Friday, July 18, 2014

Wedding Stationery: The Trend Above All Trends

While trends of any sort pertaining to weddings are abundant, fleeting, and often contradictory, there are some trends, existing just below the radar (somewhere in between explosions of burlap and Gatsby-esque bejeweling), that will make it past the more transitory fads.

The important part of every wedding (and pretty much every wedding website in existence will remind you of this) is that your wedding be reflective of you and your partner. Today, weddings are becoming increasingly personalized, and we think that’s a very, very good thing. This is the trend above all trends.

Choose Your Color Infinity Wedding Invitations

When it comes to wedding invites, this inclination towards customization over tradition has even made its way to our doorstep. We find that fewer couples choose “traditional” wedding invitations, and we recognize that there are a whole host of reasons for this. Looking back at past wedding trends, companies like Crane and Anna Griffin (brands we carry ourselves) specialized in “traditional” wedding invitations with traditional wording, on thick cardstock, with either embossed, thermography, or letterpress type. There was little room for design (see also: personality) on the paper, so invitations began being enveloped in design, typically floral, and typically accompanied by lace, vellum, ribbon, etc. Invitations were then either plain (to one extreme) or frou-frou (to the other). And they were going to be expensive either way, which sends a message of formality.

But we’ve now entered an era where people throw all kinds of weddings with all different “vibes”. What if you’re not really into florals? Or your wedding is going to be super casual? Or you don’t have a lot of money?

The era of digitally designed invitations means a greater variety of paper styles, colors and designs than just choosing from a few expensive cardstocks and some ink colors (maybe some ribbons here and there). Digitally printed invites create more room for bold patterns and prints, something many people want to take advantage of in an effort to be more personal. Your invitations can become a much greater bearer of your wedding “theme” or atmosphere with more options: gingham, floral, trellis, geometric, vintage. You can also have all of these great options for less money and with less production time. Our selection of digital wedding invitations is growing rapidly because it allows couples to get more bang for their buck.

Fleur de Lis Swirl Wedding Invitation Suite

But if invitations aren’t your thing and you’re really struggling with the process, it can be helpful to take a look at the latest trends to get a feel for what you like.

If you look at a broad wedding search on Pinterest, there are certainly some wedding themes that are particularly popular right now. Rustic barn weddings are happening all over the place (especially in the South). The combination of industrial components and rustic elements seems to be derived from the rustic trend as well. And of course, as seems to be popular in all party circles, The Gatsby Theme.

Gatsby themed weddings (whether the suggestion is overt or subtle) typically allude to the opulence of the era, like gold rimmed china, long gloves, chandeliers. The theme promotes old world elegance, ideally in a subtle manner to avoid costume-jewelry-type tackiness.

Choosing wedding stationery to fit within your Gatsby/roaring 20s wedding theme should promote those same elements: thick, luxurious paper, metallic inks, vintage fonts, art deco details. If you have specific wedding colors in mind, incorporate those. In this particular instance, it’s ok to be a little over the top. It tells your guests what kind of party this wedding will be.

Perhaps the most widespread wedding trend of late is the “rustic” wedding. We feel the need for quotes here because there have been so many variations of this theme generated over the past year or so. Rustic weddings are great because they have that “down home” feel which encourages DIY wedding planning, which lends itself well to a very personalized experience.

Vintage Laurel Wreath Wedding Invitations

Whether your un-betrothed  self already has a Pinterest board chock-full of rustic wedding pins or you’re just starting to explore themes with your partner, it’s good to know that rustic weddings really all boil to down to a few core elements. Natural, unfinished materials are a great place to start: burlap (maybe throw some lace in there for good measure), raw or rough-hewn wood, and handpicked, simple greenery. Your new mantra: trees and barns. Trees and barns. Invitations are also easy to integrate in this case. Keep it simple. Kraft paper or light colors, flowery, elegant fonts, hints of lace, textured paper.

We mentioned earlier that as rustic weddings became popular, many variations of this theme arrived on the scene. One that seems to have taken hold, especially amongst the more minimalist crowd is the combination of industrial and rustic. Choosing an industrial venue and adding a few homey accents is a nice balance between refined and country, minimalist and elaborate. Industrial venues, with their concrete flooring, exposed brick, open floor plan and (typically) large windows call for minimal card design, in terms of invitations, with bold color for font or even images in place of some wording. The invitation is a good opportunity to showcase understated design, but warmed up with touches of fabric, scripted wording, or floral accents to make it more appealing. Here, it’s all about the juxtaposition.

Because who doesn’t love a good juxtaposition?


