4 Ways Stationery Can Transform a Reception Venue

When a couple is looking for a wedding reception venue many factors influence the decision of what type of venue they will choose. Each venue has pros and cons (which a wedding planner can help you evaluate), but one of the major complaints of many banquet halls is that the décor and ambiance is boring. By adding a few simple stationery elements you can disguise a banquet or reception hall that at first glace might be dull and boring. These are our top 4 suggestions:

Printed Fabric Backdrop
Create a backdrop for the head table or ceremony with a custom pattern or monogram coordinating with the rest of your stationery. These fabric backdrops are also great to frame a cake or candy buffet table. If you are having a photo booth use printed fabric to customize the backdrop of the picture. The backdrop can be a pattern and color from your stationery or get creative and use a special scene that reflects your personality.

Banners can be used for both decorative and functional purposes. If your venue is difficult to find or is it in a building with multiple floors, banners can help point your guests in the right direction! Set the tone for your guests as they arrive by placing banners at the entrance of your venue and at the guest book table. Banners are also a great way to utilize your engagement photos. Look for spaces in your venue that you could cover a boring wall with a row of banners displaying multiple engagement photos and your monogram and stationery design.

Dance Floor Decal
Create a gorgeous photo opportunity for your first dance by adding a removable vinyl dance floor decal. These decals can be made in any custom size including a full dance floor cover! Display your monogram, names or stationery design in your wedding colors to create a focal point on dance floor!

Framed Graphics
This option is great for couples willing to take on a D-I-Y project to personalize their wedding décor. Have a custom poster-style print created with a monogram, message, or pattern and frame it to create a focal point in your decor. There are lots of places to find simple or unique frames that can easily be spray painted to coordinate with the colors of your wedding décor. My favorite place to start looking for frames is flea markets, antique stores, and Goodwill. Ikea is also a great place to find frames in a variety of shapes and sizes on a budget.

NEW! Exclusive Retailer of D-I-Y Products!

I am thrilled to announce we are now an exclusive retailer of an exciting line of D-I-Y stationery products. This product line has everything from invitation pockets to favor boxes. Some of the more unique items include box invitations and die-cut resealable labels (great for a save-the-date's where guests can mark their calendar with the sticker!)

Our custom designs clients have the option of incorporating any of these items into their wedding stationery. All the items can be viewed on the website (www.doitwithmoreoptions.com) and orders can be placed in person at our studio, over the phone, or by the order form on our website. (click here to download an order form now!) We also be using some of these products for clients who would like to incorporate custom design.

Julianne's Baby Shower

I was honored when Julianne asked me to create the stationery for her baby shower event! Julianne is a wedding planner and owner of A Modern Proposal. She is meticulous with details and the photos from the shower captured nothing less than perfection! We created invitations, custom signs, wish cards, and favor tags.

Event Planning + Décor Design: A Modern Proposal Event Planning (www.amodernproposal.com)
Photos: Capture It! (http://captureitphotography.ca/)
Stationery: Pinkpolka Wedding Design (http://pinkpolkadesign.com/)
Cookies + Cupcakes: Bluebird Cakes (http://www.bluebirdcakes.ca/)
Fresh Flowers: La Piazza Dasee (http://www.dasee.ca/)


With the new year finally here I thought this would be the perfect time to remind engaged couples getting married in 2011 about save-the-date stationery!

Save the dates should be sent at least 6 months in advance with the invitation to follow 6-8 weeks in advance. If you are planning a long-haul destination wedding I suggest sending save-the-dates up to 12 months in advance so guests can make travel arrangements, schedule time off work, and plan financially. You don't have to send save-the-dates to everyone. If you only have a few guests that will be traveling from out of town you can send them to those guests only. Remember, local guests only need 6-8 weeks notice in the form of a wedding invitation.

The information included on a "save the date" card is the couples name, the wedding date and location, "formal invitation to follow" and a wedding website if you have one. Some of the most popular formats are a small insert in an envelope, magnets and postcards.
Here are a couple of guidelines and tips when considering your save-the-date:

Keep it consistent
I know it's tempting when your in a time crunch to quickly throw something together for your save-the-date, but you should make sure this piece is just as considered as your invitation. Keep in mind this will now be the first glimpse into your wedding and it should have a consistent "look" with the rest of your stationery. It might seem like a small detail, but doing it right will make a big difference! 

Be creative
Are you getting married in a unique location or venue? Are there certain aspects of your wedding that you can link to your save the date? Below is an example of a couple getting married July 2011 on Pender Island, B.C. The bride decided to incorporate a ferry ticket since all the guests will be taking a ferry to the Island. I designed the ticket similar to a photo she found of an actual ferry ticket and used a heart hole punch to note the month and day of the wedding.

Make a Statement
Even though save-the-dates usually come in small packages there is no reason you can't wow your guests. I love the idea of creating something usable that your guests can interact with. What about doing a mini calendar that the guests can use at the same time as counting down the days until your wedding!

Utilize Engagement Photos
If you have engagement photos that you want to feature in your wedding stationery, save-the-date cards are a great way to do so.

Mardi Gras Masquarade Christmas Invitation

I am in love with these Christmas party invitations! Not only did the party come with a fun Mardi Gras theme, but also a budget for some spectacular finishing details! This invite is printed on a metallic stock with a custom die-cut, embossing and gold foil. Believe me when I say the picture does not do this piece justice! I also had the opportunity to design a coordinating welcome package which included drink and photo booth tickets along with a raffle ballot.

My Wedding Invitation!

For my wedding I created bold graphics in a black, white and yellow color palette. I was inspired by deco Palm Springs interiors and my favorite designer, Jonathan Alder. I challenged myself to create a simple package that was compact and tidy. My solution was a custom die-cut pocket which, from the front, appeared as a standard 5"x7" postcard style invite, but had a pocket on the back which housed the rsvp insert and reply envelope.

All pieces were printed on Classic Crest's duplex in solar white and epic black. To create a subtle black on black pattern on the back of the invite and rsvp insert I printed a double hit of black using a UV printer, which gave the effect of gloss foil. While majority of the printed invitation and rsvp were black and white I decided to make a bold statement by using a bright yellow outer envelope, complete with a 4bar reply envelope.

Instead of using a monogram I decided to use the word "LOVE" as our wedding logo which was applied through out the reception stationery. Keep checking back, as I will reveal more of the unique reception stationery details I created!

Get Creative with Guestbooks!

With all the customization happening now in weddings there is no exception to the guest book. I find a lot of couples are deciding to prompt guest to respond with more than just "name" and "message". By using unique page layouts in custom hard-cover guest books or using wish cards with a specific question guests are required to dig a little deeper for meaningful messages. See below for some examples of recent guest books pages and wish cards.
Custom page layout from a hard-cover guest book, including photo insert
Single guest book page on 8.5"x11" sheet of paper

 Custom wish card
Custom wish card

Travel Packages for Destination Weddings

One of my clients this year had a destination wedding in Mexico. The groom was from Mexico, but all of the brides guest were traveling from Edmonton. They decided to add a very special touch and create a travel folder with useful information for all of the guests coming from Canada. The thought and planning involved in this package was spectacular and if I was a guest at this wedding I would have felt pretty special. Since the groom was an "insider" on the culture they provided the travelers with useful Spanish translations, along with Mexico traveling tips. They had also arranged numerous activities aside from the wedding which were included in the wedding week itinerary. The bride kept one side of the folder for the inserts I designed and then put a pocket on the other side so they could put in brochures from the hotel for other activities that were available! Genius! I loved getting to work on such a unique project!