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A Wedding day with sunhine and fluffy clouds

Sam and Lexi met through mutual friends at a concert and the rest was history. Due to their appreciation of art, aside from the act of being married, they felt the aesthetics of the day were the most important to them. With a weather scare of pouring rain the day before their wedding, fortunately, their day was sunny and filled with white fluffy clouds. Which created the perfect setting for their vineyard first glance shoot.

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first look groom
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first look bride
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the ceremony

Sam and Lexi fell in love with the first venue they toured, Stone Manor Country Club in Middletown, Maryland. The location was a divine old stone bed and breakfast, whose grounds held a vineyard, a pond, a willow tree, old barns and small stone buildings, fitting for their vision and offering many photograph opportunities.

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subtle glances
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bride and her bridesmaids
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groom and groomsmen

Something unique they choose to do with their reception tables was that each table centerpiece was a unique object belonging to the Groom, Bride or one of their families. Lexi tells us “the object at the table held significance to at least one person that was there. For example, the bridal party table held tin can props that Sam & I used in our engagement photo session, my grandparents table held my great grandfather's bird watching binoculars. The centerpiece was then incorporated onto each persons place card which I hand drew & made.”

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centerpieces
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batman

The happy couple wanted to look at their wedding day and see that it was a reflection of themselves. They filled the day with things they enjoy as a couple from record shopping and playing music to bike rides and reading and writing. Lexi says "We wanted to showcase all the things we love, even if that meant combining bicycles with boat shoes!"

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cake
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cake fight
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happy
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City Life Invitation

Lexi & Sam chose the City Life Invitation design for their wedding stationery.

Wedding Venue - Stone Manor Country Club, Middletown, MD | Photography by - C&I Photographers

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

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Happy Thanksgiving

In the husssle and bussle of prepping today's Thanksgiving Holiday, we would like to take a moment to give our THANKS to you. May your tummies and hearts be filled, while surrounded by loved ones and remembering to take in all that there is to be thankful for in life.

Brooklyn Winery Wedding

Melissa, who grew up in the wedding business, wanted to steer clear of the typical old school wedding catering halls and instead find something intimate, romantic and most importantly fun. So when she and Nicky found Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, they knew the moment they stepped inside that is was the perfect venue for them.

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mr and mrs
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something blue
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pink

Melissa wanted the wedding to reflect them as a couple. Since they love hosting parties, creating an environment where friends and family could let loose and get down was their goal. Also unique to the day was the couple taking part in helping to make wine at the Winery for their special day. The couple spent a few weeks before the wedding with the staff creating a connection to the place and the employees. Melissa tells us: “The staff was SO excited for our wedding because we spent a lot of time there in the year leading up to our wedding - it felt like we were surrounded by friends all day, even with the wait staff and especially with our day-of coordinator.”

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here comes the bride
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wedding vows
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wedding cake

The most special part of their day was the vows they each wrote and spoke to one another during the ceremony, “They were funny, sarcastic, romantic and really captured our relationship beautifully.” Melissa also recalls a few more memorable moments, such as her Maid of Honor speech, which sent Melissa into tears, as her best friend pointed out the fact that the couple was getting married the same day they also met 16 years earlier. Then of course the Father/Daughter dance which was full of happy tears because “it was something my father and I looked forward to my whole life.”

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Reception
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wedding party

Our Real Wedding Bride offers the following advise to those currently planning a wedding, “RELAX and enjoy the planning process! I know it sounds cliché, but enjoy every moment of the day - no matter how cheesy it may feel at times, the memories are all you have left when it's over! And the day FLIES by. Take time to really take a deep breath and take it all in.”

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Place to Be wedding Invitation

Bride & Groom chose the Place to Be Wedding Invitation design Suite for their wedding stationery.

Wedding Venue - Brooklyn Winery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY | Photography by - Bella Pictures

Printable Arrow Gift Tags

ENTER TO WIN 15 PRINTED ARROW GIFT TAGS. JUST LEAVE US A COMMENT IN THIS POST AND A WINNER WILL BE RANDOMLY PICKED BY THIS MONDAY (NOV 25TH).

