Congratulations to Melodie Perry, May's Bride of the Month!

 

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May 2013: Melodie Perry!

It was so fun to have Melodie as one of our brides this past fall. We actually met Melodie  through Alta Moda Bridal, where Melodie works part time, before she came to meet with us for her invitations. Melodie is a sweet bride who dreamed of her invitations resembling a Tiffany's jewelry box. You know... the iconic blue box tied with a white satin ribbon. We were excited about the prospect of developing a Tiffany's inspired invitation for Melodie's dream wedding in Chicago. Keep reading to find out more about her invitations and her romantic wedding.

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Ruth: When you came to us you had an idea for your invitations to resemble a Tiffany's box. How did you come up with the idea?
Melodie: I’ve always loved anything that came in a Tiffany’s box. Alex would always get me presents from there and it was kind of our thing that if it is something really special it was in a Tiffany's box. That is how I picked the colors for my wedding by using Tiffany blue and pops of pink. I had to add the pink because it's my favorite color.

Ruth: What’s your favorite part of the invitations?
Melodie: I loved how everything fit into it’s own little pocket. When you gave me samples I remember thinking how well put together and organized it looked with a pocket.

Ruth: Was there an element like the pocket that made you think "yes, that’s it!"?
Melodie: I love that you were able to make the pocket that I wanted out of the blue shimmer paper that I wanted. That is what really sold me on it! I just love the blue color and how the pocket folded everything together like a present!

Ruth: What was your favorite part about the invitation process?
Melodie: I liked how visual the proofing method was with everything shown very clearly. I’m not the type of person who can visualize things but you made it very easy through proofs and pictures. It was also great to have physical samples of invitations and papers.

Ruth: Have you received any feedback from your guests about your invitations?
Melodie: Well, 6 months after the wedding everyone I know still has the invitation on their fridge! Even people that couldn’t make the wedding said how much they loved the invitations. Also, I’m so glad you reminded me to stamp the RSVP, I would have never thought to do that and people thought that was great.

Ruth: Did Alex participate in the proofing and decision making process with you?
Melodie: I thought he would say “whatever you want” and wouldn't be that interested in the invitations. But then when we received the Pinterest board that you created for our inspiration he had a lot of interesting feedback of what type of graphics he preferred. It was surprising to me that he wanted to be involved but it was really fun to do together.

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Ruth: How was your experience working with Ann Elizabeth from start to finish?
Melodie: 
The experience definitely lived up to my expectations. I knew that I wanted to use Ann Elizabeth for my invitations because I’ve seen so many great things in magazines and in person that have come from your studio. I have friends who are getting married now and are using Ann Elizabeth for invitations and they’ve been really happy they chose you guys too! I felt really good about my decision from the start and everything was very easy.  I also really liked that you sent my proofs through email because I live 30 minutes away and I didn’t want to always been driving to the studio.

Ruth: What advice you would give brides who are going through the invitation design
Melodie: Listen to your instincts and if you’re drawn to a certain thing you don’t have to try and explain it. Just say, “I like this and it's great”. Go with your instincts and you’ll always be happy in the end! I think mainly don’t be afraid to ask questions and any ideas you have just throw them out there. Also give yourself plenty of time and make sure you proofread, even have others proofread it as well so everything is correct.

Ruth: Were there elements of the invitation that were carried throughout the wedding?
Melodie: The Tiffany blue color went all through the wedding. Also, my menu designer in Chicago was able to match the colors of the menu up to the colors of the invitations. The colors were also used for the flowers and we used ribbon to tie around the centerpieces keeping the Tiffany's box theme.

Ruth: Was there a special reason you chose to be married at the Trump Towers in Chicago?
Melodie: We loved how Trump Towers had both a view of the cityscape and how it overlooked the Chicago River. Plus the people at Trump Towers are super nice to work with! Also, Alex’s family is from Chicago so we thought it would be fun to have our wedding there. With me working in the wedding industry in Utah I felt like having my wedding in Chicago was like having a destination wedding.

