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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

delight in the detail: fine finishing touches

June 19th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

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image source, photography by Carly Bevan Photography

So, you’ve chosen your venue, decided on the date, picked your colour palette and drawn up your guest list. Dress dilemmas are done and dusted, and you’ve selected which gal pals will accompany you down the aisle (still agonising? Check out our tips!). You’ve painstakingly worked your way down the wedding admin tick-list, from the cool stuff – food, music, entertainment – to the not-so-cool stuff – insurance and checking the venue’s PAT testing requirements.

If that’s the case, then bravo and a big shiny gold star for you! And we have good news: it’s time to take a break from all the adulting and spend some time indulging in the frivolous – but fun – details. We’re talking about the kind of finishing touches and frippery that won’t necessarily make or break your day (or your budget, for that matter) but are nevertheless important to you. These little features are often used as a way to make your celebration more personal, more poignant or simply to pump up the wedding wow factor.

So how to make your big day stand out from the rest?

pretty paper

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image source, photography by Weddings by Smith

Maybe I’m just a weird stationery fiend – always a possibility – but I find that there are so many ways to incorporate little personal paper details into your big day. I’ve been to weddings where origami decorations (flowers, rainbow-coloured cranes) featured heavily, paper pompoms, lanterns and streamers provided a colourful (and cheap) decor hit, and place settings and table plans and numbers/names were creatively inspired. Plus, any excuse for a creative get together and cava – oops, I mean crafting – session with your pals, eh?

fancy favours

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image source, photography by Pixsmiths Photography

Couples who put thought into their favours just make us squeal with their cuteness. They don’t need to be expensive – bottles of Bolly and Creme de la Mer products might be affordable for Kimmy K, but not for us mere mortals – so get your thinking caps on. My favourites from recent years have included a pork pie wrapped in floral fabric, gingerbread men from a local bakery, Jameson miniatures from a fellow whiskey-loving bride and Nutella tubs with guests’ names on the label. What’s personal to you that you haven’t seen before at a wedding? I feel a spider diagram coming on….

gorgeous guests

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image source, photography by Bethany Whittaker

Another detail we love – guest books with a twist. Colouring in charts, polaroid or photobooth sessions, date and anniversary ideas, advice for a happy marriage, memory requests, song recommendations – they all get a thumbs up for individuality and creativity from us. Could your venue or interests lend you some inspiration? One couple I know who married in Newcastle’s Baltic modern art gallery asked all of their guests to draw a self-portrait of themselves and stick it to the glass walls, later putting all of the pictures together into a book. It was a great ice-breaker activity on the tables for people who didn’t already know each other and caused a not-insignificant amount of hilarity – bonus!

perfect pressies

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image source, photography by Bethany Whittaker

It used to be that brides and grooms thanked their mums with a big bouquet of last-minute lilies and that was that. Well, no more. Bridal party gifts are another area where the bride gets to go off the beaten track and have some fun. You can go personal – family pictures from the past turned into a beautiful photobook? – or poignant – an engraved locket with a snapshot of the two of you? Maybe she’d appreciate a massage to unwind from all of the stress of the preparations, or perhaps you could book an afternoon tea for the two of you to debrief and share photos a few weeks down the line. The same goes for your #bridesquad, #groomsquad and all of the others who’ve lent a hand, an ear or a wedding car for the big day – think personal and be creative.

creative cakes

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image source, photography by Hayley Blackledge Photography

We look at a lot of pictures of cake (I know, it’s a tough gig) and, by default, lots of cake toppers. It’s clear that this is an area where brides and grooms express their individuality, straying far from traditional couple figurines. We’ve seen Lego people, knitted creations, superhero motifs and even beloved pets rendered in icing. What tickles your fancy?

Also, we’ve lost count of the number of brides who declare their dislike – or their husband’s lack of enthusiasm – for a traditional fruit cake with marzipan icing. The cake flavours described on these hallowed pages, from chocolate orange to pink lemonade, reflect the individuality of each couple and make us drool with worrying regularity. But who says you even have to have cake? We love it when brides demand something a bit different: a favourite family pudding, a humungous cheeseboard or a croquembouche – or an entire wall of doughnuts?! Now we’re talking!

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hot off the print: new wedding stationery designs by project pretty + 15% discount

December 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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If you got engaged during late summer or early autumn and have found your dream venue and secured your date but are yet to send out the save the dates or invites, then this afternoon’s post is perfectly timed as we’re sharing the gorgeous new stationery collections from our fabulous Sponsor, Project Pretty.

The talented due behind the business, Kerry and Becky, have been working hard on eight fresh designs, which feature varying colourways, typographies and illustrations, meaning there’s a pretty paper option for all.

With the ladies predicting berry and burgundy colours to be big in weddings for 2018, we’re definitely drawn to the opulent jewel tones of Grace but also adore the monochrome and pastel appearance of Marble – though with one of the collections being named ‘Rachel’ it’s easy for me to pick out an overall fav!

