Thursday, July 26, 2012

Brynne and Shawn's Lace Wedding Invitations

One of the coolest things about doing wedding invitations is meeting some really awesome brides. I spent the first year of my business wondering when I was going to get that one bride that was just a complete bridezilla. Someone that made me want to chuck my computer across the room and swear off wedding invitations forever.

I hadn't met one yet. 

Until I met Brynne. 

TOTALLY KIDDING. Wouldn't that have been the worst thing ever if I was serious?

No. No. No. Brynne is the best. Seriously.

Brynne reminds me of why I love working with brides.  I get to develop a relationship with them. We email back and forth and we work out different things and I get to work with them for a really long time. And I'm always amazed at just how gracious and kind and lovely they are.

Brynne and I are currently working on a ton of extras for her wedding, but first, we had to get an invitation out. And Brynne definitely had some big plans for her invitations.

The invitations are on plain pieces of ecru card stock, backed with a textured cream card stock, wrapped in lace and ribbon, covered with eggplant tissue paper and placed into an ivory boxed mailer from the Paper Source.

I LOVED this lace.

The custom frame was made just for Brynne and Shawn, and we used it in different parts of the invitation.

Fonts are Trajan Pro and Baroque Antique Script.

Directions, Hotel Information, and Reception cards (which we called 'Festivities and Merriment').

The little RSVP card.

Here's a picture of the finished product. Brynne (and company) wrapped them with a bow and then I made little tags that she had a calligrapher write each guest's name on. I cannot say enough how gorgeous I think the boxed mailers are, and what Brynne and her crew did to the outside made them even better!

Believe me, there's more of Brynne still to come in September when we finish her extras. Which is great, because she's a delight. :)

Before I go, can I just show you the newest finished spot in our house that I am currently obsessing over?

It's our new frame wall and it's on the wall that leads up to our second floor.

I could seriously just stare at it all day. This was a project that I finished up around the first week of July. It involved spray painting a lot of frames. I'd say about half of these frames were black at the beginning of this process.

I just love how they cascade down the wall. I actually tripped going up these stairs yesterday. I think it was because I was distracted by the frames.

I've started designing some art work for our walls. I was trying to think of a quote that I felt really defined Luke and I so I went with this one that I found on Pinterest - "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it." I think it fits our lives nicely and I was really excited about it.

Enter my brother. "Jenny, this quote is stupid. I mean, you could get eaten by a shark or something."

Whatever, Scott. Whatever.

I still like my quote and my frame wall and I still love all of the invitations I'm doing this month. :) I have so many more to share in the coming weeks!

Friday, July 20, 2012

James and Danika's Wedding Extras

I'm in the middle of a three week period of the summer when my husband and I work at a community college to teach a "kids on campus" program. I teach a class on starting your own business (I know...I still laugh that I'm somehow qualified to teach this class). I have the same kids from 9-3 each day, Monday through Friday. It's not a summer camp. We don't run around outside or sing songs. These kids are straight up learning each day and for some reason, they really seem to like it.

Throughout the week, the kids get into groups and actually start their own businesses. They make a product, market the product, and sell the product at the end of the week to other classes and their parents.

(FYI - duct tape products are really in with 5th and 6th graders this year)

We also spend some time looking at real life young entrepreneurs. Each year, I'm absolutely amazed at just how much I learn from these young entrepreneurs and I honestly feel like I encourage myself even more than I teach my students. One thing this year that really stuck out to me as my students and I looked over different interviews from these young entrepreneurs was a quote from Arjun Rai. At the time of the interview, he was a junior in high school and was already the COO of an online advertising company and starting another one. (Pretty much the same as my high school accomplishments...)

Rai says, "For me, being ambitious means taking a risk and following a passion of mine. In most cases, that means building a company that caters to a need and is an extension of myself (source)."

I love that. I am going to find Arjun Rai, hug him, and let him know that his 17 year-old self inspires me to no end. "Building a company that caters to a need and is an extension of myself." Yes, please.

You see, I kind of feel like I tapped into something special with this little business. When I read extension of myself, I thought, yes...that's exactly what I feel like this is. I will be working on invitations and I will start to think, "am I really getting paid for this?" It may not be that special to anyone else, but it certainly has been to me.

All that to say, I am fortunate to be teaching something for these three weeks that reminds me of how much I love what I am doing, and I'm hoping that it shows in my work and in my correspondence with my brides.  

But today I want to look at a particular bride's wedding extras. I've had a decently long relationship with Danika. She came to me in the fall of last year for me to help her with her Save the Dates, wedding invitations, and extras. The first two were finished by this past May. Then we got started on the extras for her wedding.