Ruth: Do you have any advice for brides planning a destination wedding?
Melodie: Hire a wedding planner that is local to the area you're getting married in because they have a lot more experience with the vendors. I think anyone can make things look great on a website so I was really grateful for our planner who gave me honest feedback and we loved ever vendors she recommended so it was a great relationship!

 

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Ruth: Tell me a little about your actual wedding day.
Melodie: Well,  honestly I was very tired of planning by the time my wedding came. I hear brides say “I had so much fun planning my wedding” but that wasn’t necessarily me. I was a little overwhelmed at time. I'm sure that there were so many little details that I could have just said "whatever" and it would be fine but I didn’t want to do that. Instead I kept working at getting all the little things done. I got the “must have” shot list to the photographer and sent the DJ my preferred song list. I felt really glad I put in the extra effort to do all those little things because I think they did really did make a difference. When the actual day came I woke up that morning and knew everything was going to be great! The only thing that went wrong on my wedding day was that I tried to steam my wedding dress myself and burned my arm. So I guess that would be another suggestion to new brides “don’t steam your wedding dress yourself! ”

Ruth: Thank you so much for coming in to talk to us about your wedding and the invitation process. We we're also honored that you trusted us to create your Tiffany's inspired invitations. You’re such a pleasure to work with and we wish you the best!


Dress designer: Monique Lhullier
Veil and accessories:  Alta Moda Bridal
Wedding Planner:  Beth Bernstein, SQN Events
Venue, catering, etc:  Trump International Hotel and Tower
Photographer: Amanda Hein Photography
Flowers: Fleur
Hair: Livia Caporale
Make up: Brie Arin Make up


Wedding Planning Checklist!

Wedding Planning Checklist!

So you're engaged, you’ve got the man of your dreams and a beautiful sparkling ring that you can’t stop raving about! With all the excitement you may be out trying on dresses, looking at venues and thinking of all the things you need to get done and it can easily get overwhelming. We have some great tips to get you at the right starting point so you can stay organized and timely with all the details of your dream wedding!

First and foremost you and your fiancé should figure out a budget. With a realistic budget set in place you can then move forward with what type of wedding you both want. Weddings can get pricy and sticking to a budget will help avoid unnecessary headaches in the future.

When setting a date choose one that works best for both you and your fiancé as well as loved ones. Discuss with one another of how many guest you’ll have so you can choose an appropriate venue. From there you can figure out what type of setting you want for your ceremony and reception that will still leave enough in your budget for everything else. Once you have that part done you can start on all the details, from catering, flowers, decor, and music for your venue depending on what is included with the location you’ve chosen. The fabulous venue in the pictures is the Red Cliff Ranch. With meadows surrounded by red cliffs, aspen groves, and waterfalls you are sure to get an elegant mountain destination wedding!

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Finding the dress is just as important! A woman wants a dress that makes her feel and look amazing. Give yourself time to shop around so when you do find that dress to die for you’ll have time for any alterations and accessories to make your bridal gown complete. The team at Alta Moda Bridal is experts at finding the perfect dress for the bride to be. With bride Ashley (lower left) she is absolutely glowing in her A-Line beaded lace gown by Augusta Jones. (Photo by Alixann Loosle Photography.) Bride Daynia (lower right) looks gorgeous in her fashionable modest dress by Monique Lhullier. (Photography by Brooke Brakken.)

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blog quote Now that you have the date and venue locked in you should start thinking about the invitation. Your invitation is a key element for relaying needed information to your guests. With all the time you place into planning your wedding you want your guests to be able to plan accordingly so they can join you in the celebrations. Especially if you need a head count and depend on a RSVP reply. The invitation process takes time and can sometimes be overlooked as far as what goes into them. You should start the design process four to six months in advanced and send them two months prior your wedding date. Your invitation should reflect who you are and the theme of your wedding giving your guest idea of what’s to come. Depending on your budget the invitation can be as simple or elaborate as you want. With so many options to chose from, narrow down what your wants and needs are for the occasion.

