Easy Ways To Make Your Wedding Show A Success

To The Wedding Show, I Go!

As a wedding vendor, I have never participated in a wedding show or expo.  But last year I was asked to showcase in the Jacksonville Bridal and Event Show!  Unfortunately, I don’t live anywhere near Jacksonville.  When I spoke to the show organizers and discovered they were also planning a wedding show in Dallas, I was all over it!  I reserved my space, paid my fee and then… boom.  Started to freak out a bit, because this was a boutique show and hello – I had never participated in a wedding show before!  And this was a fancy one!  What had I signed up for?

It turns out, I didn’t need to worry.  I did pretty well!  I DIY’d my booth and the show organizers used my booth as an example to the other wedding vendors.  Not bad!  In this post, I’m going to go through step by step how I put my booth together and made my first wedding show a success!

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I was asked to participate in the wedding show’s styled shoot, and the photos were then used to promote the show. Photo taken by Ashley Rains Photography (www.ashleyrainsphotography.com)

Branding In The Show

The first thing I considered, before anything else, is my branding.  My brand colors are white and turquoise and my logo uses black lettering.  In general, my brand asthetic is clean lines and modern touches.  So I knew my booth at the wedding show would need to reflect that.  That made any inital color choices easy.  The direction I was given from the wedding show organizers was to go “over the top” and that it would not be a drape and pipe type of show.  With that in mind, I knew I didn’t want to go with the provided table and table cloth.  I figured nobody else would either (I was wrong about that, to my surprise).  But I also knew I was on a tight budget.  So, I had a few choices I could go with:

  • rent some tables from a decor shop in Dallas
  • purchase tables new and bring them with me
  • buy furniture second hand and refurbish them

I liked the first and second options the best, although they both had downsides.  The problem with renting tables was, well, I just couldn’t find anything I really liked.  And trust me, I looked hard.  And the issue with buying furniture and bringing it with me was that I lived in Austin… and my family was coming with me for a mini getaway that weekend.  With two kids in the backseat, we didn’t have a lot of room to stuff tables and boxes and luggage in there!  I looked into renting a larger vehicle, but any dream of keeping this weekend affordable was flying away.  But in the end, this is the route I took and I just measured everything really carefully while keeping my fingers crossed!

I ended up using my work table from my studio.  It’s an old IKEA table, something I found from the dark ages when I lived alone in a basement apartment (so it really was the dark ages, ha) in the As Is section.  I managed to score a great square table from a neighborhood facebook swap page for $25.  My daughter, the Divine Miss A, helped to spray paint it in my brand colors.

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The Divine Miss A loves to spray paint. She’s not into weddings (or boys, whew!) but was SO INTO this wedding show!

Show Signage

I needed a sign with my logo on it for the booth.  My dad used to own and operate a sign business so I had some idea of how expensive it could be to have one made.  Instead, I opted to paint one by hand.  I had a large canvas on hand already and used that.  I copied over my logo using carbon paper, which is one of my favorite art tools.  The sign was done after a few evenings of working on it.   I took a picture halfway through to use on instagram as promotion for the wedding show.

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I’m halfway through painting my sign for the wedding show! This turned out beautifully.

Now the problem was, what would I put the sign ON?  I couldn’t hang anything on the walls of the venue.  I decided to use the art easel I already had rather than buy something else.  That meant it needed to match my branding as well.  As much as I loved the neutral wood color, I painted the easel white to match the large table.

Booth Layout

It was important to me to lay all the furniture out in the allotted space to make sure it fit.  I used painter’s tape to mark off an 8’x8′ space in my front foyer, and put my booth furniture in there.  Once I had an actual space to work with I could easily move the furniture around and see what would work the best.  Having been to wedding shows, I knew that people usually travel in groups or two or three and I wanted to make sure I had enough space around each table for them to be comfortable without feeling closed in and claustrophobic.

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My initial wedding show booth layout. I haven’t repainted the big table yet.

This is my final arrangement.  I had tried all different things and made sure to walk around each piece of furniture while carrying a tote bag to see if the bag caught on the painting or a table corner.  (Since attendees are usually given tote bags full of brochures and giveaways at wedding shows.)  You can see the blue painters tape on the floor where I marked off the 8’x8′ space.

Let’s DIY This Show

Once I had the bare bones of the booth figured out, I needed to focus on the actual display.  What was I going to put on the tables?  Obviously my invitations, but I wanted it to catch people’s eye.  I went to Hobby Lobby to see what caught mine and to get ideas.  I came back with two decorative wooden boxes, a few wood frames and two wooden trays with very high sides that I was going to use as risers.

My first course of action was to start painting the boxes.  Again, I wanted to stick with my branding.  I decided to paint them blue with white accents and just a touch of gold.  When the boxes were finished, I sprayed them with a coat of spray sealant.

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Always be branding people!

I spray painted the trays white.  I then painted the frames gold.  A good gold paint can be hard to find.  This is what I used:

I bought this paint on amazon.  It is a bit pricey but it is worth it.  It covers really well and is a true gold.  I bought the 24k Gold color.

Once the frames were dry, I used superglue to attach the largest one to a wooden 11×14 picture frame.  I glued the smaller frames to wood bases I had painted blue.  I found the other decor elements in storage bins in our garage, used in previous parties we had thrown.

