Save the Date

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When To Send Save The Dates – And Other Save The Date Etiquette

You’ve chosen a date. You’ve booked your venue. Excitement levels are HIGH. Now feels like the time to start spreading the news far and wide about when the big day will be. You may choose to do this by chatting with your intended guests. Or, you may choose to do this with the first little piece of your wedding stationery. Sending out a physical save the date is a great way to not only help your guests remember to pop the date on the calendar, but it also helps to set the tone for the upcoming celebrations. Are you wondering when to send save the dates? Or do you just fancy some stunning stationery inspiration? Well, keep reading because we’ve got you covered.

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How Much Does Wedding Stationery Cost?

If thick paper, foiling, hand written notes and ribbon make you swoon, then this feature is for you. We’re celebrating paper goods today and let me tell you, when it comes to weddings the world really is your oyster. The creativity of stationers knows no bounds and I’m constantly blown away by how gorgeous their designs are.

Yet for some, there’s a misconception that wedding stationery is overpriced and a waste of money. No no no, my friends – this couldn’t be further from the truth. So, let’s bust some of those stationery myths, explain the costs behind the design and print process and celebrate the joy of receiving a beautiful wedding invitation through the post…

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Paper Love

I’m conscious as I write this that the issue of stationery does not sit highly on everyone’s agenda.

For some brides the dress is the top priority, for others it’s all about the blooms. Perhaps for you it’s the all-important cake and dessert table. My own personal list has photography and videography vying with each other for first place so the boy and I have split it fairly.

But it’s ok you know to be different, for us all to prioritise according to our personal preferences otherwise the world of weddings would feel that little bit smaller, right?

I love that some brides go hell for leather on their entertainment rather than having oodles of flowers or opt for making the decor themselves so they can have the dress of their dreams.

So whilst I’ve already mentioned that photography and videography are of paramount importance to Ste and I, papery goods are also sit fairly highly on the list.

Admittedly this has confused some people whose view of stationery is simply that – something that serves a purpose, be it an invite to the main event or a sign that tells you where to sit. For us though, it’s a tiny taster of what’s to come, a vital part of the theme, another little bit of decor.

So this post really is partly inspiration for you gorgeous lot, a healthy portion of gentle persuasion for those of you who don’t rate stationery all that highly and a smidgen for me just so I can indulge in paper pretty.

You Are Cordially Invited…

Here at RMW HQ we’ve noticed a subtle advance towards glamorous stationery of late rather than the vintage kitsch which has been huge in the wedding scene these last few years.

Flourished fonts, coloured foils and pretty penmanship are all coming into their own once again albeit with a modern feel. We’re also seeing attention lavished on designer envelopes with ornately calligraphied addresses and bespoke stamps for a more ‘finished’ feel.

Ladies – elaborate invitation suites are back with a vengeance!

Two main colour schemes have been huge this year, watercolours and metallics. I adore them equally and wanted both.

The boy said no.

Moving on…

There are few rules when it comes to the metallics trend, golds and silvers look amazing when combined in the same stationery set, be it in the form of stamped foils, shimmering envelopes or stationery edgings.

It’s like holding a little bit of luxury.

Invitations caressed by a watercolour wash are also utterly romantic and perfect for a summer or spring wedding. For me stationery suites using this medium make me think of artisan weddings from long ago, a kinder time and place. If you’re worried that a watercoloured invitation might feel a bit too much why not try restricting the colour to the edges and keeping the rest of the colour palette neutral.

I’m also a huge fan of letterpress invitations and whilst they are on the expensive side, when you’ve got one in your hands you can’t help but run your fingers over the glorious textures. It seems like lots of brides are in agreement as this is another trend experiencing a resurgence of late.

Lastly I’d recommend tying together all of your various invitation components with contrasting ribbon or twine for the final detail and that little bit of something extra.

Order Of Play

I’m sure that you lovely lot are all familiar with the traditional order of service, but there’s another piece of paper pretty that’s making itself known on the big day which I wanted to share with you.

