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.

 

Handmade Nano Robots

My invitations are handmade.  Yup, I make all the invitations you guys order BY HAND.  Well, I have the inserts printed by a professional printer, but I make all the pockets and add the rhinestones and whatnot by hand.

Recently I ordered some samples from some other invitation companies, just to see what my competition was doing.  And they were very nice – I have no complaints really.  They are not my style, But that’s why I created my own wedding invitation years ago in the first place.  But the samples were fine.  Just – fine.  Kinda blah, in my opinion.

However, it was very obvious that these were factory made.  The pockets from the different companies were identical, but assembled in different types of paper.  The ink was printed right onto the cardstock rather than onto blank inserts along with a design.  To me, this made it look less special or unique.  Basically, all of them seemed very “cookie cutter”, as though a line of nano robots were spitting them out in an assembly line rather than the invitations having any sort of human touch to them.  Wow, that’s quite the image, eh?

Now, I don’t want to slam these – I realize people have different budgets, and for some this may fit within their budget or preferences and that’s fine.  But for those who, like me, just cannot do things like everybody else, I offer my handmade invitations as an alternative.  Because each one goes through my hands I make sure every single one is up to my high standards before shipping it out.  I painstakingly create a tiny reflection of you and your partner to present to your guests while allowing you to be a part of the creative process.  While the inserts are at the printer, I begin to cut the cardstock that will become the handmade pockets and outer wrap.  When everything is back from print I assemble it all myself.  I am a perfectionist and have set a very high standard for myself.  I am very proud of the work that I do and the high quality I provide.

My try to exclusively use Bazzil cardstock when creating my handmade invitations.  If Bazzil isn’t available in a particular color I will go with another brand that is of the same quality, but it is my favorite cardstock to use because of the thickness and texture.  There is also a huge variety of colors and even certain gold foil patterns that I’m somewhat in love with.  I’m a bit of a paper snob, this is a topic I should probably write a separate post about.

When planning your next event, I hope you will consider using my invitations.  I really do believe that a beautiful handcrafted invite sets the tone for your wedding.  Contact me for a free sample!

Invitation Wording – wordify fun

Invitation wording.  This phrase can make even the most calm and collected bride to be start to sweat.  Well, this phrase and the words seating chart.  Before we start the stress, let’s begin with some humor from one of my favorite cats:

 

get fuzzy comic
I, too, can food anything.

 

So let’s get down to wordifying your invitations, ok?  Coming up with invitation wording can be tricky, because sometimes parents want their names on there, sometimes you are paying for the event yourself and want only you and your fiance’s names to appear.    There isn’t really a “wrong” way to do it these days, unless you forget to include the following:

Who

Who is getting married?  Make sure you put your names on there.  This shouldn’t be too hard unless you’re proofing your invites when you’re totally blotto.  I don’t recommend this.

What

You’ll want to indicate in some way that it’s a wedding invitation and not, say, a bat mitzvah or a Friday night wannabe adult prom.  You can indicate this by saying “at the marriage of their daughter/children” if you are including your parents’ names or, if not, you can write “as they join together in matrimony” or “as they exchange wedding vows”.  There are a bunch of ways you can say this, more than I can write here.  Google is your friend, my peeps.

Where

So, where is this beautiful little (or big) shindig happening at?  Include the venue name and address.  If the reception is at a different place, I recommend putting that information on the main invitation too.  Inserts can get lost or fall out in the bustle of the day, and an insert can easily be tucked into a suit jacket pocket.  This is a great example of my client Erin’s invitation and how she placed both addresses on her invitation without making it look too jumbled up or busy.

calla lily invitation wording
Erin’s calla lily invitation. She’s an invitation wording pro.

When

Make sure you put the time the ceremony begins!  I’ve recently seen some brides on wedding forums lately stressing over whether to write that the ceremony time starts at 4 when it really begins at 4:30.  As a guest, I would find this annoying.  If it starts at 4:30 I will make sure I get there on time, and to be honest quite often weddings get started a little bit late because of unforeseen snags.  If you have your guests sitting there waiting for 45 minutes, they are going to be really annoyed – especially if the venue is too hot or too cold.  Please trust that they are adults and can get there on time.  And if not, then they’re going to miss out on your big walk down the aisle and they can seat themselves after the fact.

