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Wedding Planner Spotlight: Rebekah from A & B Creative

In this month's Wedding Planner Spotlight, we are so excited to introduce the talented Rebekah Carey McNall, owner of A & B Creative. She lives with her husband Alex and two sweet pups in Oakland and they spend part of the year in Oregon, where they are both from. We love the styling for the different weddings, events and shoots she has been a part of. She shares with us several great wedding planning tips, insights about the latest wedding trends, the right questions to ask a wedding planner and much more.

Rebekah Carey McNall A & B Creative

How did you get your start in wedding planning?
My foray into wedding and event design began with designing store vignettes and window displays. It was so much fun to create a little story within each look. That joy along with the fact that I have always loved and been fascinated by people's stories led me to desire being able to tell a couple's story through their wedding design.

What is your forecast for 2014 trends? Any trends in particular are you loving right now?
I'm really a fan of the organic pared-down style that we're seeing right now. I love wild floral arrangements that seem like they're still growing out of their vessels, linens that look like they were hang dried in the sun, and even a little wrinkled. I think weddings in 2014 are going to continue to be more and more bespoke with focus on very special and important details for the couple.

Rebekah Carey McNall A & B Creative
Rebekah Carey McNall A & B Creative

Best favor you’ve seen?
I loved the honey favors one of our couples gave their guests that was harvested from the bride's family farm, which was also the wedding venue. Another that was just plain cool was almost three years ago when a groom 3D printed little airplanes for all of the guests, I had never seen that technology at that point.

Tell us one detail you cherish at a wedding.
I can't get enough of vows. Watching a couple's eyes when they're locked on each other and they're professing and promising their love for each other is so intense, and it feels so incredibly intimate (and lucky) to be able to witness that again and again. It's also invariably the moment when I turn to Alex (my husband and partner who I work with at every one of our weddings) and say, "let's get married again!"

Rebekah Carey McNall A & B Creative

Do you have an ideal timeline for planning a wedding?
I really don't! I have worked with couples whose weddings are over a year away all the way to just eight weeks before. The ideal time to plan your wedding should be as much time as you need not to feel overly stressed and pressured.

How do you ensure a bride and groom’s personality is reflected in the wedding, rather than the wedding planner’s personality?
Honestly, making sure that the couple's personality is reflected in the wedding design is my first and foremost concern. I start by finding out what is most important to them, any inside jokes, their "story" and any cultural elements they want to incorporate. With learning those details in the beginning I can help them to make sure that their big day does in fact feel truly theirs.

When someone is looking for a planner, what are some good questions to ask at the meeting?
Definitely being up front about your expectations right from the beginning is huge. Everyone works differently so asking specific questions will help you to get a better feel for your planner. Also, keep in mind that all through the wedding planning process, however long yours is, this is going to be the person you communicate with the most. Make sure that you really like them as a person in addition to trusting them to advocate for you both.

Rebekah Carey McNall A & B Creative
Rebekah Carey McNall A & B Creative

Tips for brides and grooms planning their wedding.
Honoring your family is important, however don't forget that this is your wedding. From not being pressured into choices you're not on board with from family or friends, to really, the internet. There are so many beautiful blogs and magazines and places to gather wedding inspiration, that it can be overwhelming. I recommend having a cut-off date from looking at those items before your wedding. If you choose some of those designs last minute they'll be out of impulse and not because they're special or significant to you and your partner.

For a lot more wedding ideas, inspiration, styled shoots and to get in touch with Rebekah, visit her A & B Creative website.

Photo credits:
* Photo of Rebekah by Erich McVey 
* Family tree and table set-up photos by Kris Holland 
* Couple photo by Jessica Roberts
* Drink display photo by Paige Jones
* Long table with garland photo by Delbarr Moradi 

Bright and Playful Wedding Day

orchard photoshoot

Kristyn and Mike are a fun loving couple who were looking to celebrate their union in what they describe as “a fancy dance party”. Selecting their venue, Limoneira Company, was a surprised to Kristyn as it was hidden amidst the lemon and avocado groves just a few miles away from her childhood home. Since the couple and most of their friends and family live in the LA area, they felt this was the perfect venue to enjoy a fun “mini destination wedding” being just two hours north of the LA area. Kristyn remembers, “It was the first venue we looked at, as soon as we drove onto the property we decided it was perfect for the style we wanted to go with”. Read more in today’s Real Wedding, as Kristyn and Mike describe their special day and share their advice on planning for their wedding day.

