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Top 5 tips for celebrating an engagement

He popped the question and you said yes! Now it’s time to celebrate with your closest friends and family!
An Engagement Party will usually be hosted for the happy couple by the couple’s parents or close friends. If you’re wondering what else you should know about hosting an engagement party or what's expected of you as the guests of honor, we’ve narrowed down the top 5 tips you should know when it comes to celebrating an engagement.


ONE: Celebrate soon after to show off that ring!
An engagement party should be given within a few months of the engagement, when it’s still fresh and before the wedding planning begins. If you are the newly engaged couple, we would suggest gathering your parents together for dinner to make the announcement. This would be a fun and memorable way to let them know first! As a rule of thumb, it’s tradition to let the Parents of the Brides be the first to celebrate the announcement with family and friends. For the newly engaged, may choose to keep the engagement a secret from your guests so that you can reveal the news at the party or simply send out your invitations with the news. Once the core members of your family and friends know, there is no limit to how many engagement parties you may have as everyone will want to celebrate with the happy couple.

TWO: The Guest List
As times change, the traditional rule suggesting inviting only those who will also be asked to the wedding has been thrown out the window. Since many couples these days choose to have a very small and/or destination wedding, the engagement party is becoming an accepted way to include those who will not be able to attend the wedding. For the most part, both families should be invited, regardless if not all members will be able to attend the event. Then there will be the list of close friends of both your families as well as your own group of friends.

New engagement party invitations

THREE: What type of party is most appropriate?
An engagement party is meant to be a casual celebration instead of a formal event, let's save this for the wedding day. When brainstorming locations for the party, think about the type of ambiance you are looking to create as well as the number of people you will be hosting. The event should be comfortable for the guests of honor to be able to mix and mingle with all in attendance and easy for the host to entertain the guests too. The Location can be anywhere from a private room at a restaurant to an intimate cocktail party hosted by the couple’s parents even a Sunday BBQ at the home of the couples close friends will do. There really is no right or wrong answer!

FOUR: It’s all about presence, not presents.
An engagement gift is not expected but some guests will still choose to bring something such as a bottle of wine or flowers for the happy couple. Make sure to let the hosts know that you request no gifts or your registry info for those who may want to give a little more. If you are the guests of honor, and have been lucky enough to be thrown such a wonderful celebration, it is a good idea to give a thank you gift to the host. From a pair of tickets to a show they’ve wanted to see or a nice dinner out, a gift that is meaningful to them and reflects your friendship and appreciation for their time and kindness is perfect.

FIVE: Mix, Mingle, Toasts!
At the party, be sure the Newly engaged couple has a space (sort of an informal receiving line) preferably near the entrance. As everyone enters the party, they will want to have a few minutes to offer their congratulations to the couple, so we don’t want to overwhelm the guests or the couple. Also, keep in mind that the engagement party will usually bring together the couples families for the first time. To make sure everyone is comfortable and having a great time, mingle around and introduce yourself and guests to one another at the party. Something like “Hi, I’m Katie, I’ve been friends with the bride since Kindergarten, how do you know the couple?” letting each person know how the other is affiliated with the bride or groom is a great icebreaker. Lastly, don’t forget to raise a glass and toast to the couple. If following proper etiquette, the order of toasts should begin with the, the father of the bride, next the future groom and lastly other guests who would like to toast the couple and the host.

If you are in need of some creative juices for an Engagement Party you are hosting, we have it covered with some our Engagement party wording examples. From traditional and simple to unique and festive, check out our Engagement Party sample wording for to use for your engagement party invitations. Let the planning begin!

Unique Bohemiam Wedding

first look

The wedding of Sarita and Jesse truly embodied the style and spirit of the couple. From the Wedding Stationery to the venue and wedding décor, this Real Wedding couple made this day their very own. Sarita describes their vision for their wedding day: “We always have had an aesthetic affinity toward the Southwest in terms of jewelry and artisanal products. Jesse grew up with his family digging at numerous archeological native american sites, and his father found out he was part Chicasaw recently, so we thought the theme tied in nicely with a heritage connection. The teepee was one of many projects we did together, painting it and creating an enjoyable environment for the younger kids to play in. Jesse airbrushed every single napkin with our signature Southwest pattern and we started including that through out the wedding, on the papel picados and wedding favors (wooden usb’s and chevron rose gold studs for the females.)”

