Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Pantone Colours for Fall 2014

Although I love the colours of the leaves and trees during autumn, the colours don't really suit my skin tone. I was therefore so glad to see some blues and purples in the colour palette for the season! 

I love the Royal Blue, Mauve and Sangria too much to choose a favourite! Which colour do you like the most?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Order of Names: Bride vs. Groom

This is one of those silly but practical posts that I do from time to time - perhaps not the most interesting, but I would like to request that you read it if you plan to order wedding stationery or wedding accessories printed with the names of the bride and groom.

The order of the names of the bride and groom is something that seems to be a bit of an issue with some couples. I've had a few instances where a bride would place an order with the groom's name first in the text, only to change her mind after the proof has been approved - either because she only found out about the tradition/etiquette after placing her order, or because her fiance did not like to have his name last! Thus far the brides were lucky enough to get hold of me before I've started production of their orders, but not everyone may be that lucky, so I thought I'll do a post on the topic to help you make an informed decision.

So whose name should come first?

The bride's. If you would like to honour tradition the bride's name should come first before the wedding. After the wedding the groom's name usually comes first. The order of the names of the bride and groom has nothing to do with money or the party/parties hosting the event. (The latter only comes into play when you need to decide about the wording for the invitation, and which parents to mention where - but this is a discussion for another day.)

Most wedding planners and stationery designers will probably advise you to put the bride's name first, but many couples choose to play by their own rules, rather than to follow convention, tradition or etiquette. Society is getting used to the idea of more freedom and originality when it comes to weddings and because of this most of your guests will probably not consider it to be a huge breach of etiquette if you decide to change the order of your names. Some guests may notice and you should be aware that you may be exposing yourselves to criticism, but personally I don't think that it is something that you should worry about too much, unless you are so stressed about the wedding that you won't be able to deal with the criticism. (Sticking to the traditional bride's name first will then be the safer option.)

I've looked at a few forums on the Internet and some of the reasons why couples decide not to follow convention are the following:

  • The bride feels selfish by putting her name first on everything.
  • The groom insists on having his name first and the bride agrees in order to avoid conflict.
  • Self-expression: the couple prefers to make their own rules in stead of following those dictated by society (or their mothers)!
  • For aesthetic purposes - the invitation design may look more aesthetically pleasing with the groom's name first.
  • It falls better on the ear.
Many couples put the bride's name first, but not for traditional reasons. They may even be unaware of the tradition and still do it! I've read a comment by one bride who said that she felt it was her right to have her name first because she was taking care of the wedding invitations and did most of the work for the wedding! Another said she did it based on "ladies first", and another said she did it, because her mother said she had to!

What about same-sex couples?

There isn't really a rule when it comes to same-sex couples. Many stationery designers suggest that you sort the names in alphabetical order.

And what if the order of the names remains a bone of contention between you and your beloved?

I don't think the order of names is worth arguing about, so if you don't want to follow convention and cannot decide whose name to put first here are some ideas:
  • Flip a coin
  • Sort names in alphabetical order
  • Play rock-paper-scissors (-lizard-Spock if you're fans of Star Trek or The Big Bang Theory)
  • Compromise by putting one name first in the invitation and the other name first somewhere else (for example on the wedding cake)
This may be an opportunity to practice your conflict resolution skills and decide as partners, rather than opponents! 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Ring Bearer

I've stumbled upon this cute little ring bearer on the site of Jack and Jane Photography:


I've never had a bunny myself, but I do know that they are very popular pets here in the Netherlands. Is it possible to train a bunny to bring the ring to the bride and groom? Do pet bunnies come when called? I don't know from first hand experience. Perhaps you bunny owners can tell me?

Friday, 5 September 2014

In the Pink: Etsy Treasury

Origami artist Vicki Bolen from Little Bird de Papel was so kind to include my laser-cut paper birdcage in her lovely treasury. Vicki is suggesting that we stay "in the pink" while we're hovering between summer and fall (autumn). I think this is excellent advice: pink has always been one of my favorite colours and I can always use an excuse to wear it!

You'll find the treasury here.
I always admire origami artists, as I tend to fold (pardon the pun) before I can fold the paper in the right way. (I tend to get a little overwhelmed by all those diagrams of mountain and valley folds!) Vicki has her own web-site, as well as an Etsy shop where she sells her paper art! You will find all kinds of treasures from handmade boxes to origami paper cranes suitable to display outside! Definitely worth a visit!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Sleeves vs. Envelopes

Luxury Handmade Paper Sleeves by Almost Amsterdam
Luxury Handmade Envelopes with Modern Pointed Flap by Almost Amsterdam

When I am approached by people who have questions about my custom envelopes and paper sleeves/pouches/pockets (blog post found here) I am often not sure whether someone is in need of a paper sleeve/pouch/pocket or a proper envelope. Very often the cause for the confusion is a limited knowledge of English or differences in meaning of the words in different locations/countries, as enquiries come from all over the world after all! But I have given this some thought and came to the conclusion that the traditional distinction between an envelope and a sleeve was lost because of technology: vinyl records were replaced by tapes and later CD's and handwritten or printed letters by e-mail.

I will be the first to admit that language is (and should be) a living entity, so I am perfectly OK with the fact that we refer to those little white paper thingies that we use to protect cd's as "CD sleeves", while they are, technically speaking, envelopes and not sleeves (if they have a flap). Traditionally phonographs and vinyl records were stored in a "sleeve" - a square paper container with one side open, so one could easily remove a record from its protective cover and return it again after use.

When we started to listen to our music on CD's we probably just carried on to use the word "sleeve" from our vinyl record days to refer to the protective cover, without even giving a second thought to the fact that it should probably be called a "CD envelope" if it has a flap! Although I realise that this is something that just "happened", it is, however, complicating things for me and clients who are interested in a custom-made sleeve or envelope.

I thought I'll un-complicate things by writing this little post and for practical purposes I would like to request anyone who is interested in a custom sleeve or envelope to please stick to the original distinction between the two items as explained in this post. This will help me to answer your questions and work out prices without delay:

  • are open on one side. 
  • can be used for inserts that are either taller or wider than the sleeve (depending on whether the opening of the sleeve is at the top or on the side).
  • are often purely decorative.
  • can be handy to keep the different cards and/or envelopes of an invitation suite together.
  • can add that extra special touch to your invitations.
  • cannot be mailed without being placed in an envelope, as the contents will fall out in the mail.

  • come in square or rectangular shape, traditionally with four flaps that fold to the middle.
  • have a closure (traditionally the top or side flap that often comes with gum or adhesive) so it can be sealed.
  • serve as protection for letters, cards, etc.
  • are more suitable for items of a discrete or private nature.
  • are suitable to be mailed, although rules with regard to format and size will usually apply.



If you are interested in custom envelopes or sleeves, please send me the following information:
  • Quantity required
  • Paper preference
  • Dimensions required (width and height)
  • Throat at top or on the side?
  • Information on the style required (For envelopes describe the flaps and for sleeves the throat/opening) 
  • It may be useful to send me a picture as well. An image off the internet or an actual envelope in your possession may be useful. Or simply make a rough sketch on a piece of paper and send me a photo of the sketch, even if the sketch is messy!)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Favour Tags

I've recently made these little tags with a sweet rhyme at the request of a bride-to-be. The tags will be used on wedding favours. I love how they've turned out:

After discussing the bride's needs with her I came up with a few font combinations to choose from. I was glad when this turned out to be the chosen combination:

Monday, 1 September 2014