Like we said before, the most important thing is that your wedding invitations reflect you both as a couple. This is the trend above all trends. While it can certainly be helpful to look around and see what your options are, we always emphasize taking the opportunity to display yourself in every aspect of your wedding (especially in your invitations, the first glimpse that anyone will really get of how awesome your wedding is going to be). 

What's your favorite wedding stationery trend?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tips for Planning a Garden Party for Those Who Never Have

There’s nothing quite like planning a garden party. Given the material you’ll already have to work with, planning this kind of party typically means a dazzling event with less work. There’s something so great about throwing a party outside surrounded by beautiful greenery, good weather, good people, and good food. If you’ve never planned a garden party before, here’s a list of helpful tips to keep in mind!

Invitations

Invitations for a garden party, as with any event, are your first chance to set the tone. They indicate to your guests how formal the event is going to be, which in turn suggests what to wear, if they should bring anything, etc. When searching for the perfect invites, keep in mind that some of the more filigreed options would indicate a certain level of formality, whereas an invitation with blocked wording and illustrative styling might denote an informal environment. There is no shortage of floral-themed invitations at Paper Style and obviously we highly encourage you to check them out (wink wink).  

Obvious though it may sound, make sure to keep in mind the actual information you’d like on your invitation. Check out the “Wording” section on this post that we did last year for a checklist of the standard information included on any invitation. Do tell your guests time and date and location, obviously, but it’s also helpful to include information about apparel. Want your guests to wear big, fancy hats? Put it on the invite! Want them to bring a shawl or sweater or parka (depending on their inclination to cold) because the party will go well into the evening? You gotta let them know, you know?

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Location

In a garden, of course! Or really, anywhere outside that you have available to you. The idea behind any outdoor party is minimal décor. Let the outdoors do the decorating for you! The world is your oyster and all that. If you have an amazing garden that you’re super proud of and ready to show off, a garden party is the perfect way to do that! But even if your backyard is mostly concrete and weeds, you can still throw a beautiful, whimsical party with the right tools.

If you’re lacking in the greenery department, it might be a good idea to invest in some large planters that you can fill with an assortment of greenery. Not just for the party, either. Big pots of flowers or plants will always make a good addition to your space, especially if you choose low-maintenance plants, like ivies or succulents.

Since the focal aspect of the party is the greenery, if you have a lush space to work with, it’s best to have your primary set-up (your tables or benches or wherever the wine is) in the middle of all of that.

As another note, we’re particularly fond of white décor for garden parties because it’s light and airy during the day and sort of captures your lighting in the evening.  White tablecloths/table runners, napkins, white canopies or umbrellas, white centerpiece holders… Even if you only throw in a few white elements, it adds a nice, clean pop to the rainbow of color in the garden.

But then, who are we kidding, your color scheme should reflect the type of party you’re having and there’s no such thing as too much color at a garden party. C’mon, it’s a garden.


Canopies & Lighting (see also: really important parts of the party planning)

If your party is in the morning or afternoon and your space is without much cover or shade, it’s a good idea to invest in canopies from a rental company (if your party is a large one) or patio umbrellas (for smaller or more casual parties). Don’t make your guests sweat it out.

If your party is in the evening, or will continue into the evening, you need to account for lighting: and let me tell you, bistro lights are where it’s at y’all. Or really any type of lights that you can string around hedges or up in trees. We love bistro lights in particular because they’re so versatile. They can certainly be used capriciously to give the party a much more whimsical, natural feel, but they also look great worked into modern, industrial design, taking into account patterns and angles.

Ashley Urke (Domestic Fashionista)

Tables & Seating (see also: the most important parts of the party planning)

Tables and seating are the major components in the overall atmosphere of the party. Parties that are on the casual side might be better suited to family style tables and seating, whereas more formal events might be best with several separate, round tables, perhaps even high cocktail tables. Ultimately, what you can provide for your guests will depend on the space you’re holding the party in and if you’re looking to spend major ducats.

Family style seating tends to be the go-to. It provide a great environment and drives interaction with other guests. It makes serving food easier and it takes fewer resources (tables).

If you’re throwing a party where the food will be limited (but perhaps drinks will be plentiful, if you know what I mean) several high cocktail tables are probably your best bet. It gives people more space to mingle and since they won’t need much space for plates, you can open up the event space by reducing the table space. It really all depends what atmosphere you’re trying to create.

It’s also a good idea to include separate seating away from the table to encourage mingling. We love outdoor ottomans, benches, or porch swings with comfy and inviting pillows. They’re functional and decorative!

Centerpieces

The idea behind a garden party is to keep the floral theme running through all the elements of your event, even if the space you’re working with isn’t particularly verdant. In fact, centerpieces are the perfect opportunity to pack a floral punch, even if your space is minimal and industrial.