Take a look below to see which of the lovely designs catch your eye, and if you order quick, you can enjoy 15% off your wedding stationery order up until the end of December 2017. Just use code NEW15 at the checkout.

Now over to Kerry and Becky to tell us more…

With images by Holly Booth Photography.

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Where did your inspiration for the new collections come from?

project pretty say: Our new wedding stationery collections have been inspired by the autumn and winter months. Think autumnal berry and burgundy tones, crisp icy greys, cool mint and winter botanicals.

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Do the new designs follow a certain theme?

While we have used the colder seasons as inspiration for the collections, each design has its own theme.

What type of couples or styles of wedding would the new collections appeal to?

We hope that there is something for everyone in our new collections. From outdoors and adventure types, to couples looking for contemporary wedding stationery and those that prefer traditional styles.

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Which is your favourite design from the new collection and why?

Our favourite is the Eloise Collection. I love the combination of blush and green florals on the contrasting Kraft background, with the geometric frame adding a modern twist.

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Can you talk us through each of the new collections?

Adventure Collection – The Adventure collection is perfect for rustic, outdoor weddings. We have hand painted the abstract landscape and used a mixture of textured white and Kraft card for a rustic effect.

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personal paper: introducing jeccabox stationery

November 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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If beautiful fonts, pretty patterns or cool graphics are your bag, then stationery is a part of the planning you can afford to get super-excited about. We at Brides Up North are most certainly fans of gorgeous paper goods (the piles of slogan-emblazoned notebooks on our desks are proof alone) and so we are delighted to be introducing a Sponsor to the blog today whose stationery designs have us all heart eyes!

Introducing lovely Lancashire-based Jess of Jeccabox, who offers a complete suite of stunning stationery to complete couples’ big day celebrations. From pre-designed beauties, to amazing bespoke creations, Jess loves nothing more than matching brides and grooms with the perfect pieces that are complimentary their chosen wedding theme and them as a couple.

We can barely take our eyes off her stunning marble designs, and don’t even get us started on the metallic foils!! Here to lift the lid on Jeccabox is the talented lady herself. Take it away Jess…

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Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to set up Jeccabox?

jess says: I have always been passionate about design and have always been a creative person. I originally started creating graphic personalised prints through Jeccabox and then wedding stationery was a natural journey when my customers stared to enquire about such paper goods – it was then that my for love for it really came to life! I have a degree in Interior Design and that gave me the basic tools I needed to explore my design capabilities further, and now I absolutely love designing wedding stationery in all its forms! Oh, and if anyone is wondering about the business name, Jeccabox is the nickname my mum has given me since I was a baby (and still calls me now!)

Can you give us an overview of the service and products that you offer you wedding couples?

Jeccabox offers complete wedding stationery suites; everything from save the dates, to invitations, table plans, place names, table layouts and even gifts for parents of the bride and groom! We can print on a variety of cards and can foil in various colours and metallic finishes.

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How would you describe the style of your stationery and where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

I’d describe our stationery as a real mix of traditional and modern styles. My inspiration comes from everywhere – architecture, pattern, print designs, etc. and I love to work with the brides and grooms and really listen to what they want. Whether it’s the theme, colour palette, even particular flowers and textures, I’ll try and work it in as best I can and as much as they would like!

In your opinion, why is stationery such an important element of a wedding?

It’s the first glimpse that any guest receives of the wedding; it’s so exciting to see the reaction from loved ones. The save the dates or invitations can give a real insight into the theme of the day and allows not only the bride and groom, but the guests to start to get very excited too! I also think it’s a great way to get the information out to guests and is a big ‘tick’ for any bride or groom!

How far in advance of the wedding would you advise couples to source their stationery?

It totally depends on the couple’s wedding; if it’s a destination wedding abroad, the sooner the better, for example! I think with save the dates, they can go out whenever the couple is ready, but with invitations I usually recommend anywhere between three and six months prior to the wedding.

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What elements of the wedding would you advise couples to consider when picking their stationery and where should they look for inspiration?

I think elements such as the venue style, flower colours, suit colours, dress texture, and even suit texture can really get the couple’s minds whirling and before they know it, a theme that is often unique to them will come out of it.

Do you have a favourite design from within your stationery collection, and if so, which one is it and why?

I really do love the marble and copper foiling invitations; not only did I design them for a friend, they have proven to be a very popular design that I love to come back to.

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Do you offer a bespoke design service and, if so, what is the process?

Yes, I pride myself on my bespoke service, which can either be done completely via email or social media, or sometimes I like to meet with couples to really discuss what they would love and show samples, card textures etc. I initially like to get the couple’s ideas, styles etc. and any wording they specify, and then I get going with the designing and always design until the couples are 100% happy.

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stylish stationery: project pretty

September 19th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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As the first glimpse guests receive of a wedding, the stationery is certainly an important element to consider. Not only does the save the date and invite set the scene for the style of the celebration to come, but they’re also informative in telling guests the when, where and what details.

The on the day stationery that follows is important too, again helping to reflect the theme and colour scheme of the day but also directing guests through the service and reception.

