Jewel Tone Junkies

Believe it or not fall is upon us, which means it's time for all you winter brides to be getting serious about your invitations.

Today's post is to bust the myth that a winter wedding = lack of color. Not this year, honey! Not you.

So, to help motivate you, I thought I'd put together some fabulous winter inspiration for you: jewel tones.

Here at Ann Elizabeth, we love the idea of jewel tones for a winter wedding. These are such regal-looking colors, and a lot of depth can be achieved using lustrous fabrics and paper.

We love this look, and hope you will, too!

Photo credits from left to right:

Zuma Photo

Robin Lin

Ann Elizabeth

Photo found via Wedding Bee

Robin Lin

Bridal Shoppe

Zuma Photo, menu design by Ann Elizabeth

Santa Barbara Chic

 And here's today's pinnable! Enjoy!


Congratulations to our Bride of the Month, Hannah Arrington Olague!

I am SO excited to share with you some great news!

(Drumroll, please.)

Ann Elizabeth has started a new tradition: every month, we will feature a Bride of the Month! The idea behind our featured bride of the month is to showcase current and gorgeous invitations, and applaud our brides for being innovative, unique, and inspiring.

We chose to feature Hannah, because her invitations are the epitome of a personal touch: she had us incorporate a watercolor painting she created herself. Add the gold foil (her fiance's choice!), and these invitations are absolutely STUNNING!

Click on the photo of Hannah below to head on over to our website and check out her gorgeous invitations!

 


3 Tips for Tackling Invitation Inspiration

So you want gorgeous wedding invitations.

Not, "Oh, that's pretty..." (then gets tossed in the trash once your wedding day is over).

You want the jaw-dropping- "This invitation is STUNNING! ... so chic I feel guilty throwing it away (so I'll hold onto it for years)!"- kind of impact.

And you want your invitations to be original. None of this fill-in-the-blank, cookie-cutter, "My cousin had that exact same invitation!" stuff. We're talking one-of-a-kind, knock-their-socks-off original.

Believe it or not, this is possible! And it doesn't have to break the bank.

Question is, where do you start? Do you sit back and just hope that luck will strike an idea into your head? We say, "No, ma'am!" Put on your big girl pants and do as author Jack London so wisely said:


Couldn't have said it better myself, Jack. That's why I'm so excited to bring you today's post: 3 Tips for Tackling Invitation Inspiration.

 Tip #1: Know what you want.

When it comes to having a flawless invitation ensemble, indecision is not your friend.

There are SO many options available to you. I know it can seem daunting at first, but colors, format, fonts, size, shape, texture, motif, folds (or no folds), enclosure cards, etc can all play a part in making your invitation extraordinary. Get your hands on as many different kinds of invitations as possible, so you can see, touch, and interact with different styles of invitations. We love having brides come in and browse our showroom, especially for this purpose. Check out our studio hours here if you'd like to come see us!

The other side of knowing what you want is knowing what you don't want. Make a written list! Sometimes your "Don't Want" list is easier to come up with, so it's a great place to start if you're at a loss for coming up with what you do want.

Tip #2: Get out of your comfort zone.

Many times, the best inspiration stems from something you never expected. Do you find yourself browsing invitations that all have the same kind of look? Delve into some that look completely different and see what you like. You may come up with a way to "marry" both looks and come up with something 100% original. Win, Win!

Tip #3: Add your personal touch

What better way to both "wow" your guests and help them feel connected to your event than to have something meaningful in your life as a theme or decorative element? This could be anything from your love for the beach (using a nautical theme), to the title of your and your fiance's song, to the color of the sunset when he proposed. Don't be afraid to share these intimate (and sometimes vulnerable) moments with your guests. It will only make your invitations more cohesive and all that much more meaningful.

For example, we recently had a bride incorporate into her invitations a watercolor painting she did herself. Not only was it absolutely stunning, it was absolutely personal. So lovely!

The bride behind the gorgeous letterpress invitations to the left chose an evergreen motif because of the location of her wedding. She felt like the colors, paper choices, and motif really set the tone for her event. We completely agree!

The Ann Elizabeth team wishes you the best of luck in gathering your wedding invitation inspiration. Remember: Know what you want, Get out of your comfort zone, and Add your personal touch! You got this.

Know someone struggling with finding invitation inspiration? Share this with them!

Where have you found wedding invitation inspiration? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!


Summery Inspiration

Today, I'm really excited to share with you an inspiration photo shoot, photographed and styled by the lovely Jessica White of Jessica White Photography.

Jessica asked us to design the printed pieces for this gorgeous shoot, and we gladly accepted. We love the pastel ombre palette paired with bolder blooms. It's the perfect marriage of soft and summery, shabby and chic! We hope you enjoy this inspiration board as much as we do.

Please feel free to share with your friends via facebook, twitter, and pinterest!


Ann Elizabeth is feeling krafty

Happy Tuesday!

