kelsey & brad's wedding invitations

Am I the only person that tends to prolong blog posts just to hold onto them a little bit longer? Yes? Well, for whatever reason - perhaps a combination of laziness, ADD and wanting to save this sweet little post - I finally got around to posting this lovely wedding invitation suite I designed a little over a year ago.

Kelsey and I used to work together and have since both moved on to new jobs, and for Kelsey, a new state to call home. She's blogging about her new life in the South at North Living South, offering up southern style decor tips, DIYs, places to visit and more. Rewind to February/March of last year when Kelsey and I kicked off our first meeting to discuss save the dates, and eventually wedding invitation design. Armed with a color palette and design inspiration, we landed on a casual yet elegant bohemian vibe in a navy and mint palette.

colorwhirl_kelseybradinvitations
colorwhirl_kelseybradinvitations

A map was drawn on the back of the accommodation card, showing guests the location of the wedding venue and hotel.

colorwhirl_kelseybradinvitations

Watercolor flowers were hand-painted in coral, mint, mustard and ivory to complement the navy and mint palette. A kraft paper belly band with white polka dots tied all of the wedding invitation pieces together, presenting a romantic bohemian package for lucky soon-to-be wedding guests.

I'm so glad I got to work with Kelsey to bring her ideas to life!

get dressed / summer wedding guide

Wedding season is in full-swing, and if you're invited to a wedding (or five) this summer, it's likely that you have a specific dress code to follow. Whether it's a destination wedding, a garden party, or a black tie affair, you want to dress the part. Here are a few outfit ideas to help you figure out the difference between "daytime" and "garden party" weddings, and "formal" vs. "black tie" (who knew they were different?)...

Destination Wedding Attire

Destination / Beach Wedding

Most destination weddings occur on the beach, so you want to be comfortable - read: no heels. Flats are a must, but depending on how laid-back the vibe of the wedding is, you could choose to forgo shoes altogether. Metallic flats keep you feeling fancy yet comfortable, while the floral maxi dress is breezy and perfect for a destination wedding. Finish off the look with summery accessories that pick up on colors in the dress, and bright, bright lipstick because it's summertime, and why not. The great thing about destination weddings is that you are also on vacation, so have fun, and dress accordingly!

Shop this look... dress (pattern sold out - similar here and here) / earrings / clutch / sandals / lipstick in "Funny Face"

Daytime Wedding Attire

Daytime Wedding

Daytime weddings can range from a casual outdoor wedding in a field to a more traditional ceremony in a church. Do your research ahead of time to dress appropriately. If you happen to know the ceremony will be in a church, covering up your bare shoulders is recommended. Since daytime weddings start in the mid- to late-afternoon, heavy makeup and an over-the-top glitzy outfit usually won't cut it. Instead, wear a neutral shift and play up the dress with bold accessories like a colorful statement necklace and candy-colored heels. Take your outfit from day to night by adding bright coral lipstick after the ceremony is over. Lipstick = ready to party.

Shop this look... necklace / shift dress (on sale!) / lipstick in "Melted Coral" / heels / clutch

Garden Party Wedding Attire

Garden Party Wedding

Garden party weddings are tough to decipher, as they usually aren't referred to as such on the invitation. Instead, look for clues (Is the invitation floral and botanical-inspired? Is the setting outdoors?) to help you determine what the wedding dress code is like. If all else fails, wear a cocktail dress and lace - you can never go wrong with lace. If you do know the dress code, go all out. Garden party weddings are ethereal, feminine, and typically lush with floral arrangements, though not overly stuffy and formal. A lace cocktail dress with a sheer overlay meets the ethereal requirement while the floral strappy sandals reinforce the garden theme. A classic neutral cross-body clutch, simple gold accessories, and a pinky-peach lipstick make the look garden party perfect. (One thing to consider for garden party weddings is to bring a second pair of shoes; either wedges or flats. Depending on the reception location you may be walking in grass, and ruining your shoes.)

Shop this look... dress / earrings / bangles / heels / clutch / lipstick in "Pink Petal"

Formal Wedding Attire

Formal Wedding

Formal weddings are the most traditional, and the attire can range from cocktail to floor length dresses. If you can find that perfect floor length dress, go for it! This BCBG dress is a fun, bright shade of citron, and versatile enough to be dressed up or down. Mixing the metallics looks high-end yet minimal, and the pop of bright red lipstick is a classic touch.

