There are a lot of exciting things happening today. First, it’s Friday… so happy Friday! Secondly, it’s the first day of fall… so happy fall! Thirdly (and most excitingly for me), it’s my birthday… so happy birthday to you!

Why am I wishing all of you a happy birthday? Because to celebrate, I’ve been doing some epic giveaways over on my blog and I’m sharing them with you, WeddingLovely readers. We’re talking Lands End giftcards, cupcakes, and a really great giveaway that’ll be going live later today. So while you’re counting down the minutes until your weekend starts, head on over to Linz Loves You and enter the three (four by the end of today) contests to your heart’s content!

This week on the WeddingLovely blog:

We want to wish a big WeddingInviteLove welcome to our newest vendors:

And a couple of my favorite posts from blogland this week:

Have a great weekend lovelies, and don’t forget to enter those contests!

Image by Aih via Flickr

Amazing wedding invitation printables vendor e.m. papers is running her September giveaway! The details:

Prize: an e.m.papers Wedding Invitation template of your choice and matching Save the Date (even if you don’t see the Save the Date listed yet, I will whip one up for you.) with up to two color changes

What you need to do: In the comments (on the post) section leave the following info: Are you going to print your printable invitation at home or take it to a copy place? Why?

Contest Winner: Will be announced on the e.m. paper’s blog on Friday, September 30, 2011

Enter today, and good luck!

 

Die-cutting is a process that uses a die, or plate, as a template for cutting designs out of multiple sheets of thin material, like paper. Ranging from subtle rounded corners to highly intricate patterns, diecutting can be used in an endless variety of ways to spruce up your wedding invitations and add that special little “extra something.”

weddinginvitelove invitation designer anticipate

Anticipate Invitations

weddinginvitelove akimbo invitation designer

Akimbo

weddinginvitelove invitation designer smockSmock

weddinginvitelove atelier isabey

Atelier Isabey

weddinginvitelove lol letterpress invitation designer

LOL Letterpress

weddinginvitelove invitation designer to have to hold

To Have & To Hold

weddinginvitelove invitation designer rane designs

Rane Designs

weddinginvitelove wedding designer savor the date 1

Hailing from our homebase of the Bay Area, Savor the Date makes beautiful handcrafted invitations that incorporate custom invitations, hand painting and classic calligraphy. Toby Simon tells us more about her company and how she creates these works of art:

Savor The Date was created for the giddy, excited bride who savors the planning process, yet never loses sight of what her wedding is all about.

weddinginvitelove invitation designer savor the date

Each illustration starts off as a pencil sketch, then is inked with a calligraphy nib and colored with paint or Prisma Color marker. Capturing tiny details is really important to me, which is why I incorporate everything from pets and hobbies to hairstyles, accessories and scenery. It’s what makes the illustration so unique to the bride and receiving the announcement so much fun for her guests.

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weddinginvitelove invitation designer savor the date

I’ve been sketching since early childhood, but it was in high school that I took my first nude figure drawing class and discovered my love of illustrating people. With these portraits I am able to continue capturing human gestures: namely (clothes-wearing) brides, grooms and families. I run Savor The Date out of my home in San Francisco, and when I’m not working in my studio I’m usually shooing my inquisitive toddler, Mona, out of it. Those markers are messy.

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To learn more about Savor the Date and see more examples of their invitations, take a look at their profile on WeddingInviteLove or go directly to their website.

thomas printers invitations wedding invitation design on weddinginvitelove

I love Thomas-Printers Invitations — not only does the company do gorgeous wedding invitation printing, Kseniya (the founder), also wrote a really fantastic article for this blog (Tips on Working with a Letterpress Printer) and she is the co-founder of Ladies of Letterpress, who had an awesome booth at the National Stationery Show.

Please congratulate Thomas-Printers Invitations for being our featured invitation vendor of the week! Check out their wedding invitation printing on WeddingInviteLove, or at the Thomas-Printers website.

weddinginvitelove wedding invitation vendor directory

Take a deep breath… it’s finally Friday! I don’t know about you guys but I am doubly glad for it to be the weekend; maybe even more so because fall seems to be rolling into LA and that means the beginning of boot and sweater season (pretty much my favorite time of the year).

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This week was my inaugural week here on the WeddingLovely, and we definitely had some great posts featured:

We also added some great new designers to the WeddingInviteLove registry, including:

And to round it all out, here are a couple great links from across the web this week:

Enjoy your weekend and take advantages of some of the last days of summer…we’ll see you on Monday!

