Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jaime and Dan's Wedding Extras

Remember Jaime? If not, let's recap. 

I did Jaime's Save the Dates early last year.

And then I did a little shower invite for her.

And then came the wedding invitation.

(which was then made into stone as a wedding gift to them - how cool is that?)

Photo by Art Light Photography

And then came the wedding thank you postcards. 

Well, I also did some fun wedding extras for Jaime's wedding that happened back in August, but I hadn't shown them yet. Well, folks, today is the day. Hurrah!

Jaime and Dan had a backyard wedding (something a little near and dear to my heart), so she just needed a couple of items to keep her day running efficiently. First up, we did a program...but not your standard run of the mill program.

Photo by Art Light Photography
Instead of printing out 100 different programs that would be passed out, we did a poster sized program for the guests to read as they walked in.

Photo by Art Light Photography
It had the ceremony order, the wedding party, and a sweet thank you from Jaime and Dan to their guests.

Because of the nature of their wedding, one thing Jaime and Dan had to deal with were those beautiful porta-potties we all are so fond of. So to make that a little more tolerable, Jaime wanted me to make some cute bathroom signs, using photos of her and Dan when they were little.

(sorry for the super dark photos - these were taken by yours truly)

We used the same fonts, artwork, and colors to tie their invitation into their wedding day. Font is Currency Regular.

That's it! Jaime kept everything so simple and easy and fun, as usual. :)

More wedding extras to come next week!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vivian Elle Invitations Wins The Best of the Knot 2013!

Before I show off some wedding extras, I just have a little announcement. 

Every year at the end of January, The Knot puts out their Best of List.

(Do you see where this is going?)

Vivian Elle made the 2013 list! 

And it's all thanks to my brides. They are the ones that took the time to review me. They are the ones that said wonderfully kind and humbling words about this business. They are the ones that make me so grateful to do what I do.  How did I happen to get so fortunate to work with them??

So I've been really excited about this honor for the last few months and just wanted to officially share it on here. I promise to not make every single blog post from here on out about it (maybe).

Moving on though. 

I've been wanting to show off some wedding extras for quite a while now. However, I really wanted to do it with the actual photos from the weddings, which I thought might be a little more exciting than when I try to take photos myself. 

The reason that I want to show these extras at the actual wedding is that a professional photographer definitely takes better photos than I do (inserting something like "duh" would be appropriate here). But I also want to do it because sometimes when I give a bride simple programs like this...

they end up looking like this...

Photography by Amanda Williams
And even if my brides don't add a little something something to their extras, the extras still look better when they're set up exactly where they're supposed to go. 

So the next few weeks I'll be rolling out some wedding extras - Real Wedding style. Starting NOW. (I envision that being said with jazz hands.)

Brandon and Mary got married back in October in D.C. They were married in a beautiful old church just a few blocks from the mall area and had their reception at Elizabeth's on L, a renovated Federalist townhouse in downtown D.C. 

The venue was gorgeous and I felt so honored to have been asked to contribute a few pieces to such an elegant evening. 

First up, Mary had me do their menus. 

I love the Albemarle Swash font they wanted to use. :)

I also did these little place cards. Mary picked the most beautiful colors for them, each one corresponding with the guest's dinner choice. They were blush pink, ecru, and gold.

For their guest book, Brandon and Mary ditched tradition and had their guests sign cards and give well wishes and advice to them to read at a later date. Here's the little instruction card.

(I am in LOVE with that bowl.)

And here are the little cards.

All of the photography was done by the talented Zareth Acosta. And if you just love weddings and would like to see her blog about Brandon and Mary's wedding, you can go here.

More wedding extras to come later in the week!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sarah's Moving Announcement

If you asked me (you did ask me, right?), I would say that I don't really struggle with getting older.  I mean, there was the unfortunate incident on my 30th birthday when all of the sudden I moped about being 30 for a few hours before my husband asked, "Jenny...what is so horrible about your life?",  snapping me out of my funk (because the answer was nothing, and I was just being overdramatic).