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I love this photo. This was taken about a month after I had signed up for the wedding show and I was so nervous and excited!

Wedding Show Display

It was time to start arranging things on the tables.  I put the risers down first and quickly realized I would need more than just two.  Searching the house, I picked up whatever leftover boxes we didn’t need that would work.  I was going for height and color stories.

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wedding show | easy wedding show success | wedding show advice | wedding show tips | wedding show booth | wedding vendor | wedding expo | wedding invitation vendor | wedding invitation | wedding success

wedding show | easy wedding show success | wedding show advice | wedding show tips | wedding show booth | wedding vendor | wedding expo | wedding invitation vendor | wedding invitation | wedding success
I love my little wedding show raffle tickets here. They match my Swirls invitation design. They are so cute!

It’s The Weekend!

I was worried if everything would fit into the back of my car.  Well, it did!

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It’s getting real now!

 

 

I had a 10:15 load in time, and the show started at 1 PM with a media preview at 12:30.  Hubster and I brought everything in and he started to assemble furniture while I began unpacking.  I am really happy I was so organized before the wedding show, because I knew exactly what needed to be done and assembled my booth very quickly.

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This photo really shows the color story I created on the right side of the table, with the darker fine art invitations. It also shows the height I created by using the double risers and picture frame in the middle of the table. Your eye is drawn to the focal point, then falls to the rest in a triangle. High middle, falls to right, then to left. Keep this in mind with your displays!

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I was very surprised to see that I was the only vendor at this wedding show who had a custom booth.  Everyone who shared the room with me was using the table and cloth provided by the venue, thus making it look like a sea of pale pink.  Because I had chosen to use white and turquoise as my colors I definitely stood out.  I was also surprised to see that only the photographers had used height in their displays by way of their picture frames.

To Sum Up

I consider this wedding show a success!  And it wasn’t too hard.  If you follow these guidelines I believe your booth will be too.

  • Always Be Branding.  Stick to your brand.  Through colors, fonts, and general asthetics.  Attendees can immediately get a sense of your vibe.  For example, nobody will ever mistake me for making invitations with a vintage feel, now will they?
  • Make Your Name Visible.  I was surprised at how obvious this seems, yet how difficult it was to figure out who was who at this wedding show.  Don’t make people guess.  And make it obvious from across the room.
  • Use The table.  Think about your display as a selling feature.  I want people to know what I do before they come up to my booth.  Also, there may be a restriction on how wide the booth is, but I can use the vertical space.  Use risers or boxes to stack your product and add visual interest.
  • What Do You Do?  No Really.  What Do You Do?  Are you a makeup artist?  Then put some makeup on the table.  Are you a hairstylist?  Then put some hairspray and bobby pins on there, or maybe create a picture on a canvas out of them to get people talking.  If you think a computer screen showing photos of your work will do the selling for you, it won’t.  People might just think you’re a photographer and walk away.  Make your display unique and engaging.
  • Sell Your Personality.  It’s difficult, and as an introvert I can tell you it’s hard.  But don’t be afraid to do it!  My give away was screws… because it’s in line with my marketing and I thought it would be funny.  It was a great way to get people to engage and after a mimosa or too, it was a great way to get people to laugh.  Don’t be afraid to be goofy!

 

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Just Arrived: Beautiful and Innovative Invitation Art

Invitation or Art?

Those who know me best know how much I love making invitations.  They also know that I love painting.  As in, every piece of clothing I own has paint on it somewhere.  There are canvases leaning up against every surface of my home, both complete and half finished.  And between the Divine Miss A and I, we have made piles of loose leaf paintings on various types of paper throughout the house.  Consequently, we have an art problem.

And then I had a brainwave… Why not combine my two great loves?  Why not turn some of my artwork into invitations?  Isn’t that the whole point of professional grade scanners anyway?

Why choose when you can have both!

A few weeks ago I had a great time with a glass of wine, some yupo paper (which is thin paper made of plastic) and alcohol ink.  I set it all aside to dry and a few days later created this.

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I’m pretty excited about how this turned out!  The flow of the alcohol ink really comes across well in the print.  Every little splash and texture is captured beautifully and every detail pops.  Here is a close up.

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If you like this collection, it has just been added to our shop!  Contact us for your quote and if you leave us your mailing address we would love to pop a free sample in the mail for you.

 

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Sweepstakes, Sweet Sweepstakes!

This is big, y’all.

Sweepstakes!  Who doesn’t love that word?  I do.  Especially when it comes to weddings..  I’m positive you feel the same way.  Which is why Chantal Claire Collections is doing our first sweepstakes ever!

We are giving you the opportunity to win free personalized wedding invitations!

Go ahead, scream.  Freak out.  We’ll wait.

In the meantime, we’ll look at these pretties.

Pink Black Wedding Invitation | Spring Wedding | Summer Wedding | Modern Wedding | Wedding Stationery | Wedding Invitation | Wedding Invitations | Wedding Invite | Wedding | Weddings | Handmade Wedding

Blue Green Wedding Invitation | Spring Wedding | Summer Wedding | Modern Wedding | Wedding Stationery | Wedding Invitation | Wedding Invitations | Wedding Invite | Wedding | Weddings | Handmade Wedding
Look at this beauty… and I’m not at all biased because this was the original design from my own wedding.

