Archive for Tips

A Little Q & A

Being in the wedding and events business is pretty unique – I meet scores of interesting and amazing people that sometimes really excite me and definitely challenge me. With any event I am working on I get asked a lot of questions that I answer time and time again. So it dawned on me – let’s do a Frequentyly Asked Questions Series! Yeah! So I thought it’d be great to put together the top questions for you lovely readers:

Q: How much do invitations cost?

A: Asking how much an invitation costs is like asking “how much is  a car or a house?” It always depends on the things you select! Just like a Ferrari is higher priced than a Ford, you’re getting something different at a different price point. As with any purchase, if you have a budget in mind it’s best to be mindful of that and communicate your needs up front. My best advice is never to blow your budget on anything because it’s never worth regretting something, especially with weddings. You’re not just planning a wedding here- it’s a marriage and a future. Believe me, there’s no shame in telling a vendor how much you are able to spend – helps us do our job better!

Q: What influences the price of invitations and paper goods?

A: When selecting invitations, programs, or any item for your event consider first your quantity needed then the quality and details. Upon determining how many you need, then you can dive into the design. Obviously a custom design requires a set up and artwork. The printing style you select will also influence price. For example, digital printing is typically far less expensive than thermography, letterpress, or engraving. Having more than 1 ink color or special color-matched inks will also change the price. When selecting papers its important to keep in mind that more paper can mean more money. If a client chose a pocket invitation with two or three layers of paper versues a flat traditional card, the price would probably increase. Additionally, sometimes specialty papers such as recycled papers, specialty linens, or shimmer papers can influence the cost of an item. Lastly, embellishments such as ribbons, rhinestones, or trims can influence cost, but also makes your pieces unique.

Q: How quickly can I receive my invitation?

A: This question is tough because again, it depends on what a client chooses! I like to say atleast 2-3 weeks. Yes items can be rushed, but with rushing comes added expense and the risk of error. When working with a company outside of California (the majority of well-known invitationers are not local) it poses a challenge because of time difference, shipping, and the fact that I am unable to walk into the press area to see what’s going on! When dealing with some of the invitation companies out there such as Inviting Company, Carlson Craft, and Encore, I prefer to allow plenty of time to ensure a high-quality result and no rush fees. On the other hand, custom designs, though seemingly more expensive and can sometimes require a special set-up, can actually be turned around quicker. Working with my fav local printers to produce the same high quality item allows me to check on the design, visit press rooms, and sreduce shipping costs.

Q: What’s your design style?

A: I have been asked this question time and time again, and I really have a hard time answering this one. (Just ask my husband when trying to pick stuff out for our house I change my mind by the minute!) When desiging invitations, I first let the client’s personality and preferences guide me. Obviously color schemes and inspiration for an event are the best way for me to come up with a great design to compliment. But, overall I notice I tend to be drawn to lots of color, unique designs, and definitely a touch of traditional. Especially when it comes to weddings, I like to design pieces that I know a client will look back on ten years from now and still love it. You know – looking back at your mom’s or grandmother’s stuff and saying wow that was so 60’s or 70’s! I don’t want someone to be embarassed by a bizarre color choice or something too trendy. I am also a huge proponent of quality work. I am constantly impressed by beautiful papers, unique textures, and embellishments. I love exceptional quality and timeless designs (like Encore) because the final product will be unlike anything you’ve seen before and arrive in pristine condition.

So… that’s the top 4 most frequently asked. Stay tuned for the next round!

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Getting inspired!

So some time has passed and yes, I am a bad blogger. There I said it! We’ve been so busy around here that I really have just dropped the ball. But, I promise I will pick it up again and try to juggle! So on to the post…. getting inspired!

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from? How do you pick colors, style, and theme for an event?

A: Evaluate your personal style. Look around.. what’s your taste? How do you dress and decorate your home? Are you a glam girl? Do you favor clean, classic, simple lines? Or maybe you like vintage chic. Jot down your ideas and make an inspiration folder. Save pictures and tear-outs of anything that draws your eye. It takes time of course,  but in the mean time, a great place to start is looking through magazines and of course blogs. So on that note, I thought I would compile my all-time favorite event-planning and inspiring blogs and pass on my addiction.

