Ananya at the Palace


 Invitation designed by Ananya

Invitation designed by Ananya

We are delighted to announce that Ananya will be participating at the prestigious The Historic Royal Palaces Wedding Showcase on 21st November at Kensington Palace. The theme for the evening is ‘Our Canvas, Your Creation’.

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Over hundreds of years, Historic Royal Palaces have provided the backdrop to glittering banquets, fabulous celebrations and splendid royal occasions. Today, their unique event spaces across six palaces in London, Surrey and Northern Ireland offer the perfect canvas for luxury weddings. Pick your palace, be inspired and begin to create the perfect palace wedding.

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Ananya had the great pleasure of designing the save the date and the invitation for the HRP Wedding Showcase, inspired by the rich architecture and regal history of the palaces. The invitations were screen printed which is one of our favourite mediums of printing at Ananya. In screen printing, ink is pressed through a mesh screen using a rubber blade or ‘squeegee’ to move across it and fill the open ‘windows’ with ink. When the blade is reversed back across, the screen touches the paper (or media) that’s being printed on to create the design. This is done individually for each colour, which means that designs with multiple shades and intricate patterns require an exceptional level of technical skill. Though it can look quite "messy" behind the scenes, in fact printers and craftsmen pay very careful attention to accurate positioning without overlap or gaps, and the end effect is luxuriously artisanal. The multiple screen printing process also gives the invitations an engraved look, where the writing is raised to touch. To tie in with the ‘artistic’ feel of the event and ‘Our Canvas, Your Creation’ theme, we used golden brush strokes to elevate the design. The colours that were selected are the brand colours of the various Historic Royal Palaces.

At the event Vaishali, Founder and Creative Director of Ananya, will be showcasing a selection of her most popular and bespoke collections and will be unveiling her brand new Colour Infusion design, a bright and opulent suite perfect for the Spring/Summer 2019 wedding season. There will be examples of hand-finished wax sealing, hand-deckled edges, screen printed and engraved gold, and lots more ideas on how to elevate your wedding stationery with luxurious finishing touches. Her team will be there to answer any questions you may have, and her calligrapher will be embellishing personalised stationery samples for each of the guests to take home.

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Ananya offer a number of different print techniques, such as digital printing, offset printing, foiling, screen printing, and letterpress. Designs can cover the entire stationery suite, before, on, and after the wedding day, including save the dates, invitations, envelope linings, wax seals, calligraphy, orders of service, escort cards, seating plans, menus, place cards, table numbers, favour tags, monograms, and more. Vaishali and her team also love working on new creative projects, whether it’s for their couples or collaborations with other wedding professionals.

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Ananya translates to ‘without equal’ in the ancient language of Sanskrit, and it is this sentiment that forms the foundation on which the business is built, and with which every single collection is lovingly crafted and curated. We hope that you like these invitations as much as we enjoyed creating them.

 

5 NOT-OBVIOUS THINGS YOU NEED TO ASK YOUR WEDDING VENUE BEFORE BOOKING: PART TWO

Here we continue our tips and advice from Part 1 of Kelly Chandler Consulting’s guest blog.

This is Part 2 of the key areas and questions couples NEED to ask their venue or potential wedding venue before booking.

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4. Minimum Spend and Minimum Numbers   

Do ask about minimum guest  numbers you are required to pay for if  you decide on this venue or what  minimum spend  exists (minimum spend is sometimes used by restaurant type venues who  don’t  mind  how  many  guests or  your  choices but need you to  hit an overall amount  of revenue that  they  would  expect  to  earn  from  hiring  their  venue  exclusively  to  you  for  that  certain  date  and  time). Some  venues  charge  venue  hire  and  that  is  that  but  others  charge  a  venue  hire  based  on  a  minimum  number  of  guests  paying  X  for  catering,  so  be  sure  you  are  clear  on  what the  financial  investment  will  be  (including  VAT)  from  the  outset. It’s  all  very  normal  to  have  some  kind  of  minimum  as  at  the  end  of  the  day,  the  venue  knows  how  much  revenue  they  need  to  earn  to  maintain  their  building,  keep  it  running  and  in  great  condition,  provide  the  staff for  your  wedding  pre-planning  and  on  the  day  and  plenty  more.

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5. Corkage and Drinks Service Charge   

Sometimes  the  purchasing  of  wines  and  bar  drinks  through  the  venue  is  an  essential  part  of  your  wedding  booking  and  corkage  (so  that  you  can bring  in  your  own  choices)  can  be  seen  as  a  prohibitively expensive  option. On other  occasions  venues  are  happy  that  you  bring in  your  own  drinks  directly  or  via  your  caterer,  sometimes  charging  a  service  fee  for  things  like  refrigeration,  glassware,  removing  empties  etc – it  really  depends  on  how  that  venue  is  structured  in  terms  of  a  business;  there  is  no  right  or  wrong  but  just  ensure  that  if  you’re  wanting  to  manage  the  choice  of  drinks  entirely  (I  wouldn’t  recommend  it,  there’s  a  lot  to  sort  to  stock  a  full  bar)  that  you  have  a  venue  who  can  offer  it  or  that  the  corkage  fee  is  within  your  budget. So I hope your head  doesn’t  hurt  now  but  that  you  feel  empowered  to  ask  the  right  questions  to  ensure  the  venue  you’re  choosing  is  absolutely  spot-on for  you. The right venue should spell  out  a  lot  of  the  above  but  if  you’re  not  clear,  they  should  be  helpful  and  friendly  in  explaining  their  policies  to  you  and  why  (and  these things  should  be  in  their  proposal  or  T&Cs),  so  don’t  be  afraid  to  ask. And happy  planning,  with  the  perfect  venue  booked  and  secured,  you  can  enjoy  the  creative  process  and  all  the  gorgeous  wedding  details,  ideas  and  professionals  to  help  you  bring  your  glorious  day to life. 

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Thank you once again Kelly for enlightening us on the not-to-be-forgotten and not-so-obvious points we need to raise with a wedding venue before booking. We are sure that our Ananya readers will find these tips very helpful.

