Posts

Beautiful Wedding Photos from Italy

Remember those gorgeous blue and silver wedding invitations we designed and printed earlier this summer for Julie & Joe’s wedding in Italy that were posted here at the beginning of this month?  Well, Julie was kind enough to send over some photos from her and Joe’s gorgeous wedding, as well as some photos of her programs, place cards, menus and itineraries on-location!  Check them out below!

Isn’t that one of the most romantic photos you’ve ever seen?!?  Julie, Joe and Santa Margherita, Italy all look just beautiful!  Below you can see a few different images of both Julie & Joe’s wedding itinerary and their ceremony programs.  I love the silver ribbon Julie used to tie the programs together!

Below is maybe one of the most beautifully set tables I’ve ever seen.  I love Julie’s flowers!  You can also see the letterpress menus and place cards we created for her and Joe in several of these photos.  All of the place card calligraphy was done by the fabulous Fran Heider of Little Flower Calligraphy.

And, one more of their lovely menus and placecards as well as the beautiful bride and handsome groom!  Thanks so much for sharing these with us Julie!  Your wedding was absolutely gorgeous!

Weddings | Julie & Joe

Happy October everyone!  I can’t believe 2010 is flying by so fast.  It’s amazing.  At any rate, Twin Ravens Press has a very big congratulations for San Francisco couple, Julie & Joe, today.  Julie and Joe ordered their wedding invitations and other paper goods from Twin Ravens and are getting married today in Italy (actually they are already married and having their reception, since Italy is so far ahead time-zone wise, but you get where I’m going with this).  We worked with Julie and Joe on several different stationery pieces for their wedding, from invitations to pieces for the actual ceremony and reception (happening now!!).  You can see their whole invitation suite at the top of this post which included an A7 size invitation printed in two ink colors: deep navy blue and silver, a 4bar reply card, matching envelopes for both and a custom letterpress printed belly band.

All of Julie and Joe’s stationery was printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton Pearl White Paper in one or two ink colors: deep navy blue and/or metallic silver.  Their envelopes were also from Crane’s Lettra line and were pearl white with square flaps.  When you first opened Julie & Joe’s wedding invitation, this is what you would see:

Isn’t that a gorgeous package?!?  Julie and Joe’s envelopes were printed with silver ink and all of the pieces in their invitation suite were held together with a custom printed, paper belly band that had the word “Amore” (“Love” in Italian) in script in the center of it.

Above you can see their invitation by itself.  Julie wanted to invoke a sense of old-world style and romance for her Italian wedding with her invitation.  The invitation we designed is a traditional A7 size and featured a delicate, formal, romantic border, printed in blue ink all the way around.  Inside the border, we used three different fonts for the text of the invitation.  Julie and Joe’s names as well as the name of the church where they are being married in Italy were done in the fanciest script of the suite, with lots of delicate flourishes.  We used a simpler, but still very decorative, script face for the wedding date and Julie’s parent’s names, and then we used a still formal, but less decorative, classic serif typeface for the rest of the text.  It’s sometimes difficult to incorporate a lot of fonts into a design without making the design too busy, but I think the way we did it for Julie & Joe’s stationery turned out really really elegant.

We also created a 4bar size response card to accompany their invitation.  The response card was printed in blue and the envelope for it was printed in silver ink.  We still managed to incorporate all three fonts in to the actual card and we used a very decorative circular motif, printed large for the decoration on the card.  The reply envelopes featured Julie’s parent’s address on the front and a small flourish on the back flap, both in silver ink.  In the group of photos below you can see detail photos of the reply card, both envelopes and the belly band.

After their invitations were mailed out, Julie and Joe hired Twin Ravens Press again to create some additional stationery pieces for their actual ceremony and reception.  Here is their wedding program:

The program is also an A7 size with a fold in the center to create a little booklet.  We helped Julie design the interior pages for this piece as well.  In order to save some money on printing, Julie opted to have the cover of her programs letterpress printed and the interior pages digitally printed.  This is a great way to save money on programs and other pieces that may have multiple pages, while still maintaining the look and style of letterpress printing.  For this design I created a couple of new flourish-y border elements with birds, and we utilized the same fonts and same dark blue ink color that we had used on the invitations.  Julie also had me print a short, sweet little message on the back of each program, which you can see in the bottom right photo of the above grouping.

