PAPER + INVITES + ART
hello and welcome to the first edition where i tell you about shit for my own wedding.
there’s a beautiful thing about having shot over 100 weddings in my career. i’ve seen it all. and while that applies mostly to other areas of influence on how we’re planning our wedding, an overarching theme is: my cares and not-cares only exist in polar opposite levels. if i care about it, its few and far between, and im obsessing over it. like my damn head piece. if i dont care about it, even the things that everybody seems to love, i couldnt care less. this is both good and bad. caring about something means i would spend endless hours perfecting it, beyond a reasonable scope of attention. if i dont, i have most likely stuck my foot in my mouth. aka you could see me telling a bride im shooting with, “oh yea we’re not even having one flower at our wedding, i hate flowers.” …as we walk down the street, her flowers in hand.
but what im getting to is: my first true love. INVITATIONS. in any form.
aka: sets the tone for your wedding.
aka: gets people excited to go.
aka: leaves an impact on people more than normal paper should.
aka: gets people excited again about mail.
which brings me here. i never even thought about buying a template online for our invites. a theme im seeing is: if i care about it, its gonna be my own doing. im not gonna buy someone else’s version that fits them. which just means im pretentious about shit most people dont care about. i have no idea how this idea came along, but i wanted to have a custom portrait done for our invites. i searched high and low, thanks to beautiful recommendations that came about when i asked on instagram. but then, i remembered a great artist that was one of our sponsors for our (Tonhya+I’s) trip to spain/portugal last fall. let the beauty begin. let me take you on the journey.
please follow along. i hope you are in love as much as i am.
// Ellen the Lemon
aka she drew a portrait masterpiece of us & the little icons in our wedding book
Ellen is a master watercolorist from Florida. she solves world problems by answering emails faster and better and nicer than any other vendor in the world and has talent out her ears. i approached her to do this project for us and her excitement was one of the only times i actually felt really cared about in this “I’m planning my wedding” thing. (that topic has impacted by business and lit the fire under my ass when i spoke in Way Up North in Sweden about Client Experience, so thanks) back to Ellen. i actually cant and couldnt write enough good things about my experience with her…because Im thaaat impressed by the experience+final result. so thats why im here telling you about her art, because you need to find a reason to use her.
EXPERIENCE // if you’re looking for kindness, promptness and hella talent. look no further. if you want someone who will not only answer your inquiry but also go over the top in customer service. this is your gal. i felt like Ellen was my friend the entire time and i think we both were sad when the project was over. she is, to date, the best vendor experience i’ve had planning my wedding.
PROCESS // pretty sure i inquired with her on instagram. got her email and that was that! she was totally flexible in hearing my ideas and ran with it. i gave her a few photos we liked of ourselves to base the piece off of and she got to work. she works very fast and would email me sketches along the way of it piece by piece. i would tweak it and then we’d move to the next step. she was patient with me, i had like 7 rounds of “no CJ’s lips are bigger than that” “his dreads need to be longer“….and she perfected them each time. she never made me feel like i cared too much and she worked on it until it was perfect. then, once it was complete…she mailed us the original, so we can frame it nicely in our house (its huge!) and then sent over the high res scan of it. she also painted the little icons in our wedding book. I just told her what we wanted (pool, tacos, rings, etc) and she took it from there. no proofing needed.
OVERALL // i am so – so – happy that i got to work with ellen on this. she was a gem and i am excited to spread the good new about her so you all can find a way to get her art in your life. im so grateful that i actually got to work with someone who i could feel their excitement about the project. i will tell you, thats not necessarily how it always is…and thats why, working with her was even more special.
she is available for watercolor pieces, illustration, custom work, paper goods, prints, notebooks, etc.
aka printed our invites+book and made it look sooo damn good.
knock knock. who’s there….amazing thick luscious paper thats as thick as a magazine. thats who. oh wait, no, thats our invite we got printed from CatPrint. it wouldnt bend. it wont feel like normal paper. and it doesnt cost you a downpayment on a house. that’s CatPrint. oh yea, so i am falling in love with design, and took our invites+book to be my little personal project to practice my design and make something that was just us. but as you know…you can just mail photoshop files….that shits gonna be printed. and i wasnt gonna design something i was obsessed with and then mail it on any regular paper. so i went hunting for printer options. let me just tell you….the printer industry isnt your friend. either you have to print 5000 pieces with them, or you have to spend 1-million dollars to get some gorg matte thick paper. i wasnt interested in either, so i kept digging and then on some wedding forum i kept hearing the company, CatPrint. so i went and checked them out…hello, 1.2.3 sold. let me tell you about them.