first look

A highlight from our day was the transportation from the hotel to the venue. This was something we were really looking forward to as we incorporated it into our first look. We rented a pimped out school bus, from the incredible people at Jump on the School Bus, where we had the entire wedding party get into the bus and blindfold Mike. I stood at the doors of the bus and they uncovered his eyes at the top of the stairs. It was awesome to have that moment in such a fun atmosphere with our closest friends cheering in the background.

outdoor Ceremony
flower girls

There were a few things I added in that were non-traditional from beginning to end. One touch I was excited about was the use of balloons. I knew I wanted flowers but that I also wanted something different along with them so we used giant tasseled balloons and streamers for the ceremony backdrop that we later used for the photo booth backdrop as well. We had the kids in the wedding carry them during the processional as well.

brides entrance
Groom awaits bride
marriage ceremony

The groom’s brother was in school for theology so we wanted him to officiate for us and he did an amazing job. The three of us felt that that was such a special moment for us and it really helped with our nerves. We knew that if there was a hiccup during the ceremony we could all just look at each other a laugh a little.

guest arrival
wedding program

As for the playful activities: during cocktail hour the guests played bocce ball since the venue had bocce courts and the venue allowed them to walk through the orchard and pick fruit (our program was stapled to a paper bag for all their goodies), guests were able to ride a trolley car to the reception site, we replaced a guestbook with mad libs, and I hand made all of the photo booth props to get a specific “whimsical” feel to them.

the bride
playful group photo

As we are a very playful couple, this was our inspiration for the day. We wanted that feel to come through with bright colors, activities for our guests, and awesome music. Mike wanted good drinks and food while I wanted something unique and whimsical with a modern vintage feel. I also had a mini arrow theme that ran throughout that matched my “in memory of” tattoo for my dad. He had passed away two months before the wedding and it helped me feel like he was there all along the way.

Table Chart
place cards
sweetheart table
Table setting
wedding cake

Our photographer made the day so fun as well. Jonathan is the best at what he does and allowed for us to have fun/playful photo ops because of his high energy. The video he made for us lets us relive all the highlights over and over again. The best memory for the two of us was really to have all of our family and friends together in one place singing and dancing the night away. I was excited about the music from the day DJ Phil came into our lives. He kept the party going until the end and all of our guests loved him! .

My advice to couples who are currently in the wedding planning process…Don’t sweat the small stuff. I work 12-hour night shifts as a nurse and I would spend my sleepless nights thinking of/making small details. Don’t get me wrong, they all turned out great, but in the end I wish I would have omitted some and saved time and money. Our loved ones and our love for each other filled the room with so much joy that we didn’t really need the extras.
Also, definitely get a day of coordinator at the very least. I was so glad to have Frank, my coordinator that day and he also did my flowers. He really understood my vision and kept everyone in check. The day ran smoothly because of him and I didn’t have to worry a bit.

Simply Drawn Wedding Invitation

The Bride & Groom chose our Simply Drawn Wedding Invitation for their wedding stationery.

Wedding Venue: Limoneira, Santa Paula, California | Photography by: Bluephoto by Jonathan Roberts

Event Planner Spotlight: Arielle Azoff | LVL Weddings & Events

In this month's Event Planner Spotlight, we are excited to introduce Arielle Azoff. Arielle is one of the many talented planners at LVL Weddings & Events, which services California, Hawaii and destination weddings around the globe. Arielle began her career after a meet with Lindsay Longacre, owner of LVL Weddings and Events, who offered her the unique opportunity to intern for Lindsay’s growing operation. Five years later, Arielle has become a part of this team of amazing Planners who fulfill weddings throughout California and also expanding to the beautiful islands of Hawaii!

Find out more from our Q&A with Planner Arielle Azoff who shares with us her vision on this years wedding trends and wedding planning tips.

Event Planner Arielle Azoff

How did you get your start in wedding planning?

I grew up watching my Father build an incredible event production, creating experiences for groups and organizations that truly impacted lives. From then on, I knew I wanted to make that kind of impact in a similar capacity with my own unique creative prowess. There is nothing more special than being able to contribute to making dreams come true on the most important day of their lives.

What types of locations or settings are very popular now?

