January is such a great month for getting stuck into wedding planning. Filling those long dark nights with lots of wedmin is the perfect remedy for post Christmas blues. And gorgeous stationery is definitely something lovely to think about. Today we’re introducing you to the lovely Nat at Nat’s Paper Studio. Nat has a background in graphic design, but was being constantly asked to create stationery for friends and family so the transition was a natural one! We can see why – Nat’s designs are stylish and contemporary and perfect for today’s modern bride, who wants her wedding to be a reflection of her and her partner’s personal style. Want to see more of Nat’s work and hear all about her business? I thought so, let’s take a look…
Papier have a knack for working with some of the UK’s finest stationers but I was especially excited for their latest collaboration, as I’m a big fan of Lamplighter London anyway. I’m a sucker for beautiful script with just a scattering of stars or a speckle of ink, so I’m naturally drawn to Chiara’s style. The wedding range from Papier makes it really easy to customise Chiara’s gorgeous signature designs for your own wedding day. You’ll find everything you could need for a full suite – save the dates, invites, place names, menus and thank you cards. Here’s a little sneak peak for you…
Hello beautiful people, hope you are all having a lovely Sunday.
I love all things crafty, but I have never been particularly talented in that area; so it probably won’t come as any surprise that I don’t consider myself to be a particularly DIY bride.
That said, projects seem to keep creeping in somehow, and I hope that when we share our wedding day with you all (eek), you will see a number of handcrafted elements sneaking their way in.
One of the loveliest parts of wedding planning is choosing your stationery. The options really are endless these days, with styles to suit everyone. Whether you are going the whole hog with a full stationery suite, or a simple invite with a Wedding Website – our handpicked recommended suppliers, The Love Lust List are here to help.
I’ve always considered myself a traditional girl with relatively traditional values, and when it comes to our big day in September, they’ll certainly be out in force; we’re sleeping in separate rooms the night before the wedding; I’ll be wearing a veil over my face; my father will be walking me down the aisle and giving me away at the altar; and we’ll be saying traditional vows. But when it comes to stationery etiquette – in particular invitations – we’ve taken a very modern approach. We’re not having any.
It’s a pretty big middle finger to tradition, particularly when just one year ago the thought of not having invitations was unthinkable. I sneered at those who decided to take their wedding ‘online’ and genuinely saw it as an erosion of traditional wedding etiquettes and a threat to the art of correspondence. But up to this point, all our communication for the wedding has been online, and it’s purely because we’re getting married abroad, it’s so much easier to relay information to guests and it’s saved us a huge amount of time and money.
So whether you’re a destination bride who’s starting to think about stationery or a modern bride looking for an alternative to the status-quo, here’s a summary of how I went about it.
Pretty paper goods make us really happy. Opening a beautifully designed hand-written card, writing on the first page of a brand new note pad, wrapping a carefully chosen present in crisp, thick wrapping paper – I don’t know what it is, but it’s just so satisfying! So when it comes to wedding stationery, an aspect of the big day that starts months and months before the big day itself – we get really, really excited.
We’ve loved the designs from Berin Made for a long time. They’ve been on our handpicked recommended suppliers list, The Love Lust List, since the beginning, we’ve seen them grow as a company, develop their product lines and start to be stocked at some the of UK’s biggest retailers (hello Oliver Bonas…) They also donate 10% of profits on wedding stationery orders to charity, something they don’t shout about either. Erin’s work is the perfect combination of fun design, excellent quality and total professionalism, with a large twist of loveliness thrown in for good measure.
Today we’re sharing their 2016 Ready-to-go collection, which encapsulates the spirit of their signature style (bold prints, bright colours and strong typography) but with an on-trend range of four designs – Tropical palms, Wildflowers, Orchids and Modern fairytale. Erin has also provided us with some top tips for things to consider when ordering your stationery – it’s a great read and there are lots of things I hadn’t even realised would be an issue! If you’re in the process of choosing your wedding stationery at the moment, this is a must-read.
