Lot 190 + blue doors

31 May 2012

Photographer Ali Harper and her husband are building their “forever home” at Serenbe, and they’re chronicling the building process on a tumblr, Lot 190. In addition to her stunning photography skills, Ali clearly has an impeccable aesthetic, and I’ve loved following along as they make decisions. Above is their gorgeous blue front door, one of my favorite details. According to Ali, the color is “Watery” by Sherwin-Williams.

Do you love blue doors, too? Here are a few of my other favorites:

This one is painted “Number 10” by Dulux Days by Dulux (I think it’s an Australian company).

This one is “Cool Jazz” by Behr (photo by Norman Pogson via This Old House).

This one is “Wythe Blue” by Benjamin Moore (a very popular color). Photo by Hiya Papaya via House of Turquoise.

So pretty!

Wedding weekend welcome packs

29 May 2012

Hello, friends! I am so happy to be back and writing to you! I survived my whirlwind week, and I did it by putting one foot in front of the other and concentrating only on the task in front of me – whenever I didn’t do that, I got totally overwhelmed! It was a fabulous week, though: one where I got to take several beautiful drives through upstate New York; brave the streets of Manhattan in a rental car (the parking was actually worse than the driving!); stay overnight twice with two of my favorite New Yorkers; eat pizza with my Mom; see a ton of new pretty paper at the Stationery Show; have lunch with my three oldest friends; host a shower for my future sister-in-law and dear friend (can’t wait to share!); put on my bathing suit and lie in the sun; and get together with girlfriends new and old at the future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party (yes, both in one weekend!). The only thing I didn’t get to do enough of was squeeze John and my kitties, but now that I’m back in North Carolina, I’m making up for lost time! I definitely plan to share some highlights from NSS as well as shower details, but both will require me to gather my thoughts (and images!).

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some of the inspiration I’ve been collecting for our wedding weekend welcome packs. (I haven’t decided if the goods will be housed in bags or boxes, so that’s why I’m calling them packs :) John and I have thought a bit about what we’ll put in our packs, but since so many of our lovely guests read this blog, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I’ll report back after the weekend, though! In the meantime, here are a few examples that are inspiring me:

A breakfast-to-go kit tucked in a wicker or berry basket like Jenny’s would be so cute if you were hosting a small wedding! I love the little suitcase this simple combo of hand-drawn map, welcome booklet, and classic soda is packed in (photo by Olivia Leigh Photographie).

These type-fabulous rehearsal dinner kits were handed out the night before the wedding and included photobooth instructions, a custom mad lib, and an important phone number list! (Graphic design and photo by Brooke Courtney via Oh So Beautiful Paper)

I love the custom cookies (cute!) and simple stamped kraft paper bags in these kits photographed by Leah McCormick via Snippet & Ink. My favorite source for paper bags is here!

This adorable paper set is by Cheree Berry (of course!) and is very inspiring to me as I’m designing our info sheets! (Photo by Patricia Lyons)

This wooden box lined with patterned paper looks super luxe, but haven’t y’all seen the unfinished wooden boxes at Michael’s? They’re super cheap! Glue in some pretty scrapbook paper and tie it all off with a wide satin ribbon, and you’re going to make quite the impression! This one was designed by Simplesong for Martha Stewart Weddings and photographed by Kate Headley.

This tuck-top box is appealing to me because it’s different, but I’m struggling with the fact that it’s not that practical should people want to take it home with them in a suitcase. But maybe they wouldn’t want to? Anyway, if you’re interested in ordering your own own boxes, look here. (Photo and packaging by Corinna Nielsen) And isn’t that picnic basket so cute? I love that they included hyper local goodies, like Moon Pies and seasoned nuts. (Photo by Jonathan Canlas via Southern Weddings)

Lastly, I loved this photo when I spotted it on Kelly’s Instagram – a good reminder that if you’re having a larger wedding, welcome packs can take up a good amount of room!!

If you were a wedding guest, what would you find delightful or helpful in a welcome pack?

Wedding planning update: 3+ months to go

25 May 2012

It is highly unlikely that there will be cake smashing at our wedding, but I love this photo anyway :)

Chudleigh Weddings via Snippet & Ink

Since my last update…
— I’ve begun scanning photos for our slideshow (we picked the songs months ago – so excited about them!!)
— I printed our marriage certificate and guest book cards
— We’ve started brainstorming for our first dance song
— I designed a few paper pieces that will go in our welcome bags/boxes, and have begun thinking about what said bags/boxes will look like (and whether, in fact, they will be bags or boxes)
— Our veil is in the works!
— We booked the second night of accommodations for our minimoon
— We took our engagement photos! OF COURSE I will share them with you soon!
— I sourced a few more items at the flea – another large frame, another silver cup, and another floral frog
— While home in May, I chose a wedding day bracelet from my Mom’s stash!

