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Archive for the ‘Wedding Invitations’ Category

A happy, joyful A and T dance all over Amber and Tim's wedding invitations

A happy, joyful A and T dance all over Amber and Ted’s wedding invitations

When my sis, Liz, called to tell me my niece Amber was getting hitched and asked if I would make her invitations, I was so happy about it. Liz came out to California for a visit from their Indiana home, and we went over things together at my sister Sandi’s summer place near the ocean. How should it be?…SIMPLE (many times reiterated). Check. Outdoorsy!! Check.

What are her colors? asked I. “Watery-aqua-ish-old canning jar color, and maybe silver,” replies she. Check! Old canning jar color it will be…

I later wrote to Amber about the discussion the mom and aunties had had, and sent her an idea (the one you see above): “Well, I got creative today, finally. I hope not TOO creative! I decided to make you a monogram but I didn’t want it to be a stuffy old monogram. Rather something happy, young, dance-y, fun!, and because you are getting married in the spring/summer, something that relates to that season. This is what I came up with. Do you see the “A” and the “T”? You will be able to use this monogram on lots of things, like your table tags or whatnot, or your stationery for your thank you notes. Your towels, the side of your delivery truck…[kidding]”

Amber had a BIG year…getting married AND graduating with a BA all within months of each other. We were all so proud of her. It made me very happy to create her wedding invitations AND to get to go out to the wedding with all my siblings together for the first time in a long time. Beautiful!

Amber + Tim's big square wedding invitation

We were going to do them digitally, but oh heck, this was too big for that. I ended up doing them letterpress on 300 gram Cranes Lettra, and mounting them on an “old canning jar colored” backing sheet. They are printed on generous six-and-a-half-inch square cards and the big seven-inch square envelopes sported the same monogram (of course). It really was such a family affair. My talented middle sister Sandi did all the flowers…

Auntie Sandi made Amber's bouquet

Auntie Sandi made Amber’s bouquet

And one of my favorite moments was before the wedding when all the sisters were getting dressed and made up in a big flurry…

Aunties and Cousins getting ready

Aunties and Cousins getting ready

Auntie Mary's cupcakes and hand made candies for miles

Auntie Mary’s cupcakes and hand made candies for miles

Auntie Mary made the cupcakes for miles and Uncle Joe and I catered the rehearsal dinner. Cousin Dylan did the wedding taco dinner that was ultra-yummy.

Indiana Gothic -- Uncle Joe and Cousin Dylan with the canoe paddle they used for their

Indiana Gothic — Uncle Joe and Cousin Dylan with the canoe paddle they used for their “guest book.”

A very wonderful time was had by all. Lots of laughs and lots of tears and lots dancing and lots of love.

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Bi-coastal couple Arri and Richard live in New York but are getting married a whole continent away, in Los Angeles. Their wedding color is black-on-black. Richard, who is a graphic designer, made up these amazing save-the-date invitations and Studio Z Mendocino executed the printing. We started the conversation, as most often happens, with my sending them a little package of our printed samples, which show different papers, foil and ink colors, treatments. They called back all excited because our super-thick, yummy black Museum Mount paper was exactly what Richard had in mind. At almost an eighth of an inch thick, it’s the fattest paper that will go through a Heidelberg Windmill — practically illegal!

They wanted a swank look with a modern edge. Richard wanted it to be blind embossed at first but I talked him out of that because plain, no-color debossing into the paper, even when hit very hard and deeply, often appears flat and unreadable. To make the beautiful typography really pop I suggested using a gloss black foil for the smaller type and either silver or pewter foil for the big swooshy names.

On the press, Rhea and I knew on sight that it had to be the pewter. I called Arri and Richard from beside the press and said, OK, executive decision time: we are putting pewter foil on these. There is NO question it’s the best choice.

When light hits the foil, there is a bounce and liveliness to the (you would think) understated color scheme that’s as unexpected as it is intriguing. Holding the incredibly substantial card in one’s hand is a sensory experience you have to have in person. They are totally amazing objects.

Is this DRAMATIC enough for you? OMG. So fabulous. And the bride and groom to be were v. happy indeed.

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It’s not too early to start planning your Kentucky Derby party for 2012. I know, Animal Kingdom has hardly stopped sweating, but believe me, a Kentucky Derby party worth its julep is going to take lots of creativity and lining things up in advance. You don’t want to get down to the wire and suddenly find the best party planners have already been booked, or that the guests you counted on have already responded to another save-the-date.

You might want to emulate this invitation we created to a Kentucky-Derby-theme birthday party that happened last December here in California. We printed them letterpress on super thick white paper, which we mounted to a gorgeous, deep red backing sheet. That formed a frame and gave the piece even more presence. Then we put it into a deep red BOX. The mailing labels mimicked the horse theme and we tied the whole thing up with a skinny little brown ROPE. We included also in the box instructions about its being a surprise party, and a directions-to-the-venue card. Everything went into a FedEx box and was delivered one-day-air.