If you’re  an  established  or  start  up  wedding  venue  and  would  like to  know  more  about  working  with  Kelly  Chandler  Consulting  to  elevate your  offering  and  achieve  greater  success,  do  take  a  look  at  www.kellychandlerconsulting.co.uk or  call 01483  282858  for  details  of  their  consulting  and  training  programmes.  

If you are looking for stationery ideas, please have a look at our wedding collections.

Photo Credits:

Venue: Warmwell House, Dorset: https://www.warmwell-house.com

Photography: Imogen Xiana https://www.imogenxiana.com

Florals: https://www.marthaandthemeadow.com

Cakes: https://www.fanciebuns.co.uk

Bridal Accessories, Hair and Make up: http://www.victoriafergusson.co.uk

Model (bride): http://www.tanyalouisecumberland.com

Bridal gowns: http://www.naomineoh.com

Silk ribbons and silk runner: http://www.pompomblossom.com

Cross back chairs & wooden bar unit for cake/champagne station: http://dpmarquees.co.uk




  





5 not-obvious things you NEED to ask your wedding venue before booking: Part one

Finding  that  utterly  perfect  and  spot-on  location  to  host  your  wedding  celebration can  be  a  tough  job.  The  choice  is  limitless  and  if  you’re  not  tied  into  a  specific  geographical  area,  then  the  world  is  quite  literally  your  oyster  and  your  hunting ground! It should  be  a  fun  part  of  the  planning  and  once  you  have  found  and  secured  that  ideal  venue,  many  other  parts  of  planning  your  vision  do  click  into place. It is  the  biggest  part  of  the  planning  and  so  important  to  get  right,  so  Ananya is delighted to be  hearing  from  wedding  venue  consultant  (and  former  luxury  wedding  planner),  Kelly  Chandler of Kelly Chandler Consulting who  shares  her  tips  with  you  in an in-depth, two part blog, on  some  of  the  things  to  check  before  you  secure  your  venue  to  be  absolutely  sure  it’s  for  you;  there  is  no  right  or  wrong  to  some  of  these  suggestions  and  restrictions, and  some  will  be  fine  for  you,  others  not  -  the  aim  with  this  feature  is  purely  to  give  you  the  knowledge  to  ask  the  questions  of  the  things  that  are  hot  on  YOUR  priority  list.

 Kelly Chandler

Kelly Chandler

Part One

1. Exclusivity  and  Venue  Use

Warmwell House
Warmwell House, Dorset

A  great  many  wedding  venues  now  offer  exclusivity  or  some form  of  exclusive-use  such  that  you  are  the  only  wedding  on  that  day  in  that  venue.  This  can  however  mean  different  things  within  different  venues  so  don’t  be  afraid  to  ask  and  get  specific  on  things.  For  some  locations  exclusivity  can  mean  you  have  exclusive  use  of  a  certain  dedicated  banqueting  area  but  say  not  bedrooms,  for  other locations, it  can  be  full  exclusive  use  of  an  entire  home,  gardens  and  grounds,  for  others  it  can  be exclusive  use  between  certain  hours  and  not  others. Do  find out  when  your  exclusive  use  starts  and  ends  as  every  venue  should  have a  policy  on  this  and  sometimes  it’ll  be  for  the  day  from  early  start  and  sometimes  it’ll  include  an  overnight. Find  out  what  their  policy  is  on  other  events  and  other  clients  and  if  they  run  exclusive  use  events  back  to  back  (or  not);  don't  be  afraid  to  ask  about  supplier  access  too  -  in  some  cases  venues  will  allow  suppliers  to  gain  access  early  to  set  up  the  design,  in  others  it’s  a  strict  access  time  for  anything  to  do  with  your  wedding.

2. Recommended/Preferred and Approved  Supplier  List   

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Outdoor seating

Get  super  clear  on  a  venue’s  policy  with  working  with  suppliers  and  outside  wedding  professionals  and  see  that  it  works  for  you.  There  is  a  difference  between  a  recommended  or  preferred  supplier  list  where  the  venue  is  usually  giving  you  the  benefit  of  their  tried and  trusted  list  that  you  can,  but  are  not  obliged  to,  use  and  an  Approved  Supplier  List  which  is  usually  where  you  MUST  pick  from  that  list.  It’s  quite  customary  for  a  venue  to  have  an  Approved  list  you  must  use  in  the  areas  of  catering,  lighting  and  production  and  entertainment  and  marquee  build,  when  you  consider  these  are  the  areas  which  require  a  lot  of  equipment  and  run  the  greatest  degree  of  risk,  it’s  vital  that  venues  have  control  over  the  quality  and  professionalism  of  who  works  with  them  in  order  to  protect  their places  and  spaces  for  all  clients. Many  venues  will  be  more  than  happy  for  you  to  use  your  own  chosen  suppliers  in  many  areas  - do  ask  if  and  how  they  will  be  able  to  obtain  access  to  view  the  venue  in  advance  of  the  wedding  as  this  can  be  needed  in  the  case  of  for  example a  florist  who needs  to  see  a  new  space  before  coming  up  with  full  designs  for  you.  

3. Rules and Restrictions   

It’s  quite  usual  for  venues  to  have  some  rules  and  restrictions  around  the  following,  so  do  ask  away  to  see  what  your  venue  policy  is  and  if  this  works  for  you. Do  bear  in  mind  that  most  rules  are  there  to  protect  the  fabric  of  the  building  in  the  case  of  heritage  properties, to  ensure  guest safety  and  to  ensure  that  the  venue  can  continue  to  operate  in  the  case  of  noise  restrictions  - venue  operators  can  have  their  license  removed  if  noise  pollution  becomes  an  issue  so  understandably  they  need  to  enforce  some  restrictions  to  protect  against  this: Confetti  throwing - is  it  allowed? Sometimes  biodegradable/real  petal  variety  is  in  some  parts  of  the  venue,  but  often  not  on  gravel  or  on  floors that  may  stain. Naked  flames - many  venues  ban  candles  entirely  or  limit  the  use  of  free  standing  candelabra  and  naked  flames  not  in  safe  containers. Dark  drinks - in  some  heritage  buildings  red  wine  &  berry  based  drinks  are  forbidden  except  at  seated  dinners  because  of  the  spillage  and  staining  risk. Dancing - often  this  will  need  to  take  place  in  certain  parts  of  the  venue only  and  between  certain  hours - do  check  and  also  if  you  need  to  install  and  pay  for  a  dance floor. 

