Summer is here; Fall on the Brain

Posted by on Jun 25, 2013 in Style | No Comments

Up and at ’em early this morning off to The Locusts for a site visit for our most recent client in and our next client to get married- I love a short engagement! Partially because of the excitement of it all, partly because, much like in fashion, working in weddings, we are always at least one season or two ahead in our brains and our plans. So, it is for wedding gown designers!

Fall Bridal Market is months away, but lest you think that the designers aren’t already imagining what you’ll be wearing Angel Rivera has shared with us a couple of sketches and plans for his new collection! I thought it was so cool to get a sense of what makes a designer tick, and Angel not only shared his vision, but his thoughts behind the “look and feel” of the two dresses. My favorite first- this one shoulder gown with silk organza ruffles “along the neckline and flows into the back. It’s perfect for an outdoor wedding at a garden, or beach location! The organza ruffles will billow in the wind!”, according to Angel.
Angel Rivera Couture
Angel also shared this gorgeous ballgown which “is made of a brand new fabric I found call silk Gardenia and imported from Italy! It is a 100 percent silk satin that is so luxurious! The gown is perfect for your cathedral wedding or where ever your modern day castle is located– this gown just says, REGAL!”
Angel Rivera Couture
I just think it’s so cool to see all the work and imagination that goes into these gorgeous gowns, in addition to the craftsmanship. So, when you are looking for a reason to justify your fabulous wedding dress purchase- now you have one!

Awesome Escort Cards

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Decor & Details | 3 Comments

I get easily bored. I have finally had to accept that about myself this week when I found myself out a little too late in questionable company mainly because, eh, it was better than watching stuff on my TIVO. So perhaps because of this tendency, I’m drawn to the highly interactive. Anyone can slap some tented cards with names on them on a table that tells you where to sit, but where is the fun in that!? Why not make it an experience for people? Inform and entertain! Your escort card display can be a fantastic opportunity to provide guests with information and delight them all at the same time! Below, some of my favorites from over the last few years!

Mayra and I love the incongruous and often bring the outdoors, in. Here we had custom little “critters” from Ceci New York perched aplomb some boxwood hedging. Guests found their names on the wings of butterflies, bumblebees and dragon flies and their table assignment on the rear. (Image by Heather Waraksa)
Escort Cards by Ceci New York, AaB Creates
We created an oversized tree from which guests seating assignments were hanging on delicate ribbons. Our team was on hand to help guests with this one, but people did enjoy hunting for their names around this delightful tree!
Escort "tree" by AaB Creates
For Carolyn and Scott’s New Year’s Eve Wedding, we set out trays of Champagne with guests’ names affixed to the glass. Apropos, fun and everyone walked into the party with a drink in their hand! (image by Inku!)
And, years and years later, everytime I see this bed of roses with those gorgeous calligraphed cards on top, I still thrill about it. It’s so bonkers unnecessary, romantic and delightful that I squee a bit inside. (Image by Dante Williams)
Escort Cards by AaB Creates
Remember, it’s the details that matter! What are some of your favorite escort card display ides?

WPW: In Honor of Eric Langlois

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Business Advice | No Comments

Over the last two years as Mayra and I have decided to take fewer clients each season, the only downside that I feel is that I miss the frequency with which I could see my “vendor family”. I love them. I love them for being outside the NYPL at 4AM alongside us excited for our “team” to tackle this venue for the first time together. I love them for sleeping in teeny tiny stone cabins and shady motels and weird VRBO’s with us because they all signed on to come with us to a job in the middle of no where. I love them because they care so very much about what they do and doing it well. I love them because they always want to get better at their art and craft. I love hearing about their business and babies and marriages and divorces and loves. I love that they’ve seen our business grow and that we’ve seen their businesses grow. I love them because we create things together. It’s hard to explain that love to people not in this kind of work…

So, it was with a very heavy heart that I first heard about Eric Langlois going missing last week via the facebook streams Carla Ten Eyck and Beth Chapman, whom I had just met at Engage… For one week I followed their heart-wrenching updates as they, Eric’s wife Amber, Candice Coppola and other colleagues, family and friends searched for his body around a river in Connecticut. Sadly, I heard last night that his body had been found and his soul has moved on, leaving many, many loved ones behind.

Very special people are drawn to work in weddings. I don’t say that lightly. I’ve worked in other industries and, the thing that stands out for me is the quality of the people I meet. The quality of human beings. It attracts people who love to create, who love to witness love, who are generous of spirit. It’s a last bastion for artistic souls to earn a living. It’s always ironic to me that “the media” portrays the wedding industry as conniving or advantageous when in reality, I know that’s far from the truth. Eric’s vendor family (which included his wife, with whom he’d started Raw Photo Design) clearly had all of those qualities- but can I say, So did Eric.

I’d never met Eric, but I’ve visited his website and his blog several times in the last week as I’ve gotten more and more familiar with his image and heard about his life via his friends. He was a passionate photographer, he was committed to improving his art and his business, he was a collaborator and he was kind. He was also a loving husband and a dear father. All of this was very clear to see in his work and in his writing. He was the kind of person we’d love to know. He seems like the kind of person we do know.

A fund has been established to help his widow Amber and their children get through these next months. Please Donate whatever you can via this link. People ask often what it’s like to work in weddings. The hardest part is not anxious brides or difficult venues. The hardest part is when you need to go to work and it’s difficult to personally feel joy. It’s difficult when you need to grieve and there isn’t any room to do so because your contracted to help with the happiest day of someone else’s life. If you can help give Amber and their kids a bit of space, that would be amazing. If you can pray for Eric’s wedding vendor family as they seek the strength to feel joy as they head out to work this weekend, that would be amazing.

