have each person's name in calligraphy on the front, at each place setting. We'll also use some simple votives on the tables and that'll be it. Since the space has a charm all it's own, we didn't want to overwhelm it with details.

{This invitation from my Cabo set was inspiration for my sister's invitations for the engagement party. I did change it up for her to suit her more simple taste and color scheme, but thought I'd provide a "sneak peek" at what's to come!"}

Later in the week, Beth and I went out and purchased the succulents and the clay pots to put them in. We plan to let the guests all take a succulent home as a favor after the party is over. I also re-confirmed my cupcake order and added on to it, to ensure we'd have enough cupcakes for all the guests.

We're having the fabulous Steve Steinhardt come out to shoot the event so stay tuned for photos of the night and stationery after this weekend! I know it's going to turn out beautifully!


Sweet Succulents

Many couples are forgoing the use of traditional florals for a more rustic look with the use of succulents, and we love the effect created on these tables in a past California wedding!

The placecards for this affair were written in black ink, Bickham script on delicately rough-edged paper.

The centerpieces boxes and brown table settings give the table an overall earthy feel.

{all photography by Aaron Delesie}


Real Wedding: Portsmouth, Rhode Island

This wedding is full of character and charm, starting with just the venue ~ Glen Manor House in Rhode Island!

Jill and Jeff thought of every detail to make their wedding a memory to savor for years to come...

One such detail was the wooden escort cards that we had the honor to calligraph!

We used silver ink on the dark cherry wooden veneer cards and the calligraphy style is Spencerian. White florals (by Stoneblossom) cascaded at the alter and filled the aisle, and the couple displayed vintage photos for a personal touch.


We especially love the look after dark!

For more pictures and details on this gorgeous affair, visit Stoneblossom's blog. A special thank you to Kristin Spencer Photography for sharing the wonderful pictures with us and our readers!


Dual City Maps

Sometimes couples like to do insets in their maps to showcase a town so far away from the main location that it doesn't fit. And then there are couples that have two cities that are so important to them that they want both cities to be the main focal point! When that happens we create dual maps that showcase both cities side by side.

This adorable save the date map joins Seattle and New York City. The couple wanted to show their life in Seattle, but the wedding is taking place on the East Coast ~ so they featured both! They were even able to include their engagement spot ~ Golden Gardens Park ~ which is always a special touch.

For this Portuguese couple living and marrying in New Jersey, including their native country of Portugal was very personal and important for them. They even had the map blown up to 11x14 to have at the wedding!

Laura Hooper Calligraphy on SMP's Little Black Book Blog

We were so honored yesterday to see our work featured on Style Me Pretty as a Little Black Book vendor.

{photos courtesy of MiBelle Photography}

Click here to see the post and be sure to follow Style Me Pretty for daily doses of all things wedding!


Always a Bridesmaid

We are happy to tell you about the launch of a brand new website for Always a Bridesmaid ~ a boutique wedding and event planning and design firm serving New York and New Jersey area brides...and coming soon to Los Angeles!

The ladies at Always a Bridesmaid specialize in helping you create a personalized event – branded with style, sophistication and luxury (kinda like the extra bridesmaid you've always wanted!).

You should also visit their blog, Always a Blogsmaid, for daily tips and advice on planning and partying! They cover everything from decor, resources, beauty (think tanning tips!), photography, bridesmaid dresses...well, everything!


Adventures of a Maid of Honor

In going through this wedding planning process thus far I've learned something about my sister that I never knew before: She is really bad at making decisions. And, I actually witness this a lot with many of my brides. You have so many options to sift through, what do you do? It's hard to visualize some things (even if you have real wedding photos from someone else's wedding right in front of you) with regard to your own wedding. 

Case in Point #1: The Dress -- Alyssa tried on about 20 dresses and really liked 2 of them. She had no idea which one to pick. She looked gorgeous in BOTH of them (I know, such a problem to have). She and my mom thought that maybe we should go somewhere else and look at more dresses. But why go and add 15 more dresses to the mix and then you have to pick between 3 or even 4 dresses? I know some people relish going and trying on dresses and maybe it's just that I don't care for shopping very much, but the answer was clear to me - to pick the (albeit more expensive) dress with the Wow Factor. I mean, it was fabulous. She looked amazing. And there was no way she would even remember the other (still gorgeous) dress in question 11 months from now.

