A starry affair, midnight blue wedding inspo


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One of my favourite invitation sets for this year is the ‘Starry Night Sky’ Invite, fully inspired by the Matara Centre venue’s ‘starry dome’ and the couple’s love of the music video for ‘Tonight Tonight’ by the smashing pumpkins. I love a theme (and especially an unusual one).

The couple wanted something with an edge of vintage, incorporating stars but not too dark and wintery. We created a crisp white invitation with vintage graphics of stars, ‘gold’ edging and dark blue backs. Day stationery followed the style of these, with ‘Reserved’ table tickets, name tags for dresses/suits, menus and a welcome sign/itinerary.

Once all the items are sent to print, my input in the day is done really - so I love seeing the final photographs, and seeing how their vision all came together. Here’s a little collection from their beautiful day by the talented photographer, Howell Jones.


Old fashioned wedding inspo and the results


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Inbetween my own wedding/mini-moon/honeymoon I've had the opportunity to work on some blooming LOVELY bespoke wedding stationery. I've just been too 'snowed under' to share them with you (read second to previous blog about wedding to get joke) - here are a few snapshots before they are ready to order.

The best part about bespoke invites - is learning about the bride and groom's 'theme for the day'. From starry skies (inspiration taken from their venue, The Matara, and it's star covered ceilings) to white roses against pink (bridesmaid dresses...), to a travel theme that tells the couple's story (a groom from Wales and a bride from Ploiesti). The next step is creating an invitation that fits in with everything on the big day - and can be followed on with welcome boards, menus, table names and so on. 

I need my own creative inspiration too, and apart from trusty ol' Pinterest there are random places I get this from. To get the creative motivation going I've taken a lunchtime trip to Brewery Arts in Cirencester to see their exhibition of vintage Lucienne Day prints. When a floral wedding style comes my way, a beaut bunch of reduced flowers bought from the fruit & veg shop or a browse through my vintage garden rose book will suffice. The (now sadly shut down) shop of InPrint in Stroud, was filled with large typographic prints, floral sketches and books, which gave me some old-fashioned inspo. In general, trying to resist relying on the internet is good for the soul....

Our crazy snowy wedding day


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Like other brides and grooms, a lot of time and emotion was put into planning our big day. It's no secret that I'm a bit perfectionist/control freak/stubborn ass (just a few words thrown my way), so things not going to plan was just not an option.

However, when the beast from the east reared it's head at our high up, snow-worthy venue on the day of our wedding I realised I'd better let all that go. Whilst (oh only slightly...) stressful, the day started to come together - bridesmaids/ushers/parents fought their way through the blizzard followed closely by guests clutching their heels and wedding gear. Realising the day was actually going ahead, I tottered down the aisle feeling in awe of the Dunkirk-spirit of our guests.

Wedding folk like the photographer/florist/band/venue/cake-maker (to name a few) went the extra mile to make sure we had a good day. Choosing who you want to work on your wedding day is a funny thing, and designing wedding stationery means I've experienced the other side of it. Most of it is down to choosing a style that you love and fits into your day, whether it's dreamy natural photography or crazy OTT cakes covered in chocolate and gold (!). 

Natasha from Honeydew moments captured some amazing stuff - click here to see the full shebang or scroll down to see a snippet from our crazy day where I got to marry my amazing fella, all coming together with the help of our bridal party/guests and these guys...

Venue: The Old Lodge, Minchinhampton

Photographer: Honeydew Moments

Florist: Flower Style Co

Dress: Grand Jour

Bridesmaids Dresses: H&M

Shoes: Benjamin Adams

Table plan: Dinky Ink Calligraphy

Suits: Slaters

Rings: Stow Jewellers

Wedding Stationery: The Ink Closet (Me!)

Cake: Ahh Toots

Music: John Adams

Post-wedding planning Cheltenham treats & eats


I'm aware I should be sharing my wedding-planning breakdown here, but I have to say it's going swimmingly (queue disastrous event/supplier dropout). Early on I discovered the Bridebook app, which helps keep tabs on your guestlist/spending/suppliers - very useful. The geek in me hasn't been able to avoid creating a 'spending spreadsheet' though. Weddings require a hella lot of planning, starting with the invites...thankfully I happen to know a very good wedding stationery designer which helps (read: shameless plug).

