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.
March 10th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This bijou and beautiful styled bridal shoot shows off the latest collection by talented Brides Up North Sponsor, Claire of Calligraphy For Weddings. Now, we know our Featured Suppliers are the very best that this lovely industry has to offer (and believe us when we say we see a lot of beautiful on a daily basis), but even we were wowed when this one landed in our inbox. We are absolutely in love with the styling concept and stationery shown off in this feature.
Girls, it’s time to go au naturelle.
With images by Theresa Furey Photography.
claire says: Rustic styling is one of my favourite things and I find it really exciting to see modern calligraphy set against a rustic backdrop. My latest calligraphy collection was designed for this style of wedding, and the kraft colour card works beautifully with other colour accents.
The stationery combines simple, modern lettering with quirky printed fonts, and invitations start from just £2. The entire collection is for sale in my Etsy shop and includes invites, printed menus, place names and tags.
I adore the styling of this shoot with its luscious greens and almost a Sicilian feel – it’s charming and creative and easy to recreate with a little expert help! The flowers are fabulous; the cakes look divine. As barn weddings become more and more popular it’s wonderful to see styling which is just a little different – and this shoot totally nails it!
The calligraphy and kraft stationery is the perfect finishing touch for a rustic wedding style, and it’s really affordable too. Visit Claire’s Calligraphy For Weddings website or her Etsy store to find out more.
Stationery: Calligraphy for Weddings
Styling & Decor: Lauradana Day by Wedding Creations UK
Assistant Stylist: Yolanda Day
Candelabras & Glassware: The Vintage Hire Company
Linen: Table to Dine For
Florist: Garden and Wild
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January 21st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
An invitation or save the date is so much more than wedding stationery, it’s an opportunity for couples to give their guests a taste of what’s to come.
Yes, it’s informative, giving your nearest and dearest the all important when, where and what details, but the invitation guests receive through the post is also a reflection of what your big day will entail in terms of style. It might provide hints as to the setting for the wedding and incorporate elements of the theming and possibly the colour palette. So in order to impress your guests from the outset, it’s essential to choose your invitations with care.
stationery from minted.com
Once the date is set it’s a good idea to start thinking about your invitations, even though they don’t need to be sent out until about six to eight weeks before the big day. If you are tying the knot at a busy time of year, such as Easter, Christmas or late summer, you might want to send out save the dates six months to a year before the wedding to avoid guests double booking.
The choice of invitations is pretty much endless and many couples opt to make their own, either to exercise their design skills, cut costs, or simply to ensure the design is exactly what they desire to fit the proceedings planned.
For those that aren’t keen on the DIY option, there are oodles of ready-made printed invitations available on the high street and from lots of independent designers that can be very cost effective. But for those wanting more personal stationery, bespoke invitations are the only way to go.
When searching for a designer to create your paper goods, think about the type of style of invite you want producing and look for designers who specialise in such areas i.e. modern, graphic, vintage, traditional. Also think about your budget as the design, paper, printing process and quantity will all make a difference to the overall price.
Before meeting your chosen designer to discuss your save the date/invitations gather inspiration from magazines and online and take examples along to show them. Plus be sure to share details of your plans for the big day to help them to create something that’s individual to you as a couple and your unique celebration.
stationery from Jupiter and Juno
To keep your invites looking clean and classy don’t clutter them with too much information. Stick to the key information and then either include the extra details on your wedding website, or consider a bundle stationery option. As well as the invite these include extra enclosures, such as directions, information card, gift-list and RSVP, all tied together in a pretty parcel. Keep in mind though the larger and heavier the invite, the more it will cost to post. Also be sure to order a few extra invites to allow for mistakes/inviting extra guests.
When you are sent your proof – check, check and check again to make sure it’s what you wanted and that all the details and spelling/grammar are correct.
And remember wedding stationery extends well beyond the invite to include all printed materials for the occasion, from name places and menus to orders of service and signage. To save time and money it’s a good idea to order all stationery in one go from the same designer. This will also ensure consistency of design and style, resulting in a wonderfully chic affair.
December 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.