Southern California is so fortunate to have a wide range of venues to satisfy every client. Brides and Grooms have the accessibility to a warm beach wedding, a romantic wedding on a vineyard or even a whimsical zoological garden. All within miles of each other, the possibilities are endless. This year is the year for romance, so any intimate location that gives that lush romantic feel will continue into the season.

What is your forecast for 2014 trends?

Romance! Blush pinks, whimsical gardens, pops of metallic’s, and themes such as ‘The Great Gatsby’ are inspiring the forecast for 2014. I am excited to see even more trends arise as the season continues to unfold. I am inspired everyday!

Any trends are you loving right now?

I love the bohemian look, floral crowns and accompanied with an organic feel. But then again that pop of sparkle is just so fun! Many of my clients are combining that rustic look with a pop of glam.

What are your Favorite Color combos?

This is such a hard question I get asked all the time. I love simplicity, and anything soft to the eye. Soft blushes rose gold always look so beautiful together.

Table Setting Rancho Las Lomas_Studio EMP Photography
Bridal party Rancho Las Lomas_Studio EMP Photography

Tell us one detail you cherish at a wedding.

I love that moment right as the bride is about to walk to the aisle with her father. Just on the other side of the door or curtain is her future awaiting her arrival at the alter. Once she sets her first step down that aisle her life changes immediately and that look in their eye makes me melt every time.

What is the most important thing you tell brides?

I always tell my brides, “This is your day, make it everything you want it to be and more, and don’t forget to have fun!”

Do you have an ideal timeline for planning a wedding?

I do, this allows me to keep my clients organized throughout the planning process. Along with this I also create a day of itinerary for all of the vendors to follow and for the day of to ensure everything runs smoothly and on time.

Bridal party Rancho Las Lomas_Studio EMP Photography
Bridal party Rancho Las Lomas_Studio EMP Photography

What are some wedding details you “insist” couples include in their wedding?

There is something so special about a first look between the Bride and Groom. Although that moment when he sees her walk down the aisle is truly magical there is something irreplaceable when you share that moment between just the two of you, and of course your photographer. Along with this amazing moment you are then allowing for more photo time with your bridal party and families. Your cocktail hour may not be enough time to capture everything you had hoped for. Having your first look, followed by your family portraits allows for more time and an opportunity for the bride and groom to enjoy their cocktail hour with their guests for a bit!

Charles Hildreth Photography

What is it like to work for a big production company?

LVL is a team of planners bringing insight to each wedding we are part of fulfilling. Being part of this fine team allows each of us to inspire and motivate each other through each unique wedding planning process. Having a team with you to provide support is a system designed for success. Whenever I need assistance with tools such as a design idea or a vendor referral, I can always trust my team to contribute a fresh breath that we can offer to our bride and groom that will insure their special day.

How do you think couples can most effectively use a wedding planner?

Weddings are obviously an emotional event as a couple begins their formal lives together. Planners give perspective on what makes the most practical sense and memorable experiences combined together. While a bride may have dreamed of how she wanted her wedding day, a planner can help here achieve those dreams into reality -- with sensibility - that would be financial as well as feasibility. A planner becomes the eyes and ears of the couple on wedding day to relieve them of the responsibility of their guest’s enjoyment by insuring that vendors do their part and guests enjoy their time.

How do you ensure a bride and groom’s personality is reflected in the wedding, rather than the wedding planner’s personality?

This is my client’s day; I am here to guide them, be their advocate and to understand them. The most important thing you can do as a consultant is to listen. That alone allows me to absorb my client’s visions and ideas, to ensure I that their personality is reflected in their wedding

When someone is looking for a planner, what are some good questions to ask at the meeting?

There are so many questions you can ask about from skill level, to experience, and even pricing options. All which are still very important but you need to find someone who can bring neutrality to emotionally charged situations. When meeting with your potential planner it is important to ask them how they handle emotional decisions with their clients. This business is a people driven business and almost every decision is emotional, if not then financial. Your planner needs to acknowledge that and accept that challenge.

Your Top tips for brides and grooms planning their wedding?

Stay calm and enjoy each other. They have hired me to assist them in making the most important day of their lives run smoothly. So why not enjoy the ride to the greatest day of your life.