Feeling better now?  Good.  Me too.  Ok, our sweepstakes…  Here’s how it works.  Each person who contacts us through our website between January 27 and January 30 2018 will be entered into the sweepstakes.  At 10 pm Mountain time on January 30 I will use RANDOMPICKER (https://www.randompicker.com/) to draw a winner for the sweepstakes.  This winner will win free invitations from Chantal Claire Collections for their wedding, up to a value of $450*!  Pretty sweet, eh?  The winner will be contacted via email the next day, so double check those email addresses!

*The winner will be responsible for any quantities that exceed this dollar amount.

The deets.

In order to enter, simply visit our website at www.chantalclaire.com and fill out the “contact us” form.  No purchase is necessary.  Making a purchase of another item on our website, such as table numbers or save the date cards, does not increase your chances of winning.  All entrants must be over 18 and must be planning their own wedding – no entering for your friends if you are a bridesmaid!

Chances of winning this sweepstakes is dependant upon the number of entries received.  Prize INCLUDES the cost of shipping (!) so this is truly a sweet, sweet deal, y’all!

This sweepstakes is void where prohibited.

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Invitations

Traditional Vs Modern Butterfly

Butterfly invitations.  A classic staple of the wedding industry, for sure.  But in our view, it is a motif you can easily play with.

Take for instance our version of the butterfly invitation, as seen on our Chantal Claire Collections website.

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Jamala’s color choice was so great that we now use it as our sample for brides interested in the Butterfly invitation.

While the butterflies on their own are pretty simple and traditional, the colors our bride Jamala chose are modern and bright.  She opted for our Signature pocket, and used the side panels to write meaningful quotes in a font she used all through her wedding (this font is called PassionsConflict, which I teased her about during our interactions.  It’s a great font actually.  It’s scripty and kinda messy, but not really – it’s pretty cool.)

This color scheme is what I like to call “juicy” – it makes me think of all the tropical fruit on display whenever I go on vacation somewhere warm, and it always tastes SO MUCH BETTER than anything similar I eat when I get back home.  These colors aren’t a photoshop job, they really do pop like this.  Jamala did a great job merging a traditional motif with a modern color scheme to create a mix of old and new.

Here is what her invitation looks like when it is closed.  Jamala’s friend had designed a monogram which she sent to me.  I included it on the outside of her invitation.

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Jamala’s butterfly invitation, closed and ready to go.

Rock On Old School

Our bride Richelle also loved our Butterfly invitation, but wanted to make it a little bit edgier.  She decided to go with a black and hot pink color scheme.

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Richelle chose a pink and black color palette.

How rad is this?  This color scheme always looks amazing.  My brother also had a fuchsia and black palette and chose our Swirls invitation – it looked incredible and bold.  Richelle also chose the Signature pocket, but instead of quotes on the side panels she opted for a continuation of the butterfly motif.

I’m not sure how noticeable it is in these photos, but even the rhinestone between the names is a different color.  Did you see it before I pointed it out?  Jamala’s is a clear “diamond” looking one and Richelle’s is a hot pink one to match the cardstock.  Cool, huh?

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The outside of Richelle’s invitation.

Can you be quiet?

Jenni came to us with a simple request… to design something less bright.  Less bold.  Less in your face.  Overall, something quieter…. with butterflies.  And we did just that!  Jenni’s color scheme was light and dark sage green, perfect for her summer wedding.

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Jenni’s softer take on our Butterfly invitation. I love her earth toned palette!

It has a very different feel to it, doesn’t it?  It’s the same design, but by using a different set of colors and fonts it seems softer and more whimsical.

With our Signature pocketfold design, you can inject even more of your own personality by adding photos of yourself or of your venue onto the side panels.  We have had clients do this in the past when they are trying to sell a destination wedding to their guests by putting pictures of resorts, specialty food or even in one case the Tuscan landscape on there.

One regret I have is of not taking more photographs of my past work.  You know what they say about hindsight…  My brides have been so creative in the past and I wish I had thought to take pictures of it all!  Of course, I didn’t think back then I would be blogging about it…  but it still would be lovely to have photos of all the cool stuff my girls have come up with.

What awesome things will you come up with?  Get in touch with me about designing your wedding invitations.

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Jenni’s invitation, closed and ready for it’s envelope.

 

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Invitations And You – Listen Up!

Radioactive invitations!

Hola, muchachos!  I was on the radio!  I was interviewed by R.J. Johnson for his radio show Austin Bridal Secrets.  We talked about my invitations, how I started Chantal Claire and we even got into the nitty gritty of my cardstock of choice, Bazzill, and why I love it so much.

Modern Butterfly Wedding Invitation Suite | Wedding Pocketfold Invitation | Pink and Black | Destination Wedding | Save the Date | Wedding Stationery | Spring Wedding | Summer Wedding | Modern Wedding | Wedding Invite | Handmade Wedding Invitation | Bright and Bold Wedding Invite
Our popular butterfly invitation recolored in black and pink. If you’ve met our client Richelle, you would know how much this suits her personality.