Safe in the knowledge that wedding plans are under control, I've been sampling more Cheltenham delights. We started on a trip to the food festival, with it's pricey entrance fee, and massive queues - we made the smart decision to eat elsewhere - venturing to Grid Iron which is always good and probably a little bit underrated. The future bride in me went for the 'healthier' chicken burger (but couldn't say no to onion rings), whilst Wes had a massive American burger. Another gluttonous trip was to an oldy-but-a-goody - The Boston Tea Party for baked cheesecake (no self control when it comes to cake), before some more gluttonous behaviour in the form of purchasing Peonies (my favourites). 

A more successful event for us was 'Montpellier Day', in, you've guessed it...Montpellier. Full of classic cars, food/craft stalls and even a fortune teller (!). With it's beautiful parks and Cotswold bunting decorating the streets, good ol' Cirencester is also worth a visit when the sun is out....

Our haggis, highland, magic-filled road trip around Scotland


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Aware that I've become one of those annoying 'travellers' who share every feast and sunny view whilst my chums are slaving away at work, I won't go on too long about my AWESOME TRIP TO SCOTLAND!

The best thing is that you can be sure to tick a good few things off 'the bucket list' by doing this road trip. From eating fresh oysters by the sea, to staying in a cosy bothy with a log fire - (at the risk of sounding cheesy...) there's an experience to be had at every corner.

On our 10 day trip we stayed at the following spots,

  1. Yorkshire Dales
    Stopping at Janet's Foss and the mountain that was inspiration for Helm's Deep from Lord of the Rings, finishing our day at a classic Yorkshire pub.
  2. Edinburgh
    Given a handy guide by our airbnb hosts we worked our way tirelessly through the best spots. Making sure we visited the Greyfriars dog (Lola!), huge museum, castle and...Mary's Milk bar (you know it must be good when there's a queue outside the door). 
  3. Caledonian Canel (at the bottom of Loch Ness)
    Staying at a Canopy & Stars modern bothy, this spot served a huge seafood platter on the nearby Eagle Barge. With log fire and beaut decor, the bothy was one of the cosiest spots I'd laid my head.
  4. Strathpeffer (above Inverness)
    A sleepy little place with a steal of an airbnb chalet, stunning views and lots of open countryside and forest to walk at leisure.
  5. Plockton (by Isle of Skye)
    This was the perfect pit stop to visit Isle of Skye, where we visited the Talisker Whiskey Distillery, The Oyster Shed and the stunning Fairy pools (more on that later). Plockton itself had pubs brimming with atmosphere and Scottish bands, and was home to a great Fish & chip shop.
  6. Inveraray (Argyll & Bute)
    A sleepy spot but we needed a bit of luxury so this airbnb hotel room was perfect. Bathroom bigger than my house and a big Scottish breakfast in the morning. On our journey here we visited 'The Silver Sands of Morar' which is a white sand beach in Scotland (I couldn't believe it either). The Isle of Skye ferry made this journey a lot quicker too.
  7. Gourock (west of Glasgow)
    Not a huge amount around here, but we stayed in a castle with a good view of the sea! On the journey down we drove across Loch Lomond, with a memorable stop at the restaurant Venachar Lochside
  8. The Lake District
    We travelled across The Lake District, stopping at Osprey Point to see...an Osprey. Then bumbling around Ambleside before heading to our lovely airbnb room at the back of a farmhouse. 

The Isle of Skye day was my favourite, mostly because my man popped the question at the Fairy Pools :-) Which means that not only do I have a fairy-inspired sparkler on my finger but also something to take my mind off the post holiday blues. Be prepared for (maybe just a few) wedding blogs detailing my planning turmoil...

 

 

A 2016 trend inspired retro blue wedding invitation


You may have noticed a new addition to our wedding invitations - The Retro Blue Rose Invite. Taking inspiration from next year's retro blue trend, this invite is brought together with vintage roses, diamond shapes and hints of spring yellow. 

With the main invitation, information cards and mini RSVPs - this invite sits together with the help of a belly band. The black rose aligns with the rose on the main invitation and is printed on vintage kraft card.

We recommend using a similar kraft texture for your envelopes. The RSVPs would also benefit from their own mini envelope which you could include in the set. We chose black to 'tie in' with the black tie on the back of the main envelope. 

All these little touches were inspired by one picture of a retro blue suit. If you also feel inspired, take a look at the invite and place your order...

THE INSPIRATION

My Top Winter Pinterest pins (from fashion to decor to cake)


I love sticking a pin on my imaginary pin board. Whilst occasionally detrimental to my wallet (I need a jumper that shows off my new gingham shirt collar), Pinterest knows no bounds in inspiring creativity, hunger and imagination. As a new season approaches it also means I can learn what fashion, decor and wedding trends are big and what comfort foods should be added to my imaginary cook book (I never get round to actually cooking them - I just dream about eating them). And so, I thought I would share some of my top winter pins to show what's inspiring me and...making me hungry. Follow me on Pinterest to see my other boards and these image credentials...

Fashion (see all)
I need a trench coat (again).

Food (see all)
Winter salad bowls followed by sweet smore brownies.

Decor (see all)
My geometric print obsession continues.

Wedding & Design (see all wedding / see all design)
Autumn flora inspired.

The striped inspired Very Black Invitation


My nearest and dearest know about my recent obsession with chevrons, stripes and abstract prints due to my recent cushion overhaul at home. And my obsession with fish pictures, but that's another blog.

Using this as a source of inspiration, I recently designed a new wedding invitation. With elegant white text against solid black for the information, with a strong calligraphic typeface to create a bit of 'drama'. 

Striped and dot patterns are used on the backs of the information cards, and the collection is photographed as being sent out in an envelope with a gold glitter lining. Though you could use envelopes with a lining that suits your theme. Be it colbalt blue or hot pink. Make it your own.

These photos are shot with striped storage boxes and gold candles from around my house. Take a peek and make your order here. Candles and storage box not included.

Putting a spring in our step with the Pretty Pastel Floral Invite


Spring feels like it's only just round the corner. Ok maybe another corner, around the block and back again... but it's on it's way. To bring us even more into this brightly floral frame of mind, I'd like to share with you a new addition to the website. This invite was designed for a couple whose style was 'countryside tea party' and this is emphasised with vintage illustrations, lace, pastel colours and strong script typogaphy. To view the invite in full and put in your order click here.

We had our own mini-tea party for Nicola's birthday, well, a spread was created and with that - CAKE. See below the Chocolate Bombe Cake from Just Cook on the Bath Road. Yum.

The big Greeklish wedding


This year we had the pleasure of working on the wedding invitations for the lovely bride Thea and her greek husband-to-be, Timos. It was set to be a beautiful greek wedding in a church only accessible by boat, not far from the village that Timos's family lived.

The wedding invitations had english and greek influences, with vintage being the theme of choice. A vintage telegram idea was settled on, starting with an email save the date that they sent to all their family and friends. A printed version was then designed for the main invite, with a translated/tweaked version for the (big!) greek family and guests. For a truely authentic look I used a typewriter font that was slightly distressed, personalised red stamps and crown and royal-esque icons printed on beautiful brown Kraft card. This was sent out in an equally retro designed envelope, with stripes and personalised stamps - being the first time I'd designed an envelope to accompany the invite it was quite exciting to think of this little pack being sent across the ocean. 

The wedding itself took place this month, and looked as beautiful as you can imagine. I know all brides look happy, but this greek bride was beaming from ear to ear! Here are a collection of some of their photos and insight into the invitation, which is now available to order yourself, click here to do so...

First comes love…in the form of printed mini-poster invites


We recently had an order for our 'First comes love...' invitation, which provides the perfect opportunity to show it off. This invitation was printed on matte gesso paper, and folded into a leaflet-style invitation that leads to a full poster. 

The idea for this started when I saw a friend's beautiful Smeg fridge covered in wedding invites. It got me thinking how a poster (even A4 size) would have the perfect stand out held to the front of someone's fridge. After a bit of inspiration-searching I thought a little lead-in story would add even more interest, and so made the most of this space on the folded front and first reveal. A 'cut-off' RSVP flag also utilises the space on the poster - this way the mini-flags can be used on the day in whichever creative way the bride and groom see fit.

I love Peonies (love love Peonies) but I realise this may not be everyone's wedding flower of choice. So I introduced the option to change the flowers to your 'theme' flowers. The bride and groom in question chose Lavender, and even tweaked the colour of the bunting to suit...here are some Instagram snaps, with floral bunting props and matching nail varnish to boot...

A refreshing take on wedding cocktails


I'm always happy to hear a bride's ideas on how to liven up a wedding party, and even more happy to be asked to design something to bring the idea to life. This time we were asked to design a vintage-inspired sign to detail the bride and groom's favourite cocktails to the guests. Taking our inspiration from vintage typography, top hats and ribbons - we designed and printed this retro sign, ready for the bride to prop up at her wedding party alongside their 'mojitos' and 'berry breeze'.

A Cheltenham wedding fair with style


Whilst this Sunday has been made up of daffodils and mother's day dinners - last Sunday saw me taking part in my first wedding fair with Cupcakes & Bakes

It was lovely to share a stand during what turned out to be quite a daunting task, for moral support and company throughout the day. Saying that - we both made an effort to get around and meet other suppliers. Everyone was lovely, in particular Laura Power and Penelope Gibson who were on the stands either side of us, and Glow Love Lights who I met on my walk around. I also saw a friendly face in Stefanie Trower who I had worked with on a photo shoot before.

The Cotswold Style wedding fair took place at the town hall in Cheltenham, which in itself is a stunning venue. This meant plenty of room for a stage to showcase the wedding dresses in regular catwalk shows, and a huge variety of suppliers. It was therefore important to stand out, and we were quite pleased with the results of our white crafty chic wedding fair stand. Paper pom poms, white crates and flowers decorated our display of wedding stationery examples, cupcake displays and websites showcased on our laptop/Ipad. 

In particular, and whilst I don't wish to blow my own trumpet (too much), our mini-leaflets went down a treat. The gesso paper stock made it look like quality pieces that people wanted to touch, unfold and (hopefully) keep. It was also a great ice-breaker and bridged the gap between a business card and our websites. I think a few first-timer tips may be in order...

1. Think about the overall look of your stand - choose a theme and stick to it. Remember you'll need something that ties in with your offering but makes you stand out in a competitive space.

2. Create different 'levels'. Paper pom poms that hung at the bottom of the table, and boxes/crates on the top created different levels to catch the eye. 

3. Be brave, get up and around and introduce yourself to other suppliers. Who knows who you'll work with in the future...

4. Ipads/small laptops are perfect to showcase your digital offering. 

5. Bring pick up pieces, be it business cards or mini-leaflets. It was a useful way to introduce yourself without seeming too forward.

Now I don't pretend to be a pro but hopefully these thoughts help some other first-timers, and here are some pictures from the event itself...

A wedding fair reveal...


You may have heard me mention it on Facebook, Twitter etc (just a few times)... but on the 23rd of March, Cupcakes & Bakes and I are sharing a stand at the Cotswold Style Wedding Fair in Cheltenham. Find out more about it here

Of course, a big part of this is drawing the bride-to-be's attention to our table in what is bound to be quite a competitive space. It's important we stand out - and whilst I love the vintage 'floral' theme in my house I feel we might need something else at a wedding fair. So, our theme colours are white, purple and blue (brand colours) - and the style will be 'chic' craft - with a reappearance of the paper pom poms, white paper bunting and some elegant gypsophila in white jugs - hopefully it will be quite an elegant look...

To push our marketing at this event I have also designed us both some 'mini-leaflets' to take along. Consistent in style as we're sharing the same table, but relevant to each of us - this fold out leaflet reveals pictures of our products gradually - giving the recipient a bit more information about us along the way. Printed on vintage gesso paper and cut by me to save costs, it should round things off nicely and be something the brides can take away with them. See my step-by-step pictures below...

