Congratulations On Your Engagement. What's Next?

So congratulations.  He's popped the question and you're getting married. You may be already sporting a shiny new engagement ring on your finger. Making plans, reading wedding magazines and sifting through the Internet for bridal inspiration.

There's a lot to do.  But what should you be thinking about right now and what can wait until later?

Here's a list of 10 things that you should be considering from the word go. (And if you're a bride-to-be and have any tips to add, please let us know by adding a comment in the box below.)

What To Do When You Get Engaged

  • Book a venue. If you want to, you can hold your nerve and book a venue very last minute but really, all the best venues get booked up well in advance, particularly on Saturdays in the summer months. Remember it can be cheaper to get married on a Wednesday and also you may find more availability for your chosen venue in the winter months.
  • Consider using an online wedding planning tool which will help you to sort out your guestlist, budget and to do list. You can also find wedding planning tools as an app, so you can get organised whilst on the move.
  • Once you've set a date, you should also book a photographer.  Have a look at some wedding blogs of real weddings to see the style of photography that suits you.  Reportage is very popular just now but you may want something a little more traditional and old school.
  • Ask your friends if they'll be your bridesmaids.  They'll need to put the date in their diaries!
  • Send out save-the-date cards. If you're getting married in the summer, or at Christmas, people have an annoying habit of being away on holiday!  Ananya has some beautiful save the date cards and invitations to choose from. 
  • Pinterest is a fabulous place to set up a moodboard to plan your wedding.  You can make boards of wedding dresses, wedding cakes, shoes, bridesmaid dresses, venues ... it's great fun, addictive and best of all, it gathers all your thoughts together in one place.
  • Okay. The dress.  You may already have ideas of how you'd like to look but all the top designers say that you should really keep an open mind.  Try on a dress you may not have considered and it may surprise you.   If you want to save some money, keep an eye out for wedding dress designer sample sales which can save you hundreds of pounds on your dream dress.
  • Book your caterer. As before, the good caterers book up in advance and by booking ahead, you'll find you have a lot more choice in the matter.

Perhaps most importantly of all, remember to enjoy planning your wedding! It's a wonderful time, so don't get stressed out about it.  Just relax and try to stay calm.

Ananya wedding stationery

Ananya wedding stationery

Have you any wedding planning tips to share with us?  Any advice you found invaluable?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Credits: Top image via Pinterest; Mint and peach image by Victoria Grech Photography with styling by Pocketful of Dreams and stationery by Ananya.

A Wedding Planning Guide For The Fridge Door

When you're planning your wedding, it's easy sometimes to feel rather overwhelmed by the whole thing. You might even be waking up in the night thinking "have I told the florist exactly which roses I want" or "did I book the photographer".

Okay, so you might have checklists galore, special apps on your phone and a long-suffering chief bridesmaid/best friend/mother to let off steam to.

The thing is, you're probably doing just fine. And it's important that you enjoy the build-up to your wedding because it's actually a very special time. You've a wonderful day ahead to look forward to, you've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with ... so don't spoil it by getting over-stressed.

That also means not taking on too much. For example, you may be dreaming of having a DIY wedding and planning to make wedding favours, cakes, decorations yourself. This isn't a great idea because you'll almost certainly underestimate the amount of time all this is going to take you. So work out what is genuinely do-able and outsource the rest.

If you really feel the need for a visual checklist, then we've created these handy two visuals which you can print out and stick on your fridge door so that you can assure yourself you're doing all the right things by the right time.

planning_your_wedding_infographic_ananyacards.com

Look at it month by month and know that you're keeping up with everything (or there are a few things you still need to be thinking about).

wedding planning chart

For example, you don't really need to have sorted out a florist until about 9 months before the wedding - although if you're choosing one who is particularly popular it's best to sign them up as soon as possible.

Interestingly, one of the most important things to get sorted early isn't choosing your wedding dress, booking your venue or asking your friends to be your bridesmaids. It's actually setting a budget for your wedding day. It's key because it's actually going to affect many aspects of your big day - the sort of venue you can afford, whether you have a wedding breakfast and a dinner, how many guests you have, what wine you serve and of course, what you wear. So set a realistic wedding budget between the two of you and stick to it - you don't want to start off married life in debt.

Get everything sorted calmly and coolly before your big day and you'll see that on the day before your wedding you can actually have a bit of a relax. Help to decorate the venue and enjoy some beauty treatments (a mani-pedi - but don't have a facial the day before your wedding in case of breakouts).

We'd love to help you with your wedding stationery so if there is anything special you have in mind do get in touch.

In the meantime, cut out these two handy wedding planning guides and pin them to your noticeboard or fridge door!

 

Wedding Stationery Trends for 2013

2013 has arrived and with it, come the dreams and aspirations of every bride to have her perfect wedding. So what are the trends for 2013 that will help her create the wedding of her dreams and also one that is a la mode? Below are our thoughts... Glitz, Glamour and the Great Gatsby

Great Gatsby green and black wedding invitation
Great Gatsby green and black wedding invitation
Great Gatsby cream and gold wedding invitation
Great Gatsby cream and gold wedding invitation

With the much-anticipated movie the Great Gatsby finally being launched later this year, the 1920’s fashion has already begun to make an appearance. Translating this retro style into stationery will mean soft and shimmery backgrounds, dreamy and lace-textured looks and floral motifs - all heavily encrusted with crystals. Designs can also be bold and geometric and attention grabbing. Quite simply, a feast for the eyes!

Ombré: Shaded, Faded, Gradient

Ombre shaded wedding invitation
Ombre shaded wedding invitation
Ombré shaded green and brown wedding invitation
Ombré shaded green and brown wedding invitation

The shaded or Ombré look has definitely caught on, and will continue to be favoured in 2013. The dipped and dyed effect gives the look of colour graduations from dark to light. Often based on a monochromatic colour scheme, three different complementary colours can also be combined. The Ombré look has pervaded clothes, fashion accessories and even cosmetics and will be seen in stationery with dramatic effect.

East Meets West

Bespoke paisley lotus wedding invitation
Bespoke paisley lotus wedding invitation
Bandhani Bliss India inspired wedding invitation
Bandhani Bliss India inspired wedding invitation

The enduring allure of India and the East is such that time and again, top fashion and beauty houses such as Chanel and Boucheron have been drawn to its multi-faceted heritage for inspiration. This fascination with the East will continue to play an important part in 2013 because of its undying appeal.

Couples are not shying away from choosing strong, dramatic gemstone colours that are rich and exotic, and tones that spell opulence. The designs create a modern interpretation of traditional images and symbols, skilfully harmonising the East and West. Studded with crystal embellishments, they are Bollywood come alive!

Making a Personal Statement

Monogrammed crystal cake topper
Monogrammed crystal cake topper

Couples will want the stationery to be an expression of who they are. Whether adopting the latest on trend colour or other popular themes, they will want those themes to be intertwined with splashes of their own choosing – wanting the wedding invite to create the right tone – their tone.

Monograms will continue to be highly favoured as a way to express who we are and what we stand for as well as aspects that embrace our cultural heritage. They can also be adapted for use in a variety of ways to suit one’s needs. Monograms can become a work of art when embellished with crystals, adding that special exotic sparkle and shimmer.  It’s no wonder that such gorgeous invitations often become a keepsake – a fabulous souvenir to look back on with pride.

Cool Colour Hot Trend

Mint Modern wedding invitation
Mint Modern wedding invitation
Exotic Emerald wedding invitation by Ananya
Exotic Emerald wedding invitation by Ananya

The soft and soothing colour of mint looks all set to become a hot trend in 2013. After the fiery, passionate, colour palette of 2012’s Tangerine Tango, the cool, crisp and fresh tones of mint will be most refreshing. Emerald, Pantone's Colour for 2013, will also be a very popular choice. Cool and serene or majestic and mesmerising, Emerald can be used as an accent colour to add that all important sparkle or as a predominant colour, as deep and vibrant as the Amazon jungle. The main colour can be carried through the entire suite of stationery with variations on tones.

Fantasy and Fairy Tale

Pink butterfly wedding invitation
Pink butterfly wedding invitation

Given the uncertain and volatile nature of the events of 2012, weddings in 2013 will be a great excuse to escape from the concerns of everyday living. The stationery will reflect a fantasy world full of magic and beauty. Soft colours, birds and butterflies, layering of designs and a touch of sparkle will create romantic and captivating stationery.

Classic and Always in Fashion

Classic monochrome wedding invitation
Classic monochrome wedding invitation

For those of us who like simple and understated chic, the classic look will always be in style - a relaxed feel with timeless designs and quiet luxury that speaks volumes. Soft colours, monochromes, monograms, minimal fuss and beautiful.

What are your favourite trends for 2013? We'd love you to share your ideas with us.

Credits: All invitation designs by Ananya

Let's Hear It For New York!

ananya is heading to the Big Apple! We’re very excited to announce that we will be exhibiting our wedding stationery in New York City at the Wedding Channel Couture Show, which is the premier bridal industry trade show in the city. It is a biennial event, where designers, press and retailers of the bridal world meet and announce the latest wedding trends and fashions. It is a chance for us, and several other British companies, to introduce ourselves to the New York wedding market. The show is taking place in the InterContinental Hotel New York Barclay, in Midtown, Manhattan from the 9th of April, during International Bridal week, and we are absolutely thrilled to be taking part. There will be a special 'Royal Britannia' showcase arranged by our fabulous PR company, Propose PR, which will involve an exhibition of wedding necessities inspired by the Royal Wedding, including favours, evening wear and shoes, as well as ananya’s stationery!

We are planning on showcasing several of our wedding stationery collections at the show, including Royal Romance (our Royal wedding inspired collection), Viva Vintage, Peacock Panache and Picture Perfect, as well as some designs we have created especially for the event.

ananya's NYC wedding invitation collection
ananya's NYC wedding invitation collection

We are especially excited about the prospect of introducing ourselves to the wedding market in the United States, having worked with some American clients in the past. It is certainly an area where we would like to expand and we look forward to creating more exclusive wedding stationery for US clients.

ananya goes across the pond this week, and we cannot wait! Although we cannot be there in person to experience the city that never sleeps, our designs will be showcased and hopefully will speak for themselves...

Until next time...Namaste and enjoy ananya life!

The Lucky Lotus

The lotus is the national flower of India, and is regarded as being the most beautiful and sacred flower in Indian culture. It symbolises divinity, fertility, purity, wealth, knowledge and enlightenment as well as honour and good fortune. It therefore comes as no surprise that lotus flowers can be found everywhere, from clothing to bed linen. The flower is a simple, but beautiful and powerful motif, which can be used on any type of material for any purpose. Many designers have been using the motif in their work, including Ed Hardy, who has a range of clothing with bold tattoo styled lotus prints. Nike has also designed a pair of their “Nike Dunk” trainers with pretty pink lotus flowers.

Bags incorporating the lotus flower are easy to find, such as Amy Butler’s lotus flower clutch, which uses an elegant  yellow lotus pattern.

The Lucky Lotus
The Lucky Lotus

Lotus flowers can appear in your home, and light up any room, with Graham and Green’s striking lotus flower ball chandelier, and there are many places where you can find quilts and cushion covers with lotus patterns.

However, it is in jewellery where lotus flowers are at their most prolific. Accessorize has created a pretty turquoise ring while Swarowski recently made a collection of lotus inspired brooches, earrings and pendants. Luxury diamond jewellery company DeBeers have also made their own range of lotus designs, calling it “Enchanted Lotus”. It includes hoop earrings and a bracelet as well as a diamond wedding band, all of which integrate the lotus with a heart shape in a unique design.

Finding the lotus is easy, so why not embrace India’s most famous and auspicious symbol, whether as part of your home, or your look. At ananya we use the lotus flower as our logo because of its symbolic nature and due to its importance in Asian culture. We have also created beautiful stationery using the lotus design, which can be used for any sort of wedding – whether you are having an English or Indian wedding, or it’s taking place in summer or winter. Our lotus designs are stylish, elegant and versatile, and are suitable for any occasion, big or small.