Today, I am ecstatic to share with you yet another fabulous inspiration board surrounding:

Kraft!

Love, love, love this paper! For those of you unfamiliar with kraft, it's known as a more casual paper, but as of late has risen to more semi-formal occasions. It's typically a brown, natural-looking paper with little darker flecks in it. Kraft can be bleached to be (almost) white, but the most popular form is brown.

Prepare to be amazed by what you're about to see. Really. You'll see how the casual nature of kraft is transformed to be something completely different. Kraft can be so versatile: from cutesy and informal to natural and elegant.

There is one way to dress up kraft that we absolutely love here at Ann Elizabeth... and that is lace. Lace is (in our humble opinion) such a gorgeous way to "pretty up" the comfort of kraft. See for yourself in our inspiration board below!

Whether kraft is the star of your wedding invitation ensemble or if there's simply a kiss of kraft, it's sure to be a success.

Are you thinking of using kraft as part of your wedding, party, or other celebration? Tell us about it in the comments below. We love to hear how everyone uses kraft in such diverse ways.

That's all for today- thanks for stopping by.

Don't forget to share this inspiration board with your friends! Tweet it, Pin it, Facebook it.

Image credits (from left to right, top to bottom):

Ann Elizabeth

Cut and Paste

Fellow Fellow

Oh So Beautiful Paper

Jupiter and Juno

Jupiter and Juno

Cut and Paste


Solving the "Adults Only" dilemma

You're engaged to the love of your life, and you've started to plan your big day.

You've got ideas for colors, centerpieces, flowers, favors, and more. Your pinterest account is overflowing with wedding inspiration boards. It's all you think about, day and night.

Everyone you ever knew (and lots of people you don't) will be at your reception. This is huge, and you're starting to feel the gravity of it all. This is your first day together as a married couple, and you want to start it off just right: with a gorgeous reception. Only kicker is- you have loads of people you would like to be there... just not their children. Nothing against kids or anything; it's just that you know you (and you're mother in-law alike) will have a heart attack at the sight of little Tommy dipping his fingers in the cake. We don't blame you!

We love kids, but a lot of times weddings aren't the best place for them to play.

If you're in this boat, you're probably concerned at what others will think of your decision to not have children at your wedding/reception. Some will support you in it, but some will have strong opinions against it (and won't hesitate one bit to share them with you). You'll have to be ready for that.

So the question is, how do you break the news that the little dears aren't invited?

This is a concern for many brides, and I'm happy to clear this up for you.

You'll be glad to hear that there are a few different ways this can be accomplished while maintaining formality and respect. Both good!

Go the traditional route

Traditionally, those who are addressed on the inner envelopes are those who are invited to the event. A problem with that is that tradition is slowly diminishing over time, and many brides these days don't have inners envelopes- just outers. And you and I both know that a lot of people disregard who an envelope is precisely addressed to. It's a piece of mail, and they're anxious to open it; the envelope ends up in the trash.

It's all in the wording

Many brides are concerned that it's tacky to mention "Adults Only" anywhere on your main invitation. Our answer to that is: it all depends on how you say it. If you were to flat out say, "Adults only," you can bet your boots that will come off as offensive to many, so make sure to check out our examples below.

RSVP round up

Check out these examples from a couple invitations we did recently. These are options we recommend to make it clear, without question, that only a limited number of guests are anticipated.

Examples

 

 

Consider this...

If leaving the kids out is out of the question, but you're still concerned they'll be a nuisance, an option is to offer a babysitting service at your reception. Plan fun activities to occupy the children's hands and minds, like a photobooth, crafts (so many great kids' crafts can be found on Pinterest), etc. The Knot has some great suggestions in this article for some ways to keep the kiddos busy.

There are various options for every event; if your event happens to be formal enough that kids would be a distraction, by all means, feel free to request that they stay at home.

Keep in mind that a great wedding maintains the balance between the comfort of the guests and the wants of the bride and groom. You know better than anyone how the event should go, so make it happen!

What's next?

You're most likely wondering what to do next. If you're still undecided, I would suggest doing some more research on options for you. Each wedding is different, so you have to be the one to really do some feeling around and see what's right for your event.

Chances are you're not quite sure whether or not your guests would cringe at the idea of a children-free event (or visa versa). Ask them! Don't hesitate to get feedback from a few choice people you trust. Visit with your spouse-to-be and see what they think. You two will decide together, and between you and me, your guests will deal.

Last, but certainly not least, don't stress! Your day will turn out great, and you'll look back on it with fond memories. Good luck and let us know if you have any questions!

-- Dana and The Ann Elizabeth Team

PS, make sure to share this with your friends! We know you know someone who could benefit from this.


The Recipe for Letterpress Success

If you've done any browsing of our past blog posts, chances are you've witnessed how huge of a nerd I become when I talk about letterpress.

Simply put, it's lovely.

I can't pinpoint just one thing I love about letterpress. It's everything... from the soft, pillowy paper to the dynamic levels the impressions create... I just love it. 100% elegant, 100% perfect!