LVL Weddings and Events

Photography by: Photo 1: Jasmine Star Photography | Photos 2, 3: Studio EMP Photography | Photos 4, 5: Stone Crandall Photography | Photo 6: Charles Hildreth Photography | Photo 7: Jasmine Star Photography

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Wedding Invitation Mistakes


Your wedding stationery is a big part of the to-do list for planning your big day. The invitation suite leaves a big impression on your guests, so be sure to take the time to do it right. Don’t fall for these commonly made mistakes, and miss out on having the perfect wedding invitations you imagined. It’s just as important knowing how to avoid common invitation problems, as it is knowing how to handle them. Follow our advice below and you’ll be sure to overcome any invitation issue.

Mistake 1: Including too much information on the main invitation

Finding a balance between your design and the context of information is important. Crowding the invitation with too much information such as ceremony and reception details or having too much of a design may distract your guest from the important information. When selecting a design, pick one element from your wedding theme to feature (i.e. color scheme or pattern or monogram). Next, plan out what your key wedding information is and use only that on the invitation. Any reception details should be considered as a separate event and should be placed on a separate enclosure card. These simple steps will make for a perfect invitation that is both elegant and informative.

Mistake 2: Not proofreading your stationery

It would be unfortunate to receive your order only to find a spelling mistake after you've already approved or even after your guests have received the Invitation. Be sure to take your time to look for spelling and grammar errors. We advise that you review your proof multiple times before finalizing your order. Take a look at it in the morning and then again at night and be sure to read from left to right to ensure you are checking each word rather than a glance over the whole invitation. We also recommend having a second pair of eyes (maybe a third and fourth pair too!), especially someone who is grammar savvy, to look over the final product before approving it to be printed.

Mistake 3: Waiting too long to place an order

It’s easy to get distracted with other wedding day preparation; We recommend ordering wedding stationery 8 months before the wedding date to give you enough time to put them together and address the envelopes. Ordering invitations too late will delay the process of mailing them out to your guests, causing you unnecessary stress and possible rush fees. Keep yourself organized by following our wedding checklist to stay on track with all your Wedding planning.

Mistake 4: Not ordering enough invitations…or ordering too many

You should always order extra wedding invitations, for unexpected situations that come up. Being prepared with additional invitations will be helpful in case you need to resend an invitation, if you plan to add more guests to the list or even to save some as keepsakes. We suggest ordering an additional 25 invitations with your order. This will save you time and money from having to reorder more invitations down the road.

While a few additional invitations are good to have, you also don't want to have an overload of extras. Keep in mind that not every person needs to receive an invitation. If you have a guest list of 200, you will not need 200 invitations. For example, a couple or family with children under 18 years old, would only need to receive one invitation.

Mistake 5: Using address labels

A Wedding Invitation sets the tone for the wedding day from the moment your guests receive it. The use of address labels on your wedding invitations, may seem like the easy option, however this can leave a bad impression for your beautiful invitations. Make the choice to hand write or hire a calligrapher to address your envelopes. This will make your invite more personal and show the recipient that you've taken the time to invite each of them. Believe us, small personal touches like this will be received in a positive way.

Mistake 6: Running out of envelopes

Mistakes can easily be made on envelopes, such as pen smudges, accidentally misspelling a name or using an incorrect address. It’s easy to grab the next envelope in your stack to start over but before you know it you have run out of envelopes. Having additional envelopes will give you enough leeway in case a mistake does occur when addressing the envelopes and will help avoid any delays in sending out your invitations.

For those who chose to address their envelopes on their own, we include 10 additional envelopes with your order. However, for our customers who order Printed Envelopes, we recommend adding an additional 10 envelopes when placing your order.

Mistake 7: Mailing out invitations too late

Wedding invitations should be sent out 6 – 8 weeks before the wedding day; however, keep in mind you may want to send out invitations at least 12 weeks before the wedding to your out-of town guests so they can plan their travel arrangements. Sending out invitations too late, may not only hinder your guests from being able to attend but will delay you in receiving back response cards in time to get a final head count.

Mistake 8: Forgetting to include a RSVP date

The RSVP should be set about 4 weeks prior to the wedding date to provide you enough time to give your venue a headcount as well as tracking guests who haven't responded yet. Giving too little time to respond may not give them enough notice to reply and too much time could result in losing the response card or forgetting about it. Be sure to have your stationer print the RSVP date on the response cards ahead of time. However, if you do forget to include an RSVP date, most guests’ will usually respond automatically, but know it is acceptable to call and ask for a response if you have not heard back.

