Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Very Different Wedding Photo

This is not the usual photograph that we would choose to post the week after a fabulous wedding. But read on –it is one of the most important photos we could share. We absolutely loved being part of this wedding. The bride and her mother were wonderful and fun to work with, and we knew that the whole look of the wedding was going to be gorgeous. There was just one problem that cropped up and threw a curve at the best laid plans for an outdoor ceremony and a barn/tent reception – remnants of a tropical storm arrived right before the ceremony and during the evening light rain turned to a deluge of water plus thunder and lightning – it rained as hard as it could possibly rain. Fortunately they were a little north of the tornado warning area, but the storm was that wild. A disaster? No, not all. It was a wonderful, happy wedding for the bride and groom, their families and guests.
And the reasons for that leads to what we consider the three most important pieces of advice we could give to anyone planning a wedding.

1.       Hire a wedding planner - an experienced, professional wedding planner.  They work behind the scenes, anticipating problems, readying Plan B for any situation that crops up. Stuff happens – the families never know because it is taken care of before anyone notices. A wedding day is one of the most important (and expensive) days of your life, and it makes sense to have a team on hand who insure that all goes as well as possible and who can make adjustments and real time decisions, as Elizabeth Bailey Weddings did at this wedding.
Just one small example we heard about of something the planner did that made a big difference: “When it began raining just before the ceremony, a big bucket of umbrellas magically appeared for groomsmen to escort guests to the tented ceremony area. When it stopped raining, they disappeared. Later, when the drizzle resumed, the umbrella supply reappeared just outside the reception tent for guests who wanted a little cover on their way to the portable bathrooms. It was a marvel!”

2.       Hire extraordinary vendors. They will not be the cheapest. But when you need an extra ordinary effort, they will come through for you. At this wedding, Loane Brothers, the tent company, had staff on hand at the wedding and worked hard to help keep everyone dry – that is not a service offered by many tent companies – you are on your own. The caterer, Linwood’s, persevered in non-optimal conditions. And the photographer – those are Jennifer McMenamin’s feet, who wrapped up her evening pushing her car out of ankle-deep mud. We know her and know that despite the weather, she stayed upbeat and got absolutely beautiful photos – she made sunshine where it didn’t happen.

3.       The last and most important – everything in the world can go wrong, and if the couple is happy and in love, like Libbie and Doug, and their families are warm and gracious, the wedding will be happy and memorable. Guests take their cue from the couple. If they are celebrating and having the time of their lives, the guests do, too. If they are uptight, anxious, complaining and upset, it throws everyone off. Enjoy and embrace whatever happens – most of the things that were not quite planned will become stories you’ll laugh about someday around the Thanksgiving table with your family. 

So congratulations to Libbie and Doug and we wish them many, many years of happiness. They will surely have a story to tell about their wedding and the storm. But the wedding was perfect.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Add a Custom Lining to the Envelopes

Envelope linings are a perfect place to customize your invitations and this year, couples are taking full advantage of that space. Add a pop of color from the wedding’s color palette. Add a street map, a nautical map, a drawing of the venue, the city skyline, your monogram, or a floral design that complements the wedding décor. Add a marbled paper for a library wedding; add a gingham paper for a country wedding; add a wood grain paper for a barn wedding; or add the sparkliest glitter paper you can find for a glamorous look.
You want your guests to see the lining and not rip the envelope open and destroy the effect, so we recommend that you do one of the following:
Order double envelopes and line the inner envelope.
Use washi tape, which peels off without tearing, for a contemporary look in sealing the envelopes.
Seal only the point and an inch or so on each side of the point so the envelope pops open without tearing the lining.


Baltimore Museum of Art entrance

The reception barn

The road leading to the wedding venue in Italy

Redoute flowers

Peonies and roses

An old street map of Baltimore city

a black and white map

Evergreen House
Wood grain

Country flowers for a Ladew Gardens wedding

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A New Life for Redoute Flowers

Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840) was one of the best known and respected botanical artists in Europe in the early 1800s. His watercolors of over 1800 species of flowers and fruits are exquisite.
Everything old is new again. Redoute flowers and fruits are enjoying new popularity on invitations, and his work is definitely influencing a similar look in artistic floral design.

We especially love the artwork we’ve digitally printed as envelope linings.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Diecut Invitations

The second trend we are seeing:
Diecuts are growing in popularity as more printers are adding diecutting capability to their services and more shapes are available. Changing the shape of a piece adds interest to invitations – it can be the main invitation or just a smaller card. The shape of the diecut can be as simple as rounded corners or as complex as the shell design below from Spark Press.
Diecutting after printing allows us to print full bleeds – printing that goes off the edge of the card.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Random Dots

Dots have been big for a few years, but we are moving on to a new look. Not polka dots, not dotted Swiss dots, but Random Dots tumbling all over the paper. They look especially stunning printed in metallic foil, or letterpressed in two colors.

This stunning invitation by Vera Wang is foil-printed and available in several colors.

An example of 2-color letterpress. The look can be changed dramatically by changing the colors of the dots and text.

Not just for invitations, these menus look great with random dots scattered over them - like confetti on the table!

For this wedding, we did a traditional white wedding invitation and then foil-printed a pocket to hold it. The reception card picked up the colors of the pocket to carry the design throughout the ensemble.

Love the gold foil-printed dots on the front and back of the mailing envelopes, a new look from Smock/Bella Figura.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Wedding Invitation Trends 2015

We’ve worked with over 100 couples on 2015 wedding invitations so far, enough to spot the trends for this year. Probably the number one trend is that there is no one big thing that many, many couples want. We see a strong spirit of individualism – a couple will tell us that they found an invitation they love, but they want to change the color, change the fonts, make the monogram much bigger, add a ribbon, do a custom lining with artwork, and so on, and after all is done, the original invitation was just an inspiration. The invitation becomes distinctively their own and not quite like any other.
Even though there were no overwhelming favorites, there are some looks and trends that are influencing invitations.

For today’s post, we are putting up a gallery that represents 14 design trends – can you guess what they are? Starting next week, we’ll post about each one and show more samples of The Looks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"O" Yes We Do!


We are spring cleaning our boxes of samples and enjoying looking at some of our all-time favorite wedding invitations and wedding stationery. Sharing some favorites in the next few posts.
Kristen and Bennett are avid Orioles fans and wed at Camden Yards. They wanted the wedding to have some baseball touches so we designed an "Official Batting Order" card for the wedding party side of the wedding program. The idea is adaptable for any sport that means a lot to the couple.