Wedding Invitations: Go Online or Stay Local?

The nicest, most professional people I have ever worked with. This world would be heaven if every company had their level of ethics and customer service.

Stefani

Every wedding begins with a simple yes.

No, we’re not referring to the big yes that usually gets all of the attention. Instead, we’re talking about saying yes to your wedding invitations. That first step toward a happily ever after begins the cascade of moments and decisions and planning that eventually culminate into your wedding day.

So, no pressure, but your wedding invitations are kind of a big deal! While save-the-dates are a little bit more casual, your wedding invitation is the first place you see your color scheme and aesthetic theme come to life. Each frill and fluff of your decor, floral arrangements, and wedding party attire will follow in suit (pun intended) with the vibe you set with your wedding invitations.

With this in mind, it becomes less and less tempting to jump on board the trend of ordering your paper goods online. Despite how customizable and unique most chain websites claim to be, the designs remain in circulation for thousands of engaged couples across the country. Not to mention, when ordering invitations online, there’s rarely an opportunity to feel the paper, see the print quality, and talk through your questions and concerns in person with a paper expert.

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Maura Jane Photography

 

Which is why we always have and always will recommend ditching the faceless monotony of mass produced goods and, instead, support the local small businesses who have dedicated their passion and talent to their community. Like Pennysmiths Paper!

For 40 years now, Pennysmiths Paper has been serving New Mexico weddings — but their team will tell you, often out-of-state couples will fly in just to have their invitations and stationery designed by the Pennysmiths team. We’re not surprised by that though, considering their free one-hour consultation policy, hundreds of happy couples, and meticulous attention to detail.

From the first whisper of a celebration, to the final moments of your wedding day, Pennysmiths Paper has the stationery and invitations to set the tone and supplement your decor. Because it’s never too early to get started on your first step of wedding planning, you can get connected with a paper design expert from the Pennysmiths team here.

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Kayla Kitts Photography

Pennysmiths Paper

Pennysmiths Paper

Pennysmiths Paper

Pennysmiths Paper

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Save the Dates: Setting the Tone for Your Wedding {Guest Post!}

Our deepest thanks to the wonderful team of experts over at Paperlust for sharing their wedding expertise with us + our local wedding community through this awesome guest post!

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A save the date is one of the first pieces of wedding stationery that your guests see. It is an opportunity to create cohesion with your wedding invitation and on-the-day stationery, giving everyone a glimpse of what the most special day of your life will be like. There are many ways to do this, and we’ve compiled a list of tips to get you started.

Your Signature Style

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If you have a trademark style or have picked one for your nuptials, why not give everyone an idea of what it is from the outset? Your whole wedding will have a fantastic sense of unity and guests can know what to expect. For example, if you’re planning to host a formal wedding, an overly casual save the date will give people the wrong idea (and they may not come dressed how you want them to). Some design elements that suit formal events are gold foiling, letterpress, formal wording and limited colour. On the other hand, if you’ve got an off white knee length wedding dress and plan to walk down the aisle in your family’s barn, kick off the rustic vibes with a sweet kraft paper invite.

A Theme to Build Around

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Many an engaged person has balked at the enormity of the task that planning a wedding presents. Where do you even start? A wedding has to be built around something, so if you’re struggling for inspiration, why not build it around a theme that is unique to you and your love? If you two regularly argue about who could have a career in stand up comedy, a humorous save the date might be just the thing to kick off the festivities with a laugh. Get creative with the wording and give all your friends a giggle as they see your save the date on their fridge leading up to the wedding. Alternatively, your theme could be related to a certain region, like French (red, white and blue on your save the dates and baguettes as your starters) or Australiana theme. Whatever theme you pick should ideally be included the rest of the way through your wedding, but don’t feel the need to be too obvious. After all, less is more.  