Signature or Contemporary?

During our conversation, we briefly touched on the two pocket choices I offer.  Our most popular choice is the contemporary pocket, which opens from bottom to top.  The contemporary pocket is in the middle price range.

Contemporary Wedding Invitation Suite | Wedding Pocketfold Invitation | Floral Invitation | Destination Wedding | Save the Date | Wedding Stationery | Spring Wedding | Summer Wedding | Modern Wedding | Wedding Invite | Handmade Wedding Invitation | Bright and Bold Wedding Invite
Our contemporary pocket with our Circular Floral design.

If the contemporary pocket isn’t quite doing it for you, or you require more options for personalization, then the signature pocket is just right for you.  The side panels provide the perfect opportunity for you to include photos of yourselves, quotes, or photos/information about your location if you are having a destination wedding.

Modern Wedding Invitation Suite | Wedding Pocketfold Invitation | Blue and Green Invitations | Destination Wedding | Save the Date | Wedding Stationery | Spring Wedding | Summer Wedding | Modern Wedding | Wedding Invite | Handmade Wedding Invitation | Bright and Bold Wedding Invite
Our signature pocket with featuring our Circular design.

America’s Got Invitations

In this interview, we of course delved pretty deep into my invitations and how my little company came to be.  But we also ended up talking about my original beginnings… as a sound engineer and singer/fiddler.  Ah, the good old days, when I’d be up all night performing in dirty bars, watching drunk people get drunker with every passing hour.  Listen to hear all the goodies.

Halloween Party Fun!

Halloween – To Party Or Not To Party

I am a party person.  I love throwing them!  Hubber is not, but he loves me so he goes along with my party obsession.  He’s good to me like that.  With Halloween coming up next month, I’ve been trying to get my kids on board with hosting one for their classmates… I think the Divine Miss A is starting to come around.

I’ve been going through some pictures of parties past as a way to entice her to the spooky side, and came across these.  This party was pretty epic.  As a rule I don’t post photos of my kids faces or pics of other kids, so sadly we will not be seeing the incredible costumes my creative friends came up with for their babes that Halloween.  But rest assured – many went far beyond the typical lion and Buzz Lightyear and well into the Demented Used Car Salesman realm.  So Awesome.

Goulish Gruel

Some veeeery scaaaary yummies for your tummies…

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas
Halloween party yummies. Drool.

I find organizing a food table for a party so satisfying.  Am I the only one?  Probably not… just go to Pinterest.

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas  Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas

Yes, that is a snake hiding in the individually cut cat shaped home made nacho chips.  And yes, that is a plastic eyeball and hand made skull food pick strategically placed in the bat shaped sandwiches.  WHY DOES EVERYBODY KEEP ASKING ME IF I’M CRAZY?  I don’t understand you people.

This is my friend Megan (on the right) and me.  I mean, do we LOOK crazy?

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas
See? This is what normalcy looks like. Totes kosher. I wear this everyday. The PTA loves me.

Sweeeeet.  Nom nom nom.

This is my favorite part.  Sugar me, baby.

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas
There’s some serious skeleton angst happening here. Maybe these skulls are going through their teenage years. I didn’t have a chance to ask them.

The cupcakes were store bought.  And now, for comparison, is a homemade treat.  I think a guest brought them, but honestly I can’t remember who.  I think they are super cute and they were soooo yummy.  They didn’t last – I do know we had leftover cupcakes though.  Take that, professional fancypants people!  Oh wait, I’m a professional fancypants invitation designer… um… well, sometimes it’s important to… oh screw it.  Just look at some food, would ya?

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas

Yeah, we kinda had a lot of cupcakes.  But hey, you can’t go wrong with cupcakes, right?

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas

And for good measure, here is some more junk food.  We got our kids good and wired on candy, that’s for sure.  Well actually, Hubber and I got everybody else’s kids good and wired.  The Divine Miss A slept through the entire party and woke up just as everybody was leaving.  She was dressed as a chicken and to be honest, she didn’t give a cluck about the party.

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas  Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas
Marshmallows and icing are basically heaven. If this isn’t proof that God exists then I don’t know what more you want. If you’ve tried it, you know what I mean.

Decor and Paper

Halloween really isn’t “my” holiday, the way it is for some. Generally Christmas is more my thing.    But I still had a lot of fun, even without breaking the bank on decorations.  I mostly hit up dollar stores, Michaels and cut stuff out of paper.  The food tags were created in Photoshop using elements I found online.  Overall, I had a blast creating this party.

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas
An alien skeleton was on display in the bathroom.

I feel that this warrants an explanation.  This grossed out a few of my female guests but I thought it was so cool!

The container was something I picked up at the dollar store for a couple of bucks and filled with water.  The skeleton itself is one of those weird sponge toy things that comes in pill form and grows in water.  I threw it in there and it just kept growing and growing and growing – I can’t remember now what it was supposed to be… I think a dinosaur or something.  I waited until it filled the jar and then bent it around a bit more with a spoon, and glued the lid cap on with a glue gun so the water wouldn’t spill.  I then decided it was an alien (instead of a toad, I wanted to see what shape it would take before I filled out the tag).  It was simple, extremely affordable, and once I provided the information people absolutely went for it.

