I’ve received a number of emails over the past few days with people asking me where the concept for my invitations came from and how I created them myself.
The spark for my wedding began with an inspiration board (which you can see here). And although I’ll be incorporating softer, more feminine accents into the wedding, I still love the tonality of this board.
The invitation design began with a wallpaper I fell for. I scanned the wallpaper and, using Adobe Photoshop, cropped out, adjusted & color corrected the botanical line art that you see in my designs.
The script font I used was Porcelain. I downloaded this for free at Dafont.com. The serif font I used was Book Antiqua, ALL CAPS, and I adjusted the tracking to 150 (note: Serif refers to a font that has small strokes or ‘ticks’ at the ends of the letters. Serif fonts tend to work best for body text as they are easier to read than sans-serif fonts. Tracking refers to the spacing between characters. Generally speaking, increasing the tracking tends to make copy look more contemporary.) Add days of back and forth with printers and craft suppliers, a few nights of assembly and one pissed off manicurist and voila…final invitations.
Now, since 95% of my invites are out (just waiting for a few final addresses to come from my not-so-organized-husband-to-be) I will now be switching gears to bigger and better things. Event design! Our venue is undergoing $20M in renovations. What does that mean? Other than driving by the construction site every day, I’ve yet to see what the inside looks like. But stay tuned…I should be in sometime in the next few weeks.
And, one last and very exciting note is that I’m the official winner of Perfect Table Plan software via Weddingbee’s contest! I’m wonderfully excited and look forward to sharing my software experiences with all of my readers.
Today was a mixed bag of good and not so good. You see, today was the day that I picked up my invites from the printer…well, actually I was supposed to pick them up yesterday (but that’s a story for another day). Today is also the day that 10 of my best girlfriends got together to cut, glue, splice, fold, stuff and wrap.
First the ‘not so good’…Despite supplying my printer with a complete disk of artwork, PDFs for design reference and printouts proofs to match for color, they still managed to misprint 1/2 of my invitations and destroy the majority of paper that I had shipped from the US. So, two days after my initial deadline to the supplier I still have no RSVP cards. I’ve also just found out that the reception cards were enlarged by about 10% by the printer (so they’re too big). What a debacle!
The ‘good’…my girls spent over 3 hours (that’s 30 total hours of work!) lining envelopes, creating double sided invites, labeling RSVP envelopes and wrapping fan handles. I am soooo proud of the end result!
Every envelope was lined with a damask wallpaper print. To do this, I created a simple repeat pattern on an 11″ x 8.5″ paper. I disassembled an envelop and measured the size of the base and the flap and overlayed this template on the wallpaper. I printed the finished templates on a soft gloss photo paper because nothing gives you a finer finish. Each of the envelopes were pulled apart and the cut paper was glued to the inside of the envelopes. The envelopes were reassembled by gluing the edges back. And, voila! Custom looking envelopes.
One step closer to the finish line!
OK, OK – it’s just the envelopes right now…and, alas, they are the most boring part of the invitations. Tomorrow is D-day. The day that all of my lovely bridesmaids have agreed to wear down their manicures and assemble invitations. I’m giddy with anticipation. Half of me excited to see just one item on the ‘to-do’ list come to fruition – the other half simply delighted to see my bridesmaids in one place at the same time.
After many trials and tribulations and 3 trips back and forth to Michaels, I finally found a stamp pad that wasn’t dried out. I’m mildly pleased with the outcome…but again, how excited can you get at the outer envelope?
Linen envelopes via EnvelopeMall. Note to fellow Canadians…the prices were totally unbeatable for a company that ships to the great white North. HOWEVER, duty almost equaled the cost of goods. Add shipping and I probably could have sourced this paper locally.
Stamp – Yikes! Can’t recall where I bought this (although I do remember it was online). I bought this a little over a year ago for $8 (at a time when damask stamps were hard to come by). Now you can find them in every craft store.
Ink – Color Box via Michaels. Highly recommend this ink for stamping. Good quality and consistency. I feel that I’m a bit of an ink expert now, having been to Michaels 3 times after buying ‘dried out’ stamp pads.