Shop this look... dress / clutch / heels / bracelet / lipstick in "Dragon Girl"

Black Tie Wedding Attire

Black Tie Wedding

Black tie weddings are not as common, though the dress code is likely the easiest to understand. Think fancy, fancy, fancy. This is the time and place for sequins, chiffon, and flowy floor-length gowns - yep, gowns! It's like playing dress up as an adult :) With a dress as ornate and formal as this, you want to keep the accessories to a minimum. Otherwise, you risk looking like a tacky disco ball. The fuchsia lipstick is summery and appropriate, while the rose gold metallic heels, simple studs, and a blush cross-body clutch keep the outfit looking classic and beautiful.

Shop this look... dress / lipstick in "Fuchsia Shock" / heels / clutch / earrings

 

Hopefully this helps decipher the confusing world of wedding dress codes. If all else fails and you're clueless about what to wear to a white tie wedding that begins in the daytime and is outdoors, refer to Emily Post. You can never go wrong by heeding her advice.

Which look is your favorite? And, which kind of wedding is your favorite to attend? Selfishly, I have to say garden party weddings are my favorite (maaaaybe because my wedding was a garden party, but I'm not biased at all). The combination of ethereal lace, flowers, greenery, and an evening under the stars is oh so romantic.

Happy wedding season, all... cheers!

my favorite project

   I am so excited to debut our wedding invitations! I finally took some time out to photograph each piece, and it makes me so happy to relive the memories of putting everything together. Wedding planning is not for everyone but I LOVED it, 99% of the time. As a designer, it's literally a dream come true to be your own client. It's also kind of terrifying because I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I am so, so pleased with how everything turned out. Without further ado, here are the invitations...

 

I am so excited to debut our wedding invitations! I finally took some time out to photograph each piece, and it makes me so happy to relive the memories of putting everything together. Wedding planning is not for everyone but I LOVED it, 99% of the time. As a designer, it's literally a dream come true to be your own client. It's also kind of terrifying because I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I am so, so pleased with how everything turned out. Without further ado, here are the invitations...

   The theme of our wedding was romantic garden party with a little bit of elegance. Our reception was outdoors at Cleveland Yachting Club, and in such a gorgeous setting that I didn't want the decor to compete. I painted the watercolor flowers in the main color palette for our wedding: bright, bright, bright! I clearly have a huge love for all things colorful and couldn't resist. Since our wedding was in September we could get away with using summer colors, and I love how everything turned out.  Each invitation had a foil-stamped element to it, and let me tell you, I was SO EXCITED to foil-stamp personal work! I've been able to work on client projects where we use foil but it was so fun to work on my own designs. I printed with Oliver Printing (http://www.oliverprinting.com/) because their quality of work is incomparable, and they have amazing customer service. I chose Neenah's Classic Crest Super Smooth 100C stock in Avon Brilliant White, gold foil and gold metallic PMS ink. Each piece within the suite had a pattern on the back - stripes, polka dots, an anchor & heart pattern (love!) and a custom map I drew to help guests get to our reception venue. One of the key lanrdmarks? Starbucks :)  The kraft paper brought a casual vibe to the otherwise fancy invitations. In both the printed pieces and reception decor, we limited the colors and textures to bright pink, orange, yellow, gold, hints of greenery, bright white and wood. The kraft paper mimicked the wood textures and the envelope liner brought it to life. It's such a cheerful pattern and keeps the invitations from being too traditional and/or boring.

 

The theme of our wedding was romantic garden party with a little bit of elegance. Our reception was outdoors at Cleveland Yachting Club, and in such a gorgeous setting that I didn't want the decor to compete. I painted the watercolor flowers in the main color palette for our wedding: bright, bright, bright! I clearly have a huge love for all things colorful and couldn't resist. Since our wedding was in September we could get away with using summer colors, and I love how everything turned out.