RSVP Date

Whether it’s on a separate card (which I recommend) or via a wedding website, make sure you have your RSVP deadline clearly stated.  Having said that, also trust that people are going to promptly ignore it, and you’ll have to chase them down.  People are ridiculous with RSVPs for some reason.  It’s not just weddings, I’m finding it with children’s birthday parties and wedding anniversary parties too.  So make sure you have given yourself enough time to chase down the guests who have not responded!  And make sure you have stocked up on wine, chocolate, oreos, episodes of Teen Mom or whatever your poison is to get through the hell that is called RSVP follow up.

To card or not to card?

Why do I recommend having an RSVP card?  First, it’s tradition and expected, at least for the older set (like me – sob).

Second, not everybody is computer savvy.  I know it’s hard to believe, but my first girl scout co-leader didn’t even have a cell phone until I basically harassed her into getting one so she could communicate with the service unit and stop making me do all the work – not that I’m bitter or anything.

Third, I am barraged by emails and links and things I need to RSVP to for my kids’ school, and it always somehow piles up.  If it comes to me in a paper copy, it’s much easier to just quickly answer it and then pop it in the mailbox when I make my daily trip.  That means you’ll get the response faster.  I feel like a website response will become a part of the tech noise I deal with every day – but that may also just be me.  You do you – I am approximately 12954 billion years old after all.

I will get more in depth with invitation wording in another post, but hopefully this gives you a brief overview of what is required.  Happy wordifying!  I’m gonna go food some chocolate now.

Wedding Planning Adulting

I have been adulting like crazy today.  And if you’re doing any wedding planning, I bet you’ve been adulting too.  Yays for everybody!  We deserve a margarita or six.  We also deserve this t-shirt.

adulting t-shirt
I need this t-shirt. I’ve earned it.

Wedding planning is hard work.  There are so many decisions to make and checklists to tick off and DIY projects to mess up and redo – I mean, it’s a wonder any bride actually makes it to their wedding day at all.  But at least we’ve got you covered for your invitations!

If you send us your color palette, a picture of your bridesmaid’s dress, or even just a written description of your colors we can change up any of our designs to match your theme.  Wedding planning win.

circular collection pastel palette
Our Circular collection, recolored.
pastel palette
A soft color palette for inspiration.

I love how soft these tones are.  I usually go for much bolder colors when I’m designing, so this is outside my natural comfort zone.  But I was really drawn to this palette and I’m really happy with how the circular design turned out.

 

 

 

If pinks aren’t really your thing, that’s ok.  What do you think of this silver and gold toned version of our Dots collection?

dots collection
Silver and gold Dots design.
dots design inspiration
Color inspiration.

I looooove this.  I hope someone is planning their wedding in this color scheme, I think it looks very classy and royal and would love to see a tablescape set up in this palette.  And how cute is this little girl’s hair?  I love how this looks, and I love the slight blue tinge in this palette.  Gorgeous!

 

 

Good luck with your wedding planning.  And good luck to both of us with our continued success adulting.

Lily Aldrin GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Move over, Gin Blossoms. It’s Cherry Blossom time.

Cherry Blossoms.  It’s such a delicate and sweet motif for a wedding, or any party.  It’s a traditional theme but not so much that you can’t play with it to add unique and modern elements.

