{Fun} Business Card Love

Fabric wedding stationer business cardsFabric wedding stationer business cards

Several posts ago, I discussed the joys of using fabric on wedding invitations.  I also told you at that time that I was super excited about my new business cards – which also use fabric – and that I would share them with you here someday.  Well, the day has come!

I’m super-excited to share my new business cards with you!  They are printed on toothy bright white paper and bonded to a really great white cotton canvas fabric screenprinted with a black lattice pattern.  The corners are rounded to give them an extra touch of detail.  These new cards are super thick, weighty little things, and they bring me great joy whenever I grab for one.  Trust me, they’re a keeper.  (wink)

I really love my new cards and I feel like they fit my style better than my previous cards, which were printed on a creamy pearlized cardstock.  Though many people complimented them, I just felt like they didn’t get the message across of what I “do” – which is: I take invitations and paper goods to a totally different level by stepping out of the realm of paper alone, and by incorporating dimensional elements that make things really pop.

Color.  Embellishment.  Dimension.  That’s what Dogwood Blossom Stationery is all about.

{Invitation Inspiration} Fun with Gingham

Gingham wedding invitation in black, hot raspberry, and lemon yellowGingham place-setting menu in black, hot pink, and yellowGingham fabric wedding invitation

Last year around this time, a bride called and asked me to create an invitation using bandana fabric.  To date, it’s one of my favorite projects, and I have her invitation posted in my Weddings Gallery and on lots of other online galleries!  Part of the reason why her wedding ensemble is one of my favorite projects is that when she asked me to use fabric, my first instinct was to panic.  Using fabric on invitations was new for me, and I didn’t really know where to begin.  But I told her I’d try it out and see what happened.  Well, the results were amazing!  That bride opened a whole world of opportunities for me!

Since creating her wedding invitations, I’ve created many, many more invitations using fabrics, for various events and occasions, and have actually decided to layer my business cards onto fabric.  (Yes, it’s just that great.)  (I’ll post my new business cards on this blog at a later date so you can see just how incredible they are – I dare you to throw my business card away!)

So on my last trip to the fabric store, I saw black and white gingham, and this little lightbulb went off in my head.  Wouldn’t that look awesome with some bright colors – like hot pink and bright yellow?  Maybe with a fluffy bow?  Something super fun…  Perfect!

The result is what you see above.  I created a square, gate-fold invitation using hot raspberry pink cardstock and tied it closed with a fluffy satin ribbon in lemon yellow.  Inside, the invitation is printed on bright white in a casual handwriting font paired with a formal block font.  A layer of black and white gingham sets off the invitation with unexpected flair.

To demonstrate how the look comes together at the reception, I created place-setting menus using the same materials, designed to slide into a pocket-fold napkin.

Also while I was at the fabric store, I saw some light blue and white gingham… it would look great on a birth announcement…  Hmmm.

Invitation & Menu: Dogwood Blossom Stationery

{Advice} When to mail your wedding invitations?

Coral and Jade Green Save-the-Date

The date you mail your wedding invitations is important.  Send them too late and your guests won’t have adequate time to book travel.  Send them too early and you risk (dare I say it?) being forgotten amidst the chaos of the rest of life.  And how does sending a save-the-date affect your invitation mailing date?  Here are some guidelines for mailing wedding invitations:

1.  If the majority of your guests are local:

Mail your wedding invitations 4 to 6 weeks prior to your wedding date.  This is the traditional mailing timeframe, and because local guests won’t need to book travel, this should leave adequate time for them to put your wedding on their social calendar.

If you sent a save-the-date and most of your guests are local: Still mail your wedding invitations 4 to 6 weeks prior.

2.  If a significant number of your guests live out-of-town:

Mail your wedding invitations 6 to 8 weeks prior to your wedding date.  This gives out-of-town guests time to book travel, but it isn’t so far in advance that your wedding will be overlooked.

If you sent a save-the-date and many of your guests live out-of-town: Still shoot for mailing your wedding invitations 6 to 8 weeks prior, but since your guests have been well-informed, if you can only manage 4 to 6 weeks prior, don’t fret.

TIP for inviting out-of-town guests:  Be a hero to out-of-town guests by including information about lodging near your wedding venue.  Let them know how far the suggested lodging is from the nearest airport, and give them some idea of the transportation situation:  will they need to rent a car?  Is there public transportation available?  Are you providing a shuttle service between the suggested lodging and your wedding venue?  Include this information on an enclosure with your wedding invitation, if possible.  Otherwise, include this information on your wedding website, or ask family members to share it with others.

3.  If you’re having a destination wedding:

Mail your wedding invitations 2 to 4 months prior to your wedding date, depending on whether your wedding will be held in this country or another country.  Mailing your invitations out early allows guests to obtain a passport, if needed, and arrange for travel.

