Archive for February, 2008

Conversation Closed: Stationers

Friday, February 29th, 2008

I hope that the first set of Vendor Conversations was helpful and interesting! Thank you so much to the fabulous stationers that participated!

Obviously, there are a ton of stationers in Columbus and online – Seedlings, Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Julie, Postmarked and Paper Occasions are just 4 of my favorites. They do a beautiful job taking care of their clients which is always top of my list when recommending vendors. There are lots more in the area who do as well so while by NO means an exhaustive list, it is a good jumping off point.

Oh, and one note, in case you were wondering – none of the vendors I have featured or will feature in the future have paid for their placement here with money or favors or kickbacks or anything else. I have hand picked the vendors I feature because I believe in their work not because they give me anything to believe that way.

Be on the lookout for the next series of Vendor Conversations coming in a few weeks with lots more great conversations with more fabulous Columbus vendors!

Vendor Conversation with Paper Occasions

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Website: Paper Occasions
Email: paperoccasions@sbcglobal.net
Phone: 614-761-8880

How did Paper Occasions come to be?
It started out with Kim Price using her great talents doing some family wedding invitations–and it just took off and grew from there!

How would you describe the style of invitations that you create?
Being custom–we would have to say that just about “anything” goes–we can create anything from the most basic, soft elegant to the high end–all out with color/design invitations–whatever your needs are–we can do it!

Talk to me about trends in invitations – What are you seeing now that you love?
COLOR! This IS the year to use color–never have we had so many of our vendors send us new bright colors–and lots of pattern colors as well–if you ever wanted to try color–this is the year! Color is young and alive!

At what stage of planning should a couple start working with you?
From the beginning of your wedding–if possible. We can help a lot in deciding your colors and just how much or little color you want to carry through your whole wedding. We make free samples so this helps brides decide early on if the colors of their dreams really are the colors they want to use through out their wedding.

What can couples do to make sure they are prepared for your first meeting?
Bring in any color swatches or designs that they might have–some brides know just what they want while others need more of our help–but we are always here and more than glad to use all of our expertise to help!

What is your average price range?
Our COMPLETE invitations come with all necessary cards–all envelopes and we print the return address on the reply envelopes and the outside envelope back flap with prices from $5.50 to 10.50 for the complete unit. Also you only have to buy the exact amount you need–you don’t have to buy extras that you might not need.

Why should brides choose to work with you?
Because being custom, we can offer it all really–we have hundreds of colors of papers/ribbons/styles to choose from and have over 5 years experience in helping hundreds of brides “make” the invitation of their dreams! We end up spending hours working just for you to create an invitation that you will be proud to send to your guests and we offer friendly service–always willing to work with the bride and her family all that we can–we love making our brides happy!

One last question – describe your perfect day.
It starts out with lots of phone messages and emails from brides making appointments–many brides come in to either pick-up their samples or orders and all of them sound/look excited–it makes us happy to see them happy! We’re here to work for you and make your wedding start out with the perfect invitation!
______________________

Thanks to Kim for answering my questions.

Vendor Conversation with Postmarked

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Email: danielle@postmarkedcolumbus.com
Phone: 614.932.9421

How did Postmarked come to be?
I used a woman named Chari Young, Chari’s Mark, for my 2004 wedding invitations. I left her house with a new sense of what I wanted to do with my life – I found my calling and it was PAPER!! A year later she decided to sell her home studio based business which she owned and operated for 12+ years. I put bid on it and the rest was history! ‘postmarked’ was born as another love of my life!

What lines do you carry?
I carry all price points from entry level to some of the most recognized and renowned brands. A few lines I carry are Carlson Craft, Embossed Graphics, Rytex, Donovan Designs, Whitney English, Sweet Pea, Notably Chic, Royal Imprints, Checkerboard and list goes on.

Talk to me about trends in invitations – What are you seeing now that you love?
Some new unique trends that I am seeing are brides want COLOR! Black ink on an ivory card is not on the top of everyone’s idea as a formal invite anymore. We are seeing anything from colored papers, colored monograms and funky and unique envelope liners to show the bride and groom’s personalities.

At what stage of planning should a couple start working with you?
A couple should order their invitations 15 weeks before the big day. This allows for three weeks of proofing, printing and shipping the order, four weeks to hand address them and another eight weeks to mail them out. Brides should have a pretty good idea of their wedding ceremony/reception locations, times, etc before meeting with me.

