by Hope Johnson
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Posts tagged wedding invitation ideas
THE WHITE SPARROW BARN | Save the Dates

Meet Sarah Jones and Chris Mohring. Are they not just the cutest couple you've ever seen? I have not had the pleasure of meeting the groom to be, but feel super connected to him through Sarah. Sarah is a former colleague of mine. We both graduated in Fine Arts from Louisiana State University and spent much of our studio lab hours together, covered in ink and elbow grease. 

I'll be honest. I was beyond thrilled and honored really when Sarah contacted me to design her wedding stationery suite. Sarah Jones was entrusting me with one of her wedding planning elements and I KNEW stationery was on her top three most important to-do's. 

Sarah majored in Printmaking back in college and had such a talent creating these magnificent sheets of paper, using that paper for sculptures and installations for gallery shows. We hadn't talked much since graduating other than tid-bits through social media. So I was thrilled and filled with a bit of nostalgia reminiscing about old print lab days at LSU.

I have to tell you that reconnecting with you and reimbursing myself in my old life of being ink and paper pulp covered has completely stirred up my art bug all over again.
— Sarah Jones

I cannot tell you how many time I physically squealed after reading one of our emails. When she mentioned that the design process uprooted her old art life, I may have actually teared up. Okay, I did. Sarah had pulled out some old paper installations to sketch some ideas of using them as a repurposed installation behind her head table at her and Chris's reception.  

Speaking of the venue, this barn. THIS BARN. The White Sparrow Barn sits in an open field in Union Valley, Texas and is the most charming barn my eyes have ever seen. Part of the process of custom designing a stationery suite includes inspirations from colors, florals, and sometimes the venue itself. Once I heard the words "The White Sparrow Barn" from Sarah, I issued another squeal. 

I had about one hundred and one ideas floating around in my head, but knew I wanted to tie in the handmade paper to Sarah's past and that simplicity and the work of the hand would best suit this suite.

A simple shade of grey ink, handmade cotton rag paper, hand illustrated barn sketch and lettering ...and we have Sarah and Chris's save the dates. The wedding day stationery that will follow, well, we will just save that for another day. ...and there goes another squeal.


A special shout out to Texas photographer, Chloe Gonzales. She beautifully captured the essence of these two for their engagement shoot. I am looking forward to being smitten all over again with the upcoming wedding photos!


paper and ribbon | silk & willow
design and printing | yours truly
lovely engagement photos | chloe gonzales

 

 
 
FIVE TASKS & TIPS FOR YOUR WEDDING STATIONERY TO-DO

1) SET A DATE & VENUE
Before you venture over to your stationery to-do-list, you need to have some of the big things checked off first. Your date, venue(s), and ceremony and reception time need to be decided upon. If you are sending out save the dates, you only need to confirm your date. Keep in mind though that your date often depends on certain venue availability. 

2) ALLOCATE A BUDGET
Brides have an endless amount of options for wedding stationery. ...local stationery shops, etsy business owners, the Pinterest-inspired DIY bride. No matter the route, whether it's in hiring a professional designer or opting to invest your own time, stationery is just that - an investment. Brides often budget for $800-1200 for wedding stationery. The best thing you can do is give yourself a comfortable number and let that budget determine the "must haves." It may be that letterpress printed stationery is really important to you or that you KNOW you want to have the envelopes addressed in calligraphy. Establish a budget and work backwards to get the best of what you can get with that number.

3) ESTABLISH YOUR AESTHETIC
The aesthetics involved in your wedding stationery should be intentional. The ink color, the paper choice, the assembly ...it all represents the type of wedding celebration your guests will expect to attend. For example, you may not want a super traditional or over-the-top formal invitation for a backyard soireé. You'd probably want to lean towards the more casual side. These decisions are often inspired by your color schemes, an overall feel or mood you want to create, etc. You're going to want to have a general direction of where you want your stationery to take you.

4) TIMELINE
You typically want to mail your invitations 8-12 weeks before your wedding. If you opt for save the dates, you typically send those roughly 8-12 months prior to the wedding or as soon as your date and venue is set. If you are investing in a professional designer to create your stationery. You'd want to allow at least a few months of planning. You also want to make sure you give yourself or your calligrapher enough time to address your envelopes. The sooner the better is usually key here.

5) COORDINATE YOUR DAY-OFF PIECES
Once the save the dates have been sent and the wedding invitations printed, there are still some lingering after-math pieces to keep in mind. There is nothing better than a series of paper goods intertwined through out your wedding that all compliment each other. Some of the items you may want to think about including for the day off are you programs, menu cards, place cards, thank you notes, or even a special print or card to use as wedding favors or a special gift to a family member.


PERSONAL PREFERENCES AND TIPS 


PURCHASE A CUSTOM ADDRESS STAMP
A custom address stamp is super affordable and has a multitude of uses. If you purchase this stamp early enough, you can begin using this stamp for thank you notes after showers and as your return address on save the dates, shower venues, and celebrations. You can also use this stamp for the return address on your wedding stationery and/or your recipient address for your response card's return back to you. ...then of course all of your snail mail post wedding stationery.

STAMPS & POSTAGE
Try to find a stamp that coordinates with your stationery. The post office usually has some ...ehh "generic" wedding stamps. I would recommend opting for a custom stamp.  ...even better, use a vintage stamp collection if you can. You can find vintage stamps on eBay by seaching "unused uncanceled stamps." 

IMPORTANT: Ask your postman (or woman) to hand meter your envelopes. Otherwise, you'll end up with those ugly black lines at the bottom of your envelope. That's a good way to make your calligrapher cry. 

WEDDING WEBSITES
Wedding websites are a fantastic way to have your guests updated on the latest wedding news, allow for accommodations, and even allowing your guest to rsvp in advance. Opt for your own domain name. Domain names are super affordable, you can usually create one for about $10 for a whole year. As a stationery designer, I know www.TheJohnsonsBigDay.com looks way nicer than www.Name/us/SomeVenue/somethingelse.com ...don't you think?

PACK YOUR STATIONERY TO THE WEDDING
Everyone should have a really great photo of their stationery. Go ahead and pack your stationery suite in your wedding day bag to have the photographer snap a great shot of that pretty paper. 

FRAME YOUR INVITATION
Your invitation, along with your dress and maybe some heirlooms are one of just a few tactile things you'll actually preserve from your wedding day. The first anniversary calls for "paper." Frame your wedding invitation as an anniversary gift to remind yourself and your spouse why you chose one another. Maybe write a hand written note to keep on the back side of the frame.