August 20th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon on the blog we’ve got a little something for our newly engaged readers out there *waves* as we take a look at beautiful handcrafted save the dates from wedding stationery extraordinaire, norma&dorothy.
A fairly early task to complete on the wedding ‘to do’ list, sending out your save the dates not only provides guests with the all-important when, where and what details, but it also gives them the first taste of what’s to come. So in order to impress guests from the outset, it’s essential to choose your paper goods with care.
norma&dorothy, which was set up by talented designer Grace Sherriff two years ago, specialises in stationery that has a wonderful rustic and whimsical appearance, making it appealing to a wide range of themes and tastes. All products are lovingly hand-made in the company’s Manchester studio by the talented team, with each member holding some form of craft at degree level – meaning they’re pretty skilled with their hands.
The result is carefully crafted and oh so pretty stationery that has flawless finish to wow brides, grooms and guests! Better still, if you like the look of what you see, norma&dorothy are holding a sale until the end of August, offering 10% of all save the date designs. You just need to enter code 10AUG15 at checkout. Simple!
Having been sent a wonderful bundle of norma&dorothy’s save the dates through the post this week, we’ve experienced first-hand just how special these pretty cards feel when they arrive through the letter box.
Though concealed within similar brown rustic envelopes, each design has its own character, charm and colourway. There are cute black and white chalkboard styles as well as country-esque burlap and bunting designs, plus bright floral prints and pretty pastel etchings on candy striped backgrounds, to choose from.
There are also those influenced by the season, baring delicate detailed snowflakes, and others, such as vintage map designs, which focus on the destination/venue of the celebrations.
For an extra special finish, each of the cute round-edged designs are made complete with detail that stands proud of the card, be it a loop of rustic twine, twinkling gems or elegant pearls.
And it’s not just the backgrounds and design that differ. The wording on the save the dates is custom tailored and can appear in a various style fonts, giving couples the opportunity to personalise their paper.
For consistency couples are advised to stick with the same design for the remainder of their wedding stationery, which norma&dorothy can easily take care of with its save the date designs spreading to day and evening invitations, order of service, table plans, place cards, menus, favour tags, and even thank you cards for when the big day has been and gone.
So what are you waiting for, if you’ve got the venue booked and guest list drawn up it’s time to send out your save the dates, whetting guests’ appetites for what’s to come and, of course, avoiding double bookings. And don’t forget that sale – 10% off all save the dates until the end of August with code 10AUG15.
May 14th, 2015 | Julia Braime
You know we like to keep our readers updated with lots of key dates for your diaries including designer weekends, bridal soirees, Luxury Wedding Exhibitions (we do a few of those, had you noticed?!) and workshops, so today we are really happy to share the details of our gorgeous Sponsor, Claire of Calligraphy For Weddings‘ calligraphy class. If you fancy adding a personal touch to your wedding stationery or simply learning a beautiful new skill, this one is for you. Places are very limited, and Claire tells me that she’ll have to be strict, so make sure to get in touch quickly to reserve your place… happy scribbling!
claire says: I’m really excited to be hosting a calligraphy class in Manchester on the 10th of June 2015 – it’s going to be lots of fun and I’d love for you to come and join me for a day playing with pens and learning gorgeous contemporary scripts. We’ll be in the Northern Quarter from 11am until 4pm and there are 15 spaces available – booking starts today!
How to hold, wiggle and write with a traditional dip pen
The basics of contemporary lettering
It’s a hands-on day so I’ll be demonstrating a little, but most of the time you’ll be writing and I’ll be giving pointers and helping you
Calligraphy pens, paper, inks
Practice sheets and examples
Just your lovely self
Please bring your own lunch
you’ll take home:
Your pen and nib set, paper and practice sheets
Guidelines for practicing at home
The beautifully lettered goodies you’ve written on the day!
The price is £55 payable on booking – I can accept payments by bank transfer or PayPal.
