wedding planning, Wedding Day

Ashford Estate Tasting, Feb. 21, 2015

This past weekend, we had the utmost pleasure taking part in the Weddings of Distinction tasting at the luxurious Ashford Estate in Allentown, New Jersey catered by Merri-Makers!

Country Estate Weddings | Weddings of Distinction

Country Estate Weddings | Weddings of Distinction

I was so excited to have my sister accompany me, especially because she's never been to this wedding venue before. Her first impression entering the grounds mimicked the same as mine, wide-eyed "ohh" with such an enchanting and magical feeling as you continue to drive through the tall lion guarded iron gates onto a stone driveway, lined with arched pines leading to the Ashford Estate.

The tablescapes designed and created by Weddings of Distinction’s top recommended floral vendors; Magnolia, MDS Floral, and Katydid were just absolutely gorgeously stunning! I've seen their work before and each new time I am still just as pleasingly blown away. These photos do no justice to just how much more beautiful their work was by eye, in-person showing even little bits more of elegant surprises in detail.

These tables added such a warm, inviting and beautiful presence to the already flawless backdrop of the estate. I saw hints of shiny bling, springtime and garden scenes in style treatments of shabby chic and whimsical enchantment, each with soft vintage details creating almost an antiqued colored storybook fairytale brought to life. Each table scene had a completely different look and feel but equally breathtaking, beautiful representations of the spring season.

Whenever I create a complete custom invitation design from scratch, aside from the color palette I always ask what the centerpieces will look like, the vision in mind for the tablescapes because to me, this scene should flow flawlessly with your invitation design. Your invitation should be a glimpse into the style and details planned for your wedding day. The tablescape/centerpieces are typically the second most dominant detail in tying together your entire wedding theme or style.

Boho Chic Invitation Design to the right. Customization is available.

Boho Chic Invitation Design to the right. Customization is available.

The pieces Thinking Paper had on display at this prestige tasting I found to be the perfect "tone-setters" for weddings of a similar spring theme in addition to some others. Our soft and lifelike floral design, Boho Chic matched up beautifully with the tone of the enchanted garden centerpieces on display and of what the view from the windows would be reminiscent of during that warmer time of the season. The Woodsy Winter and K.I.S.S. invitation ensembles were perfect pieces for not only the snowy weather we had that day but also compliments the country elegance of the Ashford Estate property as well.

Woodsy Winter Invitation Design. Customization is available.

Woodsy Winter Invitation Design. Customization is available.

K.I.S.S Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

K.I.S.S Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Invitations on display for the other brides of Weddings of Distinction from Bonnet Island Estate, Mallard Island Yacht Club and The Stateroom on Long Beach Island were balanced between elegant, rustic and beach theme styles. The Summer Shell invitation design and Always & Forever striped ensemble beautifully sets the tone for weddings held at those gorgeous venues on the water. The Simply Chic invitation design inside our rustic pocket dressed up with a ruffled edge ribbon belly belt made a perfect combination for those modern, summer bliss pastel themes with a rustic kiss!  View All Wedding Invitation Designs

Summer Shell Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Summer Shell Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Always & Forever Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Always & Forever Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Simply Chic Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Simply Chic Invitation Design. Customization is available. 

Before packing up and heading home, we were fortunate to have had a little Merri-Maker food sampling of our own and WOW, just WOW! Their dishes were prepared and tasted absolutely amazing and the dessert cupcakes made by The Bake Works were super delish and guilt-free!

Even though the snow was falling, it was an enchanting spring and summer day! My sister and I had a great time chatting with the beautiful couples who are in the midst of planning for their wedding at these gorgeous venues this season, and we wish them all much love and happiness.

XO- TRISH

Customize and create the most perfect invitation tone-setter for your wedding day at the Ashford Estate, Bonnet Island, The Stateroom, or Mallard Island Yacht Club by following our simple and easy 4-Step invitation process

Wedding Day

Eddie & Don | Real Wedding

Last year, I had the opportunity and utmost pleasure of getting to work with Eddie & Don on their invitations and stationery for their September wedding. Eddie and Don have been partners and soulmates for countless years, wanting nothing more than to celebrate their love and commitment legally, with family and friends at the gorgeous Kirkpatrick Chapel at Rutgers University followed by a dinner reception at the Chart House in Weekawken, New Jersey. 