What can couples do to make sure they are prepared for your first meeting?
I also ask couples during our first phone call if they have a theme for their wedding (i.e simple elegance, modern whimsy, etc), how many invites they need and what their budget is for their paper medley.

What is your average price range?
It really depends on the bride and her budget but usually around $500 for 100 invites. This includes an invitation with double envelopes, return address on the outer envelope, response card with matching envelope and a reception card. Since I do not have any overhead costs, I am priced a lot lower then retail stores.

Why should brides choose to work with you?
I truly love what I do! I love helping brides in the most memorable day of their lives. I am schooled in etiquette and have an invitation for every bride at every price point. With ‘postmarked’ you get true customer service from beginning to end. Because I have no overhead my prices are more competitive. I also understand getting married is the most stressful time in your life and mistakes happen. I know this as I just went through the process less then four years ago. If this would happen, I am more at liberty to offer the replacement piece a significant discount then charge you the full retail price.

One last question – describe your perfect day.
My perfect day is waking up next to my amazing husband and starting our day looking into our beautiful five month old daughter’s eyes. We then hang out all day outside either at the pool or the park and finish our day off with a fabulous dinner and a bottle of Pinot Nior. The wine would be for my husband and I obviously. 😉
______________________

Thanks to Danielle for answering my questions. Watch for my chat with Kim from Paper Occasions tomorrow.

Vendor Conversation with Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Julie

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Email: SSDbyJulie@yahoo.com
Phone: 614.252.3882

How did Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Julie come to be?
I started my business shortly after my own wedding. By training, I do social work, but lost my job due to funding issues (gotta love working for the government), so my husband told me to do something fun. I really enjoyed working in the wedding industry so I stayed there. I started just doing calligraphy and addressing, but then added the invitation side as the two aspects are very complimentary to eachother.

What lines do you carry?
I carry many different lines so I can have something for most any budget. Some examples are Checkerboard, Sweet Pea Designs, Ink Well (including their new and beautiful monogram album), NuArt, Birchcraft, Pen at Hand to name a few….

Talk to me about trends in invitations – What are you seeing now that you love?
The trend right now is timeless with a twist. People want traditional but with a lot of their own personalities thrown in. They want an invitation or program they can hang on the wall and not worry that their kids are going to make fun of them for it in 20 years.

At what stage of planning should a couple start working with you?
The earlier the better to start working together, but it really depends on what services we are working on together. Save the dates should go out about six months prior to the event, and invitations six to eight weeks beforehand. It takes a few weeks to order the products, get the proof and approve it, print your invitations, and then get them shipped. Most companies will do rush orders, but you can save a lot of headaches (and some dollars too) by thinking a step ahead. Whether a hostess uses me or someone else, leave extra time for the addressing/ calligraphy as it can take a few weeks up to a month depending on quantity and time of year.

What can couples do to make sure they are prepared for your first meeting?
I love a couple that has an open mind, but has some idea of what they are looking for at the same time. Have some wording ideas, and have talked to all of the necessary people (parents, step-parents, etc) to make sure everyone is on the same page. I will help with etiquette issues, but I cannot tell you if your step- parent is going to have hurt feelings if they are not listed on the invitation.

What is your average price range?
It is really difficult to give an average price range as there are so many variables, but I can do a wedding with 100 invitations starting for about $250. Calligraphy services start at $1.25 for an envelope set (an inner and outer envelope).

Why should brides choose to work with you?
Brides (and grooms and mothers) enjoy working with me because of all of my personal touches. I work out of my home so I have an extremely flexible meeting schedule. I also offer a lot of services to be “one-stop shopping” to make the invitation process as pain-free as possible. I will help with save the dates, invitations, addressing, mailing, thank you notes, programs, seating cards and so much more for extremely competitive prices. I am also able to help with etiquette issues. If I help with invitations and calligraphy, I offer a discount on products (up to 20%). Plus, I am just a really cool person. 🙂

One last question – describe your perfect day.
My perfect day…. hmmm…. a day hanging out and having an adventure with my husband and our two year daughter (preferably without any temper tantrums from any of us), and my soon to be born child. I love watching my daughter explore and have a new experience (although it is also pretty nice watching her face light up when we watch her favorite Elmo movie too (All Star Alphabet)).
______________________

Julie and I had this conversation a few weeks ago and since then the answer to the last question needs to be updated a smidge to include a new family member – Emily Samara was born last week. Congratulations to Julie and her hubby Brad as well as the new big sister!