Many of Julie & Joe’s guests were planning to spend time in Italy before and after the wedding as well.  Since Julie and Joe wanted to spend as much time with their guests as possible and also give them ideas and tips on other things to do in and around Santa Margherita, they had me also design and print a wedding itinerary booklet for each guest.  Like the program, the cover of these itineraries was letterpress printed and the interior pages were digitally printed.  Julie’s guide included tips on things to see, places to eat, maps and other things to do.  It seems like a really fantastic guide, especially for guests who had never travelled to Italy before.

The left and top right image in the above grouping are of the Itinerary cover.  The image in the bottom right is of their place cards for the reception.  These place cards are tented and feature a little bit of the motif from their belly band and reply card in the bottom left corner, and a brand new border printed in blue ink.  Julie hired the fabulous Fran Heider of Little Flower Calligraphy to calligraph both her invitation envelopes and her place cards.  If you are in need of a calligrapher for you upcoming event, I can’t say enough good things about Fran and her work.  She’s just fabulous!

Last, but certainly not least, Julie and Joe also hired us to design and print a set of wedding menus for their reception dinner.  Julie and Joe planned to have a traditional, Italian, multi-course dinner for their wedding reception.  I lived in Italy for a short time in college and, let me tell you, one of the best things about Italy is the food and the way the Italians take their time and enjoy it.  As you can see from the above menu, their wedding dinner involved five amazing-sounding courses.  We printed these menus in both English and Italian in blue ink on a #10 size, long and skinny piece of paper.  The border we used for the design is the same border I created for them for their invitation.  Aren’t those gorgeous, and doesn’t their dinner just sound amazing!?!

Julie and Joe were so much fun to work with and I’m sure that their wedding in Italy today has been amazing.  Julie promised to share pictures from the day once they are back in the States, and I can’t wait to see them!  Congratulations Julie & Joe!  Have a wonderful rest of your trip, and we’ll talk to you soon!

Weddings | Ana & Rafael

Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of working with a lovely couple in Brazil on invitations for their upcoming wedding in Rio de Janeiro!  Ana and Rafael wanted a gorgeous, fancy invitation in a classic, black and white style.  Twin Ravens Press designed and printed both their invite and a set of lovely lined envelopes for Ana to deliver them in.

When I create invitations for American couples, they often vary widely in size, style and color choices.  In Brazil though, as in many other Central and South American countries, wedding invitations tend to be very traditional documents, so a more traditional style and size was necessary for this design.  Ana and Rafael’s invitations were much larger than most of the invitations I print, at 6″x8″.  They featured a nice, thick black border all the way around, with Ana and Rafael’s names in a large, decorative script font near the center.  Both sets of parent’s names were printed at the top of the invitation, because in cultures like this, it is actually the parents who are inviting the guests to the ceremony, not the couple themselves.  We printed the invitations in black ink on 140 lb. 100% cotton Holyoke paper in Bone White.  I love the thickness and texture of this paper and the fact that it’s super-soft makes it really easy to get a nice, deep impression.

For her envelopes, Ana chose a matching white envelope with a Monarch style flap and we lined it with a custom printed, sparkly silver paper with a black pattern on it.  You can see the liner in the photo at the top of the post, and, if you look closely, you may notice that the envelopes Ana chose don’t have glue on the flap.  Typically, in European and North American cultures, these envelopes (without glue) are typically only used as an “inner” envelopes and have a corresponding outer envelope that has the glue and the return address printed on the outside.  Ana explained to me that, in Brazil, invitations are typically delivered by hand, rather than being sent through the postal service (isn’t that neat?!?), so having an envelope with glue wasn’t necessary.  She also was originally planning to put the return address on the actual invitation, which is traditional there, but she liked all of the photos on our site of envelopes with the return address on the flap, so we decided to do that for her instead.