Aimee Smith Media

Centerpieces are the best way to make a statement about the kind of party you’re hosting, in a nutshell. What you include in your centerpieces and how they’re arranged are important. Choosing seasonal flowers is typically best, as they’ll likely cost less and probably last longer. Now that it’s summer, we love the idea of gardens and parties filled with sunflowers and colorful wildflowers. But ultimately, flower choice should be a direct reflection of the ambiance of your event. Plus, it’s hard to go wrong, no matter what you choose. Who doesn’t love pretty flowers?


But be sure to check out our Garden Party Pinterest Board for more inspiration!     

Monday, June 30, 2014

We Love BIG NEWS: Andrew Gets Engaged!

Happy Monday, everyone! What better way to start the week than with good news, right?

At Paper Style, we spend all day, every day helping people celebrate their lives. We get to hear all about your parties and weddings and birthdays and we love every minute of it. Relishing in all the excitement surrounding celebrations, it always feels extra special for us when one of our own team members has big news!

Last week, Andrew, our Director of Web Content, asked his girlfriend to marry him! Man, do we love a good engagement story...


We sat down to ask Andrew some questions about the engagement, and of course, it was the kind of romantic story that makes us all smile from ear to ear:

TPSB: How long had you been planning before you asked Heather to marry you?

A: I’d been planning the proposal for about 4 months. We had already planned a trip out west to Seattle and then to Montana to visit her family. I knew how special her lake house on Flathead Lake was to her. After much thought, I decided there couldn’t be a better spot to propose.

TPSB: How did you pick the ring? Had you guys been ring shopping together or did you just surprise her with one you picked?

A: Well, after a little while in a relationship – sometimes subtle hints are dropped. And there are sometimes not so subtle hints like “Oh, look, a jewelry counter….” We had a few discussions about ideas, so when I was ready I had something to work with. The hardest part was keeping it a secret, especially when it arrived over a month before our trip!

TPSB: It's early, but are there any details that you both are sure about yet? You mentioned the possibility of a destination wedding?

A: We’re still in the “Let’s enjoy this for a minute” phase, but we intend to start planning in a week or so. The one thing we do know is that we’d like a destination wedding. With our families and friends so spread out (Montana and Georgia, primarily) we figure we should make everyone travel and get a little sand between their toes!

TPSB: How did Heather react when you proposed?

A: She was over the moon! My plans included the one place where she has some of the best memories, and my asking her there added one more Special Memory of many to come! Her smile alone was worth another year of planning.

TPSB: Will you be getting your wedding stationery through Paper Style? (Shameless plug, y'all. Sorry! We're just so excited!)

A: We will definitely be placing an order for Save The Dates and Wedding Invitations as soon as we iron out those important details. Possibly one of the great beach wedding gatefold invitations. We already have a few sets of individual stationery for thank you notes – but I guess I’ll have to update hers with a new name!!!


Ah, the sweet sound of wedding bells on a Monday morning. What could be better? Do you have an extra-special proposal story to share?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day from the PaperStyle Team!


Dads.

It's been said that it's hard to fathom fatherhood until it happens to you. Our Paper Style team is proud to be as family-oriented as we are. Some of our team members even have kids who have spent large chunks of their summer hanging out around our office, growing up with Paper Style. This Father's Day, we want to celebrate all the dads around here, for all the things they've done and continue to do!


Our founder, Chris Wegener, with his dad Ed in 1979.

Here's a more recent picture of Ed, hanging out on the rocks in Arizona,
on a trip with his daughter, (& our COO) Diane!

Andrea in Web Support (6th from the right) with her father, John, and all the ladies in his life!

Andrea's daughter, Cara, who works in Shipping & Web Support, with her her dad, Bob,
at the Kappa Delta “Daddy Daughter Tailgate” this past year! 

Type Stylist, Debbie, with her father, John!

Type Stylist Traci and her dad, Joe, around 1963 and again in 2006! 

Here's one of our Type Stylists, Robyn, with her mom and her dad, Roy!

Andrew, our Director of Content Management, is livin' the high life and enjoying every minute of not being on midnight diaper duty (for now). 


Kim, our Director of Operations, with her dad, Dwight!

Our Quality Control & Social Media Coordinator, Aimee, with her father, Kevin, at her college graduation! (Go Highlanders!)

Michael, our Graphics Specialist, wanted to express how great he feels being a father! He says: "One of the things that I love about being a dad is that I get the opportunity to create memories in my daughter's mind, that hopefully would last a lifetime. This picture was taken the day that she learned how to ride a bike... I was on her side encouraging her to maintain her balance, but most importantly to take risks and leave fears behind." You're doing a great job, Mike!

How are you celebrating your Father's Day?