To book email Claire: hello@Calligraphy-for-Weddings.com
To find out more about Calligraphy For Weddings, read our interview with Claire, here.
Images by Theresa Furey.
May 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North we’re always encouraging our readers not to get too caught up in planning pandemonium and to ensure time is taken out of the hectic pre-wedding schedule to simply unwind.
And we’re not the only ones worried about brides over doing it and burning out before the big day. Online printing company StressFreePrint, which helps to lighten the planning load by making the printing process a breeze for couples wanting to create their own wedding invitations, has noticed brides-to-be getting bogged down and stressed out in the run up to their weddings too.
As such they’ve come up with a few handy tips to help brides on their way to a stress-free wedding day. Plus, they’re also giving one lucky Brides Up North reader the chance to win a fabulous bride-to-be pamper hamper which includes gorgeous goodies such as a luxurious silk Victoria Secret kimono dressing gown, elegant Hotel Chocolat champagne, strawberries and cream truffles, a Heavenly Hands Nails inc. manicure gift voucher and Ted Baker luxury relaxing bath collection. What a prize! To enter simply answer the question at the end of the post.
set a budget and stick to it
If there’s one thing that stresses people out, it’s money, especially when it comes to a wedding. While you want a wonderful day, you don’t want to be paying it off ten years down the line so in the early planning stages set a budget and stick to it. Think about the areas that are most important to you such as the venue and photographer and allocate funds accordingly.
ask for help
Planning details with friends, family or your partner can help bring you all together and as they say, two heads are better than one. This can also provide an opportunity to save some time and money by calling in a favour or playing on the talents of your nearest and dearest. So if, for example, your uncle has a posh motor ask if he will be your wedding chauffer, or if your mum’s baking skills are up there with Mary Berry’s see if she will create you a bespoke cake for the big day.
consider calling in a professional
If the planning burden still feels a little heavy or overwhelming why not look at hiring a professional wedding planner to help? This doesn’t mean losing control of what you want but instead having someone on hand for guidance and reassurance. Wedding planners often have great links to suppliers in the industry too which could also save you some money along the way.
While it’s your big day and of course you will want to do things your own way, be prepared to listen to what others think, especially the groom. So if it would mean the world to your parents to invite some dear old distant relative would one more guest cause that many problems? Or if your groom has his heart set on chocolate brownie for dessert could you forgo your choice of crème brulee? Sometimes backing down is easier than the stress incurred by going against others.
You will want to look and feel your best on your wedding day which might mean upping your exercise regime and though it might feel like a chore, just a little activity can release endorphins which increase your mood – win, win.
It’s not just about how you look on the outside but how you feel on the inside too that can affect your mood. Obviously eating healthy is a good move in the run up to your wedding day but to maximise on calming chemicals try eating foods which contain tryptophan, such as bananas, oats, soy, poultry, milk, cheese, and nuts.
make the admin part easy
StressFreePrint focuses on making the printing process of wedding invitations simple. They can assist every step of the way, from design to print, and help you in producing the perfect invitations for your special day. StressFreePrint offer folded or flat invites that incorporate a design of your choice making the print as personal as you want. With more than ten years online printing experience and proven excellent customer service, StressFreePrint hope to bring you a printing process that is simple and easy and helps to take the stress out of your wedding planning.
To be in with a chance of winning the StressFreePrint pamper hamper*, that will help you find time for you and stay stress free during your wedding planning, simply answer the following question:
Which of these is not a style of invite that StressFreePrint design?
C) Pop up
To enter, just email your answer either A, B or C along with your name to email@example.com by midnight on the 31st May 2015, good luck!
*The full prize includes; a Paperchase wedding planner, delicate and fresh Lanson Rose NV Champagne, luxurious silk Victoria Secrets kimono dressing gown, elegant Hotel Chocolat champagne, strawberries and cream truffles, Heavenly Hands Nails inc. manicure gift voucher, Ted Baker luxury relaxing bath collection, Benefit Primping with the stars makeup kit, clean and calming natural Lush face mask, delicious sweet Wedding Day large jar Yankee Candle and a gloriously soft fragrance of fresh cut roses Yankee Candle reed diffuser.