Isn’t that a lovely set of invitations?!?  This is the first set we’ve done in Portuguese too, and it’s the first set we’ve done for someone in Brazil, which was pretty exciting.  I know Ana & Rafael’s wedding on September 11th is going to be just lovely!

Thanks so much again and congratulations Ana & Rafael!

Weddings | Maria and Ashley



I recently had the pleasure of working on a wedding invitation suite for a couple in Cali, Colombia! The couple is currently living in Florida, but they are having their wedding and reception this month in the bride’s home town of Cali.

Way back at the beginning of this year (wow, almost a year ago already – yikes!), the bride, Maria, and I began working on a design for her save-the-date cards. Maria wanted her invitation suite to be formal and traditional, and warm and inviting all at the same time. We chose a very traditional layout and fonts for the design, and to warm things up, used a chocolate brown (rather than black or grey) ink for the printing. The save-the-date was an A6 size, which measured 4.5″x6.25″. It came with a matching A6 size, white envelope with Maria’s brother’s return address in Cali, printed on the flap.
I absolutely love how decorative and beautiful a nice script face can be all by itself. Don’t get me wrong, I love designing pretty images and patterns for wedding invitations as well, but there’s just something about beautiful letterpress printed typography on white 100% cotton paper that brings joy to my heart. It’s just so lovely!
Not too long after we did her Save-the-Date cards, we started working on the design for the main invitations. Maria wanted to continue with the gorgeous all-text design we had used for the save-the-dates for her invitations as well as keeping with the same fonts and ink color. Her main invitation suite included an A7 size invitation, an A2 size reception card, a 5″ square map card and a beautiful set of inner/outer invitation envelopes. You can see a photo of the full suite at the top of this post and below is an image of just the invitation and invitation envelopes together.

For her invitation envelopes, Maria chose a matching set of white, A7 size envelopes with European pointed flaps from Waste Not Paper Company. We used the same address printing plate from her save-the-date card envelopes to print the return address on the flap of the outer invitation envelopes. The inner envelope was lined with a gorgeous, handmade paper from Nepal in a chestnut brown color. Maria hired one of my favorite calligraphers, Fran Heider of Little Flower Calligraphy, to calligraph her addresses on both sets of envelopes. I’m sure the calligraphy was absolutely lovely!
Above you can see the invitation all by itself. Maria explained to me that it’s tradition in Colombia, and many other spanish-speaking countries, to include the parents names on the top of the invitation. I thought this was a really interesting tradition. Once again, I love the way the classic-looking script really accents and draws attention to Maria and Ashley’s names in the center of the invite. I wish you could feel it too through your computer screen, because the texture of the letterpress impression feels amazing!
Maria and Ashley’s reception card is an A2 size and featured the reception information, prominently in the center of the card and the phone number to RSVP to in the bottom left corner.
Isn’t that a classy card?!? I love it!
Creating a map for Maria and Ashley’s wedding was somewhat of a challenge. It was surprisingly difficult to find an english map of the city of Cali (even google maps’ map was in Spanish), and although I speak spanish fairly well, navigating a map of an unknown city, in a foreign language, while trying to locate certain streets and landmarks, was really challenging. Maria was awesome though and drew me a map of a little portion of the city that she wanted to use and I used that to create the map card design.

This map measures 5″x5″ and was letterpress printed in chocolate brown ink. The thick dark line running through the center of the map is a river, the Rio Cali, and we created cute little icons (inspired by a map created by Crystal Kluge earlier this year for this wedding) to represent major city landmarks, the Catholic church where Maria and Ashley’s wedding will be, their home, hotels they recommend, and for the reception location. Here is a close-up so you can get a better look:

I love the way this suite turned out and I know that Maria and Ashley’s wedding in Colombia in a couple of weeks will be really neat! Congratulations Maria & Ashley!

