It's the Big Day!

Last week, we took a look at the timeline both you and your designer should work to for creation and delivery of your wedding stationery. This week, we wanted to take a look at items you should start thinking about for your day-of stationery, and some fun ways to incorporate your style and designs throughout the big day itself.

2-sided ceremony program designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design for a couple in the music industry. Photo by BG Productions

Ceremony programs are a great way to commemorate your wedding day, whether you are having a religious or secular ceremony. The length of the program is dictated by how much information you are including. How large is your bridal party? Are you going to have each part of the ceremony listed? Will you be including your music selections? Trilogy Event Design Creative Director Francesca Staffieri has created everything from a 2-sided ceremony program to a booklet that includes all parts of the religious ceremony. One nice touch that we normally suggest to our couples is to include a "Thank you" for your family, friends, and guests on the last page.

Letterpress printed ceremony program designed by Francesca. Photo by BG Productions

Letterpress printed ceremony program designed by Francesca. Photo by BG Productions

Seating cards are usually a necessity as they will direct your guests to their assigned table. Depending upon how formal of a reception you are having, you may also have assigned seating at the table (indicated by using place cards).

Tented seating cards on metallic paper designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Escort card table decor by Randi @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Unique Concepts Studios

Seating cards can be traditional, as pictured above, or you can riff off the theme of your wedding, such as having baseball tickets for a sports-themed wedding...

Seating card ticket designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. 

... or hang-tags around a mason jar or wine bottles.

Wine label and seating card designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Full Circle Photography and Design.

Seating charts can be used to either showcase where the tables are in the reception area (see photo below of a table chart for a Please Touch Museum wedding where the tables were given candy bar names), or actually take the place of seating cards by telling your guests where to sit. If you do use a seating chart for your guests to find their tables, it would be wise to order two or three so that you don't have bottlenecking from people looking for their table number...

LWD-83.jpg

Further additions to your tablescape, could be table numbers or menus for each place-setting.

Table Number designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

We've also had couples leave a card at each seat as a favor indicating a donation made in the guest's name to the couple's selected charity, or a Thank You card with a loving message by the couple to their guests.

Place-setting thank you card designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Unique Concepts Studios

There are other, less obvious ways, that you can work with your designer to keep the overlook look of your wedding cohesive, and add a fun touch that your guests will surely notice. If you've booked a monogram lighting package with a lighting company, let your designer know so that they can provide artwork for the light that fits with the other design elements you've used for your wedding...

Lighting by Eventions Productions. Design by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Lindsay Docherty Photography.

If you are planning to give a favor for your guests that can be personalized, work with your designer to supply the design work to whomever you're ordering from so that you can incorporate your design elements (see photo of rally towel featuring owls Francesca designed for couple Abby & Jim, Temple University grads!)

Designed by Francesca, Trilogy Event Design

From custom-designed photo-booth footers that will print on each photo to ceremony program fans and everything in between, Francesca at Trilogy Event Design can work with you to bring those added design elements that will showcase your story and personality on your wedding day!

For a free, 1-hour consultation with Francesca, email info@trilogyeventdesign.com, call 800-941-2770, or use our online scheduler here.

Have a question about day-of stationery? Leave it in the comments below, and we'll be sure to answer.

Cheers!

Time to Design!

Wedding planning involves many different timelines: from when you should order your dress and get it altered, to the timeline your day-of coordinator develops for the big day. Wedding stationery is no different. We get asked frequently at bridal shows and initial consultations questions about timing: when do you send out your save the date? When should I request my RSVPs to come back? If I’m having a destination wedding, when should I mail out the invitation suite?

Beach-themed invitation suite designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design

At Trilogy Event Design, Creative Director and Graphic Designer Francesca Staffieri works out a design timeline for each of our couples so that they know when they can expect their digital proofs, printed proofs, and deliveries. And, this timeline is built specifically to when you need to mail out your pieces in the run-up to your wedding.