the begining
the groom
brides bouquet
wedding ceremony

What was your highlight of the day?
Sarita: There were too many: when we forgot our Game of Thrones vows that we were supposed to memorize and we broke out in laughter as we said the wrong words in union; when we were announced to our guests at reception, we gazed into each other's eyes as we danced to our song like no one was watching; when my Dad took over the dance floor and tried to do the splits to wow my lady friends.
Jesse: During the ceremony I dropped my wedding ring in golden colored grass, and was saved by the maid-of-honor mother's keen sight. I remember the look of joy in everyone's eyes, Sarita's outshining all others.

Place Settings
antler centerpiece
reception table setting
table centerpieces

What advice would you give to those currently planning their own wedding?
Presume that something always goes wrong and that everything will work itself out. Do delegate the work to your friends and family as you cannot do everything the day of by yourselves. With our handy and very talented friends, the wedding would not have turned out looking so amazing and running so smoothly.
Try to take in and enjoy every moment possible. The day goes by too fast. We only wished we had a time machine where we can freeze or even slow down the clock to relive what an amazing celebration it was for us to share with all our loved ones.

Thank You giveaway
reception decor
married couple
Moonlit Wedding Invitation

Bride & Groom chose our Moonlit Invitation, Moonlit Response cards, Moonlit Belly Bands and Moonlit Menus for their wedding stationery.

Venue: Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse Los Olivos, California| Photography by: Clayton Austin

A Backyard BBQ Wedding

bride and groom

Scott Atwood and Regine Torres envisioned their wedding day to be a casual and fun, beachside BBQ celebration among family and friends. In todays Real Wedding, see what will inspire you from this couples special day. From DIY touches created by the bride and her family to our very own Love vs. Design printables their wedding day was everything they could hope for and more.

wedding signage
The Newland House

When Regine attended her cousin's barn-style wedding in Chesapeake Bay she knew she wanted a similar style. With her idea to have a backyard BBQ mixed with Scott’s preference for a beach wedding, they found the Newland Barn in Huntington Beach.

wooden wedding signage
Wedding Mad Libs
Lovebird Table

Aside from the perfect location for their casual style, Regine added more of a personal touch to their special day with lots of DIY project by herself and family. She explains, “Our wedding exuded a homemade backyard BBQ bash. I personally sewed all the table runners, my mom planted and arranged all the succulent centerpieces and my cousin baked all the funfetti cupcakes just to name a few DIY elements.”

DIY elements
first dance
guest activities” style=

The couple also wanted to make sure there was plenty for our guests to do at the reception. They built their own corn hole game which was inspired after their wedding invitation, Just My Type, had a caricature artist available, provided the Rustic Wedding Mad-Lib for guest to fill out and share with the couple as a keepsake and also opted for a Polaroid photo booth in lieu of a guestbook.

the grooms men” style=
bride and her bridesmaids” style=

Regine, tells us about the highlight of the wedding for her: “The whole day was the highlight of our lives! Buuuut, as everyone knows Scott's (the Groom) is the master of the dance floor, him ripping his pants while doing a body roll while pulling the garter off my leg was a funny and special moment…When I took his pants to the cleaners to be repaired the following week the owner said, "Wow, your husband is a violent dancer!"

evening kiss” style=

What advice could you give to couples planning their upcoming wedding?
“If close friends and family offer to help, by all means take it! Whether it's to tend bar, make all 10 boutonnieres or hold your shoes.”

Just My Type Wedding Invitation” style=

“Everyone LOVED all our paper products we found on your website!” – Regine Atwood
Regine and Scott chose the Just My Type Wedding Invitation, Rustic Mad Libs Printable and Baked Goods Gift Tag Printable for their wedding stationery.

Venue/location: The Newland Barn, Huntington Beach | Photography by: Cory Kendra Photography

The 2013 Holiday Collection is here!

The holiday season is approaching quickly, which means hot chocolate by the fire, decorating your house, and sending out holiday cards to your family and friends.

