ira & lucy

Tips On Designing Your Wedding Invitations

We welcome Guest Blogger, Bryan Passanisi, with Shutterfly, today for some great tips on wedding invitation design! Shutterfly has some great budget-friendly resources for those of you on the hunt for wedding invitations! I first became familiar with Shutterfly from my sister who has been using this company for creating photo books of her children each year. I'm so jealous because I have yet to finish mine and Jagger is almost 4! I have a lot of catching up to do! Be sure to check them out! They have a lot of really awesome and creative ways to add details to your wedding OR make great gifts for your family.

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Things to Think About When Designing Wedding Invitations

Invitations are one of the most important parts of preparing for a wedding. Not only do they notify your guests of the marriage and convey important information like time and place, they also set the tone for the rest of the wedding. It’s important to have a good first impression, but there are so many options out there for wedding invitation design that choosing the right style can be difficult. Here are a few tips that can help guide you as you create the perfect invitation.

Consider the Ceremony

First of all, make sure that the tone you pick for your invitation reflects the rest of the wedding. Are you hoping to have a fun, casual celebration? Or do you want a formal tuxedo and ballgown affair? More formal invitations look very different from more casual ones. The difference can extend from wording choices to the paper used—formal invitations tend to be on thicker, more expensive paper than informal ones.

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Color Choices

Consider choices such as the colors and design of your invitation. Formal invitations are typically more limited in their palette; you may wish to stick with traditional neutrals such as cream, black, or gold. One color might be used as an accent or highlight. Less formal invitations, though, have a lot more latitude when it comes to the use of color—you can choose vibrant blues, bright yellows, or whatever combinations will match with your wedding theme. Try not to include too many shades, though, or else the invitation can come across as too loud; stick with a set of related hues or go for two or three contrasting shades.

Creative Shapes

If you really want to get creative, then experiment with the shape of your invites. Traditional invitations are rectangular, although elegant quatrefoils may be acceptable. If you’re having a less formal wedding, though, feel free to experiment with rounded corners, scalloped edge, or even circular or square invitations that reflect your personality.

Font Options

The font is important too. You’ll probably want some sort of script for a formal invitation, whereas nontraditional fun fonts such as Comic Sans or Informal Roman are a great choice for casual invites. If you’re having trouble choosing, a basic font like Times New Roman, Garamond, or Verdana can work well, although serif fonts usually have a bit more formality (and in some cases personality) than sans-serif ones do. You might even consider doing an invitation with mixed fonts, using script for the couple’s names and plainer fonts for the time and place, although it’s important not to make these two fonts drastically different or the invitation will look sloppy. Whatever font you choose, be absolutely certain that it’s legible at every size; some of the fancier and les traditional choices can be hard to read when they’re small and the last thing you want is an invitation that nobody understands.

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Picture Perfect

Do you want to include a photo? Not all wedding invitations include pictures, but adding a picture of the happy couple gives you more opportunity to let your personality shine through. Black and white pictures tend to be more elegant and classic, while colorful photographs look more approachable and realistic. Make sure that you have a number of pictures of the two of you to choose from; this will help you find a picture where you both look your best. Try to find photographs that match the colors of the invitation so that the colors don’t clash.

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Backgrounds

Also, determine how much the setting of the photograph matters to you; if all you’re looking for is a shot of the couple’s faces then the background won’t be very important. For other pictures, though, the background is an important component in the design of the invitation. You can choose a traditional setting like a garden, mountain, or beach, or you can go for modern city shots. If you really want to get creative, take your photos in unorthodox locations like art museums, graffiti-covered walls, or amusement parks. You can even choose to include night or evening photos rather than typical daytime ones.

Arrangement

Finally, determine how many photos you want to include and where you’d like to put them. If you have a lot of pictures that you like, you can choose to create a collage or have a single large photos with smaller insets. You can also pick a single classic photo and put it in a frame on your invitation. Another great idea is to take a single photo, blow it up to fill the whole page, and then use it as a background for the text.

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Making it Great

Other considerations you should take into account while designing an invitation include the wedding theme (if you’re having a themed wedding), the wording of the invitation (formal or casual) and whether you want to include extras such as foil stamping, ribbons, or rhinestones. Whatever you end up choosing, make sure that the wedding invitation reflects the style of the ceremony, the personalities of the bride and groom, and—above all else—the love that you have for each other.