We didn’t know Eric, but on behalf of both of us, we want to offer our deepest sympathies, because he seemed a man who knew how to live.

Stationery Trends: A Return to the Classic?

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Decor & Details | 4 Comments

So, I will never say that Mayra and I are wedding trend forecasters, per se- we don’t see the kind of volume of clients that would require. However, what I can say with confidence is that we definitely work with taste maker types of clients: fashion designers, Creative Directors, film directors…. so I’m always curious about what it is that they are drawn to when it comes to weddings, and specifically the bold, printed, statement of “who we are and what this wedding will be about” that IS the wedding invitation.

Last year, if I could sum it up in Art History terms, I’d say that we had a Baroque into Roccocco period of stationery with our clients. Highly stylized, intensely detailed , layer upon layer of meaning and, dare I say, intense printing processes.
Some AaB Client invites from 2012
And then… there are the outliers. I’d say that Teresa and Jonny October wedding paper definitely started the trend towards a more pared down look. Below, their program and menu card- which pretty much mimicked their invitations, which were letterpressed onto a water marked linen-esque paper. It was all about typeface and typesetting, plus the quality of a thick, linen paper.
Clean, elegant paper pieces AaB creates
So, perhaps, as the restraint and elegance of Dutch Art and Neoclassicism were responses to the flourish of Baroque; Brides and Grooms are leaning towards more clean and classic invitations and accessory pieces. This season, I’ve seen our clients gravitating increasingly towards Sans Serif fonts, rich letterpress, blind embossing and even engraving on the thickest, most delicious papers. Below are three invitations that our clients have used as “inspiration” just this calendar year.
The Austin Traditional from Bella Figura with edge painting or foil edges.
Austin Traditional from Bella Figura
The Legendary Julie Holcomb, who is in many respects, the godmother of Letterpress, has never been more referenced by our clients. Especially with her mixes of blind embossing and her custom made, ultra thick papers.
Julie Holcomb
Even the classic idea of engraved invitations has a new elegance to it- as well as the heirloom-creating appeal of keeping your invitation plates with your motif or monogram to pass down to your children. Of course, no need to go any further than Dempsey and Carroll for timeless, engraved elegance.
Dempsey and Carroll Engraved Invitations

There is something elegant, regal and understated about these pieces. Is it cute? No. Is it whimsical? Not necessarily. Yet, as weddings are becoming increasingly personal, it’s interesting to see timeless stationery becoming increasingly appealing: after all, who doesn’t want their love to be timeless.

In Case You Were Considering… A Sunday Brunch Wedding

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Decor & Details, Recent Work | One Comment

Happy Friday Everyone! This is a Re-post from Nov. 3, 2010 with video added. Molly is now the fabulous creative Director of Stone Fox Bride (a gown and styling shop here in NY) and it was a pleasure to plan and design her wedding to Mike a couple of years ago. I still love the look of this brunch, even nearly 3 years later! Brunches are fantastic ways to create a more cozy atmosphere, save a bit on alcohol and lighting, and have breakfast for wedding dinner. Yum. Daylight needn’t be a fun killer- guests will party the afternoon away if you let them, just ask the founders of Everyday People.

When I met Molly and Mike (no TV show relation) we had a great conversation about what they liked doing together and with their friends. The one thing that kept coming up again and again was how much they love hosting and attending brunches. From the food to the relaxed company to the idea of a leisurely Sunday afternoon, the entire thing had a warmth that appealed to them. Factor in to the fact that they had a guest list comprised largely of out of town friends and family, and that they weren’t big dancers, it seemed that a brunch wedding would offer them an opportunity to host a reception that reflected their personalities while simultaneously giving them a chance to really catch up with their guests.

We had the best time designing this event with them. First, was the venue. The Metropolitan Building is a popular location for night time parties, but with the skylights and the large windows, it was the perfect place for a midday gathering. We utilized the French inspired 2nd floor for a simple, but rustic looking ceremony with a chuppah made by the groom and embellished with ferns and leaves. The aisle was lined with pots of marigolds. The interfaith ceremony began with a chant in sanskrit and the procession stepped off with Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic performed by a guitar duo. The service included readings of the bride’s grandmother’s words of advice to married couples, a poem written by one of the guests and of course the exchange of the couples personal written vows. As two writers, their personal vows really marked the ceremony.

Chuppah during the rehearsal

After the ceremony guests headed upstairs for the amazing brunch menu that we created with Creative Edge Parties. Passed hors d’oeuvres included mini fruit and yogurt parfaits, virgin bloody mary shots with mini grilled cheese and deviled egg pastries. Once guests were seated they were met with an abundance of food set family style on a casual farm table set with succulents. There were scrambled eggs and caviar, bacon three ways, black bread and salmon, benoits and biscuits with clotted creams and jams, fruit salads, etc.

We wanted the feeling to be organic and airy and rustic, and filled with some delightful details. We’ll have more to come, but, to replicate the feeling of Freeman’s Alley and Marlow and Daughters. We used bistro style chalk boards for tables and escort display and filled the tables with succulents and pomegranates. Run of the mill napkins didn’t seem to have that edge that we wanted, so we had these awesome napkins made out of ticking stripe and tied them with twine. Custom napkins are a bit of a splurge, but, they make such a nice take away for the bride and groom’s linen closet when they entertain. Finally, the unfinished strawberry shortcake made by a friend of the couple. We supplemented that with some delightful desserts from Cheryl Kleinman. More pics to come!

Check out the gorgeous, moody video from Kiss the Bride films here:

Molly & Mike’s Brunch from Kiss The Bride Films on Vimeo.