Summer Trends - Cascading Bouqets

Last year saw a surge in rustic, simple weddings. This year, glam's made a dazzling comeback, and with it flows a waterfall of flowers!

The cascading bouqet has to be our favourite trend of 2015, and I can't imagine you'll disagree after seeing the boldly beautiful arrangements below. If you have keen eyes, you'll also spot a second trend in these photos - an abundance of greenery! 

Botanical Invitations

"If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden."
-Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Our inspiration stemmed from the muted tones in vintage botanical illustrations. Now, we find delight in the colour that our timeless stationery found itself paired with in this recent Wedluxe photoshoot. We hope you enjoy this contrast of life and antiquity in the images below. The last photo in particular looks remarkably like an Impressionist painting.

121a2df4b3714812c5c36a0959edbef9.jpg

Featured in Wedluxe - Photography by Krista Fox

Making a Seating Chart

Seating chart by Anista Designs

When guests arrive at the reception dinner, this is their process: they glance at a seating chart or grab an escort card, then make their way to a table.

 Your process is significantly more complex. 

You can start planning the second your RSVPS are in. One of the first decisions should be specific seats vs. table numbers. If your meal is a buffet, then a large seating chart (a board showing people's names and table numbers) should do the trick. However, for a formal multi-course meal with individualized meal selections, assigned seating may be the only way to fight back chaos. In this case, escort cards (cards with someone's name, table number, and seat number) can be helpful. 

Escort Cards by Anista Designs

When planning, keep table size in mind. For 60” round tables, the ideal is 6-8 people seated, while for a 6’ by 30” rectangular table, the ideal is 6-8 (depending on whether you seats people at the endcaps – the head and foot of the table). It’s also important to make sure you have the right amount of tables in the room, and that people have enough space to move between them comfortably. The ideal is at least 60” away from each other, and at least 30" from the wall.

Once that's figured out, it becomes a matter of matching personalities. You know the character of your family and friends, so there’s nobody better suited to pairing people up at tables. However, it’s not a bad idea to ask for suggestions - you might be surprised at your friend's seating preference!

As the lucky couple, you may choose to sit at a sweetheart table – a table isolated from the rest, where you can have your first meal as a wedded couple. You can also sit with the bridesmaids and groomsmen, you can sit with parents, with direct family, or you could sit with coworkers if you like.  Traditionally, your parent’s sit with your sweetheart’s parents, but here's the most important thing to remember: it’s your wedding, and your decision.

As for the aesthetics of your escort cards of seating chart - that you can leave to a friendly stationery business!

Creative Wedding Favours

1. Personalized USB drive

The best thing about this favour is how....well, personalized it is! You could do them en-masse by burning wedding playlists, or (going the extra mile) tailor the USBs of your besties to include special photos or messages. To keep with your aesthetic, customize the USB's colour and text!

 

 

 

 

2. Stationery cart

Instead of a desert cart, why not try a stationery cart? Guests can select from various cards (Thank You's, Happy Birthday's, even Sorry Your Dog Died's), and either keep them souvenir-style, or use them on special occasions. It's the gift that keeps on giving - and the cart  makes a gorgeous decoration.

 

 

 

 

3. Regional snacks

Is the town you're getting married in the Jelly Bean capital of the world? You get where I'm going with this...why not celebrate the local culture by gifting it's signature food? If Pinterest has taught me anything, it's that the customizable wrapping can be delicious as the food inside. Why not take it a step further by tying it off with a favour tag?

 

 

4. Baby Plants

What better way to symbolize the new life you're beginning with your loved one? Besides, these tiny plants are just plain cute. The possibilities are endless - silk flowers, decorative seed paper, teensy saplings, or colourful succulents. Another way to emphasize your hometown is to give out local flora.

 

 

 

 

5. Photo Coasters

Instagram coasters are trending right now! As well as being quirky and beautiful, these coasters have great potential for story-telling. Just be sure to choose photos that guests would be comfortable placing mugs on - i.e. you look cute when you kiss, but maybe not on these? These also make a fun DIY project for the handier folk among us.

Lace Wedding Ideas

Lace is luxury. It's said to have originated in 16th century Venice, from where it swept the world as a status symbol. The labour and the expense involved were extraordinary - all those stiff collars you see in Medieval royal portraits, the ugly ones that looks like vet-inflicted Cones of Shame, each took a thousand hours of expert labour. Just one square cm could take five hours. Lace is luxury. 

And you deserve luxury. Now, thinking beyond the wedding dress, what are some creative ways of working lace into your wedding?

