Invitations Toronto

Off the Rack Collection - 2018 Colours

Every year I turn to Pantone to announce what colours will be most popular for the upcoming new year. These colours are usually based on what's hot in the world of design. The fashion industry often sets the tone which influences all other industries. This determines trends throughout the wedding industry which also changes from year to year. So that said my colour palette for the "off the rack" collection is always based on what's hot and fresh. This year the palette has lots of variety you can apply any of the colours listed below and if you prefer them a little lighter or a little darker we can definitely accommodate. Amongst these colours you will also find "classic colours of 2018" which are more neutral and timeless. Keep in mind that we can also match any other neutral colour. A custom colour is also do-able for a small fee.

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Christoph Niemann - Illustrator

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Christoph Niemann is an illustrator, graphic designer and author. This past year I recently came across him watching "Abstarct the Art of Design" on Netflix. I fell in love with his work and clever ways to illustrate the world around us.

After his studies at the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts in Germany he moved to New York City in 1997. His work has appeared on the covers of The New YorkerTimeWiredThe New York Times Magazine and American Illustration, and has won awards from AIGA, the Art Directors Club and The Lead Awards.

Niemann’s corporate clients include Google, Amtrak and the Museum of Modern Art. He is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale.

Since July 2008 Niemann has been writing and illustrating the whimsical Abstract City, a New York Times blog, renamed Abstract Sunday in 2011, when the blog’s home became The New York Times Magazine.

For his column he draws and writes essays about politics, the economy, art and modern life. He has drawn live from the Venice Art Biennale, the Olympic Games in London, the 2012 Republican Convention and he has drawn the New York City Marathon - while actually running it. Niemann is the author of many books, most recently Abstract City. In 2010 he was inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall Of Fame.

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Carte Blanche Design - Wedding Invitations Toronto

Stuffing Your Wedding Invitations 101

If you're getting close to picking up your super glam and perfect invitations you may want to ask your stationer about stuffing these fabulous little packages the right way. Here are tips I pass on to all of my brides and grooms.

Tips Post Stuffing

Stamps
Have you gotten your stamps yet? You may want to have a look at what Canada Post has in store. There could be a stamp that somewhat goes with your invitation design and colours. If not you could look into getting custom stamps made by Canada Post. I recently had a bride who had stamps printed with different patterns in blush and grey tones to match. It looked super fab!

Size + Weight
Before purchasing all of your stamps you might want to have your invitations weighed and sized. Canada Post does have size and weight restrictions. If you're after something super custom including a box mailer or larger size invitation please consider additional mailing cost will apply. 

Addresses
If you're hand writing your guest and reply addresses you may want to consider purchasing extra envelopes from your stationer. You may also want to get all envelopes addressed before you begin stuffing them. Print off your guest list that way you can go back and check off the full list making sure you didn't miss anyone.

Reply Stamps
If you have guests in the US or overseas it can get a little tricky grabbing stamps from that part of the world. If you have family living over there you can ask them to send you the amount needed. Canada Post also sell vouchers which you can insert under each flap of your reply envelopes. Or leaving these without stamps would be okay too.

Stuffing your Invitations

You're planning your assembly line and ready to stuff.  Here are step by step tips that might be helpful.

Step no. 1
Add stamps on all of your reply envelopes / top right hand corner. This way they will not be forgotten before sealing everything.

Step no. 2
If your packages require gluing this would come up next. Its always a good idea to let items glued dry over night placed under a pile of books. This simply assures strong even gluing.

Step no. 3
If you have any other assembly work to apply for example tying satin strings with tags this would be a good time to do it. If you're getting ribbon please make sure you get lots of extra. You can always us it on your big day in more ways then one.

Step no. 4
Pulling all cards together and stuffing inside your envelopes.  Presentation is key, your stationer may have ideas feel free to ask.

Step no. 5
Sealing your envelopes. You may want to use a damp sponge or Q-tips and water to seal each flap. I personally like to use a small glue stick.

Step no. 6
Adding Canadian, US or International stamps to outer envelopes to the top right hand corner.

Step no. 7
Check your guest list assuring no one is missing.

Helpful links:

Canada Post Creative Stamps

How to Seal Wedding Invitation Envelopes

 

Cake and Lace Feature

Carte Blanche worked with a team of Toronto vendors this past winter on a style shoot titled "White and Greenery Classic". The shoot made it into the fabulous Cake and Lace - how exciting! A romantic indoor winter shoot with greenery, soft tones and hints of luxe gold. Please see more about vendors involved below.

