Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Creative Wedding Invitations? This one ROCKS!!!

If you are looking for my site, please go to www.amberjphoto.com.
Otherwise, sit down and take a look at this amazing idea for a wedding invitation. I fell in love with it when I saw it on my co-workers desk and I HAD to find out what inspired the bride.  I was going to blog it out for you, but she wrote it all so well, I shall not touch what she wrote!!  It's a little detailed, but it will give you an idea for an invitation that will be turned into a small work of art. Seriously, I would never throw this one away, I would probably have it framed.
So thank you Christina Hunt (now Wood  ) of Oneonta, you have inspired me!


In the words of the bride....
When we began planning our wedding, my (soon to be) husband and I determined a “vibe.”  Not a theme…themes seem superficial.  A theme is a topic and people purchase items that concern that topic.  A vibe is a mood – it is the emotion that you hope to evoke from your event.  As a couple known for boundless energy, creativity, and an ability to have a really good time, we had a reputation to keep so planning commenced!
Words thrown around in our bedtime brainstorming session included “classy, casual, old time, local, live music, rural, fun, and a little unexpected.”  We love dancing and have been doing so since the day we met five years prior and we love our community of friends – all of these elements would become a part of the experience.
 Over nachos and beer at a local haunt, Chris Lott, owner of Evening with Designs listened to a summary of our evening’s events.  I brought several images with me that I liked:  sample invitations, font styles, and concert posters (50s rock and country).  After tossing around ideas we knew we wanted an invitation with a traditional front and an unexpected “POW” on the inside (aka the “Get up and dance” effect).  We wanted it to feel like a show poster.
Now, let me explain, Chris Lott is not an invitation designer…he’s a show poster designer! He definitely fits the vibe.  Jared and I were charged with producing a photo of us dancing and from there, Chris would work his magic.  Only problem, we didn’t have pictures of us dancing!
So, one night Jared and I cleared out the living room placing our SONY Cybershot camera on a nearby bookshelf and setting the timer.  It was tricky…it took about 30 shots, but we finally got a few that were worthy of being sent to the designer.  Chris was pleased upon the receipt of the images and went to work.
Draft one was pretty good.  I loved the font and the design elements, but it wasn’t what I had originally envisioned so I pushed Chris to keep working and tweaking the invitation.  When all was said and done, I had dragged him through several weeks of tweaking only to come full circle back to the original with slight changes.  While it wasn’t exactly what I had originally envisioned, it was really awesome invitation and spoke to the mood of our event entirely.  I was elated by the results of his unique vision of the day we had planned for our community of friends and family.
We sent the invitation to print at a digital printing company in a nearby city.  I had worked with this outfit many times professionally in the past and was always satisfied with the price and quality.  It was an easy choice – family owned and very down to earth.  Again it spoke to the vibe.  They were hands-on with the selection of paper to suit the imagery and very attentive to my fairly confusing layout.  “Wait, you mean the photo is on the inside! Ohhhh, now I get it.  That’s really cool,” says the assistant after a very long and confusing (and amusing) telephone conversation.
The invitations arrived and were processed for announcing our intentions to “CELEBRATE” with 300 lovely individuals that have touched our lives professionally, spiritually, and personally.  A most raucous party was about to occur!
As you start your planning process, I offer these thoughts on your “do-it-yourself” day:
    •    Do the research.  Buy a couple overpriced wedding magazines and rip out the good ideas – put them in your planning journal; go online and seek out great invitation ideas to add too.
    •    Look for unique fonts – default fonts on Microsoft products are often overused so look for something tasteful but a little different.  Some cost money and some are free.  There’s a good chance that if you can’t do it, your computer savvy designer friend can find what you’re looking for.
    •    Offer an element of surprise.  Something that speaks to your personalities and the mood you wish to create – make your friends and family excited to join you in the celebration. 
    •    Always remember your vibe.  Fall back to the mantra: this party needs to feel ______ (insert appropriate descriptive words: heavenly, down to earth, sophisticated, intimate, etc.)
    •    Use the ones you love.  Use vendors, friends, and family members you know, love, and can trust to make your day that much more personal.  Those folks that you entrust in the planning process will be honored and proud to have created a magical day for you and your honey. 
    •    Let the artist be the artist.  People always have their own vision about an idea, but if you find a designer you can trust with your idea…then trust him / her even if it’s not exactly what you expected. Imagine that it’s not your wedding – how would you feel if you got the invite in the mail? Does it fit the mood and the couple? If the final product is so off base that it makes you sick to your stomach, it’s time to change the design or (in worst case scenario) the designer.
    •    Have fun.  This is (hopefully) your only wedding so remember not to sweat the small stuff.  Rock the process, have fun, and enjoy being engaged!
A few of the vendors and resources:
Resources:
    •    The Knot.  www.theknot.com  (hosted our wedding website and offered a ton of ideas!)

Clothing:
    •    Rainbow’s End Weddings and More.  Oneonta, New York.  http://www.rainbowsendweddings.com/

Invitations:
    •    Callahan Digital Printing.  Binghamton, New York.  800-797-7314
    •    Eveningwith Designs.  http://eveningwith.typepad.com/blog/

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA? Or do you know a business I should feature? I would love to know! Contact me at amberjphoto.com!~
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