Seating

Fireworks - often  these  are  not  allowed  due  to  disruption  to  livestock  and  damage  to  grounds  but  some  venues  have  preferred  suppliers  who  can  work  on  their  property  if  you  have  your  heart  set  on  this  - do  ask. Sound  limiters - noise  pollution  is  one  of  the  biggest  risks  to  a  wedding  venue  not  being  able  to  continue  to  operate  so  owners  and  managers  take  this  seriously. Sometimes  they  are  required  to  install  an  actual  sound  limiter  within  the  property,  other  times  it’s  monitored  more subjectively  but  do  ask  what  sound  limits  exist  within  your  preferred  venue  and  what  entertainment  most  couples  choose. If  you  have  your  heart  set on a 10 piece  big  band  and  your  venue  has  a  fierce  sound  meter, this  is  unlikely  to  be  a  match;  most  venues  with  sound  limiters  tend  to  lean  towards  DJs  rather  than  live  bands, that said live bands can and do perform  within  the  limits of sound, it will be important to work with a professional band who takes  this seriously and prepares in advance in terms of their instruments and kit - it usually makes sense to work with the venue's preferred list in this case as the band/DJ will  have worked there before. 

Thank you Kelly for the insightful and informative first three points on booking a venue. We at Ananya love working with venues and are delighted to be a preferred wedding stationery supplier for some.

Part Two will follow shortly, so stay tuned.

Photo credits: 

Headshot photo of Kelly Chandler: http://www.annelimarinovich.com

Venue: Warmwell House, Dorset: https://www.warmwell-house.com

Photography: Imogen Xiana https://www.imogenxiana.com

Florals: https://www.marthaandthemeadow.com

Cakes: https://www.fanciebuns.co.uk

Bridal Accessories, Hair and Make up: http://www.victoriafergusson.co.uk

Model (bride): http://www.tanyalouisecumberland.com

Bridal gowns: http://www.naomineoh.com

Silk ribbons and silk runner: http://www.pompomblossom.com

Furniture - white chairs for ceremony: http://www.thewhitechaircompany.co.uk

Cross back chairs & wooden bar unit for cake/champagne station: http://dpmarquees.co.uk

Write here…

How to add details to your Stationery

Ananya translates to ‘without equal’ in the ancient language of Sanskrit, and it is this sentiment that forms the foundation on which the business is built, and with which every single collection is lovingly crafted and curated.

Here at Ananya we adore infusing our stationery with intricate and meaningful detail, whether it’s in the design, the textures, or the wording. A save the date or invitation for a wedding, party or milestone birthday is the very first impression that an event makes on its guests, and sets the scene for its style, feeling, and narrative. This can then be the undercurrent for the menu, place cards, seating plan, and so on – which can be done by matching, complementing, or even contrasting the elements within the suite. This might mean a recurring motif, a signature font, a custom monogram, or an overarching colour palette. Detailing like this can unify different room, sections, or goals of your event, as well as speaking a thousand words about your professionalism and aesthetic vision.

wax seal
 Photography by  Fiona Kelly Photography

We also love finding ways to hand finish each design, to really wow your guests with that experience of artisanal craftmanship. Some ideas could be hand embellishing cards with crystals and lace, tying hand-dyed silk ribbons, wax sealing and lining envelopes, hand tearing paper to add texture, illustrating with watercolours, colour dipping feathers or even exploring calligraphy on new mediums. In fact, we’ve seen a trend for looking beyond paper, and complementing stationery suites with beautiful objects that can be personalised and treasured as keepsakes even after the event has taken place. Last year alone we worked with paper, vellum, acrylic, feathers, stone, slate, wood, and wax, and we love experimenting with new ideas. We’ve also seen beautiful designs using agate, shells, leaves, tiles, glass, and many more. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box – if you can dream it, a stationer can probably create it!

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Destination Italian wedding_ananyacards.com
gold+splash+thank+you+cards

No detail is too small to be worthy of attention and beautiful design, and all together these details combine to create a brand that tells a cohesive story across all the touch points, guiding your guests as the event unfolds around them. How will you be adding details to your stationery? We would love to know.

The Art of Letter Writing Revived

Have you noticed recently that there’s a letter writing revival going on? Yes people, pen and ink and beautiful paper are enjoying a renaissance. At Ananya it’s definitely a revival that we are absolutely crushing on. Who doesn’t love receiving a beautifully written note on gorgeous paper? We’ll take that over a text message any day.

Writing the Perfect Letter

"Now that handwriting is a choice, not a chore, and there is a premium on the unique rather than the infinitely reproducible, people are beginning to discover, or rediscover, the thrill of pen and ink.’" -  Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times November 2014

When we say we love receiving a letter we do, of course, assume that the letter will be written on paper worthy of the effort involved in hand writing those precious words.

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For timeless elegance, think of heavyweight (at least 100 gsm) cream, ivory or white paper. Create something special with personalised monogrammed writing paper and envelopes. You just can’t go wrong. But, if you want colour, try envelopes lined with your favourite colour, or bold writing paper in contemporary colours. We love cobalt blue, hot cerise or deep emerald green; bright without running the risk of your recipient developing an instant migraine. If, like the team here at Ananya HQ, you’re a visual person, you might include a hand drawn artisan card as a lovely memento.

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Word Perfect

Finding the right words for a handwritten letter may seem like a gargantuan effort at first. And you’re right, it does take effort compared to a quickly fired off text or e-mail. When you write a handwritten letter what you’re actually saying is that you value the love and the friendship of the person that you’re writing to. You’ve taken the time to consider your words and you’ve taken pleasure in writing the letter. 

