Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wedding Day Stationery: Escort and place cards

(Above photos courtesy of Bella Figura)

So, now that you have gorgeous programs that are cohesive with your beautiful invitation suite and you've set the bar at your wedding for beautiful paper, what's next? Well, after the ceremony, many couples have a cocktail hour or brief interlude between the ceremony and the reception/meal/party. It is during this next phase of the event that you'll want to direct guests to their tables at the reception using escort cards. Escort cards literally escort your guests to their table and should continue the design and cohesion of your wedding day paper to give a polished, pulled-together look.

(all photos above courtesy of Bella Figura)

There are all sorts of fun ways to display escort cards; you can direct guests using lines of tented cards or cards strung up on twine tied between trees or frames full of pinned-up cards. The options are kind of endless, but it does take some creativity so don't leave this detail to the last minute. The best displays take a bit of forethought and planning.

(Above photos: first 2 courtesy of Bella Figura, third photo by Michelle Van Tine Photography found on Style Me Pretty, fourth photo by Lori Studios found on Style Me Pretty.)

Once your guests find their tables, you'll need
place cards if you are doing assigned seating at each table. These little cards show guests exactly which seat is theirs. Flat or tented, they should be displayed at each setting for clear visibility.

(Above photos: first photo by W Scott Chester Photography found via Style Me Pretty, second photo by Olivier Lalin found via Style Me Pretty)

As Whitney mentioned in the last post on wedding day stationery, the first step to creating a polished suite of wedding day paper is making an appointment! Give us a call or shoot us an email ( and we'll set a time to sit and discuss all the lovely details for your big day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wedding Day Stationery: Programs

Once your invitations are sealed and delivered the paper party isn't over just yet! Most brides and grooms have paper needs for the day of the wedding that can include anything from programs and menus to table signs and favor tags. Often our couples aren't sure what they need until they get closer to the big day (usually about 6 weeks out) so normally we don't start working on these pieces until after the invitation suites are all wrapped up.

Samantha and I find that most couples don't know what information should go in the program and if they need a menu at each guest's seat or just one at each table. The questions go on and on. So we decided we're going to take some time over the next week to explain the different pieces you might need for the day of your wedding, what type of info goes in each piece and how you might use them.

Wedding programs seem to be, by far, the most popular type of wedding day stationery that our couples need and usually include:
• the names of the couple, the date and location
• a list of the members of the wedding party which often includes the parents and grandparents
• the order of the ceremony starting with the processional (some couples opt to include the music for this) and then listing out each reading and song, who is doing the reading and singing/playing the music, and ending with the recessional
• a short paragraph thanking their friends and family for all of their support and for being present on their most important day

Of course there is no need to include all of this information. Some of our couples opt to keep it short and sweet and others like to include many more details. We encourage you to do what feels most comfortable for you as a couple rather than worrying about what other brides and grooms are doing. Once the content has been chosen for the program we start brainstorming ideas about the physical format of it. This isn't something you need to worry about because this is where Sam and I step in and offer advice about the best way to deliver the information to your guests and about the costs of all of the options.

This "fan" style program is a super easy DIY project. We can design a beautiful cover that matches your invitations and you can print the rest of the pages yourself. Simply punch a hole in the top left corner and tie them together with a piece of ribbon or twine. Erin and Sam (a 2010 couple) created these for their beautiful orchard wedding last fall:

{photos above by Alexandra Daley-Clark}

Probably the most common style we are seeing this season is a simple flat card with the ceremony printed on one side and the wedding party printed on the other. This piece from store favorite, Smock, is beautifully letterpress printed using the design and ink colors from the couple's invitations:

This booklet style program below from Bella Figura is an ideal format if you plan on including multiple pages of details and information. We can letterpress print the cover on our heavy weight cotton stock and then offset or digitally print the interior pages on text weight paper to save on cost and to keep the booklet from getting overly bulky. This example here has been hole-drilled down the spine and will eventually get tied with a matching green ribbon:

The program below is my absolute favorite of all time. We designed and printed this piece for Ben and Hillary who got married last September in Kennebunkport and we (Sam/Me and Ben/Hill) could not have been happier with the end result! We created an illustration of a mussel and printed it repeatedly on the front using no ink and then also printed it on the 2nd page in navy ink. After die cutting the shape of the mussel out of the cover, the navy illustration on the second page was revealed. We printed multiple pages outlining the ceremony and the wedding party and hole-drilled each page so that we could tie them all together using a beautiful piece of navy cotton ribbon. So pretty right?

