wedding planning

Imagine Your Wedding Day

As we’re getting further into 2015s' wedding season, engaged couples from earlier in the year may already be well underway with their planning or are beginning to think more about what their perfect wedding day vision will be down to the very last detail- but how do you know where to begin? 

One of my very best girlfriends and I participated in this Valentine’s Day couples' fitness challenge earlier this year, (YES, I’m totally into this - you’re invited to follow my personal health & fitness Pinterest Board if you’d like), anyway- over a well earned Starbucks treat afterwards, we finally got around to catching up and chatting all about HER ENGAGEMENT, (Christmas morning proposal) and while she wasn’t actively wedding planning then, we talked over some of the ideas she had in mind...... Fast forward.

Not long ago we met up again and since she’s decided on a vision for her wedding day! Yay! Though I am so excited for her and that she was able to hone in on this vision to follow, I couldn’t help but wonder if other engaged couples’ out there had felt any of the same pressure with deciding on what their wedding day vision will be. And, what could I recommend to them on how and where to begin?

There are countless, beautiful ways to get married- to honor and celebrate your love and commitment to one another. This day will be one of the most important, romantic and meaningful days you will ever share with your one true love, family and friends. So how do you go about narrowing down all of the wedding day possibilities to just one suited perfect for you?

Guest List

Well, I think it’s very important to first sit down and write-up a potential guest list. Regardless how rough or finalized your guest list is, having this reference handy will be a great launching pad to getting you started in the right direction.  

  • Gain perspective on the actual scale of you wedding day
  • Narrow down venue tours to only those that can accommodate your guest list size
  • Pave way for an easier time with planning as you move forward 

*The Knot has some really great tips to getting started with forming your wedding guest list, check it out.

Budget

How much moola will you have to spend? Determining a budget for the wedding day, gifts and festivities involved can make anyones eye twitch. Traditionally, wedding etiquette states that the bride’s parents host the wedding while the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner. Today, we’re finding that more engaged couples are hosting their own wedding celebration or that both families are now contributing towards the expenses.

  • Research average wedding costs to better educate yourself
  • Estimate other wedding related expenses so that you can plan accordingly
  • Confirm overall budget available to spend

*Wedding Wire has a planning tool that can help you with budget planning and tracking, check it out.

Style & Theme

Figuring out the type of wedding you would like to have along with the location can go hand in hand with the size of your intended guest list and the budget available to spend. Will you marry in the same location (on site) as your reception, or will you choose somewhere with a scenic backdrop or house of worship/church with a celebration to continue shortly thereafter? Will you elope or plan a destination wedding?

Once you have narrowed down WHERE you would like to get married, now you can choose a wedding style or theme. This can be based on a feeling, mood or vibe created from the décor itself or by the use of decorations and different textures such as Vintage/Retro, Rustic and Shabby Chic. As you can see, I don’t necessarily mean Pirates or that your guests wear costumes, (though that’s cool too), a theme can be a variety of things, like maybe a set color palette when everything is color coordinated somehow- coupled with a pattern to break things up- chevron being a perfect example and a trend we’ve seen beautifully done. 

A theme can also be based on something more specific and meaningful to you and your relationship like for example- maybe your first date was at an ice cream parlor. A color palette can be made up of ‘3 flavors’ (vanilla/ivory, strawberry/pink, chocolate/brown), wedding favors can be ice cream scoopers or maybe a gift card for a free ice cream cone at that very same parlor. You can hire an ice cream cart vendor to scoop cones for dessert, tables can be flavor names as opposed to numbers. (Okay now I’m getting carried away), but here you can see how sometimes choosing an actual theme can really spark up some inspiration and ideas you might not have originally thought of. 

We hear more of how weddings are becoming not just a memorable day for the couple being celebrated, but an ‘experience’ for the invited guests as well. Today, couples are going above and beyond in providing their wedding guests with a night to remember by providing convenient shuttle transportation, a photo booth and props, entertainment and lounge areas, to special menu selections and little surprises. These unique wedding details will differ from one to the next but exploring ideas that will coincide with your theme, style and mood is ideal when looking to add a more personal touch.