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Put Pen to Paper  

If you have barely picked up a pen since schooldays, using a ballpoint pen to write may come easier. At Ananya HQ we are big fans of fountain pens. Why? To write with a fountain pen is to experience a slower, more considered pace of life that has a frisson of romance associated with it. You can’t backspace or delete, so each and every word is considered and beautifully written.

And when it comes to receiving a handwritten notecard, what a joy it is to see something so special in the mailbox or on the mat by the front door. It’s akin to receiving a small exquisite gift, complete with the delicious anticipation of who it may be from. For our MD Vaishali, reading a handwritten letter or notecard from a friend or loved one is worthy of putting aside special time to read it. This isn’t the moment to read in a hurry, it’s time instead to find your favourite spot, sit back, relax and read.

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Whether you are a writer or a recipient, at Ananya we hope that you enjoy the art of letter writing. Please do let us know in the comments below.

 

Which Type of Wedding Stationery Will You Choose? An Essential Guide

So, it’s time to choose wedding stationery and all things gorgeous for your day! But, do you know your laser cut from your letterpress? No? Don’t worry, you aren’t expected to unless stationery and printing is your business! But, when it comes to your wedding, you want to be able to make the right choice. Read on for Ananya’s essential guide to wedding stationery types.

Letterpress

 Letterpress party invitation

Letterpress party invitation

Let’s start with Letterpress. It's the ‘Grand Dame’ of printing in that it’s one of the oldest stationery printing techniques in use. Essentially, letterpress is a ‘relief printing’ technique, in which the design is ‘raised’ on a metal plate. Using a printing press, an impression is made into the paper by pressing into it from one side. It’s usually done with ink but can also be without ink. If you run your hand across the finished print you can usually feel the indentations in the paper.

Letterpress printing is high in quality but is slower than other printing methods. For example, the printer has to place each letter of type into a special holder that they also have to place ‘mirror image’ to what the finished print will be.  In other words the type for the press has to be set left to right and upside down. Wow, that’s a lot of work!

Taking letterpress from assembly to proof and then to print is time consuming without a doubt. But, on the upside, it is lovely for a vintage style or traditional wedding. 

Screen printing

 Ananya''s 'Trio of Life' bespoke screen printed wedding stationery: parrot  Photography by  Fiona Kelly Photography

Ananya''s 'Trio of Life' bespoke screen printed wedding stationery: parrot

Photography by Fiona Kelly Photography

 Ananya's 'Trio of Life' screen printed bespoke wedding stationery: elephant  Photography by  Fiona Kelly Photography

Ananya's 'Trio of Life' screen printed bespoke wedding stationery: elephant

Photography by Fiona Kelly Photography

Screen printing is one of our favourite mediums of printing at Ananya. We love it! Many of our favourite designs, especially using metallics such as gold or silver, use the screen printing technique, including Mandala Love and Trio of Life.

In screen printing, ink is pressed through a mesh screen using a rubber blade or ‘squeegee’ to move across it and fill the open ‘windows’ with ink. When the blade is reversed back across, the screen touches the paper (or media) that’s being printed on to create your design.

 Ananya's 'Mandala Love' screen printed wedding stationery

Ananya's 'Mandala Love' screen printed wedding stationery

For Mandala Love, the screen printing for the delicate hand printed mandala motif required an exceptional level of technical skill. Ananya’s craftsmen had to print each piece four times no less; a single colour printed each time. Deep blue and gold are the feature colours of this design, with the deep blue printed first, followed by the gold elements of the mandala. Yellow was applied after that and finally cyan. Accurate positioning without overlap or gaps was critical to ensuring that each element of this intricate design printed perfectly. The design really pops with its vibrant colours and juxtaposition of matt and metallic elements. Only hand printed silk screen in our opinion at least gives that level of covetable artisanal quality.   

Offset printing

 Offset/Litho printed wedding invitation

Offset/Litho printed wedding invitation

In comparison to letterpress printing, offset printing is a more indirect print technique. It’s popular for big volume production, and is also known as ‘flat printing’ or ‘litho printing’. Offset, by the way, is just another way of saying ‘transferred’. So, essentially, images on metal plates are ‘offset’ to rollers (or rubber blankets). Once that’s done, the image is printed onto the paper or print media that you've chosen. The metal plates and paper (or other media) don’t come directly into contact with each other during the process.

Digital printing

 Digital printed floral wedding stationery

Digital printed floral wedding stationery

Modern, fast and accurate, digital printing is almost the polar opposite of letterpress! Digital printing uses tiny dots (a lot of them of course!) to create text and images. Digital printing is good for smaller quantities and is cost effective. What are the disadvantages? It’s likely that there'll be limits to the type of paper that you can use. This technique tends to suit thinner paper styles and quality can be variable dependant on the printer. Digital printing is also not suitable for accurately printing metallics – for example, you will not get a shiny bright gold or silver but instead a duller brown gold or grey silver.

Laser cut

 Laser cut wedding stationery

Laser cut wedding stationery

When it comes to Laser cutting it’s a whole different world of precision and design. Creating and cutting out paper into different shapes isn’t new of course. In China they create ‘Jianzhi’, intricate symmetrical designs created with knives and scissors. And who hasn’t created their very own ‘origami garland’ as a child? Laser cutting definitely moves those hand created designs on a few millennia! Fast and accurate, laser cutting enables the production of intricate designs on an industrial scale.

How is laser cutting done? It’s a non-contact process utilising a laser to cut the material i.e. paper. Directing the laser beam through a nozzle to the media or material, a combination of heat and pressure creates the cutting action. Laser cutting is popular for the modern and vintage bride. It's good for delicate lace designs and works well with 3D designs such as cityscapes or representations of your wedding venue.  

Embossing and Debossing

 Embossed notecard envelope

Embossed notecard envelope

Embossing produces a raised textured image or text. But, unlike letterpress, it uses two engraved metal moulds to create your chosen design. The moulds used are often copper or brass, designed to fit into each other. During printing, the raised mould forces the paper into the recessed mould and creates the embossed impression of your design, as you can see on our envelopes for our notecards and personal stationery.