It therefore makes sense to take time when choosing your stationery to ensure the design and wording are exactly as you wish.

To help give some helpful pointers on where to look for inspiration and the key elements to take into account, we’re chatting to our fabulous Sponsor and talented stationers Kerry and Becky of Project Pretty.

With beautiful florals, bold botanical prints, romantic watercolours and sophisticated monochrome designs making up part of their collection, this talented duo really do offer something for all. And if you like what you see, now’s the time to act as the lovely Kerry and Becky are offering Brides Up North readers a fabulous 20% discount until the end of November 2017. To take advantage of this offer, simply enter BUN20 at checkout on the Project Pretty website.

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When picking invitations and stationery, what elements of the wedding would you advise couples to think about?

project pretty say: The first place to start, would be to think about what kind of wedding you want to have. Is it going to be a casual and relaxed affair, modern or traditional? From here, take inspiration from your chosen venue and the florals you intend to decorate your venue with. For example, if you are opting for a traditional church wedding, followed by formal reception, we would recommend a traditional but luxurious style wedding invitation, perhaps with a special print finish, such as gold foil. Finally, adding personal touches from your lives together will tie everything in beautifully.

In your opinion, is it imperative that the invites match the rest of the wedding stationery?

It’s not imperative that the invitations match the rest of the wedding stationery, but we would recommend that all ‘on the day’ stationery matches so everything is consistent for guests on the day.

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A lot of couples stress over the wording of the invite, can you offer any pointers?

Deciding on your wedding invitation wording can be challenging. There are two main factors when writing the invite. Who is hosting the wedding, and what kind of wedding day are you planning. Is it going to be traditional/formal or relaxed and casual? We have some helpful examples on our website to make the tricky task a little easier.

Beyond the invites what other stationery would you advise couples to consider?

A table plan and place cards are a must if you are having a sit-down meal, otherwise the room will descend into chaos once the guests make their way into the dining room! One of the other important pieces of stationery are thankyou cards, so you can thank your guests for their presence and gifts on your wedding day.

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In your opinion, how does stationery play a special role in a wedding?

Stationery is such an important part of a wedding. From the initial save the date, or invitation, guests can gauge what the wedding will be like and it certainly builds the excitement for the big day. There’s nothing better than receiving a beautifully designed and high-quality invitation through the post – the quality and attention to detail of the stationery says a lot about what the guests can expect from the big day. On the day, stationery is everywhere, with table plans and place cards guiding guests where to sit, menus to let your guests know what food they’ll be enjoying and even where the flip flops are for those tired feet. The little details can make a big difference.

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What are the current trends in wedding stationery and can you predict any hot new stationery trends to look out for in the coming year?

Foiled wedding stationery has been very popular this year, along with watercolour washes and florals mixed with modern calligraphy. We’re predicting that foil will continue to be popular along with marbling, monochrome and dark rich and moody colours.

Are there any designs proving particularly popular in your collection at the moment?

Our Kate and Romance wedding invitations are our most popular designs, but we’re also starting to see a lot of interest in our watercolour floral Juliette design, which was launched earlier this year.

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wedding stationery with style: project pretty

October 21st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Happy Fri-yay – the weekend is in sight! But before we head off to The Wedding Blog Awards in swanky London town tonight (did we mention that we’ve been nominated for three awards – Best Regional Blog, Best Blogging Team and Best Social Media… does this mean we get to drink three times as much bubbly!?) we’re revisiting our fabulous Sponsor Project Pretty, for an exclusive first look at their gorgeous new stationery collection.

Not matter what theme or colour scheme you’re opting for, chances are that Project Pretty will have a design that’s right up your street, with the latest designs featuring beautiful, bold florals and botanical prints as well as sugary sweet typography.

So while we go and get all dolled up, we’ll leave you in the safe and talented hands of the duo behind Project Pretty, Kerry and Becky…

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How many designs make up the new collection?

project pretty say: We have four fabulous new designs, which we are excited to introduce. They are called Alice, Charlie, Harlow and Louisa.

Is there a particular theme to the collection and where did the inspiration from the new designs come from?

Our new collection is based around botanicals/florals and bold typographical lead design. We have recently moved to a lovely new studio in the Cheshire countryside, and our new surroundings have influenced our latest creations.

What colour palettes feature in the new collection?

Our designs are available in a wide range of colours (with exception of our watercolour Harlow design). Our new Charlie collection, for example, is available in a whopping 2,556 colour combinations!

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What type of bride do you think the new collection will appeal to?

We hope the new collection has something for everyone; from the classic and traditional bride, to the modern and quirky.

Are the new designs available in stationery bundle options as well as individual save the dates, invites, menu cards etc?

Each design is available as a full suite, so we can style your wedding from start to finish. From Save the date, through to your ‘on the day’ stationery, and finally thank you cards.

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save the date (and a sneaky 10% off)! norma&dorothy

August 20th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Visit the website to see the full norma&dorothy range.

 

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