The vision in mind for their special day was to remain traditional but with style, a touch of fabulous and flair. Their bridal party dressed in formal attire, exquisite navy colored gowns and black tuxedos with stunning, eye catching florals created by Hanna’s Florist. Their hand selected table linens of emerald greens from Fabulous Events paired flawlessly with their color palette and beautifully accented their wondrous décor.

Eddie and Don’s invitations needed to not only provide their guests with a glimpse into their elegant wedding day but also inform them of the special details they’ve planned as well (which I absolutely loved). During the time between their church ceremony and dinner reception later that evening, Eddie & Don invited their guests of family and friends to their home for Champagne and Canapés to celebrate their nuptials!

The design style of their wedding invitations was envisioned to be masculine but with a touch of class and bling. We layered beautiful shimmer papers of navy, emerald green, and ivory together. Each invitation pocket ensemble was embellished with a jewel rhinestone, outer seal closure and addressed with a matching envelope design. Eddie & Don’s design theme carried over into their Ceremony & Reception Stationery with matching ceremony programs, an alphabetical seating chart as opposed to traditional seating cards and individual menus at each plate setting listing the delicious ingredients of the gourmet meals they’ve chosen.

Eddie and Don’s wedding day and celebration overlooking the New York City skyline was one spectacular event filled with love, laughter and divine elegance. Their energy for life, compassion and love for each other is truly inspiring and I am so honored to have been just a small part of their special day.

XO- TRISH

Eddie & Don's advice to future couples planning for their wedding: "Having the ‘day of’ stationery and the seating chart designed and printed removed extra stress that results near the end of the wedding. Don’t sweat the last minute changes that your guests create with cancellations or additions because no one notices them. Don’t rush through reviewing your drafts, have multiple family members review them at different times to find the mistakes early.  Enjoy your day. It goes by fast. Don’t regret not eating or dancing, it’s your party too!”

Video from Eddie & Don's Reception, Classie Events did an amazing job, this will give you chills! 

Build Your Very Own Wedding Invitation

Creating your one-of-a-kind invitation has never been easier!

I'm so excited to unleash Thinking Paper's new online store structure, conceptualized to guide couples in creating their very own unique invitation ensemble to set the tone for their special upcoming day!

From the cozy convenience of your home, 24-7, you can build your invitation at Thinking Paper from the ground up using our new process in just 4 easy steps.
 

In Step 1 at Thinking Paper’s online store, you’ll find an array of exclusive designs available to choose from for your invitation style. You may pick one design, two or three (as many as you’d like) by adding those to your cart as well. (special discount offered at the very end, keep reading) ... Customization is always welcomed so please keep in mind while browsing that the fonts used and the overall color palette of the design can and will most likely change to match your theme. 

Thinking Paper is NOT an automated system, once your order has been processed, you’ll work remotely (email/phone) one-on-one with a professional designer who will make the changes you request and create your proofs by putting together all of the pieces (an electronic mockup) to send via email for your review and approval to print. View More Info

Step 2. I'm sure we're all familiar with the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover" and over the years I have found that we’re all guilty of that to some extent when it comes to narrowing down a specific invitation style. As my mama says (mainly with decor), "it has potential" and ironically, choosing an invitation style is sort of the same in thought.

Your wedding invitation ensemble is a "presentation" you're mailing to your invited guests, a very important piece to not only provide them with a glimpse into your vision but is also a vehicle holding vital information regarding your day. This, presentation, needs to suit not only your wedding style but should also neatly organize all of those necessary, informative enclosure cards (RSVP, reception- if applicable, hotel accommodations or wedding details and directions).

Having said that, Step 2 at Thinking Paper is configured to display the variety of invitation styles that are available to you, conceptualized without design elements or color present to better help you narrow down or decide which invitation style, “presentation” most appeals to you and will favor your stationery needs the best. In addition, you'll be able to price compare the different base styles and view some completed photos of those specific invitation styles to inspire and spark your inner creativity when selecting your own colored paper combos/layers and card stock for your print design in the steps to follow. View More Info

Step 3. Choosing the actual printed card stock. Thinking Paper’s invitations and enclosure/insert cards are printed using the most innovative digital presses with paper stocks containing high percentages of post-consumer product (around 30%) and use wind-generated energy. Invitation card stocks are of White or Cream/Ivory in either a flat (matte), textured or shimmer finish. Kraft is available as well but not recommended for printing of light colors.

