Seattle Bride Feature – A question of etiquette for the modern couple

Seattle Bride Magazine Cover

As a wedding professional with 20 years experience, I am regularly consulted on proper etiquette.  I always reply with two things in mind; what I already know about the event in question and what would kindness dictate?

In most answers I attempt to influence my customer with kindness as the guiding principal.  Should we include everyone’s name on the invitation or just the bride’s parents if they are issuing the invitation?  If you risk hurting someone’s feelings, choose kindness.  Should we send thank you notes to every guest that attended or only ones that brought gifts?  Were you happy that they attended?  Send them a note to express your thanks.  Choose kindness.  Should we include information about our gift registry on our invitation?  Do you want your guest to feel like a gift is their admission ticket to your wedding?  Don’t mention gifts with your invitation.  Having your family and friends witness your wedding vows has nothing to do with loot and everything to do with supporting the new couple from the very beginning of the sometimes rocky journey that is a marriage.  Choose kindness.  Don’t cheapen your ceremony with the slightest impression of greed.

If someone is asking their invitation guy for advice; they are either trying to find out quickly without doing their own research or they are checking to see if their mom is really right.  In most cases, mom is right so listen to her first.  She represents half of the invited guests and knows what is common or appropriate for those guests.  You may need to temper what mom offers up as there are two families being joined and they may have different ideas of what is proper.  This can be based on cultural or regional etiquette that is best to work out with the families involved.  What this becomes is a learning moment for the bride and groom, one of many in the planning of the event.  You need to ask the question of each other “Is it important to you that we are formal or casual in our planning and execution for our event?  Once you agree on the tone you can ensure that you follow the etiquette that represents the proper level of formality.

To ensure that you follow proper etiquette for your event you really have to have a conversation (or several) with your parents, with your bride or groom to be, with your wedding planner, and even with your invitation guy.  Once you have gathered the myriad opinions I suggest you make your decision based on kindness.  There really are a million ways you can plan your special day and once you have decided what is proper for your event, there will be opinions contrary to yours.  If you do choose kindness, it will never be the wrong answer.

Kevin Graham

January 14, 2015

Of The Earth

A quote from this article was published on page 50 in the January 2015 edition of the Seattle Bride Magazine.

 

 

 

Pocket folds are finally here! DIY invitation pocket folders in Lotka handmade paper

Handmade paper pocket fold invitation

Lotka pocket fold invitation

Lotka pocket fold invitation 13 x 7

Handmade Lotka pocket fold invitation

We are loving our new die cut machine and all of the wonderful dies that we have to experiment with.  For our 2015 bridal season we hope to stun the brides with these unique, highly customizable, earth friendly invitation suite holders.  These are currently being made in all of our card weight stocks.  Both the cotton and the lotka handmade papers display wonderfully.  Pictured here are the lotka fibers.  We offer the seeded papers too!

 

Lotka pocket fold invitation

Lotka paper pocket fold invitation

Currently we have them sold only as single pieces.  Coming soon will be full invitation suites with reply cards, custom printed invitations and envelopes.  We will also be adding options for you to embellish these and make them more personalized with matching ribbon, belly bands and hand dip dyed edges.

 

You can find the new pocket folds here, invitation_pocket_fold order your sample or set today.

Hand addressing envelopes – how to stand out from the junk mail.

Calligraphy sample from Long Village Lettering

How to stand out in the mail

In this incredibly busy week as we gear up for the new bridal season and work on last minute plans for tomorrow’s flight to New York to set up our booth at the National Gift Show in Manhattan I was stopped for a moment, long enough to sit down even to enjoy a piece of mail that the dripping wet postman just delivered.  It was a hand written thank you note from a woman in North Carolina who runs her own Calligraphy business.  She sent us one of our own seed embedded envelopes back in the mail with beautiful hand lettering on the front and a business card and note on the inside.

I think this can stand as a clear testament to the power of the personalized mailing.  I know everyone is busy, I know I am busy, and yet this simple act of handwriting really can stop someone in their tracks for a few moments and draw their attention to the message you are sending.

For all of you brides out their considering printing your guest’s names instead of hand writing them, don’t.  Just take the extra time to let the people (you care enough about to invite to one of the most exciting days of your life) know that you really care.  You really want them there and your own handwriting spells it out for them.  It is that personal touch missing from so many areas of our lives today.  Your extra effort will be noticed and appreciated.  It really does make a difference.