Choosing a wedding theme or style is also imperative for guests to know of beforehand, hence the function and importance of a wedding invitation. In addition to this though, you’ll need to decide on the formality of your wedding day and the proper attire guests should wear. Will your wedding style be causal, semi-formal, black tie?

  • Now you can find a suitable ceremony location and venue
  • Schedule necessary vendor and bridal appointments
  • Plan and prepare for all relative details

All of these factors are key, things to really think about and consider, and will only better prepare you for the beginning stages of your wedding planning.

My girlfriend decided on the idea to have a small, intimate New Year’s Eve wedding and a search for the location and venue is underway!

What Type of Wedding are You Having?

Check out Thinking Paper’s Pinterest Boards for inspiration and ideas!

Real Weddings

Morgan & Mauro | Real Wedding

A year ago, Morgan and Mauro tied the knot at The Channel Club in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey located just down the road from Long Branch- a beautiful location and backdrop for a beach themed wedding.

They chose a soft light colored palette made up of peach, coral and ivory colors, a sophisticated wedding style with a beachy ambiance of starfish and sand to elegantly compliment their theme and décor.

I always enjoy looking at the photos from our couples’ weddings, like Morgan and Mauro’s because it’s such a beautiful treat when you can actually almost feel the vibe of their special day- from the mood of the surrounding colors and being on location to seeing the moments captured on film of the emotions and facial expressions. All of the things thought of and planned coming together, creating an ever so lasting tone, an impression made of what that day was all about and how the memory of it will linger on just the same for years to come.

When creating a custom invitation design, it’s important that I almost jump ahead in my mind to this, my interpretation and vision alongside my couples in order to create and design an invitation that will be reminiscent of those details- what the final outcome and tone of their wedding day will be.

Based on Morgan and Mauro’s wedding style and theme, their invitations were made of pairing together both shimmer and flat cream papers with our soft coral colored stock to mimic that sophisticated and classic look and feel. A design accent of just a simple starfish was placed delicately above the wedding location and appeared larger throughout the design of the ensemble’s enclosure cards but as only just a hint of it’s presence, distant in the background. The outside mailing and rsvp envelopes were designed and printed to match, introducing guests to their beach wedding theme before even opening the actual pocket invitation.

It is now one year later and Morgan and Mauro’s wedding invitation design and color palette is still considered to be both timeless and elegant- an invitation ensemble that had truly ‘set the tone’ for their most special day.

Happy First Anniversary!

XO-TRISH

Florist: Bonnie @ Petal Beach | Entertainment: DJ Christian @ SCE Event Group | Photography: Something Blue | Officiant: Capt. Bill Davis of Nautical Star Weddings | Ceremony Musician: Michelle Brick

wedding planning

Present Your Invitation in a Reminiscent Way

For many, what feels to be an endless search for their most perfect wedding invitation can turn into such an exhausted, daunting process. There are so many different design styles, beautiful packaging ideas and materials to work with that having to make the decision to choose amongst them can be so overwhelming. This bums me out for engaged couples’ because the wedding invitation process should be special, fun and turn up the level of excitement and anticipation for their day to come- not add more stress.

This pretty little packaging of card stocks, your invitation ensemble style is going to not only set the tone for your entire event by being the first introduction to your wedding theme but it’s also the vehicle to passing along need-to-know information to your invited guests. Once you've figured out all of the details that you'll need to share, you can then determine how many insert or enclosure cards you'll actually need in addition to the main invitation itself. 

Choosing an Invitation Style

Beginning with Design. An invitation’s printed design should represent the look and feel of the wedding day and location; the attire, scenery and decor. Is your wedding formal, theme specific (beach, fall, gatsby) or simple and classy?

The Invitation Style or presentation holding your invitation and matching enclosure card prints together should also be of the same, mimicking the look and feel but complimentary to the design as well. For example, if you're planning a small, intimate and romantic type of celebration whether it be indoors or outdoors your invitation style can be something simple like a layered matte card. If your event is more on the formal side and additional wedding information cards are a must (rsvp, reception, hotel accommodations, directions) then opting for an invitation pocket style may be ideal to presenting an organized, more formal and polished look. What’s the vibe you envision for your wedding?