The tickets were also printed letterpress on the same super-thick white stock, replete with a perforated stub to make them look even more official. I love the idea that they were sent in a subsequent mailing in #10 Cranes square flap envelopes, which only added to the anticipation for all the fun.

.The party was a hit and everything went off without a hitch, so to speak. Perfect food and drinks, perfect place, perfect guest list, perfect everything. And it was a complete surprise. A perfect winner.

We have been doing lots of wedding invitations in boxes over the last few years, and the idea in this post can be adapted to any number of party or reception themes. Boxes come in a big array of colors and we can choose gorgeous contrasting ribbons to tie them up and an infinity of different ways to make them uniquely your own.

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Our friends, India and Luke, had their east coast friend, graphic maven Su Barber, design their wedding invitations, which we printed on the venerable letterpresses at our shop here in Fort Bragg, California. The bi-coastal effort resulted in this invitation that we all love. We flew out east and, after stopping in NYC for a couple of days and seeing the musical South Pacific, at Lincoln Center, drove up into New England to join friends and family for the sweet, joyful mid-summer event.

We loved the warm yellow, mandala-like flower they used for the front panel, which matched, among other details, the dresses India hand dyed with turmeric for all the flower girls. Stately typography in black ink got everyone to the backyard on time.

It was a warm, sunny pre-fall day and the garden setting could not have been more inviting. Welcoming, gorgeous people, a wonderful ceremony,  perfect, bright-tasting food, and the most hilarious toasts we ever heard at a wedding, or anywhere else for that matter, preceded dancing in the barn.

They say many hands make light work, which is not necessarily always true, but in this case, many hands certainly made loving work for dear friends on their unforgettable day.

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Meg and Mark have a love story of locomotive proportions that spans decades, miles, and defies probability. To celebrate it in appropriate style, they are having not one, but two events. The first will take place in New York City, small and private, followed by a romantic cross-country train ride to Astoria, Oregon. There, they will board a little trolley, with friends and family, that will take them all to a gala brunch at Gunderson’s Cannery Cafe. Epic!

We loosely based their 4 x 9 invitation on a train ticket. Meg even had me run a line of (seemingly) random numbers and letters, upside down, across the top. Actually, every single figure there has a meaning to the couple. After she received the invitations, she took out her special Conductor’s Hole Punch and put it to work making it look even more ticket-like.

We used Somerset English watercolor paper for its beautiful texture and almost-white color, printed it in black ink, and a red ink that exactly matches the trolley’s paint. Then Meg used her famous creativity for the envelopes, some of which were RED and a few special ones she’d been saving for 24 years. She had custom stamps made with a picture of them walking down the train tracks with Tasha, her most beautiful dog, for the perfect finishing touch.

Everyone is so happy for this amazing union.

Meg sent me an email the other day:

Everyone is starting to get them now, and they love them!  My friend wrote; “THAT IS THE GREATEST WEDDING INVITATION I’VE EVER GOTTEN!!!!! It’s beautiful!! Yay!!!! Oh my GOSH. It’s exquisite!!!”

Happy Trails to Meg and Mark!

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love this Pizzuti Studios image from the SnapKnot site

I wanted to let my photography clients, and potential clients, know about a new website that I think is fantastic. I’ve never recommended a site in my blog before, but I found the idea and its execution so exciting and full of promise, that I have actually arranged with the SnapKnot team to give you a coupon for 1/2 off on your first month. So, you can try it out for the first month for only $24.95, and if you love what it does for your business, you can continue to be enrolled at the regular rate. All you have to do is put in the coupon code ZIDA1 when you sign up.  (Say” Thank you, Zida”!)

I met Mike and Reid of SnapKnot at WPPI, in Las Vegas, in March. They had just launched the site and were meeting scads of photographers who saw the potential and wanted to be included. As we all know, building business is a numbers game: the more people who know your name, the more likely it will be that you will be contacted and have the chance to convert them into clients. SnapKnot shows your work to the world in a sophisticated showcase. Sorted by region, by price, the website tells prospective brides about you and your vision, and lets you be seen by so many more people than your blog or website, all by itself, will be able to gather. I hope you will go see what they are doing for photographers, and see what happens when your business is highlighted there. Please let me know your findings too.

love this Studio EMP image from the site

Here are the main points about what SnapKnot can do to amplify your business visibility and profitability:

SnapKnot allows engaged couples to find the best wedding photographer to suit their needs by answering three basic questions about potential photographers:

What does your work look like?