Turns out that our talented Brides Up North Sponsors make the very prettiest of brides. Today’s absolutely beautiful wedding at Eshott Hall, starring our own Natalie Power, is a lovely lesson in romantic pastels and pretty detailing. I’ve saved this to share with you for a special start to the week, Pinterest fingers at the ready…
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged in November 2008, it was my birthday and Warren had surprised me with a trip to Barcelona. If that wasn’t surprise enough, he proposed, I could not believe it, it was so unexpected but perfect!
We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014, at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.
After looking at other possible venues we were becoming a little disheartened but then we arrived at Eshott Hall and as soon as we drove up the tree lined gravel driveway and past the manicured lawns we both knew this would be the venue. We wanted to have exclusive use of the venue for the weekend, stunning scenery and not be constrained by minimum numbers: Eshott Hall ticked all those boxes.
We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, we just felt everything fell into place; it was little mix of modern classic with a country edge. We chose a soft colour scheme of creams, pinks and peaches. We wanted to keep things pretty neutral and unstructured.
I wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress, which is completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted when I started looking. I had been pinning like crazy on the best wedding tool ever and had my heart set on a Jenny Packham dress. After trying it on I was very disappointed, it just didn’t feel like it was my ‘wedding’ dress so I was back to square one. It wasn’t until my Mum suggested I try on something completely different that I came across the dress, I tried it on once and fell in love. To complete the look I wore Jimmy Choo Crown heels in Nude, a gift from my husband
Make-up was provided by Jo Leversuch of Make-up by Jo, she did a super job and was even able to fit in an extra person on the day – nothing was too much for her, I would definitely recommend Jo. She was able to create a look for each of the bridesmaid that was unique to them, not a carbon copy of one another.
Warren wore a navy double-breasted jacket from Hugo Boss with a crisp white shirt from The Kooples. His cream trousers were also from Hugo Boss and completed his look with a set of braces from Bromleys. His shoes were brown double monk straps from Magnanni.
My bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses, style no. 2909 in Cameo to compliment the soft neutral colouring.
The groomsmen wore their own suits in navy to tie in with the Groom’s suit jacket; they all wore matching pink bowties and pocket squares from Etsy.
My bouquet was a selection of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, soft grey foliage and brunia berries – all very loose and effortless. All of the flowers throughout the day were in the same style as my bouquet, provided by Helen of Bels Flowers. She is fabulous and I would highly recommend her.
Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.
As well as creating my own wedding invitations (my daytime job – see Natalie Power’s website) I also made the signage, table numbers and seating plan. Of course, my husband was on hand with his trusty saw and drill.
The food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall, it was beautifully presented and tasted just as good, everyone commented on how tasty it was.
We had a selection of cakes, a dessert table provided by the amazingly talented Bernadette of Dreamworld Cakes. The wedding cake itself was chocolate baileys flavour, victoria sponge cupcakes, mini cakes were chocolate orange flavour, macaroons in both rose and pistachio flavours, cake pops and artisan meringues.
During the ceremony, canapés and wedding breakfast the wonderful Aurora Strings entertained us; they played a selection of classical and pop music, which was perfect.
Our evening entertainment was provided by an amazingly talented band, The Noise, that I found through Warble Entertainment. They did an amazing job and were very enthusiastic, I highly recommend them.
We would highly recommend Eshott Hall. The venue itself is perfect if you are looking for somewhere you can use exclusively, it has beautifully manicured grounds to compliment your photography and décor that will not dictate your colour scheme.
For our honeymoon we decided on a US adventure taking in as many locations as we could. Our first stop was San Diego, from there we moved onto Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley before our last stop in Las Vegas. There were so many highlights from the trip from whale watching in Morro Bay, the tour in San Francisco, a Grand Canyon helicopter flight and watching Cirque Du Soleil ‘O’, it was all amazing! We loved the fact that we got to explore so many different places along with amazing weather and ever changing scenery.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be when things get on top of you or don’t go to plan remember the reason you’re doing this. To marry the love of your life, that’s what’s important, everything else will fall into place.
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