Things to think about:
• Do you need a separate announcement?
• Should you send a Save the Date?
• How detailed do you want the invitation to be vs. guiding guests to a website for the details?
• Do you need a separate ceremony card?
• Do you need directions and accommodation cards?
• Will an RSVP be needed?
• What type of thank you cards do you prefer?

Here at Ann Elizabeth we take pride in having helped numerous brides create custom invitations that fit their budget and needs.

Janellen Peterkin’s chose a patterned paper, which gives her invitation a soft romantic feel. We used multiple layers on both the outer monogram and inside details giving it a rich look that accented the pinks. Then topped it off with an icing wrap for the envelope making this invitation pure elegance!

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There are so many details that go into planning a wedding that hiring an event designer/planner can really help. Consider cutting some of the budget elsewhere so that you can hire a professional to guide you through the process if at all possible.

Taking the time to do your research can really pay off in the end. Magazines and websites like Utah Bride and Groom, Salt Lake/Park City Bride and Groom, Utah Valley Bride are some of our local magazines and are a great sources for information.

If you are looking for a great checklist you can download the Martha Stewart checklist.  It is well put together with complete breakdowns of all the details you’ll need to stay organized.

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Bridal Shower Etiquette

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Bridal Shower Etiquette - “Who should host the party?”
Traditionally, the maid or matron of honor hosts the party. In some cases family members, bride’s maids or close girl friends will do the hosting so make sure the communication is there. Never let the bride host her own party!

“What should be included on a bridal shower invitation?”

  • Bride's full name (and sometimes Groom's)
  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • RSVP name and number
  • Date to RSVP by
  • Short description of any food details
  • Registry

“What time frame is proper etiquette for hosting a bridal shower?”
Most would say anywhere from a two month to two weeks before the wedding. When mailing invitations you will need to do it no less than a month prior to the bridal shower so guests have time to respond to the RSVP.

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[/one-half-first][one-half]When choosing a theme for the wedding shower, select one that reflects the personality and interests of the bride. Here are some examples we’ve done for our bridal shower invitations from top to bottom.

Jennifer Vigor-Kalm’s goldfish bridal shower invitation was themed after brides name Melissa Fisher and grooms Jon Goldman. She also had a menu themed after the bridal invitation for the restaurant where the bridal shower was held with choices of what entrees they could choose from!

Hailey Kandell’s sushi themed invitation for Sara Little makes a bold yet chic announcement. This invitation has it all! With a full color two-sided pocket that holds the RSVP reply card and envelope. Even the envelopes are tastefully printed from the flower design on the main envelope to the reply envelope with chopsticks. Not only is this theme colorful and youthful, it’s the very essence of femininity.

Julian McKeon's Fiesta theme relayed a relaxed get together with a southwestern buffet lunch.

Ann Jager’s invitation for Alyson Garff was a traditional themed invite focused on incorporating her wedding colors keeping a flow throughout her invitation suite.

Kimberlee Sirstins' invitation is a great example where multiple family members come together to host the bridal shower. The details of layers and clean lines make for a beautiful classy invitation![/one-half][one-half-first]Hailey Kandell’s invitation for Sarah Klothorr indicates a more formal dinner party with her details for cocktail attire. The invitation itself is gorgeous down to the last detail. With the layering on an elegant wrap and champagne ribbon, it really captures the mood for the occasion.

Rachel Francis' invites for Kate Feinstein is a fun and more modern invitation with an additional teaser of the upcoming Bachelorette party. Fun side note: Rachel has gone from bridesmaid to one of our current brides!

With a few good guidelines you can create the perfect bridal shower for your bride to be![/one-half-first][one-half]bridal shower 3[/one-half]bridal shower 5


Congratulations to Charity Lund, April’s Bride of the Month!

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April 2013: Charity Lund! This month we are excited to feature a bride that we didn't get the chance to highlight a year ago. Charity and Ian’s wedding was such a beautifully stylized event that we wanted to take this month to feature them and show off their gorgeous event, photography and engraved invitations. Charity was gracious enough to share her unique and stylish wedding photos with us. We love how Charity pulled together all of the details to create a dramatic effect. We hope you’ll enjoy it as well.

