Archives for category: Stationery

I recently had the pleasure of working with newlyweds, MaryLynn and Josh, on their wedding invitations. What a fun couple! I hope you enjoy getting to know them a little. That dancing picture! It just makes me smile.


How did you meet?  Joshua and I met during our Sophomore year of college at Kutztown University. We lived in the same dorm and had a few mutual friends. Joshua noticed me studying with one of his roommates in the study lounge and it was only a matter of time before he swept me off my feet with his magic card tricks.

Tell me a little about the proposal… After just about 6 years together, Joshua decided to propose! He came up with his master plan (which didn’t quite go as planned). We traveled to Citizens Bank park to see The Zac Brown Band in concert. The proposal was planned for before the concert but Josh had to improvise when he realized we would be late, partially because of traffic and partially due to my lackadaisical manner of getting ready for the night (obviously I had no idea about all the scheming that had taken place)!
After the concert, we traveled to Spruce Street Harbor Park at Penn’s Landing. We posed for a photo together in one of the over-sized wooden chairs when Joshua jumped off to get down on one knee. I said YES and the rest is history!

What surprised you most about planning your wedding?  It was a lot less stressful than I had thought it would be! LISTS were my best friend. As the actual day approached, I found myself constantly running through everything I had to do in my head. It got overwhelming so I started writing down every single thing I thought of. Whether it was in the Notes app on my phone, a notepad on my night stand, or a sticky note at work. This helped me with all the tiny details I knew were important. No need for any unnecessary stress… this is a day I wanted to ENJOY… not worry about!

What (or who) did you find was your best resource for planning your wedding? My photographer, Caroline Morris Photography, was one of my best resources. I was struggling to come up with a logical timeline for the day. When I asked her opinion, she had it covered. She has done so many weddings, she knew exactly what needed to be included in the timeline and what smaller details didn’t necessarily need to factored in. She actually did the timeline for me which was a giant weight off my shoulders!
In addition, the Barn on Bridge had a wonderful checklist that I referred to often. It was lengthy, about 5 pages or so of small print, but had tons of information that when I had first read it, had never even crossed my mind (I almost forgot to book a hotel room for Josh and I – Ha!). It was overwhelming during the early stages of planning, but as the date approached, everything kind of just fell into place and I was checking off every little box. Such a good feeling!!

What was your inspiration for your wedding day details?  The venue itself was my inspiration. The restored barn feels nothing like a typical “horse barn” and has been so beautifully refurbished. I call it “rustic-chic,” which was ultimately the theme for our wedding. Some vintage touches like my lace dress and the groomsmen’s thin brown suspenders and thin ties rounded everything out. It is so easy to get caught up in some of the “over-the-top” ideas on Pinterest, but with the Barn on Bridge, less is more because it already has so much of it’s own charm and character.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding?  Our “first look” was the best part of the day for me! Originally, I was against the idea of seeing Josh before the ceremony. The first look was such a good decision because it saved us so much time. Instead of doing bridal party photos during the cocktail hour, we did them before the ceremony and got to enjoy the cocktail hour with our guests! I am an emotional person in general, so it helped me get some of the nervousness (and tears) out before walking down the aisle. It was also really nice for us to be able to see each other in private (except for the photographer) before everyone else got to see us. And the photos of that moment – WOW!!

Best part of the wedding planning?  I am an Event Coordinator for a small, local catering company so I am always planning events for my clients. It was amazing to be able to focus on my own event plans for a change!

What advice will you give your friends getting married?  In the end, everything will come together. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was pleasantly surprised at how willing to help all of my vendors were, and let’s face it… THEY are the real experts! Listen to their opinions and be willing to change your mind on things you thought you had been set on. I wound up changing the color of my bridesmaid’s dresses on a whim at the actual dress shop. We went from light pink to a more dramatic burgundy and it was one of the best decisions I made while planning.

Mary Lynn & Josh’s wedding vendors were:
Ceremony & Reception Location: Barn on Bridge
Photographer: Caroline Morris Photography, Philadelphia, PA
Florist: Enchanted Florist, Skippack, PA
Music: DJ Paul Evans, Silver Sound Entertainment, Philadelphia, PA
Invitations: Invitations by Stone Hill Paperie
Hair: Justin Magdule
Makeup: Yvette Delgado
Transportation: Chics Limousine, Blue Bell, PA

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Wedding invitations are a small part of the big day, but they play a major role. Your invitations are the first impression your guests will see of your wedding day. Here are 5 things to think about when choosing and ordering wedding invitations:

  1. How do you picture your wedding?

Tara and TimWill your guests be dressed to the nines,
dancing late into the night in an elegant ballroom with champagne in hand? Or will they be dressed casually, dancing in the grass under twinkly lights with a mason jar in hand? There are so many different wedding styles, themes and colors. They sky is the limit! Think about the type of affair it will be and work with your invitation designer or stationer to choose the invitation that will best convey the style of the event to your guests.