We’ve built a rough timeline below to share with our readers whether you are starting 12 months or more before your wedding, or 6 months prior to your wedding. Remember: just like any other wedding professional, designers can book a wedding up to 18-months in advance, so it’s just as important to book your favorite designer early just as it is to book your photographer.

Timeline card designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design

6 – 12 months: Send out your save the dates. There are several different factors that go into when and if you should send a save the date (see our recent blog, “Let’s Save the Date”). If you are having a destination wedding, marrying over a holiday or holiday weekend, having your big day during prime vacation season, or are asking the majority of your guests to come in from out of town, the sooner you send your save the date, the better. Otherwise, more and more couples are using the save the date to get people excited for their wedding or set the tone for their wedding. Just remember: etiquette dictates that you should send a wedding invitation to every person you send a save the date, so don’t send someone a save the date unless you’re definitely planning on inviting them to your wedding!

Custom-illustrated save the date designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Nina Price Photography

5-9 months: Design your wedding invitation suite. Are you looking to wow your guests with a combination letterpress/foil-stamp printed invitation suite? Do you want to use 100% recycled or 100% cotton paper? Do you want your invitation suite assembled in a pocket-fold? Designing and assembly of your invitation suite takes time if you truly want something uniquely created for you.  When meeting with your designer, let them know what papers and printing methods you like or don’t like; the overall style of your wedding (rustic versus traditional versus modern); the kinds of fonts you love; and any other design elements you would like used in your invitation suite. Every wedding should tell the couples’ story, and that story begins to be told with your wedding invitation suite, so make it something unique!

Wedding stationery designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Nina Price Photography.

4-5 months: Calligraphy. Do you really want to hand-address 100 envelopes yourself when you have so many other things to accomplish in the months leading up to your wedding? Have you decided upon a gorgeous engraved wedding invitation suite? Nothing classes up an invitation set more than having calligraphy for your invitation envelope. With so many different lettering styles and custom colors to choose from, your guests will be wowed from the moment they look at your envelope. As you can imagine, calligraphy takes time as well, so you will want to plan to get your envelopes to your calligrapher by the 4-month mark. You will also want to supply your calligrapher with at least 20% more envelopes in case of errors.

Calligraphy by Lynda Asprinio at Write Away for You Calligraphy

3 months: Send out your invitations! Sure, you want to get your invitations out so that your guests can decide between the Surf and Turf or the Pan Roasted Wild Salmon. But the other reason you need to send out those invitations at the 3 month mark is so that you can have your RSVP deadline set to 4 weeks before your wedding. Why? You're going to need to know a total head count, and probably a count of the number of dishes as well to provide to your caterer or venue. But, it's not just meals that hinge on your final count! Table numbers, quantity of centerpieces, even the size of your wedding cake all rest on your final tally. And, no matter how much you will wish it is not the case, you will need to allot yourself enough time to track those stragglers down who haven't returned their RSVPs.

Letterpress and digital invitation suite designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design.

2 months: Thank you cards. While you may think you don't need your thank you cards until after the wedding, you will be surprised at how many wedding gifts you will receive before the wedding—even from guests who are planning to attend the big event! Getting your thank you cards early will mean that you can make a small dent in writing them out. One caveat: if a guest does plan on coming to your wedding and gives you a gift prior, it may still be a good idea to send the thank you out after the wedding so that you can include how appreciative you are of the fact that they attended your wedding.

Custom-illustrated Thank You card designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by BG Productions.

1-8 weeks: Day-of stationery and/or miscellaneous customizations. Whether you want a custom designed seating card, or one hand lettered, you won't be able to have them done until after you get your RSVPs as you will need to know both the names of the guests coming as well as the table number they are sitting at. Or, maybe you want tags for your wedding favors, a custom made footer for your photo booth picture, or your own personalized cocktail napkins. While the designs of these items should have been done weeks before this timeframe, you should be taking delivery of the majority of these items at least one or two weeks prior to the wedding day.

