March 25, 2010

More Samples!

Charcol and Spring Yellow 
Ceremony Program

Pool Blue, Purple and Red Destination Wedding
Shower Invitation | Save the Date | Formal Invitation

Pool Blue, Black and White
Tri-Fold Wedding Invitation

March 23, 2010

Love is Patient. Holly and Lee.

Holly and Lee are getting married this May, and we are busy working on her wedding invitations, rehearsal dinner invitation and ceremony programs. I met Holly through my mother-in-law. Small world...Holly and my MIL met while taking a class together and as they started to get to know one another, found out that their families are from the same small town in Indiana. When Holly got engaged and started talking about how hard it was to find the invitations she wanted, with a music theme, she got pointed in my direction. :)

Holly and Lee have waited patiently for each other... both longing for God to put someone in their life who was perfect and true. Two friends introduced them and the rest is history. They both have a love for music and a love for the Lord. Music and scripture are big parts of their wedding theme (Holly, a vocalist and Lee, a trumpet player). We incorporated those very specific themes into their invitations. First was the logo. After many discussions about the font and the incorporation of the trumpet and microphone, this was what Holly and Lee chose. You'll see how it is incorporated into the invitations next.

Holly and Lee's colors are Pool Blue, Black and White. Bright and sophisticated colors for a bright and sophisticated couple. We started off with the invitations - again, incorporating the music theme with the music staff, trumpet and microphone.

The invitation is mounted on pool blue card stock with a layer of white card stock and vellum, attached with a sheer black ribbon with a chevron end. You can see the treble clef, music staff, trumpet and microphone on the white layer show through the vellum. The response card also uses the treble clef and the logo is on the back of the outer envelope under the return address. We then turned our attention to rehearsal dinner invitations.

As we started talking about their guests, I suggested that we do a combo invitation so that guests invited to the rehearsal dinner would only need to send in one response card. We came up with a tri-fold invitation to include all the information these special guests needed.

The invitation is on the left, with the rehearsal dinner invitation in the pocket on the right, along with directions, a map with accommodation information and the response card. The logo was used as a clasp to keep the invitation closed.

We incorporated scripture in two different places: on the inner envelope and on the invitation. It reads:
...when they ask God's blessing on their union and His presence in their new life together...

and on the inner envelope...1 Corinthians 13:13: Love never fails...And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

These invitations are going out this week! So excited for Holly and Lee!

March 16, 2010

New Samples Pictures.

New Samples are available and more to come soon!

Flat Panel | Wedding Invitation

Folded Wedding Invitations

Flat Panel Birth Announcement with Ribbon

March 15, 2010

Q & A. Announcing Gift Registry.

Q. How do we let guests know where we are registered or let them know that we would prefer cash gifts?

A. Traditionally, it is improper to include registry information or registry inserts in a wedding invitation.
It implies that you expect a gift. It is also not in good taste to include "no gifts please", or "please make donations to...", or "cash gifts only". A good resource for guests are family and your wedding party. They will be able to verbally spread the word of your wishes. Some guests will still want to show their joy for your through gifts, whether on or off of your registry. A hand written note from you or your spouse is customary to send as appreciation of their gift.

Many couples are creating personal wedding websites with all their details included on one page. Many of these websites include a page dedicated to registry information.

What about gifts for showers and engagement parties?
Gifts are typically not a part of engagement parties. An engagement party is a way to mingle with friends and new family members in celebration of your engagement, and are held early in the engagement. No soiree's will come! Engagement parties are a great way for your wedding party to spread the verbal word of your registry.

Many wedding shower hosts are sending invitations with registry information. Guests actually prefer the ease of knowing where they can find gifts for the couple. My advice is to send it on a separate piece of paper and not on the invitation.

March 11, 2010

Q & A. Your Plus One.

Q: We are having an "adult" wedding on a budget. How do we let our guests know who is invited to our wedding?

