Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stop by and check out The Wedding Studio

Here are a few pictures of our new space. It has been beautifully decorated by The Events Company and has lots of amazing wedding things to look at and even take home. Each of the partners has stocked the studio with brochures and information that is easy for you to stop in and pick up.
Clarence Henry Coach Limo has even brought a limo to the studio for some of our fun cocktail parties.

Here is some of the fun food and beverages we have had at our parties. Looks delicious doesn't it?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Building a Wedding Stationery Wardrobe (Part 2)

Last week we covered a couples' stationery needs before the event through to the end of the ceremony. Next up, the reception!

Menus: A menu is a nice touch, can accent your place setting, and serve double-duty. Here at Bride Design we often creatively include a menu with the table number or escort card. Sharing a printed menu with your guests can be helpful at a buffet or full-service seated dinner event and gets guests excited about what is to come! They're also a great way to showcase all that effort you put in to choosing the perfect dishes for your guests.

Escort Cards and Table Numbers/Names: Most weddings we work with at Bride Design have assigned seating, and escort cards are the perfect way to get your guests from the cocktail hour to their seats in an orderly (and fashionable) manner. Escort cards are usually placed in a central location in alphabetical order and each card contains the guests names and what table name or number they'll be sitting at. Besides having tented escort cards or flat cards in envelopes displayed on a table, we've helped couples work with their florist to create an escort card tree. You can also pin them on boards or display them on moss or beds of wheatgrass...perfect for those summer weddings! Table names and numbers are also another place where you can get creative. For names you can choose places you've lived or have traveled to, your favorite marriage related words (Love, Joy, Friendship, Happiness), or variations on your theme and venue. For example, if your wedding is at a vineyard, name your tables "Shiraz," "Pinot Gris," and "Merlot."

Signage, Favor Tags, and "In Lieu of Favors" Cards: Help guests easily navigate their way through the event you have planned with effective signage. Favor tags (which can also double as escort cards in some cases) assist guests in locating their favor or can contain a simple message of thanks for their part in your wedding. A more recent wedding trend is to eliminate favors and instead give the money that would be spent towards that expense to a charitable cause. "In Lieu of Favors" cards can be placed at guests' seats individually, or a few larger signs can be scattered at strategic places throughout the venue (bar, coat check, escort card table etc.) and let guests know that you've made a donation to a specific charity and why that cause is important to you.

Guest Book or Guest book Alternative: Guest Book" options are endless as we covered in this post on Bride Design's own "Make-a-Wish, Take-a-Wish Kits."
Besides a traditional hand-bound guest books, brides are often choosing personalized trays that can be used for future entertaining, a photo mat guests can sign that will surround a picture of the couple and displayed in their new home, and the list goes on...

Thank You Notes: These are a must-have and are always a huge hit when they include a picture of the couple or further expand upon the couples' theme.

Stationery choices may seem limitless, but shouldn't be overwhelming. Find a stationer you connect with and whose work you love and I think you'll find creating a wedding stationery wardrobe a fun and rewarding process!

Erin Mckenna Nowak
Owner and Principal Designer
Bride Design

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Building a Wedding Stationery Wardrobe (Part 1)

So you're engaged and it's time to start thinking about invitations, but there's more to getting your guests to and through your big day than one single piece of paper. Pulling together your wedding stationery wardrobe is a fun process and with the help of planners and a professional designer it can also be a stress-free and exciting one!

What makes a great stationery wardrobe? Here's the basics to consider for before reception. We'll cover what stationery items are needed for the reception and beyond in our next post. Not every bride needs every single piece we'll be listing, but when shopping it does make sense to have a good idea of what elements you'll want to include in your wardrobe. Buying many or all of your pieces from the same stationer will often save you a few dollars and ensures a consistent look throughout.

Save the Date Cards: Save the Dates can be cards, postcards, stickers or magnets that alert your guests to the upcoming nuptials. Brief and to the point, this announcement lets guests know who is getting married, when and where. This allows guests to begin making travel plans and to reserve the date on their calendar, one reason why Save the Date cards are especially useful for destination weddings. Save the Date cards should be sent out 6 months to a year in advance of your wedding date.

Wedding Invitation Suite:
Your wedding invitation is the star of your wedding stationery wardrobe. It will also require multiple pieces, including the invitation itself, envelopes, and response card. If reception information is not listed on the invitation, a reception card might also be included. Cards containing information on directions and accommodations are often included as well. These days, many brides also include a schedule of events or itinerary since many weddings often take place over the course of a weekend.

Wedding Programs: Wedding programs list the order of events at your ceremony and can be very helpful for longer or unique ceremonies where not every guest may know the protocol,such as Catholic Masses or Inter-Faith ceremonies. A program can also be useful if you'd like guests to follow along with readings or join in singing. Programs can also make a lovely keepsake and should reflect the style of your ceremony. I love fan programs for hot August days or weddings on a tropical beach!

Tune in next time when we cover the many stationery items that make a wedding reception the event of the season!

Erin Nowak, Owner and Principal Designer
Bride Design

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stationery Beyond The Invitation...

Many brides and families don't realize, until they start planning and shopping, that there is way more to today's stylish and unique "stationery wardrobes" than just the engraved invitations (and little else) of yesteryear. One aspect of the stationery wardrobe you might not be thinking about is your "guest book." And while there are many gorgeous traditional books to choose from on the market, I think you'd also be surprised at the variety of fun and non-traditional guest book options available. I'm even talking about going beyond the signature photo mat, an idea that I'd say came about in the last 10-15 years but which has become a standard classic in that time.