2. What is your invitation budget?

You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to get Norabeautiful invitations. If you discuss your budget and the style of wedding you are hosting with your invitation designer or stationer, you will most likely be able to come up with the perfect invitation to meet your needs.

3. Are you communicating everything to your guests that you need to?

Chances are you can picture your wedding in your mind and you  know exactly how you want things to be. The more you can communicate with your guests about the big day, the better. You want things to go smoothly Mollyand you want to have a great time, but you are also hosting A LOT of people on a very important day to you. Part of being a good host or hostess is letting your guests know things that might be important to them to ensure they have a good time and relax too.

Things like… If you are having an outdoor wedding, it’s always good to let people know if you’ll be in the grass – it’s hard to have fun when your heels are sinking into the ground. Or… If there is a shuttle service from the hotel to the venue, that is great information to share.  Depending on your plans, there may be other things you’ll want your guests to know ahead of time.

4. Do you have a wedding website?

Wedding websites can be created for free FullSizeRender 2on weddingwire.com or theknot.com and can save you money too! Many of my clients at Stone Hill Paperie opt to include a website card rather than a directions card and an accommodations card. The website card sends your guests to your wedding website where they can find all of the wedding details. Keep the website name as short and simple as possible like the image to the right – some websites have really long names that just don’t look good in print.

5. How do you plan to address your envelopes?

Would you want a calligrapher to handwrite your guest addresses? Would you want your stationer to print them? Or do you have great handwriting? Those are all good options depending on your budget. Tip – stay away from sticking labels on your invitation envelopes. For something as special as this, that label makes it seem much more ordinary. I would rather see your personal handwriting any day!

The question I get asked most often by couples is, how much do wedding invitations cost? My answer is always, that depends on a lot of factors.

  • How many invitations do you need?
  • What pieces do you need?
  • Are we ordering from an album or are you looking for a custom-designed invitation?img_0746
  • What print method do you prefer?
  • What type of paper are you choosing?
  • Are you looking for embellishments?

Number of Invitations: A good rule in estimating the number of invitations you need is to divide the number of guests you are inviting by 2 and add 15%. If you are inviting 250 people, that would
be 144 invitations.

What pieces do you need?: This is part personal preference and part etiquette.

Church Wedding – Traditionally, the items needed are the invitation, invitation envelope, reception card, response card and response card envelope.

Reception Wedding – If the ceremony is taking place at the reception site, you can eliminate the reception card and note “reception immediately following” at the bottom of the invitation.

Destination Wedding – Destination weddings tend to include more pieces because they usually entail more than the wedding. When people are traveling and making a long weekend of the wedding, typically the couple will plan other activities and will then include some sort of itinerary for the weekend events. Also, additional information for travel plans is appropriate.

Album Order vs. Custom OrderWhen ordering from an album, the prices are set. It’s simple to price things out and at times, the companies that provide the albums will sometimes offer promotions. This doesn’t happen very often, but is a great help when you can take advantage of a good deal. Custom orders require more time to estimate, some times they may require more time to print & assemble and, of course, you have to add in the time it takes to design a custom invitation. Custom invitations can be competitive with invitations from albums, but more often, they are slightly higher priced. You should also allow for more time in placing your order. If you plan to order custom designed invitations, 6 months before your wedding is a good time to meet with your stationer or designer. If you wait too long, rush charges may apply.

What type of print do you prefer?: The print method you choose can make a huge difference in the price of your invitations. I’ll go more into depth in a separate blog post on these shortly, but for now, this is the breakdown in regards to pricing:

Letterpress, Foil, Engraving, Embossing – $$$  These print methods are all absolutely gorgeous and add a lot of texture to your invitaitons.

Thermography, Offset Printing  – $$  Thermography is a raised print (similar to engraving). Offset printin is flat printing. This is the middle of the road on price.

