New Jersey natives Jessica Wood and Ray Kwo met five years ago and got engaged on Halloween 2015 at Disney! As they started to plan their May 2017 wedding, they found it was difficult to find wedding stationery that matched their unique theme -- and what an awesome theme it was.
They approached Freebird Paperie last May, looking to create a custom collection that truly matched the feel they were going for: a sixties, Mad Men vibe. We got to work pulling together a vibrant invitation design that featured retro fonts, neon colors, and graphic elements reminiscent of Don & Betty Draper’s time.
Jess and Ray held their May wedding at the stunning, elegant Tendenza venue in Philadelphia. They opted to letterpress print their invitations and chose coordinating envelopes. We digitally flat printed their thank you cards as a way to lower their overall costs.
The design was letterpress printed on the finest, thick cotton paper, giving the invitation a textured feel.
We truly are in business to serve clients like this. If you’ve got a really awesome and totally unique wedding theme and colors picked out but can’t find the perfect stationery to coordinate, that’s right where we come in. Let us know how we can help!
So many time-honored “rules” surround weddings. Can I tell my guests what to wear? Should I tell my guests to leave their phones in their pockets? Do I need to invite all the kiddos in the family?
Today I'm exploring the reasoning behind and need for some of this traditional wedding etiquette mumbo jumbo. Of course, these are suggestions, and sometimes rules are meant to be broken, but they act as great guidelines should any questions come up.
Relax, and let’s dive in.
Set up a mini consultation with Freebird Paperie today to discuss your custom wedding invitations and day-of stationery!
You're inevitably going to be faced with some tough decisions during the wedding planning process. You'll be forced to ask yourself, what's most important? Where are you going to spend your budget? What do you HAVE to have as a part of your day?
Things like a choosing a venue, hiring a photographer, and sending invitations are a no-brainer... but what about some of the more discretionary choices?
At some point around the time you choose a caterer and start planning your menu, you'll need to decide what kind of bar you want to provide for your guests. But not to worry, there are a lot of options, and I'm laying them out for you here!
A Full Bar
If you want to go all out, this is for you. A full, open bar is (obviously) the most expensive bar for you to provide, but it also gives your guests the most options.
A traditional full bar will likely include vodka, gin, spiced rum, light rum, scotch, bourbon, Seagram's 7, tequila, white wine, red wine, sparkling wine and/or champagne, both domestic and imported beers, soda, juice, and of course water. Because of the options, your bartender will be able to create a variety of drinks to appeal to nearly any guest's taste
You'll definitely want to hire at least one bartender if you're providing a full bar (your venue may even require it!), and it's a good idea to have at least one bartender for every 100 guests.* When you hire a full bar service, things like cups, napkins, stirrers and any other necessary bar accoutrements, set-up and clean-up should be included (but always double check with your provider!).
And don’t forget to tip your bartenders! (if gratuity isn't already included in your bill)
Wondering just how much you'll need to stock the bar? Check out this wedding alcohol calculator from A Practical Wedding to help you figure out just how much you'll need to accommodate your guest list.
A Limited Bar
Depending on your budget, an open bar may not be feasible for you. But not to worry, there is a middle ground between full, open bar, and dry wedding.
Due to the high cost of alcohol and a full bar service, many couples are opting for a slightly different option. That is, providing just beer and wine for their guests. This option will likely still require a bartender to serve, but can be a more cost-effective way to provide alcoholic drink options to your guests.
Want to make your beer and wine bar more unique?
Enter... the signature cocktail. What the heck is it? It's a drink that you and your soon-to-be hubs craft together with your bar staff that gives your guests another option... without killing your budget.
Why should you consider adding a signature cocktail?
First, it's FUN! You can craft a cocktail that matches your wedding colors, or is named to fit your theme. Second, it can be created in batches. This is especially helpful to your bar staff if you have a lot of guests at your wedding... it will help reduce the time that your guests spend waiting for drinks at the bar and let them get back to shakin' it on the dance floor!
Signature cocktails are super trendy right now, and there are a TON of options out there. Check out these signature cocktail ideas from The Knot, and these from Martha Stewart Weddings.
Non-Alcoholic Bar Options
A bar doesn't have to be full of alcoholic drinks to be fun! You could choose to incorporate other unique bar and drink stations into your reception to delight your guests.
Infused Water Bar – As your wedding favor, give your guests a fun, wedding themed infuser bottle and then let them choose from a variety of fruits, veggies and other flavors to give them a different twist on plain old H2O.
Mocktail Bar – Just because you're not offering alcoholic cocktails, doesn't mean you can't still provide your guests with fun and fancy mocktails! Check out these options from Offbeat Bride.
Afternoon Tea – In lieu of the traditional cocktail hour between the ceremony and reception, host an afternoon tea for your guests, complete with a hot and iced tea station and finger foods.
Coffee Bar – This trend has been really popular in recent years! Ask a local coffee shop to set up a bar at your wedding to offer coffees, cappachinos, lattes, and your fave double mocha half caf extra foam something something... anyway, this bar pairs perfectly with dessert!