Mistake 9: Forgetting postage on a reply envelope

It's easy to get excited and want to rush sending out your invitations, but don’t forget about the little details that go into each component of the wedding invitation set. Forgetting stamps on the reply envelopes will result in fewer responses and take much longer for you to receive them.

Mistake 10: Incorrect postage

Nothing is more frustrating than sending out your beautiful invitations for them to get sent back with insufficient postage. We suggest assembling an invitation suite, with all of its components in the envelope and then take it to the post office to be weighed for the correct postage. This will save you the trouble in the long run. While at the post office, inquire about hand canceling, which allows the post office to handle postage by hand rather than run through the machine decreasing the chance of damaged envelopes.

Now that you know what to look out for and the mistakes to avoid, get started on finding the perfect wedding invitation for you. Learn more about what to include in your wedding invitation suite and what each stationery component consists of to create your dream invitations!

For many more tips take a look at our Stationery Etiquette Guides. Happy Planning!

Lakeside Wedding

Pauline and Rusty were married by Binnewater Lake at a private estate in Rosendale, NY. Their goal for their day was to "make the wedding weekend as much "ours" as possible and just have fun” our Bride explains, “…we tried to keep it not fussy, romantic and playful.” The couple and their guests even had a 5k race the morning of the big day. Read more highlights from their fun filled DIY Lakeside wedding below.


Pauline recalls the day being a major group effort to pull off with everyone pitching in to help. The major highlights of the day for her was seeing everything come together, "... all the details from hanging the lights in the tent and setting the tables to Rusty (the Groom) and friends building and decorating the chuppah the day of the wedding and especially when I saw my friends out skinny dipping in the lake later in the night! I truly have amazing friends and family!"


“Words of Wisdom” for couples currently planning their wedding?

If you don't have a huge staff of people helping out, delegate tasks to people! Everyone wants to help out to be a part of your day and want to make sure you are not stressed. Since our wedding was a DIY wedding, it was key to have someone taking care of "day of" tasks. Luckily, my friend Leah is an amazing event planner and was essential in helping to coordinate everything that day.


Bride & Groom chose the Modern Day Love Invitation Suite for their wedding stationery.

Wedding Venue: Binnewater Lake - Private Estate | Photography by Wendy Plogger

Wedding Inspiration: Wreath Invitation

Today's inspiration board comes from our Wreath Wedding Invitation design. We love the simple and universal design this invitation can create. For this board, we created a soft romantic theme which incorporates Vintage aspects as seen in the pews and tables to the Floral Crown the bride wears, this look is timeless.

Wreath Wedding Invitation Inspiration

Photo Credits
Row 1: Del Barr Moradi Photography via Style Me Pretty | Laura Goldenberger Photography via 100 Layer Cake | Jose Villa via Green Wedding Shoes | Row 2: Michael & Anna Costa via Style me Pretty | Wreath Wedding Invitation by Love vs Design | OneLove Photography via Green Wedding Shoes | Row 3: Patrick Moyer via Style Me Pretty | Jose Villa via Style Me Pretty | Mel Barlo and Co. via The Knot

Essential Wedding Stationery Wording Tips

Wording your wedding stationery does not have to be burdensome! At Love vs Design we want to get you excited for creating your wedding invitation suite and help you along the way. Follow our wording guidelines and you will have a fun and easy time with the process of personalizing your wedding stationery. Keep in mind that while there is a proper and formal etiquette for wedding invitations, sometimes it's OK to bend the rules a little, especially with some of our more unique and modern designs. Read on to find everything you will need to know about wording your wedding stationery. We've broken down each component of the invitation set as well, to guide you to learn what your invitation should consist of.

invitation wording example


Your wedding invitation is broken down into 6-7 lines: host line, request line, bride and groom, date and time, location, reception and attire (optional).

Host Line

The host line includes the names of those sending out and/or hosting the wedding. Traditionally the bride’s parents host the wedding; however, nowadays it’s common for the wedding to be hosted by the groom’s parents, both sets of parents, or even the bride and groom. When writing this line, be sure to use the hosts' full names. 

Request Line

There are two phrases that are most used: one indicates a religious ceremony and the other does not.
• At a place of worship: Request the honor of your presence
• Catholic Mass: Request the honor of your presence at the Nuptial Mass uniting…
• Other Venus: Request the honor of your company

Bride and Groom Line

The couple should be the stars of the invitation. Place the names on a separate line, linking them together with “to” or “and” respectively, and using full names: first, middle, and last. The bride's name should precede the groom's name. Traditionally, if the bride’s parents are included on the invitations and she shares the same last name then only her first and middle name are used. This same rule follows for the groom.

