YOU'RE ENGAGED: WHAT TO DO NEXT (The Stationery Edit)

This wonderful new chapter has started, and it might feel like there’s something to learn about wedding planning everywhere you look! The most important ‘to do’ on your list as a newly engaged couple is to enjoy it, and to take your time making decisions as and when you’re ready to.

For those looking to turn their attention to stationery, here are some wedding stationery tips from us here at Ananya:

Start researching any stationers whose style you love! Have a look at Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram (highly recommend following the hashtag #dailydoseofpaper) – but also walk around craft markets or wedding fairs near you to discover some local indie suppliers and artisans you might never have come across otherwise.

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Consider whether you might like to send out an engagement announcement, perhaps a bespoke card showing one of your favourite photos from the proposal day – or an engagement shoot you’ve done. Here at Ananya we love creating personalised engagement cards and invites to engagement parties, which are definitely becoming more popular.

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Once you know the date of the wedding, you can start sending out save the date cards – best to give more notice if you're getting married in the summer or at Christmas, or if you’re planning a destination wedding. Remember that at this stage you can give as much or as little information as you like: the key is to share date and location, and of course if you already know it will be a certain type of celebration (for example, multiple-day if a multicultural wedding or Asian wedding) that’s something you can let guests know now.

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When you’re ready, you can send pretty Will You Be My Bridesmaid cards to ask your best girlfriends if they'll share in the celebrations with you. They'll need to put the date in their diaries! These cards can make beautiful keepsakes, and paired with a heartfelt, personalised gift.

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Don’t set anything in stone about the design of the stationery suite until you know more about the decor, the style, and the colour palette of the wedding. Your stationer will be able to echo these features in order to give your guests a first taste of the event, and tie everything together into a unified aesthetic narrative.

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Do start thinking about how you would like the invite to feel – do you resonate more with wax seals and ribbons, or something minimalist and sleek? Both options can be deeply personal and luxurious, and your stationer can help you design everything in between. Consider also whether you’d like the wording to be formal or more colloquial, and whether you’d like your parents’ names to appear there too, for example. Most of our couples send invites out somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks before the wedding date, depending where and when the wedding is, what their guest list is like, and whether they want to have time to send out additional invites after having received back some of the RSVPs.

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This is a stationery-centric perspective, and of course you’ll have the joy of bringing together the rest of your wedding supplier team in this time too! You can always ask your suppliers for ideas and recommendations. We are proud to create award-winning wedding stationery here at Ananya and we love giving our couples stationery guidance and advice during their wedding planning journey.

For any questions about your exclusive wedding stationery, whether you are having a UK wedding or are looking for destination wedding stationery, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

 

 

 

 

WEDDING STATIONERY TIMINGS: A USEFUL GUIDE

The questions we receive most often at Ananya from our couples typically revolve around timing of their wedding stationery, and the stages of the design process. Of course, there’s no right or wrong, and the details will depend upon what makes the most sense for the kind of event you’re hosting – but we thought it might be useful to provide you with an overview of recommended timescales.

As soon as you’re engaged

Photography:  by Lumiere

Photography: by Lumiere

Start researching any stationers whose style you love – it’s never too early to reach out to them to let them know you would like to work with them, so they can start scheduling you in and give you plenty of time to work with you, especially if you would like bespoke wedding stationery. Many couples like to send out an engagement announcement, maybe with a lovely photo of the proposal!

As soon as you know the date and venue

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You can place your save the date order at this stage – and you can give as much or as little information as you like. Date and location are key, but of course if you already know it will be a certain type of celebration (for example, multiple days), that’s something you can let guests know now.

6-12 months before the wedding

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This is a typical timescale for sending out save the dates, but of course this will depend on your guest list and venue. If you are planning a destination wedding, giving your guests more notice is advisable, so they can make holiday plans as needed.