Thanks to Julie for answering my questions. Watch for my chat with Danielle from Postmarked tomorrow.

Vendor Conversation with Seedlings

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Website: Seedlings
Email: jenny@seedlingsonline.com
Phone: 614.316.0470.

How did Seedlings come to be?
I’ve always been in love with design; with combining different visual elements to create something new and different. That love made me pursue a graphic design education and career, and when helping my brother plan his wedding, designing his invitations seemed like a fantastic gift to him. Seeing guests’ reactions to how much they suited my brother and his fiance as well as the style of their wedding made me want to help other brides create invitations that truly reflected them.

How would you describe the style of invitations that you create?
Modern with a fun and elegant flair. I would say my style is for the bride that wants something unique and something that is going to help set the tone for her wedding.

Talk to me about trends in invitations – What are you seeing now that you love?
What I love now is that brides are being more adventurous with their style. They are incorporating bold colors, funky patterns and are open to some fun new formats like accordian folds and invitations that mail in boxes instead of envelopes. It’s so refreshing to have a bride who says “let’s see what you can come up with,” that’s a dream for any designer.

At what stage of planning should a couple start working with you?
I like to meet with couples at least 2 months before their mail date so we can explore some different designs and really get into the details of creating their perfect invitation. I can absolutely work in a shorter time frame if necessary, but 6-8 weeks before they have to be in the mail allows us to work together without being pressured.

What can couples do to make sure they are prepared for your first meeting?
There’s no real preparation necessary for our first meeting, it’s more of a meet and greet so they can get a feel for my style and me for theirs. I have tons of sample designs for them to look through, but they are welcome to bring any pictures they have found in magazines or online that they feel represents the overall look they are trying to achieve for their big day.

What is your average price range?
Since the nature of my business is so custom, prices vary greatly based on the design and embellishments used, but I try and work with the budget of the bride to create something fantastic.

Why should brides choose to work with you?
What I love is being able to design something that can’t be found in a book or online and is one hundred percent created as a visual representation of the couple I’m working with. Whether it’s a floral design based on the bride’s bouquet or an elegant pattern inspired by the beading on the bride’s wedding dress, I love having the freedom to create anything the couple may want to help bring a custom and cohesive look to their wedding.

One last question – describe your perfect day.
I’m so boring. My perfect day would be to sleep in until mid-morning (which never happens with a 13-week old boxer puppy), come downstairs, curl up on the couch with my husband and our dogs and watch movies all day. Makes me happy just thinking about it!
______________________

Thanks to Jenny for answering my questions. Watch for my chat with Julie from Sign, Sealed, Delivered by Julie tomorrow.

Vendor Conversations: Stationers

Monday, February 25th, 2008

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I love paper! I firmly believe that the paper items are the thread that ties all your details together and makes your wedding feel cohesive and fabulous.

Over the next few days, I will be featuring interviews with some of my favorite Columbus stationers. It should come as no surprise that I think a good stationer is worth their weight in gold. They will help you wade through the numerous paper items available for your wedding as well as guide you through the minefield of etiquette issues.

Before that, I thought I would share the basics on all the fun things that these wonderful pros can help you with – buckle up, this is a long list!

Paper: Before the Big Day

Save The Dates – even after the million or so phone calls, emails and posts on Facebook, there are probably still a few people that don’t know about your engagement. Save the Dates are a great way to spread the word and make sure that your guests know when and where your wedding is going to take place so they can start making plans to attend. They are sent out 6 to 12 months before the wedding and at the very least should include your names, your wedding date and your wedding website address, if you have one. Save the Dates don’t have to match the rest of your paper items – in fact they probably won’t since they are generally selected way before anything else.

Wedding Invitations – Your wedding invitation will set the tone and feel for your wedding well before your wedding day. It will give your guests an idea of what to expect on that day as well as how to dress. There are a million different styles of invitations which can be overwhelming – take your time and find one you love that really speaks to you and that you can build the rest of your paper suite around. The invitation should be sent out 8 weeks prior to the wedding so make sure to allow enough time to order and address them.

Reception Card – This insert lets your guests know the time and location of your reception. If your reception is immediately following your ceremony in the same place, you don’t really need this card – a simple line in the corner of the invitation stating that the reception will immediately follow the ceremony will suffice.