• The Bride’s parents are hosting
Mr. and Mrs. John Brown
Request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter
Emily Mae to Kevin Noah Jones

Visit our Stationery Etiquette page for more examples on wedding invitation wording.

Date and Time Line

The date should both be written out in full and include the day of the week, date, month and year. When writing the year, this should be placed on a separate line with the option  to include the word “and” (i.e. Two thousand fourteen or Two thousand and fourteen)

• Saturday, the second of June
   Two thousand fourteen

The time should also be written in full and include "o'clock" after the written time. For a more formal approach use the phrase "in the morning", "in the afternoon", or "in the evening" instead of a.m. or p.m. Any time before 12 p.m. is considered morning, between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. is afternoon and any time after 6 p.m. is evening.
If your wedding begins on the half-hour include a hyphen in the time or for a more formal way use "half past" or "half after" then write the time. 

• four o’clock in the afternoon
• half past four in the afternoon
• four-thirty in the afternoon

Location Line

For the location line include the name of the venue, and address. The address should not use abbreviations, rather it should be written in full.
If the address number is smaller than 20, then it should be written out. Also, no punctuation is needed other than a comma between the city and state (which is spelled out). Lastly, zip codes should not be included on any part of the invitation set.

• St. → Street
• Blvd. → Boulevard
• Apt. → Apartment
• P.O. Box → Post Office Box
• Central Library
   700 Boylston Street
   Boston, Massachusetts

Reception Line

If your wedding ceremony and reception are being held in the same location, include a line at the bottom of your invitation informing your guests.
If the reception is going to be at different venue, this should be treated as a separate event with details provided on a reception card.
Wording examples of receptions being held in the same venue after the ceremony are:

• Reception to follow
• Dinner and dancing to follow
• Reception immediately following the ceremony

Attire Line (optional)

To advise your guests what should be worn to your ceremony, you can include the optional attire line. This line should be placed at the bottom right hand corner of your invitations. If your wedding is taking place on a lawn or at a beach, it is nice to inform your guests of the elements such as wearing appropriate shoes.
Some commonly used phrases are:

• Black Tie
• Cocktail Attire
• Casual Attire
• Semi-Formal Attire


Punctuation can be used within the line for dates, time and addresses; However, commas, periods, colons, etc. should not be placed at the end of lines.


Wording such as Names, States and streets should be spelled out in its entirety on invitations, response cards, enclosure cards and envelopes.
Exceptions to this rule are:

• St. or Sts. = Saint or Saints
• Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr.
• Jr., and Sr. – separated from the last name by a comma

Response Cards

A response card will include the date to RSVP by as well as a line for your guests to write their names, and section to check if they can attend or not. For those hosting dinner, you may also need to place a section for Meal Requests/Dietary restrictions

• Happily accepts/ Sadly regrets
• Will be there/ Will be there in spirit
• Accepts with pleasure/ Declines with regrets

Tip: Be sure to have your response card envelope, pre-addressed and stamped for a quick reply.


Ensure that you match the wording of your enclosure cards, with the wording of you wedding invitations to keep all pieces consistent.
Enclosure cards will provide your guest with additional wedding day details, including, transportation, accommodations, directions, reception, other wedding events.


When addressing your guests envelopes use titles and full names. It is important to double check your guest list to make sure names are spelled correctly. Common examples of addressing envelopes:

• To a Married Couple:
   Mr. Patrick and Mrs. Samantha Howard

• To an Unmarried Couple Living Together :
   Mr. Patrick Howard
   Mrs. Samantha Williams

• To Those with Other Distinguished Titles:
   Judge Howard and Lieutenant Howard, U.S. Navy
   Dr. Patrick Howard and Mrs. Samantha Howard

• To Children and Families:
   Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Howard
   Jacob, Brad, Kylie
   (Note: If you do not include the child’s names you are implying that children are not invited.)

Be sure to stay consistent  throughout the invitations set, if dates and times are spelled out on invitations use the same format on your enclosures cards as well. For more examples, for ways to word your wedding stationery, please visit our stationery etiquette page for formal and nontraditional wording. You’ll be sure to find something that best fits your style and taste.