Worldly Thank You Cards and A Beautiful Spanish Wedding



Last week I received a really fun e-mail from a client that I’ve been working with for quite sometime. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember Isabel and her now-husband, Luis. Isa and Luis live in Tunisia and were recently married in Madrid, Spain. Isa designed all of the stationery for her wedding herself and hired Twin Ravens Press to print it. It was pretty fabulous! If you don’t recall what Isabel and Luis’ wedding stationery looked like, or if you haven’t seen it yet, you can see photos and read about it in a couple of my previous posts: here and here. You may also remember that I printed and die-cut a very cool set of round wedding menus for their wedding, which you can see and read about here. Anyway, shortly after their wedding, Isabel designed and had me print a set of thank you cards for them to send out to their wedding guests. I hadn’t shown these off on the blog yet, but when I received Isabel’s e-mail last week with a bunch of truly beautiful and awesome photos from their wedding, I figured now would be the perfect time to show off both!

First things first: I have to show off Isabel’s beautiful thank you cards! You can see a photo of one of the cards and their envelopes together at the top of this post. Here is a closer photo of just the card, by itself:
As Isabel and Luis have both english and spanish-speaking friends and family members who attended their wedding, Isabel created a bilingual design for her thank you cards. I love the challenge of designing printed pieces in multiple languages, but don’t get the opportunity to do it very often. All of Isabel and Luis’ stationery has been bilingual English and Spanish and I think she’s done an excellent job throughout, incorporating all of her wording in both languages without making her designs feel cluttered. Her thank you cards feature a large compass rose in the center of the A2 size card with the names of a variety of cities all over the world from where Isabel and Luis’ guests journeyed from to celebrate their wedding. The text at the top and bottom reads “Thank you for coming from near and far to celebrate with us”. Both the compass rose and all of the text were printed in chocolate brown ink on Crane Lettra 100% cotton ecru paper. We also blind-embossed an antique map of the world behind the compass. It’s a little bit difficult to see in the large photo, but here is a close-up photo so you can see it better:
Isn’t that cool?!? For her envelopes, Isabel chose a chocolate brown A2 size envelope from Waste Not Paper and had us letterpress print on both the flap and front in copper metallic ink.

I typically don’t print on envelopes with this much ink coverage, but the results were amazing! Here are a couple of detail photos so you can see the front and back flap of the envelope a little better:
Aren’t those amazing?!? I love how Isabel stuck with very romantic, classic images throughout all of the pieces in her wedding stationery suite! As I briefly mentioned above, printing these envelopes were no small feat, due to the large amount of ink coverage. Because I hadn’t had a set-up in a while for envelopes that was this complex, I took a few photos so that my fellow printers (and anyone else who’s curious) could check out the make-ready (fancy printer’s term for set-up) for printing these envelopes. It was pretty crazy!
In all three of these photos you can see where the printing plate is sitting below the ink disk. To make the image have an even and clear impression on the envelope I had to cut out the parts of the envelope on an extra one that were causing the printing to be uneven and the tape this cut-up envelope on top of my tympan, but under some acetate to create an even, but smooth surface from which to feed the envelopes to. I used rubber bands to create a frisket to help pull each envelope away from the heavily-inked plate after the print was made so that the envelopes didn’t stick and get caught and smashed by the press. You can see the rubber bands in the photo above. It was pretty crazy, but I always love a challenge!
Isabel’s thank you cards came out beautifully and I’ve been very excited to show them off to you along with the rest of her stationery! Which brings me to something else that’s really exciting! Every now and again a bride will e-mail me photos of their actual wedding. After working with so many couples, having so many different types of weddings, all over the world, I’ve found that it’s really fun and exciting when I receive an e-mail from a couple with photos of their celebration. Isabel and Luis’ wedding was no exception to this, and honestly, I was super-excited to see photos of a wedding in Spain!
I’m not entirely sure about many of the details of their wedding, but I love how absolutely gorgeous and happy both Isabel and Luis look in all of them. I also love that many of the photos Isabel sent are in black and white. I think it adds just one more touch of classic romance, to an already very traditional, classic and romantic-looking celebration.
Aren’t the couple and the church where they got married, absolutely beautiful? The above photo almost looks like an antique image to me. It’s almost difficult to believe it was taken on May twenty-third of this year. So beautiful!
I love how happy they look in the two photos above and I love it that you can see the rice being thrown in the second one!
Aren’t they just so romantic and wonderful? I feel so so sappy, but it totally made my heart flutter just a little bit when I looked at them the first time. Thanks so much Isabel and Luis for hiring me to be a little part of your special day, and thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos with me, and for letting me share them with the world!
Congratulations!