Cherry Blossom Wedding Collection
Contemporary pocket in Cherry Blossom Collection

Make it your own

With our cherry blossom design especially, changing the color scheme really switches up the overall feel of the invitation.  Sticking to the traditional light pink and brown tones gives a whimsical touch, but going darker reminds me of some artwork I’ve seen in the homes of my Chinese friends back in Toronto.

cherry blossom black and red
Amanda’s black and red theme worked amazingly well with the cherry blossom invitation! I’ll take a world of this, please.
purple and white cherry blossom
Jeanine was one of my favorite clients to work with. This was her vow renewal, and this insert sat inside a deep purple pocket. It was amazeballs when it was done. Fer serious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christine knew she wanted a cherry blossom motif and pink and black as her colors, but wasn’t sure which one she wanted to see more of.  I think this is a good way to show you some of my process, and also how different the same design can look with a color change and font change.  These are three mockups I did for her (out of many) and out of all of them we settled on the last.  I actually think they all look great for different reasons, but they definitely do all have a different feel.  Which one is your favorite?  Leave me a comment and tell me why!

What’s that?  You want to see what other wedding related cherry blossom stuff I’ve found online?  Well, ok then.  But only because you asked, and also only because I’m busy listening to my murderino podcast and am happy to surf the net for you.

Jewelry

cherry blossom earrings
Golden Kiss Jewelry on Etsy – who wants to buy me these?

I think these earrings from GoldenKiss Jewelry on Etsy are adorable.  They come in silver or gold, and at $16+ I think they’re a really good find for the money.  She’s got excellent reviews, so definitely worth checking out.

cherry blossom earrings
Obsessories LA – as good at making jewelry as they are at naming their store. So, pretty darn good.

I think these itty bitty cherry blossom earrings from Obsessories LA are the sweetest little gift you could give your flower girl.  How adorable are they?

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Favors

Ah, the dreaded favors.  I’m partial to anything edible myself, but then again I think being 6590 lbs suits me.  😉  I did a quick search for you and found a few things that I thought were cute and not coo-coo bananas expensive.

cherry blossom oreos
Cherry blossom oreos? Or really, any kind of oreos. Um, yes please!

Omigod oreos.  Cherry blossom oreos.  Omigod.  Like… omigod.  I don’t think I need to say anything else here.

 

Oh wait, I should probably tell you the store name.  It’s MerryGoSweets on Etsy.  You need to buy stuff from her.  Even if you decide not to get married, you need to buy stuff from her.  And so do I.  Because oreos.  Omigod.

 

 

 

 

cherry blossom coasters
Super cute and unique coasters. Rockin the old school vibe.

A billion years ago when I got married, everybody considered coasters as a wedding favor. I mean, I didn’t, but that’s just because everybody else was doing it and as I’ve said before, if other people are doing it then I suddenly become allergic to it.  Anyway, I saw these and didn’t break out in hives because these are actually really adorable.

 

 

 

 

cherry blossom wine glass
Let’s get blotto, y’all.

The wine glass in the middle with the cherry blossom motif is pretty cute, and is a favor that I think quite a few guests will actually use after your event.  And let’s face it, if many of them are newlyweds themselves, they’ll need to be drinking some vino to get through the first few years of arguments about in-laws, spending, and stop leaving your laundry on the floor the bin is RIGHT THERE can you seriously not see it it’s like two steps away just lift the freakin lid it’s not that hard- oh wait, this suddenly became all about me.  Sorry about that.

 

 

Yummies for your Tummies

cherry blossom cupcake toppers
Cherry blossom cupcake toppers. Can I go to a bakery and just order the toppers, I wonder? Will they think I’m weird?

This is the deciding factor for me.  Forget everything.  I’m going to throw myself another wedding, and it’s going to have a cherry blossom theme and instead of a cake it’ll have a few thousand cupcakes with these adorbs edible cupcake toppers on them.  My husband is gonna love it.  No, he totally will.  Stop arguing with me.

WicksteadsEatMe on Etsy.  Rad.

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that about does it for today’s episode of Chantal Spends Your Money For You.  Thanks for tuning in.

Heart Eyes, Yo.

Hearts.  It’s a pretty standard wedding motif, and for good reason.  Hearts are a perfect symbol of love, and what’s a wedding without love?  Being a wedding vendor, I knew I’d have to create an invitation with a hearts motif.

But being me, I knew I couldn’t do something standard.  I tried, I really did, but I just can’t do things and have them turn out like other people’s.  I guess that’s why my business is successful, though.  This is the hearts design I came up with.

