You gotta love a couple who is willing to mix it up! Colleen and Nick got married last summer in Littleton, Colorado on August 24 at The Arrowhead Golf Club. These two super fun people combined soft floral elements with their love of strong Colorado brews!
The Wedding Invitation Suite
Colleen had a clear vision for the wedding invitations: bold meets beauty. We used classic fonts in a dark burgundy and surrounded them with a natural watercolor floral design. Nick felt the invitation suite pushed too feminine, so we brought in a blue rsvp envelope and details card for balance. Both of them loved the idea of the burgundy panel pocket enclosure to safely hold together all of the separate cards.
This bride and groom wanted the whole look and feel of their wedding to be consistent throughout, so they came back to me to create their day-of wedding signage. To make certain all elements would come together with the day-of decor they had chosen, we implemented the same colors, fonts and design motif as used on the invitation cards.
The Wedding Seating Chart
This wedding had a ton of guests. Colleen and Nick were searching for a way to organize seating for the large reception that would take place in a tent. To save some space, I recommended a fabric sign that could hang just outside of the tent. Fabric signage also worked perfectly for this outdoor wedding because it would hold up if rain rolled into town.
Since this couple has an intense love for Colorado beer, Colleen and Nick decorated their reception tables with growlers they collected from local Colorado breweries! We then used the coordinating brewery logos on the seating chart to help guests find their seat.
The Wedding Favors
Finally Colleen and Nick hired me to design and print labels for their wedding favors. Little jars were filled with honey and left on each guest’s place setting. I applied the same floral artwork from the wedding invitation and added a honey bee. These labels are such a simple touch, but they personalize an otherwise ordinary jar of honey.
Colleen & Nick’s Photographer:
Jo Julia Photography
Colleen & Nick's Wedding Planner:
Blue Linden Weddings & Events
For more real wedding inspiration, see my blog
A COLOR-BLAST SPRING WEDDING
We LOVE Pinterest! No more huge wedding binders or pricey wedding magazines. It is simple to use and the ideas are endless. Plus, it isn’t just magnificent eye-candy, most pins are clickable—connecting you to web pages where you can purchase the items you love, explore blogs with tips and advice, or find a wedding invitation designer whose work matches the design style you are trying to achieve. BUT absolutely definitely be warned—Pinterest can also be very dangerous. “Pinterest is a time-suck!” says every bride I know. “It sets unrealistic expectations!” exclaims wedding planners. So how can you use Pinterest for good? How can we avoid it having a frustrating effect on you and your wedding vendors? I have a few ideas below.
1. Search VERY specific keywords
Search “3-tier blush and green floral wedding cakes” instead of “wedding cakes”. Make some simple decisions on your event before you dive deep into Pinterest: know your color palette, know your theme, and select a design style. This will tighten up the imagery results so you don’t spend hours looking at wedding cakes when you could be spending quality time with your new fiancé!
2. Know what you DON'T want
This is so easy! Dissect images that catch your eye. Does that amazing tablescape look too formal for our rustic backyard bash? That tight rose bouquet doesn’t match our relaxed boho theme at all! Constantly go back through your Pinterest board and delete pins that don’t flow with your overall look and feel. It will make you feel less overwhelmed when you go back in for inspiration later.
3. Create a board with your wedding planning/design team
Most wedding planners now offer a “design package”. This is a fabulous idea! Ask your wedding planner to pin inspiration for you. Then, you can set a time to review them together and make final decisions. Your planner—knowing your style and theme—can guide you to the best vendors based off of your pins. They can also pin items they know you can afford based on your budget. That way you aren’t falling in love with letterpress invitations when your budget only allows for digital printing.
4. Avoid Pinterest fails
Attention DIY couples! Please please understand that every idea you add to your DIY list will take 5X longer than planned. Plus, when you are rushing around 3 days before your wedding, that project you bought $250.00 worth of supplies to create will either look disappointing or won’t happen at all. Remember, 99% of those stunning designs on Pinterest are created by seasoned professionals with large teams. Keep the DIY projects realistic and to a bare minimum.
5. Remove pins when items are purchased
Look forward, not back. You found the wedding dress of your dreams. Now get on your phone, log into Pinterest, and delete your dress board. Don’t be sucked into those pins again a month later and start second-guessing your decisions. Be thrilled that item is off the to-do list. Now you can start pinning shoes and accessories!
Designs by Sarah, based in Denver, CO, specializes in custom wedding invitation design.
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Your mom is telling you “do this”. Your cousin twice-removed is telling you “don’t do that”. A lot of wedding stationery rules have gone out the window, so we ask friends and family. This isn’t always the best idea. What is a great idea is to go with your gut. The wedding rules are truly YOURS. Because guess what? It’s YOUR wedding! Obviously, hiring a wedding stationery designer can alleviate the stress and guide you through the dos and don’ts. And since I am a custom wedding invitation designer in Denver, I’ve put together a list below specifically on the subject of invitation suites.