Including an inner envelope is the best way to let guests know who is invited to your wedding. (more on addressing inner and outer envelopes) Guests lists are the hardest part of planning a wedding. Not inviting children is perfectly acceptable, but can be a touchy subject. Use the outer envelope to address the invitation and the inner envelope to let the household know who is invited. For example, your outer envelope would be addressed like this:

Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Smith
1234 Walla Walla Lane
Shady Lane, Wisconsin 12345

Greg and Sally have two young children, Jake and Melissa. If you are not including children in your guest list, then your internal would be like this:

Greg and Sally

The omission of the names of their children is the indication that only Greg and Sally are invited.

The same goes for your "and Guest". Allowing unmarried guests to bring a significant other is great, especially if they don't know anyone else at the wedding. Although, if you have a lot of unmarried friends, allowing all of them to bring a guest can make your budget skyrocket. If you are concerned about your budget, and want to make sure everyone is included on your big day, it is acceptable to not include "and Guest" on your invitations. This way, you don't have to feel like you are excluding guests, who you are close to and want as a part of your day, just so someone can bring a complete stranger to your wedding. If you have unmarried guests, you can address their outer envelope like this:

Mr. Nate Smith
1234 Walla Walla Lane
Shady Lane, Wisconsin 12345

The inner envelope should include, either "and Guest" or their partner's name, if you know it (and you know they will be together at the wedding!).

Nate and Guest


Nate and Susan

Use your family and wedding party to help spread the word when asked about children or the +1's. If guests respond that they are bringing their children or a date, then it is best to give them a call and let them know that children and extra's are not included in the wedding. Your guests should understand and realize that all adult weddings can be uncomfortable for children and adding +1's who are strangers, can add costs across the board.

Response cards are also a good way to indicate and remind who is invited. I like to use person(s) to indicate that singles have been invited, and it is a reminder to invitee's to include 1 in their response number if they have received an invitation only addressed to them.

___ person(s) will attend ___ decline with regret

Obviously, there are different traditions and expectations for everyone around the country. It is best to do what you are comfortable with doing. Etiquette can be very overwhelming - especially for weddings. Use these rules and guidelines to make your own decisions. Often, you will end up making the right decision for you and your event.

March 9, 2010

Q & A. Hand Addressed Invitations

Q: Being from the South, anything less than a hand addressed invitation is frowned upon. Is it necessary to have our invitations hand addressed?

A: Well, I am from the South too, and personally, I don't think it is absolutely necessary. GASP! Now, there is something to be said about a beautifully addressed envelope. Professional calligraphy is personable and very formal. It can cost anywhere from $1.00-1.50 for inner and outer envelopes. Your investment for professional calligraphy can be $2.50+ per envelope .

If you don't have the budget or the time to have a professional calligrapher address your invitations, then addressing yourself or running through the printer is perfectly acceptable.

An option that is becoming very popular to the modern bride are label wraps.

It's not for everyone, but it does add a level of design to your invitations. Just think of label wraps as a envelope decoration. This by no means allows you to use labels like you see on bulk mailings. It is extremely impersonal. It takes a little extra time, but addressing by hand, by printer or by wrap can be a personable and stylist way to send word of your special day.

March 7, 2010

Q & A. The Demise of the RSVP

Q: Why are RSVP's so important? Should I include a response card?

A: RSVP's are very important when planning a wedding.
I can't stress that enough! Guests are more and more choosing not to respond when they receive invitations. Unfortunately, it sends a bad message to the host, and puts hosts in an awkward situation as they find themselves wondering or calling recipients to find out if they will attend the wedding.