First up, the menu.

I'm telling you - I so wanted to eat this food. But I refrained from beginning the tempting, yet ultimately disastrous habit of crashing my brides' weddings. 

We stuck with the Estilo font for everything. Same as the invitations. It's so modern, but the paper product Danika chose added such a softness to it.

Place cards.

Love the yellow patterned paper. These place cards were held up by moss place holders at the wedding. I can't wait to see pictures of how they looked all set up.

The programs. As I've said before, I worked with Danika's mom, Terri, on most of her stuff. Terri's brother has a design business and good design definitely runs in the family. Terri's taste is just so classy and modern (just like her daughter's) and I adored how everything turned out.

There was a lot to fit on the programs and we did it with 4x11 folded program.

So lovely. I am constantly inspired by my brides' tastes. Each one of them is so unique and I can just imagine that each wedding is so beautiful, inspiring, and tasteful.

Next week I'm sharing the most intricate wedding invitation I have done to date, and I'm thrilled with how they turned out!

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Lot of Random Thoughts and Carrie's Wedding Extras

The thing I love most about wedding extras is that I get to see the bride just a few days before their wedding and every single time, it takes me back to the days leading up to my own wedding.

I took two weeks and a day off of work. I had a week off before the wedding and a week and a day off for the honeymoon. Sigh. It was wonderful. I remember driving away from work that last Friday and having the most excited feeling building up inside of me.

I had a few days to just get some things done and then friends were coming into town, starting on Wednesday night. There are a couple of events that just made that week so real to me and they have remained vivid in my memory.

Here they are.

1. Crying for no apparent reason.

This happened twice. Neither were on the wedding day.

Random cry #1.

We have some good family friends, Kevin and Cathy, that helped me out so much with some of the extra decorations at our wedding (to give a reference, their daughter is now my sister-in-law, and no, it was not an arranged marriage). I went over to their house early in the week to pick the decorations up.

Cathy, Heather (the now sis-in-law), and I were sitting at their dining room table, just chatting for a bit. We started laughing about the crazy accents that Kevin will make up and somehow, I just started crying.

Looking back, I think everything just hit me. I was getting married and wouldn't be single anymore. I would never come home again to a completely empty apartment. I would never decide on a whim to head down to see one of my girlfriends in the south without running it by my husband. And apparently, it hit me that I would never hear my good family friend do one of his crazy accents again as a single lady.

Let me clarify - I wanted to be married.

However, I felt like I had lived my single life to the fullest. Being single was awesome. Not that I didn't want to be married eventually, but I felt like I had come to a point where I realized that where I was in life was just were I needed to be and I really enjoyed it. I had carried the single torch well (yes, there is a didn't know this?) and I would never be single again, so I had to let go of that time in my life.

Luckily, Cathy and Heather are criers, too, and Cathy ran and got tissues and we all just sat and cried for a minute or so.

Then we stopped, and it was back to being excited about the wedding.

Random cry #2.

The day after the bachelorette party, I went out to exchange a couple of pieces of lingerie that I had received. I came back to my parent's house, where we were setting up and doing a million last minute things before the rehearsal dinner that night. My mom told me (very gently, of course) that my grandad had to be admitted into the hospital, but that he was fine. I took it in. It wasn't the end of the world, and hopefully he'd be OK in time for the wedding (he was, since he informed the nurse, "I'm getting out to see my granddaughter's wedding").

So we started talking about other wedding related things and I was telling my mom how I exchanged only two pieces of lingerie which was amazing for me because I don't have a "oh, yeah, it's like they made those clothes just for your body" type of size.

And then I started crying. Because talking about lingerie always brings a tear to the eye.

2. Having every single person that I loved so very much all in one place.

You have to understand that for me, this is a pretty big deal. I went to college in Tennessee and not only fell in love with the south, but with a bunch of its finest residents. Many of my best friends live far away from me, many relatives live far away from me, and many of our family friends live far away from me.

So having so many people travel so many miles to see Luke and me get married in my backyard meant the world to me. I remember being with several of my closest girlfriends in my room while I was packing my suitcase for our honeymoon and I just felt so incredibly lucky.

3. Feeling anxious/excited/peaceful all at once.

I remember getting up by 7 AM every day leading up to the wedding. I just had stuff to get done so there was no need to just lie around. I worked at my parent's house all week during the day - a combination of being a controller mixed with the desire to have a hand in how everything was done.

But there is no feeling that I will remember better than the feeling of walking on my wedding day up to the end of the aisle that I would walk down to become Luke's wife. I just remember that a complete peace came over me, and I knew with absolute certainty that I was making the best decision of my life.