SnapKnot is a photocentric site, and effectively showcases wedding photographers’ work. Brides can compare and contrast photographers side-by-side.

Where are you located?

There is an easy search and filter function based on a bride’s city or destination, so a bride can choose to look at wedding photographers only in her desired area.

What is your typical budget range?

Brides are able to filter wedding photographers based on their budget/price range. SnapKnot will only display wedding photographers who fall within the selected budget.

Wedding photographers can choose either a Free or Premium listing.A Premium listing is $49.95/mo. (only $24.95 for the 1st month if you use the coupon code “ZIDA1” when signing up).Premium members receive all Free features, PLUS:

  • Front four exposure

  • Priority placement

  • Larger display

  • 5x exposure in multiple cities

  • A dozen images

  • Connect with your leads in real-time

  • User dashboard stats

  • Logo upload

  • Paid advertising

  • Upgraded social media marketing

  • If you are curious to see what will happen should you join them, you can find out right now. Be sure to let them know the coupon code, which is ZIDA1 (zida and the numeral one), when you sign up, to receive your 1/2 off offer for the first month. I’m so happy to share this with you today.
  • love this Lucero Photography Inc. image from the site

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    The beautiful table setting by Dee Merz,  with menus by Studio Z Mendocino. Photos by Greg Gibson.

    Some time ago I posted a story about the wedding invitations we did for Vanessa Gomez and Mike LaGatta’s destination Napa wedding. Vanessa just sent me these photos from the Big Day and i just had to share them with you. They and the following words, are from the blog of floral designer, Jessica Switala’s Fleurs de France, who created the incredible bouquets you see below. We were very pleased to have made Vanessa’s invitations and all the wedding pieces, table numbers, menus, programs, seating cards, thank you notes.

    Vanessa & Mike, their family and friends all traveled to the Napa Valley for this Destination Wedding. The couple hosted their out of town guests to a full weekend of delicious food and wine. It began with an intimate luncheon at Brix in Yountville, proceeding to Groezinger’s for a lively, fun filled evening Welcome Party for all of their guests. The main event was held at Auberge du Soleil after their church ceremony the following day.
    Feathers and fiddlehead accented the brides bouquet and the rich textural florals in deep purples, eggplant, apricots and oranges. The shades and textures of their arrangements created a luxurious atmosphere fused with deep purple Peau de Soie linens and Topaz Terracotta napkins and chair cushions from La Tavola. I absolutely loved working with Dee Merz, their Napa wedding planner. We worked easily together, planning, discussing colors, linens, and other endless details. Vanessa provided style and color inspirations and then gave me complete latitude to create from my heart. The tears of joy I saw when she first saw her bouquet were a true indication that everything was perfection and just as she had envisioned. Greg Gibson just sent me these wonderful images! Enjoy!


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    Zoe is my first born child, a beautiful and amazing woman and to top it off, a gifted graphic designer. When she and Noah set the date for their Albion wedding and Mendocino destination reception (lucky them, the destination wedding happened where they actually live), everybody at the print shop knew we were in for something BIG, because when Zoe gets going, it is always trumpets and djembes and madcap unusualness, and we climb on board and RIDE. Zoe and Noah named their property in the country Chicken Pants Ranch — a fabulous organic garden, exuberant landscaping, ornamental yet quite productive chickens … and they somehow manage to make it all look totally chic at the same time.

    Chantacleer — All photos in this post by Withers Wanberg Pictures

    So, “Chicken Pants Ranch” became the leitmotif for the invitations Zoe designed last summer for their fabulous shindig, and we got busy in the shop producing an endless supply of gorgeous letterpress pieces. She used Kraft covered boxes, for a country-esque connotation and organic-looking paper-bag finish, and paired them with whimsical botanical (and livestock) motifs and typographical elan. As you can see, the mailing label and boxed presentation incorporates the winking, the fun, the stylishness, along with over-the-top calligraphy from Mary Meermans that appealingly predicted how the wedding itself would feel.

    Everything – paper, ink, food, flower arrangements, etc. was all recycled and organic and reusable/replantable. I think that’s a very important element! My concept for the invitation was that there was this kind of rustic feeling – the kraft paper – and then a traditional wedding element feeling, with the wedding-y fonts and traditional wording. (Zoe’s note)

    Mary’s calligraphy and a custom stamp designed by Zoe and printed up by Uncle Sam’s Post Office, delivered maximum punch in the mailbox… everything went together like a horse and carriage, a chicken and an egg or, to complete the simile-a-thon … no, I have to stop!

    The box held invitations we die cut and mounted on thick chipboard. Who wouldn’t want to come to THIS?