During this stage of building your invitation, you may know which print stock and finish will best compliment your invitation design and style/presentation but if your prefer to view your proof prior to making this selection, that is okay! You’ll be able to either proceed to the final step 4 or you may place your order as is and add this choice later. Though, prior to doing this, it’s highly recommended to at least view the various printed card stock options available and pricing to figure your final cost. View More Info

Paper samples are available to better help guide and assist you with making this decision when it’s time to place your invitation order. Purchase your pack today with FREE Shipping!

Down to the last and final step of creating your one-of-a-kind wedding invitation, Step 4. You may notice in some of the invitation style galleries shown throughout Step 2; designed envelope printing, monogrammed outer seal closure or ribbon embellishments. In Step 4 you’ll be able to add these items to your ensemble if you choose to do so. View More Info

Within each step of this “Build Your Invitation” process, you’ll find a page titled More Info that I’m sure you’ve seen if not already clicked while reading through this article. Reading these pages prior to diving right into the steps is promised to be of good use and direction. In addition, I also recommend maybe going through each of the steps first to preview what is available and comes next. Think of it like a buffet line, wouldn’t you like to know what is being served at the opposite end prior to plating your food at the very first station? I think so!

I’m so excited about Thinking Paper’s new online invitation process that I’m giving you a voucher to receive 1 Free Invitation Design proof (Step 1) with your order. Buy One Get One Free offer with coupon code: NWBUILD15 (worth value of $25.30)

XO- TRISH

Let’s get started with building the beginning to your happily ever after!

Wedding Day

Ashley & Tom | Real Wedding

Today we’re taking a little trip back to the month of June 2014 when Ashley and Tom said, “I-Do” at the scenic Clarks Landing Yacht Club in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. 

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper1

I absolutely love this shot taken by Artist European Photography capturing the sweet emotions during the closing of Ashley and Tom’s wedding ceremony with the groomsmen clapping proudly, the bridesmaids smiling so big and Ashley and Tom’s “Woohoo, We’re Married” memorable kiss.

Their wedding décor featured a fun candy bar with shades of pink accenting beautifully with the classy glass vase table centerpieces by Wallflowers filled with white hydrangeas and calla lilies infused with pops of white and light pink peonies. Their bridal party dressed to coordinate, the men in grey tuxedos and ladies in blush pink dancing the night away to Jerry Kravate New York band, Tibeca Rhythm.

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper2

When Ashley and I chatted about the vision she had for her wedding invitations and stationery to follow, it was important that the design and overall style look clean and elegant which I translated as, “less is more.” The process began with two key things, her color palette and the overall presentation.

We chose to work with a Pocketfold to neatly organize the informative insert cards for her upcoming wedding and layered papers together to find the right combinations to best compliment Ashley’s traditional, yet modern and soft wedding colors of blush pink, light grey and white. We found the Pearl White Shimmer Pocket matched beautifully, ironically with our Cream Textured printed cardstock and used a Real Grey colored paper stock to border and break apart the two “whites.”

After playing around with custom design samples of their monogram and swirly-type elements, we decided the blush pink should only be used more of an accent to add a small pop of color. After some fine tuning with inspiration of a design created in the past, here’s what Ashley and Tom’s wedding invitation turned out to be... 

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper3

Soon after Ashley's wedding invitations were in the mail, we continued the design style and color palette of the invitation over to what I like to call, Day-Of Stationery, also known as Ceremony & Reception Stationery with matching Tea-Length Menu Cards and Programs, an Alphabetical Seating Chart, and Layered Table Number Cards.

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper4

Ashley and Tom’s wedding day turned out to be exactly what she had envisioned and shared with me, simply classy and elegant!