Last, but not least is an example of a folded program with no (added) interior pages. Usually with a letterpress folded program we take a single sheet of paper and print the cover and the inside right page. With the programs below I printed the cover, both inside pages and a piece for the back on separate sheets and then adhered them to a piece of folded purple paper. This assembly added extra texture and substance to the piece and also allowed me to letterpress print both interior pages and both covers without having the normal impression from letterpress printing show through on the opposite sides of the pages. Because we inserted little pouches of petals inside the programs (guests tossed the petals at us as we walked down the aisle has husband and wife) we had to tie the programs shut with a piece of natural cotton ribbon:

{photos by emilie inc.}

If you're starting to think about your day-of wedding stationery the first thing you should do is to give us a call to set up a time to come in and chat! Don't worry, we promise it will be quick and easy (unlike your invitation appointment:)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lots to go over....

Hey there folks... we've got some things to talk about today.

These things that I think we should talk about - they're super gorgeous and terribly beautiful and make me wanna write long letters and keeps journals of all of my lovely thoughts.

These things - they're stationery related. Big surprise right?!
I knew you'd be shocked :)

This lovely lady here is Miss. Anna Bond.

Her lovely little biz (if you really could call it little :) is based down in Winter Park, Florida. It's where she paints - where she dreams - and where she and her helpful hubby have developed and designed a phenominal stationery line. Hers are some of the most beautiful and whimsical notecards and custom invitations I've ever laid eyes on. I love her work. Love. Love. Love.

You can watch a little video of her working hard at Pacing The Panic Room:

What always impresses me about Rifle Paper is how perfectly curated each design is. Every greeting card and print is unique, but they all have a painterly quality because that's where the designs begin. Anna's work has traveled from blog to blog, all the way to the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings and back - and we are really proud to have her goodies here at the shop. Check out some of her newer designs, that we just received in store :) And come check them out in person. Seriously. They're RIDIC.

Yes. Those are our first calendars of the season you see there folks :) They're ready and waiting for good homes.

And, yes. Those are foil stamped, floral notebooks for all of your journaling needs... and you know you've got some journaling needs... especially now that the summer's winding down and you want to record all of your fun adventures and get geared up for school to start in a few weeks.

Thanks for listening, and thank you to Rifle Paper Company for all of the BEAUTIFUL inspiration this week. Getting our stationery order in from NSS was such fun!!

Lots of love,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Spark Letterpress Summer Promotion

Hello fellow paper hounds! And a happy Thursday to you. Today, I want to tell you about some super fabulous promotions that our dear friends at Spark Letterpress are offering.

Through October 31, 2011, Spark is offering a FREE insert card* when you order any 4-piece invitation suite (invite, printed invitation envelope, reply card and printed reply envelope). This insert card could be anything from a reception card to directions/accommodations insert. Pretty rad, right?

AND, that's not all!

Spark is also offering 15% off* when you order two or more printed day-of pieces. Day-of items might include programs, menus, placecards, gift tags, coasters, table cards and thank you note sets. So, once you mail out your gorgeous wedding suite, we can work together to create all the little day-of stationery pieces that will make your wedding truly POP! Hooray!!

October will be here before you know it, so call to set up an appointment ASAP so we can beginning designing the perfect stationery package to take advantage of these amazing promotions!

*Visit the store or contact us for specific details.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


For those of you who have worked with us before, you probably got tired of my incessant proofreading-reminders. It feels like every email I write includes the line "Please proofread VERY carefully (double check all spelling, dates, times, addresses, grammar, punctuation and specs); your approval on a proof means that you accept responsibility for any mistakes you may have missed." While I may say it over and over again, it really does bear repeating.

Proofreading is a VERY important part of the proof process when you are ordering custom stationery and invitations. While designers and stationers do their very best to catch glaring mistakes, proofreading is ultimately the responsibility of the customer/client because only you know exactly how to spell Grandma's name or the address of your Aunt Carol's house. Because it is your responsibility to proofread, it is imperative that you attack this job with focus and eagle-eyes. Here are some of our best proofreading tips:

1. Print out the invitation/stationery and read through with a pen or pencil touching each word so that you focus on each letter/word as you check for spelling errors. It's amazing how your brain can fill in letters or fix spelling errors when you know what it's supposed to say.
2. Have someone not connected to the wedding read through the invitations. People who don't have preconceived notions of content often catch errors that you may not.
3. Read through the invitation out loud - sometimes hearing things can help identify a syntax or content mistake.
4. Use a blank sheet of paper to cover the material not yet proofed so that you focus on just the words in front of you rather than skipping ahead.
5. Have someone who IS connected with the wedding spell check all names and dates. Grandpa Hector won't be happy if you have him listed as Heckter!