    There were a lot of pieces included in the box: Rsvp, directions card, menu choices card, envelope for the Rsvp, a separate invitation to the ceremony as well as the reception, etc., etc. etc. It was really too much for an envelope, and it all looked snappy and joyous, chic and fun-loving in the orange, soft yellow and green color palette Zoe devised. Everything was hand finished in the shop by Joe, Zoe and Rhea (we call it “Loving Hands at Home Press” when we do this kind of painstaking hand work), and Rhea was a genius behind the press, printing and die cutting and doing the impossible for days, as usual. Here is my beautiful Zoe; you would never think she is such a great farmer to look at her, but she is as much a genius in the garden as she is as a designer. And I’m not just saying that because I am her mom.

    Parking Signs were part of the Studio Z printing job too, but they were NOT letterpressed

    Here is Noah’s beautiful MacCallum House Inn and Restaurant, in Mendocino Village, where the reception was held in an enormous tent in its front yard. Here is the tent. It looked like a fairy tale inside…

    Mary Meermans calligraphed names on Kraft enclosure envelopes in white ink. The cards were set up in trays of wheatgrass

    Everywhere you looked there was more beautiful printing, more iconoclastic design, more amazing calligraphy, more glorious flowers, gorgeous, happy people and details nobody but Zoe and Noah could have come up with… and the food for the sit down dinner for 200 by Mac House chef Alan Kantor, left everybody dazzled.

    Well, there are not enough superlatives, obviously. This is the menu.

    Table cards, menu choice cards and table seating cards were also part of the printed materials that completed the affair in high style. One of the benefits of having a mom with a letterpress print shop: You get to have EVERYTHING at your wedding.

    Table number cards by Studio Z, and centerpiece by Rosa from L & R Farms, in Albion, California. People dickered over which guest got to take the centerpiece from each table home.
    Menus were mounted on chipboard too
    Chicken, a motif for all seasons (in the country) but bring us your own themes and see what we can come up with

    Sometimes, in the hurricane of activity we work in every day, we forget that fabulosity resides at Studio Z Mendocino. If you are getting married, perhaps you have considered sending your invitations in a box, even if you don’t have any chickens. There is an infinity of creative possibility you can request from us, and a universe of special techniques, experience and knowledge that can make your seemingly impossible dream come true. Call us at 707.964.2522.

    All photos in this post by Withers Wanberg Pictures

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    Everybody is drawing names and worrying about what to get for so-and-so, who needs so many things (or already has everything he or she needs). Not another necktie! And slippers…nuh uh… Cozy jammies are always nice, but maybe there is something even more appealing and creative, don’t you think? A fabulous and elegant solution to the yearly dilemma could be a Gift Certificate for Graphic Design and Letterpress Printing from Studio Z Mendocino. You still have time to order one and have it delivered in time for the Holidays, all gussied up in a pretty colored envelope, letterpress printed on premium paper, in the amount your budget allows.

    Your special someone will appreciate having personalized letterpress printing and creative work done up by the designers and crafts people here at Studio Z Mendocino. To get some idea of the array of work that is available, go to our web site www.studio-z.com or look around on our blog for more recent work. A calling card, correspondence papers, stationery, a new logo, extraordinary business cards for the entrepreneurs on your list, or even something toward the bride and groom’s upcoming wedding invitation.

    Name the amount you wish to give, send us their names and addresses, and we will take care of it from there.

    707.964.2522

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    Vanessa Wedding Cover_Page_1

    Vanessa Gomez and Michael LaGatta will be married and have their receptions very soon in two, not merely one, fabulous destinations. The first will take place in Yountville, California at the superb Auberge du Soleil, and the second in MacCallen, Texas (The City of Palms), both in November. Above you see the front of their folder for the first celebration. It’s made from shimmering burgundy colored Stardream, with a band of paper and medallion that is letterpress printed with a yummy grape image we adapted here for her. Inside, the invitaion is tipped on (mounted) on the right panel, and all the extra pieces (directions, Rsvps) are tucked into the band on the back of the cover. Mary Meermans did the calligraphy for her envelopes.

    Vanessa Wedding Cover_Page_2

    Below, for the second, and much less formal event, is the Script Card invitation Vanessa tucked into a green #10 envelope. This one is for a Mexican Fiesta in Texas, and uses the historical town’s favorite trees as its motif.

    McCallen TX FINAL

    These two invitations show the flexibility with which Studio Z Mendocino approaches design and printing. The first invitation is of course our specialty, letterpress printing. The second one, we did digitally, almost like an ultra-festive rack card/invitation. Totally fun and happy and much easier on the budget.

    Here at our little printshop on the Mendocino coast, it’s a “wedding” of the very old and the most up to date, OK? We love that part! We also love working with Vanessa on her wedding invitations, all of them! You can see lots more of our spectacular custom letterpress wedding invitations at our web site studio-z.com. Or call for information at 707.964.2522. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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