- XO Trish

BlogAshley_ThinkingPaper5

save the date, wedding planning

The Scoop on Save the Date

One of the biggest questions we're asked while showcasing our invitations and stationery products at bridal shows is if it's typical or necessary to send a save the date out to invited guests and how far in advance to do so. There are many mixed opinions floating around out there as to what the proper wedding etiquette is or should be for these announcements but the bottom line is, it's entirely up to you and what your budget can afford. Though. There are multiple benefits as to why you might want to consider mailing a save the date to your wedding guests.

To begin, Why not?!

Planning a wedding is exciting and can be so much fun, but, let's point out the obvious, you're going to marry your best friend! You have waited for this proposal and we're pretty sure your family and friends have been excited at the thought of it as well, so why not announce your engagement and upcoming wedding date? Holler it from the rooftops and show off those stunning engagement photos by mailing a save the date roughly 6-8 months in advance.

Destination or Holiday Wedding

Aside from announcing your wedding date of pure excitement alone, there are other factors to consider if you’re still on the fence about the idea. These announcements are almost vital if you’re planning a destination wedding or if your date falls on or near a holiday. Giving your guests a heads up in advance will not only be appreciated but will also provide ample time to help them plan and prepare accordingly. If you're having a destination or holiday wedding, mail your  save the dates roughly 8 months to 1 year out from your wedding date.

Out of State/Town Guests

Save the date announcements are also helpful to invited guests who aren’t local to either or both your ceremony or reception venue's location. They’ll need to make travel arrangements in advance as to them, your wedding will be considered the above, a destination.

Get your RSVP’s Back Quicker

Please note, this is not a promised thing or a guarantee, but mailing save the dates may help with the turnaround of receiving rsvps’ back faster, after you’ve sent your wedding invitations of course. As previously mentioned, if guests are made aware of your wedding date early on, they’ll have ample time to plan and prepare by either marking their calendars to hold your date or will know if they are unable to attend due to previous engagements already scheduled. This early preparation can also assist with mailing those extra invitations to a potential B-List. Which by the way, please do not send a save the date to anyone on a B-list.

Running behind with your Wedding Invitations

Planning for a wedding on top of living your normal life can be crazy hectic and with that comes the passing of time and it will happen rather quickly. Often we find couples falling hostage to this, shopping around under pressure and placing their orders on such short notice. This part of your stationery process is the most important and should not be rushed. Buy yourself some time early on by informing guests of your wedding date in advance with a save the date. Trust us, this will help calm your mind (and your guests) in the event you happen to run a little behind with getting your wedding invitations out in the mail around the 8-10 week mark.

Do and Don’ts

Cost: These announcements do not need to be formal or eat up a great portion of your wedding budget. They should be fun and a representation of you and your partner. The purpose of this save the date is to announce you’re engaged and the upcoming wedding date. Choose an affordable style that works best for your wedding and budget whether it be in the form of a magnet, postcard, drink coaster, simple flat card or DIY home project, there are plenty unique ideas out there.

Design & Style: Some couples ask if their save the date should be similar to their wedding style or planned theme, for example ‘beach’ but really there's no right or wrong answer to this question as it’s entirely up to them and considered more a personal preference. Representing your theme is certainly not crucial during this phase of your planning as this particular piece of stationery doesn’t need to set the tone for your wedding day similar to how your actual wedding invitation will. You may decide to go against the idea of matching your theme and to stick with using only your color palette, that's okay. Save the dates are generally mailed pretty far out in advance from the actual wedding date and with mounds of beautiful inspiration out there, your mind might change here and there if you see something different. By steering clear of a theme and going more generic with your save the date, you won’t box yourself in and your options will remain open.

What Information to Include: As you know, save the dates should include both your names and the wedding date but adding the location, a wedding website, and “formal invitation to follow” statement is an optional choice. There is no right or wrong answer here either, however, consider what your save the date design will look like. For example, if you are adding photos and your faces are clearly visible, it may not be necessary to include both your first and last names, let alone a middle name. Remember, this isn’t your actual wedding invitation so it’s okay to go with the “less is more” approach especially if certain details are subject to change, for example, the location.

