Same Love, Same Rights

Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

Marriage Equality finally became a reality for our LGBT friends in the state of Pennsylvania last May 2014, and it is appropriate that in the month celebrating love that we highlight how meaningful this is to us both personally and professionally, and what more is still to be done for our LGBT friends to realize complete equality.

Both in our current Trilogy Event Design incarnation, and as our subsidiary companies which gave birth to Trilogy (Always Fabulous Events and Little Woman Design), we have professionally pledged that everyone who walks through the door to our office will be treated with the same enthusiasm, respect, and warmth. We never felt that we had to spell out that we were LGBT-friendly until we realized that, 1. There are companies out there who may not be; and, 2. It is important to lend support to this civil right for all LGBT people who not only are looking for our services but most importantly are a part of our family, close friends, and colleagues.

In November 2013, we were fortunate to work with Bob and Tom - a fabulous couple who called upon us to help them plan, design, and coordinate their wedding in 10 days in celebration of their 25th anniversary together. Why had they waited so long, some ask? Because it had only just become legal in the state of New Jersey which spurred them into thinking that it was time for them to tie the knot. Ironically, they tied the knot in Delaware :) We got to know them in record time, but the most important thing we realized within seconds of speaking to them on that initial consultation on the telephone was the deep and profound love they had for one another. We've seen that love time and time again in the eyes of so many of our closest friends and family. When you see it, your heart fills with joy that you are able to be with two people madly in love. And, your heart breaks, when you see the pain in their eyes for what they must continue to endure.

Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

Photo by Unique Concepts Studio

So, here we are in February 2015, and there are still states in this country that have not legalized marriage equality. Here we are in February 2015, and #DiscriminationExists in the workplace with many states still not offering workplace protections for our LGBT friends. And, here we are in February 2015, and we still have friends, family, and colleagues in pain because of how they are treated, how their rights are limited, and how they just want to be given and allowed to give the same love and respect that we all deserve. 

Here's to 2015 - the year where more is to be done, and more will be accomplished.

For more information regarding #DiscriminationExists and what you can do to help, please follow this link to the DiscriminationExists website. To learn more about LGBT rights in Pennsylvania, visit EqualityPa.com


Posted on February 23, 2015 and filed under Same Sex Weddings.

Mister and the Diva

Last week on the Trilogy Blog, we took a look at ways that our couples can "share the love" with their friends, family, and each other in the days leading up to their wedding day. We also asked our readers to email us with their wedding proposal story — or any of their stories that best represents themselves as a couple.

We didn't have far to look as one of the first people to respond was one of our very own couples who Trilogy Event Design has the pleasure of working with in planning, designing, and coordinating their Destination Wedding! And, when you read their story, one of the things that is so striking is that four years went by between when they first met and their first date, and how everything clicked over Valentine's 2009.

Save the Date designed by Francesca @ Trilogy Event Design

Why is the title of this blog, "Mister and the Diva"? You'll have to read to the end for the surprising reason... Until then, introducing John and Andrea!

How they first met...
We met back in 2005 at a conference where I was a presenter and I remember when he walked into the room. At the end of the workshop, he introduced himself as an educator, handed me his card and said he would like to stay in touch to see how we could collaborate efforts. I handed him mine and we went our separate ways. I would see him once or twice a year over the next five years but always thought of him as super smart and funny with nothing else attached because he NEVER showed any interest in me beyond being a colleague (the nerve!)

How they finally connected romantically...
On Valentine's Day 2009, he called to ask what I was doing and I said nothing. He didn't believe me and after a little digging, he was surprised to find that I wasn't dating anyone at all. He asked to take me to breakfast the day after as he was away at a Robotics conference and would get in too late that evening. I said yes, we met and for the first time, I felt something change between us.

trilogyeventdesign_misteranddiva_philadelphiaweddingplanning2.jpg

What they mean to each other...
We have been fast friends, amazing collaborators and each other's rib ever since that day. We speak without words, we never go to bed angry with each other and he has not once, raised his voice at me. He is my world and I am his. I believe he would give up his very life for my safety and there is nothing more calming to the soul than a mate like him. I love my "Mister" and will keep loving him to my last breath. No one but God will separate us and we are reminded every day when we honor love and respect each other with no boundaries to hold us.

Why the "Mister and the Diva"? When we first met with our lovely bride Andrea, she regaled us with stories of their time together, and you knew what a fun and loving couple they were from the moment she said that John is her "Mister". But, it wasn't until she explained that in all the years that they've been dating, many of her friends and family have yet to actually meet the "Mister" to her "Diva"... at least, not without his face concealed! Whether it was attending parties wearing a mask, or ensuring the photo of themselves together focused onto her, and away from his face, John's identity has been a mystery until they walk together onto a beach in Puerto Rico hand-in-hand in front of their guests.

We can't wait...

So leave some love for the "Mister and Diva" in the comments section, and we'll make sure we share it with them.

Have a great story to share with us? You could be featured on an upcoming blog! Email us at info@trilogyeventdesign.com and we would love to connect with you. Remember: you can also schedule a free consultation with Randi and Francesca for planning or your stationery by emailing us, calling 800-941-2770, or using our handy-dandy online scheduler.

Cheers!

Share the Love

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and we are in the height of engagement season as well! Couples all over the country are making plans to tie the knot in 2015, 2016, or beyond. We couldn't be more excited than when we meet our couples for the first time and hear their love stories... How they met, how they got engaged, and all the special moments that have made up their lives together.

Photo by Daniel Bostwick Photography

These are the unique moments that Randi and Francesca at Trilogy Event Design work to tell through the overall design and look of the wedding, whether it be an elaborate and elegant winter-themed wedding at the Crystal Tea Room...

Photo by Megan W Photography

... or a backyard celebration at the couples' home ...

Photo by Feelings Photos

... or a destination wedding in the Bahamas!

Bahamas

There are so many ways outside of the wedding day itself where a couple should "take their pulses". Remember to spend time together. Don't lose sight of what the wedding is all about; celebrating their love for each other!

Photo by Unique Concepts Studios

We advise many of our couples to take a couple days off (if possible) leading up to their wedding, and book a day just for themselves to spend together whether it is a spa day, a good meal at their favorite restaurant, watch the sunset, or just hanging out on the sofa catching up on their DVR recordings.

Cape May, NJ

Cape May, NJ

Whether or not you take a honeymoon directly after the wedding (we are in favor of doing it if you can both afford it financially and get the time off from work), couples should at the very least take a few days to go somewhere so that they can spend time together after the big day. 

Burano Island in Venice, Italy

Another recommendation we have is to not skip the rehearsal dinner. Whether or not you actually rehearse, plan a dinner with your bridal party and immediate family to thank them for their help in the planning process, and show how much you love them for being a part of your life.

Throughout this month, Trilogy Event Design plans to shamelessly promote love! We will feature a special blog post around Valentine's Day showcasing the best proposal and/or love story from one of you, our readers. Be sure to email us at info@trilogyeventdesign.com if you would like to share your love.

Photo by Megan W Photography

As always, please feel free to leave comments and questions below. And, if you would like to meet with Randi to help plan your wedding and/or any of the small details that it entails, email us at info@trilogyeventdesign.com, call 800-941-2770, or use our handy online scheduler to arrange a free, 1-hour consultation. We'd love to meet with you :)

Cheers!

Posted on February 2, 2015 and filed under Trilogy Event Design, Wedding Planning.

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!