The new 2013 Holiday Collection offers many modern and fun designs! There are also plenty of cards for special occasions such as Newlywed Holiday Cards, Baby's First Christmas Cards, Pet Holiday Cards and Corporate Holiday Cards. Personalize your design colors, photos and holiday greeting!

before the procession

Left: Winter Animals, photo: Studio Castillero | Right: Merry and Bright, photo: Amelia Lyon

before the procession

Left card: Simple Seal Multi | Right card: Brilliance, photos: Joie Lala

before the procession

Left card: Vivid Print | Right card: Retro Greeting

before the procession

Left card: Cherish | Right card: Twinkling, photos: Laura Izumikawa

before the procession

Left: Geometric, photo: Studio Castillero | Right: Bright, photo: Amelia Lyon

Gemstone Printable Gift Tags

These gift tag printables in the shapes of colorful Gemstones will adorn any of your holiday packages and gifts. This printable template comes with 4 unique gift tag designs in a variety of pretty colors. There is plenty of room for a personal message on the back of the gift tag.

Museum Art Steps

All you have to do is download the PDF and print the file via Adobe Acrobat. Cut out the different shapes, punch a hole in the top and attach a fun piece of twine. Have fun!!

5 tips to sending out Holiday Cards

Family Holiday Cards

Winter Animals Photo by Studio Castillero | Merry and Bright Photo by Amelia Lyon

The days are getting colder and the nights are getting darker, the holiday season is approaching quickly, which means hot chocolate by the fire, decorating your house, and sending out holiday cards to your family and friends. You may be wondering who should receive these and what there is to say so we are here to guide you with the five questions to keep in mind to when sending out your Holiday cards.

What type of Holiday card should I send?
First things first, think about if you would like to include a photo on your holiday card this year? Sending smiles from a newlywed couple, to a family photo or even your family pet is a great way to not only share the holiday love but to let those from afar see how much you’ve grown. Next, choose a Holiday design that fits you best! Anywhere from Simple to Whimsical, there is a design that can send holiday cheer in your own unique way. Not sure if your photo will look right with the design? Just ask the experts! Lastly, choose your option of sending as a regular flat card, folded card or as a unique and fun postcard.

non photo Holiday Cards

Vivid Print Holiday Card | Retro Greeting Holiday Card

Who should I Send my Holiday card to?
Most people choose to send a holiday card to keep in contact with those from afar to let them know they are thinking of them as well as giving a little update of how the family is doing. So, start by making a list, beginning with your immediate family, then close friends and then those you see on the daily basis or keep in touch with. From an old college friend to a co-worker who moved out of state or great aunt Helen who lives on the other side of the world; all would enjoy receiving a holiday greeting from you. It would also be good to include those who usually send you a card during the holidays.

For those who have family or friends who celebrate other holidays such as Hanukah or Kwanza, there are still plenty of design options that will fit your needs. When sending a Christmas card, perhaps writing a little personalized “Happy Hanukah” note for the individual will help, or even sending out a separate card for your friends who don’t celebrate, Christmas. Anyone would be grateful that they were thought of during the holiday season.

Baby’s First Holiday Cards

Cherish Holiday Card Photo by Laura Izumikawa | Twinkling Holiday Card Photo by Laura Izumikawa

How do I update Mailing addresses?
Something my mom does every holiday, is to save envelopes we receive in the mail, so that when next year comes around we have all the addresses all in one spot. It’s also a great way to keep your address book updated in case a family member or friend moves. Always double check addresses, before mailing out your cards. Sending a quick email can be a great way to gather mailing addresses as well!

Couple Holiday Cards

Shimmery Holiday Card Photo by Studio Castillero | Glitter Dots Holiday Card Photo by Studio Castillero

What to write in my Holiday Card?
Adding a personal greeting, short note or signature can add warmth to any holiday card. By personalizing each note with the recipients names and asking how their family is can really connect you to whom you’re sending out your holiday cards to. Also, be sure to mention how you and your family have been this year as well as any updates. Finally end this with a cheerful greeting to wish them well. Some examples would be:

“Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”
“Season greetings from our family to yours.”
“May your holidays be merry and bright!”
“Wishing you good times, good cheer and a Happy New Year!”
“May your home be filled with the joy of family and friends this holiday season!”
“Tis the season to be jolly!”
“Warmest wishes for a Happy Hanukkah.”
“Wishing you and your family a Happy Hanukkah and a Wonderful New Year!”
“Hoping you are surrounded by love and warmth this holiday season.”