Debossing creates an indent in the paper rather than a raised design. Both of these techniques work well with a personal monogram design. Another of Ananya’s favourites! 

Engraving

 Engraved monogram wedding invitation

Engraved monogram wedding invitation

 Engraved personal stationery

Engraved personal stationery

And finally, we must mention engraving. It’s perhaps the most formal and classic of the printing styles for wedding stationery. It’s also one of the most expensive! During engraving an etched metal plate is used to create the design. When pressed into the back of the paper it creates raised lettering on the front which you can feel and leaves a slight indent on the back. The printer will apply ink to the raised lettering afterwards. Impressive to receive, we love luxurious engraved stationery at Ananya.

Which type do you think you are? Whatever you choose, Ananya would love to help you design your perfect wedding stationery. Say hello at info@ananyacards.com  and let’s talk!  

Vaishali x

Countdown to Christmas: The Definitive Stationery Guide for Christmas & the Winter Season

Yes, we know we’ve only just got passed Halloween and all that. But, that also means that the party season is upon us, as is Christmas. Whatever winter wonderland you may visit, or Christmas cocktail parties you may throw, you need to start planning now. Here at Ananya HQ we have inspiring invites, elegant stationery, festive fun and more. Read on for our definitively divine survival guide for the winter season…

Your first party invite for Christmas has dropped through the letter box. What next? 

First of all, celebrate the fact that you’ve got great friends who take the time to send you a proper invite! Now, if they’re really on the ball, your host will have included an RSVP card with the invite. No? Don’t worry. Just send them an RSVP card of your own. A handwritten note to accept or decline will do just fine. It’s extra special when written on beautiful quality writing paper. Want to push the boat out a little? Invest in bespoke RSVP cards that you can use for any occasion.

You’re throwing a winter cocktail party for friends and colleagues:

For a perfect start to your celebrations, how about a bespoke cocktail party invite? Great Gatsby themes are always popular for cocktail parties.

Gatsby Glamour_cocktail_ananyacards.com stationery.jpg

Or, if you want something less ‘shiny’, how about a more restrained 30’s theme in cool tones of cream and black? 

At Ananya HQ we love colour! Our favourite for something a little different is a rich deep red for ‘a night to remember’...

You’re a guest at a formal dinner party and want to be remembered for all the right reasons:

It’s easy these days to swap details over smartphones. But, how about investing in a personal card? We’re not talking your corporate business card here, but something altogether more elegant. Reminiscent of a more refined age, a simple embossed card says everything. With just your name and contact details, express your personality through font and colour.

You’re going to treat yourself to the perfect gift from you to you. What will it be? 

Start a trend amongst friends to use ink rather than e-mail! Indulge in a fine set of monogrammed, personalised stationery. Choose from fine paper and simple envelopes. Or maybe opt for personal notecards and envelopes lined in your favourite colour.

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Maybe you want to channel your inner artist?

Our Colour Me range of cards to 'colour in' is just perfect. Ranging from hello to thank you, they’re light-hearted and fun.

And what do we think at Ananya HQ are the colours for the Christmas season?

Whilst the classic elements of gold, silver and white remain, its natural elements that dominate this season, whether it's a winter wedding invitation or party invite. With earthy organic colours and textures, think deep green, sage and plum. Highlights come from accents of copper bound together with organic textures. Think of the warmth of wool, wood and velvet.

Winter Wedding invitation_ananyacards.com.jpg

Feeling inspired? Let’s create something special. Contact us today on +44 (0)20 7242 1877 or info@ananyacards.com to discuss your design ideas. Winter and Christmas never looked so good!

Until next time,

Vaishali x

 

 

Wedding Stationery Trends for 2017

These are the 2017 trends Ananya has seen dominating and inspiring the wedding stationery scene. 

Tribal Roots

Pattern is the key here, in abstract shapes and distinct, geometric designs. Choose a tribe that most fascinates you; an Aztec tribe with patterns incorporating lots of squares, diamonds, chevrons and zigzags in bold, vivid colours; an African tribe with a safari theme with a black and white arrow pattern, or an Indian tribal paisley henna pattern – animal lovers can have an elephant or tiger in the background.

Blue and gold tribal wedding invitation_ananyacards.com

Captivating Crystals

Geodes of various colours and shapes, and crystals and rock formations have stolen the limelight in 2017. Slices of agate with their beautiful and distinct patterns come in both vibrant and soft colours. Designs of geodes and crystals with their rich texture can be incorporated into stationery such as place cards, table numbers and even envelope liners. Invitations can showcase the angles and facets of crystals in soft and plush water colour, while the unique layers of agate slices can be accented by outlining them in gold, silver or copper.

Pink and black geodes wedding invitation_ananyacards.com

Maximalist Fiesta

In contrast to the minimalist, ‘less is more’ more concept, the ever growing maximalist trend of ‘the more the better’ has  continued to gain traction in 2017. This trend is about flamboyance, freestyle designs and wild abandon. It’s about drama - bold, unusual colour combinations of contrasting and clashing patterns. Intricate and ornate designs are built up in layers; different styles and eras are juxtaposed. The maximalist style can be a real feast for the eyes.

Colourful geometric wedding invitation_ananyacards.com

Brushed Metallic

With streaks for a brushed on feel, and a texture that glows with a soft shimmer of silk, the brushed metallic look is all about understated opulence. Gold and silver combined with white will add a touch of classic elegance, and copper combined with blush will give it a soft romantic and warm glow to the stationery. Whatever combination you choose; it is sure to be a winner.

Watercolours

Watercolours are very versatile as they work well with both a soft, muted and romantic colour scheme as well as a bold and vibrant one. Dipped or ombré, watercolours can be used as a background but can also be used to great effect in floral designs.

Blue watercolour wedding invitation_ananyacards.com

Cacti and Succulents

Whether it’s a saguaro cactus or a desert cactus, succulents and cacti of every shape and size seem to have captured our imagination and become a trend that has truly flowered in 2017. They come in various shades of green, and can make a lovely backdrop to the wedding invitation. Big or small, with their bold and bright flowers, they add life to your stationery and bring the outdoors to your wedding theme.

