Posts tagged wedding invitations baton rouge
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. 


 
 
WEDDING STATIONERY | rustic barn wedding for the mississippi bride & louisiana groom

What a pleasure it's been to work with Ashley King (future Caruso), future lawyer and sweetest person alive. Growing up in Mississippi, she was surrounded by cotton fields and southern landscapes that would make anyone's soul feel warm. It's no surprise that she fell in love with Blake, a Louisiana boy, who is as easy going as the cotton field winds she grew up around!

Ashley and Blake wanted a simple save the date and a coordinating wedding invitation. Recycled kraft paper was a must for her, so I knew this would be a breeze for me. Recycled kraft paper and I are best friends. 

Ashley's save the dates were letterpress printed in a dark charcoal ink on recycled kraft!

The wedding invitations were printed on a cotton paper (how appropriate) paired with the same recycled policy envelope as the save the dates. The ink matched the envelopes and all together, these two pieces are the sweetest and simplest duo my eyes have ever seen.

Another great thing I love about these invitations is the way we incorporated Blake and Ashley's wedding website as their rsvp option. Many brides opt out of having a response card simply for the reason that they're not always returned. Wedding websites are becoming more and more popular as a way to have readily accessible information in regards to the wedding, rsvp included. For a non-traditional wedding stationery ensemble, this is the perfect way to include the extra information without the extra pieces. 

I am so happy to be a guest at this wedding this upcoming January. My husband and I are great friends with the groom, and now we get to grow our relationship with Ashley. Their love is as amazing as the rustic barn they will wed at, in the strawberry fields of Louisiana and I just cannot wait to witness the atmosphere and joining of the Mississippi bride and Louisiana groom. 


 
 
WEDDING STATIONERY | the right way to do glitter | louisiana wedding

Blake and Lauren. Blake and Lauren have been a couple for as long as my husband and I. Graduating from the same high school, marrying our high school sweethearts ...a common small town love story. 

I've curated lots of work for Lauren's hosted parties over the years, so when her and Blake became engaged, I was over the moon to work together on her biggest hosted event yet! After our initial chat, I knew she'd want to pair simplicity with a little something extra. 

One of the first sentences out of her mouth: "I think I want to add some bling." My initial thought was to tell her she was crazy, but I knew we could do this right. There is certainly a tasteful way to incorporate shimmer and shine.

Lauren and Blake are having a traditional Catholic wedding mass and wanted the stationery to reflect the formalness of the church ceremony. The design was based around a subtle boldness, two opposite words that complimented each other so well through out each wedding piece that completed this suite.

BLACK, BLUSH, AND SHIMMER

The black text was balanced with luxe blush pink and soft white envelopes. ...the shimmer was just the perfect icing on the cake. The invitations and response cards were letterpress printed on cotton paper. The envelopes looked luscious with a shimmer envelope liner that really made the piece pop. All wrapped up with a letterpress printed seal mounted on a black band, this suite was complete.

Lauren's wedding shower invitations were the preface to the wedding stationery. A softer grey and a touch of floral gave Lauren's guests a visual sneak peek to the wedding stationery that was soon to come. Then, the programs added the appropriate accessory pieces to really finalize this whole "black, blush, and shimmer" wedding stationery suite.  

Wishing the future Huvals the happiest of all wedding days this weekend. I'm sure the wedding will sparkle as much as the sweet couple and their stationery. All my love to these two!

xx,
Hope Johnson

 

my life as a mother and designer - in a three minute video

THE little BLUE CHAIR began as the seat a bunch of kids opened Christmas presents on ...one at a time, in front of the audience of our grandparents. Our grandparents initiated this ritual in hopes that Christmas Eve would last just a little bit longer. I have learned through our family's delightful idiosyncrasies that the anticipation waiting for our turn, the presentation of the package was as important as the package itself. The sheer sentiment of the chair became the foundation for TLBC.

It's easy for me to resonate with TLBC. I truly believe that life's special moments and surprises are best told through the hand-written note, the mailed invitation, and the package it all arrives in ...and when you can see and feel that love behind a product, that tactile sense of affection really sings through.

I can easily title TLBC as a "family run business." My dear husband does the heavy lifting. When we need to take a road trip out of state to pick up the letterpress I bid and won on eBay, he's the one (read that story here). Although his day job consists of civil and architectural jazz, he often inspires much of my product line. My two little ones are also on payroll. In exchange for all the love I have, they offer me an abundant about of inspiration and company in between those moments of hustle and motherhood. There is nothing better than the visual representation of what you will get when working with THE little BLUE CHAIR. Watch the stream of real life TLBC to get a true glimpse.


A huge thanks to Kelly Davis who entered my world with a camera and captured my craziest, most exciting moments as a mother, designer, and business owner.

