Archives for July 2015

Fun-Loving Paramount Ranch Wedding: Jenny & Blane Married!


Happy Throw-Back Thursday Friends!

resize for blog-6

Today we are excited to share with you one of our most fun and playful weddings of 2014. Jenny & Blane got married on the real, live movie set of Paramount Ranch! Many a John Wayne western-type films were shot at this venue. Both Jenny & Blane had always wanted a laid-back wedding, so taking their setting in mind, they chose to have a celebration with a cinema & old west theme! How fun.

resize for blog-15resize for blog-4resize for blog-5resize for blog

This was a super DIY affair, with the couple’s family members and friends pitching in at every corner to put together this party! Jenny was super organized and had a firm idea of what they wanted and exactly how it was going to be executed (which is the only way to successfully pull off a fully DIY wedding my friends – organization and efficiency is key!). We worked with the couple to help formulate and execute their look and feel. About a dozen of us were on-site before 8AM, stringing bistro lights, hanging chandeliers and planted items, moving tables, tablescaping with potted arrangements, and doing all sorts of manual and design labor to make the couple’s dream a reality. It is rare that we get to do a wedding with such a firm theme, so we had a blast in the freedom that comes with completely surrendering to a style and going all the way with it!

resize for blog-14resize for blog-16resize for blog-11resize for blog-7resize for blog-9

When I think of this wedding, the word “personal” comes to mind because not only did the couple’s friends and family work their booties off to make their day happen (in a number of capacities), but because Jenny & Blane chose to infuse so much of themselves into their day. They gave us a ton of photos of their families to display (super sweet and never gets old!). They collected a number of cutesy decor items for our team to style and place around the celebration- all items that either supported the theme or gave a nod to who they are as a couple. Love it!

resize for blog-8resize for blog-3resize for blog-2

Jenny & Blane both live for yummy food. We ditched the formal plated meal for a legit home-town bbq, complete with a live cooking smoker and all. My mouth is still watering thinking about the deliciousness of the Texas-style bbq we feasted on that night! A close friend of the couple baked up a storm and the guests enjoyed an array of mini-treats for dessert. The party ate, drank and were merry! Thankfully my hubs was there to capture each and every personal and spectacularly fun moment.

resize for blog-10

resize for blog-13resize for blog-12

Vendor Love

Invitation Social Graces Part 4: Discussing the “How” of Wedding Invite Etiquette

Good Morning, Darlings!

resize for blog-6

We are finally reaching the end of our wedding invitation etiquette series. Sad, I know, but all good things must come to an end. Over the past month, we’ve told you all about the who, what, and when of wedding invitation etiquette, and now for the grand finale: the how! Today, we’ll be talking about the etiquette concerning the envelope that brings the whole suite together, not necessarily what is inside (don’t worry, at some point we’ll do a whole series regarding invitation copy – promise). How you present your invitations, address them, and prepare them for the mail is chalk full of formalities. The proper way to approach your envelopes isn’t always super straightforward, but part of our job is to help you be informed of all the official how-to’s. So without further ado, here is the how you have been so patiently awaiting!


resize for blog


Not only does it look fabulous, but it is proper etiquette to have the envelope of your invitations be hand written rather than printed or digitally produced. Computer calligraphy has become very advanced, but hand-drawn penmanship is still considered the proper form and is used for both the inner and outer envelopes (that is if you are going the more formal route and using two envelopes, most modern suites contain only one). We understand that not everyone has it in their budget to hire a professional calligrapher. If this is the case, please still consider hand-addressing your invitation. I bet there is a family member or friend in your life with great penmanship who has been asking how he or she can help. I encourage you to sit down with a calligraphy pen or hand it over to a loved one and ask for assistance! By having the envelopes hand written (whether by a paid calligrapher, or from someone in your life with fancy writing), receiving the invitation feels personal and special!

resize for blog-3

Addressing Your Invitations

You will want to use the following guidelines when addressing your envelopes. Oh, and not to harp on this again, but remember that all of the below should be hand-drawn (please don’t break our hearts):

  • Spell out street, avenue, apartment, etc. Spell out state names, unless it won’t fit on one line, and use numerals in addresses.
  • Apartment numbers should be on a separate line above the street address.
  • Mr. and Mrs. are abbreviated, but spell out Doctor.
  • Use titles and full names for formal invitations. The most formal invites use middle names, but never initials.
  • The names of married couples belong on the same line, unless they do not fit.
  • The names of unmarried couples go on two separate lines, with the name of the person you know first. If you know both, the woman’s name comes first. For couples of the same sex, just follow the same rule! If you know them both, use alphabetical order to decide which name comes first.
  • With family members, if everyone is invited, you can simply say, “and family”, but if not, then list the names from oldest to youngest.
  • If you are inviting someone with a guest, try and find out their name to include it on the envelope after the person you know and are inviting (who should also be who you are mailing it to!). Try and save the use of “and guest” or “plus one” for wedding of 300 or more.
  • The return address should be located on the back flap of the envelopes and the response card envelopes.

resize for blog-4

Final Stamp of Approval!