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Cake and Lace January 26, 2017 feature:
White and Greenery Classic

List of talented vendors involved:
Coordination & Planning
Lindsay Plank Events

Table Decor & Decor Creative Direction
Tableauscapes Coordination & Planning

Cake Design
Cocabella Cake Studio

Floral Design
Mint and Magnolia Floral Design

Hairstylist
Dylan Dias

Makeup Artist
Amy Pigeon

Photography
Verveine Studios

Dress Designer
Catherine Langlois

Jewelry Designer
Laurajaynebride

Stylist
Ashley Galang

Model
Vasy Corestone Models Inc. 

 

 

 

Choosing Your Wedding Colours

Often the bride and or groom will choose the colours that they like best for their wedding day. But choosing a colour isn’t about what you like, it’s about what your stand for as a couple. Colours carry incredible psychological power. You probably know that celebrities sit in a green room before performances and that McDonald’s uses orange to stimulate your appetite.

Therefore, instead of choosing your favourites, choose colours that will suit the style of wedding you will be having mixed with your personality as a couple. For example, if you stand for innovation, choose red, orange or yellow — don’t use a traditional colour like navy or a simple colour like brown. Seem obvious? It will become more obvious once you have your venue picked out along with decor, floral etc... Using multiple colours can get tricky, make sure there is a nice tasteful balance throughout? Colour is most powerful in large doses; however, sometimes using neutral with a splash of one colour can also do the trick! 

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Understand the Psychological Impact When You Choose Your Colours

Here are some traditional meanings of popular colours:

Navy – Conveys importance, confidence, power and authority, as well as intelligence, stability, unity and conservatism. Like black, it carries a sense of elegance and sophistication.

Blue – Associated with tranquility and calmness. The colour of the sky and water, it
symbolizes sincerity, trust, wisdom and truth.

Green – The colour of nature. It symbolizes harmony, safety, growth, freshness, and fertility. It’s a restful colour that suggests stability and endurance.

Red – An emotionally intense colour. It’s associated with energy, strength, power, danger, and passion. It’s highly visible and enhances human metabolism, increases respiration, and raises blood pressure.

Orange – Combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It’s associated with enthusiasm, joy, stimulation, attraction, creativity and health. It’s considered a sporty colour.

Yellow – The colour of sunshine, yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. It’s associated with joy, happiness, vibrancy, intellect and energy.

Purple – A unique colour that combines the stability of blue and energy of red. Generally associated with royalty, purple symbolizes luxury, wealth, power, and dignity.

Brown – The colour of earth. It’s associated with genuineness, simplicity, dependability, and friendliness.

Black – Associated with power, mystery, elegance, strength and formality. Black can be very formal, elegant and prestigious; it adds depth when combined with other colours.

Grey/silver – Has similar connotations to black, evoking dignity, wisdom, and responsibility.

Gold – Associated with success, money and wealth; it can evoke comfort and quality.

Once you’ve selected your colour theme, you’ll need to choose PMS, CMYK, RGB and HEX colour formulas:

PMS = Pantone Matching System: Ink colours. If you’re printing only two colours on your business cards, your printer will probably use your two PMS colour inks.

CMYK is the formula for creating the colour using a combination of cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink during four-colour printing.

RGB is this formula is used in electronic documents – it’s the amount of red, green and blue used to create the colour.

HEX is a colour code used in HTML programming for your website.

It can be difficult to match your chosen look in different printing & electronic mediums, but a professional designer can help you choose the closest formulas.

Winter Weddings

Winter if here and I thought I'd feature ideas for great looking winter weddings. Winter wedding can be unique as they have a certain peacefulness and elegance about getting married in the winter. 

The following photos feature a winter blue palette. Sophisticated and elegant these colours will keep your wedding cool calm and collective. For the bride who wants to add a little colour to her winter wedding.

Golds will create a warm romantic setting. Sparkles and metallics will take this neutral colour to another level. The use of lots of lights or candles will make your ceremony or reception look absolutely spectacular. For the bride who wants to shine in more ways then one.

White and winter greens for an outdoorsy elegance. I love how the winter greens are strategically place in each picture... from outdoorsy to country to glam it all works like a charm. For the bride with a green thumb.

Icy blush, gold and eggplant is a great combo for a winter wedding if you're looking for something cool yet a bit different. This is a good example of mixing cools and warms. For the bride who likes to think outside the box.

Melissa & Jeremy's Wedding Invitations

Chic, ornate and classic... is what Melissa and Jeremy's wedding invitations were designed to say as this is what their big day was all about. We started with the development of a personalized monogram. A wedding monogram is a great way to make your mark as a couple. Looking at their monogram design they went with an ornate script with a lovely old fashion illustrative ornament. Together these elements create depth and a great sense of style. The entire invitation package and wedding day stationery was composed of a classic frame along with a bold french toile pattern. This unique design was printed on a silver card stock and addresses printed on matching envelopes. I really like how this couple chose a bold rich red and a bold charcoal mixed with silver given they had a winter wedding. Heavier colours I find work well during cold seasons. 