Okay so clearly we don’t all have amazing handwriting like the image above, but still you have family you can enlist to help, you can pick up a book or watch a video demo for pointers and tips on improving your own handwriting.  Start early and it will be manageable, and worth it.

Our 2014 Seattle Wedding Show Invitations Display – Video!

We just returned from the 2014 Seattle Wedding show two day event that was a remarkable success!  The show was very well attended, with aisles full of smiling brides and their retinue of sisters, friends and family in tow.  We displayed several new invitation and paper designs along with our timeless styles that never fail to please.  Here is a five minute video that takes you through our booth from top to bottom.

 

We hope you have an opportunity to visit us in our new store in this new year and view these designs and more in person.  Our shop has hundreds of papers, dozens of invitation styles, wedding invitation assembly tools, guest books, seed paper by the sheet and much, much more.

 

VERSATILITY: RIBBONS FOR EVERY OCCASION

We know we are biased, but we are consistently amazed by the projects our clients create.  Luckily, many of them are eager and excited to share said creations and generously send photos our way upon completing a project.

Jewelry designer Amanda Ace creates one-of-a-kind pieces and delivers them to clients in beautiful packaging (if we do say so ourselves) featuring our handmade papers and ribbon.

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It is an enormous compliment to know your designs are being chosen for a first impression.

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We recently worked with another client who created this gorgeous bridal bouquet using our silk ribbon, shown here in her wedding day portrait.  Any of you brides and creative folk reading this; be sure to share your work with us so we can feature it here.

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DIY: NO LONGER JUST A TREND

DIY (Do It Yourself) weddings have far surpassed the trend status and are now becoming a popular practice for creative, budget-minded couples who want to put a personal touch on their event without breaking the bank.  Some of the most lovely and unique nuptials we have ever seen (or attended) are those where the couple put their stamp on the ceremony and reception.  All you truly need is an open mind, some extra time, a few helping hands, and a source for inspiration.

Luckily for today’s brides there is no shortage of sources for said inspiration.  There are a variety of bridal magazines, bridal blogs (we gravitate towards the green selections) and of course, Pinterest.  Tutorials on everything from creating your own bridal bouquet to instructions for printing on pre-folded paper are abundant on the internet.

On our invitation supplies page you can find many of the tools and materials you need to construct any of the hundreds of invitation styles we display.  We have templates and instructions for free here.

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Our plantable seed paper box was part of a DIY wedding profile in the Minneapolis St. Paul paper’s “Aisle Files”.  We will soon be adding video demonstrations of the detailed finish work we create, like the lovely leaf seen on this seed paper box.

Cotton Seeded DIY Kits with Eco-Twist Paper Ribbon

For those of you who want to handle every aspect of the invitation process, we offer almost everything you need to make your invitations at home: cotton linters to make your own paper, seed and petal inclusions sold by the ounce, paper folding and tearing tools and all the blank paper and envelope stock you need to print and mail your invitations.

Whether or not you take a DIY approach to your entire wedding, or choose to tackle certain projects here and there, we hope we have provided you with a few feasible options in the invitation and favor departments.  And, if you ever have questions on any of these topics, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

BLOG PRESS

It is always a pleasant surprise when we stumble upon our products or work in the blogosphere.  Last week we had a client mention in passing that they had included photos of our seeded paper used on a wedding project in a past blog post.

wedding program on seeded paper

wedding program on seeded paper

wedding menu on our seeded paper

wedding menu our seeded paper

Stacey and Company is an invite, décor and event planning company in California.  We have been working with Stacey since 2007.  She often uses our seeded papers when working with clients who want stylish, green paper options for their events.  We love how this couple used our seeded products throughout the event and also as their take-home gift for their guests.  You can check out the entire post here.

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The Green Bride Guide is a go-to resource for those searching for “wedding ideas, inspiration and supplies to assist you with planning a green wedding.”  They included our hand dyed silk ribbon as a way to add “glam” to your eco-wedding, and offered some great suggestions for integrating our ribbon into wedding décor. “Speaking of eco-friendly ribbon, there are about a hundred ways to use the stuff in your decorations—from creating sparkling gold garlands to wrapping it around your bouquet. Tie shimmering tendrils to your up-do, or weave some thin strands into the bodice of your dress. Decorate your chairs and tables with ribbon and use it to add some metallic accents to your ring pillow or flower girl basket. The possibilities are endless.”  One of our favorite uses so far has been a wedding background trellis covered by streamers of silk that gently move in the slightest breeze, we are still trying to get Pearl and Godiva to share their images with us (nudge nudge).  You can check out the Green Bride Guide post in it’s entirety here.