The Reoccurring Motif

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You might be thinking, ‘Wait, aren’t a theme and motif the same thing?’ Basically, a theme is a key idea while a motif is a reappearing symbol, image or idea. If your wedding has a tropical theme but you think the palm leaf or wave invitations are played out, consider including pineapples as an image that repeats throughout not just your stationery, but for your whole wedding. You could even secretly weave pineapples into unexpected parts of your day and see who notices. Themes and motifs aren’t about how loud you can be, so aim for something tasteful. Flowers are another example of a motif to include in your save the date to give loved ones a hint without explicitly stating that you’re hosting a spring garden wedding.

Storytelling As an Art

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Every couple has a story to tell – so why not share it with those you love most during your special season in a way that is unique to you? While there are many ways to tell a good tale, pictures can be an easy and practical way to get creative. Use photocards to give the story in ‘chapters’, starting with your save the date. You could stick to black and white, frame the idea in terms of movie scenes or make every bit of stationery totally unique. That’s the best part – it’s all about you and your partner! Brainstorm some ideas then grab a camera (or hire a photographer) and start shooting.

 

Save the dates are more important than you might have first thought. Send these trend setters out at least 10 weeks before your wedding, or longer for a destination wedding, and all of your guests will know what they’re in for. Plus, the more notice they have, the more likely they are to be free to come. Happy planning!

 

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Picante Passion: A {Super Local} Styled Shoot

When you consider how vastly rich New Mexico is in scenic backdrops, it comes as no surprise that many couples choose this state for their wedding. We’ve got mountains, mesas, deserts, cities…Pretty much anything you need, regardless of your vibe! But what makes New Mexico, and the incredible local vendors who work here, truly stand out is how deeply appreciative we are of our cultures here.

Tiffany Burke Events, wedding planner extraordinaire, tapped into one of these cultures for her most recent styled shoot. Following the vein of Spanish heritage that’s so thoroughly integrated into the architecture, art, and sights of New Mexico, Tiffany and her team of local wedding professionals revived this history. With Tiffany Burke Events at the head of the creative helm for the styled shoot, and Tori Photography capturing every detail, together they manifested this Spanish fantasy into a gorgeous, lively reality.

And, of course, what better place to cultivate this styled shoot than at Hotel Andaluz? The historic venue is renowned in Albuquerque for being the pinnacle of luxury, but not the kind of corporate-luxury you can find anywhere else. Traditional Spanish architecture is one of Hotel Andaluz‘s many selling points… Tiffany, you picked the perfect spot!

Really though, first thing you’ll notice about this styled shoot is the colors, which nearly jump off the screen at you. Pulling you in further are the Southwestern details which compliment one another so well — from the cow skull and giant ristras, to the perfectly-peach cake that’s so clearly reminiscent of the famed adobe walls which punctuate our New Mexican cities. It’s easy to see that not one inch of their shoot went untouched, and that a lot of care and consideration went into the shoot. Which, as an engaged couple, is exactly what you want from the wedding professionals who create your day!

Scroll on to lose yourself in the vibrancy, see what Tiffany Burke Events has to say about the aesthetics, and book the Albuquerque wedding professionals who collaborated on this styled shoot!

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My vision for this styled shoot was to showcase the rich and romantic passion that flows through Spanish culture. The rich colors are meant to catch the eye and get your heart pumping. A creative twist that I wanted to incorporate was chilies, to not only pay tribute to New Mexico, but also to the flavor that activates all senses.

My goal as an event planner is to combine the personalities and visions of couples and create an atmosphere that astonishes them and those who will share these memories.

Tiffany, Tiffany Burke Events

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Décor + Planning: Tiffany Burke Events

Hair + MU : Christopher James Hair + Skin

Venue: Hotel Andaluz

Photography: Tori Photography

Music: Cello for Weddings

Bouquet and Boutonniere: The Flower Company

Cake: The Cake Boutique

Dress: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Tux: Mr. Tux

Bride and Groom: Fawn Vivar and Gabe Atler

Invitations + Stationery: Differently Designed

 

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Basic Invite: Anything But Basic Vintage Stationery

Ah, yes, save-the-dates — one of the very first steps in the wedding planning process, with the actual wedding invitations following on their heels. That initial leap into planning one of the biggest events of your lives together can actually be pretty nerve-wracking, if you ask us. Especially when that step involves proof-reading and sending out hundreds of paper products with potential spelling, time and date, or design errors to all your closest friends and family…

Luckily, with Basic Invite, you can lay these fears to rest! {And if you didn’t have anxiety about your wedding invitations until we mentioned all the possible mistakes then, well, our sincerest apologies for the emotional roller coaster.} Since 2006, Basic Invite‘s team of highly creative, highly talented designers and artists have been dutifully handcrafting customizable, vintage wedding invitations, save-the-dates, announcements, photo cards, and basically everything else stationery related from their home base in Saint George, Utah.

