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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!

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! :)

Whimsical Mountain Wedding

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lake shot

This summer we were super excited to fly out to Canada, to be a part of the wedding of our very close friends Matt and Lara. To them, the mountains have always played a big part in their lives. Living in British Columbia, Canada, both enjoy snowboarding and spending time outside. So, when choosing their wedding location, it seemed only natural to marry in Whistler, B.C. to use their surroundings and the majestic beauty that was right at their doorstep.

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bride on the road
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First Look
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bride and groom

Matt and Lara decided to have a first look prior to their wedding ceremony. They felt that sharing that moment alone, instead of waiting to see each other at the venue, really helped calm them. This encounter made what was to come ahead for the day that more special because instead of coming into it as two separate people they felt they were completely on the same wavelength.

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bride and groom
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wedding signage
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reception decor
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wedding signage

There were many moments from this day that stand out in the minds of Matt and Lara. From the first look to the moment when they were pronounced husband and wife and their dog  started barking even the dance party that ensued after dinner. But above all, the biggest highlight for this wonderful couple was having their friends and family all together in the same place at one time which they felt was truly the most memorable.

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wedding party
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bride and bridesmaids
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mans best friend

For those who are currently planning for their wedding, the couples advice would be to enjoy every minute of it! Being with everyone you care about and being able to share this precious moment will truly be the best day of your life.

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just married
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bride and groom embrace
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Moonlit Invitation

Bride & Groom chose our Moonlit Invitation Series for their wedding stationery.

Wedding Location - Edgewater Lodge (venue) and Dusty's (reception) | Photography by - Lani Elias Photography

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 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

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.

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SavetheDate

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.

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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

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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.)”

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the begining
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venue
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the groom
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brides bouquet
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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.

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bridesmaids
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venue
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Place Settings
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antler centerpiece
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reception table setting
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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.

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Thank You giveaway
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reception decor
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married couple
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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

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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.

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wedding signage
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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.

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wooden wedding signage
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Wedding Mad Libs
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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.”

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DIY elements
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first dance
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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.

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the grooms men” style=
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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!"

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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.”

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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

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.

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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!!

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