Wedding Invitations - Carte Blanche Design, Toronto

 

 

 

Michelle & Mark's Wedding

Michelle and Mark's wedding was filled with a timeless and elegant vibe. Their wedding took place outdoors at Michelle's family residence located in the Collingwood area. This is a great example of a classic backyard wedding.

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Michelle browsed though my "off the rack" collection and decided to go with the design shown above. She added a map card showing where both the ceremony and reception were to take place. We printed her guest, reply and retuned addresses to match with the rest of her wedding invitation package. We glammed up this classic design by printing everything on a thick shimmer champagne stock with matching envelopes. Her invites looked really sharp and the thick stripes found on the back side of both invitation and reply cards added a great finishing touch. 

Beautiful photos by Christine W. Photography

Addressing your Wedding Invitations

The basic rule of thumb, the outer envelope of your wedding invitation should be addressed in a more formal manner, with titles and full names. Whether you are addressing them yourself with a fancy pen, having a calligrapher do their magic or having them printed to match with your invitation design they should look fabulous, be accurate and legible. See examples below...

To a Married Couple
Mr. John and Mrs. Samantha Holt
or
Mr. and Mrs. John Holt

To a Married Couple Who Uses Different Last Names
List the person you're closest with first. If you're similarly acquainted with both, list them in alphabetical order.

Mr. John Holt and Mrs. Samantha Thuente

To an Unmarried Couple Living Together
Mr. Joseph Hirsch and Ms. Rebecca Strecker

Same Sex Couples
Ms. Celine Elgin and Ms. Jacqueline Purcell

Or list their full names without titles
Joseph Hirsch and Rebecca Strecker
Celine Elgin and Jacqueline Purcell

To a Married Woman Doctor or Two Married Doctors
If a woman uses her maiden name professionally and socially, the envelopes should read... Dr. Anne Barker and Mr. Peter Underwood

If she uses her husband's name socially...
Dr. Anne and Mr. Peter Underwood

If both parties are doctors, you can address the outer envelope...
Doctors Anne and Peter Underwood

To Those With Other Distinguished Titles

Apply the same rules for military personnel, judges, reverends, and so forth that you
use for doctors. If both titles don't fit on one line, indent the second line.

The Honorable Jane Kelly and Lieutenant Jonathan Kelly, U.S. Navy
or
Captains Jane and Jonathan Kelly,
U.S. Navy

To Children and Families
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Abraham
Daniel, Jeffrey, Miss Brittany and Miss Kelly

To Children 18 and Older
They should receive their own invitations (unless they live at home with mom and dad).

Ms. Audrey Abraham
or
Mr. Jack Abraham

Note: If you don't include each child's name, you're implying that children are not invited. 
That said, don't be surprised if some guests still mistakenly assume their children are
welcome. If you're concerned this will happen with your guests, ask your immediate family
and bridal party to help spread the word that the wedding will be adults only. In the end, 
you may have to follow up with guests who don't get the message via phone to gently
explain the situation.

 

Carte Blanche Design ~ Wedding Invitations Toronto

Jennifer & Tim's Wedding Invitations

Living an urban life in Toronto Jennifer and Tim wanted their wedding to be casual and outdoorsy. Sharing their engagement in Niagara on the Lake they decided to have their big day at the beautiful Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery. Jennifer was an easy going bride with great ideas and good taste. Together we came up with the following design. My creative process usually includes 5 steps... take a look below:

No. 1 - COLOUR 

Jennifer & Tim's colour palette was composed of soft champagnes, blush pinks with greys. Soft colours were found in the floral pattern with a bold charcoal when it came to fonts.

No. 2 - STYLE / THEME

Jennifer and I discussed a more casual look with a vintage flare since their big day was to take place at a vineyard. We kept the overall style simple, classic and whimsical.

No. 3 - DESIGN

Jennifer had a specific look in mind… she wanted to have a certain amount of floral without making to much of a bold statement as well as keeping the overall look light and casual. Once she found the perfect pattern she sent it my way so I could redraw it to fit within her custom package and convert to her unique colour palette. I really like the fonts found in this invitation design. Jennifer purchased a font she fell in love with… a lovely calligraphy font full of personality.

No. 4 - PAPER GOODS

Being from the US Jennifer had plenty of guests coming from a far. That said we had lots of info to include in this invitation package such as invitation and reply cards, map cards as well as accommodations. Once I made sure the over design flowed nicely from one card to another these were all assembled and inserted into soft champagne pocket enclosures. 