If you sent a save-the-date and you’re having a destination wedding: Mail your wedding invitations 2 months prior if you included travel information with your save-the-date.  If you did not include travel information with your save-the-date, mail destination wedding invitations at least 3 months prior to your wedding, and include travel information with the invitation.

TIP for destination weddings:  Consider using the services of a travel agent to help your guests book their travel.  A travel agent will ensure that all your guests understand your weekend itinerary and know when to arrive and when to depart.  She’ll also help your guests get the best rates, prepare properly for travel, and serve as a singular point-of-contact during their trip.  Send your travel agent’s contact information in your save-the-date or with your wedding invitation.

So when should you order your invitations?

After you’ve determined the appropriate mailing date for your wedding invitations, the next step is making sure you order your wedding invitations far enough in advance to get your invitations in the mail.  Here’s a quick guide for turnaround time on wedding invitations, from first thought to mailbox:

Online/Mail-Order Invitations: Order pre-designed invitations from online and mail-order sources 1 to 3 months in advance.  Expect delivery of your invitations in 3 to 8 weeks, depending on the company you’re ordering from, and the type of printing process you select.  You’ll need at least week to address your envelopes if you’re doing it yourself.  If you hire a calligrapher, give her at least 3 weeks to address your envelopes.

Custom Invitations: Contact your custom stationer at least 3 months in advance to allow time for a design consultation, sample creation and revisions, and order fulfillment.  If time is an issue, ask your custom stationer to send your mailing envelopes in advance so you can have the addressing done by the time your invitations are complete.  Custom stationers will often arrange for calligraphy services on your behalf, also.

Save-the-Date: Dogwood Blossom Stationery & Invitation Studio, LLC

The save-the-date in the photo above was created in a coral and jade green palette.  It uses multiple layers, including textured white, pearlized coral, a custom modern geometric wallpaper design in jade green, and a final printed layer included a circled-date calendar.

Real Wedding: Katie & Chad’s Blueberry Wedding

Before their engagement, Katie and Chad took their first trip to Maine together.  There, they fell in love with many things: a long bicycle trip around a lake, the beautiful landscape, and most importantly, the blueberries.  They ate blueberry pancakes at breakfast each morning and shared blueberry ice cream in the afternoons.  They even sent blueberry preserves home to friends and family.

A few months later, Chad popped the question during a quiet evening at home.  Remembering the fun and adventure they had on their trip to Maine, they wanted to incorporate some part of it into their wedding.  Knowing that they wanted an outdoor wedding, something simple and elegant with a country flair, at a venue with beautiful architecture, they felt that blueberries fit the bill.

Katie and Chad had an August wedding at the Historic Mankin Mansion in Richmond, Virginia.  They chose this venue because it had the perfect mix of indoor and outdoor space, and the architecture of the mansion was the perfect backdrop for their plans.  As a bonus, since the mansion is a bed and breakfast, friends and family were able to stay there and enjoy an entire weekend of celebration.

Included in Katie’s favorite wedding decor were all simple but elegant items: hanging baskets, simply cut hydrangeas easily arranged in antique milk bottles (collected over many months by the couple themselves!), a sign made by the groom using a piece of driftwood, the handmade custom paper accessories that adorned the outdoor ceremony and tented reception, and her specially-baked blueberry-streusel muffin wedding favors.

When Katie and Chad brought their inspiration of using blueberries throughout their custom wedding invitation and paper goods to Dogwood Blossom Stationery, I was excited to get started.  They choose a pearl-like opal blue paper for the invitation, paired with white cardstock and white grosgrain ribbon.  To make things easy on guests, they asked for a custom map to the weekend venue driving from each direction.  In order to accommodate the map, we created a square, folding wedding invitation that opened on the right to reveal the invitation itself and then flipped up to reveal the map and directions.  In the end, three different blueberry motifs were designed to adorn the various handmade paper pieces: wedding invitation, response enclosure, seating cards, and table numbers.

Katie & Chad's Blueberry Wedding

Blueberry Wedding Invitation

The Historic Mankin Mansion

Blueberry motif table number, hydrangeas, milk bottle

Blueberry Wedding Kiss

Blueberry Wedding Seating Cards

Venue:  The Historic Mankin Mansion, Richmond, VA

Photographer:  Andy Pigsley Photography
(All photos except the invitation)

Invitations, Table Numbers, and Seating Cards:  Dogwood Blossom Stationery & Invitation Studio

So this is my very first post on my brand-new blog!  How’d I do?  Please leave your comments below and share this with your friends.  And visit again soon to see other real weddings, invitation inspiration, custom invitation ideas, and color palettes!