Jewelery

It's not just for the runway. Lace can be worn as a stunning accessory, in ways only limited by your imagination. Even better, we've found a nifty DIY guide so these beauties don't have to break your bank.

 

 

Fencing

Architectural lace is a Dutch innovation that could revolutionize our urban areas. For now, it's a rare sight! 

 

 

 

Stationery

Lace-inspired stationery is somewhat of a speciality here at Anista Designs! Pictured on the right are our signature lace envelopes.

 

 

 

Bouqet

Baby's Breath flowers are widely regarded as nature's lace. They can be incorporated in weddings as bouquets, table pieces, wreaths, or even bridal arches.

Mother's Day Stationery

Though we have a reputation for weddings, Anista Designs makes cards for all occasions! Recently, our lace-themed stationery featured in a Mother's Day photoshoot by Style Me Pretty. The models were mother and daughter, with the daughter twirling about in her mother's vintage wedding dress. What a beautiful way to celebrate those who brought you into this world!

Photography: Edison Photography / Location: Pear Orchard Farm in Caledonia, Ontario / Stationery:Anista Designs / Cake + Cookies: Sugarbelle Cakes

Wedding Stationery Checklist

We get it. Planning your Big Day is a wonderful chaos.

You’re buried in cake flavours, dress trimmings and flower arrangements, so it’s easy (and understandable) to forget about stationery. That's why we've done the thinking for you, with this handy checklist below. As you browse through, ask yourself – which days do you want to emphasize? Which of these celebratory gestures do your loved ones expect?

Most importantly - which of these cards give you the warm-fuzzies when you picture them adorned with your details in elegant script?

Pre-Wedding Stationery

-       Engagement Announcements (as per tradition, your parents take charge of this)

-       Engagement Party (whoever hosts the party sends the invites)

-       Save the Dates (etiquette dictates that you give a three month cushion between Save the Dates and the wedding)

-       Bridal Shower (as with an engagement party, the host sends the invitations)

-       Bridal Shower Banners (to add that extra touch of elegance)

-       Rehearsal dinner (traditionally, the groom’s parents host the event and send the invitations)

Wedding Stationery

-       Wedding invitations (can't forget these!)

-       RSVP Card (allowing your guests to accept or decline your invitation, and notify you of any extra attendees)

-       Accommodations Cards (letting out-of-towners know where they can stay - it may be wise to include local hotel rates and directions.)

-       Order of Service (giving guests insight on how the wedding will unfold – for instance, which hymns to sing)

-       Table Plan (an alternative to escort/place cards)

-       Table Number Cards (identifying table numbers makes it easier for guests to seat themselves)

-       Name Cards (as well as helping your guests find their seats, these can compliment your table's design)

-       Chair Signs (a fun touch - signs hanging from the bride and groom's chairs)

-       Menu (works as a souvenir as well as an appetite-stimulant)

-      Favour Tags (one of our specialties at Anista Designs - beautiful tags for your guests' wedding favours)

 

Post-Wedding Stationery

-    Thank you cards (it's customary for gracious hosts to thank guests individually for their gifts and their presence)

-       Announcement Cards (notifying those not invited to your wedding of your marriage)

Peter Rabbit Party Theme

The charming story of Peter Rabbit and his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail has delighted children for over a century. What better way to set the mood for a birthday party or baby shower than with Peter-themed invitations? Hand-dyed doilies provide a faux-lettuce wrap for the invitations, which are tied shut with a carrot tie and baker's twine. Gift tags featuring Beatrix Potter illustrations are perfect for tying off favour bags, and the same stamp is shown on our vintage Thank You cards, creating a cohesive look from start to finish. 

Peter Rabbit Photoshoot

A crown jewel here at Anista Designs is our Peter Rabbit stationery line. With that in mind, we got (understandably) excited upon learning that an Anista intern keeps pet bunnies - everything about it spelled photoshoot.

We hope you enjoy these photo of Furby and Aglet posing with our stationery!

On top, the buns strike poses behind a Lettuce-Wrap Invite.

On top left, Aglet is modelling our Peter Rabbit favour tag.

The remaining photos feature our Storybook Invitations.

How to Address Invitations

General Tips

  •  Use the guest list to ensure proper spelling
  • Ensure you understand the relationships of the guests you invite (are they married? Do they live together?)
  • Determine which guests have titles (ex. Police officer, doctor, clergy)
  • Write the name of married couples on the same line. If they are unmarried, you may choose to write them on separate lines
  • Platonic roommates traditionally receive separate invitations

Inside Envelopes

Inside envelopes are a wedding tradition from back in the day, when primitive post offices systematically sullied all that passed through them.