 Style Me Pretty  is the best blog featuring DIY tips, real weddings, and vendor references.  I love the photos submitted for this and ideas they feauture.

The Wedding Chicks is another amazing blog with beautiful photography, DIY ideas, downloads, and planning tips.

Green Wedding Shoes is full of galleries and real wedding features drawing from inspiration from all over for bridres right here in Southern California.

Ruffled is a beautiful blog featuring vintage weddings. I simply love the unique, Anthropologie-esque styles they feauture.

I also love the following sites for inspiration for showers and parties:

Hostess with the Mostess is amazing for real party inspiration for showers and parties.  I love love love this site for party ideas and great decor finds!

The Celebration Shoppe Blog, The Party Dress,  and The Creative Party Place are also great resources for the hostess of all of life’s celebrations.

So stay tuned for more of my ideas on how to determine your personal style! Thanks for reading!

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Thank You Notes

Truth be told, I always complained about writing thank you notes as a kid. I hated that I had to sit down and write something… whether it was Christmas or a birthday my mom always “encouraged” me to do it. Largely I dreaded it because I didn’t know what to say or I would much rather have just said it when I saw the person. But now as an adult, I realize how truly special it makes someone feel when you send them a handwritten thank you note. That expression of gratitude and the time it took to just acknowledge someone’s generosity is truly important.

Be it a wedding, a birthday, or even a simple dinner party acknowledging someone else’s efforts go a long way! Showing you are gracious person, appreciative of others is so important. As Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette says, “Whatever the gift, whether a place setting or a gift of time or talent, it must be acknowledged.”

Unfortunately so often people for-go thank you notes to reduce the cost of their stationery. It’s silly because it really can be so affordable! Afterall a gift from someone is as Emily Post puts it, “a tangible representation of love and support, a generous offering.” Expressing your gratitude is necessary.

I recently had the lovely opportunity to work with Maggi, a bride whose wedding was shot by my talented friend Joel Austell.  When I met Maggi, I loved her energy and her excitement. She came to me with the unique idea to design a thank you card comprised of snapshots of her entire wedding. Because many of her guests couldn’t be present at the wedding, Maggi really wanted to provide them with a glimpse of the entire day. We worked together to design a beautiful piece and I am grateful for the artistic liberties she allowed me to take on this piece!


I just love the photo thank you cards because the items also work as a keepsake. For Maggi I designed the front of the card and the back of the card so that the recipient could cut it apart and frame it. I just love the idea that someone has another token of your appreciation. And not to mention, I always love seeing how the photos turned out!

Here are some inexpensive options from Carlson Craft. Adorable, affordable folding cards as well as postcards!

 (Sorry the quality is a little poor, it’s hard to take a picture of a picture!)

Remember that saying thank you is so critical. Here are some tips on saying thanks:

1. Be prompt! Traditionally a bride and groom have up to a full year to send a thank you from the date of their wedding. But really, it’s awfully inconsiderate to take that long to let someone know their gift arrived and/or was received.

2. A separate, handwritten thank you note should be sent for each present you receive. If you decide to have pre-printed thank you cards, try to write a personal message or sign the card.

3. If the bride writes the thank you, she should mention the groom as well. But also remember that the groom can write them too!

4. Follow a guideline to help you complete the note. Remember to address the gift giver, thank them for their specific contribution and why it is meaningful. And remember that even gifts of time and acts of kindness are often the best gifts, not just tangible items.

Many thanks dear readers for tuning in and reading my post!

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Engagement Party Invitation

I am excited to show you this item because we recently featured it on an Inspiration Board for an upcoming wedding. We were priveleged to be asked to design an engagemnt party invitation for a great couple, my cousin Andy & Taylor’s. We chose the letterpress and thermography combination. It’s a fresh, classic choice clearing conveying the casual yet elegant tone of the event. I also liked that the simplistic word choices we made here.

Tip: We also included a direction card with registry note at the bottom. Though most often a Web address is listed which details the registry or directions to an event it is a courtesy to include that information. Especially in cases where guests may be less than computer-savvy (or even elderly) you can prevent confusion and a lot of phone calls by clearly telling your guests such information. Such small cards are affordable and practical!

(For privacy reasons, portions of the invitation have been changed or removed)

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