Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 54...holy cow!

Ladies and gents, they are officially SIGNED, SEALED, and DELIVERED!  I slaved over these wonderful creations (if I do say so myself) and I'm so excited about how they turned out. I cannot take all of the credit.  I definitely took inspiration from some of my stationery-world heros, but I made the compilation my own.  The result: a personal state of invitation bliss *sigh*

I can give credit for the majority of my design to two individuals whose craft and skill I greatly admire: Betsy Dunlap & Shanna Murray.  A year ago I purchased a valentine (for myself...don't judge) just so I could hold in hand the fine calligraphy of Betsy and the beautiful illustrations of Shanna.  I loved the design so much I couldn't get away from it, and frequently would take it out of the drawer just to catch a brief moment of design bliss.  It only made sense, for many reasons, that I translate the design to my own creation for our wedding invitations.

So take a quick look at the valentine that started the love affair of this design:

Pride & Prejudice letter technique, Japanese washi tape, black baker's twine, gold baker's twine, silhouettes, cartouche frames, & calligraphy all sealed with black/gold wax seal with an initial "A" = my compilation of all the best loved inspiration. 

I even did a mini vintage-esque photo shoot with my invites.  Have a look-see:

A special thanks to my mom for helping me fold, tape, and stamp a TON of invites, and to my wonderful hubby-to-be for being patient with the process. We were able to endure an entire season of 24 on Netflix together while I hand wax-sealed each and every one with love :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 75

So, can we please talk about the fact that I have been awful about posting these last couple of weeks. It's been craziness.  But, I am SUPER excited about this post as it contains much about one of my biggest passions: PAPER! Let's talk wedding invites!

I can honestly say I have a bit of an obsession.  While working in the wedding invitation industry for a year and a half, and most of it at the FINE invitation boutique in Ft. Worth (and I believe the finest in the DFW metroplex), Byrd & Bleeker, I have developed knowledge and appreciation for the finest correspondence. Letterpress, embossing, envelope liners, calligraphy, the works! I was exposed to the best of the best in every aspect, and of course developed a little bitty problem I like to call "a fine appreciation for great design and product", aka: EXPENSIVE TASTE.

At the beginning of this whole wedding planning process, I  can honestly say that I seriously considered making huge sacrifices in other areas of our budget just to have our invitations hand written by a calligrapher.  However, those of you who fancy fancy paper do-dads and little somethings know that calligraphy is ESSSSSSPENSIVE!!!! So, I quickly snapped to reality realizing I didn't want to sacrifice budget THAT much, knowing I would probably have to find my wedding dress at Target. Ya, NO. *sigh* So, the quest began to research creative alternatives.

It was a challenge, but I made it work and had tons of fun finding inspiration for design, verbiage, etc.  I kept going back to my favorite elements: frames and cartouches, silhouettes, calligraphy, vintage letter techniques, wax seals, bakers twine, and more.  It wasn't easy, but I came up with a glorious design that I'm proud to call my own that is within budget and super unique!  I don't want to spoil the surprise before I send them out, so I'll wait to debut them (I know, the suspense is killing you), but I will give you some inspirational images that caught my eye.  Enjoy a dip into the wonderful world of all things paper.

Here were a few of my favorites in my search for inspiration:

Whimsical verbiage and calligraphy, and lovin' the yarn and button!

Bird & Banner

Invitations printed on handkerchiefs. Can we say vintage GENIUS?

Bird & Banner

Beautiful hand lettering and illustrations!

Rifle Design

You can't get much better than Boddington's imagery and color palette.

Mr. Boddington's Studio

The most whimsical and unique invites I came across!

The War on Mars
Her calligraphy will ever dance to the music of my soul! 

Betsy Dunlap

And then, just for reference...
Letterpress I love:

Calligraphy I love:

Illustrators I love:

(borrowed from the lefthanded calligraphers post)

(illustrator for Henri Bendel in New York City)

Friday, February 4, 2011

92 Days to go!

And what a roller coaster it has been just since December 30th!  I think there have been many moments where I have felt like this little girl...

There have been many moments of being terrified out of my mind of what may come next or what might not get done in time.  Between discussing budget, finding a venue, frantically dress shopping, and preparing our guest list, I think Josh could easily resemble the woman in the picture: bracing himself and waiting if I was going to self-destruct or grow horns.  

But even though it hasn't all been peaches and roses, everything has fallen into place as it should; maybe not on OUR desired timeline, but the worst is out of the way, and the best is yet ahead!!!

We are currently relieved and thrilled. We have a venue, and we are MORE than excited about the chosen place.  It took us FOREVER to find it, exactly a month if you want me to be technical.  But during that chaotic month we battled catering minimums of $10,000 (ha! ya right! can we say UNNECESSARY OVERKILL), debating having the ceremony and reception in the same place, places not large enough to accommodate our Texas-sized guest list, etc.  And yet, we have been blessed with a unique and grandeur venue that fits our needs, theme and personality perfectly!

Drumroll please...I now introduce to you, the selected ceremony and reception venue for the Alltop-Zaiger wedding:

Front Entrance

Stage where we are to be wed!

Glorious Baroque-style Mezzanine.

The Majestic is a beautiful performing arts theatre, located in the City Center District of Downtown Dallas.  It is a recorded Texas Historic Landmark, built in 1920 and opening its doors in April of 1921 with a seating capacity of 2,800. It now holds a total of 1700 people, with 400 on the first level - PLENTY of room for our guest list, but not so big it will feel empty.  Plus, it just makes sense for my rock-star of a finance to be getting married on a stage :)  It took a little bit of persuading the folks, since the venue is a little non-traditional in nature (but what about Josh and me says traditional?).  But after some coaxing and comforting words, and assurance that it will be a wonderfully elegant affair, they approved. 

When we went to go look at it, we were both worn out on venue-hunting. We were excited about the Majestic, but we were also a bit wary about the theatre for a couple of reasons: 
1. We weren't sure it was going to be in our budget
2. We weren't sure the layout of the place was going to be ideal for traffic flow
3. We weren't sure that the "look" of the place was actually going to be what we thought it was
However, I walked in to the Mezzanine and my stomach got butterflies and my heart fluttered.  It was gorgeous. I had to suppress my feelings of longing and attachment for the potential disappointment that may come if it were too pricey. We moved along to the upper level of the Mezzanine, even MORE gorgeous.  You could walk along this oval balcony admiring the chandelier that hung only feet from you. Magical.  The reception room holds plenty and with doors open will be a wonderful flow into the upper Mezzanine. And then, the crescendo - the theatre itself. With lights on it is breathtaking. The big red velvet curtain, red velvet seats, 23K gold gilding and decor. I fell in love.  It was by God's hand that it was within our budget.  We settled for half of the original price stated.  It all just seemed to work out.  We finally exhaled a sign of relief, and inhaled a sigh of anticipation for our wedding day!

I love the location, the 1920's Hollywood feel, the specialness (is that a word?) that goes along with the ambiance of a theatre, it truly is perfect!  We cannot wait to celebrate with our friends and family on this wondrous "red-carpet" occasion.   

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 100

So here it goes!!!! We are officially 100 days out til the wedding bells ring.  What adventures there will be (and have already been!) between now and then.  Please come and visit the blog often to follow the frenzy, fun, and all the details that is our journey to the altar! The "About Us" and "Our Story" pages will be posted soon! Enjoy!
Engagement Day!