Sure there are plenty of options for custom, online stationery design nowadays, but there’s something about Basic Invite that truly sets them apart. Or maybe it’s not one particular thing, but a conglomeration of their attributes that, together, can quell any bride-to-be’s anxiety around the intimidating permanence of paper products. Take their customer service, for example. The moment you click over to their website — which is super intuitive and clean, also — a little window pops up, offering brides the option of live-chatting with one of their team members.

Or even better, their custom samples. Basic Invite is one of the very, very rare invitation companies that will send you and your fiancé a sample of your handcrafted designed stationery before you order. Not only can you physically hold the invite or save the date in your hand to check for texture, color, and design perfection, but you can proofread it once more then, too. Just in case.

Then there’s all the free stuff too! We’re big fans of free things, as are most normal human beings, and Basic Invite is actually chock full of free goodies. Like their all-new wedding websites, which are 100% customizable, just like their invitations. Pop in your wedding details, photos, maps, and all other info your guests would possibly need, all in one convenient spot. {Because, sigh, there will undoubtedly be at least a handful of guests who lose their invitations and have to ask for all the details again.}

All this said and we still haven’t even mentioned the custom options! {Over 40 different envelope options, and over 800 different wedding invitation sets. Yeah, you read that right.} But at this point we’re starting to sound a bit like obsessive fangirls, so we’ll let you, lovely engaged couple and blog-lover, check them out yourself at their site here. Try to not get too obsessed after scrolling through their gorgeous designs — but if you do, we won’t hold it against you.

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Simply Sweet Summer Styled Shoot

When vendors come together to let someone’s dream become a reality, that is what a wedding is.

Tori, Tori Photography

We couldn’t agree more, Tori. One thing though, are sure you didn’t accidentally make our wedding dreams a reality? Because this styled shoot is giving us all the feels. From our collaboration dreams for local wedding professionals, to wedding-day fantasies, this shoot fulfilled all our hopes and expectations.

A delicate floral backdrop for the sweetheart table, perfectly paired silk florals from Charlotte’s Flowers, all captured by the perpetually creative Tori Photography. Really though, what more could you ask for? Tiffany Burke Events, event planner extraordinaire, coordinated the styled shoot between a fabulous handful of local wedding vendors, and all the magic took place in one of Albuquerque’s favorite venues, The Canyon Club.

As for the sweethearts themselves, two lovely local models, cruised around The Canyon Club with an adorable golf cart and love in their eyes. Punctuated by splashes of sparkles and lace, no detail of this shoot went unnoticed, and all came together to create such a wonderfully delicate and elegant moment in time. Fashioned by the veteran vendor Mr. Tux, the groom wore a light gray suit — the perfect fresh and airy fit for the southwestern sun. And the bride… well, you’ll just have to see the photos for yourselves. Her gown was breathtaking, and it’s better we try not to describe it with words.

A very special thank you to these wedding professionals, who worked together to manifest this wedding-day fantasy, showcasing their incredible talent and offering local brides some IRL inspiration. For a full list of the participating vendors, scroll on! Links to contact and book the professionals included.