Competition Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all UK and NI residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees of the Promoter and their immediate families, the Promoter’s agents or anyone professionally connected to the competition. Only one entry per household. Incomplete entries will be void. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are incomplete or not received for any reason. The Competition will run until 31st May 2015. Winner will be the first entry drawn at random by computer software. The prize must be accepted as offered. No cash alternatives and the prize is non-transferable. There will be one winner selected who will be contacted within seven working days of the closing date and the winner must respond within fourteen days, otherwise an alternative winner will be selected. If you are a winner, you may have to provide additional information (including, without limitation, proof of age or identity) within a specified time period. Failure to provide such additional information and send them to the Promoter within the required time period, or if any notification is returned as undeliverable as addressed, will result in your disqualification as a winner and an alternative winner will be selected.
April 6th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Happy Easter Brides Up North, we do hope that the Easter bunny has been kind (come on, he’s meant to be spoiling you, right?)?
To bring a beautiful close to this glorious long weekend I have a non-chocolaty treat to round things off, as we introduce our extremely talented sponsor, julia eastwood.
Julia’s range of wedding stationery is quite simply, breath-taking, and I just know that our discerning readers are about to fall head over heels with her stunning designs. Now, go play with the pretty paper… and check out the full range on Julia’s gorgeous website.
With images by Nicole Jopek.
When did you launch your business and what is your background?
I launched my wedding stationery business in September 2012. I graduated in 2001 with first class honours in Graphic Illustration. From there I went to work in a professional design studio working on advertising campaigns and editorial work for 5 years. In 2006 I made the leap into teaching and for the next 6 years split my time between being the course leader of an illustration course at college level and doing freelance graphic design. I loved teaching and still miss the rapport of the students I would teach and the feeling of pride in seeing their achievements. The problem was, my students would come back to see me with exciting tales of life at Goldsmiths studying fashion, or taking a gap year working on the design team for Vogue magazine and I would get the itch to be out creating myself.
In 2012 I was getting married and I searched and searched for my perfect invitation, but nothing seemed to really represent Gary and I – my fiancé. Then it hit me, why on earth wasn’t I designing my own?! And so I set to work… the result was a hand painted illustration with tiny symbols woven into it that represented our life together so far. I received such good feedback about our invitation that I started to think ‘what if’. And so I took a deep breath and left the security blanket of teaching. Luckily, it has all worked out so far….
What services do you offer?
I create all aspects of wedding stationery and décor from Save the Date cards through to Orders of Service and Table Plans. One of my favourite requests is when a bride asks for something I’ve not previously thought of. For instance, last year I was asked to create ‘I spy’ cards to be placed on each table with a disposable camera asking the guests to try and capture specific moments from the day. Another bride asked me to create paper fortune tellers (like we all used to make at school) containing a quiz about the bride and groom to go on her tables. Those kind of things make me wish I was getting married again so I could steal their ideas for my own wedding!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Well, anyone who knows me well will tell you I have always been a magpie when it comes to weddings! So firstly been involved in planning couples’ big days is a huge perk of my job, also I still get to buy wedding magazines every month with the excuse that they are for work! The other aspect I enjoy is the variety. One day I might be hand painting an enchanted forest illustration, the next printing and die cutting doily table numbers, it’s never the same thing from day to day.
What makes you different to other stationery suppliers?
I think my unique selling point is how personalised my designs are. It’s not just a case of adding your names and venue details, all aspects of my illustrations can be altered to represent you as a couple. For example, a couple recently had a tiny camera, sewing machine, cat, and bike wheel drawn to be hanging off the branches in my woodland wedding invite. It’s subtle, but a nice nod to a couples personality.
Where are you located and what areas do you offer your services in?