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Greenery – Pantone Colour of the Year 2017

In response to the stressful and challenging world we find ourselves in, Pantone proposes an antidote, a haven of calm, reassurance and revitalisation as represented by Greenery, its colour of the year 2017. Nature is that anchor, with its vitality and optimism in spring when it bursts forth in all its glory. Its lushness and beauty in summer allow us to re-connect with our sense of well-being, to re-charge our batteries. A fresh, yellow-green shade, Greenery is well suited to spring and summer weddings, whether the setting is outdoors or indoors. As a colour symbolic of balance, harmony and renewal, we at Ananya think it is a great colour for weddings and will combine well with many other colours.  

Brides-to-be, these trends give you a wide range of choices to select the colour scheme that perfectly suits your style preference for your wedding stationery. Please share with us which of the trends have you found most exciting and appealing.  

Pantone greenery wedding invitation_ananyacards.com

10 Tips for a Successful City Wedding

When it comes to planning a successful city wedding, you’re almost overwhelmed with choice. So, good planning and ‘insider information’ is essential for your dream day. London or Paris, Manchester or Milan, you can have a fabulous city wedding.

1.              The Venue

First up, you need somewhere to hold the ceremony and have a great party afterwards. We spoke to Lisa of Carmela Weddings for her take on city weddings. She has oodles of experience and 'insider knowledge'. Says Lisa, “when you're on the hunt for a great city wedding venue, we recommend thinking beyond the standard registry office. Albeit, there are a couple of standout registry offices too! The swift popularity of urban weddings has created amazing choices for stylish wedding couples. There are now warehouses, rooftops and railway arches that are ready to work with you to create a fantastic unique wedding”.

We couldn’t agree more! But as Lisa also mentions, if your style isn't 'industrial', take a look at boutique hotels. In London try Town Hall Hotel. It’s vibrant and gorgeous. Whilst in Manchester for example there’s Great St John Street hotel. In the heart of the city, it’s small but perfectly formed. Wherever you are, there’s bound to be a gorgeous boutique style hotel. 

We couldn’t resist asking Lisa if she has a favourite city venue. Says Lisa "I have so many favourites, but there is a new city wedding venue that has recently caught my eye. It’s God’s Own Junkyard, which is what it says on the tin! It’s a warehouse full of neon scrap, which sounds odd but is the epitome of city wedding cool!”

2.              Venue Style

Do you want sophisticated style, urban chic or urban boho? Or do you hanker after old style glamour and a grand affair?

Lisa at Carmela Weddings recommends a bold approach if you favour an industrial setting. Bring on the eclectic tables, the chairs that you love and a statement bar! It'll certainly give you that edgy city style look. Fantastic!

It’s essential to also think about lighting. Lisa says “Festoons and Edison Bulbs look amazing draped down from open warehouse ceilings". The exposed pipes and brick walls (crumbling or otherwise) are a great backdrop. And if you’re going for old style glamour, Art Deco style is perfect in a city setting.  You only need look as far as The Savoy in London for inspiration! 

3.              A city wedding: Getting from ‘A to B’

When choosing a city venue, don’t forget to think about your guests and how they will get there. Of course, one of the great reasons to have a city wedding is the ease of public transport. But, that public transport may not necessarily suit your guests. None of us at Ananya would want to hack through the city on a public bus in 'wedding finery'!

It’s a real help to guests if they know the best route and transport options available. Be sure to include buses, tube stations, cab services and even chauffeur services. You might even consider whether you put on transport for everyone.

As for your own transport, ring the changes with something like a motorbike and side car. Granted that this type of transport works better with a short bridal dress or trousers! Are you more traditional? Go for a black cab (or a yellow cab if it’s New York). 

4.              Choosing Stationery for a city wedding

copper monogram stationery_ananyacards.com.jpg
metallic copper monogram table number_ananyacards.com.jpg
 Photos by  Amanda Karen Photography  Stationery by  Ananya

Photos by Amanda Karen Photography Stationery by Ananya

When choosing stationery for a city wedding, let the city provide inspiration! Think geometric shapes, metallic elements and bold statement designs that are simple yet striking. For the font, how about something Art Deco style? It’s perfect for settings like The Savoy in London. And, Art Deco can look just as fantastic in an industrial warehouse. Ananya's bold copper and geometric design is beautiful and was recently featured on B.Loved. Want things a little less structured? Try a handwritten font in bold ink and a watercolour design

5.              Aisle style: The Dress and The Suit

For a city wedding it's time to embrace your 'inner fashionista'. We love the opulent and glamorous gowns at The State of Grace . But, if you want something completely different why not work the Bianca Jagger vibe? At Ananya we love designer Caroline Herrera’s trouser suit for spring 2018.

And for the groom, it’s time to look city sharp. Try fabulous groom style at Cad and the Dandy.

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6.              Fabulous Flowers

Whatever the setting, it's important that the flowers aren’t 'lost' in or overpower the room. Think perspective. For example if you’re using country flowers in an industrial setting, show them off as big and bold lavender plants in large terracotta urns. At Ananya we love the idea of masses of peonies. They’re a favourite of every urbanite on our team!

7.              Photography

When it comes to city weddings think iconic architecture, light, and urban life. Don’t be afraid to get ‘graffiti’ couple shots. Or, if you want something more sedate, talk a walk through the city streets – you won’t believe how many people will cheer and clap their congratulations. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, stop by a coffee bar and let the photographer work their magic whilst you take a break.

8.              Food for thought

Think catering that reflects the venue you’re in and your personal preferences. For example, a cocktail party at a riverside location is stylish and contemporary. And don’t forget the cake!  Source a local supplier nearby who can bring your ideas to life. In London we love Cakes by Krishanthi and Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium

9.              Let’s Drink

 Photo by   Fiona Kelly Photography  Stationery by  Ananya

Photo by  Fiona Kelly Photography Stationery by Ananya

Drinks are the fun thing to organise for you and your guests. Simplicity is champagne and a selection of wines. But, for real style, offer a range of city cool cocktails, alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

10.              And one last tip for a successful city wedding…

Let the city you’ve chosen to get married in inspire you!

