A Few Of Our Favorite Things

It's hard to believe the holidays are almost here!  We had such a great time working with clients this year and turning their unique and creative ideas into fabulous holiday items!  Here are a few of our favorite things this season from corporate holiday parties, to tags, family celebrations, and christmas cards!


Meet Dustin Schrecengost and see his Fabulous Announcement

Here at Ann Elizabeth we're a lot more than a one trick pony. Sure, we love designing wedding invitations, but we also have lots of fun with other design projects as well. Our client, Dustin Schrecengost, recently joined the staff of skilled professionals at Blakemore Real Estate as a licensed realtor. Our friends at Blakemore Real Estate sent Dustin our way to design and print an announcement for him and we like it so much that we thought we'd share.

We started with a gold and black color palette and developed the announcement from there. The whole announcement pulls out of a nifty pocket and there is a removable business card attached to the announcement. The business card itself features a matte coating and a shiny gold foil logo. So, even when the announcement is long gone, Dustin can rest assured that his business card alone still packs a punch.

Have you made a business move lately? If so, sending a business announcement of the change is a social grace that your clients are sure to appreciate. Anything from a move of location, expanding office space, moving to a new company, a new phone number any business transition is noteworthy. More than anything else, it keeps your name in front of your clients and lets them know that you care enough about them to keep them in the loop.

dustin schrecengost

And finally, we don't endorse just anybody around here (we tend to be pretty persnickety about that kind of thing) but if you're in the market you need to check out Blakemore Real Estate. http://www.blakemorerealestate.com/

In all my dealings with professionals, I must say that Blakemore Real Estate really pays attention to the details and their customer service is pretty incredible. These guys really know what they are doing.

So enjoy Dustin's announcement and think about sending a business announcement of your own. It's sure to instantly make you look like a pro.

 

 

 


Congratulations to Michelle McDonald-Ross, November's Bride of the Month!

bride of the month headerclose ups 1

November 2012: Michelle McDonald-Ross!

We are so pleased to be sharing Michelle's invitations with you. Michelle came to us with an awesome pinterest board flushed out with lots of inspiration. As we sat down with Michelle and talked about the items she had gathered for inspiration we were able to get a feel for Michelle's laid back attitude and easy-going style. By the end of a very productive consultation the scope of her invitations started to come into focus with a size and shape selected, a color palette nailed down and we figured out the different pieces she would need.

Michelle wanted a chevron pattern as well as an autumn branch, tree or leaf to be incorporated into the design. It was a unique combination and we knew we had our work cut our for us.

Our invitation consultant Ruth Sorenson sat down with Michelle to get her take on the process. Here are the highlights from our interview!

large open view photo

The Interview:

Ruth:  One of my favorite things about your invitations was that you challenged us to create an invitation set that had contemporary elements combined with nature elements, what made you decide on those two elements?

Michelle:  I was kind of nervous before meeting with Ann Elizabeth because I knew how I wanted the invitations to feel and I was thinking "how am I going to make these guys understand what I want based on a feeling?" I knew I didn’t want rustic and I didn’t want cold. I was also concerned because people can have different ideas of what natural and modern look like and I wasn’t sure how to explain what I envisioned. It was really good to sit down at the consultation and just rap it out. There really was no specific design in mind when we started; just a vague aloof description of what I wanted them to FEEL like. Letting me talk about what I wanted the invitations to feel like and looking at colors and papers led me to those two main ideas.

Ruth: What helped you know when we got the right combination you were looking for in your design?

Michelle:  When we started the proofing! It was awesome to be able see the different options that Ann came up with based on our consultation. I was able to be selective and let Ann know what I liked and didn’t like. The visualization process worked. For example, I had initially wanted a die-cut leaf for the front of the invitation, but once I saw it in proofs, I realized it wasn’t right for what I wanted. As things started to narrow down to the final decision I was like that’s it!

2nd set of detail images

Ruth: What is your favorite part of the invitations?

Michelle:  It’s hard to narrow it down to one thing because I like that it’s a whole package and everything works together. If I have to pick out a few favorites, I do really like the envelopes liner. I think it’s just a cute detail. I had also forgotten that we picked a textured paper for the wrap and when we got them I thought they were even better than what I remembered from the computer proof.  I like the string tied around the outside as well. It makes the invitation interactive and a fun experience for the guest. Guests want to feel like they’ve been invited to something special and I really feel like my guests got to experience that with the invitation that I sent them.

Ruth:  Have you had any feedback from your family and friends?

Michelle: Yes, A friend of mine in London said “this is the most beautiful thing that I have ever had the pleasure of receiving.” We also received a lot of comments about the RSVP. Everyone though it was fun and showed a little of our personality.

Ruth:  Did the invitation process help set the tone for any other parts of your wedding?

Michelle: It’s funny because we ended up changing our wedding completely during the time that we were working with Ann Elizabeth. We initially had a bigger event planned at LuLand Falls that included a caterer, florist and all of the more traditional elements. It started not being fun I realized my event wasn’t looking like me anymore and we cancelled all of the traditional stuff and reworked our wedding to be a really small, special ceremony with close friends and family outside and then a celebration dinner at snowbird. Once I made those changes I got excited about getting the wedding that wanted.
Going through the invitation process was part of the catalyst that helped me decide I needed to rework things. The invitation process was more relaxed and fun. I wanted everything to feel that way. The invitation helped me to define what I wanted the wedding to feel like.