6 months before the wedding

Photography:  by Lumiere

Photography: by Lumiere

Start discussing your invitation design with your stationer, particularly if you’re looking for something bespoke or that requires more specialist printing techniques and finishing touches, such as wax seals or calligraphy. Having an idea of your style of décor, dress, colour palette, and flowers, is a great help when deciding on your stationery suite, as it can be a lovely way of setting the tone. Do ask for samples and physical mock-ups when you can, as holding the paper in your hand is very different to seeing it on a screen! When placing the final order, it’s always a good idea to order extra (at Ananya, we advise 10%) to account for last-minute invites, personal keepsakes, and any mistakes during addressing and assembly.

2-4 months before the wedding

Start discussing your on-the-day reception stationery, like menus, table numbers, orders of service, signage, place cards, and so on. You won’t be able to place the order until you have the final guest list and menu, but this is a good time to brainstorm the design.

2-3 months before the wedding

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This is a typical timescale for posting invitations out, but again, this will depend on what is right for you. If your guest list is large, and you’re thinking of doing ‘waves’ (that is, waiting for some RSVPs to come in before inviting another group) then do try to give yourself a little bit more breathing room.

1 month before the wedding

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Typically, your RSVPs would be due by this point, which means you should have a final list of who is attending and their dietary requirements (which means menus can be confirmed, too). You should also have a good idea of what your ceremony structure will be at this stage. This information should be passed on to your stationer as soon as you have it, so they can finalise the on-the-day stationery order. Many couples also order their thank you cards at the same time, so they have them ready for when gifts start arriving, or for when they return from honeymoon.

2 weeks before the wedding

Photography by:  John Nassari

Photography by: John Nassari

One of the elements of the on-the-day that is ordered latest is the seating plan, as this can often be amended quite last minute!

1-3 months after the wedding

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Couples often like to send their guests a thank you card within a few months of the wedding, thanking them for their attendance and gifts. Including your favourite photo of the day, or any you’ve received from your photographer at this stage, can be a lovely touch.

We hope this guideline has been helpful in making you better informed about wedding stationery timings. If you have any questions or require further clarification, please get in touch; we would be delighted to assist.

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ananya Reveals Wedding Stationery Trend Predictions for 2016

Set the scene for your special day with wedding stationery that is bang on trend. No matter your style preference, Ananya ensures there is a colour and style that is perfect for every couple. 

Meadow Botanicals

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Nature continues to be popular, but in 2016, it is all about wild flowers, meadows and the countryside. Floral themes have moved away from a uniformed style and take on a wilder and organic approach.

We will also see these floral themes combined with blurred water colour effects and bleached out petals. There’s something very gentle about soft focused imagery which works well with flowers in both bold colours or delicate hues. Just perfect for wedding stationery.

This theme is particularly effective with intricate illustrations and hand sketched imagery.The final result can resemble delicate filigree or a more rustic and raw finish.

As you would expect, shades of green will be popular when it comes to botanical themes. Green is a colour of nature, ecology, harmony, peace, growth, new life, and positive energy. In most western cultures green denotes luck. Green in wedding stationery can create a calming and restful mood with enough warmth to encourage a feeling of unity and togetherness among the guests.

Pink also works really well with green. Typically, pink represents universal love, romance, friendship, harmony and compassion. Pale pink emulates a gentle and loving vibe, while hot pink is bursting with energy and radiates more passion.

This trend would lend itself well to outdoor, rustic types of weddings. Imagine barns, gardens weddings and venues heavily inspired by nature.

Botanical theme in green; calming, fresh, new beginnings

Botanical theme in green; calming, fresh, new beginnings

Something Blue

In 2016 blue will be a increasingly favoured colour, and in particular, indigo. Indigo is a combination of deep blue and violet. It is said to represent dependability, trustworthiness and sincerity, and therefore makes an ideal colour for weddings and wedding stationery. Generally speaking, indigo is a cool and calming colour. In the chakra system (energy centres in the body), indigo represents the third eye for intuition and creativity.

Indigo is suitable for both men and women and is highly adaptable to one’s style preference to give interesting colour combinations and palettes.

  • Indigo and metallic silver or antique gold adds an extra sophistication and glamour.

  • Combine with white, yellow or green to create a fresh, crisp look.

  • Turquoise and grey work well with indigo and can brighten or mute your stationery.

  • Indigo and dark red are also a great combination; add sunshine yellow for those summer weddings.