The other objects in the picture are small bottles I also got from the dollar store and filled with colored water with caps glued on and silly labels attached, indicating various poisons.  I put them on a small table in my tiny bathroom and called that room the apothecary.

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas

I am most at home when working with paper.  It was so much fun making these food tags!  They were professionally printed to make the black pop, and I do wish the white spiderweb was showing up better in these photos – there was an intricate spiderweb on the right that you can only partially see here.  You can however see the gorgeous grain of the Bazzil cardstock that I use for my invitations.  LOVE Bazzil!

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas

How cute are these decorations?  I made the sign for the mirror quite easily in Photoshop by printing out the letters and then gluing them onto squares of spare cardstock and then stringing them onto black ribbon.  This sign held up for years and years and I finally had toss it only last year because it got torn.  Best $5 decoration I’ve ever made.

And last but not least, this is a bat mitzvah invitation I did around the same time using the design elements that I used for this party.  In fact, this invite was the inspiration for me to throw this party.  Ellie, my client, really loved Halloween and wanted to have a “Boo Mitzvah”, and I had a lot of fun creating this invitation for her awesome event.

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Black and Orange Table | Halloween Party Ideas | Bat Mitzvah | Boo Mitzvah | Mitzvah Invitation

This invitation evolved from a variety of designs from my collection.  If you are having an event, go check out the collection and remember, our designs can be altered to fit your color scheme.

 

Halloween | Halloween Party | Halloween Food | Halloween Treats | Halloween Party Ideas 

Choosing Wedding Colors

Choosing wedding colors.

It seems like this is a tricky thing for a lot of brides to be to do, and there *millions of guides online geared towards helping them do just that.  But do those guides really help?  I’m not so sure… they talk about time of year, the venue, color wheels, but not so much about the individual bride and her unique likes and dislikes.

*approximate number based on late night research while binge watching crime docs on netflix

So what’s my recommendation?  I’m so glad you asked.

A/V Club, if you please:

That’s the overview on how we recommend you choose your wedding colors.  But let’s break this down into more detail.

Step One: List Words to Describe Your Wedding

One a piece of paper, jot down descriptive words based on how you imagine your wedding.  You may not have a clear idea of wedding things yet, but you’ll probably have a pretty good picture of how you want it to feel.  Do you want a party atmosphere with loud music and lots of celebrating?  Then write party, celebration, jubilant.  Have you always loved wedding magazines and pictured yourself in a princess ballgown, walking down the aisle to the Wedding March?  Then maybe traditional, formal, classic are more your style.  The more descriptive words you write down, the easier it will be to narrow down the overall vibe of your event, and the vibe will eventually lead to your wedding colors.

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Style

Step Two: Go Through Your Favorite Photos

Pick out your favorite photographs.  These can be wedding related photos you found online, or favorite pictures from your personal collection.  Try to avoid pictures with emotional ties, like an old picture of you and your childhood pet, if you can.

Once you have a healthy stack of photos to choose from, you are ready for step three.

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Collage
Go through your photos and set aside your favorite ones. They don’t have to be wedding related! Pinterest is a great place to look.

Step Three: Dissect Photos Into Main Color Groups

Up until now, you might be like… wha?  But this is where things start to come together.  This can be finicky, but try to break your pictures into color groups.  Ideally you want no more than four or five per photo, and you can go as low as three (but with a picture that’s hard).  Take a look at my example:

 

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Bouquet

Realistically there are way more colors in this photo than just five.  There are shades of cream and more shades of pink and blue and green than what I’ve shown in the squares.  But I’m trying to break the photo down into it’s main colors.  In other words, if I were to glance at the photo quickly, then turn away and close my eyes, what would my color take away be?  That’s what I want in those boxes.

With that in mind, the bright blue ribbon for sure – that stood out against the white dress.  The green button mum near the bottom of the bouquet stood out to me, so that goes in the second box.  Next up was the lighter pink above it, then the medium pink then the darkest pink.  If you are more into greens you could have broken the greens down instead… this is a subjective exercise.  You can’t do it “wrong”.

How many?

You may not want to break down EVERY photo you have collected, and that’s fine.  After doing a few of them, you may find your brain automatically starts to blur out the subject matter and concentrates on the colors within the photos.  That’s essentially what we are trying to accomplish with this exercise.  Don’t kill yourself breaking down the photographs into color blocks, is what I’m saying.  Work on it until you get a sense of what you’re doing, then move onto the next step.

Step Four: Match List To Colors

Once you have gone through your photos, you should pull out your word list and start trying to match up the words to the color palettes you have established.

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Bouquet
Match your list to your photo palettes.

This might seem tricky, but once you start I think you’ll get into the rhythm and find it’s actually pretty easy.  It’s ok if some words fit with more than one photo.  What we are trying to accomplish here is whether there are any patterns in your tastes that you were both aware and unaware of.  For example, maybe you thought you wanted something very traditional, but you had written down “fun party vibe” to describe your wedding and all your palettes ended up being very bold colors.  You probably don’t really want a traditional wedding after all, and probably deep down aren’t drawn to those wedding colors after all.

Which palette “feels” right?