 

Ruth: How was your experience working with the Ann Elizabeth team?

Michelle: Great! I really didn’t know what I wanted and I was amazed with the proofing process all the different ideas Ann came up. You guys really listened to my vague vocalizations and were able to manifest them into the perfect invitation. Even my parents and Bill had fun going through the process with me and it was fun to get their opinions about the process. Most of all I love the end product.

Michelle pays it forward:

Ruth: Do you have any advice for any newly engaged ladies getting ready to plan their events?

Michelle: Listen to your instincts.  If you like something and it feels right build on that even if it’s vague and hazy at first. Try to be vocal with the wedding professionals helping you so they can guide you by asking the right questions to ultimately help you have the most enjoyable experience. Start building a selection of images that appeal to you. In situations where words fail, images will speak.

 

Thanks Michelle! We had a great time working with you.

For all of our pinterest fans, here's your pinnable.

michelle mcdonald pinnable

 

 

 


It's that time of year!

Believe it or not, Fall is upon us, and you know what that means...

It's time to be thinking about holiday cards!

The holidays will be here before we know it, and so we're here to help you not procrastinate sending those cards out... again.

Use these photos as inspiration for your own custom card, or you can order exactly what you see here (with your name, etc) through us. Click here to learn how to order.

 

 

 

 

These twist cards are a lot of fun; a card your friends and family can interact with.

 

 

We also have a wide selection of photo holiday cards for you to choose from. We welcome you to come to our studio to browse our gallery!

And remember, share this with your friends and family. We don't want anyone forgetting to send their holiday cards!


5 Reasons to Break Up With Photo Wedding Invitations

Today, we're breaking up with photo wedding invitations.

(GASP) No, no. Really, it's okay...

It's been a good run, but it's time to move on.

So, here's our list for why we just can't be together anymore: 

5. You're always glossy, all the time. Some variation in texture would be nice.

 

4. You're flat... one dimensional. I'm looking for more- something my guests can interact with!

 

3. You're good at showing my guests whose wedding they'll be at... but 7 different poses is overkill.

 

2. You look nice for a post card, but not for the biggest day of my life.

 

1. You can only be a 6 on the "formal" scale. I want a 10.

 

So, photo wedding invitations, we're through. Though we may see you come around every now and then, we know we've made the right move.

Thanks for all the good times.

Sincerely,

The Modern Bride

 

If you're feeling some withdrawals from the breakup, be strong! Don't turn back. Focus on the things that will be better for your invitations in the long run. Things like:

  • A clutter-free main piece. Whether your invitations are elegant or casual, it's much classier not to use a photo on your main piece. If you include a photo, do so as an enclosure. Use your lovely faces as an accessory, not the star of the show.
  • Invitations that more effectively set the tone for your wedding. We've seen it countless times; a photo wedding invitation that (by its nature) has an informal feeling to it... so the guests show up to your formal event in business casual clothing. It's embarrassing for everyone, so do your guests a favor and reflect the tone of your wedding in the invitations!
  • You can create an experience for your guests. Using an Envelopments pocket, for example, can create an incredible experience for your guests- like opening a present! There are lots of ways you can compile your invitation, enclosure cards, photo, and RSVP. If you need ideas, browse our gallery!

Have you "broken up" with photo invitations? Leave us a comment and tell us how!

 

Here's today's pinnable... Enjoy!


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!

 


Envelopes 101: Inners, Outers, and Liners

All of the many pieces of a wedding invitation ensemble can be intimidating for a lot of brides.

Today's post is meant to help you clearly understand the outermost pieces: the envelopes!

Oftentimes the envelopes are overlooked, but I'm here to give you the scoop on why you shouldn't discount these beauties. Not only are they functional, but they are traditional, and they can really play into the overall experience of your invitations.

Inner Envelopes

1) Inner envelope with custom liner, and 2) Outer envelope with calligraphy by Distinctive Inscriptions www.dicalligraphy.com

When I talk about envelopes being traditional, this is what I mean! You'll probably want to know first-off that many brides are shying away from this tradition, and here's why.

In the past, back when mail was delivered via horse, train, or some other grubby process, the outer envelope would often get soiled pretty badly. An inner envelope would keep the invitation suite immaculate and flawless. The outer envelope would be discarded upon opening.

Today, our mailing system is a little less traumatic on our invitation ensembles. Yes, they get tossed around and dirtied a bit, but nowhere near where they used to be. S0, you can see why many brides opt for an outer envelope only, or an outer envelope with a custom liner (we'll touch on that in a bit).

Here at Ann Elizabeth, we have a few criteria that help a bride decide whether or not to use inner envelopes:

1) Formality:

The more formal/traditional your invitations are, we recommend including inner envelopes. For invitation suites that are less formal, inner envelopes are not necessary.