I’m based in Halifax, West Yorkshire where I was raised but I have worked with brides all over the world. I was lucky that very soon after opening my business I was accepted as a partner on Notonthehighstreet giving me a strong online presence. Due to this the majority of my work comes from the south of England, all though I’ve worked with couples as far flung as Hong Kong and Australia. Just this morning I sent a proof to a lovely Italian couple who asked me to create my Time Capsule Guestbook translated into Italian for their wedding in Rome. It’s always lovely to work with clients from nearby though, you can’t beat a get together with mood boards and rough sketches over a coffee!
Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?
Prices start at £1.50 for Save the Dates and range from £2.50 to £4.50 for invitations depending on how much detail is needed. I am more than happy to draw up non obligation quotes and if a couple have a set figure in mind can make suggestions on how they can achieve the effect they desire whilst staying in budget.
Can couples request bespoke designs and if so what is the process?
Yes definitely! I love creating bespoke requests. Over the last 3 years I’ve created many bespoke illustrations over a wide range of themes, such as a couple who wanted a bride and groom duck ‘taking the plunge’, a couple who wanted to be drawn walking their dog into a wood of heart shaped trees and most recently I created illustrations for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ wedding which was a complete gift of a brief and totally captured my imagination. I would urge couples to contact me if they have an idea but can’t see anything similar on my website because 99.9% of the time the answer will be yes I can do it.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think like all illustrators I get inspiration from all around me without always realising, whether it’s a pretty house I spot on a walk or a wedding dress I ‘like’ on Pinterest. Although I think what makes my work stand out is that it’s unique… I don’t tend to fit in with current ‘styles’, I’ve always been into drawing and playing with paint and my illustrative style is the same whether commissioned to do a straight illustration piece or wedding stationery. That was partly what made setting up my wedding business so scary, wondering ‘will anyone else like it?’ but thankfully, so far I’ve had a really positive response.
What trends do you see being popular this year?
Woodland weddings seem hugely popular and my woodland wedding stationery range has been my best seller so far this year. I’ve had a few requests for illustrations that feature starry skies and so I think this may be an up and coming theme. It’s a theme that appeals to me and I plan to create a range based on winter starry skies ‘written in the stars’ as we move closer to the winter wedding season.
How far in advance would you advise a bride to start sourcing their wedding invitations?
I always advise my brides to aim to book 8 weeks before they would like to receive their invitations. Design slots do tend to book up in advance, 8 weeks means the first design draft will be completed in the first 3 weeks, and then I allow 3 weeks for the proofing process in which I will supply up to 3 proofs to ensure the design is completely perfect. Lastly, the remaining 2 weeks gives me time to prepare everything for print, send to print and have them returned to me (I use a wedding specialist in Northumberland) and then for me to finish with any special finishing touches such as rounded corners or ribbon.
In terms of when to send out, the magazines always say 3 months before the day, but personally, I think it depends on the time of year. I got married in August 2012 and was conscious of people wanting to book holidays, so I sent my Save the Dates in August 2011, and my invites in January 2012.
What type of bride do you think your style of work appeals to and why?
I think the brides who like my work are individuals, who value personal details in their wedding and chose items that represent themselves as a couple and their story so far. They enjoy telling their love story, and celebrating the real reason everyone has joined them for the day.
What type of invitations did you have on your wedding day? What would you choose now?
I got married on the 11th August 2012 and it really was the best day of my life. You can’t describe the ‘wedding bubble’ you become immersed in on the day and really do it justice. My wedding invitation was the first designed and the first product I stocked. It’s also still one of my best sellers so it’s nice to know that 3 years on it’s still ‘got it’. In fact, a lot of products on my website are ones I first created for my own wedding, the Time Capsule Guestbook was first made for our day – although we were naughty and opened it the day after instead of a year after and the football shirt table plan cards were made so that my husband’s love of Huddersfield Town could be featured somehow.
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ find out more?
April 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
When it comes to styling, wedding stationery is a key element that can be used to reflect your chosen theme from beginning to end.
