Intricate details, bold colour and touches of gold! I had so much fun working on the beautiful, bespoke stationery for this lovely couple. I met Maliha and Robert at a cafe in London and I remember Maliha wearing a red scarf as she explained it was her favourite colour. They were having an English wedding, but she wanted her Pakistani heritage to really shine through. She planned on wearing traditional Pakistani wedding jewellery on the day. Robert and Maliha really gave me the freedom to come up with whatever I wanted from their brief. After coming back up North, I asked Maliha to send over some pictures of her jewellery. I researched meena kari jewellery as well as used architectural influences to come up with my my illustration and designs. I played around with a few sketches and sent them over to the couple. My first couple of sketches were a bit more delicate. They loved them, but wanted to be even more bold with the design. Fine by me! So I padded out my border with even more details giving this final look. Not only bold in design, but we went bold in colour using beautiful scarlet red, deep purple and touches of gold.
Hayley discovered my stationery from a styled shoot I did at Gray's Court in York. Hayley and her husband, Craig, also got married at Gray's Court in May last year. Hayley loved the style of the casual hand-writing with minimal design, so I updated the suite to reflect her style and colours.
In the same hand-writing, I also created all of her on the day stationery including place cards and table signs. I also was asked to create a large watercolour welcome sign grey watercolours and with painted feathers as a nod to the groom's love of shooting. They also incorporated feathers in the boutonnières and place settings.
Have a look at the gallery below of more beautiful photographs captured by Yorkshire Portraits. Thanks to Hayley and Craig for sharing their day with us and allowing me to be a part of something so special.
We welcomed our second gorgeous little boy into the world on 1st October at 7:16am. His name is Elijah David Sutherland. He likes to sleep and make lots of grunting sounds, has grown too long for this newborn clothes already and makes the best faces ever.
I'm taking some time to adjust to our new normal as a family of four until the New Year. Lots of people have been in touch for weddings next year and have been booking into my schedule starting in January already, so if you'd like to commission me for your wedding, don't hesitate to get in touch.
I usually ask clients give the entire process 3-4 months from initial consultation to completion. As you may know, this is because the design process is thorough and intimate and we work together to make sure we're on the same page and I'm creating something you love. As well, the letterpress process is also time consuming as everything I print by hand on my printing press that is also manually powered. So while it may take a bit longer, it is definitely worth the wait.
I'll be on Instagram and Facebook and responding to emails in the meantime, but see you all in the new year for new and exciting commissions for 2017 and 2018.
(Image above from my baby shower by Forest Found, taken by Jane Beadnell Photography)
Here's a few pics of our little Eli:
Y'all I know it has been way too long since my last blog post, but it has been crazy non-stop in the studio since Christmas. I have had the busiest new year for my little business yet and I have got some amazing projects this year that I'm so looking forward to sharing. Today, I'm sharing with you one of the most beautiful stationery suites from a winter wedding in November. The bride, Danielle, and I instantly connected at the words "paper snob" and the rest went from there. Beautiful things happened as you can see.
The invitation suite consisted of an invitation, particulars card, reply card and weekend itinerary. The invitation was luxuriously thick made of 100% cotton paper duplexed to a lovely dark blue colour (it was GMUND Linen Cream and Colorplan Imperial Blue for the paper enthusiasts). The back of the invite was gold foiled with their bespoke designed crest and to the front their names and crest were also gold foiled. The rest of the text was letterpress printed in matching dark blue. Finally, the edges were painted in gold. Seriously, Kate and Will's invites were not as royal as these.
The particulars card was letterpress printed in matte gold and dark blue on the same 600 gsm, 100% cotton paper . With a cute little map of the venue location. They chose to have their wedding at Dewsall Court, which is a beautiful exclusive venue where you can have all your nearest and dearest for the entire weekend all in one place.
The reply cards were so lovely with their bespoke crest so beautifully letterpressed in dark blue. The reply cards slipped into an imperial blue envelope which was letterpressed in gold with their return address.
Everything was bound together and placed in an imperial blue envelope which also had their return addresses letterpress printed in gold on the back flap.
As you may know, each of my clients receives two concepts presented as part of their design. Depending on the brief, these concepts can be starkly different or very similar. Danielle and Nicky didn't hesitate and made a quick decision that they loved the concept in which this was the mood board. My inspiration was "bold, textures, rich, extravagant, luxurious". The colour palette was cream and gold with either navy blue or plum and they went with the navy blue.