Reasons you should consider a response card:
  1. Your caterer usually needs a head count 7-10 days prior to the event. You could be charged extra and even over your per-head cost if last minute guests attend.
  2. If more people attend than you thought, some guests could be left standing or without food. You want them to enjoy your wedding.
  3. If your budget calls for 100 guests, and 120 show up (at $100 a head), it's quite a surprise for whoever is cutting the check!
  4. Both the host and the invited can feel quite awkward when asked if attending the event.
When guests fail to respond, it is extremely inconsiderate. What kind of message does that send to the host? Not a great one. Unfortunately, all bride's will at some point need to follow up with a guest who hasn't responded. It is perfectly fine to follow up with someone - after all, it was inconsiderate for them not to respond and they have an obligation to reply as soon as possible. So, make it easy on your guests - include a pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope, with a deadline 4 weeks out, so all they need to do is drop it in the mail.

Email Response
It is acceptable to use an email address or website for guests to respond for their attendance. But, if you have a large number of guests who do not have access to computers or know how to use email, including a prepaid and pre-addressed response card is smart.

Numbering response cards
Some bride's find it helpful to lightly and discretely number their response cards. The number corresponds to the line the name is on the excel spreadsheet. So, as responses come in, you know exactly who you have not heard from.

March 3, 2010

Q & A: Invitation Timing

Q: How soon do I need to send out my invitations?

A: Mailing your invitations 6-8 weeks in advance gives your guests enough time to plan and respond for your wedding. If you send it too early, people may forget. If it is sent too late, guests may already have plans. 6-8 weeks gives your guests plenty of notice and gives you plenty of time to gather your numbers for caterers and other vendors. Your RSVP deadline should be a week or two out from your catering deadline. In order to ensure you have all of your responses, you may need to follow up with some guests.

Destination weddings require more notice, especially if the destination is hundreds of miles away from the majority of your guests. A Save the Date should be sent with as much information as possible 6 months in advance to guests. Guests have plenty of time to make reservations at discounted rates, take time off work or from school even before they receive an official invitation. Official invitations for destination weddings can be mailed at the traditional time of 6-8 weeks, as long as your Save the Dates go out with plenty of notice.

March 2, 2010

Recipe of the Week. Low Fat Creamed Spinach.

Photo courtesy of Family Oven

You know you are dying to order this at Fleming's. Can you imagine how many millions of calories do you think that stuff has in it? This is a low fat version of one of my steak house fav's.

Low Fat Creamed Spinach

4 10 oz frozen spinach thawed & strained
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (low sodium, if they have it)
2 blocks fat free cream cheese
1/2 medium white onion, diced

Mix all of this together in a bowl. Grease a casserole dish and dump it all it. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes uncovered.
Can be halved very easy - half is plenty for 2 with leftovers. :)

March 1, 2010

Q&A: Invitation Addressing

Q: What is the formal way to address wedding invitations?

A: Wedding invitations traditionally consist of an inner and an outer envelop to dictate who is invited to a wedding and/or reception. The outer envelope is used for the postal service to get it there, the inner to show who is invited. Now, where in the world did this little tradition come from?

Long ago, wedding invitation recipients would have been greeted at home by the brides and their assistants, who went door to door delivering their invitations. Many times, servants would answer the door, accept the invitation, remove the outer envelop and hand only the inner envelop to the invited guest. My favorite example of this is from the movie Ever After (modern take on the Cinderella Story), with Drew Barrymore i.e. Danielle/Cinderella. I have a weakness for movies like this! The horsemen ride up, inviting everyone in the household to the royal wedding, leaving poor, sweet Danielle out.

The outer envelope is, more often than not, addressed formally with the formal name and address:

Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Neal Smith
1234 Walla Lane
Walla Walla, Wisconsin 13456

Inner (formal): Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Inner (personal): Greg and Sally

All spelled out. No abbreviations. This is an example of a married couple with the same last name. Obviously, not everyone is married, so other formats can apply...

click to view me full size!

Some additional items:
Making sure you have the correct address is a priority. Don't guess or look in the white pages. If your invitation is returned because of the wrong address, you have 1) wasted (that ever so expensive) postage and 2) are giving guests late notice of your date.

Avoid abbreviations, nick names, and initials. It is ok to ask for full formal names. At this time in our lives with Facebook, how many of us have received a facebook message asking for address and spouse names?