In addition, often we’re asked during the save the date proofing process if a wedding website should be included. We personally love wedding websites! Beautiful templates are available through online wedding planning resources like WeddingWire or TheKnot and are free with standard memberships and quite easy to setup yourself even if you’re not the most technically savvy. If you’re unfamiliar with wedding websites, we highly recommend you look into this idea further. Not only is this just another way to share your love story and the details you’re planning, it’s another avenue guests can find additional information they may need at their own accord. We dive into how you can utilize a wedding website in our Wedding Stationery Tips & Guide. 

Who gets a Save the Date: For the most part, we’ve already covered the importance save the dates can hold by providing your guests with ample time to plan and prepare for your big day, however, there are still some things you’ll need to consider. You shouldn’t send a save the date out to anyone you may potentially cross off or move to a B-List. This means any distant relatives you’re unsure of, co-workers, friends, etc. because, by sending them a save the date you’re also informing them they'll soon be receiving a wedding invitation as well. Save the dates should only be mailed to guests you know who are absolutely positively invited to your wedding, including their +1 or more which should also be addressed on the save the date mailing envelope.

Mailing: The ideal time to mail save the dates to invited wedding guests is between 6 months to 1 year out from the wedding date. 

As the holiday season is now upon us, it may be best to either hurry or hold off on mailing your save the dates if this is considered your ideal time. As you know, holiday cards take over our mailboxes during the month of December, your save the date should not be mistaken for just another holiday wish from a family member or friend and should certainly not be overlooked or lost in the shuffle. Again, if you find your ideal mailing date falls subject to this time of year, we recommend getting your save the dates out either right before the holiday card push or in the very beginning of the New Year.

We hope you find this information helpful and invite you to browse through our gallery of save the date designs as you've seen a sampling of here. Turnaround from start to finish (electronic proof to delivery) is roughly 10-15 business days. Rush orders can be accommodated but an additional fee will apply, ask for details.

Please feel free to reach out with questions or leave comments, we look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Planning!

XO

Introduction to the NEW Thinking Paper

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to our new website, blog, and place we like to call home. With a change in season underway there's no better time to introduce the exciting new changes made to Thinking Paper as well.

To begin, I will call-out the obvious, our new ‘look’ and brand. Thinking Paper now has a new logo and color scheme with shared characteristics of the original. A rendition of the Middle Aged waxed seal, a bloomed flower styled in a paper cutout-like design now coupled with an edgy, modern script font and bold characters (letters) to draw attention to Thinking Paper’s design niche, Stationery. With this logo redesign, it was only natural to move forward in continuation of the brand’s new look for the website, a full circle to freshening up the overall design theme of Thinking Paper. 

THE COLLECTION

Since 2009, it’s been an on-going mission of mine to not only provide unique, custom designed invitations and stationery, but to also ensure that each person I've worked with had a fun, stress-free, and delightful experience as well. 

While maintaining these characteristics of which Thinking Paper has become known for today, I wanted to break outside of the box, expand our horizons and introduce new ideas for wedding and event stationery. My signature statement to couples I work with for custom design is this,  ‘We are more visual than we realize, it’s hard to imagine something that doesn’t exist with so many options around you, from the paper and material combos down to what the actual design itself will be. When really, you just need to see something to know if it works for you or not.’ 

As a designer, it’s my responsibility to bring those visions to life, to introduce new concepts by building a foundation great enough to help you visually see the end result. This collection was born of that notion, to provide you with a launching pad nullifying that stress of having to figure out all of those pieces.

While creating these ensembles, my focus was to remain mindful of those who are planning their event by offering versatility to coincide with their theme or style and color palettes. Each invitation suite is easily customizable, whether it’s swapping design elements shown and used throughout the collection in other ensembles or by changing up the materials and colors completely. Though, the current pairings of the papers and materials chosen already are simply just stunning together and I strongly recommend you order a sample to see for yourself.

In addition to this new collection and online boutique, it’s imperative to Thinking Paper that we remain interactive and social with our couples throughout their ordering process, a mannerism we pride ourselves in becoming known for. Though remotely, we’ll continue to move forward with the one-on-one working process rather than having you toy with an automated system in order to create and review proofs.

I am so excited about this new chapter for Thinking Paper and had an absolute blast creating this invitation design collection. More importantly, I look forward to working with future couples in helping them set the tone for their most special day EVER!

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XO TRISH