Friday, August 13, 2010

Guest Blogger: Chocolate Butterbean

I am so excited to send all of you into the weekend with this great post from Joni Lay. For those who don't know, Joni is the owner of Chocolate Butterbean right here in Atlanta. I have been hooked on the work Chocolate Butterbean does since the first time a friend passed along their blog! This week she is going to share a little in wedding invitations trends, one of their specialties.

Wedding Invitation Trends

Wedding invitations have become an extremely important piece of projecting the look and feel the bride has in mind for her big day. After the save the date, it is likely the first piece of extensive information sent to your guests, and presents an opportunity to begin the event well before the actual big day. Giving your guests a taste of your style and what to expect is now the norm, and with so many options available, brides on any budget can find a way to express their style through these traditional paper send-outs. The following trends seem to be particularly appropriate:

(1) Do your research: With so many invitation companies whose portfolios are extensively pictured on the web, you can find a designer to match your ideal look as well as your ideal budget. You may be surprised at the array of options available that can be flat printed and still look stunning and perfectly custom, so don’t discount this option because you think it may be unaffordable. Many invitation designers also offer the option of giving the client rights to the monogram or mark used in the invitation suite, which can then be used on napkins, dance floor decals, favors, programs, or any other wedding day items where a personalized touch will add value.

(2) Be Creative with your Response Card: Tradition calls for a small card that the guests can write upon and then place in a small envelope to be mailed back to the bride’s parents, which often adds a lot of cost to the wedding invitation suite. Many brides are now turning to postcard style response cards, allowing further customization of your wedding suite, while cutting costs (you no longer need printed envelopes and you can use postcard rate postage, which really adds up!). This decision doesn’t reflect a tight budget, but rather looks to be a very thoughtful design detail. Some of my brides have written me to say their guests called in their response because they refused to mail back the postcards they found so lovely. This is especially the case when the cards have some sentimental value, such as a photo of the church where the couple will be married or a sweet picture of themselves from the engagement photo shoot. A last option if you are truly going for the traditional look is to include an RSVP card that is blank, with just a note that asks the guests to respond by a certain date. This corresponds more with the tradition that guests are expected to write back a response on their own (response cards are more of a recent addition to invitations to make it easier for guests). If you go this route of encouraging guests to fill in their own sentiments, these sweet mementos also can serve as keepsakes, especially if they are placed in a photo album or box to be looked through later to recall this exciting time and those who mean so much to you.

(3) Show your Style: Don’t be afraid of using color or custom illustration on your invitation.This is an opportunity to give your guests a picture of who you are and the unique relationship you have with your fiancĂ©. You are giving them a taste of what to expect when the wedding day comes. Currently, I am working on a suite for a bride who wants silhouettes of her Yorkshire terrier and her fiancĂ©’s chocolate lab mixed with formal fonts and flourishes to yield the perfect combination that reflects who they are. Even if you lean towards the more traditional, consider using a surprising and delightful color combination, or hand calligraphy that has a unique flair to it.

All pictures courtesy of Chocolate Butterbean

Joni Lay, owner of Chocolate Butterbean, is a designer and illustrator in the Atlanta area specializing in wedding invitation suites and custom, handpainted wedding signs.

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April said...

Joni does amazing work!

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