The Keeping Room | Baton Rouge Wedding Stationery

Almost a year ago, I contacted The Keeping Room in Baton Rouge in hopes for some interest in carrying TLBC's product line. Many clients and friends have referred me to this shop, so I thought, well hey, let's check it out. After speaking with Amanda, the owner, we trained off on how I got started and where I have my work printed. I told her I own my own letterpress printing business. This conversation lead us to a collaborated wedding stationery album. After months and months of preparations, designing, testing, and of course printing, TLBC and TKR has combined our efforts and talents to create ten, one-of-a-kind wedding collections. ...with full intentions of watching it grow to more.

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We are BEYOND thrilled to have all of our work alongside The Keeping Room's work inside one big album! So we of course celebrated along with some fantastic fellow businesses in the wedding industry. Joined in to help us celebrate was Alli Sims, who owns a fantastic wedding planning service as well as Cupcake Couture. Also joining in and displayed a beautiful wedding gown was I Do Bridal Couture. Plantation Florist supplied nothing short of the most lovely floral arrangements my eyes have ever laid eyes on. While we all swooned over the pretties, we did so by munching on some amazing eats from Gourmet Girls. (see sources below)
 

I got the bright and crazy idea to bring my first table-top press along for a ride. I really wanted everyone to get an idea of the process that goes behind letterpress printing. Success. Our guests were able to pull their own print and got a feel (literally) for the labor that goes behind printing. Of course, the work is done on a much larger press, but the concept all the same and I believe everyone left with a new appreciation for letterpress printing.

SO MUCH GOOD FOOD. These people are amazing. (see references below)

This collaboration has really lead us to focus on supporting local businesses. The in-house customer service and one-on-one attention we are able to give each couple establishes a more personal relationship that doesn't end at the wedding day. The evening was absolutely lovely. If you didn't get a chance to stop by, don't fret, The Keeping Room isn't going anywhere. Stop by their beautiful shop off of Perkins Road and ask to see the new album! I am looking forward to working with TKR and new couples to tailor each suite to their ideal wedding stationery. Ode to new adventures!


sources
wedding stationery | THE little BLUE CHAIR & The Keeping Room
florist | Plantation Florist
catering | Gourmet Girls
cupcakes | Cupcake Couture
wedding planner | Alli Sims
wedding gown display | I Do Bridal Couture
 

How I found a 100 year old letterpress.

When I first graduated college, my first to-do on my agenda was to find a tabletop letterpress. These presses were hard to come by. They were made well after the letterpress had been invented for the purpose of teaching. They were small, compact, and could fit nicely on a table. I knew this press was to learn the craft and hobby I began dabbling in, so I searched and searched until I found the one I wanted. 

After a few years, I quickly realized it was time to upgrade. My new search: a Chandler and Price New Style Letterpress ...and when I say new, I mean 1920s instead of 1800s. It's crazy how mad I get at my Epson printer, but I can run this age old printer just fine. So, I searched with all of my resources to find the press right for me. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'RE THE HIGHEST BIDDER.

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me: "hey, what's your weekend like?"
husband: "fairly free, what's up?"
me: "we should go to Marlin, Texas!"
husband: "go where?"

I don't care what google maps said, it was not a 6.5 hour drive, it was more like 8 hours. Eight hours to Marlin Texas, a mile long town about 30 miles outside of Waco. The press was acquired by an antique store, put on eBay and BAM, in comes Hope. 

We packed up the truck with snacks and hooked up the heaviest duty trailer we had to haul home a near 100 year old, 1500 pound letterpress. Husbands with a know-how are the best and I cannot thank mine enough for putting up with my adventures and eBay bids. A day and another 8 hour drive later, we were home. Unloading this press and getting it in to my shop had to have been one of my most stressful moments ever. 

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We all got our hands dirty, but within a two week period, I went from my tabletop compact press to a much bigger beast. I'm so excited about the doors this leap has opened. ...and rightfully so, I named this letterpress Marlin, after its home town. 

The Colorado Wedding

It's a small world we live in, really. There was this girl named Mackenzie who once lived up north. She later found her way down south to Louisiana falling deeply in love with a man named Trent. After talking a bit about her upcoming stationery design, wedding, and all the lovely things that go along with that, I find out that her husband-to-be was my former childhood neighbor. This boy used to prop sheets of plywood on a single brick to test fate and ride the 2" ramp towards the sky! Now, the two of them are leaping in to the marriage world with a Colorado wedding ceremony to celebrate their nuptials. I enjoyed every bit of the stationery design and cannot wait to see their wedding photos! Stay tuned for that.

These gilceé & letterpress printed menu cards will really make a statement on the guests' dinner plate. The mixed media is eye catching in more ways that one!