Each invitation had a foil-stamped element to it, and let me tell you, I was SO EXCITED to foil-stamp personal work! I've been able to work on client projects where we use foil but it was so fun to work on my own designs. I printed with Oliver Printing (http://www.oliverprinting.com/) because their quality of work is incomparable, and they have amazing customer service. I chose Neenah's Classic Crest Super Smooth 100C stock in Avon Brilliant White, gold foil and gold metallic PMS ink. Each piece within the suite had a pattern on the back - stripes, polka dots, an anchor & heart pattern (love!) and a custom map I drew to help guests get to our reception venue. One of the key lanrdmarks? Starbucks :)

The kraft paper brought a casual vibe to the otherwise fancy invitations. In both the printed pieces and reception decor, we limited the colors and textures to bright pink, orange, yellow, gold, hints of greenery, bright white and wood. The kraft paper mimicked the wood textures and the envelope liner brought it to life. It's such a cheerful pattern and keeps the invitations from being too traditional and/or boring.

Invitation.jpg
Accommodation.jpg
LetsCelebrate.jpg
   In addition to the invitation suite, we also made ceremony programs and menus. I wanted to introduce more kraft paper to make sense of the kraft paper envelope in the invitation suite, so the program and menu were French Paper Kraft Speckletone in 100C. I wanted to print with white ink and I'm so happy with how they turned out. For these pieces, I printed with Genie Repros (http://www.genierepros.com/) and they were fabulous to work with. They invited me to a press check and went above and beyond - because the stock was so light, they had to imprint the white ink 3 times more than the typical coverage! They are incredibly precise and I really appreciated their troubleshooting.

 

In addition to the invitation suite, we also made ceremony programs and menus. I wanted to introduce more kraft paper to make sense of the kraft paper envelope in the invitation suite, so the program and menu were French Paper Kraft Speckletone in 100C. I wanted to print with white ink and I'm so happy with how they turned out. For these pieces, I printed with Genie Repros (http://www.genierepros.com/) and they were fabulous to work with. They invited me to a press check and went above and beyond - because the stock was so light, they had to imprint the white ink 3 times more than the typical coverage! They are incredibly precise and I really appreciated their troubleshooting.

MenuProgram.jpg
   Here are our wedding favors. I am ridiculous and insisted on making homemade salted caramels for everyone. They were delicious but also SO tedious! I don't regret making them but perhaps that's because I love to go overboard when it comes to details. To me (as a designer), details are the most important because they show how thoughtful you are. In addition to the caramels, I handpainted gold stripes on kraft paper pouches and designed a recipe card to go inside. Talk about a time-consuming process, but they are so prettyyyyy. It was worth it!

 

Here are our wedding favors. I am ridiculous and insisted on making homemade salted caramels for everyone. They were delicious but also SO tedious! I don't regret making them but perhaps that's because I love to go overboard when it comes to details. To me (as a designer), details are the most important because they show how thoughtful you are. In addition to the caramels, I handpainted gold stripes on kraft paper pouches and designed a recipe card to go inside. Talk about a time-consuming process, but they are so prettyyyyy. It was worth it!

   I love, love, love designing wedding invitations. I'm not sure if I'm in the minority and LOVED wedding planning, even post-wedding, but I can't get enough. I love thinking about how a theme will translate across so many different mediums and am obsessed with tiny details. Speaking of tiny, I found the cutest, teeniest golf pencils with white hearts on them for the cocktail hour "Mad Libs". My family loves Mad Libs, so it was really fun to come up with our own custom wedding versions!

 

I love, love, love designing wedding invitations. I'm not sure if I'm in the minority and LOVED wedding planning, even post-wedding, but I can't get enough. I love thinking about how a theme will translate across so many different mediums and am obsessed with tiny details. Speaking of tiny, I found the cutest, teeniest golf pencils with white hearts on them for the cocktail hour "Mad Libs". My family loves Mad Libs, so it was really fun to come up with our own custom wedding versions!

   I want to do this all over again just so I can have fun designing each piece! This was by far my favorite project I've ever worked on. It's so rewarding to see all of your hard work poured into one event, and it really paid off.  If you're in the market for a wedding designer, I'm your girl! I can be as OCD as making a zillion batches of caramel for your favors or tone it down - your call. Am I the only person who is obsessed with planning a wedding? Yes? No?

 

I want to do this all over again just so I can have fun designing each piece! This was by far my favorite project I've ever worked on. It's so rewarding to see all of your hard work poured into one event, and it really paid off.

If you're in the market for a wedding designer, I'm your girl! I can be as OCD as making a zillion batches of caramel for your favors or tone it down - your call. Am I the only person who is obsessed with planning a wedding? Yes? No?