Next up on the list?
— We will have our first pre-marital “conversation” with our pastor (his word, not mine). We are very excited about this!!
— We have an appointment for John’s tux tailoring
— We need to determine our guest list for our rehearsal dinner and confirm our reservation
— I hope to have our invitations in hand (whoo!) and start the addressing process!
— We need to take another look at our prospective reception menu (it’s been a few months!) and update it before our tasting
— Same thing for our floral order – we need to take another look and make any necessary edits before our walk-through with our florist

P.S. I think I’m going to post my remaining planning updates on the 15th, so that the countdown will be a little clearer!

Busy week ahead!

21 May 2012

Hello, friends! Today I’m in New York on a work project. I flew into JFK yesterday, rented a car, drove it all around Manhattan picking up various packages (a hair-raising experience for this small town girl!), and then headed upstate. Once out of New Jersey, the drive couldn’t have been more beautiful! Up the side of one mountain then down the other, over and over. And in each valley, a diminutive town, reliably consisting of a church, a tree-lined main street, a few very enticing antique stores, and a restaurant or two. Farther up, the mix weighted more heavily to farmland, healthily dotted with cows. The only word for it was picturesque.

I’m glad I had that restful drive, because I’m in for a whirlwind week, y’all. Tomorrow I’ve got the big work project all day, then Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll be at the National Stationery Show. My week culminates with Marget’s long-awaited bridal shower on Saturday. I’m so excited to surprise her with all we’ve been planning! Here’s a little teaser of a project I was finished up this weekend:

Can’t wait to share!!

Quaker marriage certificate

15 May 2012

Several of you expressed interest in the marriage certificate I mentioned designing in this post. I finally had time to snap a photo of it this weekend, so I thought I would explain!

The first special (i.e. non-government issued!) marriage certificate to catch my eye was this one, by Orleans Paperie:

It just stuck in my head! I loved the quote, the layout, and most importantly the sentiment behind it, and quickly decided we would have one for our wedding. Like the one above, I would call ours a modern version of a Quaker marriage certificate. I am not a Quaker, but here is what I understand the symbolism and meaning of these documents to be in their community:

In the Quaker tradition, couples are married at a normal monthly meeting, not at a special service. There is no minister or leader (because Quakers don’t have clergy); Friends believe they are married by God, and declare their intentions before God and those gathered. They believe that the marriage is merely “witnessed” by those present. After, the couple signs a marriage certificate. At the close of worship, all those present at the meeting are also asked to sign the certificate as witnesses. This Wikipedia entry mentions that the certificate is usually hung prominently in the home of the couple as a reminder of the declarations they made, and of the people with whom they shared that moment of their lives.

John and I definitely believe that the guests at our wedding play an active role as witnesses of our promises, and we loved the idea of them physically signing their support to what they witnessed. I do think it will make a beautiful keepsake after the fact, too.

I created our certificate in Illustrator and had it printed at our local FedEx Office, which cost about $15. The finished size is 13 inches by 16 inches.

I mimicked our wedding invitation as much as possible, including the font choices (Burgues Script and IM Fell English, for those who might be wondering!). The calligraphy file with our names was also made for our invitation, by the supremely talented Moya Minns, so consider this a sneak peek!

In case you can’t read the text, here’s what it says:

On the fifteenth of September in the year two thousand twelve, at a ceremony held in the presence of their family, their dearest friends, and God, at the United States Coast Guard Memorial Chapel in New London, Connecticut Emily Armstrong and Mr. John Alexander Thomas declared their marriage vows.

There are spaces for the bride, groom, and officiant to sign, and then there are 100 lines on which our guests will sign. (We’re expecting a few more than 100 guests, but I figured that some might sign as a couple, some might miss it entirely, and most kids are not likely to sign.)

A last sneak peek: It’s kind of hard to see in this photo, but there’s a very light gray wreath illustration behind the signing lines. This was drawn by our invitation designer, Jess, and will feature prominently in our invite suite and other paper pieces!

What do you think?