 Stationery by  Ananya

Stationery by Ananya

Stationery by Ananya | Flowers by Ladybird Flowers | Cakes and cookies by Elizabeth's Cake Emporium

 

Choosing a Stationery Theme for your Event

Whether your event is a summer cocktail party, an anniversary or a grand wedding, choosing a stationery theme is meant to be fun and exciting. But as with most things, good planning is essential to getting the look and feel of your event right.

So, here are Ananya’s top tips for choosing the right theme for your event.

What’s the occasion?

Seems obvious but the type of event that you’re having and how you structure or design that event will have a big influence on choosing a stationery theme. The key is to know how formal the occasion will be. It will guide you with the structure of the design, typography, font and words.

 At Ananya we design stationery for all sorts of occasions, so here are a few of our ideas for different events:

Formal black tie event

We love to see stationery for formal events designed on crisp heavyweight paper, using classic colours and typography. It gives ‘gravitas’ and immediately let’s people know that this is a ‘grand event’. A great example is from Julie and Zak's wedding in Jersey.

Garden party

A garden party immediately conjures up summer days, green lawns and English flowers. At Ananya we have a range of floral stationery designs that embrace tea roses, cornflowers and everything in between!

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Teenager birthday celebration/coming of age

In many cultures, this is a serious event. For example, a 1st birthday in Asian cultures or a bar mitzvah/bat mitzvah in Jewish cultures. But it’s definitely a time for celebration and lots of fun. Invitations that are light hearted and embrace the jubilant nature of the party are a great idea. Think bold designs that embrace fun.

Intimate elopement (and ‘after party’)

I guess you might be asking yourself why an elopement needs stationery. Good question! Well, there is still the matter of witnesses and maybe you want to invite them to run away too? And when you come home to face the music you might just want to appease everyone by throwing a grand party to celebrate. Wouldn’t you agree?

Pearl anniversary

A pearl anniversary is perhaps less well known than silver, ruby or golden. But, at Ananya we love anything to do with pearls! We think it’s the perfect opportunity to embrace the precious pearl in your designs.

Who’s invited?

How many people you invite will influence cost and thus your theme, to a certain extent. The age range of your guests can also influence your choice of theme. An invite to a party to celebrate a child’s 1st birthday will be quite different to an invite to an elopement ‘after party’. Or at least you would like to hope so!

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 Photgraph by Holly Clark Photography

Photgraph by Holly Clark Photography

Colour me impressed…

Is there a colour or cultural theme to the day? For example, is it a golden wedding anniversary or a multicultural wedding? With Indian, Asian or multicultural weddings there may be restrictions on certain colours due to cultural requirements. For more information on this aspect take a look at Ananya’s article on Multicultural Wedding Stationery. http://secretweddingblog.com/multicultural-wedding-stationery-by-ananya-cards/

Most importantly, what’s your personal style? Are you flamboyant and colourful or more reserved but with a love of colour.  How will that influence your theme choice? Maybe you are more comfortable with a simple monochrome palette?

What do you need to include?

For a wedding you may need the whole range of stationery. This will likely include invites, RSVP cards, thank you cards, and an order of service, menu, place cards and seating plans; whereas for an informal garden party you may just want to limit things to an invite, RSVP, menu and place cards.

All this will influence your choice of stationery theme.

And finally:

Where will your design inspiration come from?

Is your event in an iconic space or building? Do you want design inspiration to come from your life and the key events that have brought you to where you are now? Or maybe you want it to reflect who you are, where you’re from and where you want to be. When Ananya celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2016 we celebrated with diamonds! After all a 10th anniversary is something to really celebrate and diamonds are still a girl’s best friend, we’ll have you know!

We hope that you have fun choosing your theme and have a great celebration!

Love what you see on Ananya? Drop the team a line at info@ananyacards.com  and let’s talk about the design vision that you have for your event!

Vaishali x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trend Alert: The Monogram

The monogram it seems is the personal ‘logo’ of the moment. From handbags to shirt cuffs and shoes, and pretty much anything else, the monogram is ‘on trend’. Want to know more? Read on for our delightful details of how to embrace this discerning trend.

Monogram: The Art of a Personal Marque

Never had a monogram? Not sure what it is or what all the fuss is about? Or maybe like us, when you first think of a monogram you connect it with the ‘old world’? Or, in a contemporary setting as something that’s reserved for upmarket hotel towels. Where once a monogram would have adorned a ‘seal’ or signet ring in a contemporary world, a monogram is your personal marque. It’s your way of defining who you are and a way of standing out from the ‘digital crowd’.

Be big and bold or delicate and discreet, monograms are definitely having their moment. Not convinced? Well, take your cue from fashion trends.  How cool is Rae Feather’s monogrammed frayed Panama hat? Or maybe the stylish Monogram Stripe Fray Denim Slide is more your thing? It’s a personalised look from head to toe (but we would recommend that you don’t overdo it!).

When you choose to have a monogram, you’re making a bold personal statement. And, many of our clients at Ananya choose a monogram to mark a life event. Our monogrammed wedding stationery is a beautiful example of that. And, as with everything in this mad, wonderful world, we do get unusual requests from time to time. Intrigued? Well, just between you and us, it's a secret! After all, we do value our client’s confidentiality. 

Whatever the reason for a monogram, there's a plethora of design options to choose from. So, although initials or a family crest are popular, you can always choose a less formal design. It might be a favourite flower or discreet monogram of a favourite pet. How gorgeous would a tiny dog or a blousy rose look, embroidered onto a shirt cuff? Whatever design you choose, it can represent your entire lifestyle.

Here at Ananya HQ we’ve come up with a list of our favourite ways to apply a monogram:

Social stationery: every smart home should have a social stationery ‘wardrobe’. Naturally, it includes monogrammed writing paper and note cards. For social occasions, the fashion forward amongst us might swap their business card for a monogrammed calling card.  