But other than that, I firmly believe that you are only as old as you feel, and since I feel like I'm 23 on most days, I'm content with that. 

However, every now and then one of my college friends throws out how long we've known each other and then I think that maybe I should stop trying to convince myself that I'm 23, suck it up, and accept that I really entered into college 14 years ago this coming August. Which means that in October, our class will get together for our 10 year reunion. 10 years...since college. Which means it has been 14 years since I started the crazy/scary/surprisingly wonderful/life-changing experience in a little town in Tennessee.

14 years since I cried to my parents on the curb outside my dorm because I thought my life was over because I was so far from home and didn't know anyone (like I said, overdramatic). 

14 years since I sat in a meeting with the other girls on my floor, looking around and sizing them up, not knowing that they would be like sisters to me throughout our four years together.

14 years since I completely fell in love with the state of Tennessee.

14 years since I met girls that would become some of the best friends I've ever had.

14 years since I quickly realized - about two hours after my parents left me to head back to Michigan - that I had to admit that they were right and that college was kind of a cool experience.

And then I realize that even though 14 years since I started college means that I'm getting a little older than I'd like to admit, it also means that my life is so much better because 14 years ago, I decided to go to a tiny little college in Dayton, Tennessee.

Sarah was one of my freshman year floor mates. Our rooms were right down the hall from each other and if I remember correctly, we quickly became friends. In fact, we became friends with most of the girls on our floor and we ended up being a sisterhood of sorts. We all might go off during the day and do our own thing, or go out on the weekends with other groups, but we always came back to each other at night and to talk about our day, or have a late night snack together (snack of choice during freshman year was Raman noodles, upgraded to Easy Mac by senior year), or just goof off, or cry together...whatever we needed to do that particular evening. 

The thing is, we were just always there for each other. And as far away as we've moved from each other post college, and as many years as we've gone without seeing each other, there's always this bond that we share because we were a part of something pretty special when we all lived together for four years.

So when Sarah came to me and asked if I could do moving announcements for her, I happily agreed. And during our work together, I got to remembering all of those fun times we spent together, and even those hard times (we just happened to go through rough break-ups around the same time, which pretty much cemented our bond) that brought us closer together. 

In the last few year, Sarah and her family moved around a bit. In fact, in two years, they moved three times. And the funny thing is that the house they left during move #1 was the house they moved back into with move #3. 

And with Sarah being who she is, she wanted a moving announcement that fit their situation perfectly - that they had come full circle and were now right back where they belonged. 

So Sarah had the idea to have her family pose in the picture you see here. In a circle. And then we put that a circle. You see the theme, yes? :)

And then I thought some fun chevron stripes behind the circle would be cool and that using the font Chunk Five would be fun, too.

And then we added a picture of them on the back, on the steps of their new (old) home. Happy and content, right where they belong.

Each invitation or card I do becomes so personal to me, which is why I always share a little bit about my own life along with it. This one reminds me that no matter where you move, or how many times you move, you always have those people who will be consistent. Who will keep you grounded. 

Which reminds me of 14 years ago, when I would come back to the dorm after a night out, eager to see my forever consistent and loyal "sisters" and talk with them about life over a big bowl of Raman Noodles. 

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Joe's Mad Men Graduation Party

Graduation is such a fun day. My own graduations are behind me (at least for now...I think about going back to school pretty much every other day), but 2012 was a big year in our family for graduations. 

First, my brother Jeff (who I affectionately refer to as JeffĂ©) graduated from the police academy in August. I travelled down to Virginia with my parents so we could be there with him and it was fun being the loud northerners in the audience of quiet southern folk (at one point we were like, "wait...are we not supposed to cheer?").  Here's my younger - but quiet a bit larger - brother officially becoming a police man. 

No big deal, but he did win two out of the six awards that they gave out that night. We were so proud. Here we are, later in the evening, back at their (super cute/adorable/I love it so much) house to celebrate. 