Digital Printing – $  Digital printing is done by computer (similar to home printers, but on a much larger scale). This is the lowest price point for printing invitations.

fullsizerender-3What type of paper are you choosing?There is a huge variety of paper options. If you have ever been to my studio, you have seen the crazy amount of paper swatch books I have to choose from. There are smooth papers, papers with a “tooth”, metallic or pearl papers, glitter paper, paper that is lightly embossed to look like tree bark, sheer papers, iridescent papers, and almost every color paper you can imagine. Paper also comes in many different weights or thickness. Some paper is better for different types of printing than others. This is where it is good to work with a professional so they can recommend the best paper for your particular job. As far as pricing goes – the more simple the paper, the less expensive it tends to be.

Are you looking for embellishments? Embellishments can be pocketfolders, bandwraps, ribbon, jewels, labels, wax seals, lace, twine, etc. There are so many options for personalizing invitations with embellishments! This is also where you can spend a lot of money or save. I usually give my clients the option to DIY the embellishments. That allows them to dress up their invitations without paying for someone else to glue jewels or tie bows. You can use embellishments to make a very simple invitation a little more special.

It’s tough to answer that question, “How much do wedding invitations cost?”  But there are many ways to accomplish a goal. I invite clients to come to the studio with a budget in mind, choose the ultimate invitation and we’ll take it from there. A couple might love a letterpress invitation in a pocketfolder, but the budget only allows for a digitally printed invitation with a bandwrap holding all of the pieces together. The wedding guests never saw the pocketfolder, so it is still the perfect invitation!

2016 was a roller coaster of a year for Stone Hill Paperie. Website issues affected my wedding season greatly and a Quickbooks fail (completely my fault) led to some hard lessons learned. I never felt like throwing in the towel as much as I did this past year. But the fact is I just can’t give it up. I’m hooked bad. I love this business too much.

Each year I have had the opportunity to learn more and to have clients that trust me to find a way to get the job done & done well. I love the challenges, the people, and their stories that ultimately lead them to the designs I have the pleasure to work on.

On top of all of this, I have met the most amazing group of women. We have a small business group called “Roots”. They are talented, inspiring and uplifting women/entrepeneurs/disciples/mothers/leaders and have brought SO much to my business and my life. roots-copy

With all of this amazingness, how could I possibly quit this? No towel throwing here. In fact, I’m ready 2o17. Bring it on! This will be my best year yet. Are you with me?

My family rescued a dog named Otis in August.  He is a 2 year old black pug mix – we think maybe a black puggle.  He is a character, to say the least, and the family has fallen in love with him.

People get a little crazy about their dogs – and we are among the crazies.  I have been admiring some really cute dog stationery and office products on the market.  Every year at the National Stationery Show in New York there are at least 2 or 3 booths solely dedicated to dog stationery products and gifts.

I even had a couple toy with the idea of having a silhouette of their dog on their wedding invitations once.  They didn’t go through with it.

Check out some of the great designs I’ve seen:

dog blog images

1. Pointer Dog Stationery

2. Crane Scotty Dog Notes

3. Boatman Geller Lab Memo set

4. Donovan Designs Chien Notes

I’ll get around to designing my Otis notecards soon. When I do, I’ll post a picture!  For now, here I am with our little dude on his favorite perch…

dog love - Otis

Something about a rainy day in the fall just makes me want to snuggle up on the couch with a warm fire, a cup of tea and some stationery. Thinking of the recent contest held at Stone Hill Paperie where the wonderful friends of Stone Hill Paperie sent in stories of their favorite letters.  People sent in their stories of such heartwarming letters! I really enjoyed reading through all of them. There were letters from boyfriends that became husbands, long-distance friendships, from children to parents and from parents to children. The common thread was the cherished letter that can still be held and read again today.  I have had several clients requesting personalized stationery recently.  In this age of email, facebook, tweeting, blogging, instagram… a handwritten letter can carry more weight than it used to.  Just a little note can mean so much. Today I have a few people in mind that I will be writing some little notes to.

stationery 4stationery 2

Stationery 3

program sample 4 - small folded - inside cover

Are wedding programs required? No.  Programs are optional, but they are so nice for your guests to have.  Programs are particularly nice for guests of different faiths or if they don’t know your family and friends very well.  They make a great keepsake too – so be sure to save one or two for yourselves!

What’s included? In a nutshell, the program is a communication tool where you have the opportunity to let your guests know what will be happening and who’s who. Programs often have 4 parts: the title page (bride and grooms’ names, location, date), the wedding participants, the ceremony order and a brief note of thanks from the bride and groom. In addition, I have had clients include the following:

– an explanation of any traditions, rituals or ethnic customs.