With its roots in America – the wedding programme is designed to complement rather than replace the order of service by informing guests about what’s on the agenda for the whole day rather than just the ceremony itself.

This selection of pretty does a darn good job of showing how wedding programmes are also used to introduce the bridal party and share thank you’s as well as explaining the significance of certain elements of the day – like the first dance for example. Plus they’re all blinking gorgeous too.

I love this idea probably because I am a control freak.

Yes there we are, I admit it. But there’s nothing worse than going to a wedding and not really knowing where you’re supposed to be at which times. How many of you have missed a cake cutting recently? I know that I’ve failed to see this special part of the day at least once out of the five weddings I’ve been to this year.

That makes me sad.

Take it from me RMW-ettes, to be forewarned is to be forearmed – you’ll never miss a photo opportunity again!

Of this clutch of beauties, the silhouetted wedding party is my favourite. Actually I might rob that idea for my own day.

Is that allowed?

I also have a whole lorra love for something that gives you more bang for your buck. In this case we’re talking about programmes that go the extra mile, that are more than just a simple schedule for the big day.

We’re talking fans folks.

This concept is particularly useful at warmer weddings allowing guests to be cool and informed all at the same time. Simply pop your beautiful programme on a stick and you’re away.

Best Seat In The House

Do any of you keep your place names from weddings you’ve been to? Or this this yet more proof that I’m a little bit odd?

Regardless, we’ll come onto place names in a minute. Right now I want to talk to you about table plans and escort cards.

No, not the kind that you find taped up in the windows of neglected telephone boxes – honestly the state of your minds folks. I’m talking about another American tradition which has filtered its way across to our shores.

For those of you not familiar with the concept, rather than displaying tableplans at the entrance to a venue, our American cousins choose to give each guest a card with their name and table name or number on it.

I love this idea not only because it adds an air of intrigue to the whole ‘where am I sitting/who am I sitting with’ question but because it provides massive scope for you to integrate the cards into your general decor.

Take a look at these gorgeous examples, escort cards as leaves in a wreath, pegged onto lines, beribboned and inserted into brown pockets or tied around bottles are all simple and effective ways of making them something more than just a sign about where to sit.

On a practical level escort cards win hands down because you can easily rewrite a few should you find your Aunty Pam has come down with the flu. A simple rejig of the seating arrangements is not as easy with a gorgeous but pre-printed table plan.

Table Manners

So this is one part of the day where you really get to go to town on all things stationery.

We’re talking menus, place names, table names and even thank you cards.

Bring. It. On.

I’m actually really excited about my wedding paper goods, particularly those that will be appearing on the table. For me, customising elements such as the table names and menus is a crucial part of the theme on our wedding day. I can’t say too much here because we want it to be a surprise for our guests but I promise to share the results at some point.

Ultimately, the point I’m driving at is if you’re having a menu for your guests and name places on the tables themselves then it’s worth thinking about how you want them to look because this is a great way to add some impact without having to incur the wrath of your normally adorable fiancé because you’ve spent the equivalent of a small house on said theme ‘unnecessarily’.

Think about playing with shapes – just because paper tends to arrive in rectangular and square shapes doesn’t mean that it has to stay this way. I love rounded corners as well as irregular layouts too.

Circles are really popular at the moment and are the perfect accompaniment for modern, city affairs. Experiment with fonts and layouts – two or three different typographies on a single piece of paperie looks really punchy.

Have you got a special symbol or motif that means a lot to the pair of you? Why not include that within your stationery set or even resort to pictures over text. I love the menu within this board complete with drawings of crabs, fish and cake. It’s so fun!

You can bring place names to life too by attaching objects to them or by making them a fundamental part of the decor. I came across a beautiful wedding that encircled guest’s names around thin tapered candles which they took with them to illuminate their table.

It looked EPIC.

Confetti Love

I think I may possibly be the only person in the world that actually adores old school confetti.