Their winter wedding would be decorated with deep wintry hues including reds, plums and blue. I'm so thankful that Danielle and Nicky agreed to share some of their wedding day photographs by Luke Woodford, so you can get a feel of their warm, intimate wedding.
What a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple! I absolutely loved the deep colours, the venue and just how cozy yet classy everything seemed. Wishing you both all the best in your new life together as one!
Sending you all the warmest Christmas wishes! Christmastime is a perfect time to reflect on our lives, our families, our friends and what the beautiful story of Christmas means to each one us. I hope that the next few days leading into the new year are filled with comfort, joy and hope for the future.
I just want to take this moment to thank all of my family and friends for supporting me with your love, encouragement and the the occasional helping hand this past year.
Thanks to all my industry friends and colleagues for always being amazing and inspiring!
Lastly, I want to thank all of my lovely couples/clients for being absolutely brilliant. Thanks for challenging me and trusting me to create something beautiful for each of your special days. Thanks to your trust and support, I won my very first wedding industry award this year, Best Wedding Stationery in the North East and am a finalist for Best Wedding Stationery for all the UK. (We'll find out January 14th if I win that honour as well!).
I hope that 2016 is filled with just as much joy as this year. It's already shaping up to be another year of the most exciting commissions and projects! Watch this space...
From me and my family, Merry Christmas and Happiest of New Years!
Photo of the press by Charlotte Wise at Soul Images. Thanks, Charlotte!
Months ago, I saw a hashtag floating around the interspace that was #communityovercompetition. It was basically spreading and celebrating the ethos of business owners helping each other with love, support and skills. I am ever so grateful for so many people in my life that have supported me and who live out this sort of ethos every day and I think they should be celebrated. In honour of some of these gorgeous beings, I planned this little blog series and thought Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to say 'thank you'.
First up, is my beautiful, darling friend Sarah Richardson. She is the amazingly talented florist behind Leafy Couture. But from the moment I met Sarah, I felt that her passion for her work was infectious. I only have to spend a few minutes with Sarah and somehow I feel encouraged, confident and positive about things ahead. I know that she is always just a phone call (or cake date) away to give me whatever is it that I need, whether that is some crucial advice about business decisions or just a grounding talk when life's waves feel like they are crashing down on me. It ain't no secret that running a business and being a mother is difficult and trying at times! Sarah, like many of us, is both of those yet keeps smiling, continues to grow her business, is there for her friends and loves her family deeply. I am so grateful to have Sarah as wedding industry 'colleague' but am truly blessed to call her a friend.
Now, all of my 'greats' had to fill out this little questionnaire, just to get a little bit of insight into their minds and lives.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the past year in your business?
That its good to stop and really focus on what you want to do. We can get swept along just saying yes to things but to stop and really focus on what you want is liberating. Its OK to say no. It is also scary as makes you really think and then once you have your focus you need to work to get it. It becomes more real when written down!
Pick 2 things (product, service, etc) that you can’t live without.
Earl grey tea.. it flows through my veins...
The internet... I can keep in touch with my family and clients all over the world and its my shop front.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
As I have two young children that don't sleep, it's work out which bed and room I am in. Second, check Instagram, terribly addicted, but trying to keep my phone out of the bedroom as its too easy to waste time on the internet!
What is one thing you are looking forward to in the next year?
I am not good at choosing one thing! Workwise- we have some incredible weddings booked in, so really looking forward to those, new premises for our flower school for florists and flower lovers and homelife- we are doing major renovations and knocking walls down for a new kitchen, can't wait to get planning it pinterest- tastic!
If you could learn one new skill or talent, what would it be?
Hmm I would like to be better at baking... I am more creative than accurate! I would love to perfect biscuit making, going for a big gingerbread house this year love doing that with the kids.
Thanks to Sarah for taking the time to let me be super nosy! Here's a few images of Sarah's work and please do go follow her and how her some lovin' on Instagram and Facebook.
Look at her gorgeous work, some of which was created during her flower school courses, so budding florists, get in touch!
My second top tip (not necessarily in order of importance) when ordering bespoke wedding invitations and stationery is to “know your style”. You don’t have to have your style nailed down perfectly, but at least know where you are headed. If you don’t know what direction you are taking your style or feel of your wedding, this leaves a big huge world of possibilities when designing your wedding stationery! This isn’t always a bad thing, but giving myself a bit of direction will result in stationery that is YOU and perfect for your wedding.