Photo by Bill Kruffey, via Flickr

wedding invitation vendor reviews

Now on WeddingInviteLove, reviews! Vendors can have clients and coworkers review or leave a testimonial about their services, and customers can get a closer look into how a vendor works and how happy their customers are — check it out on all WeddingInviteLove profiles! Have you worked with an awesome vendor? Leave a review for them so they get more business!

In the comments — any other features that you’d like to see on WeddingInviteLove?

Today’s guest post is by the fabulous Jackie from Sweet Little Thrills, an adorable design and life blog. When you’ve finally decided that it’s time to get wedding invitations, the process can be confusing as heck and scary, and Jackie has some great tips about invitations to make sure the process goes smoothly!

wedding invitation design letterpress by girl metro

1)  Start early

Most people greatly underestimate the time needed to browse, order, receive, address, and mail wedding invitations.

Sending your invites out approximately 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding is customary, so you’ll need to give yourself time to search, order, and assemble the invitations before mailing.

Start looking at least 4 months before your wedding to ensure you have ample time to get those little gems out on time.

2) Search within your budget.

There is nothing worse than falling in love with an invitation suite (or boots, purse, or house for that matter) that you simply cannot afford.

You will either: a) woefully settle on invites that you don’t love, b) start imagining strange ways of collecting extra money to spend on your invites, c) expand your budget again, or d) cry bitter tears until you have your fiancé select something else (a bit dramatic, I admit, but it happens).

3) Browse by color, theme, or style to match your wedding.

Your guests gain their first clues about your wedding from your invitations. Coordinating a color palette or theme pulls together the individual aspects of your wedding.

Wedding invitation websites, such as WeddingInviteLove, allow you to browse by several search fields so you can easily narrow down your choices.

If you’re working with a custom designer, show them photos or examples of other wedding choices you’ve already made. They will be able to tailor their designs to your preferences.

4) Order samples.

A fairly simple task to prevent These Don’t Look Like They Did Online Syndrome is to request samples of a few designs that you like. Samples usually cost a few bucks, but that money is well spent to avoid a rush-order invitation replacement fiasco.

Once you have the samples in hand, you can rest assured you know what you’re getting.

5) Decide on other stationery.

The standard invitation suite includes: the invitation, response card, reception card, accommodations card, and directions card. Decide which of these you’ll need first. If you aren’t having any out-of-town guests, you may decide to do without the accommodations card. Make the choices that are right for you and your wedding.

Many invitation designers also coordinate table numbers, escort cards, and thank you cards to match your invitation, so it may be worthwhile to browse the options when selecting your invites.

6) Determine how many you’ll need.

The easiest way to get an accurate number is to create an Excel spreadsheet. List each household, rather than each person, that you need to send an invitation to. The number of rows in your spreadsheet equals the number of invitations you’ll need.

The next step is to add roughly 15-20% to that number. It sounds a bit high, but trust me. Between the late guest list additions, handwriting mishaps, invites that get lost in the mail, and any you’d like leftover as keepsakes, you’ll be happy you ordered extra at the beginning.

7) Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Reread and proofread the invitation text with your crazy hat on. This is one time that you REALLY don’t want any errors. A sneaky way to catch spelling errors is to read it backwards.

Give it to your mom, bridesmaid, fiancé, or someone else you trust to proofread as well. The more eyes the better.

Make sure commas are in their rightful place, all names are spelled correctly, and please, oh please, make sure the date and year are right.

8) Place your order and breathe.

You’ve made a selection, proofread the text over and over, so the only step left is to place the official order! Pour yourself a glass of wine and take a deep breath. One step down.

You might second-guess yourself on your choice, and you wouldn’t be the only bride to do so, but the truth is: your gut reaction is the one you should trust.

Thank you Jackie! Check out her awesome blog, Sweet Little Thrills, for more awesome posts!

Photo Credit: Girl Metro, Inc. on WeddingInviteLove

portland wedding invitation stationery meetup

Thank you to all the Portland lovelies who came to the Portland Stationery + Invitations meetup! I had the most fun talking with everyone (nine people total! We overwhelmed the small wine bar where we were) as well as bringing together stationery professionals in the area. There was talk about running the meetup monthly — I hope it continues! The details on the next San Francisco Bay Area meetup, a NYC meetup (and perhaps a Miami meetup?) will be posted soon.

As always, it was a bit too dark for photos but I did my best: