Wineries typically have an old-world, romantic feel, but once you see the stunning details of this gorgeous wedding at HammerSky Vineyards, you’ll be convinced that a winery can totally pull off a modern vibe.
A MODERN INVITATION
A MODERN MONOGRAM
It doesn’t matter what kind of wedding you’re having, your invitations are going to set the tone from the second they hit your guests’ mailboxes.
To make sure guests knew this would be a fun, but modern affair, we started with a bold color palette. Shades of blue, yellow, and salmon gave a summery feel, while a modern monogram kept the invitations feeling “grown up”.
WAX SEALS and MODERN SHAPES
Color was not lacking in this wedding and we counterbalanced all the blue with pops of salmon pink in the envelope and wax seal. A chintzy floral envelope liner brought a feminine touch without being overly romantic.
Especially unique was the layered diamond invitation, designed carefully to display information along the visible edges so guests don’t miss a thing!
Calligraphy often has a fussy, romantic feel – unless it’s done by the right hands! We pride ourselves on our take on modern calligraphy. Our modern style is a little bit fun, a little bit sassy, NEVER stuffy, but always classy. (Was that a haiku?)
THE BIG DAY
WAX SEAL PLACE CARDS
We brought some cohesiveness to the day with a wax seal place card, featuring the same salmon-colored hydrangea seal that held the invitation together. And what is a place card without our modern calligraphy? Nothing special. So of course we used some shimmery salmon ink to add a pop of pink to the tablescape.
LAYERED TASSEL MENU
We loved the layered look of the invitation so much that we just had to carry it through to the menu too! Shades of blue and yellow, along with some modern typography, gave this menu a fun and interactive feel. And, hello, can we talk about that layered tassel?!? You can guarantee guests took that menu home, because it was just too good to leave behind!
An edible tablescape?! Sign me up! This gorgeous centerpiece featured beautiful blooms AND delicious treats from the garden in all the stunning hues of the couple’s palette.
Of course just like all of the other wedding decisions you need to make, invitations come with A LOT of options. I’m here to break down the two main types of wedding invitations (and their pros and cons) so you can decide what works best for you.
WHAT ARE THEY?
Semi-custom invitations are already designed, so you have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to look like as a finished product. They’re called “Semi-Custom” because they get customized with your info (it would be super awkward to send a wedding invitation with someone’s name, right?!).
WHAT CAN I CUSTOMIZE?
Ah yes, our most asked question! For our Semi-Custom designs, we include font, font color, and minor layout/artwork changes (like moving a tree or deleting a flower) in the cost of the invitations. Elaborate artwork, like our watercolor and fluid art designs, often require a lot of work to edit their layout and color, so there is usually an additional fee involved to change those.
We can also personalize your Semi-Custom invitations with upgraded paper and print processes or any of the wide range of accessories we offer! I have had clients choose the same design and have a totally different aesthetic simply by changing an envelope color and adding a vellum wrap or using a silk ribbon and wax seal!
BENEFITS OF SEMI-CUSTOM INVITATIONS
Pre-designed so you avoid a custom design fee
Turnaround is typically much quicker
You can see what your suite will look like in advance
Options are available to personalize your suite
DRAWBACKS OF SEMI-CUSTOM INVITATIONS
Not a unique or heirloom stationery piece
Service-level benefits (like assembly and addressing) are usually not included or only available for an additional fee
Personalization options may be limited or involve additional fees
WHAT ARE THEY?
Custom wedding invitations are completely unique to you and your love story. We love getting to know our couples and ALL of their different interests (not just their wedding Pinterest board) so we can create invitations that feel like them. Our custom invitation designs are never repeated so you can rest assured your guest are receiving a truly unique piece of stationery specially created for your big day. Our goal is always to create invitations that feel so personal, your guests will never want to throw them away.
HOW DOES THE CUSTOM INVITATION PROCESS WORK?