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Photography | Tori Photography

Decor & Planning | Tiffany Burke Events

Venue |The Canyon Club

Cake | The Cake Boutique

Hair + MUA | C. Johnson Makeup

Suit | Mr. Tux Formalwear

Dress | David’s Bridal

Floral | Charlotte’s Flowers

Invitations | Pennysmiths Paper

Decor | Simply Decor and Events

Ceremony Chairs | America Tent Rentals 

 

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Funky Olive: Bespoke Pieces for Trendy Couples

Modern | Bespoke | Custom

If you live in New Mexico — or really anywhere in the Southwest for that matter — and haven’t heard of Funky Olive Design: Invitations + Stationery, you’ve been missing out. But that’s okay! Because that means we, Perfect Wedding Guide, get to introduce you to one of Albuquerque’s most talented wedding professionals. {Which is our favorite thing to do, if you haven’t noticed.}
 
For years now, Funky Olive Design has been gracing the local community with the trendiest, most on-point wedding stationery — specifically for the trendiest, most on-point engaged couples. Their team of 3 incredible ladies hand-crafts custom designs with each duo’s personal style at the forefront. Collaborating with their team is like working with your best friend — that is, if your best friend is a creative genius who’s perpetually on top of current trends, and can transmute them into a one of a kind design for you and no one else.
 
One thing unifies every unique design, though: they’re all mind-blowing. From the table signs, to the invitations, menus, engagement announcements, and supplemental signage, no detail goes unnoticed by Funky Olive Design.
 
Don’t believe it? We know, it sounds too good to be true. If you need some evidence, you can scroll — try not to drool when you do — through photos of the previous designs they cultivated from local couple‘s wildest dreams. Or even better, book a consultation with their team to get the ball rolling, and they’ll share their design portfolio with you. {It’s a dream, but you’ll just have to see for yourself.}
 
So yes, if you’re modern, hip, and ready to tie the knot, Funk Olive Design: Invitations + Stationery is the place for you. Get ready for bewildering bespoke-ness, you bold bride-to-be.
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Photo Courtesy of: Maura Jane Photography
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Photo Courtesy of: Maura Jane Photography
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 Photo Courtesy of: Maura Jane Photography 
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Spilling the Beans {Part Two!}

You might remember our post Spilling the Beans: Wedding Vendors’ Best Kept Secrets from last month — super sneaky budgeting tricks ring a bell? Or never-before-heard pro-tips? Well, we’re back with more! In a never-ending quest to make dreams come true for New Mexico’s wedding professionals and local engaged couples, we decided throw even more wedding planning advice at you.

Coming straight from the mouths of Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s top wedding vendors, the following tips are money-saving, stress-reducing, fun-inducing guaranteed. But don’t take our word for it, scroll on, then call up your local vendors and put them to use!

Maura Jane Photography
Maura Jane Photography

Your Photos

When choosing a photographer first look at the different styles that each photographer offers and narrow it down to ones that really vibe with your taste and personality. A lot of photographers offer beautiful trendy photos with lots of filters and moodiness which is something we do not do. While our shooting style is natural and romantic, our editing style is clean and classic, so when you look at your photos 10 years from now you still love them just as much as the first day you saw them.

Maura Jane Photography

 

Pennysmiths Paper

On Paper

We can do as little or a much as you need for your wedding invitations. You can buy the paper from us and print them yourself. You can even bring in your own design that we would be more than happy to print.  You can have us design, print, assemble, address and even go to the post office for you!

Pennysmith’s Paper

 

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The Experience

One of our biggest secrets is centered around your event experience. We always strive to give more value than contracted. Sometimes it includes additional gear for sound or lighting, or maybe it’s a custom monogram or our 360 media guru footage. It’s always something that enhances your event experience beyond the original scope. Going the extra mile isn’t extra, it’s who we are.

Cutmaster Music

 

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Last, but certainly not least!

For big weddings, an open air photo booth is a must. Whether you’re taking a quick snap with your bestie or capturing your entire wedding party, it’s the versatility you will depend on. On the other hand, a traditional, enclosed booth may be more fitting for an intimate celebration. Never be afraid to ask for references from either your venue or your photographer and be sure to follow up with an interview! Book early because typically dates fill up fast.  And give your guests a challenge + have fun with it! Have your guests do things like tell a story in three pictures, get a picture with the mother of the bride or the loudest person at the wedding. It gets the guests to laugh more and branch out to mingle!

Selfie Sensations

 

Check out our first set of tips + tricks for more advice on your big day here!

 

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