I'm still not scared of you, Jeffé.
In December, we had another family graduation. My other younger brother Scott graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Criminology. I went with my parents, and my sister-in-law and her family to his graduation ceremony (he didn't have enough tickets for everyone, so my husband was the obvious one to get the shaft). 

We all enjoyed the ceremony, especially the honorary alumni speaker who happened to enjoy stringing different quotes together to make up his speech. Luckily, Scott had his phone and was able to discretely send me some texts during said speech. 

My mom loves sharing some quotes on Facebook... 

Please tell me you know the Mean Girls reference. If not, you might just think my brother is insanely mean to me. 

Seriously though, we are so proud of Scott, too. He graduated with honors and plans to attend law school next fall. 

As always, folks...Derek Zoolander.
To sum up, my brothers are the best, and graduations are another great time to celebrate with family and friends.  

Which is exactly what Joe will be doing this month with his family and friends (my transitions are just phenomenal, aren't they?!).

Joe found me online when he was looking for some Mad Men inspired invitations for his own graduation party from law school. The invitation he found is by far the one that has been requested the most from clients who have happened to come across it on the internet. Here's the original from this blog post. 

(Fun fact - this is now available in Vivian Elle's Etsy Shop! You can purchase them for your own party here.)

I put this Mad Men invitation together for one of my BFF's husband's birthday party. And just with it being out there on the internet via my little blog, I've had several people email asking if I could design something similar for a Mad Men themed party that they were throwing. 

Joe was one of these people. He emailed me a few months ago about designing a Mad Men themed invite for his graduation party. We emailed back and forth about what he wanted and then I started putting something together for him. Here's what we came up with. 

Anyone who watches Mad Men or has seen the ads for the show should recognize the familiar format of the invitation. I really wanted to keep the front simple, since we had greater plans for the back. 

I love the wording he chose - Gents, look dapper. Ladies, get your heels on.

The glass of whiskey was the actual inspiration for the invitation. Very Mad Men like. (I've honestly seen four episodes...what do I know?) Instead of putting it on the front, I decided to use it on the back, along with this quote from Henry David Thoreau that Joe liked.

I'm always nervous when I work with guys that the invitations will not be "man" enough for them. Luckily, I think that we managed to make a masculine graduation party invitation thanks to Mad Men.  At least Joe was extremely happy with the result.

I honestly love working on these fun side projects, and during the wedding off-season I'll be sharing a lot of other projects I've been working on. Next week I'll be showing some super cute moving announcements that I did for a dear old friend from college. :)

Until then, congratulations to all of the graduates out there!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Jaime and Dan's Thank You/New Year's Postcards

It's the first blog post of 2013. 2013. Seriously? How has this happened? IT'S 2013. 

I do hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve. We spent the night ringing in the New Year with some of our best friends and their little daughter (our goddaughter), Kaylin. We did the same thing last year (minus the unborn child) and I'd just like to say this: if being in our pajamas by 9, playing Pinochle for a couple of hours, and then being in bed by 12:30 is wrong, I don't want to be right. Here's hoping that you spent your New Year's Eve doing whatever it is that you really wanted to do, too. 

But onto a fun New Year's project. 

You've already met Jaime a few times on this blog. Here, and here, to be exact. And you will see her again when I blog about the wedding extras I did for her wedding back in August. (Yes, August of 2012. I'M BEHIND, OK?!) 

Jaime wanted to do something fun for her wedding thank you cards, and since the timing happened to be right around the new year, she thought mixing their thank you cards with a new year's card might work. 

I think it did. :) 

Jaime didn't have her wedding photos back yet, but she had this one that was snapped on their wedding day. Instead of doing the traditional thank you card, we thought thank you postcards would be fun.

(I got all crafty with our Christmas tree this year, if you can't tell.)

The back was simple, with a little New Year's greeting so she wouldn't have to write that on every single thank you note.

I have to say, as much as I love opening up a letter that's tucked into an envelope, I love getting a fun little postcard in the mail. Hopefully her guests feel the same way. :)

Happy New Year, everyone!

Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post