Drawberry Jam creates a beautiful range of illustrated stationery and wedding gifts, but their primary service are these fabulous bespoke wedding maps, which are brilliant accompaniments to your wedding invitations and a fabulous tool for your guests to know the general lay of the land.
Drawberry Jam will work with you to tailor a map to your venue so it is completely bespoke to your wedding location. It can feature all the local landmarks and details, an illustration of you as newlyweds, and of course where you are getting married. Drawberry Jam will happily adapt her drawing style to suit your wedding theme or preference.
Every map is made to order and can be turned around within 2-3 weeks. Drawberry Jam welcomes your input and feedback at every stage of the design process – this is really important to ensure that every detail is true to the occasion and reflects you as a couple as well as your wedding day.
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.
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.
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.
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
So it’s time to share part 2 of this stunning wedding, crisp, clean and very cool. We love.
And in this part you get to see the second dancing dress, (with cool shoe change too!) all the reception finishing touches and some simply beautiful photography.
Bring. It. On.
Our photographers were Christina and Jay from Elemental Weddings We had spotted them from another wedding they had photographed at our venue and booked them on the spot.
We had an engagement shoot last August so we could meet them before the wedding and feel a bit more relaxed about the photos.
We needn’t have worried as Christina and Jay are amazing and we cannot recommend them highly enough. They made us feel immediately at ease and you can tell how passionate they are about their work.
Reception in a Cow shed!
The reception venue was Kinkell Byre just outside St Andrews which is basically a posh cow shed! It was one of the first venues we saw and we knew it was the one for us – the stone work and oak barrels have rustic charm and the view over St Andrews Bay is one of my favourites.
Sandy who owns Kinkell Byre was so helpful with many aspects of arranging the day. Stevie at i-light productions arranged the lighting and spent considerable time with us making sure our cakes and centrepieces were properly lit. His work really brings the venue to life.
For the centrepieces, we had spotted large volcanic looking bowls which we wanted to plant up with a variety of succulents and tillandsias. We did this a few weeks before the wedding (again it was useful that Steve’s dad is a gardener!) We also had several white cascading phalaenopsis placed on the oak barrels.
Our caterer was Tania Dixon from Ginger Snap who also sourced all the cater hire and was very professional, and the food was excellent. We had an evening buffet of Simple Simon pies who are located in Biggar.
I had sourced silver birch trees on e-bay in January. I had visions of lovely leafiness but the reality was they looked pretty stick like for quite some time! Thankfully the warm spring weather did it’s thing and we had leaves on our sticks on the day.
I had spent the evenings making a ridiculous amount of pom poms (120 to be precise) which we were going to hang from the beams in the byre. When we actually saw the byre again in the flesh we realised this was not going to be an easy feat as the beams were far higher than we had anticipated. As I’d made and ‘fluffed’ the poms, Steve had the job of climbing a very tall ladder and throwing nylon thread over the beams to hang them. We decided it was better to have the groom in one piece than more pom poms hung!
Our save the dates and invitations were made by a friend of Steve’s who owns a series of vintage printing presses. Some of the fonts on our invitation are over 100 years old and the volcano block print featured was hand cut for us.
I started making the pebble place names in October with pebbles collected from Elie beach. Our tables were named after volcanoes we have either both or individually visited; Eyjafjallajökull, Mount Fuji, Pacaya, Tungurahua, Villarrica, Popocatéptl, and Ixtaccíhuatl.
A Cake Table
We had looked into various options for wedding cake all of which seemed crazily expensive. One Saturday in St Andrews we noticed a new cake shop that had opened called Bibi’s Bakery and we met Jenni. She is the most lovely lady and was so enthusiastic about ideas that we had. I knew I wanted to have a cake table with a selection of cakes for our guests to choose from rather than dessert.