ThinkingPaper_Blog2

So how do you narrow down which invitation styles most appeal to you and will best accommodate your stationery needs?

Typically when we see a finished piece we’ll know right away how we feel about it- if we like it, don’t like it, or we’ll see the potential it has when putting our own creative spin on it- making it our own with little tweaks and changes.

Within our gallery of Invitation Ideas you will find finished invitation ensembles with a listed breakdown of the materials used and the name of the design from our gallery (Step 1) to better assist you with building together your own version -or the same- when going through our Step-by-Step process- an à la carte process suited to accommodate your specific needs with options available to customize however you’d like. (See overview)

When looking through the different wedding invitations, ask yourself these questions to better help you with narrowing down which styles interest you and will perfectly set the tone for your wedding:

1. What is the size of your wedding? The cost of invitations can add up very quickly, especially with certain paper selections, embellishments, and when adding multiple printed cards (rsvp, reception, accommodations). Figuring the number of how many invitations are actually needed ahead of time can help you with narrowing down the styles and paper selections to accommodate your needs and budget.

 2. How many printed cards in addition to the invitation are needed? Enclosures, inserts, wedding cards (whichever title you prefer) provides guests with additional wedding information they may need in order to plan for your day as well. Almost always you will find a separate card, RSVP with a self addressed and stamped envelope included with the main invitation. If the wedding ceremony and reception are taking place in two different locations, you will find a Reception Card included with the time and location of the post-ceremony celebration. Most couples like to include information regarding travel and local hotel accommodations as well.  

It’s always best to gather all of this information prior to ordering wedding invitations and to see what information can be consolidated and possibly eliminate that one extra card. Of course this cannot be the case with some invitation styles given space, but having all of your wedding information settled ahead of time is highly recommended. 

Step 1 Design: Cinderella, Step 2 Printed Card Stock:  White/Crystal 107lb shimmer metallic +1 card, Step 3  Printed Ribbon Belt Half Fold Invitations (Printed Card: White/Crystal 107lb shimmer metallic, Ribbon: Shiny Metallic Silver, Outer Seal Paper Color: Silver Shimmer)

Step 1 Design: Cinderella, Step 2 Printed Card Stock:  White/Crystal 107lb shimmer metallic +1 card, Step 3  Printed Ribbon Belt Half Fold Invitations (Printed Card: White/Crystal 107lb shimmer metallic, Ribbon: Shiny Metallic Silver, Outer Seal Paper Color: Silver Shimmer)

3. What is your wedding theme or style? Will your event be small, intimate and romantic- theme specific, for example Fairytale, Starfish, Black Tie formal? I’ve been referring to “invitation style/presentation” throughout this blog post, and to me that means HOW the invitation ensemble will be presented to guests. Will you plan to stuff all those printed invitation and enclosure cards into one envelope and call it a day? Will you plan to have them displayed, layered in a pocket or tie them up with ribbon? Deciding on the style or theme of your wedding can only help you more with choosing the right design and packaging of your invitation and cards.

4. Will the invitation you decide on, inside and out send the right message to your invited guests? When all of the pieces making up your wedding invitation are printed and assembled together, will the style mimic the look and feel you’re going for? For example, you probably wouldn’t choose a printed chandelier design packaged inside a super elegant silk box for a sandals and flip flop, backyard BBQ styled wedding- right?

Thinking Paper’s Invitation Gallery of completed sets is the perfect place to start looking for different ideas and inspiration to creating your one-of-a-kind wedding invitation. Our online store and step-by-step process was conceptualized to give you:

A.   Creative freedom in building together piece by piece a wedding invitation specifically for you and your event. (think of it like 'Build a Bear Workshop,' but only with paper & materials)

B.   Automatic pricing right up front with a shopping cart tally to better assist you with budgeting your invitation cost.

C. Flexibility to place your order at any time, day or night when it’s most convenient for you, no appointments necessary.

wedding planning

Wedding Stationery Planning

Now that your engagement has been announced to family and friends, are you planning to pop some bubbly and celebrate? Invitations for your engagement party do not have to match the vision you plan for your wedding; these invitations can be simple, fun and speak to where you are in this moment, here today. Your engagement party can be a lavish affair held at a pretty venue or it can be a small intimate gathering of close family and friends at a fancy restaurant or inside the coziness of your home. Despite the scale, this celebration can be planned and take place as early as you'd like! Find invitations for your engagement party celebration here!