The inside envelope isn’t vestigial – it’s still a useful way of letting people know who is and isn’t invited, and whether they’re free to bring guest. 

Without further adieu:

  • Write the names in the middle of the envelope
  •  Last names only, with formal titles
  • Reference list for how to address those with titles
  • Only use titles if it is comfortable for the recipient – if they have a PhD, but do not use the title Doctor, than do not address them as such.
  •  If one person has a title (ex. Doctor), it is customary to list them first
  • If both people in a couple have titles, then it’s customary to list the women first (for example, Officer and Mr. Sarah and John Smith). For same sex couples, the order can simply be alphabetical.
  • For unmarried couples living in the same home, or for couples with different last names, it is considered correct to order them alphabetically
  • Children’s names go below their parent’s.
  • For multiple children, order them by age, with the youngest last and the oldest first
  • Children under the age of 18 may be addressed as Master and Miss
  • Children over the age of 18 merit their own individual invitations.
  • If guests are acceptable, simply add “and guest” after the primary invitee’s name
  • For example, if you want to invite a couple and their kids, plus a guest, it could read Mr. and Mrs. Johnson / Sara and Ross/ and Guest
  • If you’d like to specify the guest invited, either issue a separate invitation to the guest (if they live separately) or send the primary invitee the invitation, with the secondary person’s name following theirs (if they live together). For example, Ms. Cane and Mr. Lane

Outside Envelopes

  • This is where you put the mailing address and full names
  • As with normal letters, the address goes below the names.
  •  Include your return address 
  • Full formal names and titles, with no abbreviations or nicknames (Jr. and Sr. are an exception to this)
  • You do not need to include “and guest” or list the children– that is for the inside envelope. 
  • No abbreviations in the street address. For instance, write Street instead of st., Boulevard instead of blvd, and Post Office Box instead of PO box.
  • Write the street number in figures (i.e. 345 Rock Road), rather than spelling it out
  • zip codes go on the same line with the city and province/state
  • Do not abbreviate province or state names
  • Do not use symbols (i.e. no ampersands – spell out the word ‘and’)

Lucy Invitations  - from $7

Lucy Save the Date - from $3:50



When To Send Wedding Invitations

SAVE THE DATES

You can send Save the Dates  at 4-8 months before the wedding. The general rule is the sooner you can send them, the better. Save the Dates are a considerate touch if you're planning a destination wedding.

 

 

 

 

BRIDAL SHOWER INVITES

The maid of honour is responsible in this case, as they're hosting the event - even still, it's good to ensure that everyone is informed 6-8 weeks before the shower.

 

 

 

 

 

STAG/HEN PARTY INVITES

It's considered polite to give a month's heads up before throwing a stag or hen party.

 

 

 

 

 

REHEARSAL DINNER INVITES

3-6 weeks notice should give people time to clear their schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

WEDDING INVITATIONS

Etiquette dictates that you send wedding invitations at least 6-8 weeks prior. Be considerate - those who live out-of-town may need to make travel arrangements. If yours is a destination wedding, then be sure to send the invitations at least 3 months in advance.

 

 

 

 

RSVPS

The sooner you send out the invitations, the sooner you get your RSVPs. It's useful to set a deadline for RSVPS - you should have all the responses collected 2-3 weeks before the Big Day. Caterers generally require a finalized headcount a week before the wedding, and stationery providers require finalized names for the place cards. Collecting responses early alleviates stress for all involved.

 

 

THANK YOU CARDS

The general rule is to send these as soon as possible, but sending gratitude cards within 2-3 weeks is considered polite.

How to word Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations are more than curly script and fancy paper - they're a tool for efficiently delivering information to your guests. Therefore, the challenge is to keep your wording elegant, while still efficient and informative- and luckily, there are formulas already in place for you.

slim modern invite

1. HOST LINE

A description of who is hosting the event (ex. Together with their families)

2. NAMES

The names of the couple (ex. Jane Does & John Smith)

3. INVITATION

The action line (ex. Invite you to celebrate their marriage)

4. INFORMATION

The time of wedding, the date, the location's name, and the city and state/province, with each of these on a different line and fully spelled out - for instance, instead of 2, write two.