Beautiful Bilingual Korean & English Wedding Menus & Thank You Cards


Back in March I created a really beautiful green and chocolate brown wedding suite for a couple in New York City who were getting married in June named Linda & James.  If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember seeing their invitations quite a while ago.  If you’re new to the blog, or don’t remember this particular couple, you can check out their wedding invitations here.  Linda and I had such a great time working together and she loved the way her invites turned out so much that she ended up hiring me to design and print her wedding menus and thank you cards at a later date.  Linda & James’ thank you cards and menus turned out so great that even though it’s past their wedding at this point, I needed to show them to you anyway!  

Because Linda’s family is Korean and her husband James’ family is American, they decided it would be best to do a bilingual menu for their wedding.  I’ve done a handful of bilingual invitations and other stationery pieces before, but before this one, hadn’t ever done one in an Asian language.  It was exciting!  You can see the three pieces (menu, thank you card and thank you card envelope) together at the top of this post.  Here is an image of just the menu by itself (click on the image if you want to see it bigger): 
Linda’s menu was a custom size.  It’s long and skinny measuring 3.75″x11″.  We used the same scroll pattern from Linda’s invitation and reply card at the top and bottom of the menu and carried the same fonts over from the original suite.  Now, I must confess that I can’t read, write, or speak Korean, even in the smallest amount, but Linda was great with sending over not only all of the text typed out, but telling me where it needed to be broken up and what characters went with what segments of the english text.  Even if you can’t actually read it like me, check it out, the letterpress printed Korean is beautiful!  
I love it!  If you’re a prospective client and would like to do any or all of your stationery in multiple languages, have no fear!  I love this sort of challenge!  As long as you’re willing to correct my faulty grammar, spelling and/or (as Linda did) write out the exact wording as you want it to appear in your second language, I’d be more than happy to letterpress print it for you.  
Linda also ordered a set of matching thank you notes and envelopes to use after her wedding at the same time that she ordered her gorgeous menus.  
The thank you notes were a 4bar size, folded, printed in one ink color on Crane Lettra Pearl White Paper and came with a corresponding green 4bar envelope from Green Paper Company.  We used the same bird and scroll motifs from the rest of the stationery for these cards as well as the same fonts we had been using all along.  Aren’t they cute?  
Congratulations and thanks again, Linda & James!