Bryan Passanisi is online marketer and writer living in Redwood City, CA. He graduated from The University of San Francisco with his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Bryan has managed a popular wedding blog and has created viral content. He currently is a blogger for Shutterfly.

All images provided by Bryan Passanisi, Shutterfly

Let's Talk Dapper Groom and Groomsmen

Let's talk "Dapper" groom and his groomsmen!SMART . SEXY . STYLISH

 

dapperWith so much focus on the girls, what about our handsome gents? All too often we hear it's "all about the bride", which I do just hate. It completely takes away from what a wedding is all about, the couple and their commitment to marriage. So, today we are focusing on men's attire and how you handsome guys can look your very best on your wedding day! We'll talk about grooming, hair, shaving tips and more later, but right now let's talk about some basic concepts!

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  1. Think about TEXTURE - layer your textures. This works particularly well for Fall Season Grooms and Groomsmen. Think wool blend blazers and vests, patterned shirts and accent bow ties. Keep the Groom's attire standing out enough from the groomsmen.
  2. Don't overlook the shoes! This is often a last minute detail and not worth throwing on a pair of old dress shoes... Complete the look. Think tonal oxfords or monkstrap for the more adventurous fashion forward guys out there.
  3. Tailor that suit! Spend a little time looking up men's fashion, and we're not talking the ridiculously "couture" fashion. Peruse Pinterest, browse through GQ, hit up JCrew or Banana Republic and you'll see something in common - NO BAGGY SUITS or tuxes. Please, take the time to have your suit properly tailored to your body. I know some of you bigger gents are thinking I'm suggesting a tiny "skinny" suit that is so not your style, and no - simply, that you need to have your suit tailored to your body. You will look like a million bucks! fall groom
  4. Build your attire around the design of your wedding. You need to be cohesive with the rest of the decor elements. Don't think matchy-matchy, but do be sure you are dressed for the occasion. Below is a great example of a more elegant occasion with a more formal black jacket and crisp tux shirt, but the bow tie steps up the game! The adorable couple on the right is for you summer couples! The light blue shirt (again not baggy) with the coordinating suspenders and the gray slacks looks relaxed, gentlemanly and quite dashing!

 

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Be sure to check out The Tie Bar and Collared Greens, which by the way is offering 25% discount right now! Both companies have some awesome options! In fact, I just had next weekend's bride order her guys some bow ties and a tie for her fiance from The Tie Bar! Hope this helps you guys out!

Table Makeover Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Tutorial

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French Country Inspired Table

pottery barnThose of you that know me or follow us on Instagram or Pinterest know that I have a real adoration for the French Country style. I would say it's my favorite. Unfortunately, when it comes to sourcing these stunning tables... we're talking $1500 - $4000 per table!!! There is absolutely no way we are ever going to be able to swing that high price, nor are any of our clients. So, it's time to get creative! Let me introduce you to my go-to paint! First, we'll share the the design concepts from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. How lovely are these pedestal style options and out of this world "farm tables".

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Meet Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

There are a variety of chalk paint options. I first started by making my own DIY chalk paint and it was a hot mess. So, I started doing my research and found that Annie Sloan is an exceptional option. I went that route and haven't ever turned back. I've been so pleased with the versatility of this paint and it is so gorgeous! It's a learning curve to work with chalk paint, but totally doable and the more you do it the better you will get. Annie Sloan paints are fun to use, work on almost all surfaces and offers ultimate flexibility with colours that can be mixed well together, lightened or darkened. Chalk Paint® can be thickened or thinned, used as a wash or even a dye. Seal it with Clear Soft Wax and age it with Dark Soft Wax. I have yet to try all these gorgeous colors, but do have experience with: Pure White, Old White, Paris Grey, French Linen and Coco. I will warn you that the Old White tends to have a little yellow to it and when the wax is over it, it definitely is not white white. So, for those of us wanting white white, go with the Pure.

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DIY French Country Vintage Table

I found this beauty on craigslist this morning and immediately jumped on it! I've been on the hunt for a table that is dining height or taller, not too large, but not small like an entryway hall table... I needed something that would fit a large feature wedding cake on. Most dining tables are just too big. Searching for pedestal tables has just resulted in too high of a price tag. We are only a few years old business, so we watch every penny!

before

 

PERK, it came with a matching custom glass top! THIS IS AWESOME! For our clients who want tons of dripping candles, tables and linen always get damaged if we don't have glass to protect the surface. This table has a protective top to cover the wood, or if you want to place a sequin or specialty linen the glass can cover it for protection. Candles and fine linen are lovely, but logistically, you need to think through damages.