We often urge people to proofread a couple of times at different times of the day. Don't rush through this in an effort to get proofs approved; the last thing you want it is to get your invitations, discover a mistake and then have to have the whole suite reprinted at your cost.

And, as always, having a trusted stationer in your corner is a great help. They will remind you to proofread and will offer tips and advice about how to best navigate the ordering and proofing process.

Happy spell-checking!

Monday, August 8, 2011

2 years old today!

It's hard to believe, but Gus & Ruby Letterpress is 2 years old today! Gifts can be delivered to 29 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801. Sweets are preferred, but we'll take pretty much anything.

Things are going so great here at G&R that it's hard to believe how scared and nervous we were 2 years ago as we began a journey that would change our lives forever. In case any of you have forgotten what said journey has been like (or maybe you weren't fans of ours way back then) I thought we could take a little trip down memory lane!

Below is one of my absolute favorite pics ever. Sam and I made a hilarious trip to Ikea (one of many that first summer) to purchase shelving, display pieces, office essentials and random knick knacks. We bought SO much stuff and had several dudes try to tell us that we couldn't fit it all in A.K.'s Jeep. I can't tell you how proud we were to pack that thing perfectly, but this photo tells you everything:

Sam and I worked tirelessly inventorying all of our products, ordering goods, designing business cards, the website, you know - nothing important. All the while the store started piling up:

We snapped our fingers and we were having a grand opening party! Literally. Just a snap of the fingers and the store had come together. Try it. Here we are giggling our faces off (what else is new) as we hung our little "private party" sign. We are such nerds. Specifically Sam. Why is she laughing so hard? I'm laughing just looking at it:

Pretty darn cute huh? (The store I mean. Not us.) I miss that space. It was tiny and dusty and hot as hell but it was so charming:

Still one of my most favorite photos:

Somewhere along the way Sam and I became geniuses. And our first act as new geniuses was to hire another one of our own, Lizzy. Seriously. How amazing is she? Just look at that smile:

Sam and I don't like to be settled. We like to be busy and frantic and nervous and crazy. So after settling in nicely on Market Street we decided things were too comfortable and we spontaneously jumped at the chance to move to Congress Street. Before we had a chance to change our minds, the windows were papered:

We tore the inside apart. And by "we" I mean our crew of construction workers. Nuts that this turned into our beautiful bridal suite:

Empty store:

Our sign is up:

Ahhhh pretty pretty pretty:

See what I mean about the bridal space?

We've been in this space 13 months and we're still not finished with projects. Our back office is in the works and will likely be finished in early September. Lizzy wallpapered an accent wall for us:

It's been a crazy ride but we wouldn't change a thing about it! Thank you SO much to you, our wonderful customers, clients, family and friends! We would not be here without your support. I can't imagine where we will be in another 2 years (I'll be 31. Gulp.)! Sam and I 2 years ago, acting like weirdos:

Beautiful photos by emilie inc. photography
Not so beautiful photos by yours truly

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Birthday Celebration & Sale!!

Hello, pals! Guess what? On Monday (August 8th), we turn 2 years old!!! Holy Cow! Can you believe it? We sure can't. It's been 2 wonderful, wild, amazing years and we just can't thank you all enough for your support, encouragement and friendship. We couldn't ask for more lovely customers, clients, friends and families. We are some darn lucky gals & pups.

As a way to say THANK YOU! to you, all weekend long (Friday the 5th through Monday the 8th) enjoy 20% OFF your entire* purchase when you mention this blog post or our email blast (check it out here).

So, come in, stock up and help us celebrate 2 years of paper passion! Hooray!

*excludes custom orders

Monday, August 1, 2011

My current color obsession: peach & blue

(Photo (& delicious recipe!)courtesy of Sudden Lunch)

I just can't get enough of the romantic, sweet mix of dusty peach hues and soft, pale blues. I love the calm of these two colors paired together - the way they play together without one overwhelming the other. The warm of peach and the cool frostiness of blue balance each other so well and I just swoon every time I see them.

Whenever I'm in need of some visual inspiration, I head on over to the inspiration boards on Snippet & Ink. Check out this lovely peach and blue board - I can't get over the centerpiece in the middle of the board. The texture!!! I die.

(Inspiration board from Snippet & Ink)