Until next time...Namaste and enjoy ananya life!

The Peacock Revolution

The majestic peacock is the national bird of India. They are regarded as some of the most beautiful birds in the world, with their fabulous iridescent green-blue plumage and distinctive tail feathers. In India they are emblems of beauty, grace, pride and mysticism and throughout history they have appeared in Hindu myths and folklore in various illustrations with gods and goddesses. It is probably their tails which peacocks are best known for, which are made up of a mixture of large and small feathers with beautiful eye-like designs. The male peacocks lift their tails into a fan and preen their feathers to attract females in an ostentatious display of pride and beauty. It is therefore no wonder that the peacock has become a major design motif, as its plumage and colours create a perfect muse for designers. The peacock seems to be everywhere at the moment, with both high end designers and high street shops using it as inspiration for fashion, as well as for household goods, such as bed linen and china, and even iPod covers and other accessories. Peacocks have been spotted on the red carpet; with Eva Longoria wearing a short peacock feather covered dress at Cannes, and actress and Marchesa founder Georgina Chapman wore her own black dress with a gold peacock gilded design at the Oscars last year.

The Peacock Revolution
The Peacock Revolution

Last year, designer Matthew Williamson created a collection for H&M which was entirely inspired by peacocks. His own Escape spring 2010 line also featured some bohemian peacock undertones. In China, a wedding dress made of 2009 peacock feathers costing $1.5m was unveiled at a wedding expo. Meanwhile, on the high street, many shops such as Top Shop and New Look have dresses, skirts and t-shirts featuring peacock feathers and the birds themselves.

Peacocks can be seen on bags, such as a fabulous crystal clutch by Swarovski, and other accessories, such as hair pieces. However, it is in jewellery where the designers have gone peacock crazy. In Accessorize there is a whole range of necklaces and earrings (as well as bags) inspired by peacocks, such as earrings with peacock bodies and cascading teardrop charms. Many high street stores are selling earrings and brooches using real peacock feathers, while Spanish jewellery designers Carrera y Carrera have a whole collection of beautiful peacock inspired jewellery using diamonds and coloured stones. MAC Cosmetics is launching the ‘Peacocky’ Collection for Spring 2011, a makeup collection that draws colours and inspiration from the exotic bird.

At ananya, we have joined the peacock revolution by creating a range of stationery with modern looking peacock designs. Peacocks are set to become the hottest wedding trend of 2011 due to the intricacy and richness of their plumage and we believe our new line of wedding stationery reflects this. If, however, peacocks aren't your thing, ananya has a diverse range of different types of stationery.

Until next time...Namaste and enjoy ananya life!

A picture is worth a thousand words…

So many emotions can be captured in just one 'click' that there is little left to explain. There in itself is the beauty of photo cards. A well-chosen photograph on the front of a beautiful photo card created to depict the very occasion it is set to represent is worth a thousand words. From wedding announcements to baby birth announcements, photo cards are a great way to announce, inform and reveal. With recent trends of smaller, more intimate yet exquisite weddings, at home or a marvellous destination, creating unique and bespoke photo cards as part of a couples wedding stationery is a great way to share and announce the special occasion with many. Make that extended 'guest list' a part of your 'post' wedding with the perfect wedding photo adorned with a few simple words straight from the heart. Thought about a photo card as a 'thank you note' to thank all those who made it to a remote location to celebrate your special day?

It’s a boy! It’s a girl! It’s twins!!! One of the most precious moments in a parent’s life can be shared with family and friends near and far with a bespoke photo card.

ananya photo collage
ananya photo collage

The options and occasions are countless. With bespoke creation and design being the heart of ananya, let ananya help you express yourself with the perfect photo cards. ananya’s photo cards are printed on transparent film, making each one without equal.

Photos, after all, are worth a thousand words!

Until next time...Namaste and enjoy ananya life!