So today, I'd like to share some tips on how to get the most out of your experience with letterpress... a perfect recipe for letterpress success. We'll break it down by elements of an invitation.

 

 

 

If you have any questions about letterpress, please leave a comment below or feel free to contact us! And don't forget to share this post with all of your letterpress-loving friends.

 


Food for Thought

Happy Tuesday! Today's post is a little different than usual.

It's good to change things up, right? We're just trying to keep you on your toes.

I stumbled on this quote the other day and I've been anxious to share it with you. It's by the wonderful wordsmith, Mark Twain:

I love this quote. And I especially love it it when applied to the design of your wedding invitation and your plans for your wedding in general. Here at Ann Elizabeth, we love it when brides dare to be original and come up with a concept that's out of the ordinary. We're all about working with our brides to create something as unique and beautiful as they are!

At the end of the day, just ask yourself, "Do I want to play it safe and have a cookie cutter invitation, or do I want it to be extraordinary?"  I DARE you to go for the latter. Your wedding day is such a special one, and your invitation is the first glimpse your guests get as to the tone of your perfect day. Make it count!

Hopefully this got some creative juices flowing for your invitation design. If you want to browse invitations you could take bits and pieces from to create your own unique look, head on over to our website! www.annelizabeth.com. Feel free to share, pin, tweet, digg, shout from atop a mountain, or however you see fit!


To Dye For: Coral Ombre!

Crazy about coral? So is Ann Elizabeth!

It's such a gorgeous, summery hue. Then, when paired with ombre, it's just... well... to die for! Check out this inspiration graphic we've put together for Coral Ombre.

If you've never heard of "ombre" before, don't stress. Ombre (pronounced "om-ber") is French for "shade," so whether used in hairstyling or decorating, ombre is simply a fading/melting of one color into another. The photo of the cake is the clearest example of ombre. See how the top of the cake fades into the deep coral at the bottom? Look at you! You're an ombre pro already.

Planning to use coral in your wedding or other event? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

Love coral but aren't sure what to pair it with? Here are a few recommended color schemes we found on Design Seeds:

Filtered Tones Fresh Tones
Sweet Flora Vintage Flora

Photo credits for inspiration graphic (from left to right):
Jenny Cookies

Jill Thomas Photography 

Design Fancy Ink

Wishlantern Wedding Lanterns

Wishlantern Wedding Lanterns

Cocorosa

DK Designs Hawaii

Ann Elizabeth has no affiliation with the sources above. We simply think their work is lovely and thought you deserved to see it!


How to Choose the PERFECT Color Palette

What if I told you that choosing the perfect color palette for your wedding was easy?

Yep. I said, "easy".

Some of you might throw your shoe at me for making such a claim-- for many brides, choosing a color palette is one of the hardest parts of wedding planning. But please put the shoe down for a second and hear me out.

Today, I'm going to show you a few sanity-saving tools that are just a mouse click away. Whether you're a color lover or what we like to call "color-phobic", you're going to love today's post!

Some of you may be surprised to learn that there are some killer websites out there to help you find or create the perfect color scheme for your wedding, and we've chosen three of our favorites to share with you. There's something for everyone... the bride who wants to get those creative juices flowing by making a custom color scheme, or the bride who wants to see color schemes others have created. And... the best part is: they're all FREE! That's something you don't hear much in the wedding planning process, so we're happy to share. It's important to note that Ann Elizabeth isn't affiliated with any of these companies. We simply think they rock and are worth bragging about.

Design Seeds

Design Seeds is a an awesome resource! It's a website that's in blog format (familiar to almost everyone these days), with oodles of fabulous color palettes to peruse. This is the most basic of the sites we'll cover today, since there's not a tool here for coming up with your own color palette. But- with all the options Design Seeds has here, there's not really a need! One thing we really like about Design Seeds is the option to search for palettes similar to your main color. So if you at least know you want a "dusty rose" as your main color, you can plug that into the search tool and it will pull up palettes that have that color or something similar.

Colour Lovers

Colour Lovers has so many great options for choosing colors, and is truly user-friendly. You can browse and rate other members' palettes, create your own, upload a photo that has colors you love and it will generate a palette from the photo, and lots more. You'll have to check out the other tools they have available. Colour Lovers has tools for the tech-savvy and the not so tech-savvy. So fun!

Adobe Kuler

Adobe Kuler (pronounced, "color") is a wonderful resource for color schemes-- a bit more complex than the others, so watch out. Once you register (it's free) you can use their extremely versatile tool for color schemes, upload a photo that Kuler will analyze and extract colors from, browse other members' palettes, and more. This is the most complex in terms of how to use the tools, but once you figure it out, it is golden!

 

So there you have it! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this post today. What color palette websites do you know about? Leave a comment- we'd love to hear from you!

Have friends who could use this info? Share it with them... pin it, email it, tweet it, post it!