We had a tasting session and chose several large sponges: Raspberry and Vanilla, Chocolate, Earl Grey, Coffee chocolate, Lemon, Chocolate and Pear, Chocolate peanut butter and animal cupcakes for the kids (penguin, polar bear, tiger and dog!) The cake domes were sourced online. The silver knife and cake server were both given to me as gifts for my 30th from my close girlfriends.
I had also sourced online very big round balloons which we filled with helium and tied with bakers twine – some of our guests had a lot of fun with those later in the night! During the tying process Stevie accidentally let go of one of the balloons and it floated way up out of reach into the rafters. Sandy (the byre owner) thought it would be fun to shoot it down but thankfully it was retrieved without a gun shot being fired!
Callanish provided our evening entertainment with a selection of celtic and contemporary music and we can’t recommend them enough. They also left their sound system so we could plug in our ipod for later.
For our first dance we had secretly attended swing dance classes for a few months last year. Usually when we were on our way to class someone would call (usually Steve’s mum) and I had to make something up (usually that we were on the way to the supermarket). Needless to say, now when we are actually on the way to the supermarket she doesn’t believe us. We attended a swing dance aerial’s workshop and latterly arranged a private lesson with Ben and Helen who don’t normally choreograph dances but since we knew a few moves they arranged something for us including a couple of the knicker flashing aerials we had learnt! The music was At the Woodchoppers ball.
Alison Kirk in Perth was where the shorter of the two bridesmaids dress’ was from. It was a teal Dessy dress and I loved the 1950s shape so much so that I opted for the same style in white for my surprise 2nd evening dress – in snow white. The staff at Alison Kirk were so lovely and Laura who did the alterations was fantastic. The high spike heels did prove problematic when walking across grass to the ceremony and of course these shoes were not made for dancing! So the shoes of choice for the evening were grey and red converse all stars (girls slim fit).
For favours, we decided as Scandophiles to celebrate Walpurgis Night (30th April) by setting off wish lanterns at the break in the dancing. The pebble place names were also taken home by our guests as a memento.
Advice from a Bride
For quite a bit of the day it was pretty surreal and the best way I can describe it is like being in a film. I thought I would feel very nervous walking down the ‘aisle’ and also thought I would cry saying my vows as they were very honest and heartfelt, but I actually felt very strong through the whole experience.
Our wedding didn’t really follow any theme other than things we like, although I suppose there was a strong volcanic element! To be honest it was our guests who made the day so special – we only had 50 guests but everyone was either close family or friends who we really wanted to be there.
Things will always happen that change your plans for one reason or another. My close friend who was to be a bridesmaid fell pregnant and was due to give birth a week after our wedding. She had to step down as bridesmaid on her midwife’s advice and it was touch and go whether she would actually make the wedding at all. I was overwhelmed when she managed to not only make the wedding but dance the gay gordons and party until well after the meal. It’s moments like that that make you realise what good friends you have. The effort our band made into making our ceremony very personal to us by agreeing to form for the day and learn and arrange songs for us meant so much and really made the ceremony.
The day passed so quickly and advice given to us was very true – that you need to take a step back every now and again through the day and take it all in. The times the two of you have together alone are also very special and one of my favourite parts of the day was having some photographs taken with my husband just after the ceremony.
Source things online and DIY if you can – it saves a remarkable amount of cash.
Stick with your instincts. Your head can be turned by lots of beautiful weddings on wedding blogs which can make you feel inadequate. Remember the day is about you and your husband and a party with friends. Keep it personal and it will work.
Photography – Christina and Jay from Elemental Weddings
Venue – Kinkell Byre
Entertainment – Callanish
Second Dress – Dessy at Alison Kirk
Swing dance classes – Zoot Swing
Lighting – i-light productions
Caterer – Ginger Snap
Pies – Simple Simon pies
Cake – Bibi’s Bakery
Wedding Car – 1960 Mercury Montclair owned by Jim at Rock and Roll Motors in Bo’Ness!
It’s going to be a long time until another wedding knocks this off my top spot!
Tell us your favourite bit…