You know the kind – with the overly saccharine candy colours and 1930’s ish vibe. All paper-shaped horseshoes, bells, bows and misshapen flowers. The kind that if held a little bit too long in a sweaty palm clumps together in a soggy ball which completely defeats the purpose of choosing light as a feather paper loveliness to scatter over a pair of newlyweds.

In fact, I still haven’t met one person that actually loves it like I do. I can’t explain the reasons why I go gaga for it, I just do.

Anyway I digress.

‘Confetti Heaven’ couldn’t simply be all about confetti – talk about overkill – so I had to include a few alternative guestbook ideas too. And whilst confetti and guestbooks aren’t strictly stationery I wanted to show how they can fall into this category by applying a few simple tweaks.

It thrills my bones when I see a bride that has chosen to really embrace the confetti tradition.Where a couple have decided to not only provide customised bags of loveliness for the guests but a smidgen of DIY and paper materials too.

Taking the custom confetti route doesn’t need to cost the earth nor take too much of your time either. In fact stamping plain brown bags with an emblem that reflects your wedding such as the ‘birdy’ bags near the bottom of this board is a great way to get your nearest and dearest involved as well as stamping your personality on the day.

Alternatively bulk buy glassine sheets and sew them into little pockets on the ol’ singer for instant pouches of fun.

My favourite though are the confetti bags which double up as an order of service and favour too! Seriously what more do you want? There’s glittery confetti, and a sweet drawstring sack that you get to take home to fill with candy or use as a travelling make-up bag.

This adventurous creativity is also poking its head through in modern day guestbooks too. The balloon thumbprint poster makes me smile not only because of its sunshiny cheeriness but because each guest has had a hand in making this work of art.

And what about having individual teeny tiny envelopes for each guest to insert some precious words of advice into to be opened by you on a special anniversary or why not scatter coasters around your venue that guests can scrawl on whilst they drink.

Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

So have I managed to persuade those of you who weren’t so enamoured with paper pretties over to the dark side?

Do you now want to brand anything and everything stationery-related for your big day?

I know I do.

But then I would, wouldn’t I.

All my love

Lolly (the crazy confetti fanatic)xxx

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Are You Busy This Sunday?

Are you embarking on a bit of wedding planning perhaps? A lazy afternoon reading glossy magazines? Cooking up a storm in the kitchen?

Well even if you are considering any of the above or have absolutely nothing to do on February 6th; maybe you might like to fit a wee trip to the Save The Date wedding “Event” into your diaries and come and meet the Rock My Wedding team as well as a whole host of amazing W-day suppliers…..

So without further ado, I’ll pass you over to Save The Date editor Lydia with an update on what’s on offer in Derby this weekend!

Quite honestly, I am not entirely sure where to start … with just less than two weeks until the big day arrives, we are counting down until when we can meet all the lovely brides to be and show off everything we’ve been rambling on about for the past few months! Bring on the 6th February!

So, we’re now in a much better position to give a few sneak peeks away about what to expect from the day itself, so here goes:

For anyone who just loves (like we at Save the Date do) unique, quirky and totally gorgeous added extras for your big day then you might even be just as excited as we are about the girls at Not on the High Street being there on the day. Look out for their ‘pretty as a picture’ exhibition stand where they will be telling you all about their fabulous wedding gift list service … (can you imagine, a marital love nest bursting with Not on the High Street goodies, serious swoon)

Hands up if you’ve heard of Xen-Tan? Well, they are THE new tanning product and will be there on the day showing you what a bronzed goddess you can be on your big day!

Along with a great range of highly individual and equally talented bridal dress boutiques and designers, The Dressing Room will be there showing off their gorgeous dresses including the beautiful designs from the fantastic Charlotte Balbier collection

Virgin Active have come to the rescue and will be showing us all how to get that perfectly toned figure and everyone who comes along receives a free day pass to the Virgin Active Derby branch

If you prefer eating fancy cakes and chocolate to exercising with personal trainers (not really sure which seems the most appealing actually!) then we’ve got chocolate demonstrations by a local, highly talented chocolatier and there will be cupcakes and cookies galore in the Food Glorious Food area.