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Arrow Holiday Gift Tags

Change up the boring standard gift tags by using colorful arrow shaped gift tags. These printable gift tag templates come in 5 pretty color ways and they'll adorn any of your holiday packages and gifts. There is room for a short personal message on the back of the gift tag. Download them now and don't forget to leave a comment below for a chance to win.

When to send out your thank you cards

You’ve exchanged your vows, said your I Do’s and finally tied the knot. Now all that’s left on your wedding checklist is to thank your guests for making your day so special. Sending out thank you cards may seem like a tedious task but this act will mean a great deal to your friends and family. Mailing out your thank you cards in a quick and timely matter will impress your guests by making them feel acknowledged and appreciated for their time.

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Blue Skies Photo Thank You Card

Design | Blue Skies (folded card)

We recommend sending out thank you cards within a 3-month time span, from the day of your wedding. However, if you have been given a gift before the wedding day, a thank you card should be sent within 2 - 3 weeks of receiving it. Think about including the task of sending out thank you cards as a part of your wedding planning process; this will help you stay organized and on top of it!

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Chalkboard Lettering Folded Thank You Card

Design | Chalkboard Lettering (folded card)

When ordering your wedding invitations a good idea would be to also include thank you cards as well so that you will be prepared. Once you have the cards, help organize yourselves, by addressing the thank you cards with the name of the guests who will be attending the wedding as soon as you begin receiving their response cards. If you have a large amount of ‘thank you’ cards to send, try to break up the list of writing them by doing one batch at a time each day. Also, be sure to include your partner in on the fun by dividing up the task and having the bride write to her friends and family and the groom to his.

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Le Jardinière Photo Thank You Postcard

Design | Le Jardiniere (Postcard)

By planning ahead and staying organized, mailing out thank you cards to your guests will be no trouble at all. Opt to match your cards to your invitations or go with something fun and festive using a photo from the wedding or perhaps even a photo postcard of the two of you on your honeymoon! Your Thank you cards can compliment your individual style as a couple. When looking at the list of 100 plus thank you cards, keeping these small steps in mind we hope will help rather than overwhelm you after your special day. If you're not quite sure what to say in a Thank You note, our guide on writing thank you cards will provide you with wonderful ideas.

Destination Wedding Celebration

We travel overseas for today's Real Wedding, where our good friends share their destination wedding experience. Sam and Andrea chose to say their "I do’s" in the brides home country of Colombia. As most of the bride's family lives in Columbia (Cali and Bogota), it was the ideal location however another key factor for the location was it being a beachside city that guaranteed nice weather.

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sparklers

Sam & Andrea chose to marry in Cartagena, Columbia’s old city center. The couple thought the beauty of this venue would be perfect for their guests who traveled abroad. Not only was everyone able to enjoy a relaxing beach vacation, they were also able to celebrate with us in making our 'special day' more like a 'special few days'. For Sam, the highlight of the day was the time just before the ceremony (being with close close family and friends getting ready), seeing Andrea come down the aisle, and the first dance.

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the aisle

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reception

Sam and Andrea wanted their guests to have a great experience. To ensure this, they set up an itinerary full of trips and activities such as day outings to paradise like islands, cocktails at the old city-wall, a city-tour through the old city center and even a evening party-bus or better known as a 'Chiva bus' in the coastal regions of Colombia. The finale of the weekend was of course the wedding day with the evening events beginning with Sam and Andrea taking their wedding vows. Following the ceremony guests enjoyed cocktails, speeches and dinner. Then, the nights festivities were kicked off with the bride and grooms first dance followed by 'la hora loca' ('the crazy hour'), which is a carnival like hour filled with a team of carnival dancers and entertainers lighting up the party into the night.

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first kiss

For those couples who are currently planning, Sam and Andrea offer the following advise, “Don't think you might regret 'overdoing' the wedding in a huge fashion, as you should make a big deal out of the wedding. In the end, especially a few weeks afterwards, when things settle down, you will have an awesome memory not only for yourself but also for all attendees."

