Wedding Brands & Style Guides for Brides

A&J-1-pageStyleGuideI was thinking Southampton Garden Party meets Mad Hatters Tea Party (but more restrained and sophisticated) meets European simplicity meets our life story . . . with a little New Orleans charm and a touch of Aussie casual. AMANDA

When planning my daughter’s wedding, we began with the notable books and websites. We were immediately overwhelmed by a myriad of checklists, a multitude of photos, and a million costly decisions. How on earth could we ensure that all of these decisions were going to come together in the end? Verbal descriptions can be so subjective—just imagine relaying Amanda’s vision (above) to five different vendors and the different interpretations that could result! I quickly realized that it takes a village to make a wedding come together and we needed a VISION before we hired our first VENDOR.

I decided to do what I do best. Utilizing my 15 years of experience in branding and design for Fortune 500 companies, and 15 years as university professor of design, I created an exclusive brand for this wedding and a companion wedding style guide making it uniquely theirs. This SIGNATURE WEDDING STYLE GUIDE contained both visual and verbal examples of Amanda and Jono’s ideas on their vision, color palette, budget, etc. It became our roadmap driving all of our wedding decisions and ensured a consistent vision across all touchpoints—from the save the date to the send off.

I made copies and brought one to every vendor meeting. This ensured that everyone was on the same page as we put our plans in place. From the wedding planner to the florist, everyone raved about the style guide and commented that they wished every bride had one because it made their jobs so much easier. We updated the guide in real time and communicated changes as we went through the planning process. As it got closer to the wedding date, the style guide reflected our final decisions and we replaced our inspiration photos with the real deal. The result was a seamless and signature wedding of their dreams!

Want to Create Your Own Signature Wedding Style Guide? Download the How To & a Template HERE

Also, check out our article, Signature Wedding Style Guide: A Bride’s Best Friend, over at Huffington Post Weddings.

Something Old Into Something New 2—Disco Deco, Part III . . . Materials Matter

Art-Deco-PatternsPaper choice can make or break the look of your invitation suite as well as your budget. It can be quite expensive so you will have to shop around in order to find a paper that is both high quality AND cost effective. I am sharing some of my favorite sources for paper and envelopes that provide a beautiful assortment for all budgets.

Paper For Invitations and Envelopes:
Legion Paper
Gmund
French Paper
Letterpress Paper
The Papermill Store
Paper Source
Paper Works

Specialty Papers for Envelope Liners, etc.:
Hollanders
Paper Wonders
Hiromi Paper
Paper Mojo

MAKE YOUR OWN
I love to custom-line my envelopes and sometimes I even create my own paper pattern. I choose and draw a design in Illustrator and then make a pattern with it. Illustrator CS6 has a new pattern tool that offers different pattern options for you to choose from. Here is a great video that shows you how this works.

An antique Ottoman carpet was the inspiration for my carnation pattern and was a perfect choice since Art Deco is all about symmetry and the exotic. I colored my pattern in the soft gray that our couple requested and printed it out on a digital Japanese paper that I got from Hiromi.

Using an envelope template from Paper Source, I traced and cut out my envelope liners. Then, I placed the paper in the envelope and stuck it down with an archival glue stick.

Deco-3

If you decide to line your own envelopes, make an evening of it. Invite friends and family to help you put your invitation suite together. Make it festive with some good food and fabulous wine and put an assembly line in place. Getting the envelopes done early is always a good idea so that the calligrapher can get started addressing them. That way, they are ready to go when the invitations come back from the printer.