Thank you Stacey and Company and Green Bride Guide  for supporting our work!

 

 

 

WEDDING ACCOMODATION CARDS: THE BASICS

For many of our customers the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of paper in the wedding planning process is invitations.  And while the invitation is obviously a vital part of the package, there are many supplemental materials that often need to be included with the star of the show.  Accommodation cards, depending on your style of wedding, serves an integral role in providing wedding details.

Accommation Card

Torn edge recycled paper accommodation card

Wedding Accommodation Cards 101:

The purpose of a wedding accommodation card is to provide out of town guests with a selection of hotels in a range of prices. These cards often contain information on bridal party group rates if you have made arrangements with your local hotels. You can cut printing costs and paper usage if you can combine this card with your direction/map card. This card is an appropriate place to include information on activities if you anticipate your guests will have time to soak in the local culture.

Accommation Card

Lotka seed paper accommodation card

 

Accommation Card

Handmade seed paper with petals printed with accommodation information

We often suggest this card as the best location for planting instructions for our seeded papers.  Letting your guests know that the beautiful invitation papers contain live seeds that will sprout if planted is critical if you want your guests to enjoy the bouquet of flowers these papers have the potential to become.  Giving them clear information about the seeds will ensure your guests start enjoying your wedding well in advance of your special day.

For text examples and more paper options please check out our online selection.

NEW TO THE STORE

We now carry the ideal invitation kit for the handmade DIY enthusiast! Our plantable handmade seed paper invitation kit creates 25 panel style 5” x 7” invites.
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Each Invitation Kit contains:                                      – 25 5×7 inch cut edge panels of our handmade paper(containing flower seeds so they can be planted)                                       – 25 cut to size (4.75″ x 6.75″) printer safe lotka seed paper pieces
– 25 recycled paper machine made invitation envelopes
– 6 yards eco-twist ribbon
– Punching template

 

 

Designed for home printing on a laser or inkjet printer, these invites are then punched, and assembled by you. Templates and downloadable instructions can be found here.

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 All invitation components will break down naturally in soil, but only the invitation panel and overlay contain flower seeds.

Our unique North American Wildflower seed blend tolerates partial shade; needs 4 hours a day of direct sunlight and grows to about 3′. Seeds include these perennials and annuals: Spurred Snapdragon,Tussock Bellflower, Creeping Thyme, Lilac Godetia, Foxglove, Catchfly, Monkeyflower, English Daisy, Red Corn Poppy and Showy Evening Primrose. This blend is specifically designed for safe propagation in many growing zones.

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Germination may begin as soon as one week, or may take up to six weeks depending on your regional growing zone and planting depth. We recommend just 1/4″ soil coverage.

We are happy to swap paper and eco-twist colors. These DIY kits are available for $26.50 for a set of 25.

Do it yourself seed paper invitations for just $1.00!

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DIY Kit closeup - Plantable paper

Aspen print at home seed paper invitation kit

Print at home invitation kit

Natural seed paper diy kit

DIY Kit

Natural 6×9 seed paper invitation kit

We just added new photos of our latest product to help in this economic recovery. Our seed paper DIY kits are prepared with a cut edge finish to save on the hand tearing labor common to our other invitation styles. We also have included felt finish recycled paper invitation envelopes in place of our more expensive seed paper envelopes. This swap has brought the cost of these invitations down do just $1.00 for a fully do it yourself print at home Eco-friendly marvel. The kits are sold in packs of 25 for $25 and can ship with first class mail to you for about $4. Each invitation is meant to be printed at home using an inkjet or laser machine one piece at a time through the envelope feed mechanism. The envelopes have a great raised texture and pair nicely with the handmade stock. There are five colors to pick from. The colored sheets are all dyed with earth friendly vegetable dyes and are ironically named after trees (as they are entirely tree free).

We make these kits in our Seattle paper studio and ship them worldwide, typically within 24 hours. The paper twine used to hold the pieces together can be swapped out for different colors to create more combinations than we show here: http://www.earthinvitations.com/

Our papers contain a blend of wildflower seeds which include varieties that grow in all the growing regions in the US.  Read more at www.flowerseedpaper.com