Wedding Venue Hotel Boutique Casa Pestagua and Spa, Cartagena, Colombia | Photography by Antonio Florez fotografia

Collecting Mailing Addresses made easy!

With today’s technology of emails and social media, address books are a thing of the past. Whether you’re having a wedding, birthday party or sending out baby announcements we can all agree that finding the most current mailing address of your friends and family can difficult.

Something my mom taught me to do, especially during the Holiday Season, was to save any cards sent to you in the mail. As you are likely to receive Holiday Cards from friends and family this season, be sure to take note of the address or even save the envelope with the return address on it. This way your friends and families current residence is always up to date in your contacts. For those who are more Tech Savvy, a quick and easy organizational tool we discovered here in the office is an online tool Inkinvite. We tested out the site to show you just what a lifesaver it is. Follow the steps below and make collecting addresses for that guest list of 200 a piece of cake!

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collecting guest address

To get started, visit inkinvite to create your own FREE account by clicking the “sign up” button. Once you’re account is set up, see how easy it is in just 4 steps. You’ll have a quick and easy way to collecting guest address for your big day to help keep you organized in no time.

Step 1:

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collecting guest address

Copy the provided link and paste it in an email adding a personal message to ensure a response:

“Hello Family & Friends,

As John and I prepare for our special day this June, please help us by update your contact information via our online address book: http://inkinvite.com/lovevsdesign2. We look forward to celebrating with you!

xoxo, Amanda"

Step 2:

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collecting guest address

When your contact receives your email and clicks on the personalized link, it will bring them to Inkinvite where they will fill out their contact information. They can include their name, mailing address, phone number, email and even their Partners name so you can address to both.

Step 3:

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collecting guest address

Once a contact submits their information, all of your contacts information will be stored neatly in the address book of your account.

Step 4:

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collecting guest address

After you have received all of your guests’ addresses, you can either export the information to Excel for you to organize with or as a Text file for you to print labels or send off to a calligrapher. As always, we recommend that you TRIPLE check the addresses and spellings of each guest prior to sending to your calligrapher.

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collecting guest address

Calligraphy by Molly Jacques

Save yourself some time (and stress) and get started today, using inkinvite is fabulous and if you need more inspiration, visit our blog for creative ways to address wedding invitations as well. Happy Addressing!

Holiday Photo Cards by Laura Izumikawa

The holidays are right around the corner and we couldn't be more excited to offer Photo Holiday Cards for the first time here at Love vs Design. We have created a Holiday collection in a variety of styles, like modern, vintage, simple and whimsical.

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holiday photo card with baby

Left card: Cherish --- Right card: Twinkling, photos by Laura Izumikawa

All of our Holiday card designs can be customized with your own photo. For the Holiday card templates on our website, we used the photos from our favorite photographers. Laura Izumikawa is one of these photographers. She grew up in Tokyo and is now living in Orange County, California.

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holiday photo card with baby

We asked Laura a few questions to get to know her a bit better.

How would you describe your photography style?
I think the way I shoot changes every time, with every person and subject as I draw unique inspiration and experiences with my subjects. My goal is to capture a story at the end of the day.

What do you currently do for a living?
I am a lifestyle photographer, recently adding fashion to the mix.

Which photographers do you admire? Who / what influences you?
James Nachtwey was the reason I fell in love with photography. I am forever in awe of his work. Currently in love with "Mirai-chan", by Kotori Kawashima. Bleubird - I love her life and stalk her constantly.

What’s your favorite camera to shoot with?
Borrowed a Hasselblad once and I can't stop thinking about it. "Oh yes, she will be mine."

What do you enjoy the most about photography?
I love that photography can change me as a person as it constantly challenges me to reach outside my comfort zone and makes me want to see things in a totally different light. My favorite thing to shoot is my time traveling away from home. I love documenting new experiences and memories.