Weddings | Isabel & Luis

I was thinking today that it’s been a little while since I posted anything about weddings, and since I have had quite a few potential custom wedding clients appear over the past week or so, it might be good to write about some of the wedding stationary that has been recently finished. A few months ago I was contacted by a lovely bride, Isabel, through my etsy site about letterpress printing a set of custom wedding invitations that she was designing herself.  I feel really honored to have gotten to work with this couple, because, although they are living in the U.S. now, Isabel is originally from Spain and her husband-to-be, Luis, is originally from the Dominican Republic and right before their wedding they will be leaving the U.S. to move to Tunisia for work.  Personally, I love to travel and I always thought it would be really neat to have a job that you travel and live in different countries for.  I didn’t quite end up in a job like that (obviously, even though I love the job I have very much), and I don’t plan on trying to move my nearly 1,000 pound printing press around to different places just so that I can say I’ve lived and worked in other countries, but I do still love to travel to, see and experience different places whenever I get the chance.  Because of this I feel really excited to have gotten to work with a couple who is doing that, and who will be here for awhile and then be somewhere else. It’s really neat that they chose to work with me, out of all the other possible people they could have throughout the U.S., the world and their travels.  It’s pretty neat how the internet and e-commerce can bring people and businesses together who are hundreds or thousands of miles apart.
Anyway, on to the stationary.  Because they have many friends, speaking different languages, all over the world, Isabel & Luis decided to have two sets of invitations printed.  The design of both sets is the same, but one set is in English and the other set is in Spanish.  You can view images of both complete sets below.  
Each set included an A8 size invitation, a khaki invitation envelope with their return address printed on the flap and a reply card.  All of the pieces (except the envelopes) were printed on Crane’s Lettra paper in Ecru.  We decided to use the standard weight of Crane Lettra (110 lb.) for their reply cards and the double-thick weight (220 lb.) for their invitations.  Check out both invitations below.
I haven’t printed on Crane’s double-weight paper too often, but I really do like the way that it looks.  The paper itself, while still being 100% cotton is so stiff and thick, it almost feels the same as my coaster stock.  It prints really beautifully and because of the thickness of the sheet to begin with, you can get a fairly substantial impression without a lot of effort.   Check out a close-up, detailed image of one of the invitations below:

Pretty, don’t you think?  I really love too how the combination of the warm red and chocolate brown inks on the warm Ecru 100% cotton paper really makes it feel like a decadent and romantic Spanish wedding.  It’s almost like a preview of what the actual celebration at a very old cathedral in Madrid, Spain will be like, in paper form.  
Below are closer-up images of both sets of reply cards.  Rather than going with a standard reply card where your guests fill in their response and mail them back to you, Isabel and Luis opted to go with more of an informational-style reply card and are having their guests respond online.  I did a similar type of card for the last couple I wrote about, Valerie & Rebecca, for the same reason: both couples are moving in between when the send out their invitations and when they have their actual weddings.  I think this is a really great thing to do so that you can still have a separate reply card if you are in the same or a similar situation.  Check them out:
Last, but not least: the envelopes.  Isabel and I went back and forth a lot on what the envelopes for this set should be: white, ecru, khaki?  What size should they be? Etc…  We finally decided on a Khaki colored A9 envelope from Waste Not Paper.  The actual invitation is an A8, but Isabel was making some sort of fancy fabric inner envelope to put the invites, etc. in that would go inside the printed mailing envelope, so we decided that going with the bigger size would be the safest idea in order to make sure that the fabric inner-envelopes would fit.  Isabel designed a rather fancy return address image and I printed it in chocolate brown ink on the back flap.  
Finally, it’s always wonderful to hear a little bit of praise every now and again for what you do, day to day, even if what you do is really really cool…  Normally, I would just link to this sort of thing, but in this instance I didn’t want it to be too hard to find, so below is what Isabel wrote on her wedding website about Twin Ravens Press and my work:

The letterpressed part of the wedding invitations (inner invitation, RSVP card and envelope) were designed by Isabel but printed by the awesome Twin Ravens Press.  They were A+++ on customer service and went above and beyond to find the highest quality at the best price.

Thanks so much, Isabel!  I know that they are going to have an absolutely beautiful and romantic wedding in Spain in May.  

Congratulations Isabel & Luis!

Weddings | ¡Ileana y José están consiguiendo casados!

Just a quick little post this morning because I’m going to be thoroughly busy printing pretty much all day.  Remember those cool wedding coaster’s that I printed for Lynn & Matthew? Well, Lynn posted about how much she liked them here on Wedding Bee and shortly after that I got an order from a new couple, Ileana & José, for the exact same coaster design – only with their names and wedding date.  So, what’s so different and special about this job, you may ask… Ileana & José are from Puerto Rico and wanted their coasters in Spanish.  I just finished them last night.  Check them out: 

I think they turned out really cool.  What do you think?