J. Harper Photography | jharperphoto.com

You'll find the pace of your wedding planning will begin to kick into high gear once you begin to visit ceremony locations, potential wedding venues and have officially booked your wedding date. Not long after, appointments will schedule fast as you’ll meet with a variety of vendors (Photography/Videography, Florist, Entertainment, Rentals if needed and more) to lockdown your absolute favorite and ensure that their day is spent with you, at your wedding.

Throughout these (what can feel to be) endless layers of your planning, you’ll also need to be mindful of your stationery and when to begin that process as well. Though it’s never too early to peruse through stationery and inspirations to see which designs and styles most appeal to you and will be a perfect fit for your wedding day vision, here is a helpful timeline to better help you plan and prepare for your stationery adventure:

8 Months to 1 Year Away

Once you arrive to the 8 month mark to roughly even 1 year out from your wedding date, it is ideal to mail a Save the Date out to your invited wedding guests. Read more about Save the Dates.

Though 6 months is considered an acceptable amount of time, it is important to also consider that the actual mailing of your wedding invitations will be soon to follow. Sending save the dates less than 6 months prior your wedding day may not be very beneficial, don’t wait too long. 

Save the dates are available to order in simple flat cards, magnets, postcards, and unique drink coasters | Order Yours TODAY!

6 Months Away

During this time of your planning, the overall vision in mind for your wedding day should also be taking its shape now, making your invitation search that much easier as you’ll have a better idea of what to look for. Also, with the guest list now being close to final, you’ll know how many invitations to order which can only help with getting you more accurate pricing while shopping around from place to place.

When you’re looking for the perfect invitation ensemble to fit your wedding vision, it's always a great idea to prepare a little first by having a pretty clear understanding of what information your guests will actually need to know so they too can plan accordingly. Some preparations should be finalized before actually placing your invitation order, which will only make life easier when trying to organize all of the wording throughout the invitation’s contents. The stationery process shouldn’t be left for the very last minute or too close to your ideal mailing date. Six months in advance will give you a more relaxed experience and is the recommended time to really begin working on the invitation process.

Choose an invitation design to work with in Step 1 and the overall invitation style (pocket, flat card) in Step 2 of Thinking Paper's process. Get Started NOW!

4 Months Away

It’s that time to place your wedding invitation order, are you ready? Your invitation will be key to setting the tone, giving your guests that very first exciting glimpse into your special day. A wedding invitation should reflect the couple, their wedding style and decor whether it by the usage of only color, more theme specific such as beach/nautical or just purely simple but elegantFour months out from your wedding date may seem like enough time to get everything together but the reality is, it’s technically two months as your RSVP date should be roughly around 1 month prior to the date of your Wedding. Read more about stationery etiquette and FAQ.

1-2 Months Away

Coordinating your invitation design with day-of or ceremony and reception stationery items is an excellent way to tie your wedding style and décor together, ensuring a proper vision flow throughout your most special day. 

These last two months of your wedding planning will move super quick now as you’ll find yourself keeping busy with trying to wrap up the last bit of details. While you patiently await for guests rsvps to start rolling in, flooding your mailbox the time is still ticking and you will need to keep it moving! Though exact quantities needed for day-of stationery items may be too uncertain to estimate right now, it’s still not a bad idea to at least begin creating a list of the items you will need, see pricing and begin working on the verbiage for those items so it’s ready ahead of time.

Day-of Ceremony & Reception Stationery items can include:

  • Ceremony Programs and Signage
  • Designed Cocktail Napkins or Drink Coasters
  • Signature Drinks Cards
  • Escort Cards, Seating Cards, Place Cards or an Alphabetical Seating Chart (basically all different forms of letting guests know where they’ll be seated for the reception)
  • Table Number (or name) Cards
  • Menu Cards (can be one per plate-setting or one/two per table)
  • Signage (for candy and other types of buffets. Can also be a framed poem/ quote, guest book, mention of favors or a photo booth)
  • Favor Tags, Labels or “in lieu of” Donation cards
  • Itinerary
  • And any other creative ideas (we offer custom design creation)

At Thinking Paper, your Ceremony & Reception stationery WILL be designed to match your wedding invitation!