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Interviewer: We know it’s been a while since your wedding and now that your big day is all through, how has married life been?
Ian: It’s been a challenge having to tolerate someone in between sporting events on the television.
Charity: I love getting to spend life with the best friend I could ever have. When I think about what I want to do on a Friday night, nothing sounds better than being with my hubs. Anything is always that much better with him.
Interviewer: I absolutely love how your invitations turned out. We chose you as the Bride of the Month because we wanted to feature one of our favorite past invitations and couples. Tell me about the process you went through in dreaming up your invitations. I want to hear where you got your inspiration from, how you decided what your invitations would look like, etc.
Charity: For Valentine’s Day, Ian took us to Japan and we spent 10 days together and then I stayed there for an extra three months. Japan celebrates the season of blooming cherry blossoms, which are everywhere, and tie the US and Japan together. Japan gave them as a gift to the US, so it reminds us of our first time travelling together. The colors on the invite were our wedding colors champagne and cornflower blue. The rest we left up to Ann. It’s great to have someone who will interpret a rough idea and turn it into a great invitation.[/one-half-first][one-half]charity picture 2charity picture 3[/one-half]Interviewer: What is your favorite part of your invitations?
Charity: The engraving is great. It’s a technique that is rarely used, but it’s such a beautifully subtle element.
Interviewer: What feature of your invitations have the most people complimented you on?
Charity: No feature in particular, just how nicely they turned out. We got a lot of compliments like “This is the nicest invitation I’ve ever seen.” But, those people probably haven’t been through Ann’s studio, since most of the invitations she creates are that ‘nice.’ Overall, I think the combination of it all. The unique length of the envelopes, the layers and separate pieces coming together like a puzzle. The way it all fit together with the beautiful complimentary colors, font, and artwork probably made one big statement.

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Interviewer: Has anything surprised you about your invitations? Like how your guests responded to them?
Charity: We really just appreciated that everyone loved them so much. They were so well received and it was everything we’d hoped for in something that would announce our unity.
Interviewer: Have you taken any elements from your invitation to use throughout your wedding decor?
Charity: Our invitations were a direct reflection of our wedding. The whimsy of the metallic paper was incorporated into our menus and directional signs. The font had a royal feel to it that went well with the mansion, and cherry blossoms were engraved in the engagement ring. The champagne color was chosen from the wedding dress, and cornflower blue is Ian’s favorite color, both were our wedding colors.
Interviewer: Do you feel that your invitations set the tone for your event? If so, in what way?
Charity: It definitely complimented the wedding that we wanted to have. If the wedding was a short story of our life together, the invitations were the teaser to the wedding.
Interviewer: What advice would you give to brides who are looking to gather inspiration for their wedding invitations?
Charity: Be sentimental. Use experiences you’ve had together to inspire you. Your wedding should be a short story about your life together. Your invitations should be the headline.

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Interviewer: Is there a lesson you learned through your creative process in dreaming up your invitations you’d like to share?
Charity: It takes two. Ian was more involved than I expected he would be, and they turned out more beautiful than I imagined they would.
Interviewer: How was your experience with Ann Elizabeth?
Charity: I didn’t expect so much patience. She gave us so many great options that I felt like she really cared that we loved them and had our best interest in mind.
Interviewer: Is there anything we could have done to make your experience with us better? (Please don’t be shy! We are always looking to improve our clients’ experience with us.)
Charity and Ian: I’m good. Me too!
Interviewer: It was a pleasure working with you both in creating your invitation and letting us share in your wedding!

Wedding Dress & Veil: YSA Makino (Italian Designer) from Mon Amie Bridal Salon
Shoes: Cole Haan Nike Air Pumps (heels w/Nike Air)
Flowers: Trifecta Floral
Hair & Makeup: Janae Mechling Johnson Image Studio
Invitations: Ann Elizabeth
Bridals: Location- Wheeler Farm John Paul Photography
Wedding: Photography: AMB Photography
Venue: McCune Mansion
Wedding Planner: Andi Saxton
Cake: Grace Harvell The Graceful Baker


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!