You could create a smoothie bar, a juice bar, a soda bar, a milkshake bar... The options are endless.
Whatever option you choose, full bar, limited bar, or non-alcoholic bar... the most important thing is that you have FUN with it!
And, of course, if you do choose to indulge and let your guests indulge, always plan appropriate transportation so that everyone arrives home safely!
Spring has sprung here in Pennsylvania! It’s exciting to see the temperatures start to rise and the flowers start to bloom… it means that summer is right around the corner!
And for summer brides, we’re getting close to wedding crunch time – those last couple of months before the big day that are filled with details and last minute DIY projects.
As you finalize your preparations, think about packing an emergency kit for the day of the wedding. You never know what may come up, and trust me, you’ll want to be prepared for anything! To help, I created this handy little list of items that you can throw in your kit so if wedding day disaster strikes, you’re ready.
I love the start of wedding season every year. I swear my couples are some of the coolest, most creative people! They come to me full of ideas and inspiration and dreams for their big day, and together we work to infuse a bit of each into their wedding invitations.
It seems that every year, a few new trends pop up, and a few old favorites stick around. Here, I’m giving an overview of the five invitation trends that my customers are loving right now to help fuel your own wedding day dreaming.
Gold, rose gold, silver – all the metallic details! Metallic accents are always classy and timeless, but this year seems to be all about the glam details! What I love about adding a metallic accent to your invitations is the texture and interest that it adds to your design. It’s a huge “wow!” moment for your guests when they open their invitations!
Metallic accents are also perfect (and easy!) to add to all of your wedding day details – imagine shiny metallic centerpieces, metallic accents holding your bouquets together, and statement-making metallic bridesmaid dresses! Oh, the possibilities!
Earlier this year, I worked on a beautiful foil stamped design for one of my clients. Her invitation used shades of pink and gray, with just a pop of foil glamour. It was understated and subtle, but oh so perfect.
Shop the Poppy collection here!
Freebird Paperie couples get to choose from a comprehensive list of envelope colors – including metallic options at NO extra cost. Check them out here.
This trend is HUGE right now, and I love it! Watercolor designs are so soft and romantic, perfect for a bohemian wedding vibe. They can be subdued with pastel colors, or bolder with bright colors.
Now, I’m going to get real for a minute. Yes, you COULD absolutely DIY watercolor invitations on your own with a trip to the craft store. But do you really want to? You’d have to watercolor paint an invitation for every. single. guest. Controlling the quality and consistency would be enough to drive my perfectionist-self mad- ha!
Instead, work with a designer. A good designer will be able to digitally create and print a beautiful watercolor design for you – no DIY required. They’ll be just as artistic and colorful as a handcrafted design, with 1/10 of the effort from you. #winning
Shop this collection here!
This trend is all about the fonts. Invitations with bold typography use a simple background to make the font choices really stand out. It’s amazing how a deliberate font choice (or two complementary fonts!) can really depict a mood – even without other illustrations or imagery.
There are so many cool things you can do with font to style it up a little. Some couples choose to highlight elements like their names in all caps for emphasis. Some couples choose to use 100% lowercase letters. Fonts can be outlined, shadowed, and more to be as simple, modern, or even funky as you want!
I designed a font-focused invitation for a client not long ago, and then turned it into a template design for future couples! Shop the Emily collection here.
This trend is so versatile – I love it! Your design can be as simple or complex as you’d like. You could choose a simple outlined frame, or a more intricate, decorated frame. You could add glitz and glam around the frame, or choose leaves and greens for an earthy look. The design possibilities are endless – you can create a design to match nearly any wedding day theme.
Mason jars, trees, leaves, and outdoorsy accents. The rustic chic theme has been around for a few years now, but it’s still super popular! Rustic charm is a great theme to weave through your entire wedding day – barn reception, anyone?
Though the rustic theme is a popular one, I love it when my couples want to take their design one step further. Last year, I designed this custom invitation for one of my couples. We added soft pink and purple colors and scripted fonts to add a more feminine touch to the traditional rustic theme and everyone loved it!
This design was a huge hit, so I turned it into one of my pre-designed collections. You can shop the collection here.
Freebird Paperie couples can enhance the rustic theme by choosing brown Kraft paper to print pieces of their stationery. I love this paper for table numbers!
What’s your favorite invitation trend right now? Maybe I’ll pick one and design a new template for my 2018 couples!
Are you staring at a blinking cursor, struggling to find the perfect sentiment to use on your wedding invitations? I get the feeling. I felt the same way when Zach and I were designing our invitations! That’s why I created this wedding invitation wording guide, to help brides like you walk through the invitation wording essentials.
Wedding planning is FULL of details. Venue, caterer, florals, oh my! While most items are for the actual day, it's important not to neglect your stationery timelines. The save the dates and invitations are the first glimpse guests will see of the main event. These items also offer valuable information to your guests so they can plan ahead. Use this timeline to take the guess work out of what needs to be sent and when.
What's better than beautiful floral arrangements perfect for your big day? Answer: when those flowers are grown locally by a sustainable farm.