EXPERIENCE // if you’re looking for no rules, no number limits and no one to tell you no. then CatPrint is your stop. they seriously offer everything under the sun. and the best part is: its completely customizable to what you need. there are no minimums and they dont charge you $1500 for one envelope. im not exactly someone that enjoys things being decided for me…which is what i found pretty much everywhere else. i just wanted to do my thing and have them print it. ding ding ding..that’s CatPrint. they had incredible customer service, i talked to someone on the phone….and was able to feel completely taken care of. i will 100% be using them for future printing needs with business and Oh Sh!t stuff…and so should you!
PROCESS // like i said…its all basically flexible for what you want. they have 900 different size options, paper options, etc. I went to their site, was able to upload the files i designed myself, and could see real versions of what it would look like. the site was so easy to use and really intuitive, which i really appreciate. i ordered a “paper sample pack” and it arrived in the mail asap. then I was able to choose and feel what exact paper i wanted for each item. then i submitted it all…and got an actual proof in the mail of what it all would look like before you have to make the whole order. once i fell in love, i said YES and gave the go ahead on printing. that was that. it was in the mail the next week i believe and – boom – i assembled and got our invites out. we got our wedding books printed by them as well, and that literally couldnt have been easier. they folded and assembled the books so we didnt have to, literally it was the best thing ever.
OVERALL // praise the lord someone figured it out. some people was high quality, the option to do it themselves and dont think that all should mean you can charge us the same rate as 2 months rent. so i am proud to relay on to you: CatPrint…..anything you could dream up wanting printed, they can do it and they can do it for a better cost than those big names out there. boom. use them!
WE USED // Double Thick Stock (its about as thick as a key) (Invites) // 130lb Uncoated Cover Stock (RSVP Post Cards & Info Card) // 118 Soft Cotton Cover Stock (Wedding Book)
PROMO CODE FOR YOU! // Yay-you-got-it! You got a 10% off PROMO CODE at CatPrint, using “Andria10” for 10% off any order. Looks like you found your printer for those christmas cards! (one per customer, per calendar year).
FIND CatPrint AT // their site // customer service email (email@example.com)
they are available for invitations, postcards, business cards, custom sizes, booklets, posters, flyers, stickers and #duh holiday cards
// Wedding Book + Invite Design
aka let me tell you all about the days of glory
as i said in the beginning of the blog, the invitation sets the tone. i have always believed that. back to mailing formal invitations on campus for our themed birthday parties in college, to the nutso invite i sent out for our All Gold Everything birthday party turned engagement party….and of course, even that time i sang on a damn video invite for chrismatonica (1st annual xmas party) last year.
invites set the tone and i the most important tone i’d ever set for a party is my wedding. enter: wedding book.
we are having two weddings – one for small small one for family in palm springs, and one for friends in mexico – as some family couldnt travel to mexico & we werent ready to give up our dream location. so that’s why, two. anyhow, the best part of destination – and a huge reason basically why we chose to go forever away for the wedding, was not to just rack up miles, but because we didnt want it to be over in one day. no, no, please no. we wanted multiple days, and we didnt want it to only be about the wedding – but about several days together – so we created the idea for themed days. yolo. and to tell about those days, set the timeline, overall feel and what to wear, i designed up a little wedding book. tell them what’s happening in advance, build some excitement but also prepare them as much as possible, because our hacienda is basically in the middle of nowhere, and we knew there would be lots of questions!
DESIGN // I wanted to keep things really simple and easy to read. i love combining different fonts, and assigning certain fonts to different meanings. we will be using MMXVI thru out the wedding site, on site and on the paper. Ellen helped me with the black watercolor base, and just wanted to have fun be a theme. i wanted it to be fun to read and have no serious tones, we we really….dont take ourselves too seriously. i absolutely love designing and would love to take on some projects in the future.
THE DAYS // Wednesday: from USA to Welcome Day // Thursday: All White Wedding // Friday: Swim, Search, Smack & Supper // Saturday: Ascend, Swim and Film
PROCESS // i loved how the book turned out. again, CatPrint did an amazing job, and assembled and professionally steam folded them all so they laid flat. i punched two tiny holes and then threaded it with simple thread from a sewing shop. the binding process was super simple and then they were ready to go! Guests can have it in their suitcase, and know whats on the schedule for the week at the wedding. We included the overall feel for what we’re doing it and why, info on transportation, lodging & recommendations, our wedding website & registry, and how we want them to wear all white! our book, i love it as much as my engagement ring.
Woohoo. We are officially less than 2 months out (Jan 23 for Palm Springs & Feb 11 for Mexico) …so i am excited to continue sharing some details along the way and afterward.