Event Planner Spotlight: Lauren Wells Events | New England

Lauren Wells Events

We are thrilled to introduce New England Based (and Beyond) event planner Lauren Wells, of Lauren Wells Events. We were lucky to meet Lauren a few years ago while we worked with her on her own wedding stationery. Lauren is not only a joy to work with but is full of energy and creative ideas. From photo shoots to event designs to weddings, any lucky person or couple who works with Lauren and her team will be in awe as they help bring your details to life.

Find out more from this wonderful event planner in our Q&A with her and enjoy getting to know a little more about Lauren Wells Events!

Rustic Wedding

How did you get your start in wedding planning?

While planning our own wedding in 2012, I fell in love with the entire process. Having 6 years of experience in client management/media planning in the ad agency world, much of my professional experience still proved useful, with the addition of an amazing creative outlet.

What types of locations or settings are very popular now?

In New England, there is definitely a trend towards the more rustic, barn and camp type venues, although the beach will never go out of style here. Boston has great potential for really neat, brick and beam industrial spaces, and I would love to see a push towards more of those!

bridal shower
table decor

What are your favorite color combos?

On a personal level, I am drawn to neutrals and soft grays. Clean, with lots of light. On an event level, I love playing with color, and really can't pick a favorite combo!

What are some wedding details you “insist” couples include or try to avoid in their wedding?

I insist on meaningful details - I try to understand which details will truly highlight the couple and bring smiles to each of their guests, and really mean something. In terms of details I try to avoid, that is a trick question! There can never be too much attention to detail.

Is there a wedding favor you’ve seen that’s been your favorite?

I am going to sound incredibly biased, but I would have to say the favors my husband created for his groomsmen. He handmade survival kits out of cedar, with a hatchet, matches and engraved lighter inside.

groomsmen favor

What is one detail you cherish at a wedding?

The moment the ceremony starts, the excitement is silent and palpable, and the bride begins to walk towards her groom - my heart literally melts, and I cry every time.

What is the most important thing you tell brides?

Relax, and have fun. Remember what it is all about: you and the love of your life, celebrating this incredible relationship you have built with one another. The second you lose sight of that, and begin to focus more on Pinterest than the person sitting beside you, you are in it for all the wrong reasons.

Up Anniversary

When someone is looking for a planner, what are some good questions to ask at the meeting?

I think it is important to ask personal questions, to see if you connect with the planner. You don't have to be best friends with whomever you hire, but you do want to like that person enough that you are excited to spend the biggest weekend of your life with them. I would definitely ask to see past client reviews, as well as past events. I would also ask for an understanding of the entire process, and how things generally work. More than anything, I would recommend you ask whatever questions you may have - that is what we are here for!

Your Top tips for brides and grooms planning their wedding?

Focus in on what is most important to you, in order, and prioritize those wants. Budgets are real, and they matter, so having a list of what means the most to you will make it easier to stick within that budget and still have the perfect day.

Lauren Wells Events Team

Photography by: Cambria Grace Photography | Our Labor of Love

Printable Easter Candy Bag

It's hard to believe, but Easter is just around the corner! This printable template will help you put together a great candy bag for friends and family. Whether you put them in Easter baskets, pass them out at an egg-hunt, or use them as Easter dinner decorations, this printable Candy Bag Top is a fun addition to any springtime celebration.

Printable Easter Candy Bag
Candy Bag Printable for Easter

Wedding Stationery Checklist

Preparing for your wedding day can be an exciting, yet overwhelming process. However, don’t let all the options of wedding stationery worry you because we are here to help! If you’re not sure what stationery to include, we have created a stationery checklist of the common (and optional) pieces to order before, during and after the big day. We will also cover the details you will need for each piece to make your wedding stationery experience a breeze!

stationery checklist

This Wedding Stationery Checklist can be downloaded for free on our Printables page.

Before the Wedding

Once you have found a venue for your ceremony, get started on your save the dates, and wedding invitations. The sooner the better in giving your guests more time and advanced notice about your wedding day.

Engagement Invitations

Engagement Parties are held to announce and celebrate the couple’s recent engagement with friends and family.

  • Have the engagement party no later than 3 months after the engagement.
  • Information to include: the names of the couple getting married as well as the date and address. Also be sure to add the name of the host and when to RSVP by.

Be My Bridesmaid Cards (optional)

  • Sending this card to the ladies who you want to be a part of your journey is a special gesture.
     Be sure to check out our DIY printable Bridesmaids Cards for your special group of ladies.