No. 5 - SPECIALTY FRILLS

A simple craft colour twine was tied to the exterior of the pocket enclosures in order to keep each package nicely sealed. Craft paper outer envelopes were ordered keeping the over all look on the more casual side. Blush pink reply envelopes where also ordered. I love mixing two different colour envelopes when it comes to the outer and reply envelopes. I find it adds a little more depth and fun.

Katherine and John's Wedding Invitations

Being world travellers Katherine and John recently hosted their wedding in Monemvasia, Greece at the beautiful Kinsterna Hotel. Sending out over 150 invitation packages for their destination wedding one year in advance these guys were after some serious attendance for their big day overseas! Below is a little poem found amongst the couples invitation package. I thought it would be fun to share some of Katherine and Johnny's story...

In the fall of 2011 two people crossed paths on the other side of the world. They knew immediately that it wasn’t just a chance meeting. This was the start of something much more. The beginning of a love and friendship fuelled by adventure. Two people addicted to travelling the world. Two people addicted to experiencing the new and unknown and most importantly, two people addicted to each other. As our first chapter comes to a close, we’d like to welcome you to join us in celebrating as we turn the page and begin our next chapter...

 

 

 

 

Toronto Weddings Invitations

Over the years I've designed invitations and stationery for many weddings in Toronto. Being a designer in Toronto makes my job that much more interesting given the large amount of cultural variety and the large scale of wedding venues. I connect with brides with new ideas, brides open to creative concepts, brides who appreciate good design and most of all brides who make tasteful choices. Custom designs are often set with a personal brand for all of my couples starting with a monogram or personal icon or theme... we then explore colour and appropriate design elements such as pattern textures and decorative graphics, paper goods, printing etc... Below are examples of some of my Toronto weddings.

Andrea & Ian's invitations from my "off the rack" collection. The couple's wedding was hosted at Bohmer Restaurant on Ossington Avenue just West of downtown Toronto.

Jennifer & David's Distillery inspired invitations. Both ceremony and reception took place at the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District in the East end of downtown Toronto. 

Arden & Tyler's invitation package for their downtown wedding taking place at Toronto's Luxurious Shangri-la Hotel. 

Meaghan & Ben's Breakfast at Tiffany's inspired wedding invitations for their big day taking place that the Old Mill Inn and Spa in the West end of Toronto.

 

 

 

Tracy & Rob's Invitations

This past weekend Tracy and Rob got married! They had a 4 day event at Deerhurst Resort up in Muskoka with a ceremony at Hillside Farms. Since this was an out of town event their invitation package was sent out mid March. For out of town weddings, invitations are generally sent out 3-4 months before the wedding date. This gives guests plenty of time to plan.

A personal monogram was initially designed making this invitation design uniquely for Tracy and Rob. At our first design consultation Tracy and I established a pocket enclosure was a must. Since these guys had lots of info to deliver to all of their friends and family. A pocket enclosure is a great way to display and well package your wedding invitations. This piece usually works best when a couple needs to include 3 cards or more. So that said along with their invitation card Tracy and Rob had a reply card, detailed map card and an events card.

These guys really went all out... they had a "welcome dinner" the first night, a golf tournament with beach party and lobster cook out on day 2 along with their big day followed by a "goodbye brunch" on the last day. 

Their design theme was very Muskoka... I found an old fashioned map of the Muskoka region with lovely graphics and illustrations that suited their outdoorsy theme. Blues were used a favourite colour of the couple followed by browns to keep everything nice and casual.

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Invitation Wording

Your invitation wording may vary depending on the type of wedding you will be having and depending on the type of families you both have. Now you need to ask yourself... are you and your fiancé(e) hosting your wedding? Are both sets of parents hosting? Are you hosting and both sets of parents are helping? These days everyone's situation is different. I'm listing many examples below from traditional to fun and casual...

Traditional Wording - In its simplest form, this is the standard wording template:

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan River [proper names of those hosting]

request the honor of your presence [request line]*

at the marriage of their daughter [list relationship of the bride to the host]

Elizabeth Anne [bride's first and middle names only]

to Joshua James Smith [groom's full name]

Saturday the sixth of May  [day of the week, day and month of wedding]

Two thousand and sixteen  [year of wedding]

at six o'clock in the evening [time of wedding and time of day]

Plaza Hotel [name of the location of wedding]

New York, New York [city and province where wedding will take place]

Reception to follow [reception line]

 

The above gives you the basic verbiage... I've added more options and variations:

Bride's parents hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith

request the honor of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughter 

Isabella Marie 

to 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

on Saturday, November 27

at half past eight o'clock in the evening 

153 North Rosewood Street

Toronto, Ontario

 