If you’re still not sure what to say, check out our Holiday Wording Guide for help.

Bright Holiday Cards

Rustic Holiday Card Photo by Studio Castillero | Evergreen Holiday Card Photo by Laura Izumikawa

When should I send my cards out?
Remember that with the Holiday season, mail may take a little longer to arrive, due to the hustle and bustle of the busy season. Be sure to get your cards out early to avoid delays in reaching their destination, as times can vary from a few days locally to 2 weeks internationally. We recommend sending your Holiday cards out the week after Thanksgiving or at the beginning of December. USPS recommends mailing out first-class mail no later than Dec. 20 and Parcel post by Dec. 14, Domestic. The holidays can get pretty hectic and you don’t want to be scrambling last minute to mail them out.

So don’t wait on sending out your holiday cards and get started now! With these simple guidelines, you can relax and enjoy the season with good friends and family. Be sure to shop our new line of Holiday Cards, we have a variety of cards for every style that we are sure you will enjoy and so will your family and friends.

Warm Wishes from the Love vs. Design Team

Halloween Party Invitation Printable

Halloween is only a few weeks away, time to start thinking about your costume, carving pumpkins, decorating, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror movies! Whatever your plans are for Halloween this year, we've created a fun Halloween Party Invitation printable.

Halloween Party Invitation Printable

The best thing is that this Halloween invite is editable! All you have to do is download the free Halloween invitation template, open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat and type in your party date, location and RSVP info. If you want to print these invites at home, we recommend using a thick paper card stock that your printer can handle. You can also save the PDF file and bring it to a local print shop to get them printed.

This printable halloween party invitation will surely get friends and family thrilled about your upcoming bash!
Download now and have fun!

5 Engagement photo tips for the perfect Save the Date

An engagement photo shoot is an exciting way to capture moments of your personality while you and your Fiancé spend time with one another. Not only will the photos make a great Save the Date to send to your family and friends but this time can be great to get to know your potential wedding photographer. So take this opportunity to let the photographer get to know you and find that comfort zone with one another for the big day. So, if you have just said "YES!" or are looking to create some special moments, we have come up with our TOP 5 photo tips to help you create the perfect Save the Date photo. And know that while not everyone can be as camera-friendly, the key thing to remember is: Be confident and be yourself. Everything else will fall into place after that.

Engagement Photo Location

Destination Save the Date. Photo by Studio Castillero

Photo tip #1: LOCATION
When you choose a location that you are familiar with, the more comfortable you will be in front of the camera.
Think about a meaningful place for the both of you as there may be plenty of photo opportunities available. Perhaps a favorite restaurant you like to go together or maybe the city you both met in. Think of it as a taking a trip down memory lane from the location of where you first met or had your first date to a special place in the current city or town you will start your life together. Of course weather and the time of the year can also serve its purpose so be prepared for Mother Nature and use it to your advantage for the perfect setting. Timing of the day also plays an important part in the available natural light for the photographer to work. Often great lighting is available right after sunrise or before sunset.

Engagement Photo Makeup

Simple Seal Save the Date. Photo by Studio Castillero

Be Camera ready and look your best before the shoot. If you aren’t the best at doing your own hair and makeup, perhaps scheduling a wedding make up trial the same day as your engagement photos could be helpful. This way you have checked off another item from your wedding to do list.

When it comes to what to wear, be comfortable in the outfit you choose as it will show in the photos. We suggest planning your outfits together as well so that they compliment with one another. We don’t mean wear matching outfits, but rather, wearing colors that complement each other. The end result should be that you are both dressed on the same level of dressiness or casualness, like you’re headed to the same place. Try pieces that have common shades or even bright hues that will pop from the background. Can’t decide between two outfits? Why not bring both for a wardrobe change. You can even ask your photographer for their opinion as to what will look best with the location.

Engagement Photo Action

Floating Ribbon Save the Date. Photo by Max Wanger

Photo tip #3: ACTION
Stop over thinking and don’t worry about what pose to create next, leave that to the photographer to direct.
The best photos taken are of the couple in their natural, comfortable element; what you see is what you get.
So remember to relax, laugh with one another, smile, and have fun together as you take in the moment.