2-sided ceremony program designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design. Photo by Nina Price Photography

As we stated at the beginning of the blog, this is a rough timeline. When you meet with Francesca and Trilogy Event Design, you will be given a customized timeline for you based upon your needs. It’s never to early to start thinking about your wedding stationery, so schedule your free consultation with Francesca by emailing her at info@trilogyeventdesign.com, calling 800-941-2770, or using our online scheduler here.

Cheers!

It's All So Real...

There are many moments during the wedding planning process where couples experience a flutter in their stomach knowing that they are coming up to one of the biggest days of their lives: picking out what they'll wear on their wedding day; partying the night away at their bachelor or bachelorette party; or even that moment when they set the date. But for many couples, nothing makes it all so real more than when they pick up their wedding invitation suite to mail to their guests.

Pocketful wedding invitation suite designed by Francesca. Photo by BG Productions

At Trilogy Event Design, our Creative Director and Graphic Designer Francesca Staffieri, has worked with over 50 couples since she began designing wedding stationery in late 2011. After an initial consultation, Francesca has worked with our couples to bring their vision to life whether it be an elegant wedding invitation suite for a wedding at The Ritz Carlton...

Midnight garden wedding invitation suite printed on metallic paper with purple backing. Photo by Jennifer Woodruff 

... or a letterpress invitation suite featuring the facade of your wedding venue ...

2-color letterpress invitation suite featuring Aldie Mansion facade designed by Francesca. Photo by Nancy Paravano.

... or a wedding invitation suite that features the facade of Yankees Stadium, the couples' favorite sports team!

Pocketfold wedding invitation suite featuring Yankees Stadium facade by Francesc

Pocketfold wedding invitation suite featuring Yankees Stadium facade by Francesc

We recommend that a wedding invitation suite be sent to your guests 8-12 weeks prior to the wedding depending upon the answers to a few questions... Did you mail out a save the date? Are you having a destination wedding? Are you marrying on or over a holiday weekend? Do you have guests coming in from another country? Francesca will help guide you to the right date that makes sense for your wedding guests and gives you ample time to receive those RSVPs and provide your guest count to your venue.

2-color letterpress wedding invitation suite designed by Francesca. Photo by Nancy Paravano.

At Trilogy Event Design, we work with a variety of different papers including 100% cotton double-thick card stock; 100% PCW card stock; metallic and matte card stock; and much more! During your meeting, Francesca can help guide you to the printing method that makes sense for not only your budget but also the design you want.

Foil-stamp printed wedding invitation suite designed by Francesca for a Halloween-themed wedding.

If you're after a full-color custom-illustration of yourselves on your invitation, digital printing is the best option...

Custom-illustrated wedding invitation suite for Please Touch Museum Wedding. Photo by Full Circle Photography.

While if you have to have a letterpress invitation suite, you would want to stick with one or two colors max, with an extra pop of color using edge painting...

1-color letterpress wedding invitation with edge-painting for Kim and Melissa. Photo by Nina Price Photography.

With so many styles of paper and printing methods available, it can become overwhelming, which is why working with a graphic designer will ensure a fun, creative, and collaborative experience. We normally start working with couples anywhere from 6-18 months before their wedding to plan out their wedding stationery timeline. 

In upcoming blogs, we will be reviewing a stationery timeline from when you should be sending out your save the dates to when you should be picking up your day-of stationery. We'll also be looking at other ways you can personalize your wedding through design.

Library card style seating cards. Photo by Nina Price Photography.

Library card style seating cards. Photo by Nina Price Photography.

If you have any stationery questions that you would like to see answered in an upcoming blog, please feel free to leave them  in the comments section below, and we will feature them in the next two to three weeks.

In the meantime, you can schedule a free one-hour consultation with Francesca by emailing us at info@trilogyeventdesign.com, using our online scheduler, or calling us at 800-941-2770. Francesca looks forward to meeting with you real soon!

Let's Save the Date!

You're engaged — congratulations! You've picked your venue, and have started the hunt for the wonderful wedding professionals who will help bring your big day to life. As you start going through the checklists published in any fine magazine or blog article, you begin to wonder whether you should send out a save the date.