Once you have made a few palettes with your photos, you will have a better idea of which ones feel right and which ones don’t.  You can narrow your focus by repeating the words/photo process until you have just a few wedding color palettes to work with.

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Lists

Step Five: Google Wedding Photos In “Feels Right” Palette

Before making your final choice, Google wedding photos in the wedding color palettes you’ve created that “feel right”.  Once you see the wedding colors in action, you will have a much better idea if they are the right ones for you.  Again, Pinterest is a great resource for this sort of thing.

Step Six: Repeat Until Satisfied, Then Demand A High Five

I’m not gonna lie.  The chances are that you’ll have to google more than once.  You may even have to do it in public.  But keep googling and going through this process until you land on the wedding colors that are right for you.

Tah-dah!  You have just figured out your wedding colors, one of the hardest parts of wedding planning!  You totally deserve a taco.  Call me up and I’ll have one too.  And hey, now that you have your wedding colors figured out, why don’t you take a look at my invitations?  They can be recolored to match any color palette, even the one you just chose.  So win!

But first, tacos.

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Lists
I would have said yes to this. My husband could have saved himself some serious coin.

 

Choosing Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors | Wedding | Wedding Bouquet | Spring Wedding | Summer Wedding | Pink Wedding | Pink Green Wedding | Wedding Invitations | Wedding Stationery | Choose Wedding Colors | Wedding Colors

Everything is Awesome Wedding Style

So why exactly are we so awesome?

Wow, what a way to start a blog post, eh?  But seriously, what makes Chantal Claire more awesome to work with than, say, the next wedding invitation company?

Lego Awesome Wedding
Aw man. I wish this was around when I got married. This totally would have been on my thank you cards.

Well, we are humble, to begin with. That’s always a great virtue to have. 😉  And there’s this.  But we also remember clearly what it’s like to plan a wedding, even if it was hmmrmph*mumble*mmmmph years ago.  Not that we are old or anything.

Awesome Wedding Memories

I myself remember meeting with vendor after vendor while planning my wedding.  Meeting after meeting, I would find myself in rooms that didn’t match my wedding vibe, and they would tell me what my wedding would be like when I hired them.  And if I made the mistake of telling them I was marrying a guy from Serbia – whoa nelly!  Then I was having this type of wedding, and we would need to play this song and of course everybody would expect that…  except… none of it matched the wedding my fiance and I were planning. (See how I included my fiance there?  It’s because I’m awesome like that.  Cuz everybody knows it’s really about the bride, and she really does all the planning, but I still included him.  Because, as I said, I’m awesome.  But I digress…)

We were planning a small wedding, and we were (and still are, in our old age – ha) a quirky pair, and we didn’t want a lot of the expected wedding stuff at our event.  It just didn’t work for us.  But when I tried to explain it to these vendors, I was brushed off and ignored.  “Your guests will miss it,” was the most common phrase I heard.  My gut instinct was to reply – no, you will miss it, because I won’t be paying for it and you won’t see it in your bank account.  And then a few other maybe not so awesome and not so wedding related words and phrases followed – in my head of course.  Because I’m awesome and wouldn’t say it out loud. #PoliteCanadian

Wedding vendors that get “awesome”

At Chantal Claire, we want to be the vendor that “gets” you.  We don’t want to be the vendor that tells you what your wedding invitation will be like, or what your guests will miss, or what you have to have.  We want you to tell us why you are awesome, and we want to make an invitation to show you off.  And we think your wedding invitation should get people excited about your event, and should showcase your quirky, goofy or romantic side – whichever side you want to show. And we don’t think you should pay custom prices to be able to do any of that.

awesome wedding invitations
Our previous clients have made some awesome color choices when it comes to our butterfly collection. Same design but totally different vibe. I have gotten to know Richelle, the pink and black bride, pretty well since her wedding and yes, this invitation is TOTALLY her.
At Chantal Claire, we love awesome people, and we love weddings.  We love awesome weddings, and I don’t mean the big expensive crazy over the top ones…  I mean the ones that really show off the couple.  We would love to be a part of yours.  Get in touch with us for your free sample.
Heidi Swapp Memorydex guestbook in black

To guestbook or not to guestbook – is that the question?

Guestbooks

I’ve been hanging out on a few different wedding forums for a few months now, and guestbooks are a topic that come up frequently.  Most couples these days want something they will look at each day, rather than a book that will sit in a drawer or on a shelf.

Some very creative ideas have been suggested, but I see the same ideas over and over again.  And then while I was on vacation with my family last week thinking about all the cool pictures I’ll be adding to my scrapbooking pile, I came up with an idea: why not use Heidi Swapp’s Memorydex as a guestbook?

guestbook
Heidi Swapp’s Memorydex in white. A neat way to whip together a unique guestbook and wedding album.

The Rolodex Guestbook

The Memorydex works like an old school rolodex, if anybody remembers what those are.  It comes with the base unit and cards which fit onto the rings in the middle.  You could have your guests sign the cards with a message during your reception and assemble it easily and quickly afterwards.  Voila!  A quick guestbook!

This takes up very little space, so you can leave it out on a side table to flip through and still have lots of room for important things like a tv remote and a glass of wine.  While being a guestbook, it can double as a wedding album if you print and glue photos onto the cards – just bear in mind the photos will be smaller than 4×6.