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The Steps
  1. Check the structure of your furniture, make sure no repairs are needed for stability, cracks, tightening legs etc. We will talk about furniture repair later.
  2. Wipe down your table with a damp cloth, cleaning all the grime off. Keep in mind furniture from garages, thrift stores etc are pretty grimy. Take the time to clean it now, or you'll regret it if you don't...
  3. Time to paint! WAIT WHAT ABOUT SANDING?! Nope! Welcome to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! No sanding needed! HELLO lovely! If you've sanded furniture before, you know it takes forever! Not with chalk paint!
  4. I've included this awesome tutorial below by Annie herself :) Start painting! No need to get concerned about brush strokes. The paint will dry very quickly, another perk! You can complete your project all in the same day!
  5. I painted three light layers of French Linen on the table first. I like a nice full coverage. I pour the paint into a container and add in some water to create a milk like consistency. That's the fun part! You can either have the paint thick, or like a milk consistency or really watered down for a white wash effect. I recommend trying the same consistency I do in order to preserve your paint. It's pricey and you'll blow through your paint if you keep it as thick as it comes in the can.

two layersI then did more of the white wash effect with Paris Grey mixed into the remaining amounts of the French Linen I had left in my container. I didn't want to have too strong of a contrast. I use my Annie Sloan paint brush, which I highly recommend, but you can use an old brush if you don't want to splurge on the brushes. This takes practice! You'll have to play around with how to apply it. I like to keep the bristles as dry as possible to add on the lighter tone.

paintTime to wax! I did both dark and clear wax on my table and it was exactly what it needed! Don't overdo the wax and make sure to wipe it down and work in small sections as you go. I like to scoop some wax onto the paper plate and dab my wax brush into the wax and then take some of the excess off on the plate. I use old t shirts to buff the wax into the table. You should be able to slide your hand easily over the furniture. If you have drag on the furniture, then you need to keep buffing the wax out.

after

Get the Look For Less!

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Be sure to check out our other inventory options perfect for those of you loving the French Country style!

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Annie Sloan Tutorials

https://youtu.be/mjxKGQrO1UE

https://youtu.be/v_EaaCZVYv8

 

Ira + Lucy Design and Coordination Services

Ira + Lucy Design and Coordination Services

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It's so fun to update our service package covers with images from some of our couples! Ira + Lucy first began as a vintage rental business and quickly expanded to offer both coordination and design. It's much like being an interior designer, there is a need for designers, here's an analogy for you: for many of you, if given a bunch of home decor dropped at your front door...you'd first get excited, you'd jump in, sifting through boxes and trying to arrange furniture and then you'd get overwhelmed and end up sitting on the floor eating pizza, crying all while surrounded by a lot of "stuff" and no idea how to pull it all together. For many of our renters, they would rent decor and then feel frustrated figuring out how to make it look the way they saw it on Pinterest. This is WHY we offer design services, either "Enhanced Day-Of" for the DIY'r out there who has a good handle on the majority of your decor and then the Full Designer service, in which you have a designer's touch on everything! Think of us as your "interior designer" for your wedding! You can learn more about our different design and coordination help under the "services" and sub-page, "packages" page. We have a variety of options to fit your budget!

 

Here's a great article from Bride's Magazine "Should You Hire a Wedding Designer?"

brides_logo"For starters, you can think of a wedding planner kind of like a house contractor and a wedding designer (or stylist/architect) like the interior designer for the home. "Wedding planners excel with the logistics, such as timelines and budgets, and are often certified in event management, whereas wedding designers excel at visual presentation and creating the overall cohesive look of the event from start to finish," says Lynn D'Ascanio of D'Asigner Events. In fact, many wedding designers are licensed interior designers and fashion designers too.

They can help you with all of the aesthetic and creative decisions, according to event designer Tracy Taylor Ward. "This includes floral design, floor plans, lighting design, linen, furniture and rentals selection (china, glassware, flatware), bride and bridal party styling, invitation design and reception stationary consulting."