You provide the photo, and let Francesca create a custom save the date for you!

You provide the photo, and let Francesca create a custom save the date for you!

There are several factors that go into if and when you should send a save the date. While there's no hard and fast rule as to the absolute time you should send them out (we've had couples who've sent them out over a year in advance and as soon as four to five months in advance), there are some recommendations that make a lot of sense...

Most books and advice columns concentrate upon one main question—how many guests are you inviting from out of town? If you are inviting quite a large number of out-of-town guests who would need to make arrangements to get to your wedding, then you should send them out a year in advance. Certainly, if you are planning a Destination Wedding to the sunny Bahamas (or anywhere that requires your guests to travel), the sooner they know about it, the better they can plan.

We are going to also advocate for another reason to send out your save the date early—when are you planning to get married? Are you marrying during the summer months when people normally plan their vacation time a year in advance? Are you marring on on a holiday or over a holiday weekend? In these instances, the sooner you send out your save the date the better! Otherwise, we recommend sending out your save the date 6 to 9 months in advance of your wedding date, as this will give your guests plenty of time to mark that date on their calendar.

Custom-illustrated save the date

Outside of notifying your guests of the date and place of your pending nuptials, many couples are sending out save the dates to get their guests excited for their wedding and potentially set their theme. We say "potentially" because the save the date can be something fun and whimsical which you might not normally consider doing for your formal wedding invitation suite.

One final piece of advice for when you go to send out your save the date: only send out save the dates to people who you will definitely be inviting to your wedding! While this may seem to make a lot of sense, when budget dollars are getting stretched and you're considering cutting your guest count, remember who you sent that save the date to and make sure they make the cut.

Photo of custom-illustrated Valentine-themed save the date by Krista Patton Photo

All of the save the dates pictured in this blog were designed by Trilogy Event Design's Creative Director and Graphic Designer, Francesca Staffieri. The custom-illustrated save the dates featured are based upon photographs provided to us by our couples. If you are interested in meeting with Francesca for your save the date and wedding stationery, email us at info@trilogyeventdesign.com, call 800-941-2770, or schedule your appointment using our online scheduler

To view more of Francesca's design work and wedding stationery, visit her online portfolio here.

Have a comment or question for Francesca? Feel free to write one below :) Cheers!

 

Happy New Year!

We've had a great year at the Trilogy Event Design studio, working with so many fun couples across our planning and design divisions. In fact, between weddings, Sweet 16's, Birthdays, and other special events, Randi, Francesca, and Michael worked on over 40 events this past year!

We started the year off with a bang, when Randi coordinated the fabulous wedding of Jessica and Ryan at the Crystal Tea Room. This is the second wedding for Randi and the bride's family... she also coordinated the bride's twin sister's wedding a few years ago.

Randi also worked with the bride to capture her wedding day vision of a city chic winter wonderland. How did we do? 

Photo by Megan W Photography

Photo by Megan W Photography

While Randi was ensuring Ryan and Jessica's big day ran smoothly, Francesca was working on the finishing touches for Michele and Michael's wedding stationery. Francesca worked with this fun-loving couple over the course of a year starting with their custom-illustrated save the date with a twist. Michele & Michael were marrying over Valentine's Weekend at the Curtis Center, and wanted to incorporate traditional Valentine's Day imagery. For their save the date, Francesca created and designed a three-panel custom-illustrated save the date with each panel perforated in the style of the Valentine's Day cards we all passed around as children.

Custom-designed save the date by Trilogy Event Design's Creative Director Francesca Staffieri. Photo by Krista Patton Photography

Custom-designed save the date by Trilogy Event Design's Creative Director Francesca Staffieri. Photo by Krista Patton Photography

The Valentine's Day theme continued in their wedding invitation suite and day-of stationery that incorporated a red heart pattern that Francesca created and carried through each piece, including their custom-designed envelope liner.