Bride's parents, divorced:

Mr. Charles Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Dwyer 

request the honor of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughter 

Isabella Marie 

to 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

 

Bride and groom's parents hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith

and 

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Callahan

invite you to share in the ceremony 

uniting their children

Isabella Marie 

to 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

on Saturday, November 27, 2004 

at half past eight o'clock in the evening 

One Nob Hill 

San Francisco, California

 

Bride and groom's parents, divorced (example 1):

Mr. Charles Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Dwyer

together with

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Callahan

invite you to share in the ceremony 

uniting their children

Isabella Marie 

to 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

 

Bride and groom's parents, divorced (example 2):

Mr. Charles Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Dwyer

request the honor of your company 

at the marriage of their daughter

Isabella Marie 

to 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

son of

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Callahan

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Mason

 

Bride and groom's parents, divorced (example 3):

Please join our families 

on this special occasion 

when our children

Isabella Marie 

and

Edward Jonathan Callahan

will be married

 

Bride, groom, and parents hosting (example 1):

Together with their parents 

Isabella Marie Smith

and 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

request the honor of your presence 

at their marriage

 

Bride, groom, and parents hosting (example 2):

Isabella Marie

and 

Edward Jonathan 

together with their parents 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith

and 

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Callahan

invite you to share in the joy 

when they exchange marriage vows 

and begin their new life together

 

Bride and groom hosting: 

Miss Isabella Marie

and 

Mr. Edward Jonathan Callahan

request the honor of your presence 

at their marriage

 

Bride, groom, and children hosting (example 1): 

Miss Isabella Marie Smith

and 

Mr. Edward Jonathan Callahan

along with their children 

Anne and Peter

invite you to join in the blending 

of their families through marriage

 

Bride, groom, and children hosting (example 2): 

Anne and Peter

invite you to the ceremony 

that will make them brother and sister 

and that will make their parents 

Isabella Marie Smith

and 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

husband and wife

 

And yes there is more.... you maybe also want fun, casual and simple examples:

Sweet and Simple

Together with their families

Alexis Lee West

and

Taylor Eliot Keegan

request the pleasure of your company

at the celebration of their marriage

Saturday, the seventh of June

two thousand seventeen

at half past four in the afternoon

The Prospect Pavilion

409 Ocean Parkway

Brooklyn, New York

Dinner and dancing to follow

 

Fun & Irreverent

Alexis Lee West

and

Taylor Eliot Keegan

Are Gettin’ Hitched!

Please join us

For a celebration of love, friendship,

laughter, and family

Saturday, June 7, 2016

at 4:30 in the afternoon

The Prospect Pavilion

409 Ocean Parkway

Brooklyn, New York

Fabulous food, fun, and festivities to follow

Creative

Your love and friendship have

helped us become who we are.

Together with our parents,

we invite you to share our joy

and support our love,

as we exchange vows and

celebrate our marriage.

Sophia Lee Rutherford
and
David Michael Davis

Sunday 23rd August at 2 o'clock
The Ashes, Endon, Staffordshire

A celebration with dinner, drinks
and dancing will follow.

Top Tips for Wedding Invitations

Just getting started with your wedding invitations? Find out everything you need to know to get them ordered, sealed and delivered.

Define Your Wedding Style

The invitation is your guests' first peek at your wedding style. You should have an idea of the type of event you're throwing -- classic and elegant, or glam and modern -- before you start shopping for stationery, so you can choose an invitation style that hits the same note. Then browse wedding invitation photos and stationers' websites and gather inspiration so you can give your stationer an idea of what you like.

Know Your Colours

Choose a colour palette that will reflect your big day. Again browse along for inspiration. You may want to incorporate your colours into your wedding invitations and then carry both through to the rest of your wedding paper (like the escort cards, menu cards and ceremony programs) for a cohesive look. While ivory, cream or white card stock paired with a black or gold font is the classic choice for formal wedding invitations, you can also brighten your invites with colourful or metallic fonts, paper stock, envelopes and liners. Stay away from colour looking too playful... make sure your colour palette is fresh and tasteful.

Think of the Shape and Size

A 5"x7" inch rectangular card is the traditional size and shape for wedding invitations. But couples are also channeling more playful or modern vibes with circular, scalloped and square invitations. Keep in mind: Veering away from the standard envelope size can increase the cost as well as the postage of each invitations -- bulky or extra-large invites may cost more to send.

Legibility is Key

As you consider colours and patterns, don't forget about the text -- the information you put on the invitation is the whole point of sending it out in the first place. Your local stationer can help, but in general, avoid light ink on light backgrounds and dark ink on dark backgrounds. Yellow and pastels are tough colours to read, so if you're going with those, make sure the background contrasts enough for the letters to pop, or work those colors into the design rather than the text. Also, be wary of hard-to-read fonts like an overly scripted typeface -- you don't want to sacrifice readability.