  • Indigo and pink (pale or hot) create an energetic and warm ambiance.

  • Indigo, ruby and emerald can give a regal and luxurious look.

Paisley

Exotic and always in vogue, the paisley motif will be particularly on trend in 2016. The distinctive swirling pattern has a long and varied history, but its appeal is eternal.

It’s becoming popular for couples to adopt traditional patterns and motifs in their wedding and interpret them with a contemporary and personal twist. The paisley pattern is perfect for this and can be used for its traditional connotations or adapted and used in a more stylised, contemporary fashion. This is especially popular for multicultural weddings, where elements from both cultures can be seamlessly woven together in the wedding stationery.

The detail in the paisley design allows for a varied colour palette. It can be expressed in bright, vibrant colours to create a dramatic statement at a wedding. Tones of orange and yellow are on trend as positive and motivational colours and exude warmth and happiness. In particular, saffron is very popular (an auspicious colour in Hinduism) as well as toned down, earthier mustard colours.

Alternatively, soft and serene colours can convey both the joy and sanctity of the occasion. The paisley can be delicate, finely detailed or ornately swirly against a bold backdrop.

Regal tones of ruby and emerald, magenta and metallic also work well to convey opulence and grandeur through the ever-loved paisley.

Global Traveller

 

Destination weddings are on the rise and many couples are taking inspiration from their treasured travels for their wedding day. This trend presents the opportunity to combine colours and cultures. Wherever the couple would like to base their inspiration, this can be a great starting point for the wedding theme.

For the offbeat, bohemian or exotic bride, the promise of the East with its motifs, heritage prints, famed markets, intoxicating spices and boldly colourful tapestries is most alluring. Rich in inspiration, they are perfect for a gorgeous and opulent wedding when combined with intricate, vibrant, bold, jewel tones.

Moroccan palaces create the perfect silhouettes that can be emulated through wedding stationery. Inspiration from mosaics, tiles, traditional prints and patterns also presents and opportunity to combine bold and contrasting colours to evoke a rich atmosphere.

The colour purple is particularly popular in this trend. Purple has strong, historical associations with royalty, especially in sacred contexts. It is also the colour of magic, mystery and spirituality.

Geometric

For those who like to make a bold statement, the trend for geometric designs is a perfect fit. There are no rules when it comes to the design and colour combinations. Patterns can be as complicated, simple or ornate as you like. Be as bold as your personality.

From stripes and checks, to traditional mosaics and ethnic patterns, geometric stationery is the perfect way to set the scene for a contemporary wedding. Why not start with the shapes and try as many or as few colours as you like, to see how they alter the overall feel of the stationery. Soft pastels can emulate a dreamy fairy-tale wedding, while rich colours will create a more dramatic wedding day.

Geometric patterns are also great to use if your husband-to-be doesn’t want anything too flowery.

Foliage and Fruit

Vibrant tropical prints are on the rise and are great for a summer and exotic wedding. There has been an increased appeal for tropical flowers, lush foliage and orchids.

Even tropical fruit is expected to make an appearance in stationery as its popularity thrives in the fashion world. In particular, pineapple prints can be a fun way to have a tropical theme that suggests a far more relaxed and playful approach. Pineapples are also more than just a yummy fruit; they are also a symbol of hospitality and welcome - befitting a wedding theme.

Monochrome and Metallic

Black and Gold

Black and Gold


Rose Gold and Lace

Rose Gold and Lace

Monochrome stationery is a great way to convey elegance throughout a wedding. Black and white or black and champagne are very popular choices. Champagne is a lovely, elegant and sophisticated colour that has a slightly vintage feel. It works well with black and adds a warmer touch than white.

Other metallic colours are also popular throughout wedding stationery, in particular rose gold with its soft glow. Rose gold has definitely caught the imagination of the fashion world, and its popularity has encouraged its adoption into the world of wedding stationery. With its versatility, rose gold is equally stunning when combined with deep, rich colours such as claret, burgundy or even purple, as well as soft pastels such as peach, blush pink and grey. Rose gold is sure to continue to cast its spell in 2016.

Which of the trends above are you likely to follow? Do any of them represent your style and personality? We'd love to hear from you.