DO mail physical wedding invitations
DON'T create an e-vite
DO mail invitations 2-3 months out
DON'T mail invitations more than 4 months out (unless you are having a destination wedding and did not send out save the dates)
DO formally address your envelopes ("Mr and Mrs Smith") and mail them
DON'T hand-deliver wedding invitations with a name scribbled on the envelope
DO put the bride's name first
DON'T include too many family names (try to keep parent names on one line)
DO use bold and interesting fonts
DON'T use fonts that will make your invitation illegible
DO include a separate RSVP card with clear information for your guests
DON'T throw a wedding website at the bottom of your invitation card
DO have multiple friends and family proofread all cards in the wedding invitation suite
DON'T trust your invitation designer to catch everything
DO order at least 10 extra of everything
DON'T underestimate your guest list — last minute additions can pop-up
DO take an assembled invitation suite to the post office and weigh for postage cost
DON'T guess and apply postage to envelopes beforehand
Tip: If you have questions about wedding invitation etiquette contact a local stationery designer and ask! I know I am always available to help anyone out, client or no client.
For Do’s and Don’ts on Save the Dates, see my 2.27.19 blog.
It’s the wedding trend that is here to stay… signage. The possibilities are limitless thanks to Instagram and Pinterest. If you don’t already have a day-of-design line item on your wedding budget spreadsheet, I recommend you add it in right now. Most articles I’ve found online suggest putting aside 8% of your overall wedding budget for wedding decor (this includes floral). I guarantee your signage decor items are forgotten until a month before the wedding, when you then end up scrambling to find table numbers at Target, a welcome sign on Etsy, and asking your sister to print the bar’s signature drink menu on her crappy 20 year old printer. Fast forward to your big day and you realize nothing matches, fonts are hard to read, and you forgot a sign for the gift table. When it comes to wedding stationery the invitations are for you and your fiancé, but the day-of paper goods and signage are for your guests.
Create a cohesive wedding day.
Carry your wedding theme throughout all elements of your event. Source items that have a consistent look and feel. I use the same fonts, colors, and design elements from your save the dates and invitations to create your day-of items. If you are having a rustic wedding: get wooden welcome signs, bar signs, and table numbers. Having a modern garden wedding? Showcase a geometric seating chart, or tie place cards to a flower and set them on each guest's napkin or plate.
Tip: Pass on the chalkboard signs! Unless your wedding is at a schoolhouse, stop buying/renting them. I know you can come up with something more creative than that.
Your signage should be beautiful, yet serve a purpose.
Menus provide a list of the options available to your guests. Welcome signs make your friends and family feel good. Seating charts determine where everyone will sit for their meal. Signage should create a friendly environment—and people like structure—so give your guests information, but don’t overwhelm them. Below are have/have not lists. Save some money and cut out the extras.
YOU SHOULD HAVE:
Tip: Your planner will help you with wedding decor. If you do not have a wedding planner, consider hiring an event design team or a custom stationery designer. Besides invitations, day-of stationery is the most popular item my clients order.
Rent whatever you can.
This is another reason to begin research on day-of decor in advance. Go on local FaceBook pages and ask around for your must-have items. Contact rental companies, they sometimes have more than what is listed on their websites. I’ve just recently started to rent signage to my clients because they can be expensive to create from scratch. Plus, what do you do with all of these items once the wedding is over?
Tip: Wedding and event planners are a great resource for these items. Even if you are not hiring a planner, call some companies in your area and ask if they would rent out the items in their inventory. Most will only charge a small daily fee.
Your mom is telling you “do this”. Your cousin twice-removed is telling you “don’t do that”. A lot of wedding stationery rules have gone out the window, so we ask friends and family. This isn’t always the best idea. What is a great idea? Go with your gut. The wedding rules are truly YOURS. Because guess what? It’s YOUR wedding! Obviously, hiring a wedding stationery designer can alleviate the stress and guide you through the etiquette. So since I am a custom wedding stationery designer in Denver, below I’ve put together a list of do's and don'ts specifically on save the dates to help you out.
Keep an eye out… I’ll have more do's and don’ts on other stationery subjects coming later.
DO mail save the dates 6-12 months out
DON'T mail save the dates more than one year out
DO include the month, day, and year
DON'T include a time or date range (if you are throwing more than one event)
DO include your names (with last names or without ~ whatever you prefer!)
DON'T put nicknames or your parents names
DO include city and state of wedding location
DON'T include specific addresses
DO include your wedding website
DON'T include registry information
DO put your PROFESSIONAL engagement pictures on your card
DON'T put a selfie on your card
DO create a design that speaks to your wedding theme or vision
DON'T create a design that your best friend likes because "it's pretty"
DO include your wedding colors
DON'T include colors that your mom likes because "they're pretty"
DO have fun designing your save the date and make it YOUR own
DON'T create a design because someone else told you to. tell them to
go get their own wedding to plan!
Tip: If you have questions about wedding stationery etiquette contact a small local business and ask! I know I am always available to help anyone out, client or no client.