Choose Your Words Wisely

Learn the rules to wording your invitation. Traditionally, whoever is hosting is listed first on the invitation. Customarily, you should spell everything out, including the time of the ceremony. On classic wedding invitations, there's always a request line after the host's name -- something like so and so "request the honour of your presence." (Read Wording Invitation Samples for all the details.)

Don't Crowd the Card

List only the key points on your invitation: ceremony time and location, the hosts, the couple's names, the dress code (optional) and RSVP information. Trying to squeeze too much onto the invitation card can make it harder to read -- and it won't look as elegant. 

Get an Early Start

Your save-the-dates should go out six to eight months before the wedding. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks -- or longer, depending on how fancy you go -- to print them. While your save-the-dates don't have to match your invites, ordering everything from one stationer can save you money and make the invitation process easier on you. So start scouting stationers 9 to 11 months before the wedding. Aim to order your invitations about four to five months out so they're ready to mail six to eight weeks before the wedding. If you're having a destination wedding or marrying over the holidays, send out your invites even earlier (10 to 12 weeks before the wedding).

Get Your Dates Straight

Include your RSVP information on the bottom right corner of your invitation or on a separate enclosure, and be sure to make the deadline no more than three or four weeks after guests receive the invitations -- check with your caterer first to find out when they'll need the final headcount. The more time you give guests to reply, the more likely they are to forget, and you'll need time to put together the seating chart. 

Consider Costs

The price per invite can vary widely -- anywhere from $1 to more than $100. It all depends on the design, ink, typeface, printing process, paper and quantity. Top-of-the-line papers, color ink, formal printing techniques (like letterpress and engraving) and custom design will add to your costs, as will decorative extras like envelope liners and multiple enclosures. That's why it's important to research your options ahead of time -- so you can pick your priorities, whether it's sophisticated printing and a custom design or multiple enclosures. 

Triple-Check the Proof

Before your invitation order is printed, your stationer will send you a proof (either a hard copy or an email attachment of the invite mock-up). Don't just have your fiance and mom read it over. Ask your English-major friend or a grammar-savvy bridesmaid to check the proof before you okay it. You'd be surprised at the things you may miss (pay special attention to details like date and time and spelling). Borrow a tip from copy editors and read the proof word for word from right to left so you don't accidentally gloss over any mistakes.

Count Your Households

You don't need an invitation for every guest. Take a look at your guest list and figure out how many houses need invitations before you give your stationer a number -- you might be able to cut your order in half. Cohabiting couples get one invitation; for couples living apart, you can either send one invite to the guest you're closer with (and include both names on the inner and outer envelopes), or you can send out separate invitations. Families get one invitation (addressed to "The Smith Family," for example). The exceptions: Children who don't live at home (like college students) or anyone over 18 who lives at home should get their own invitation.

Order Extra

It's expensive to go back and print more invitations after the fact. Order enough invitations for your guest list , plus 25 extra in case you need to resend an invitation, want to put some aside as keepsakes (trust us, your moms will want at least a few) or plan on sending invitations to a "B-list." Tip: If you have a lengthy B-list, consider ordering a second set of invitations with a later RSVP date. And even if you're hiring a calligrapher to address your invitations, ask for extra envelopes in case of returned invites or addressing mistakes (calligraphers generally require an extra 15 to 20 percent).

Don't Forget Day of Stationery

Order your menu cards , programs and thank-you notes with your invitations. That way, your stationer can include all of the pieces in one order, which may save you money and time. It's also a good way to ensure all your stationery has a cohesive look, even if you want to vary the design slightly for each element (by switching the dominant color or alternating between two patterns, for example). Also, don't forget those little items like favour tags and welcome bag notes.

Remember Your Thank-Yous

Track RSVPs as they come in using a guest list manager tool or spreadsheet. Include a column where you can note what each guest gives you. Then, as the wedding gifts start rolling in, begin writing your thank-you notes so you don't fall behind. For any presents received before the wedding, you should send a thank-you note within two weeks. For those given on or after the wedding day, give yourself a month.

Put a Stamp on It

It may seem obvious, but it's easy to forget: If you want guests to mail back their reply cards, include stamped (and addressed) envelopes. That way guests don't have to pay for the postage. Traditionally, the return envelopes should be addressed to whoever is hosting the wedding; however, if your parents are technically hosting, but you're keeping track of the guest list, you can use your address instead. 