Make It Personal

There are tons of accessories for the Memorydex, so you can really make this your own.  You can even create your own cards out of paper you have already if you purchase the punch – if you plan on covering the cards with scrapbook paper or creating your own cards, you will definitely want the punch, trust me.  It’s SUCH a pain to cut those little rectangles out by hand.

guestbook punch
Memorydex paper punch. Worth the moolah.

White’s not your thing?  The Memorydex comes in black as well.

guestbook black

Some of the cards have tabs, creating different headings or sections.  So you could create a wedding guestbook and also wishes for the future – say, a section with cards to read on your one year anniversary, five year anniversary, ten year anniversary, etc.  It’s so simple to put together that you could have one of your bridesmaids assemble it in one night while you are on your honeymoon.

I’m not affiliated with Heidi Swapp.  I’m not getting a kickback for recommending this.  I just really like mine and have been impressed with how quickly I can create interesting cards, and how many cards one dex can hold.  I also think a so-call “uncreative person” can be pretty creative with this without wanting to lose their everloving mind.

Guestbook Updated

When I got married, I asked my guests to send me or email me a photo of themselves with my husband or I (or both) that we may not have.  I then glued them into an empty sketchbook and wrote the guest’s names on top.  We got hilarious photos Hubber and I had never seen before, and it was a walk down memory lane for each of us and we heard stories about each other we had never heard before.  With such a small wedding, it was easy for the to find their page and they said later they liked looking for it and writing silly comments about the photo they sent in.

We still pull that book out of it’s place in the kitchen.  Our kids find it hilarious to look at old photos of their parents looking silly.  However, I realize that this won’t work for a large wedding, and not everybody wants an actual book.  If I were to get married again I would probably do something like the Memorydex.   To me, this is a great guestbook option.

guestbook
Card accessories are available, although you can use any small scrapbooking or planner items.

You should be able to get this at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.  If not, you can purchase it through me at info@chantalclaire.com.  If you still like the idea of a traditional guestbook, well guess what?  I sell those too!

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Wedding Planning Cutie

Last week I was playing around online, googling for wedding stuff and and getting ideas for new designs I’m working on.  One thing lead to another, and I came across this cute face:

wedding planning
The only thing brighter than Gigi’s smile will be your enthusiasm to work with her.

This is Gigi, from Not So Traditional Bride.  She’s a wedding planner in the Triangle area of North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Central NC) and she’s pretty rad.

Gigi has been planning events for almost ten years, so she knows what’s what.  She and I have been chatting back and forth and her experience planning her own wedding is very similar to mine.  Here she is, in her own words:

“Years ago, I was planning my own wedding and I found that most wedding vendors did not want to deal with me because I had a small budget and a small guest count. It really put a damper on my wedding planning process and I wanted to give Brides the opportunity to not only save some serious money but have their wedding day turn out their way.”

That is so similar to my experience with wedding vendors when I was planning my wedding!  I feel strongly that a wedding should reflect the couple and their personalities, not just be another cookie cutter run of the mill event, and Gigi’s approach to wedding planning matches that philosophy to a T.

Gigi has a background in floral arranging and event catering, two staples of the wedding industry.  Her experience in these areas have given her the experience needed to assist with bouquets and boutonnieres and table top design, as well as act as a liaison between the couple and vendors.  Her specialty is day of coordination and weddings on a budget – in fact, she loves DIY brides and can provide some crafty goodness as well as whatever else is needed.  Gigi believes (as do I) that a wedding doesn’t need to cost the same as your college tuition to pull off.  The sole purpose of her business is to help the bride – or groom – achieve her/his perfect day, her/his way.

If you are in the Triangle area, I strongly suggest you get in touch with Gigi.  She’s easy to get along with, is really creative and knows this business inside out.  Whatever your needs are, she can help.  As she says,

“Weddings should be fun! I think more couples need to be reminded of that. So should the people working in the wedding industry!”

Not So Traditional Bride

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https://www.gigsalad.com/not-so_traditional_bride_raleigh

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Foil Me Once, Shame On You

Foil invitations – they’re all the rage right now.  And I get it, they’re beautiful and funky and it’s really hard not to love them.  It’s something that I’ve wanted to offer my clients, but being a small business owner I wasn’t really sure how.  Well… last night I did some experimenting, and things went very well.

gold foil invite
Gold foil invites! The top is VERY shiny, and you can see the brush strokes from the reactive paint I used. It’s pretty awesome, and gives a slightly edgy feel. I LURVE IT.

This was my first attempt, and I’m pretty happy with the results.  I’ll try duplicating it today and if all goes well it looks like this will be something I’ll be offering on the website!  I’m so excited!

I’ve got ideas for the above, but also polka dots and maybe offering a chevron pattern in foil as well.  Is there anything you’d like to see?  I did one last night with just the names in foil and that looked very classy as well.

Foil is available in all kinds of cool colors.  Check it out:

foil
All the foils of the rainbow.

Oh yeah.  So excited.  I’ve already placed my order for a bunch of different colors and cannot wait to start playing.  It’s happening, baby.

 

Mario Party

Mario.