After creating an invitation suite for one of my favorite brides Lucia, she shared with me her plans to create a "Make-a-Wish, Take-a-Wish" bowls for her reception. I loved her idea so much I fashioned my own version for my sister's wedding. The premise is simple. Two jars (bowls, or vases work well too), one for guests to write wishes or bits of advice for the happy couple (Make-a-Wish) and another bowl filled with well-wishes from the bride and groom for their guests to take home (Take-a-Wish). This idea was so successful, that I introduced Bride Design's Signature Collection Make-a-Wish, Take-a-Wish Kits
to our etsy shop this past year. The customer supplies the containers and an 8x10 frame. We supply ALL the printed paper goodies. We're happy to have shipped these kits around the U.S., as well as to Canadian, English, Irish, and Australian customers around the globe!

Offered in more than 10 color schemes, the wishes provided in the kit are Irish blessings, delightful proverbs from around the world, and even a few affirming mantras. We also provide a poem and easy instructions (suitable for framing) for the guests on how to use the jars, that should be placed on the table. Guests enjoy the interactive aspect of this keepsake and cards can be stored in a variety of ways. A photo book interspersed with pictures or a lovely box are fun choices. Extra special notes might also be framed and placed in the newlyweds' home. We've also expanded our offerings (at a bride's request) to include another kit that features exclusively Christian wishes and bible verses.

For more information on these and our many other stationery offerings, please visit us on Thursday afternoons at The Wedding Studio at 224 Harrison or find us online at bridedesign.com and bridedesign.etsy.com. Happy Planning!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Do I really need the support of a wedding planner?

This is a question many brides ask themselves as they debate the investment verses DIY.

Hiring a wedding planner is a personal decision that only you can make. There have been more than a few weddings where a professional planner was not involved and the day went just fine. And yours will probably go fine, too. But at what expense to your nerves, your relationship with your mother, groom, bridesmaids, family, co-workers...

The investment you make hiring a professional is an intangible and the true value is not realized until the last song is played. We (professional wedding planners) are there to ensure you hire the wedding vendors who fit your needs, personality, and budget. We are there to ensure no detail is forgotten. We are there to ensure your day unfolds flawlessly. But most importantly we are there to reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with planning such a personally momentous occasion.

We offer customized support that fits your needs. Maybe you want someone to be by your side throughout the entire process or perhaps you just want support the final month and day of or just someone to run ideas and questions by. No matter the need, a true professional will not try to fit you into a "package."

Example: We (The Events Company) met with a bride a couple months ago who felt she wanted day of support. We reviewed her needs, expectations, concerns, and overall wedding plan and submitted a proposal. This was a bride who was used to having full control and doing everything herself, so making the decision was difficult. The event more difficult decision was selecting between 2 the companies she interviewed; the challenge was she liked us better but we were more expensive. After much personal debate she opted to hire The Events Company. Yes, we were more expensive, however she felt more comfortable with the personalities of our team and the level of service we would provide. Now, we WOW! her.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Floral Gardens

It's a beautiful day to start planning your wedding. The Floral Gardens is hard at work finishing the last few 2010 weddings and planning for all of the new brides to come. Stop in or call us today. We love helping brides plan for their wedding. Flowers make weddings beautiful.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome to the Wedding Studio at 224 Harrison

The Wedding Studio at 224 Harrison came to fruition in a short length of time, although the relationships with the partners were developed over a number of years.

Being astute entrepreneurs, we look for opportunities to better serve our clients and grow our businesses. The cross-over for the partners was the bridal market. We saw an opportunity and seized it; creating a wedding destination for bridal couples getting married in Central New York.

The concept is simple; create an upscale studio where busy bridal couples (and their families) can meet with wedding professionals on all the services that are needed to create an amazing wedding celebration that is flawless.

It’s all in one place so you can spend an afternoon with us and leave knowing that you have the right team and your wedding plans are in great shape. Or just come in with your questions; we’re here to help.

It really can be that simple and done in a setting that is comfortable and relaxing. We even have beer and wine in the fridge.

New “one stop” Wedding Studio is now open on Harrison St.

Syracuse, NY- October 11, 2010- In Downtown Syracuse The Wedding Studio has just opened its doors for business. It is a “one stop” location for a bride to go and plan her wedding with a group of trusted vendors and partners who value client satisfaction.

The Wedding Studio’s new storefront space, located at 224 Harrison St, hopes to establish itself in the Syracuse area as a new and viable option for a bride to employ when planning her wedding.

Although The Wedding studio is the only space of its kind in the Central New York area, its partners are confident that it will see much success in the upcoming future.

The objective of The Wedding Studio is to facilitate an environment of trusted partners for a prospective bride who is planning her wedding. Throughout this planning process, she will be able to stay in one location without having to make endless phone calls or trips around the greater Central New York area to obtain quotes from wedding service providers.

The group of studio partners enjoys working together and often times find themselves providing services for many of the same bridal couples. So, they’ve created a place where bridal couples can meet with creative and talented professionals who value client satisfaction above all else.

The list of Studio Partners is as follows:

Bride Design Couture Invitations

Nicole Samolis
232 Harrison St.
Syracuse, NY
(315) 422-9400