Do a Weigh-In

While you probably can't wait to drop those wedding invitations in the mail and check another thing off your to-do list, weighing a sample invitation (enclosures and all) at the post office first could save you many more to-dos later. Trust us, you don't want to deal with the hassle of invitations being returned because of insufficient postage .

 

 

Kasia & Chadi's Wedding Invitations

Kasia and Chadi were very open in creating something fresh, classic and tasteful when it came to their invitation design. My creative process usually includes 5 steps...

No. 1 - COLOUR 

Kasia and Chadi's colour palette was composed of soft champagnes, blush pink and creams contrasting with a bold navy and a rich gold. I really enjoyed working with these colours because of the contrast between the soft and the bold.

No. 2 - STYLE / THEME

Kasia and Chadi described their big day as fun, romantic with traditions. Chad told me the story of how they met and how he proposed. They showed me their wedding venue and examples of invitations they liked which was enough to give me a good direction. With no particular theme in mind we came up with a classic and sleek invitation design.

No. 3 - DESIGN

Kasia and Chad were very open to suggestions and recommendations I had when it came to the design of their wedding invitations. The one element they really wanted to include were florals and having their very own wedding monogram designed. We decided to mix soft organic floral pattern with a bold navy stripe. After seeing various design options Kasia and Chad fell for the design shown in photos. The fonts and monogram design were kept classic and timeless when patterns were found to be a bit more playful and bold.

No. 4 - PAPER GOODS

I usually like to keep items in the invitation package such as invitation, reply, map card etc.. to softer cardstock colours. When printing on darker papers print colours tend to change quite a bit. Lighter papers keep colours pure and more accurate. So that said we kept Kasia and Chad's invitation package to a classic light cream colour but added a few blush pink cards in the mix. I love to do this I find it adds more variety to the overall invitation package.

No. 5 - SPECIALTY FRILLS

Gold envelopes were added and tied in well with the all printed pieces... matching navy addresses were printed onto each envelope. We also had monogram seals printed which Kasia and Chad applied to the back of their outer envelopes. Monogram seals were also added to thank you cards and to the packaging of bombonieres. If your budget permits adding a few wedding frills always adds a nice finishing touch. From save the dates, invitations and day of stationery each wedding frill can be match up to your wedding design.

Kasia & Chadi's wedding Invitations and stationery by Carte Blanche Design in Toronto

Beautiful photography by Karissa Sargent 

 

 

 

The Twine vs. the Ribbon and Wedding Invitations

I often get brides whom request adding ribbon or twine to their wedding invitations. Both are a great added detail on the right invitation.

The Twine... great if you're after a more casual look. There is burlap style twine which has a craft paper colour tone and comes is different thicknesses. The baker's twine is also very popular and comes in many colours. 

Invitations wrapped with twine
Baker's twine for wedding invitations
Invitations tied with yellow baker's twine

The Ribbon... has a certain elegance and comes in many colours and sizes. For an invitation I would suggest going with the thinest ribbon possible. Ribbons sometime come in a string looking format or in 1/8" wide. I recommend this because a ribbon will get bunched up inside the outer envelope and may end up looking wrinkled when pulled out of the envelope. Thick ribbons will also create a big knot and add a certain thickness to your outer envelopes. Keep in mind that thickness can cause your final postage to go up.

Wedding invitation with 3 patterns and ribbon
Invitation with thin ribbon to fit inside envelopes
Thin satin ribbon comes in many colours
Wedding Invitation with tangerine sting and custom tag

Spring is in the Air!

I love spring weddings because its the start of wedding season. Spring weddings are always fresh and light and signify that the warm weather is coming our way. I also feel it represents a new start so that said Spring weddings have a nice meaning behind them.

Over the years I have found that many of my couples use soft and fresh colours when it comes to spring wedding invitations. I worked with bride from England a few years back who got married during April. Her designed was in all classic black and off white with light yellow stripes on the back of all cards - it was stunning!

Another popular graphic design element is using florals.... illustrations, patterns or even as part of a custom monogram. The key is not over do it and to make sure your design is kept simple, orginial and tasteful. Whatever style or colours your wedding is sometimes keeping your wedding season in mind can also influence the design or your wedding invitations and wedding day stationery.

Save the Date
Custom invitation with calligraphy font and 3 tone stripes
Custom round drink tags and custom stickers for bags
Spring inspired wedding invitations

 

 

Wedding Day Stationery

You've sent out your custom invitations which looked amazing and suited what is yet to come. Your invitations reflected your wedding style and venue and included your personal colour palette. You should now start thinking of what items you will need designed and printed for your big day. These custom pieces should reflect your save the dates if you had any and your wedding invitations so all flows together nicely. Here are some of the most common wedding day stationery... escort cards, seating cards, seating charts, menu cards, table numbers, ceremony programs, gift tags and signage.