I read the following (edited) post by Krys Slovacek:
Are there magic words in marketing? Perhaps. Abracadabra! No? Fine, then. Moving on…
I initially got excited about a message I read on MeCo, listing the “twelve most influential words” in marketing. However, as I read through the messages, I found that the people posting on the thread took it in a direction that was surprisingly predictable. The twelve words have been used in countless spam messages and have become “red flags” to anyone with an email account.
Then I stumbled upon this blog post by Gary Bencivenga. He presents a compelling argument to eschew the magic word theory and make a compelling argument…
Even Gary’s post doesn’t spell out the real point. Which is?? Plan better meetings. Offer better content. Research what your target audience really wants, and give it to them. If you’re offering what people are looking for, you don’t have to dress up your message with magic words. You can simply explain the real benefits of attending or exhibiting at your meeting. That’s the real magic. Abracadabra!
My perspective…If anyone attempts to sell you on the idea that one size fits all, tell them to take a hike. Marketing is the art of communicating and delivering value in an relevant and engaging way. Imagine selling an energy drink to your Grandfather, and imagine selling that same energy drink to your 20 year old brother. The value for your Grandfather versus your brother will be totally different. And, the way in which you communicate (medium as well as communication style) will also differ. It has to! Grandpa might be interested in the fact that the energy drink contains the highest levels of Ginseng and Glucosamine to make him feel youthful; whereas, brother may be more interested that it provides the most extreme jolt of energy to get him through his day & night.
The most critical steps to marketing your products and/or services are:
1. Define what you stand for. What makes you unique and what makes you better?
2. Understand who you’re talking to. Define your target market and understand what drives them. Consumers don’t really need another pair of jeans. They want another pair of jeans. Find out why.
3. Communicate value (how will this product / service make me feel?). Try to stay away from benefits (i.e. better tasting, 10% Ginseng, etc). Highlighting the fact that you have the highest level of Ginseng in your product opens up an opportunity for your competitor to introduce a product that has even more Ginseng.
4. Over deliver. Seth Godin says it best…”Make big promises; over deliver.” This is the key to making the brand live well beyond the first purchase. Getting people to buy is only half the challenge. Making them come back for more…and tell their friends is the other half.
Image via Flickr
Google Maps has a plethora of new functions for people who want to know more about a destination. Not only can you view your destination on a map and get directions (ho hum) but you can now view and upload pictures and video as well as peruse published “user created maps”. The latter I find particularily interesting. Imagine creating a wedding vendor map in your area or creating a hotel/meeting space guide? The possibilities are endless. So, pass on your knowledge and expertise and create your own map…
1. Go to Google Maps
2. Type your destination (i.e. Toronto, ON) in the toolbar
3. Click on the “My Maps” tab (located on the left side of the page)
4. Click on “Create New Map”
5. Add a title, a description and click on whether you want your map “public” or “unlisted”, then click “Save”
6. Now all you have to start doing is looking up locations via Google Maps. When the pop up balloon appears on the map, there is an option to “Save to My Maps”. Click on this, identify which map you want to save it to, click “Save”, enter a description (i.e. your review) et voila! You can add links and images into your description, so be creative.
Refreshed . relaxed . and cleansed. My 4 day get away with 2 of my bridesmaids to a resort 3 hours out of the city was idillic. I revelled going to bed with the sound of chirping crickets and waking up, well rested, at the crack of dawn with the sun shining in my eyes. We hiked, we did Yoga and we were treated to some of the most decadent spa treatments.
I feel inspired and revitalized. I apologize for the slow in coming posts of late, but between wedding planning, work and the other loves of my life, I’ve had little time to post. But with my newly rejuvinated self, I’m sure you’ll be seeing more little sparks from ready.2.spark!
As the weather warms up, my thoughts go to hot, humid nights and their perfect match…ice cream. And yes, chocolate and vanilla will always have a place in my heart, but what really excites me are the unusual and often jaw dropping flavors finding their way into gourmet ice cream bowls. From beet to avocado to (yes, that’s right) candied bacon, the sky is the limit! Why not make an event experience out of the traditional ice cream bar by tasting nouveau flavors that will get guests talking?…