If you're still not sure if a wedding designer is right for you, here's how to decide" READ MORE HERE

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Stephanie Mballo Photography Ira + Lucy, Wedding Design Behrens Artistry

 

 

 

 

Ira + Lucy Wedding Lounge Design Basics

 Ira + Lucy Wedding Lounge Design Basics

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We love us a beautiful AND functioning lounge or multiple lounge set ups at weddings and special events, including corporate events. Lounges offer comfortable and intimate conversation areas that guests can sit back, enjoy cocktails, watch guests dance the night away and also work as awesome props for bridal party photos. However, there are specifics you should keep in mind when planning your lounge. Ira + Lucy has been designing lounges for weddings and events for three years now and we are happy to share some insight with you.

 

  • RENT the splurges and utilize your own home decor! Get frugal! Rent the larger items, like the sofa, but source some of your own decor. Lamps? Vases and candles? Even throw pillows or an accent rug. We often incorporate the client's personal belongings into the design, BUT beware, don't use something that has high value or can easily be swiped from a guest that you care a lot about. Items below are coming soon! Inquire to reserve!
  • Accent with accessories. Add a pop of color with custom pillows, floral design and signage. Rent from local designers or hit up Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Amazon or Target. I personally love discount designer fabric warehouses were I can find quality and gorgeous fabric for a fraction of the price and then I sew covers over pillow inserts I already have! PLUS, many of these stores have pretty flimsy and floppy pillows. Either invest in fuller pillows or cut a small hole in your cheaper pillows and add filler! You want your pillows to have body! Learn how to do this easy sew project and save yourself a ton of money over the long haul! Perhaps I'll teach a class and I can show you! Stay tuned! Let me know if that is something you'd be interested in!
  • Utilize the decor for photos. I always connect with the photographer before one of our events and let them see the design boards and special decor details. When you are doing your pre-ceremony pics, have your crew carry out the sofa, loveseat, settee and accent chairs for some out of this world photos! 
  • Hire a wedding designer! A designer thinks through the logistics! Delivery, insurance, floor layout, best location for your lounge (don't place it too far from your dance floor and bar!) A designer also knows how to achieve the style you want: shabby chic, rustic elegance, luxuries, modern contemporary, french country and more! You can learn more about the difference between a wedding coordinator and designer right here!

Hope this helps you with decisions for your custom lounge at your wedding or special event! We specialize in wedding and event design and would be thrilled to help you design your lounge space. Be sure to check out our variety of special accent seating, including sofas, settees, ottomans and more! Everything listed in this post is available through us to rent! YAY! *top inspiration concept image from Pinterest.

Savings!!! Right now until the end of August 2015, new couples who book Ira + Lucy for both coordination and design will receive a sofa, settee or love seat from our rental inventory at no additional rental cost! That is a savings up to $300!!!

Still Water Hollow Raves About Ira + Lucy Wedding Planner

 

"As the owner of a local Idaho event venue, Still Water Hollow, I have had the privilege of working closely with Heidi Wight and the Ira & Lucy team. It began with Heidi and myself putting on events together to help inspire Bride's and bless the couples who were preparing for their wedding day. I saw she had a creative and gifted mind in the area of decor and quickly noticed she could make a dramatic impact without a lot of fuss. I also saw her attention to detail and her deep care for her clients. I felt confident in referring Ira & Lucy, knowing our clients would be taken care of and would be very happy with their rentals and decor.

SWH logoRecently, I have gotten to see first hand what an impressive job the entire Ira & Lucy team does when taking on event design, decor, vintage rentals, and coordination as a whole. I am convinced that this is the solution to pulling off a wedding or special event with little to no stress.

On the design and decor front, Heidi has the ability to see the big picture and help those planning an event understand what will give them the most dramatic impact. Rather than spending a little money here and there on things that will most likely go unnoticed, but will add up quickly, Heidi has knowledge of where to save and where to really invest. The events Heidi has decorated always look stunning, but each one has a style that showcases the Bride and Grooms individual personalities or the theme that the company is hoping to convey. There is always an elegant flair whether it is a rustic country wedding or a black tie affair. Creating an atmosphere worthy of celebrating and making lifelong memories.