The Blokes Corner is just getting more and more bloke’y’ and we’re pretty sure that your man will enjoy sitting on the ‘oh so manly’ leather couch with an ice cold beer, flicking through a copy of GQ. And if that doesn’t float his boat, we’ve got live shaving demonstrations with a Nottingham based beauty company, the Beauty Temple, a games station and other testosterone fueled activities to keep him entertained!

The champagne bar will be the place to relax and discuss your findings and there will be some great live entertainment throughout the day too.

As well as all of this, we’ve got the catwalk show, incredible photographers including firm favourites of Rock my Wedding, Jo and Simon at Shoot and not forgetting, for those within the RMW community who have not yet met Charlotte and Rebecca, you will get the chance to meet with this pair of blogging geniuses and share in your love for all things RMW.

Don’t forget, all Rock my Wedding readers receive a 50% discount from the ticket price – www.savethedatemagazine.co.uk. If you’ve not done so already, you just need to enter the code RMW in the discount box. Hope to see you there!

If you have already bought tickets then we totally look forward to seeing you gorgeous lot, make sure you come and say Hi and tell us all about your amazing plans for the Big Day.

And if not there is still plenty of time to join in the fun, just visit www.savethedatemagazine.co.uk and and bag yourself a pass to prettyville 😉

Big Sunday Love

Charlotte xxx

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What Naomi Did… Saving Grace (And Dates.)

6 months and 14 days to go.

This is according to my new iWedding Planner. On my new iPhone. A contract entered into sheerly for my own wedding planning pleasure. I’m not kidding. I got a new phone and sold my soul to the 24 month contract devil, just so I could plan my wedding. I needed direct access to my photographers replying email and RMW’s new post immediately whilst getting my morning cup of rooibos tea on my way to work.

Oh God! I had become one of those people.

I spent a lot of all of my time looking at blogs, magazines, design websites, twitter links, wedding planning books, ebay, hair and make up tutorials… the list could go on, but I won’t.
Basically, I had become a wedding planning machine.

But it had to stop.

It got to a stage that I was spending all my waking hours bombarding my mind with imagery, hints, tips, stories, how to’s and ideas. My social life began to suffer, so did my work and most importantly my relationship. Gavin would come home to see the back of my head and my face glued to some sexy little wedding blog… “oooh look at that table plan!”. I became such a sentimental sausage that I would whole heartedly weep at tacky wedding shows and throw hissy fits at the slightest mention of changing the guest list. It had become clear, that I was exhausted.

So I had a detox. A wedding planning detox. I stepped away from the computer, I recycled the magazines and I spent some time with a note book. I wrote down what was important to Gavin and I, what we wanted for our day and for our marriage.

I realised a lot of things in this time. I realised that all of the beautiful images I was looking at were in fact making me feel inferior, under pressure and in many ways inadequate. They were also firing up some kind of need to be original, quirky and produce never-seen-before details for the wedding. I was putting myself under immense pressure and didn’t even realise it. So I had a breather. I spent time with friends, I spent time with Gavin and I allowed myself just a few glances at my favourite blogs.

This little break worked a treat. I regained my focus and my passion for OUR wedding! I could now look at blogs and other folks weddings with admiration and grace, rather than jealousy and some kind of competitive compulsion to do better. With the weight of my own expectations lifted from my shoulders, I became more creative than ever.

I hit the ground running and began designing our save the dates. I wanted to give people something that they would use, something that they would look at regularly and keep as a token. One of the sweetest things Gavin ever did for me was at dinner one night. He listed all of the books he had fallen in love with and wanted me to read on a piece of paper, then folded it and gave it to me. Two years on this is still my bookmark. In honour of this romantic notion I decided to design bookmarks for our guests. So with Photoshop on my side, I set about them like a bear eating beans.