2) Clarity:

Inner envelopes are handy in situations where only certain members of a household are invited to your event. The inners provide clarity, because etiquette dictates that the names on the inner envelopes are those for whom the invitation is intended. For example, this might apply to an adults only event.

3) Cost-Effectiveness:

Surprisingly enough, a lined inner envelope can be more cost-effective than creating a custom liner for an outer envelope (something many of our brides opt for, and which you have to do for any outer envelope liner). The reason this can be more cost-effective is, there are about 25 standard liners that are pre-made for inner envelopes we offer. So if you're on more of a budget, but a lined envelope is something you want for your invitations this is the way to go.

Outer/Mailing Envelopes

Outer envelopes are the most familiar to everyone. It's your typical mailing envelope with a few options to dress it up for a wedding. There are a few rules for etiquette, however.

1) Post to the hosts:

Outer envelope, return addressed to the hosts' residence

It is discouraged for the return address printed on the mailing envelopes to be different from that of "the hosts" of the wedding. If the parents are announcing the wedding, the return address should be the parents' unless circumstances prevent this.

2) It takes two to tango, with this acception:

The bride's portion of the invitations and the groom's portion of the invitations should all be issued from the same return address (ie, do not print 2 different return addresses depending on whether the guests will be on the bride's side or the groom's side).

3) If you only have an outer, watch out:

Things can get a bit tricky when you have a more formal invitation without an inner envelope. Like we stated above, certain things are traditionally written on the inner envelopes, so you have to take care when addressing your envelopes that there is

no room for questions as to who in the household is invited.

Liners: Standard and Custom

Custom outer envelope liner

As stated in the heading, there are liners that come standard for certain envelope sizes, and then there are custom liners that you can have made.

Standard liners are a great option if you're on a budget but are still looking for an extra pop of color.

However, we really love the custom option, because the paper you choose for your liner will tie in perfectly with the rest of your invitation, whether it's used as an accent piece (like you see in the suite to the right) or whether it matches your motif exactly. There is something to be said for a custom liner; it's one of the fine details that make an invitation ensemble so chic and so glamorous.

 

Envelope tips:

  • It's best to either hand-write (write yourself or hire a Calligrapher) or have your addresses professionally printed (called envelope personalization) on your outer envelopes. The handwriting gives an added personal touch, and the printing will be cohesive with the rest of your invitation ensemble (not to mention, you won't have to stress over writing them yourself! Saves time, and is SO worth the small cost). Oh- and did we mention that having your envelopes printed on looks a whole lot classier than labels? Just sayin'!
  • We recommend always having your invitations hand-canceled. This lessens the chance of the post office running your delicate invitation through a machine. Most post offices have what they call a "nonmachinable surcharge," which they'll apply to each invitation mailed, usually around 20 cents. So it costs a little extra, but if you ask us, this surcharge is definitely worth it.
  • Square envelopes cost a little bit more to mail. The same surcharge we mentioned above applies to square envelopes.

And last but not least, here is today's pinnable! Don't forget to share- we love it when you do!

 


Lost in a Font Fog?

Are you overwhelmed with all the different options when it comes to choosing a script font for your invitations?

You're definitely not the first, and you're definitely not alone!

Choosing fonts for your invitations can be a difficult task, to say the least. So today's post offers you some gorgeous selections of script fonts.

I've chosen two of our most popular types of script fonts for you to see today: Elegant/Classical, and Whimsical/Lovely. Each has their own place, and are equally stunning. To see examples of wedding invitations using these fonts, head on over to annelizabeth.com.

Elegant and Classical:

First up is Burgues Script. This font is incredibly beautiful on wedding invitations because of the graceful swirls called, "swashes" that extend from the letters.

Next is Edwardian Script. This is such a classic-looking font, you can't go wrong!

Bickham Script is what you see in the example below. This is a nice font if you're looking for beautiful swashes like you see in Burgues Script, but a little toned down.

Our next example is called Adios Script. This script font is the perfect marriage of playfulness and elegance. It's so versatile that it can be used for informal and formal wedding invitations alike.

PF Champion Pro is similar to Bickham Script, but is a little more free-flowing. I'm pretty sure it's impossible for you to go wrong with this one!

Whimsical and Lovely:

Next up is Feel Script, which is a nice hybrid between classy and cute. It comes off as a little more casual, but paired with the right block font, it could be used for a more formal invitation if you chose it.

The next two script fonts are from the same family. The first is Carolyna: a super-cute, hand-written-esque font. We love the look of this one paired with a floral paper. So pretty!

Second is Carolyna Pro Black. It's Carolyna's thicker twin. We love this font and how it is playful and elegant, kinda like Paris.

Last but certainly not least is the lively Jacque & Gilly. This font is dainty and feminine, and looks AMAZING when printed with Letterpress. Love.

Like what you see? Don't forget to share it! Here's today's "pin-able"

Graphic Credit:

Burgues Script, Adios Script, PF Champion Pro, Feel Script, Carolyna, Carolyna Pro Black, and Jacque & Gilles graphics come from their respective pages on MyFonts.com. Each photo links to that page.


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!