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Archive for the ‘Weddings’ Category

laser die cut cage for wedding invitation

We were commissioned to print the letterpress wedding invitations for a Canadian couple. It’s a little convoluted, this story, because the pedigree of these invitations spans a continent, borders and imagination: The designer (Nicole at Duly Noted) and the stationery store (Duly Noted, in Halifax, Nova Scotia) are in Canada, as is the laser-cutting company that accomplished the incredibly complicated filigree seen above (Laser Creative in Ontario, Canada). They gave me permission to put their photos on my blog. The part played here at Studio Z Mendocino in northern California was to print the invitations and the Rsvps and Rsvp envelopes on very thick white paper in gold foil and black ink. I think it’s incredible and extraordinary in every way, and honestly I wish i had designed it! How utterly gorgeous can you get?

Here is the Rsvp and Envelope. All pieces were printed by Rhea Rynearson on Heidelberg Windmill presses. Black pieces were laser cut at Laser Creative.

Rsvp and envelope

Rsvp and envelope

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InvitationInvitations and Rsvps were printed on 600 gram Lettra.

Closeup of invitation

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Alexia and James got married in Mendocino last month in one of the great celebrations the town has seen. We were so happy to work with them on their invitations, which they wanted to be very luxurious and traditional, but with a modern flair. We kept a very muted palette of cream, cappuccino and chocolate brown, and of course printed everything by letterpress on our thickest, yummiest paper, 600 gram Lettra Pearl White. The motif of a graceful olive branch held it all together beautifully.

Everything about the wedding was so romantic, happy, fun and gorgeous. The whole wedding party went out on the headlands then paraded through the village back to the big white tent at the MacCallum House for dinner and dancing to a totally get-down funk band. Very much fun working with this beautiful couple on their amazing day.

Their folding thank you notes finished the wedding suite and they got lots of extras so they could use them long into their marriage for many purposes…invitations to dinner, thank you notes, quick messages to loved ones, announcements of important events, condolences, congratulations and happy birthday missives. There are still times when a nothing but a hand written note on real paper, with a stamp, in the mailbox, will do. Yes, really. And it’s great to have some beautiful paper to grab when the moment strikes. No more going to the store to look for that perfect message: you make up your own and put it on your own personalized informal, which is what this smaller folding note is called.

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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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