Custom-designed wedding invitation suite by Trilogy Event Design's Creative Director Francesca Staffieri. Photo by Krista Patton Photography

Custom-designed wedding invitation suite by Trilogy Event Design's Creative Director Francesca Staffieri. Photo by Krista Patton Photography

As Winter gave way to Spring and Summer, Randi and Francesca continued to plan, design, and coordinate weddings and events at fantastic venues like Tendenza...

Arlene & Chirod's Tendenza Wedding. Photo by Daniel Bostwick Photography

Arlene & Chirod's Tendenza Wedding. Photo by Daniel Bostwick Photography

... Aldie Mansion ...

Alyssa and her father walking down the aisle during the ceremony at Aldie Mansion

Alyssa and her father walking down the aisle during the ceremony at Aldie Mansion

... and a phenomenal rustic-vineyard at Sand Castle Winery.

Ranjana & Tim's Wedding, Sand Castle Winery. Photo by Full Circle Photography.

Ranjana & Tim's Wedding, Sand Castle Winery. Photo by Full Circle Photography.

And, at each event, Randi and Francesca brought their unique, creative flair to make sure our couples' guests were wowed by a cohesive design that told our couples' stories.

Custom-designed wine bottle labels and favor tags by Trilogy Event Design's Creative Director Francesca Staffieri. Photo by Full Circle Photography.

Custom-designed wine bottle labels and favor tags by Trilogy Event Design's Creative Director Francesca Staffieri. Photo by Full Circle Photography.

Things only got busier as we headed into the Fall: weddings, a Sweet 16 at Talamore Country Club, and a move to a new studio space in the heart of Hatboro, PA.

Jaclyn & Olivier's wedding at Michener Art Museum. Photo by McMasters Photography.  

Jaclyn & Olivier's wedding at Michener Art Museum. Photo by McMasters Photography.  

We want to thank all of our 2014 couples and clients who chose Trilogy Event Design, including our subsidiaries Little Woman Design and Always Fabulous Events, for their stationery and planning needs! Each and every one of you were absolutely wonderful to work with, and we wouldn't have had the year that was without you. As we look toward 2015, we see another exciting year ahead of us.

If we haven't met you yet, what are you waiting for?! Schedule an appointment to meet with Randi to help plan and coordinate your wedding or special event, or Francesca for a one-of-a-kind design for your stationery that your guests will remember forever.

(You can follow the link above to schedule your appointment, call us at 800-941-2770 or email info@trilogyeventdesign.com.)

As Featured In...

It's been some time since we've updated our blog, but it's certainly not because we've been sitting on our laurels! Randi finished out a great bridal show fall season while also inspiring the next generation of wedding planners by teaching at a symposium she co-created. Meanwhile, Francesca has been rushed off her feet helping other small businesses with their graphic design work on holiday cards, e-newsletters, and brochures. We'll be sharing more soon in our end-of-year wrap-up, but what we're excited about today is our feature and advertisement in The Knot Magazine!

Cake by The Master's Baker. Photo by Pictures by Todd Photography

Last summer, we designed and coordinated The Knot Magazine's Annual Market Mixer, and the gorgeous photos by Pictures by Todd Photography of this event can be found in the beginning pages of the latest issue. And, just as exciting, is our new print advertisement, found on page 350 of the same issue...

Photo featured in our print ad by onelove photography

But wait! There's more, lol! As many of you are aware, Trilogy Event Design is also home to the unique, custom-designed stationery division, Little Woman Design. All of our stationery is designed in-house by our Creative Director Francesca Staffieri. For over three years, Francesca has been telling our couples' stories through designs, creating memorable wedding invitations and save the dates that people will always remember.

Francesca's unique custom-designed save the dates feature digital likenesses of our couples

For the third year in a row (in fact, since she started designing for weddings and events back in 2011!), Francesca's been recognized by her couples by winning The Knot Magazine's 2015 Pick for Best of Weddings!

This holiday season, we have a lot to be thankful for: our couples and clients; our friends in the wedding and event industry; and, each other! Remember: when you hire Trilogy Event Design, you are hiring a team of creative, dedicated professionals who will make your vision for your day come alive. 

We wish you all a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!