We start by getting to know our couples – their interests, their style, their love story and the tone they want their invitations to set. Then we put together two initial sketches of invitation concepts for them to choose from. Once we have an overall style determined, we’ll begin the proofing process, where our couples get to see each individual piece, all of the artwork, and a mockup of how everything will look together. After approving items to print, our couples sit back and relax while we handle all of the logistics of printing, paper, accessories, addressing, and assembly!
HOW LONG DO CUSTOM INVITATIONS TAKE?
We typically like to get started 6 months before the wedding date to move comfortably through the Custom Invitation process. Of course, we make exceptions depending on the scope of the project and our existing schedule. We recommend booking your spot as soon as possible (most couples book a year in advance) to ensure we are able to accommodate you!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CUSTOM INVITATIONS?
Completely unique design that will never be duplicated
Easy design and proofing process
Expert guidance in wording and etiquette
Access to our extensive font library
Full assembly included
Custom artwork piece
Vintage Stamp Curation
WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS OF CUSTOM INVITATIONS?
Custom invitations have a longer turnaround time than Semi-Custom Invitations
Custom invitations require a custom design fee and are usually a more significant investment
WHAT TYPE OF INVITATIONS ARE RIGHT FOR YOU?
If you and your partner value unique design and a luxury experience, we invite you to learn more about our Custom Invitations and submit an Inquiry with us. We’d love to create unique stationery for what is sure to be the best day of your life!
If you and your partner have a less flexible timeframe or budget, we invite you to peruse our Semi-Custom Collections! We are always happy to make suggestions for ways to personalize our suites even further!
Whatever invitations you choose, we look forward to ensuring you Look Good on Paper!
I am so excited to finally share all the details of Ashley and Andrew’s beautiful wedding stationery for their stunning wedding in the Santa Cruz woods!
I first met Ashley and Andrew about a year ago after their coordinator, Aime‘e Newlander of Weddings by Aime‘e, reached out to me. The four of us grabbed coffee and as we chatted about their wedding plans, I just knew their wedding stationery was going to be a dream project!
Ashley and Andrew love hiking, camping, and being outdoors, and were planning a fun-filled wedding weekend with their friends and family in Big Sur, California. They wanted their wedding stationery to be welcoming and feel personal, while still keeping an elegant vibe. We wanted to incorporate lots of deep greens, as well as some watercolor artwork of all of their favorite spots along the northern California coast!
THE SAVE THE DATES
For Ashley and Andrew’s Save the Dates, we wanted to go with something a little fun and different. Since their wedding was a destination wedding, I created a postcard to get their guests excited for a weekend in the woods! I created custom watercolor artwork of the iconic Bixby Bridge in Big Sur and did the details on the back of the card in an ombre deep green effect. The addresses were written in hand calligraphy and off they went!
Next up was their invitation! Ashley and Andrew wanted a beautiful wedding invitation, but didn’t want it to feel “stuffy” and impersonal. We decided on a foldable style with plenty of personality and custom artwork to perfectly capture all of their favorite aspects of Northern California and their woodsy venue.
We included a custom venue map to make sure their guests knew where to find parking, the ceremony, and, of course, the party! I also painted a watercolor map of the California coast to highlight some of Ashley and Andrew’s favorite hiking trails, campgrounds, and spots to grab a bite to eat on the journey north!
Ashley and Andrew wanted to keep their outer envelopes elegant, so they opted for a classic white envelope with black hand calligraphy. I also curated a collection of vintage and modern stamps to tie in their love of nature, their woodsy venue, and their color palette.
A great way to add a little sustainability to a wedding is a custom designed return address stamp! I designed one for Ashley & Andrew to perfectly match their invitation style. It’s not only a timesaver, but I love these stamps because you can keep using them long after the wedding is over – hello, thank you notes!