Bath linen and robes: head for the beach with a stripy monogrammed beach towel. Come home to relax in a monogrammed bath robe. How indulgent!

Monogrammed luggage: this is the ultimate luxury, redolent of a golden age. We can almost imagine ourselves boarding the Queen Mary, bound for New York. Heading for the First Class lounge at Heathrow will just have to do.

Win a Custom-Designed Monogram from Ananya

We’re nothing if not generous here at Ananya, and we’d love for you to have your own monogram. So, we’re delighted to offer you the opportunity to win a custom-designed monogram. Created by our talented design team, it's worth £200. And, your monogram comes complete with digital artwork! Fabulous, don’t you think?

All you have to do to enter is like this blog and share it across your own social media space, using the social share icons. We will choose a winner at random on 31 August. We will announce the winner on Facebook and Instagram.

Our founder Vaishali Shah says: “In a world where everything seems defined by passwords, having a monogram is something that’s reassuringly personal and unique to you". 

We hope that you enjoyed this little foray into the world of monograms. Good luck with entering the competition!

How to Incorporate Watercolours into a Spring/Summer Wedding

Thoughts of a spring or summer wedding immediately conjure up dreamy scenes...........

Pretty spring colours are illuminated against a blue sky, enhanced by a fluffy white cloud or two. People drink pink champagne or sip summer cocktails on a terrace with a fantastic view. It’s a sense of warmth and joy that envelopes you. Even if the reality sometimes doesn’t match the dream!

What better way to evoke the sense of summer than with a beautiful watercolour theme for your wedding day. ‘Watercolours’ are pigments suspended in a water based solution, an ancient form of art that has existed for centuries. By their nature they are translucent, beautiful and luminous.  

So what do you need to think about when considering watercolours for your wedding?

First of all embrace the colours of nature! Think palettes of bold yellow, blue and lilac. Or, pretty colourwashes of the palest green, blue or pink. Watercolours create a celebration that feels like an endless summer, whatever the weather.

And, of course, this palette of colours evokes the Pantone Colour of the Year 2017, Greenery. Here’s what Pantone say about Greenery:

'Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew......Greenery is nature’s neutral.'

So, without further ado here are our tips on how to have the perfect watercolour wedding.

Which weddings works best with a watercolour theme?

Pretty country, coastal or riverside weddings spring to mind. They’re chic, but with a bohemian edge. But, if you want watercolours for your wedding then have them, they are utterly gorgeous!

Watercolour Wedding Stationery

At Ananya we have designed a range of beautiful watercolour stationery for weddings. It's big on pretty and your guests will covet it, right from the moment they receive their save the date card.  

We love the design of bright green cacti against a yellow background for Aryan and Shivani. It's definitely fun! But perhaps you want something more romantic for your day? How about the turquoise colourwash that we designed for Richard and Julie? Oh, and we can’t forget our personal favourite. Fall in love with pretty poppies and lilacs painted against a simple white background. 

Do take a look at our collection; we know that you’ll love it as much as we do!

Watercolour Wedding Flowers

We see watercolour weddings as having delicate flower arrangements and simple bouquets.  You don't need big bold statement flowers! Think instead about the flowers that represent spring and summer. Freesias, blowsy roses, poppies and lilac are perfect. And maybe even use a few pretty daisies. Bring it all together with simple greenery such as rosemary or eucalyptus.

Watercolour Wedding Table Settings

When it comes to table settings, a beautifully presented table is an absolute must. For a watercolour theme wedding it's about simple and pretty. We imagine a table that nestles in its surroundings, perhaps even 'al fresco'! (Not for the faint hearted in the UK!).

Simple white or cream pretty china is a perfect backdrop for watercolours. The only embellishment perhaps is from ‘lace’ or ‘ribbon’ edge decoration. 

Glassware is simple but colours such as blush pink work well, whilst cutlery is simple silver or a soft gold. All are beautiful elements that work with the colours of nature. And of course even more so when lit up in the evening by soft candlelight.

Love the idea of a watercolour theme for your wedding? At Ananya we love to work with couples who want something special and personal. Do give us a call today on +44 (0)20 7242 1877 or e-mail us on info@ananyacards.com

 

 

 

 

 

Launching the latest addition to our wedding range: The Mandala Love Collection

Ananya's alluring Mandala Love range featuring an eye-catching combination of intricate detail and rich, vibrant colours creates spectacular stationery to wow your wedding guests.

blue and gold mandala inspired wedding stationery

The word mandala literally means circle in the ancient Indian scripture, Sanskrit. It is a symbol of the universe derived from ancient Hindu and Buddhist culture. Mandalas represent harmony, peace and union, which is why they are perfectly suited to weddings - a joyful occasion when the ultimate union is formed.

The mandala pattern can be found in the natural world around us ­– in snowflakes, dandelions and sunflowers, spiders’ webs and the solar system itself; incorporating this iconic motif into your wedding day stationery, is a way of connecting with nature. The mandala motif is also found in Western architecture – most predominantly in stained glass windows.

The Mandala Love collection is at the forefront with the growing design trend for statement, geometric patterns. It bridges the gap between the old and the new, thereby appealing to both traditional and modern weddings. Whether you are a multicultural couple with a love for Asian design or you simply want a wedding invite that exudes charisma, the Mandala Love collection is the one for you.

pink gold lime mandala inspired wedding stationery suite

The stunning design in blue is hand printed using a silk screen, which is a process of great technical precision. Ananya’s skilled craftsmen print each emblem four times, layering the colours as they go. The mandalas must be perfectly aligned to prevent any overlap or gaps and keep a clean, crisp edge. By using silk screen printing, the Ananya team can ensure the work they produce is of optimum vibrancy – creating incredible stationery with prints that pop from the paper. The bold colours not only provide the promise of summer, but also the promise of a fun-filled, lively wedding day.

mint green save the date mandala inspired wedding stationery

Have you noticed any mandala patterns in nature? Which design from the collection is your favourite?