(ex. Saturday June 6th, 2015/ At  Eight O'Clock in the evening/ St Michael's Cathedral/ 200 Church street/ Toronto, Ontario)

5. RECEPTION

A description of the after-party (ex. Dinner and dancing to follow)

Isabelle Collection - Anista Designs

Natalie Collection - Anista Designs

Natalie Collection - Anista Designs

traditional invite

1. NAMES

Proper names of those hosting the wedding (ex. Mr. and Mrs. Jones)

2. INVITATION

Request line (ex. request the honour of your presence)

3. EVENT

Description of the event taking place (ex. at the marriage of their daughter)

4. BRIDE NAME

The bride's full name (ex. Jane Anne Doe)

5. GROOM NAME

To the groom's full name (ex. to Jone Sam Smith)

6. INFORMATION

The time of wedding, the date, the location's name, and the city and state/province, with each of these on a different line and fully spelled out - for instance, instead of 2, write two. 

(ex. at 11 o'clock in the morning/ St. Michael's Cathedral/ 200 Church street/ Toronto, Ontario)

7. RECEPTION

A description of the after-party (ex. Reception to follow)

Simone Collection - Anista Designs

Sarah Collection - Anista Designs

Etiquette for traditional invitations can be elaborate - examples of traditional wording for all situations can be found here.

This guide is also helpful if you'd like traditional wording but find yourself in a non-traditional situation (i.e. divorced or re-married parents).

Tiffany Invitations

Romantic luxury has a colour, and it's Tiffany Blue. Nearly two centuries ago the Tiffany & Co. founder, Charles Lewis, carefully chose the hue - some say inspiration came from robin eggs, or forget-me-nots, while others claimed he was riding the popularity of turquoise jewellery favoured by Victorian brides. In any case, that tone paired with white satin ribbon and faux-diamonds instantly sets the heart a-flutter, and thus serves as the perfect way to set the mood for your wedding. Another fun addition to our Tiffany suite of invitations is our vintage-inspired favour tags, pictured below, which reflect the strong history and tradition of the brand.

Wedding feature - Toronto's Malaparte

We had the sincere pleasure of designing modern wedding stationery for Cheryl and Andre's special day at the Malaparte! Our thanks to Ikonica Image Corps for capturing our invitations, menus, tags, place cards and seating charts on film.

4.jpg

Rococo Inspired Invitations

When King Louis XV ruled France, his playfulness and grandiosity was reflected in the passionately ornate art of his people. The Rococo style, delicate and full of whimsy, stayed popular throughout the 18th century - its elegance, however, is timeless.

Today we take inspiration from Rococo when designing vintage wedding invitations. Below you will find examples of our invites, and the frilly french architecture that influenced them.

Grisaille

Classic paintings are often done in Grisaille, or grey monochrome, with only sparse sections of colour. After Grisaille was popularized by painting masters like Rembrandt, it began bleeding into sculpture and architecture - Rococo artists particularly favoured this style, as it was more cost-effective and made a striking contrast against gold ornamentation. To replicate this in our Tea Party Collection, we embossed our demure stationery with gold foil.

Pastel

Lilian Collection - Anista Designs

Pastel palettes were a reaction to the harsh lighting and stiff, sharp contours of the preceding Baroque period. Shrugging off the bleak Baroque drama, Rococo artists instead experimented with subdued tints of creamy colour, creating an atmosphere of sensual lighthearted whimsy. These soft, dreamy colour are particularly reflected in our Lilian collection.

ROCAILLE

Ava Collection - Anista Designs

Rocaille, a combination of the french words for "Rock" and "Shell", was the backbone of the Rococo style. Sweeping asymmetric shapes, often abstract and floral, framed or adorned most Rococo work. Even in figurative paintings, you will find Rocaille influences in the fluid curls of trees and clouds. In the Ava Collection (shown above), you'll see the "S" and "C" shaped scrolls typical of Rocaille.

Holiday Cards

This winter, there's a multitude of reasons to send holiday cards. Perhaps you wish to express gratitude for a good deed or positive presence in your life, or renew connections with old colleagues and friends. If you're more tactical, this could be an opportunity to network, building relationships with clients or forming business connections with peers. Most importantly, you can use festive handwritten cards to keep in touch with, and show appreciation for, family members. In every case, these cards are incredibly useful for showing folk that you're thinking of them.

Wishing you Joys - $50 for a set of 10

Rustic Christmas - $50 for a set of 10

Merry Little Christmas - $50 for a set of 10

Season's Greetings - $60 for a set of 10

Peace on Earth - $50 for a set of 10

Happy Holidays - $50 for a set of 10

Merry and Bright - from $2.25

Holiday Cheer - from $2.25