Everyone isn’t entirely sure where they are headed or they may need to see something before they can say, “yes! that’s what we want”. This is exactly why I design from a concept stage. For example, someone may say to me I want rich berry tones with a luxurious feel. I can take that in so many different directions, it’s silly! So I take into account the venue, the couple’s personality, the number of guests, the gown, the bridal party outfits and any other number of things that the couple can provide me with.
I present each couple with two or three different concepts. Depending on how broad the direction is from our consultation, these concepts can vary vastly or all be a little bit similar. Once each couple sees ideas for their stationery, totally unique to themselves, they are then able to say “yes! that’s what we want”. I will then take the concept they love and design all the rest of their stationery pieces.
This process results in invitations and stationery that the couple are in love with and are confident represent themselves and their wedding day, but the process all starts with the client. The more details and information and guidance you can give means the more tailored and more honed in the concepts are.
If you are working with a wedding planner or a stylist, it’s a brilliant idea to get them involved in the process. They are the ones that will be designing the entire event with you in mind and getting their advice and feedback in the stationery process is crucial for a seamless and united aesthetic for all elements of your wedding.
My final bit of advice regarding your style is to focus on yourselves. Get as much you in as you can to make your entire wedding feel special and unforgettable. It’s your special day and I hope everything about it from the stationery to the cake represents you both as individuals and as a couple.
Image found on Written Word Calligraphy
As if gorgeous letterpress isn't enough for show-stopping invitations! But, seriously, there are some really awesome ways to give your stationery a few finishing touches just to give each invitation that personal flair...the last little cherry on top!
The possibilities are numerous and just takes a bit of creativity and thinking outside the envelope (see what I did there?). Here I list a few basic ways to add a little bit extra. Each of these ways can then be used as a simple idea to launch from. This is one of my favourite parts of my concept design stage and enjoy really coming up with creative ways to make the invitations suite a beautifully curated work of art.
Oh, hello, pop of colour! This fiery red is a stark contrast to the more subdued wedding colours as well as the softer colours predicted by Pantone for Spring 2016 trends. Pantone describes this colour as a harbinger of excitement, encouraging free-spirited exploration to unknown but welcoming locales.
This red is definitely bright with the undertones of yellow, not a berry or pink or deep in any way. To use this colour in a classy way, I would suggest using as accents just to provide that pop of colour to stand out. Think bright red lips or bright red flowers to set against the wedding day's whites.
I love the red soles of Louboutin shoes and they way it adds that little bit of flair to the classic styles. You can channel that vibe throughout the wedding day to add a bit of personality to the decor.
I've been making my way through Pantone's Spring 2016 colour predictions and started with Iced Coffee. I plan on curating a few more inspiration boards from some of my favourite colours from the group. I think Lilac Grey needs to be up next! Have a look at my Pinterest Boards to find more wedding, fashion and interior decoration ideas and if you like the Fiesta Red, have a look at more pins that I have found, including some very bold red dresses!
You will find more images, inspiration as well as links to all the above images on my Fiesta Red Pinterest Board, but here are the direct credits for the curated photos above:
Louboutin Flats: Photo by Jennifer Skog found via Style Me Pretty
Red Watercolour Menu: by Lauren Saylor at A Fabulous Fete
Red Lips with Leafy Crown: Photo by The Barefoot Brunettes found via Rock My Wedding
Red floral bouquet: Photo by DNA Photographers found via Boho Weddings
Red ring box: Ring Box by The Mrs. Box (I want one in every colour, please!) found via Three Sunbeams
Red Lips and Nails: Photo by Greg Finck also on Style Me Pretty
What do you think? Would you incorporate this bright colour into your wedding day? Let me know!
I'm so excited to share this dreamy styled shoot that took place in May earlier this year. I was invited to collaborate on it with Bethany Bevis from Mode 20 Weddings and Events along with a whole team of talented suppliers. Inspired by the recent release of Cinderella and all the beauty that surrounds the princess and her fairy tale, De Grey Rooms in York was the venue of choice.
The colour palette was soft hues of white, creams and dusky blues. I designed a storybook inspired wedding invitation and reply card as well as matching menus. The invitations were letterpress printed in a vintage matte gold and powder blue. They were printed on gorgeous Crane's Lettra cotton paper.
The menus graced the beautifully curated tablescape complete with gold chargers, cutlery, beautiful green and white blooms and a metallic sequin table cover.
Poppy Pickering provided the most perfect cakes. Three variations all in the gorgeous fairy tale blue. I think my favourite one is the one with the ruffles.
Here you'll find inspiration for weddings, events and stationery.