I had so much fun making these and am genuinely proud of my efforts. I have had lovely feedback from family and friends. It excites me so much to actually be DOING stuff now, instead of planning to do stuff. I think that the planning side can really take over. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my wedding porn. I am also still constantly inspired by images I see. But I feel much more fluffy about it all now. Happy and content with our own efforts and not pressurised by those of others.

Since what I like to call “the wedding melt down” I have become at peace with the fact that not everything we plan will be noticed, not everything we try will work and not everything we do will be original. But it will be ours.

Ever The Recovering Psycho,


P.S. Here’s a sneaky peeky of what my next post has to offer.

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The Vintage Draw – Vicky Trainor Designs Fairytale-Worthy Stationery.

Once Upon a time there was a lovely stationery designer lady called Vicky Trainor who decided that the world of pretty paper needed something new. And by something new what she actually meant was something new created out of many unique shiny items of old.

With a selection of vintage linens, appliqued ditsy florals, buttons, beading and embroidery Vicky was able to make some the most delicious invitations and favours in all of the land, suitable for the very fairest of them all…… the discerning fairytale bride.

Vicky Trainor :The idea behind our new little collection ‘made with love’ arrived one day whilst sorting and organising my endless boxes of collected haberdashery. At the bottom of this box was my little sewing case that I made when I was 7 years old. I spent hours, when I was younger, collecting and making endless pieces, some useful some not so useful, pressing flowers, organising my grandma’s button box….

We were starting to work on ideas, at the time, for new collections for 2011-2012 – we wanted to create something very different to our current printed collections and we had been researching embroidery and haberdashery from the 40’s and early 50’s and, from this, ‘made with love’ was born. This collection is the first to be created from our new ‘Vintage Drawer’ label.

A little collection of linen booklet invitations, favour sewing cases, embroidered table numbers, lavender bags, linen and ribbon place ties and named chair back ties and still more to be created. Each individual piece made, here in the studio, will be a bespoke one-off item, made from new and vintage linens and haberdashery finds.

‘Made with Love’ will be available from January 2011, although images can be emailed through to anyone who may be interested in these early stages. We wanted Rock My Wedding to be the first to see the new collection and let you, their readers, have a little sneaky peak first.


I mean really – I would die for a favour as pretty as this.

And if not a gift for every guest how about a little something for your maids? a beautiful and undoubtedly useful keepsake.

Vicky Trainor is offering Rock My Wedding fairytale brides a very generous 10% off all stationery ordered before the 31st January, that includes the Made With Love range.

Just mention RMW when you enquire.

Big I can’t-even-tell-you-how-impressed-I-would-be-to-receive-a-vintage-draw-invitation-Love

Charlotte xxx

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Rock My Wedding 1st Birthday Competition… Hello!Lucky

I’m really excited about our second giveaway this week, not least because I’m a fan of all thinks paper pretty, but also because I LOVE the Hello!Lucky. Hello!Lucky were one of our first sponsors and we are not only grateful for their ongoing support but really proud to be associated with such a great company bringing true chic and unique to the UK.

Hello!Lucky have recently added to their Visit range… We have featured the London design before (above) but new designs now include Paris and Vegas baby!

To celebrate, they are offering you lucky lot the chance to win 100 digital save the dates or 100 digital invitations from any of their designs (not just the visit range.) I don’t think I need to remind you how much that would help your budget… the prize value is approximately £250!

The beauty of the Paris design is, (I think,) it’s little touch of Parisian charm and yet it’s not as specific as the other Visit designs. I for one think it would make a beautiful invitation for a summer city wedding, often hard to pull together, as it’s quirky, but sweet and chic.

Of course, there are so many more to choose from, heavy text based designs, some very pretty florals like the peony design above and a very rock’n’roll tattooed style… 😮

So, I hear you cry, what do we have to do to win???

It’s easy peasy. Head on over to the Hello!Lucky Site and have a little look around, then leave a comment below telling us where your ideal destination is, (from the Visit range or otherwise) and why. You have until 12 midnight on Sunday 10th October to enter and winners will be chosen by the Hello!Lucky team!

Yours Truly,