The Coordination part of this is so important. Please do not underestimate the value of hiring a coordinator. On a personal level, I chose not to hire a coordinator at my wedding and both my mom and I would like a do-ver on that decision. My mom and I are very close and I would have loved to have her by my side as I got ready and during the prayer before I walked down the aisle, but she was out making sure vendors were setup and tying up loose ends. She had to change her dress quickly as guests were getting settled into their seats. Leaving us with little memories of being together on that day.

iraandlucyweddingplannerAs a venue, we unfortuantely see many events become stressful and overwhelming to those planning. In the case of weddings, we have seen mothers who don't get to spend time with their daughters. We have seen Bride's who have had to focus attention on decor rather than on the deep and meaningful commitment they are about to enter into with the love of their life. We have seen company employees who have had little experience planning large events feel overwhelmed and unsure how to handle difficult situations. On the contrary, with the Ira & Lucy team coordinating a recent event, we were aware of many things going awry behind the scenes, but not one family member, the parents of the Bride and Groom, or the couple had any idea what was taking place. Heidi took care of everything professionally and quickly to ensure the couple and the family had a wonderful evening and left with only sacred moments that will be shared around the dinner table for years to come.

I trust Ira & Lucy with any event I plan in the future and I highly recommend that couples invest in a decor team and coordinator who will ensure their day goes off without a hitch. Many couples spend $2,000-$3,000 on a tent to protect their event from being rained on, but few think of the protection they can gain from someone there making sure you spend the day surrounded by your family and focused on the real meaning of your wedding celebration. That is priceless!"

Brianne Gray Owner and fellow farm girl of Still Water Hollow

 

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Inkling Calligraphy Custom Gift From Ira + Lucy

Fine Art Boudoir Photography, Dutch Still Life Inspired Shoot by Katie Rivera Photography I am so thrilled to announce a new offer for our wedding and special event clients! As a token of our appreciation when you book our Design + Coordination services you will receive a custom hand lettered sign by Inkling Calligraphy to use at both your event or wedding and then for keeps in your home or business. We're offering this for both our "Enhanced Day Of" Design + Coordination Package and our Full Design + Coordination Packages *new bookings only.

We adore Claire's incredible talent with calligraphy and hand lettering and are so excited to offer such a beautiful gift! We're sharing below some of her beautiful portfolio! Please inquire for more details!

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GoldenAgeBoudoir_FineArtBoudoir_1_0001 Inkling Calligraphy Invite Inkling Calligraphy MenuFine Art Boudoir Photography, Dutch Still Life Inspired Shoot by Katie Rivera Photography Radion Photography

Ira + Lucy Vintage Boho Wedding, Southerland's Ranch, Eagle ID

Something that I've always focused so hard on, is the relationship I and my team have with our couples, including their parents, especially the Mother-of-the-Bride. We work very close, usually with Bride and Mom in the months leading up to the wedding. Sometimes that means late night conversations on the phone about concerns or stresses and how we can help them through those challenges. I'll never forget when Sydney reached out to me back in November. She found Ira + Lucy on WeddingWire and sent us an email inquiring about our services. It was a match made in heaven! When Sydney shared her vision I immediately wanted their wedding. Sydney and Bryce are both film students in Denver and I just adore their style and both are such quality people. Soon, Sydney's mom, Denise and I were shooting emails back and forth in prepping for the big day.

Sending Sydney and Bryce off in a sparkler exit to a dreamy vintage car, a surprise gift from the Groom's parents, was so special and a bit emotional for me. Dealing with 105 degree weather, and over 13 hours in the heat, Sydney hugging me before they ran to the car and telling me how happy she was, "Heidi I just love you! Thank you!" meant the world to me!

SyYou'd think after three years of doing Ira + Lucy I wouldn't get nerves or deal with anxiety, but I totally do! I can barely sleep the night before our clients' weddings because I'm so caught up in all the lists, logistics, management etc and I can't stop my head from those lists. I want the day perfect for my couples that have trusted me and my team. It's one thing to kick ass leading up to the wedding, but it's another come "go-time". It was an incredible day! I've never seen such a stunning wedding party! Wait till you see the pics! E + E Photography were wonderful to work with and I'm just dying to see the pics! So, for now here is one stunner of a sneak peek! Thank you Sydney and Bryce and the Thomas and Hoogland Families for inviting Ira + Lucy to be part of such an incredible moment! xx

Stay tuned for more pictures coming soon!

TEAM Ira + Lucy Event Design, Coordination, Vintage Rentals The Southerland's Ranch, Eagle ID E + E Photography The Florist at Edwards, Matt A Lively Chef Catering Hannah Ganatos Hair + Makeup Greg Marsh Designer Cake VCI Audio - DJ

- Heidi

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