Custom place cards with menu option
French style menu card
Creative ceremony programs

The Power of the Custom Wedding Invitation

If you're getting married this up coming year or the year after you've probably been on line looking a few or too many wedding invitations. Maybe they are all starting to look alike? Or you have found so many different style you don't even know what to do next? Maybe its best to take a few steps back and perhaps think about getting something fresh, unique, beautiful and very you! Remember mass produced wedding books won't cut... this is your only big day so you have to make sure your invitations are more then memorable! So what this comes down to is putting some thought to your wedding stationery and I can assure you will end up with a superb end product that is truly you. I'm listing a step by step guide below that will help your thought process in creating the perfect wedding invite:

Step 1: Think About Your Vision Take some time and dream up what you'd like your wedding invitations to look like: colours, style, print medium. What will best visually represent you as a couple. Ideally you should have a general idea before speaking with a professional.

Step 2: Set A Design Plan Decide how far you'll want to take your customization with colours, patterns, and layers of paper. More complicated projects may demand a more skillful team of professionals. Do you want a combination of specialty printing methods? Maybe you want a personalized invitation but don't have a specific idea. Your best bet is to consult a professional who will guide you through the process.

Step 3: Do Your Research It's important to find the person who will listen and carry out your ideas. Personalities and styles differ, so make sure you find the right match. Maybe start with referrals from friends, your wedding planner, or other wedding pros. There are many options, so check all your resources from independent designers to custom studios. Visit stationery websites... maybe contact them via telephone prior to meeting to get an idea of how knowledgeable they are and to see if they can design and produce what you are envisioning.

Step 4: Gather Notes Start compiling a file of invites you like: hand-drawn sketches, past invitations you've received, and magazine clippings that motivate your creativity. In addition, professional stationers often have portfolios filled with hundreds of examples that can serve as further inspiration for your own personalized look.

Step 5: Interview Designers Examine the designer's work and share your ideas. In the end it's important to connect with the person who will be creating this piece of work for you. Do you find that he or she is listening intently to what you have to say? Most important, based on what you are hearing and seeing, is the style compatible with your own? Have you seen any past work that you love? If you're not fond of most of their examples, don't be afraid to keep shopping around and don't forget to discuss logistics: Be realistic when it comes to what you can and cannot afford. Don't rush the process. Finding someone who really understands your vision is worth the extra effort.

Step 6: Choose a Colour Palette Your wedding colours are the strand that runs through all the elements of your day. Decide how you will incorporate these hues into your paper products: Will you use a coloured font, a coloured pattern, or coloured paper? A mix of the three? Can't settle on one colour? Then select two. Pick a pair that will be complementary, but don't settle on pale pink if fuchsia has always been your favourite. Most important, examine how each colour looks on the paper stock. Don't assume that aquamarine font will look the same on white as it does on cream.

Step 7: Decide on a Motif Do you want a monogram or another symbol woven throughout the day's festivities? If so, consider adding these themes to your wedding stationery. For example, an invite to a tropical wedding might include seashells and coral. Take a look through your designer's books and tag past work that you think might mimic your own style.

Step 8: Select the Size and Shape Believe it or not, the envelope drives the size of the invitation, so your design needs to fall within your chosen envelope formats (square, rectangular, skinny rectangular). And the envelope shape sets the tone for your wedding style (an unusual size signifies an untraditional wedding). Keep in mind that over size envelopes and final packages that are over weight will cost more in terms of postage.

Step 9: Set Deadlines Know the time frame you are working with before you begin. Set a realistic deadline that starts with your intended mailing date, plus the time needed for assembly. Ask about the turnaround time and charge for proofs. Once the job is approved, how long will it take to print?

Step 10: Discuss the Printing Process Before you seal the deal, ask about the entire team. Who does the printing? Will your designer do a final check when your job is being printed to ensure everything is exactly as you approved? Will you see a final proof? Is it the right paper quality for your design? Keep in mind that a fabulous design can fall flat on the wrong paper. Who assembles the invitations? Does the designer do this for free or does a fee apply? How many revisions can you make? Know from the start about design fees and proof charges. Get a written contract that includes an estimate and timeline. You should also expect to make a deposit to start the project. A comprehensive design plan will eliminate too many changes that may accumulate. Most designers allow for one to two rounds of edits -- extra costs can be substantial. Be organized from the beginning and you will minimize errors and unexpected charges.

Step 11: Finalize the details Taking the customization route can be truly rewarding -- just remember to take it one step at a time, because even the font can set a certain tone. Don't force something that you don't love at first glance in hopes that it will grow on you. Think of the big picture and realize that each element plays a role that can be carried through your entire celebration.