How to make Paper Pom Poms in 10 easy steps!


As promised, here are the 10 easy steps to making your own paper pom poms! To those who think 10 sounds a lot, I've just gone into as much depth as possible for what is (I promise) a really easy task.

I would love to see the results so instagram #mypaperpompoms to share your pictures, tweet it to @theinkcloset or share it with me on Facebook and I'll share it with my followers.

Tissue paper and scissors at the ready....

Step 1. You need scissors, a stapler and a few large pieces of tissue paper. Your choice of colour...!

Step 2. Fold over a large piece of tissue paper, about A1 size is ideal.

Step 3. Fold over again, so two folds in total (if you want your pom pom to be thicker and smaller fold over one more time)

Step 4. Cut each fold.

Step 5. You should now have at least four separate pieces of paper...

Step 6. Put all these pieces of paper together and start doing an accordion fold all the way till the end.

Step 7. When you have done your accordion fold to the end, fold over the final piece and staple it down.

Step 8. Round the two corners off using the scissors.

Step 9. Your paper pom pom should now look like this when you fan out each end...

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Step 10. Pull out each bit of paper (gently or it will tear) and puff it out. Do both ends making sure to puff out the pieces towards the middle.

The final result, should look something like this...! Remember to upload any instagram pics with #mypaperpompoms

A DIY bridal twist on our Floral Wedding Invite


I love a bride who likes to put her own twist on things, and (if I do say so myself), our Floral Wedding Invite is perfect for that. As you can see from the example on our website, one bride has used a brown card case with transparent covering and gold wax seal.

But Katie's theme has touches of red and blue, which she has introduced with a red wax seal to stick down a lovely brown kraft envelope, and a midnight blue ribbon to hold all the pieces together. I was lucky enough to receive one in the post (which is always nice even if you haven't designed it yourself), and it was lovely to see our invitation take on a whole new look. See a few pictures below, and if you are also a DIY bride then get in touch as this may be the perfect invite for you!

Jess & Chris's stationery in it's wedding day glory


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One of the greatest satisfactions of designing wedding stationery, is seeing it in all it's glory on the special day. November saw the wedding of a lovely couple I'd been working with for the previous 8 months - and I recently got to see some of their amazing wedding photos. Not only kudos to the photographer, Simon Brettell, for grabbing some shots of the stationery, but big kudos to the couple as they had a fun and consistent vision for the look of their big day. From the invites with pink and teal detail, to the teal outfit touches on the day - everything looked perfect. Not everyone knows exactly what they want for their wedding but Jess and Chris pulled out an elegant travel theme to work to. 

Here are a few of the photographer's shots of the Table Plan, Table Names and Order of Service. But I'll be uploading some pictures of the whole collection soon (from the wedding invitation itself to menu cards and postcards - there's a bundle of fun pieces)...I'll keep you posted...

Quirky and creative ideas for a wedding reception - Guest Blog


Another blog about handmade weddings by another lovely guest blogger...

Quirky and creative ideas for a wedding reception

The first thing people forget when they’re planning their wedding, is that it doesn’t matter too much if it’s been done before, as long as you do it your own way. Everyone always has a spin on the original, as long as they have done it – or bits of it – themselves.

Every wedding can be sublime, as long as at least some elements are put together with the love and dedication that makes the marriage worthwhile in the first place.

 

Name cards show a personal touch

They don’t have to have just the guest’s name on there. For smaller weddings, a personal message to each person tucked inside the name card is just lovely. For larger ones, maybe just a handwritten message saying, ‘thanks for being here’ and a shot of glitter or a couple of paper hearts stuck on.

 

Wedding favours don’t have to be complicated

One of my friends made some lovely wedding favours for her day. She had hearts cut out in clear glass, with gold backing, so that the gold could be seen through the top. In the centre was a picture that related to each guest. She stole them off their Facebook accounts in most cases.

Even cute little ‘make-your-own’ pin badges can make lovely wedding favours; it really depends on how many guests are invited as to whether or not it’s do-able. 

Food lovers can cook up a few batches of delicious popcorn, get some stickers printed with an appropriate message and the names of the bride and groom, and tie up some cellophane bags with a ribbon.