All Mario, all the time.  I have a son… that should explain a lot.

This is my professional blog, for my wedding invitations.  But I put a lot of work into the birthday parties I throw for my kids, and I thought, maybe another mom out there might appreciate some of the stuff I’ve done.  Maybe some of my ideas might help them when they’re planning a party for their kiddletons.  And maybe some of my brides have kids.

Plan it out.

Last year the Kamikaze Kid turned six.  He was obsessed with Mario, and asked for a Mario party.  This is what I came up with.  Let me start by saying that everything in the stores was Lego themed, and it was hard to find much Mario and Luigi stuff.  This year I decided to go easy on myself and convinced him to go with a Lego party – and everything in the stores is Mario themed.  I can’t find anything with a Lego block on it.  FOR THE LOVE OF KING TITAN WHY IS MY LIFE LIKE THIS.

The first step in my party planning (or wedding planning) is aways to come up with a basic color palette.  For a Mario theme, I knew the colors would have to be red, blue and bright green and yellow – a true primary color scheme.  I repainted a picture frame I bought at Goodwill a zillion years ago and printed out something I MacGyver’d together in photoshop to make this sign for our front door.

Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food
Welcome, gamers, to the Kamikaze Kid’s epic sugar infused pool party!

DIY Diva.

I made a lot of the decorations – I usually do.  Because of time constraints I try to buy more than I used to (I used to insist on making EVERYTHING but who has time for that?) but I always end up making at least a few things.  With Mario stuff being so hard to find, I ended up DIY-ing quite a few things for this party.

Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food

Like everyone else online, I went to Home Depot and bought some PVC pipe, then spray painted it green.  As always, I was asked for my ID and told condescendingly not to “huff the spray paint”.  I’m not sure what kind of vibe I’m giving those people to warrant the lecture, but I wouldn’t even know how to start “huffing” spray paint and didn’t even know you could get high from it until they told me.  In my day, you would ask someone’s older sibling to buy you a mickey of something at the LCBO and get tipsy at the edge of a wheat field like a normal teenager.  #Canadian #digression #ThanksForAskingForMyID

Anyway, the pipe really does make the perfect tunnels that mimic the ones in the game.  I then cut out a triangle from some styrofoam balls (for the mouths of these – what are these red dotted things anyway?) and painted them.  I had trouble finding something sturdy enough to hold them up, and couldn’t face making another trip to Michael’s, so I used green popsicle sticks which I raided from the kids’ craft drawer.  A year later and the Kamikaze Kid is still playing with these things, so I’m gonna call this a crafting success – and they looked pretty awesome on the food table at the party, too.

I made the little food sign – the “fire power” sign by the cheese balls – out of a wooden stand I got at Michaels.  I usually buy them when they are on sale or I have a bunch of coupons, and then hold on to them.  I always end up using them for something.  I printed out the Luigi picture from photoshop and glued it on, then painted the bottom of the stand green and the “stem” of the stand red with white dots to match the red headed mushroom thingies I had made.  It looked pretty good!  I made a few food stands like this.

Good and sugared.

Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food
Marshmallow mushrooms

These marshmallow treats were a HUGE hit.  HUGE.  I’ve discovered that anytime you put a marshmallow on a stick (or in this case a straw, since the sticks I had kept breaking and I didn’t trust using them without getting splinters into kids’ mouths) and toss a bit of icing into the deal you are going to have some seriously happy children.  I love how these turned out, and they weren’t very hard to make at all.  The first step is putting the marshmallow on the straw, so you can put the icing on the marshmallow without smudging it.  I learned the hard way – you can see the smudge on the first one I did before I figured this out.  The marshmallows were gone in about 7.8 seconds.

Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food | Mario Cake
Mario cake with buttercream frosting.

For the first time, the Kamikaze Kid had opinions about his cake and how it should look.  I let him describe his wishes to the (very patient) baker behind the counter at our favorite bakery, and she gave him exactly what he asked for.  It was absolutely delicious!  The sides have all the different Mario characters on it.  If you live in the Austin Texas area, I recommend checking out Sweet – we go to them whenever we need a cake or other sweet treat.  Their prices are competitive, they are friendly and have always given us exactly what we have asked for.  My daughter’s Nightmare Before Christmas birthday cake was unbelievable.

More decorations… because it never ends.

Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food
Tablescape.

I think the table turned out pretty cute.  Usually, there isn’t a formal “sit down and eat your cake here” area.  This year the kids were older, and since we had a pool party I didn’t want them to drip all over my house.  I hand painted the clouds on the cardstock squares because apparently, I’m a crazy person.  Yup.  Nothing but the best for my kids.  They’d better throw me one awesome retirement party one day, I’m telling you…

Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food
Table setting, complete with a hat and hand painted placemat. Because momma be cray cray.

Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food

The favor boxes were a lucky find, I found them here.  The sign says “Game over, thanks for coming.  Please take a gift box!”  The frame is from Ikea.

 

Do you like Mario?  Is Mario taking over your house?  Is the Mario theme song running through your head now?  You’re welcome…  And if you have a Mario party, please leave a link in the comments so I can see what you got up to!

 

Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food Mario | Super Mario | Mario Party | Mario Decorations | Mario Table | Mario Food