Blue Heart invitation
Hearts Collection signature style invitation in shades of blue and green.

 

Pretty swanky, huh?  I really like the signature style because there’s an extra opportunity to personalize things with the side panels.  Blue and green are usually my go to colors when designing because those were my wedding colors.  I also really like using pink tones and shades of orange in initial designs.

 

Blue Heart invitation
Hearts Collection invitation inserts.

Previous Client Work

I really wasn’t sure how this would look in other colors, but thankfully my clients are always really creative in their ideas, and we have worked together to create some really beautiful invitations featuring this design.  Like this one, doesn’t the pink just pop?  It makes me think of the type of gum with the liquid goo inside – it’s such a juicy color.  I love the stripe of green and the hearts seem to pop right off of it.

Pink Hearts
Pink hearts with a green stripe for previous client Linda, who has excellent taste when it comes to color choices.

 

Playing the Blues

There is some pretty cool stuff clients have done in shades of blue.  I always go for a turquoise shade, which is my signature color and the color I painted my office walls.  But seeing these again, I realize that I’m really limiting myself.  These are pretty rad – there is such gorgeous depth in these blues, and I love both the purple and tangerine they have chosen as accents.  Man my clients are awesome.

blue hearts with purple
My client Erica chose a pretty rad scheme of vibrant blue and deep purple. Haha! Deep purple. Am I the only one playing songs in my head now? GAH I’M OLD.
navy hearts invitation
Cassie and I played around with a few different shades to get the perfect color of navy that really made the tangerine stripe popped. I love how the hearts are cream colored to match the text, instead of just white. SO AWESOME!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I absolutely adore this last hearts collection.  A brown and blue color scheme always looks classy and hip at the same time.  Being a versatile scheme, it can be fresh and funky, it can lean towards the more rustic side if the blue is on the pale side, or it can be very classic if the motif is something traditional.  I think Shawna nailed it with this one.

brown blue hearts invitation
Shawna’s contemporary version of the popular brown and blue color scheme looks amazing. She sent me a photo of her bridesmaids dresses and I worked off of that. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

 

The back and forth

Generally, I’m not a huge fan of hearts.  However I’m really digging this hearts invitation and especially what my past clients have done with it.  I’m really excited to see what my new clients can do to really make it their own.  I think it’s so cool that I can come up with something when I’m designing, and then my clients can make it their own in ways I hadn’t considered (and I’m a pretty creative person).  I think the back and forth between us is really interesting and I really get to know my clients’ and their tastes.  We tend to email/text and sometimes my clients have used my inbox as a therapy session, too, which I don’t mind at all!  A lot of the time we are facebook friends at the end of the process (hey I’m still old school) and in some cases I’ve had a chance to watch my clients go on to start families of their own.

And to think… it all started with some hearts and a lot of love.

Don’t get your knickers in a swirl.

Choosing Colors

Let me take a few minutes to show you how switching up the colors can change the overall feel of a design.  I’m going to use some previous client work which dates back to B.B. days (Before Babies), using the Swirls design.   This design has been a client favorite and hey, it’s the one I designed for my own wedding about three million years ago which started this lovely unhealthy work-life balance thing I like to call Self Employment.  I joke!  I joke!  Sort of.

You already know this, but colors evoke a certain mood or feeling whether we are aware of it or not.  Some colors pop, some soothe, some are seasonal, some have underlying connotations (red and green together, for instance).  This should all be in the back of your head when choosing a palette for your event… But ultimately, you will find you are drawn to certain colors because of how they make you feel.  If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it, no matter what your mother or soon to be mother-in-law pushes for.  That my two cents, anyway.

Where to start?

Well, what colors do you hate?  Ok, so you can rule those out.  What’s left?  Out of those, what looks good together?  Are you thinking of a monochromatic scheme, where it’s various shades of one color?  Or are you thinking of two different complementary colors?  If you really aren’t sure, do some surfing online on art.com and see what catches your eye.  Even taking a look at your wardrobe is a good place to start – you will notice that there are certain colors that you always wear, and certain colors you avoid like the plague.