– moving announcement with new address

– directions to the reception

– a poem or song lyrics

– a surprise element that will be included in the ceremony

– remembrance of family or friends that have passed that would have played a big part in your big day

How many programs should I have printed? There are no steadfast rules on this.  The determining factors are your budget and the number of people attending.  You know that not every person will take a program, but you don’t want to run out. My theory is that the number you need depends on how the programs are distributed.  If your ushers are handing them out, you will need a program for each person.  If you are putting the programs in baskets or on tables near the entrance(s), my guess is that about 85% of your guests will take one.

When should I order my wedding programs?

Plan ahead!  There is usually a little bit of a lull between the time you send your invitations out and the time you start receiving your rsvp’s.  Most of your other decisions have been made, so it is perfect timing for planning the ceremony!  Work with your officiant and get samples from your stationer for ideas – then put your own personal touches in.  Once you have that done, you are ready to order!  A good rule of thumb is to give the final okay a month prior to the wedding.  This allows time to make sure any specialty stock can be received without expedited shipping, time for the printer and any assembly.

Other thoughts…

– Programs do not have to match the invitations, but it is a nice touch if all of your wedding stationery can tie in somehow.

– Have fun with the programs!  The program is a great place to show your creativity.  Pinterest is a great tool for finding program ideas.

 

Wedding Season is in full swing at Stone Hill Paperie.  Planning a wedding can be daunting. There are so many different things that go into your big day. Below is a little checklist that you can use in your planning. Of course there are very few people who need all of these items, but the list may help get your creative juices flowing.

wedding stationery checklist

 

In May, I attended the National Stationery Show in New York and I have ordered some new lines and I am still obsessing over others that I will be carrying soon!  I learned after last year not to order everything at one time… it’s more fun to be receiving new items all throughout the year!

Coming Soon…  Gorgeous Wooden Recipe Boxes and Recipe Cards (above).  I love these recipe boxes!  Suzy Jack put so much thought into these; from the customizable label on the front to the little notch cut into the top of the box for your card to fit into.  The card design itself is beautiful and there are 3 to choose from and matching linen towels as well.

Neon… I’m a child of the 80’s and have to laugh at all of the neon making a comeback.  I think that officially makes me old.  I do love some of the neon I saw at the show and am still obsessing over these cards:

Letterpress your own signature!  I love this idea from Jigsaw Graphics.  Have your signature or have your children design their own letterpress stationery.  Wedding Gift?  Have the bride & groom sign their names to a card and send it in to Jigsaw and they will create an amazing gift for the newly married couple!

Ridding the world of ugly notebooks!  I fell in love with these little notebooks with their bright colors, great price point and personalization options… these are available through the studio now!

There is too much more to mention, but you can bet I will be posting more as I add more products to the studio.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  Saturday would have been my Grandmother’s 94th birthday.  It all makes me think a lot about my own childhood and some of my most treasured memories and possessions.  My Grammy didn’t have much money, but she had more love to give than anyone I know! Just ask my brothers, my cousins, any of the people we never knew that she would help in any way she could, and all those people invited to family picnics that she “adopted” into our family.

One of the ways my Grandmother showed her love best was through her cooking.  As kids, we would all get excited to go to Grammy & Grampy’s house for ice pops made from Tang, strawberry lemonade, strawberry shortcake, Grammy pickles, Grammy’s chocolate chip cookies, brownies, ginger snaps, and pancakes topped with homemade strawberry jam! My grandparents owned a strawberry farm – where we wandered the fields and woods freely and our imaginations would take us all over the world… with constant pit stops for a little strawberry picking nourishment.

I have Grammy’s recipe box.  It is one of my most treasured possessions.  It is a tangible piece of Grammy that I have.  The recipe box is unattractive, does not go with my decor one little bit, and it  doesn’t matter.  When I open that recipe box, I have those delicious recipes and memories in my Grandmother’s own handwriting.  When I look at those recipes I feel like a piece of Grammy is still here.  Those are love letters from heaven.  I miss Grammy and think of her often, especially on her birthday and Mother’s Day – but in a way she’s still here.

Incidentally, I have since discovered that many of those Grammy amazing recipes were not Grammy originals.  They are Nestle Tollhouse Cookies and that my Grandmother could have had a few episodes of “Semi-Homemade” on the Food Network.  I just thank God that she actually wrote out the recipes instead of cutting them out of a magazine!

Consider writing those recipes out by hand!  You never know what it will mean to someone 30, 40, or 50 years from now.  Recipe boxes are available at Stone Hill Paperie with matching recipe cards if you want to put together a keepsake of your own.  I’m starting mine today.

{© 2012 Stone Hill Paperie Amy Hammond | Photo © Amy Hammond}