Response Card – A small card or postcard included in the invitation that your guests fill out and return to you in the stamped envelope that you provide. This is also where your guests would indicate their menu selection if you are offering a choice. You will include a date that the RSVPs should be returned by – set it about 2 weeks before your wedding so that you have time to track down those guests who ignore that date and leave you guessing. Also, even though there is a line on the card for your guests to write their name on, someone will forget – leaving you to try and figure out who actually sent that card! If you put a small number on the back of each RSVP card or envelope, you can figure out who sent the RSVP even if they forget to include their name.

Map Card – An insert to help your guests get around during your wedding weekend. This card can also include information about your hotel guest room blocks as well as the address of your wedding website.

A note about the registry cards that stores hand out – NEVER, NEVER, NEVER include them in your invitation. Period. Don’t put any information about your registries on your map card insert either – you can put the information on your wedding website and include that address but that is it. Seriously, toss those little cards out as soon as you get home because they are just tacky – I don’t use that word lightly but it applies here.

Paper for the Big Day

Programs – Programs vary in size and shape and can be as simple as a single card or as complex as a multi-page booklet. They usually include the names of the parents and bridal party and the order of ceremony as well as a note from the couple. Including information about your cultural and religious traditions would be nice for guests who might not be familiar with them.

Escort Cards/Place Cards – Although, these terms are often used interchangably, they are actually very different things. Traditionally, an escort card tells your guests what table they are to be seated at while a place card assigns your guests to a specific seat. Unless you are having a very small wedding, you will probably not be assigning seats so you would really only need escort cards. Also used to indicate menu selection for each guests if you gave your guests a choice on their RSVP cards.

Menus – Either one per table or one per guest, they give your guests an idea of what treats you have in store for them. Especially helpful for guests if you are having stations rather than a plated meal.

Whew. Still with me? Lots of paper goes into a wedding, huh? I haven’t even touched on Table Numbers/Names, Favor Tags, Bar Signs, Thank You Cards, Rehearsal Dinner Invitations, Bachelorette Party Invitations, Bridal Shower Invitations – the list goes on and on and on and it should all tie together into a fabulous, cohesive package that defines your wedding.

I hope that this has been helpful. Watch for my chats with 4 fabulous Columbus area stationers each day this week starting with my chat with Jenny from Seedlings tomorrow.

101 things in 1001 Days…Round 1

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Well, Round 1 of 101 Things in 1001 Days is officially closed! It ended on Valentine’s Day.

Completed: 34
Postponed: 1
Not Completed: 66

Not great but better than nothing – just look at some of the fun things that I did because of 101 things:

*Learned to knit
*Played in the ocean
*Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity
*Bought a house
*Bought a car
*Bought a bunch of booze – see #62 for an explanation
*Was quoted in a bunch of media spots
*Wrote to my favorite teacher telling her how much she influenced my life

And best of all…
*Had a beautiful baby girl!

Be on the lookout for the 101 Things in 1001 Days: Round 2 – coming to a blog near you on February 29. I think Leap Day is a great day to start something new and fabulous, don’t you?!

Bottle of red, bottle of white…

Monday, February 18th, 2008

OH. MY. GOODNESS. OH. MY. GOODNESS.

I am currently BEYOND excited!!

My wonderful, fabulous, amazing, thoughtful, sweetheart of a husband just surprised me with tickets to the upcoming concert of the one artist that I have always wanted to see live! The one person who I said if they ever came to town, I would do anything to see them!

Billy Joel!

I grew up listening to him – along with John Denver, Abba, Dolly Parton and Peter, Paul and Mary. (What can I say? My parents gave me their eclectic taste in music too!)

I am so excited – this is one of those concerts that has been on my ‘list’ forever!!!

Nationwide here we come! I cannot wait until April 20!!

Let them eat cake!

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Two amazing Columbus cake designers and my favorite cake designer in Lexington are all featured in the new issue of Bride’s magazine:

From Jan Kish at La Petite Fleur (who my clients and I spent the most entertaining hour and half with yesterday!):

and

From Katie at The Cake Studio in Powell:

And from Martine at Martine’s in Lexington:

How wonderful to see such great recognition for some incredible local talent! Go to Brides.com to vote for your favorite!

Guess who's coming to Easton?

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Coming this November to Easton – the home of the little blue box…

Anyone up for Breakfast at Tiffany’s?