Save the Date

A Save the Date is sent to everyone who will be invited to the wedding so they can “Save the Date.” Aim to have these sent out at least 6 months before the wedding or up to 12 months out for a destination wedding.

  • Types of Save the Dates: Magnet, Photo card, Postcards and E-mail.
  • Information to include: the couple’s names, wedding date and the city and state of where the ceremony will be held.
  • If you have a wedding website, add this information to provide your guests with all of the details to prepare for the big day. (optional)

Wedding Invitation Suite

Begin shopping for your Wedding Invitation stationery roughly 8 months out from the wedding day.

Wedding Invitations

This is the key piece to the suite and is a detailed and formal announcement of your wedding day information.

  • Information to include: the names of the couple, wedding day, date and time as well as the venue name and address. Need help with wording? Visit our Stationery Etiquette page
  • Mail your wedding invitations 8 - 10 weeks prior to the wedding date for local weddings and about 12 weeks in advance for destination weddings.

Response cards

A response card is used for your guest to RSVP to your wedding, as well as helps organize your headcount for the reception. The response date should be set about 4 weeks prior to the wedding date.

  • RSVPs can be sent electronically, as a postcard reply or with an envelope for guests to send back to you. TIP: Have your envelopes for the response card pre-addressed and stamped for a quick reply.
  • Information to include: a space for your guests to write their names, accept/decline line, entrée selection with a list of entrees for your guests to choose from.

Enclosure cards

An enclosure card is a separate card from the wedding invitation that provides your guests with specific details for the wedding day. Examples of uses for an enclosure card would be:

Reception card - A reception card is included when the wedding ceremony and reception are going to be held in two different locations.

  • Information to include: time, date, venue name and address
  • Attire information

Directions card - A card that includes concise directions as well as any provided transportation service.

  • Information to include: the address for the ceremony and reception and the driving directions to the venues. You can even include a map.
  • If you plan on providing transportation for your guests, be sure to include information such as the pick up/drop off times, location and how transportation will be arriving.

Accommodations card - An accommodation card provides helpful details for out of town guest.

  • Information to include: a list of nearby hotels with the name, address and phone number.
  • For group room blocks, provide the name or code of the discount guests to reference when placing their reservations.

Wedding events card - If you plan on having other activities during your wedding weekend for your guest to attend, an event card should be added to your invitation set.

  • Information to include: a schedule of events with the times, dates and locations.

Belly Bands

Including a belly band is a great way to tie your invitation set together. Belly bands hold together all the components of your wedding invitation suite by completing the look and providing a beautiful presentation!

Wedding day Stationery

Begin to order these components once you have mailed out your invitations. Some of the stationery may have to wait until closer to the wedding to order because they may depend on the amount of guest attending.


A wedding program is a detail of information of what is taking place during the wedding. Start working on the details for your program about 1 month prior to the big day.

  • Information to include: Your names and wedding date, the names and titles of the wedding party, order of events, songs/hymns, welcome message, readings, memorials of loved ones.
  • Optional: Include a brief description for those guests who are not familiar with the ceremony rites.
  • Programs can be placed at the guest’s seat or laid out decoratively for guests to take.

Place Card/ Table Numbers

Place cards are printed cards that inform guests where to sit at the reception and are placed at the table in front of their seat. A table number is a printed card that designates each table with a number.

  • Be sure to set out the cards early and visible from the entrance of the reception.
  • Include the name of your guest on the place card.
  • Include the table number or name for table numbers.


A menu card is placed at each table for the reception dinner to let guest know what will be served.

  • Include the list of the courses and meals being provided.

Wedding Stationery for After the Wedding

You’ve said your I do’s and finally got hitched, but the last thing to do is to send out your thank you cards to express your gratitude to your guests and vendors.

Thank you cards

Thank you cards are sent to your guests who attending your wedding, vendors who you worked with, and to those who sent gifts.

  • Send thank you notes within 2 weeks after receiving a gift, if it is given before the wedding.
  • Wedding thank you cards can be sent out up to 3 months after the wedding.
  • Be sure to hand write your thank you cards as this makes it personal.

For more helpful guidelines on when to send your Save the Dates, to wording ideas for invitations, guest lists, planning the wedding and more, visit our Wedding Stationery Tips. As your wedding stationer we have the information you’re looking for. If you have any questions, contact us, we are always happy to help!

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