It starts with the all-important save the date or invitation requesting guests’ attendance at your big day and is the first taster of your wedding, so naturally you want to spike their interest with something that beautiful, striking or fabulously different.
On the big day itself pretty paper will often continue in your order of service, table plan, name places, menus and décor. Following on from the wedding there will still be the thank you cards to send out which will complete the package.
In many cases stationery is also something that guests tend to keep hold of as a reminder of the special day.
So as it features quite heavily this is certainly one area you want to get right and should invest some quality time in. Whether you intend to go all Blue Peter and create your own stationery, or will be calling on an expert to supply the goods for you, we have come up with wonderful inspiration to help you curate your perfect paper wedding parcel.
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source, photography Visual Cravings| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by The Wedding Artist’s Collective| image source| image source
This is a popular theme, particularly with those who choose to wed in the great outdoors.
So if you are saying your ‘I dos’ in a barn, tepee, enchanting woodland or an open field, this could be the perfect theme to adopt for your paper products.
Think brown paper and string, textured card, hessian and bunting. The theme can take on many different looks from playful or stripped back to full on elegance, depending on which suits your personalities, wedding setting and overall styling the best.
If you choose to go down the playful fete route there are super cute design featuring love hearts, bunting and blooms in sweet, sugary tones, such as blush pink and mint. For something more tangible, texture can be added to this style of stationery with adorable buttons and kitsch fabrics.
Alternatively for a more elegant look designs on plain backgrounds bound with brown string and finished with a wooden decoration or dried, pressed flower can look particularly effective.
But if it’s a simplified rustic look you desire you could always go for an uncomplicated print design and leave the detail to the envelopes or why not consider a laidback floral option in subtle pastel shades?
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source, photography Visual Cravings| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by The Wedding Artist’s Collective| image source| image source
What better way to grab your guests’ attention from the off than by sending them something sparkly through the post?
Brides-to-be (and us girls here at Brides Up North HQ) love glitter as it adds an instant injection of glamour to proceedings.
In terms of stationery picking out save the dates and invitations that have been dusted with dazzle will set the opulence bar high for the event to come. Meanwhile on the big day itself glitter adorned name places and table signage will help to capture and reflect light creating a luxurious atmosphere.
Sparkling décor also helps to add a party element, getting people in the right mood for a celebration.
The only question is what level of glitter to go for? Full on fans of the sparkly stuff may like designs that feature dense glitter backgrounds while those wanting to tone the bling a down little can still get their fix with carefully crafted glitzy-edged designs.
Meanwhile if you’re a lover of metallic shades but would don’t want the razzle dazzle there are some gorgeous gold, silver and rose gold matt paper options which look particularly pretty when teamed with pastels.
The typeface of sparkling stationery tends to be on the glamorous side too with numerous designs featuring fancy lettering that’s bound to make both you and your guests feel the love.
let’s go graphic
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source, photography by Larissa Cleveland Photography| image source, photography by ALH Photography| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source
This really is an option for all as striking graphic designs can fit in with a wide spectrum of themes, from bold and bright to sophisticated black and white.
This type of stationery has proved particularly popular with Great Gatsby style couples who want art deco inspired stationery to reveal their theme to their guests. Gold, white and black colours feature heavily in the uncomplicated yet luxurious looking designs.
A popular graphic look ideal for couples who are having more of a colour scheme than a set theme, is one that’s more about lettering and less about décor. Such designs often feature just two colours and interest is created with varying fonts and sizing of text. The result is a clean, modern look.
Meanwhile for those who prefer something a little punchier there are some fabulous geometric designs featuring colourful chevrons, stripes and angular shapes.
Subscribe to receive the FREE weekly Brides Up North e-shot, our newletters and notifications of events, giveaways and offers
We strive to represent the very best in our industry, but Brides Up North cannot be held liable for the products/ services of our sponsors. Any bookings are made at your own risk. Terms & Conditions.
All images © Brides Up North/ original author. Images should not be reproduced without written permission. Terms & Conditions.