After all your hard-work of picking out beautiful paper products, taking the time to hand write all of your envelopes, and following all of the tedious guidelines, don’t let a little stamp be the wrench in the whole thing! By this time you are tired and you just want to get these babies in the mail already. We encourage you to take your time and do this part well! A personalized stamp, or even a special wedding stamp that coordinates with your design, is very much worth your while. Think of it as the finishing touch or the cherry on top- small but important! Also, another thing that will be worth the extra time, or charge, is having the post office hand-cancel postage. This ensures that your invitations are pristine when they arrive to your guests and don’t have any black ink smudges or lines on it. This is actually required by the post office when there is ribbon or something in the suite that isn’t completely flat. And lastly, don’t guess when it comes to your postage amount! Take your invitation to the post office, have it weighed, and find out exactly how much it will cost to send each one.

resize for blog-5

As you can see, we saved the most tedious section for last. There are a lot of rules to follow, but in the end, they are steps you take to be polite and make your guests comfortable. These formalities have been fine-tuned, changed, and are still in flux, but they exist for a reason. We hope that this blog, along with the whole series, makes you feel more than capable of tackling your wedding invitations in a proper and gracious manner. And most importantly, we hope that you have fun! Picking and sending out wedding invitations is your first chance to show your guests what you are all about, as is your big day, so enjoy it and make it count!

Photo Cred: Image 1 (left) by My Urban Invites, Image 2 (right) by Paper and Lace, Image 3 by Perch Paper Company , Image 4 by Coastal Calligraphy, Image 5 by Gourmet Invitations, Image 6 by Calligraphy by Hillary 


Invitation Social Graces Part 3: Focusing on the “When” of Wedding Invite Etiquette

Hi Friends!

resized for blog-5

We are back again! As you can see, the information on wedding invitation etiquette is kind of never-ending, but hopefully this step-by-step process can lend a hand in you tackling these formalities a little better. So this week we are talking about the when– i.e. the specific timing in which all your items should be in the mail. Determining these details can be tricky, but by using some rules of thumb, what could be seen as a source of trouble could end up going quite smoothly! Our hope is that with our help your wedding invitations won’t cause you stress, but instead get you and all your guests wonderfully excited for your big day!


For a lot of people, the when of invitation etiquette may be the part you know the least about. Couples tend to want to send their invitations out too early, but we highly, highly suggest pulling on the reins by using the dates below as a guide. The truth is that if you send out information about your wedding too early, people will forget about you (with the best of intentions, but nonetheless). These dates will help ensure a smooth process and correct RSVP/guest list data!

resized for blog-6

  • Save the Date!

If you are going to send save the dates (which we think are always a good idea), you can do so anywhere between one year to six months out from your date.

  • Invitation Time!

As far as your invitations, you should send them 8-10 weeks out. We really don’t suggest sending them out earlier than that, as you will likely get incorrect data regarding who will and won’t be able to make it.

  • RSVPs!

When you give an RSVP date, the rule of thumb is that your guests should have the invitation in their hands for about 3-4 weeks before the RSVP is due, and you require the same amount of time to do with the data what you will. So, for example, if your wedding is on October 10th, then your guests should have the invitation by August 10th and the RSVP should be due September 10th.

resized for blog-8

So often, couples are set on sending out their invitations super early. I know, it is tempting – you want to get all your RSVPs in so that you can know who is coming and get all your financial ducks in a row. However when you send out your invites and require RSVPS too early, you are receiving preliminary, not final information. Having correct information is important when it comes to vendors and day of details. Getting information to your guests prior to the 8-10 week mark is what your save-the-date and wedding website are for. So please, trust us on this one, we wouldn’t steer you in the wrong direction!

resized for blog-2

Even the most well thought-out couple will have to work to get their final RSVPs from those people who haven’t sent in their RSVP cards, and that’s just part of the process. You are probably going to have to track down a few stragglers. Feel free to recruit a family member to help in the process of reaping replies from tardy guests.

With all that said, just remember that timeliness is key! The when of wedding invitation etiquette really boils down to sending out your invitations so that your guests are aware of your big day and that you get accurate RSVP data. These rules of thumb will help you get there as best you can! Now that we have covered the when, we are moving right along next week to our final part of the blog series to focus on the how!

Photo Cred: Image 1 by Aerialist Press, Image 2 by From Leoni With Love, Image 3 (left) by George Kuchler, Image 4 (right) by Tec Petaja, Image 5 by Alyson Graves Brown

Invitation Social Graces Part 2: Tackling the “What” of Wedding Invite Etiquette

Happy Thursday Lovelies!

resized for blog

As promised, we are back with more on being oh-so-polite and doing it right when it comes to your wedding invitations! Last week we discussed the who part of wedding invitation etiquette; this week it is all about the what – i.e. the particular printed pieces included in your suite. Although the choice is yours as to what goes in them, there are still some rules and formalities that go along with being proper when it comes to compiling an invitiation suite. So without further ado, here’s what you need to know about what goes in to creating and organizing your paper items…


resized for blog-7

Pick Your Pieces!

Every invitation suite need not be the same! Picking what information you send out to your guests, and how you do so is your call. There are plenty of combinations to choose from, but there are also the basics, which in terms of etiquette, it is important to cover your bases. With that said, your invitations will certainly include:

  • Main Announcement

The title kind of gives it away, but this is where all of your crucial, simple, need-to-know information will go. It is important that you are only giving your guests the basics on this piece: who’s getting married, who’s throwing the wedding, where and when it is taking place. Invitation formalities call for this card to be simple, which means there is no need to crowd your main announcement with details- that is in fact what we have “detail inserts” for! Just be sure to give your guests only the essential facts on the main announcement and you’re golden!

resized for blog-3

  • Separate Detail Card or Multiple Inserts

For all you lovelies out there who adore getting and receiving comprehensive information, here is your chance to give your wedding guests any detail you so desire! We do suggest keeping the information in your invitation suite to a minimum, avoiding an overcrowded invitation packet, however your detail card(s) are the place to give your guests more than just the straight facts. You can choose to have one insert for any information you want to share outside of the main announcement, or create separate pieces for each data of information. We suggest that you share no more than 3 pieces of information on a single card card, so if you have more than that, then multiple cards would be the way to go. And, if you are having trouble narrowing down what you want to tell your guests, then by all means, take advantage of a wedding website. If you want them to be loaded with information, we are all for it, but that doesn’t mean everything you want your guests to be aware of for your day would be appropriate to include on your details card. By creating a website and giving your guests the URL on a detail card, you are free to share any little thing your heart desires without having a crazy crowded invitation suite. You are simultaneously saving space and providing information- it’s a win-win! Items that are commonly included on details insert(s) are hotel information, attire guidelines, directions, shuttle and/or parking information, registry, etc.

resized for blog-4

  • RSVP card

A clear must-have part of your invitations! A well thought out RSVP card ensures that you hear back from your guests regarding if they will be able to celebrate with you! When it comes to etiquette, the most important thing is that you include a stamped envelope with your card. Gathering RSVPs from your guests is difficult enough as it is, so make it easy on your guests! By providing postage on the reply card, you are not only being polite, but also making it easy-peasy for your guests to just plop their response in the mail! Also, be sure that the card is properly addressed to the person who is in charge of keeping your RSVPs in order, whether that is you or someone else. Again, making it as easy as possible is the key here! This card should include both a space for your guests to write in their names, as well as the number of guests responding. If you are offering your guests a plated meal on your day, the RSVP card is also where you will gather the data regarding your guests’ meal selection. If you know the precise dishes you will be serving at the time of production, then feel free to share the full plate description on this card, at minimum you will want to list out each protein you will be offering.

Old-School vs. New-School!

Just as we touched based last week with the more formal side of invitations, we are here to give you an extra tid-bit of traditional etiquette. In terms of what information to provide to your guests, the old-school, formal rule of thumb is that it is never appropriate to put registry information on the main announcement. Some say it is not appropriate anywhere in the suite, but in these modern times, registry information on a details insert has become much more common and accepted, so it is ultimately up to you! With that being said, I beg you to please avoid printing anything in the vein of just wanting money from your guests! Even if it is the truth, it is just plain rude to print (or say out loud).


As you can see there are a lot of things to consider when it comes time to creating your wedding invitations, and the what can be a bit more complicated then what color or what style. Now that you know the etiquette of what goes into putting them all together, next week we will be here to tell you all about the when! Timing your invitations can be just as tricky, but don’t worry, we are here to help!

Photo Cred: Image 1 by Eits Art, Image 2 by Jupiter and Juno, Image 3 by Katie Pritchard, Image 4 by Studio SloMo, Image 5 by