I don't know about y'all but these 98 degree, feels-like-109 days where you walk outside and can barely breathe have me reaching for summery, light and refreshing cocktails rather than my usual glass of red. Anyone else? I love summer but I have to say I'm looking forward to slightly cooler temps these days. At least the heat has brought a few storms this week and with them, much needed rain. The wave of rain has given our garden a huge boost, and you look outside and everything is a gorgeously lush green again instead of brittle and brown.
I love growing herbs on our deck so we have quick access to them while cooking, and one of my favorites is rosemary. This year we have five rosemary plants and you can bet that SO many people will be getting rosemary infused gifts as long as I have plenty of it. My little sister recently bought a house and of course I went all out with a big housewarming gift basket. I had been making tons of rosemary and grapefruit cocktails and knew she'd love them too. I had a light bulb moment at some point to make her some homemade rosemary simple syrup like I had made myself, but then I was determined to make it extremely beautiful as well.
Whether you will be sending your kids back to school part-time or doing 100% virtual learning or even taking on homeschooling, you probably have a thousand things swirling around your mind to do before that first day hits. I find that having a pretty spot to write down tasks as I think of them helps me clear up my mind for other things, and helps me actually tackle tasks that need to get done.
This may sound extreme to some brides, but others may be 100% on board with this idea: a wedding brand. AKA, literally treating your wedding like a business would its brand. Let me elaborate.
1. create a wedding logo
If you have some design background, you may want to take this on yourself, but if not, ask your stationer or a graphic design friend (or heck, hire one) to create your wedding logo. This could be anything from a custom monogram, a simple icon or a combination of the two. Why would you ever need a wedding logo, you might be thinking...? Think of all the places you could put your mark on your wedding, and having an established logo would keep everything looking consistent and sharp. If your stationer creates a logo or monogram for your invitations, ask if you can have (or purchase) the logo file itself. Then you can use that logo for everything under the sun, including but not limited to:
2. develop a Style guide
Hooray! If you’re a planner, you are probably loving every bit of the wedding planning phase, and are probably right on track (if not a little ahead) with getting your wedding invitations planned out. Who you’re going to use, what style you’re going for, etc. Well, one thing I find brides being blindsided by quite often is how much postage ends up costing for their dream wedding invitations. Whether you have a simple invitation suite or something more elaborate, it’s best not to forget about the cost of postage to get those little pretties off to your excited guests. Here I’ll break down the different types of postage you’ll need, and things you might not think of that could throw a wrench into your plans later.
No matter how well you plan, things might be different than you think they are. I’ve done tons of research before and then when you get to the post office they are like, oh no, that’s not a first class large envelope because it’s rigid, it’s a different cost (fyi, WAY more). So word to the wise, work in an extra two weeks into your timeline so when you receive your invitations, you have time to take a full one to the post office, find out how much it will cost you to mail, and then order your postage.
Here are the basic postage rates, pulled straight from the USPS website (as of June 2019):
- Letter Stamps - standard-sized rectangular envelopes - from $0.55
- Letter Stamps - square, oversized, or unusual envelopes - from $0.70
- Postcard Stamps - standard-sized, rectangular postcards - from $0.35
- Global Forever (International) - standard-sized, rectangular envelopes - from $1.15
Notice they all say “from X amount”... that’s because additional ounces add to the cost, and like I mentioned before, if it’s rigid (think wood or acrylic invitations) the price changes completely. Something that might normally cost $0.85 might now cost $4.85. You can always try to estimate and buy your postage ahead of time, but I’d still advise taking a FULLY assembled invitation to let them tell you how much it will cost.
In all my spring and summer wedding projects, I’ve noticed a big trend continuing this year (and I LOVE it)... dusty blue. I love it because it’s traditional and feels like a classic wedding “something” blue but has a modern twist with its dusty gray hue. I also love that so many shades fall into this color category, making it easy to coordinate colors without feeling too matchy-matchy, if you know what I mean.
Even if you want a more neutral tones sort of wedding you can easily work in dusty blues to give touch of color, or you can use it in more places to make it a more dominant color. It can be used for romantic style weddings, modern, boho or minimal. So versatile and so beautiful and timeless.
Here are some beautiful ways to use dusty blue on your wedding day.
This may seem like a very obvious topic for some of you, and if you are a superstar planner, then you may have checked these off your list immediately. For many of you, however, you may try to put the cart before the horse and try to send save-the-dates before you should be. Remember, planning well now will save lots of time and screw ups (and redos and stressing out) later on. Here are a few things you need to do before even thinking about starting on your save-the-dates.