Case in Point #2: The Shoes (for the Engagement Party) -- So, Alyssa and I found this cute dress at Anthropologie and then of course we had to find shoes to go with it. One morning we went back and forth with links via AIM but it's really hard to tell how something is going to look from a product shot on a website. I happened to be shopping after Christmas and saw these really cute soft gold Stuart Weitzmans that in my humble opinion would be perfect. I know if Alyssa were looking she probably would have passed them over because A. Way too expensive and B. Heels too high (3" on a 5'8" girl). Luckily, I don't think like a 5'8" girl since I'm only 5'5" and Ryan happens to be 6'1" so who cares if you end up being 5'11" in the heels anyway?   So, I bought the shoes! (And I really hoped she would like them, because they were just so cute - strappy sandals with little rhinestones going across the two straps on the front, and they were on sale for what came out to being about 70% off the original cost.) I just really could not go through any more links and "what if scenarios" with regard to the shoes! And, we still have to find her shoes for the wedding so I felt the need to check something off the list for her. I think we both feel a sense of gratification when we get to cross things off the list, which is a good thing in avoiding stress.

Case in Point #3: Ryan's "outfit" for the Engagement Party -- Same problem -- so instead of dragging this out, after purchasing the shoes, I went over to Macy's and bought 2 ties that I thought would work. They were conveniently "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" so I bought two nice ones in the closest colors of her dress and told her to let Ryan choose. Again, this goes back to the whole idea of letting your groom choose something once in a while so you can get your way on everything else! Problem solved.

We are having similar problems with the flowers, the ceremony musicians, and the DJ. Unfortunately our DJ (who is wonderful) accidently double booked himself for the date and has to send another of his people for the wedding now. So, in order to avoid another decision, Alyssa wants me to just meet the new guy and make sure he's "okay" (which means clean-cut, so our conservative dad won't think he's "weird"). I am finding that these small decisions (that Alyssa mostly doesn't even really care about) can be quickly nipped in the bud to avoid any stress. No matter much you think one wrong decision could create a disaster, I promise Alyssa, and all other brides reading this, that it won't be! When you have your flowers on your tables at the wedding you are not even going to remember what all the other options looked like.

What are you having a hard time making a decision about? And who, or what, helped you come to a decision about it?


my Kate Parker Weddings - New Launch

We are pleased to be a part of the launch of a new interactive wedding planning site for East Coast brides! Kate Parker Weddings, a nationally recognized wedding design and coordination firm, has just launched my Kate Parker Wedding, a new online wedding resource and vendor directory that features a fresh approach to how brides can plan every detail of their wedding. The site features all of the New England states in addition to NYC, hand selecting the participating vendors to provide the very best resources for couples planning their weddings ~ and we are so honored to have been chosen to be a party of this new venture.

my KPW is a completely interactive website. Brides can search the site for exactly what they are looking for because every piece of information uploaded is tagged by color, style, season, and vendor information. The more information a bride stores to her profile, the more specific images and stories will be called to her attention every time she logs in. There will be a Facebook-like activity stream on her homepage so she will see what's happening with any vendor - new photos, new stories, a blog post, etc., whenever she visits the site.

Unlike other wedding resources, my KPW has been created from a wedding planner's standpoint. They understand what it takes to plan a wedding, and are sharing their tips and secrets with you, the bride!

Visit my Kate Parker Wedding to start your planning!


Real Wedding: Los Cabos, Mexico

I simply adore the creativity and details in this custom invitation suite. The wedding took place at the One & Only Palmilla Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, and we incorporated the major colors of the couple's palette ~ aqua blue, rich orange, gold, and brown. The result was fabulous!

We created a fantastic postcard highlighting each event so guests could respond to each one individually as well as write a handwritten note to the bride and groom when they replied. Instructions for this were provided in English and translated to Spanish as well.

We used a beautiful osmose paper that resembles wood for the Beach BBQ card and the Welcome Fiesta on the beach and created a custom oversized pocketfold (to hold all the pieces) imprinted with a gorgeous tile design that is seen throughout the resort in a neutral ivory shade.

Allcards were printed on 100% cotton paper. The invite card itself was orange and metallic gold letterpress, and the rest of the cards were letterpressed as well.

The invitation and all the cards went into the pocketfolder which was then inserted into a beautiful organic envelope tied shut with twine a luggage tag style name tag for each guest (instead of an inner envelope). The entire set was mailed in an organic kraft envelope (letterpress printed, of course!) sealed with an antique gold wax stamp that was custom ordered by the bride.

The bride also created her own monogram to match the set and affixed it to the front of the pocket folder. The weather forecast was provided on an additional card, 80 degrees and sunny every day!!

The bride even ordered four custom stamps from Zazzle.com to accompany the set!

Custom luggage tags like those on the invitation were also used as favor tags at the reception itself. We also did placecards for each event on sand dollars and spanish tiles that the bride and her brother painted over the span of several months leading up to the wedding so they, too, would match the invites!

We couldn't have been happier with the results of this suite, and we know the bride and groom loved it too!Calligraphy style is Elegance script. All photography by Victor Sizemore.

This tablecloth was used at the rehearsal dinner and was the inspiration for the Beach BBQ Card!

Sanddollars were hand painted with the names of each guest and used as placecards at each seat.

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