I'd like to introduce my friends at Gib's Farm. They grow their flowers and greens without chemicals and preservatives and still manage to provide seasonal options all year around. For that, they definitely get an A+ from me on being a vendor I love!
Gib's Farm was kind enough to guest blog, so check them out below and on their website and Facebook page.
Tell us a bit about Gib's Farm. Where are you located? What do you grow on the farm?
Gib’s Farm is a small scale, biodiverse, four-season sustainable farm located near Knoebels Amusement Park in Catawissa, PA. We offer produce and flower CSAs (community supported agriculture). We sell cut flowers, edible blossoms, herbs, produce, and select starter plants at the Ferry Street Growers’ Market on Saturdays from May through October in Danville, PA. Also, we provide full service wedding florals, flowers by the bucket for do-it-yourselfers, and floral arrangements for any occasion.
Additionally, we cut flowers and herbs, as well as delicious, nutritionally rich fruit and vegetables. Companion planting, cover crops, crop rotation, compost, and biological controls for pests and disease help us to achieve optimum production in minimal space. With two high tunnels, we grow many crops year round. The goals of biodiversity, lively soil, natural resource conservation, and permaculture inform our efforts. While we are not Organically Certified, we adhere to organic farming principles.
What makes you different from other local florists?
Gib’s Farm does not have a flower shop, and we have no e-commerce services such as Telefloral or FTD. We grow nearly all the flowers and greens used in our arrangements without chemicals or preservatives. If a customer asks for floral material we do not grow, we order it from local supplier Dillon Floral Corporation. We often purchase from Dave's Flowers in Catawissa, a top-notch local grower who sells mainly to florists; and Roots Flower Farm in Carlisle, PA, a grower/florist hybrid operation much larger than ours.
You're enrolled in the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program. What does that mean for your farm?
Wildlife Habitat is a conservation plan offered to farmers and property owners by the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Its objective is the establishment of native grassland as a long term conservation cover crop. The warm season grasses and wildflowers in the mix protect soil and water resources, create high quality wildlife food and habitat, and provide organic mulch for our cash crops. Every year we see more and more birds, bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, as well as toads, turtles and snakes – all of which contribute to a healthy ecosystem and better crops.
You're a year-round operation. How are you able to grow such beautiful flowers, even during Pennsylvania’s winter?
Our winter production is limited to cold hardy herbs, salad, and cooking greens grown in our hoop houses or high tunnels. It isn’t possible to grow flowers throughout the PA winter without heat, supplemental light, and ventilation, i.e., a climate controlled greenhouse.
What florals would you recommend to brides for a winter wedding?
If a bride wants local flowers, cutflower kale, calendula, lisianthus, snapdragon, Asiatic lilies, and some succulents can be grown with the extra protection of spun poly row cover in an unheated tunnel or cold frame. However, their vibrant colors and sizes will be diminished. Greenery is 2017’s Pantone color of the year, so artful assortments of greens are becoming a popular alternative to all floral arrangements.
How can a bride work with you for her wedding?
A bride may phone, text, or email us to initiate contact. She will then receive a wedding floral checklist and price list. We ask what colors and kinds of flowers and styles inspire her, and to see pictures. It's helpful for the bride to have a floral budget she's comfortable with. A meeting is scheduled, and then we send a proposal and estimate – which can be revised before we enter into a contract.
Contact Gib’s Farm:
Your First Wedding To-Dos Before You Say "I Do."
This time of year is magical. I love watching my family and friends (and Facebook friends) get engaged amidst the lights, trees, and holiday cheer. Having been through the wedding planning process myself, I know how incredibly exciting it is! But I also know how overwhelming it can be – the date, the cake, the dress! Where should you begin? So to get you off to a good start, here are my top five wedding planning must-dos for newly engaged couples.
Ahhh, a new year. I love turning over the calendar – it's like a fresh start. It's a chance to refocus my priorities both personally and professionally. I'm still adjusting to mompreneur life and the constant juggling act of being a new mom and business owner. As I sit down to reflect on 2016 and plan for 2017, I'm more excited than ever to start tackling new goals that will make me a better mom and business owner.
Growing My Business
I create a ton of custom work for my clients. I love taking their visions and turning them into stationery packages that reflect their unique styles. However, I also offer a handful of pre-designed wedding invitations available for quick and easy ordering at a lower price point. In 2017 I'm committed to expanding my selection of pre-designed options so that I can provide selections for all types of brides – rustic, boho, classic, glamorous and more!
One of my biggest passions is giving back. In 2017 I'm committed to give back more through my business. I've been blessed with this amazing talent, and I'd like to use it to support organizations with missions near and dear to my heart. I want to work with organizations that are:
In order to give as much as possible to my clients, I need to take care of my biggest business asset... ME! My family is what fuels me, so in 2017 I'm looking forward to:
What are your goals for the new year?
About the blog
My name is Emily, and I'm a graphic designer. Jesus is my main man, and life is beautiful and amazing. This blog is going to be mini get-away throughout the week, my personal diary--filled with things I like, things I feel, things that are pretty, inspire me, or give me hope. If ya don't like it, that's really ok! If ya do, welcome!!
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