So I guess that's why I love when brides come to get their wedding extras. I love to see the excitement/nervousness/peacefulness when they come. There's something about talking with a girl who is about to get married in a few short days. There is a lot of hope there, and that's a pretty cool thing.

All this to say, here are Carrie and Ryan's extras. :) Carrie is such a sweet bride and I loved working with her. She got married in June and had me do her programs, her table numbers, and her place cards.

If you remember from Carrie's wedding invitations, she wanted to keep it simple. We used the same metallic silver card stock as in her invitation suite, the same fonts, and we were able to keep it simple, just like she wanted.

Halo Handletter is the script font and Big Caslon Medium for the block font.

I absolutely love how the Halo Handletter looked on those place cards.

A few words about Carrie...she is such a gracious bride. So encouraging. So easy to work with. So quick to pass on any compliments she received on her invitations. I like her a lot and genuinely hope to work with her again one day.

The best part was that when Carrie came to see me, just a few days before her wedding, she had that excited hopeful glow about her that I love to see when I meet with brides. She was happy and content and I was so glad I got to play even a small little role in her wedding day.

Congratulations, Carrie and Ryan!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

We've Moved!!!

It's official. Or maybe I should say it's been official. My husband and I moved into our new house on June 1. And no house should be moved into without a little moving announcement going out so people know where they can find us.

Last week, I sent out these moving announcements and this past weekend we officially had people over for the first time. So it's been a month and I feel like we are making progress. I would call the house "livable" at this point. There's still a lot to do, but since we're sticking around for a while, we'll have plenty of time to do it in.

But back to the moving announcement. Here she is.

We had a pretty sweet place we lived in before. I'll admit that when we first thought about moving, I never thought we would find somewhere that we loved as much as that first place.

I was so wrong.

This house just fits us. It has rooms that are just so practical for our lifestyle. It's cozy and comfortable and has so much character and I just can't get enough. I didn't know how to put that all on a moving announcement, so this was the best I could do.

Three of the four colors in this moving announcement are similar to colors that we painted our walls. I thought that once I moved into a "real house", I might use muted tones. Not so.

I thought I'd throw a little snarky comment in there about Luke doing yard work. He loved it, believe me.

The back of the announcements. I love that little house.

So...I am aware this is not a home improvement blog. However, some people out there have asked to see some before/after pics. And I sort of want to show some.

Here is the living room when we first walked through the house in January.

And now.

A few comments:

1. That lamp on the right side of the room behind the couch is there only because we need light there. It will be replaced ASAP with a much cooler lamp. I am slightly horrified that I forgot to hide it, but too lazy to retake these photos.

2. The basket on the ottoman (on clearance from Target about 3 years ago) usually holds magazines. But we've only had two delivered to us at our new house. So lately it holds a cat instead.

3. Yes, I have more planned for this room. We've only been in here a month, people!

Lava couldn't help himself...he had to get in a picture. 

Yes, we have the smallest TV known to man. And it's not even hooked up yet. So that tiny thing is purely for show.

And yes, magazines should be in the little green magazine holder to the right of the loveseat. But in my crazy purging of everything before we moved, I gave all of our magazines away. So now it's just there. I still think it's kind of cute.

Why didn't I move the laptop cord before taking these photos?

Fun fact - those were the third pair of curtains to go up in our living room. Third time's a charm, though...I love them.

Moving on to the kitchen.

Here it is when we did our first walk-through of the home.

And here it is after.

We have a kitchen nook! I love it love it love it.

I hate that I didn't hide the washcloth over the sink.

The previous owners left this IKEA drawer for us. How excited do you think I was about that? It fits perfectly and I can display my Kitchen Aid mixer so proudly on it (a gift from the grandparents for our wedding). 

Hi, Kitchen Aid mixer. {I love you.}

This photo (which I remembered to move the washcloth from) is for Ms. Heidi Rew, who gave me the sweet little jars from Anthropology for my birthday. Aren't they the cutest?

(Also, do you think I need new dish soap?)

Two words: OPEN SHELVING!!!!!!!!!! I was overly excited about these shelves and they were one of the first things I decorated. I do have plans to paint the backs of them. Eventually.

Magma showing you all her yoga moves.

I just took this because I love the clearance towel I got from Target a week ago. I think it matches the kitchen perfectly.

There you have it. Young House Love - Haddad style. I truly fell in love with the house after about five minutes of our initial walk through. But now that we have made it more of our own, I love it even more and it's feeling more and more like home.

Next week - more weddings!!!!!!!