Once you have an idea of the palette you’d like to work with, you can swing by www.chantalclaire.com and try picturing the designs there in those colors.  We will recolor any of our designs to match any color scheme.  Here are some examples of the Swirls design in various colors.

 

As you can see, each invitation evokes a different feeling with it’s choice of colors and fonts.  Hopefully these examples will give you an idea if you’re at a loss for color palettes, and will show you a few possibilities with the Swirls design.

I know a guy who’s tough but sweet

I want candy…

I have a feeling a lot of my clientele is too young to know the song referenced in the title.  Now I have a case of the sads.  GAWD I’M SO OLD.

Now that that’s out of the way…  What’s your favorite candy?  I’m Canadian, and miss good Canadian stuff like Allen’s toffee and Smarties now that I live in the States.  And no, not Smarties like the round pastel stuff you get at Halloween.  Canadians know those are called Rockets.

smarties rockets candy
Smarties and Rockets are the same thing…?

Now THESE are Smarties, and yes, they are the best.  And no, they are not M&Ms.

smarties candy
Canadian smarties… nom nom nom

Guess what I found?

I just discovered someone on instagram who might be really helpful for all you brides or others planning events.  Or for people like me who just really, really love candy.  Check them out:

candy pros logo
CandyPros.com Logo

What is helpful about this site is that you can easily shop by color, event or candy type, so you don’t need to spend ages clicking around hoping to come across something that might work for your candy buffet (or late night binge sessions – not that, I mean…  binge? on candy? wha? people do that???  I definitely don’t.  What a weird thing to think about.)

If you’re jonesing for a sweet fix or need to get your guests properly sugared, check these guys out.  They seem pretty rad.  If you use them or have purchased from them in the past, give me a holla so I can update this post with feedback for others.

If you do end up buying something for your event from Candy Pros, the favor boxes on our website are a great way to box them up and hand them out to your guests.  Just sayin’.

Ah crap… I had told myself that today would be day one of my healthy eating program.  Now all I want to do is see what kind of leftover Valentine’s candy I can scrounge from the kiddleton’s school loot bags.  Just say no, Chantal…

Don’t box me in!

In the beginning…

I launched my invitation business right after my wedding in 2006.  A few years later, we started a family.  I went on hiatus to focus on the offspring, because boy oh boy are babies ever a (cute) time suck!  Now that the littles aren’t quite so little anymore (the Divine Miss A is in third grade and the Kamikaze Kid started kindergarten), I’ve been itching to get back to my other great love, my little business.

New stuff

One product I’m very excited about and having been thinking about since the kidlets were tiny is favor boxes.  I’ve been playing with different templates over the years, and after some trial and error this is the one that has passed all my tests.  I can’t wait to see it in action in client wedding photos!

Like all the Chantal Claire products, the favor boxes can be recolored to match your color palette, and can include your fonts and wording at no additional charge.  The boxes are around 2″x3″ when assembled.

Favor box for fall leaves wedding collection Favor box for allover floral wedding collection Favor box for swirls wedding collection Favor box for cherry blossom wedding collection

Yup, I’m awesome, lol!

This is a bit unheard of, but despite being a vendor in the wedding industry I’m actually not a total douche.  I’m all about keeping costs down for brides when possible.  I remember all too well what it was like to see the budget slip away, and I had a small wedding!  With that in mind, I like to provide options for my clients while still providing the best quality product I can.  If you are crafty, you can purchase these favor boxes unassembled.  This will save on shipping and labor costs.  They arrive flat; you will cut them and assemble them yourself.  They will come scored and easy to fold, like this:

 

 

Favor box for flourish wedding collection unassembled
Flourish favor box, unassembled.

If you think glue is just for sniffing (just say no!) you should probably have me assemble them for you.  This is the better option if you don’t have time yourself.  The price will be higher to account for the labor and the extra shipping charges.

I hope you will consider these for your event!  If you do, please send me some pictures of them in action!