Engagement Photo Props

Gelato Save the Date. Photo by Max Wanger

Photo tip #4: USE PROPS
Now that you have your location in mind and scored the perfect outfit, think about bringing some props to liven up the shoot. If you chose a landscape scene, pack a picnic basket and a blanket to lie down on. Perhaps you and your Fiancé can take a bike ride down your favorite bike path. Even something as simple as eating your favorite ice cream can make a big impression in a photo. From Balloons to Flowers to vintage bottles, a prop can make a big difference when added to the photo.

Engagement Photo Personality

Road Trip Save the Date. Photo by Studio Castillero

Incorporating a favorite hobby or pastime into your shoot can be a great way of showing your personality as a couple. You can bring one of your favorite games to the park or your favorite coffee shop. Take a stroll one Saturday morning while shopping at a flea market. Even hopping in the car or on your Vespa for a drive down the street can be fun! Each everyday activity can say so much. Another idea, bring your Pet with you and let him or her be a part of the shoot; after all they are a part of this relationship too.

Finally, don’t be afraid to brainstorm your ideas with your photographer before the shoot. Browse through our variety of PHOTO SAVE THE DATES prior to meeting with your photographer. If there is a a favorite design you like, share this with them so they can make sure they know what you have in mind. Ready with your photo but not sure which design works best? Contact us, we’re happy to help!

Wedding filled with California Love

Janine and Rusty Wertz

Set in a venue that represents the couples love for the beach and the outdoors in Southern California we present the wedding of Rusty Werts to Janine Torres. The couple was married at St. Edward Church in Dana Point, CA where they choose to incorporate the Brides Filipino wedding traditions as well as recite their own vows to each other to provide a more meaningful ceremony. Janine tells us the highlight of the Wedding for her was when the priest surprised the couple by reading love letters the couple wrote to each other, She recalls “When Father Martin told us to write them, he told us he was not going to use them in the wedding but just to get to know us. We didn’t know he would read them word for word in front of all of our guests in the church. It was hilarious, special and a moment we will never forget in our entire lives.”

reception entrance
love bird table
Jenga Guest Book

The celebration then continued afterward at Franciscan Gardens in San Juan Capistrano. Janine and Rusty were going for the fresh, fun and outdoor feel. Being in the heart of SJC, the reception had a natural rustic look with a Spanish influence, which the couple loves. A fun idea the couple chose to incorporate was to replace the traditional guest book with jumbo Jenga pieces for their guests to sign and the couple to enjoy as a favorite game of theirs. Also at the reception, a unique and special moment included a special surprise birthday cake presented to the Father of the Bride after his emotional father daughter dance and speech.

long reception tables
First Dance
sisters of the bride
Dessert table

Janine’s advice to couples currently planning: “Prioritize what is really important to you (whether that be the photography or food, etc.) and focus more of your attention and budget toward those items. Never regret the decisions you make for the wedding, because obviously being married to your best friend is your highest priority.”

laughter with the bride and groom
goofy groomsmen
Beautiful Bridesmaids
Mr. and Mrs. Wertz
evening toasts
Cheri Wedding Invitation

Janine and Rusty chose the Cheri Invitation for their wedding stationery.

Ceremony location: St. Edwards Church | Reception Venue: Franciscan Gardens | Photography by: Brett Hickman Photographers

Bride and Groom take center stage

Today’s Real Wedding truly represents the brides advice for couples planning a wedding “Do it your way!”.

Vanessa and Brandon celebrated their special day in a personal way, choosing a location that was special and unique to them. Being a Drama Teacher, Vanessa felt that a theater was the best venue to say their “I do’s”. The celebration then continued at a restaurant, La Zingara Trattoira, which was a perfect setting for the couples personal style and taste. Brandon and Vanessa wanted something smaller and intimate, Vanessa explains “The look I was going for was soft, simple, modern, and elegant, and I think we pulled it off well!”

couple photo
wedding location
theater wedding
long tables
reception details
florals and the newlyweds
Place To Be Invitation Suite

Bride & Groom chose our Place to Be Wedding Invitations, Place to be Response card and Place to be Belly Band for their wedding stationery.

Wedding Venue: Capitol Theatre | Reception Venue: La Zingara Trattoria | Photography by: Brandon Scott Photography

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