One of my favorite additions was their custom envelope liner (you all know how I feel about a good envelope liner)! Ashley and Andrew absolutely love visiting McWay Falls when they’re in Big Sur, so I created a watercolor painting of the falls and we used it for their envelope liners! It was such a fun surprise for their guests when they opened the envelope, and really elevated their suite, while still being full of Ashley and Andrew’s personality!
For their RSVP envelopes, we brought in that gorgeous dark green with white hand calligraphy and some more vintage postage (although these stamps were from 2015, so “lightly vintage”?).
KEEPING THE GUEST LIST SECURE
A common concern among my couples is that their guests might bring an uninvited date or show up with their whole entire family of twelve (we’ve all read those stories…). To ensure Ashley and Andrew’s guest list included only the people they had actually invited, we decided to include an inner envelope, but without the envelope.
Before you think too hard on that one, here’s how it worked: I wrote the guest’s name and address on the outer envelope so it would get delivered (duh), and on the inside flap of the folded invitation, I wrote the first names of the guests who were invited. I folded the invitation and put these in the envelope so that the names would be the first thing guests saw when they opened it up (and there would be no confusion about who was actually invited)! Personal AND practical!
IT HAS FLAPS!
Ashley and Andrew are avid adventurers and have spent a lot of time exploring Big Sur, so they know ALL the best places to stop! They wanted to share this info with their guests, along with the other wedding weekend details like where to stay and when to be ready for the shuttle. This was a lot of information to include on one tiny panel, so I designed their invitation to have flaps! It was basically the equivalent of putting pockets on a dress.
ENTER STAGE RIGHT: COVID 19
About eight months before Ashley and Andrew’s wedding, the world shut down due to COVID-19. At the time, we never imagined the crisis would extend into the fall, and we kept chugging along on designs and plans. Well COVID had other plans, and Ashley and Andrew ended up needing to significantly cut their guest list and eventually had to change their venue – cue lots of map redo-ing!
And as if planning a wedding during a pandemic wasn’t stressful enough, the wildfires raging in California came within yards of Ashley and Andrew’s new venue about a week before their invitations were set to go out. Luckily the venue was spared and their invitations went out without a hitch!
Is it just me or are the enclosures sometimes just as fun as the actual invitation?! For Ashley and Andrew’s invite, we had three enclosures and they all tucked perfectly into the flaps on their invite. It was like a paper hug!
The first was their RSVP card, which I did in a portrait orientation to keep with the long lines of their invitation (and the loooooong lines of those redwood trees!). We also included a separate enclosure for their Welcome Dinner. Initially this was going to be a hosted dinner for family and the wedding party only, so only some of the guests would have received this card. However, once COVID became an issue and they decreased their guest list, Ashley and Andrew decided to include everyone in the Welcome Dinner!
Last up was a registry card. We typically don’t include this info with an invitation (it’s usually given out on a bridal shower invitation, website, or word of mouth), but hello, there’s a pandemic going on and bridal showers aren’t happenin’! We worded it tastefully and put it on a separate smaller card, and their guests appreciated having this info without to hunt around for it.
THE DAY-OF DETAILS
Ashley and Andrew knew from the very beginning that they wanted to incorporate my stone place cards into their day-of tablescape. The flat stones with a gold edge and hand calligraphy were the perfect blend of natural elements with a touch of elegance – just like their invitations. We decided to also include their wedding date and location on the back to make it a keepsake their guests would be sure to treasure!
We also wanted to showcase the amazing food, so I created a menu and pulled artwork from their invitation for a cohesive look. They also had a separate kids’ menu, so I created something a little more fun to keep the kiddos entertained!
After so many ups and downs during the planning process, Ashley and Andrew finally had the dreamiest wedding in the woods! Aime‘e planned and coordinated the most thoughtful, intimate day that was just SO beautiful and perfectly captured what Ashley and Andrew wanted their wedding to be. I’m still looking at these photos and gushing over just how stunning their wedding was, and how it just feels like THEM, even though the photos!