Check out some of Laura's amazing photos below and visit her website for much more eye candy.

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holiday photo card with baby

Left card: Blissful --- Right card: Holly Jolly, photos by Laura Izumikawa

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holiday photo card with baby

Left card: Woodland --- Right card: Evergreen, photos by Laura Izumikawa

Rustic Barn Wedding

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bended knee bride and groom

Danielle and Tyler always knew that they wanted a rustic venue, such as a barn or industrial winery, for their wedding day. Luckily, they found the perfect setting within their own neighborhood that was fitting for their vision. Today’s Real Wedding takes us to a beautiful Rustic Theme wedding in Ontario, Canada. We really enjoyed how all of the details came together, from the Invitations to the wedding signage and reception décor. This was a perfect fit for this couples Barn Venue and every photo captures the beauty of each carefully planned detail.

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wedding ceremony details
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the groomsmen
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bridesmaids dresses
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wedding signage

After looking at a number of venues and most of them being unavailable, Danielle and Tyler began asking around their small community. They came across a young couple that owned a gorgeous property and as luck would have it had just re-done their old bank barn. Danielle remembers finding the location, “One look, and we were absolutely in love! Everything about this property fit my vision perfectly.”

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redone bank barn wedding
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Barn wedding Details

“We really wanted our guests to enjoy themselves and have fun, so we decided to have a Caesar bar”. The guests could create their Caesar (or Bloody Mary) exactly to their liking, an idea that came from the couple’s florist and was a huge hit at the wedding.

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the newlyweds
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wedding Reception details

Something unique to their wedding day the couple opted for was to sponsor a charity called PowerEd rather than have wedding favors for each guest. This gesture came from the huge mark that was made in the Brides heart, as she had previously taught in Africa while in Teachers College. Both Tyler and Danielle decided that they wanted to give back to Kenya in some way. Through this charity, which sends young girls in Kenya to high school, the couple helped sponsor a young girl named Sharon and made sure to share her amazing story with all of their guests.

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just hitched

For Danielle, although nearly impossible to pick a highlight, one that stands out was having the best man surprise the couple with a ride in an old ford convertible, “Tyler and I, along with our best man and maid of honor drove into town, popped a bottle of champagne and had our own little celebration!”. Overall the couple says that having all of their favorite people together to celebrate their marriage was exactly what they had wanted. “It was the most easy going, laid back day with tons of laughs” says Danielle.

The advice Danielle offers to those currently planning a wedding is to make sure you ask friends and family to help, as they are always eager. “I did a lot of the planning myself, which can be super overwhelming right near the wedding. Doing it all by yourself becomes super stressful and takes your attention away from being able to enjoy the moments leading up. In that last couple days, if you haven't done it or bought it, just forget about it! Instead spend time with your soon to be husband and family and friends enjoying the moments, rather than worrying about the details! It all goes by so fast!”

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Cheri Wedding Invitation

Danielle & Tyler chose the design, Cheri, for their wedding stationery. They included the Cheri Invitation, Cheri Response card and Cheri Enclosure card.

Wedding Venue Shennendoah Farms, Mount Forest, ON | Photography by Glass Jar Photography

10 Free 2014 Holiday Printable Templates

These free 2014 printable calendars will be a nice piece of wall art for your home or office. There are many ways to display it, you can clip it on a modern or vintage clip board, frame it or simply hang it with a piece of double sided tape. Whatever you decide to do, the calendar will make sure you stay on top of things in 2014! All you have to do is download the PDF and print the file via Adobe Acrobat on 8.5 x 11 or A4 paper stock.

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first look

Left: Watercolor Calendar | Right: Gemstone Calendar

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first look

2014 Seasons Calendar available in 3 color options 

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first look

Left: 2014 Calendar | Right: Seasons Calendar

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first look

2014 Calendars available in 5 color options 

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first look

2014 Calendars available in 3 color options 

All 2014 calendar designs can be downloaded for free in our calendar printables catalog. Happy Holidays from Love vs Design! :)

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