 

Centrepieces and tables can change everything

It is those unique touches make your wedding reception stand out. From floating candles in glass vases, or beautiful little terrariums, to gold, bronze, and white pot planters with white plants, the possibilities are limited only by imagination.

Same for the tables. Why do what everyone does? Vintage tables with beautiful carved wooden feet; funky plastic tables in different colours (with the moulded plastic chairs to go with them); or glass topped tables for a dining experience that involves admiring everyone’s shoes; all of these are more than possible, and will give a wedding reception a look that is different from the norm. In fact, the glass dining table thing was what happened at my wedding and it made for a lot of conversation!

 

Guest books can be zany

Technology has given us so many exciting ways to record ‘the moment’; we can really go to town on the guest book idea now. My favourite right now is inexpensive but can really make your day memorable. Get a fabulous backdrop; use trees, some of that artificial grass, decorated with… bunting! Yes, I may be obsessed. Also leave a blackboard or dry wipe board with some chalk or pens nearby. The guests can write their own messages on the board, and stand to have their picture taken by a helpful usher with a smartphone. That way if someone writes something a bit dodgy, you don’t have to include it in the album at the end. 

Polaroids still have a place, too – the chance for everyone to do a selfie and stick it in the book with a message!

 

An inspirational wedding shoot in the Cotswolds


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I recently got asked to take part in a vintage-inspired wedding shoot. A collection of people based in the Cotswolds and working in the wedding industry, came together with their different skill sets to work on the photoshoot at Old Down Manor. The photographer Stefanie Trower and the florist Stephanie Saunders to name a few. My contribution was, of course to bring along some of my vintage-inspired wedding stationery. It was great to get to know some fellow wedding suppliers, and I love the results! Hopefully you will too, see below some of my favourite shots...

Guest Blog - 'Homemade Weddings' by Charlotte Stafford


Guest writer, Charlotte Stafford, has kindly written a blog for us - with some great ideas on how to create that 'homemade wedding' feel. 

She's a lady that knows her stuff, being a freelance writer who loves exploring new ideas for interior design. She also has a love for textures, patterns and handmade items which can be incorporated into the home.

Enjoy...

Homemade weddings

Getting married has never been something to do ‘on the cheap’, but with the cost of weddings becoming ridiculously high, more and more couples are deciding to go down the do-it-yourself route for their big day. Not only does this cut down on cost, it also makes for a more personalised day.

A homemade wedding reception
Just because the decorations are homemade, does not mean they have to look cheap. Rusticity and vintage are both big style trends this year, so the simpler and the more handmade the decorations look, the better. Bespoke invitations and handmade decorations will enable the bride and groom to stamp a little of their own personality onto their wedding day, rather than leaving it to an the venue to decide on the design theme.

Themes
In terms of themes, flowers are almost essential. With craftwork becoming a booming hobby, there is a chance for the bride and groom to create some stunning fabric or paper flowers to use as bouquets for the bridesmaids, to decorate the reception hall with, or even to use as centrepieces on the wedding breakfast tables. If craftwork is just a little beyond the couple’s talents, they can find a selection of real flowers, and keep the prices down by going for less expensive varieties, even incorporating some wildflowers. They may be a little less glamorous, but do have a rustic feel. For a really personal touch, the bride and groom could let their guests know about their relationship journey and how they arrived at the wedding day, with personalised table names marking important places in their lives, their first date or the proposal. This theme could be extended to display the table plans for the wedding breakfast and other signage.

DIY centrepieces
No wedding breakfast table is complete without the centrepiece, which is usually a floral arrangement. For a stunning, elegant look, use classy looking holders, like Dartington Glasswear and fill with whatever is in keeping with the overall theme. Other ways of displaying flowers or herbs could be in a small rectangular ceramic planter or a small rustic wooden box. Other items that could be used in place of a traditional vase are wire birdcages, sans birds of course, and filled with pretty greenery poking out between the bars. As an alternative to flowers, try placing a selection of various sized candles in the centre of the table, either standing on their own or in attractive glass or ceramic holders.