Orders for your day of stationery should be placed around the 1-month mark prior to your wedding day and is not recommended to really be any later than that. It’s important to keep in mind the required production/turnaround and delivery time of these items along with your “need by” date as most wedding venues request a drop-off of all items to be anywhere from as early as 1-week to two days prior to the day of your wedding.

A Little Something Just For You

Download our complete FREE STATIONERY CHECKLIST to better help you plan and prepare for the most memorable and special day of your life ahead!



Real Weddings, Wedding Day

Casey & Robert | Real Wedding

With today being St. Patrick’s Day and all, I thought instantly of Casey & Robert who married last year, April 26th at the beautiful Shadowbrook located in Shrewsbury, New Jersey.

Their Irish wedding theme incorporated the color palette from the Irish National Kilt in which the groomsmen wore in lieu of the traditional tuxedo or suit pants and the ladies, bridesmaids wore an elegant one-shoulder muted yellow dress that paired flawlessly with their yellow, white and green floral bouquets

Casey knew right away that she wanted her invitations to represent their Irish wedding theme and that she was looking for something not so traditional but more modern and unique.

We started the invitation process by going through the different invitation styles available to narrow down which of those styles would elegantly present Casey and Robert’s wedding details of information in the most organized way. Casey loved the idea of working with our Pocket Invitation and embellishing the outside with a monogrammed outer seal closure. The Botanic Shimmer Green paper matched beautifully with the green color of the Kilt and we chose a Gold Shimmer for the layering of the seal closure. The invitation and matching enclosure cards were printed on our Cream Uncoated-Flat card stock that not only blended flawlessly with those other colored papers but also created a warm, intimate look and feel. 

In continuation with Casey and Robert’s Irish themed wedding, we created matching menu cards from their invitation design and Casey used the iconic Shamrock element for their guest book signage, wine bottle table numbers and escort cards.

I absolutely love and adore the quote Casey used, “May our love be like fine wine and grow stronger as it grows older.” Their special day turned out so beautiful and now their very first wedding anniversary is just around the corner. Such a beautiful couple I’ve had the pleasure to work with and I wish them much love and happiness as they continue along on their journey together.

XO- TRISH

Photography:  Jessica Erb Photography  |  DJ: A-1 Entertainment 


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, Real Weddings

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! 

wedding planning

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 3 easy steps.
 

In Step 1 you’ll find an array of invitation designs and themes exclusive to Thinking Paper, available to you to choose from. Customization to any design is not only welcomed but expected 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 submitted and processed, you’ll work remotely (email/phone) one-on-one with a professional designer who will make those personalized changes for you by putting together all of the pieces (an electronic mockup) to send via email for your review and approval to print. 

Step 2 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.

A Sample Kit of our card stocks used for printing along with up to 5 color swatches can be purchased to better help guide and assist you with making this decision when it’s time to place your invitation order. Buy your Sample Pack Today with FREE Shipping!

Step 3. 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, but most especially when it comes to narrowing down a specific invitation style. As my mama says with decor, "it has potential" and while the nature of decor and invitations are very different, ironically though 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 3 at is configured to display the variety of invitation styles and embellishments available to order- conceptualized without design elements or color present to better help with the decision process. 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 invitation sets and view completed photos of those specific invitation styles to further inspire, and spark up your creative side when selecting your own colored paper combos/layers and card stock for your print design in the steps to follow.

Within each step of building your invitation ensemble, you’ll find additional information and visual graphics to better assist you, but 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!

XO- TRISH

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

Wedding Day, Real Weddings

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 Layered 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... 

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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.

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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

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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. 

NEW INVITATION ENSEMBLE STYLES

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. The Mockup/Renderings in Step 3 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- the designs, colors and materials are easily customizable.

In addition to this new invitation process and online store, stationery boutique- it’s imperative to Thinking Paper that we remain interactive and social with our clients/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 these new invitation design styles and concepts. 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