1. Set your date
This one is pretty obvious, but it also doesn't mean just pick a date out of the air willy-nilly. A lot of things may impact your dream wedding date (if that's actually a thing...?). Think important family members having exams, best friends already committed to being in another wedding that day, a sister being pregnant and due that week... Aim for a date range or month and work with the people on your must-have list to be sure the most important people to you will be able to make it. Also, see #2.
2. Book your venue
While you don't necessarily HAVE to do this one, it's highly recommended that you do so before letting people know you're getting married and they'll be on the list. You may not be able to grab a venue you really want (say, due to timing, budget, availability, etc.), and you don't want to let people know it's in a city that it actually ends up NOT being in, or a venue that you were hoping for but didn't quite make happen. In tandem with item #1, your date may be determined by the venue's availability, and the two highly depend on each other. We had set a date and even booked the venue but then realized some cottages we wanted to stay in along with close family and friends that were part of the venue were all booked up because of a sailing tournament, so we had to shift up a week. Things to completely nail down before sending save-the-dates...phew.
First and foremost, congratulations, girl! You’re officially a bride-to-be. While you’re elated and so ready to dive into wedding planning, you must realize it’s not all pinning and day-dreaming... There’s a TON of numbers and logistics that make your dream wedding happen. Now that you’ve pulled your head out of the clouds for a minute, let’s chat about save-the-date timing.
So you’ve set a date, booked your major vendors, and you’re working on planning your timeline for all the finer details. Before you do anything else, figure out when you need to send out save the dates. The purpose of this customary wedding checklist item is to officially announce your wedding is happening and to give your guests an idea of when and where it will be so they can mark the date/weekend on their calendar and start planning.
If you are anything like me at all, when planning your wedding you want your guests to open their mailbox one day and be delighted that there’s some “fun mail” in there, mixed in with the typical sea of bills and junk. While it is just essentially a way to tell a person they are invited to your wedding, and provide them with details they need to attend, it’s also the first impression your guests will have of your event. You want to set the tone and let them know what to expect. Luckily today we all have access to some way of printing and quickly sending out invites. That hasn’t always been the case. Have you ever wondered how wedding invitations got their start? Maybe it’s just me, but I did some digging and wanted to share my findings. Here’s a brief history of the wedding invitation.
It’s hard to imagine, but there was indeed a time before the printing press existed. Before 1447 when that came about, English weddings were typically announced via a town crier. Can you imagine? Someone roaming the streets yelling your wedding is happening, and anyone within earshot was expected to be a part of the celebration. I imagine the modern day equivalent being a post on social media and anyone who sees it is invited. Please don’t do that.
The Birth of the Wedding Crest and Wax Seals
Something a little more eloquent to think about is the fact that our use of wax seals and wedding monograms and crests originated with nobility and monks who were masters of calligraphy. In the Middle Ages, most people still couldn’t read or write, so only the nobility sent out physical invitations. They would commission monks to do calligraphy and hand write their invitations, which at this time typically included a Coat of Arms and a wax seal.
Hi! In case you don't personally know me, I'm Amanda Sides, and I love pretty paper. I believe it's a reflection of you as a person and especially sets the tone for any wedding, event or party.
I also love red wine, hot coffee, fresh flowers, and good shoes. You can usually find me wearing great fitting blue jeans, a white tee (or something equally as basic) and always good shoes. Okay and probably a good bag... but lately I just carry my diaper bag... but you know it's a stylish one.
Before kids you never would have found me without a perfect at-home manicure. We won't talk about how that's going now that I have three tiny dragons...
I'm a mom of three working to build a beautiful, happy and healthy family as well as this business.
While I started The Calligraphy Bar a few years back to turn my calligraphy hobby into a side hustle, it started turning into only handmade, custom one-off orders and while I do enjoy that, it was keeping me from growing the invitation side of the business, which is where my passion truly lies.
I designed my own wedding invitations almost six years ago and it sparked something in me that just won't quit. I feel like your invitation is ultimately the start of how you present yourselves to the world, and should never be an afterthought.
Signs are one of my favorite things to do for clients, and this event did not disappoint. Back in July, some great girls, Hope of Hope Taylor Photography and Caroline of Caroline Logan Photography put on a photography conference for those who are looking to start a photography business called The Gathering. The event took place at Stevenson Ridge, a beautiful local venue here in Fredericksburg, VA. Photos provided by Erika Lynn Photography.
I was already providing a single card for the swag bags lucky attendees got to take home, but then signs were also in the picture. I provided signage for the drink and buffet tables as well as a sponsor spotlight sign as well as a lovely little welcome sign, my favorite! Scroll through to see some of the signs we provided for the event.