Stationery for the Seasons

At Ananya, we love working with our clients to incorporate the time of year of their celebration into their designs, as subtly or as vividly as they wish – whether it’s with colours, motifs, or wording, there’s lots of ways to let your stationery echo the season. We always ask our clients questions about the season and location of their event, and together brainstorm ideas for stylish and sophisticated nods to their surroundings.

Spring

Spring is a return of warmth, and a time for renewal, hope, and colour. Nature awakens and flower gardens take on a new life, while greenery becomes lush and rich with new scents. Our suites for Spring celebrations will often embrace all the new pastel colours of the countryside, the botanical revival, and the world in bloom – with lots of florals all round. Pink remains a firm favourite for the season, in both its dusty and more vivid shades. We love working with organic, wild, delicate visuals that echo nature itself, as more of our couples and clients choose al fresco celebrations under the stars.

 Photography by  Rupa Photography

Photography by Rupa Photography

 Photography by  Fiona Kelly Photography

For example, our tulip themed suite, inspired by the film ‘Tulip Fever’, featured delft blue and white tulips, and was paired with Perspex décor and a canopy of crisp white tulips. With a crisp colour palette in centre stage, the effect was fresh, clean, and perfect for Spring.

Summer

Summer is a time for dancing in the streets, pool parties, outdoor festivals, fruity cocktails, and lots of sunshine. We love working with tropical vibes and bright colours, and patterns inspired by the rise in temperature. Shades of yellow, green, orange, and fuchsia are some of our favourites, often as watercolours or vibrant contrasts. Fresh fruit, beachy looks, and destination weddings become the words du jour, with more of our couples and clients taking their guests on fantastic experiences abroad. This is a perfect time of year for including playful descriptions of the dress code, like ‘beach chic’, ‘summer chic’, ‘summertime soirée’.

For example, our ‘Trio of Life’ suite features a palette of ochre, hot pink, and turquoise, one for each of our three animals – the parrot, the elephant and the fish, often found in Indian wedding stationery. For this suite we created complementary save the dates, invites, menus, table numbers, coasters, advice for the newly-weds cards, thank you cards, and favour tags.

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Tropical

Autumn

The leaves change, and colour palettes get darker and moodier in the beautiful season of Autumn. With Halloween and Thanksgiving, and the lead up to Christmas, this festive season is all about family, friends, and fun in the crisper, cooler air. Earthier, dustier colours like golden beige, caramel, rich maple, copper, auburn, amber, chestnut brown, and shades of green and turquoise take over our design studio – and we love it! Visuals like falling leaves, pumpkins, terracotta, and rustic woodlands are favourites for this time of year, with our clients embracing all things cosy. As this season is all about the trees and changing leaves, why not replace paper with some natural props, like creating place cards out of pine cones or leaves with some beautiful calligraphy? If your venue has an outdoor section, or you plan to serve your guests some drinks or canapés outside, think about giving them a heads up to bring a shawl or coverup against the chilly wind – or, even better, why not provide them with some beautiful embroidered blankets or white pashminas?

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 For example, for our Autumn Wreath suite we chose to print directly onto kraft paper to give it a rustic, earthy look perfect for the colder seasons. For the floral wreath illustration, we used muted burgundy, dark green, and navy, all natural colours inspired by the leaves of Autumn.

Winter

Winter is a time for resolutions and new starts – a time for hot coffee, winter jackets, wool socks, and spicy peppers. Winter celebrations will often use monochrome palettes paired alongside striking metallics, with imagery of snowflakes and snow, fairy lights, pine cones, shimmering branches, berries, and leafless trees. Hand-finished touches like wax seals, crystals, and metallic foil are perfect for this time of year, as the glitz and glamour of Christmas and New Year’s parties spreads the festive cheer. We also love how wintery colours like shades of black, rich burgundies, midnight blues, and sultry indigos start making an appearance, and how liberally sequins and sparkles embellish the season. We also have lots of clients escaping the cold for some winter warmth, lighting up their guests’ mailboxes with bright, sunny palettes inviting them to a holiday in the sun!

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For our Snowflake suites, we used a winter wonderland inspired design with silver or gold metallic foil twinkling on backdrops of midnight blue or deep black, perfect for those darkening evenings.

Do you have a favourite time of year for your special celebration? Please share with us how you incorporate elements of the season into the celebration.

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




  





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.

 

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.

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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.

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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

 

 

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 2006 to 2016: Celebrating a decade of stylish stationery

Ananya is excited to be celebrating our tenth anniversary this year. Our award-winning stationery design business was established in 2006 by Vaishali Shah. The word Ananya comes from the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit, and means ‘without equal’ or ‘unparalleled’. It was the inspiration behind Vaishali’s vision to create stationery that was distinct, unique and a fusion of Asian and British styles that appeal to the modern British taste. The Ananya brand has always been synonymous with luxurious quality. 

 Suite of wedding stationery

Suite of wedding stationery

Keeping up with the latest trends, over the 10 years we have designed a wide range of elegant greeting cards as well as bespoke wedding and event stationery. Ananya has gone from strength to strength innovating, researching authentic techniques and representing cultures in a way that is genuine and relevant to today’s world. Our cards are eco-friendly, with paper from sustainably managed forests.

During the 10 years Ananya has received praise not just from the couples we have designed wedding stationery for, but also from wedding planners, and have been published in leading wedding media in the UK and further afield, including Brides, Hello, Wedding, Perfect Wedding, Wedding Ideas, Asiana Wedding, and Asian Bride.

Ananya has been the recipient of various awards, including Best Invitation UK, and Best Invitation Worldwide in the Wedding Industry Experts Awards.

Vaishali is considered an expert in the industry, having truly established Ananya’s credibility, and has been asked to contribute in two books. In the recently published book Planning the Perfect Asian Wedding (by Venture Publishing International), Vaishali has contributed designs and advice in an entire chapter where she answers a range of questions related to weddings that couples may not readily find answers to. The book Celebration Graphics Sourcebook (published by RotoVision) features a selection of Ananya’s wedding stationery and greeting cards.

Retailers who have stocked Ananya stationery have included Harrods, Cards Galore, Paperchase, The Jewish Museum, Waterstones and the Museum of Islamic Art. Clients have included Michelin star chef Atul Kochhar of restaurant Benares in Mayfair.

Logo celebrating 10 years of stylish stationery

Logo celebrating 10 years of stylish stationery

Having reached this important milestone, we commissioned our sister design agency Creative ID to design a logo to reflect our ten successful years in the luxury stationery business. The new logo retains the lotus flower; its petals are now in a single burgundy colour, outlined in white, giving it a fresh and crisp look. The one colour logo is more contemporary and allows for brand evolution. In the centre of the flower, the number 10 stands proudly as a reminder of our achievements.

 

 

 

 

Wedding DIY: Downloadable Bunting

Pack A Punch With Buntings; We Show You How Perfect for setting the scene at a wedding, buntings have become hugely popular as a way to add that all important personalised element. With a diverse range of uses and materials from which to craft buntings, you can use them to tell a story, display a symbolic message, or have the bride and groom’s names, as we show you how.

A big display of buntings will look dramatic in a large space, while small ones can stand on guest tables, and even on top of the wedding cake! Easy to put up, they can even be used as decoration for the bridal room. With the incredible choice of colours, fonts, textures and materials available, the possibilities are truly endless!

We at Ananya are all about personalising wedding stationery and below we show you how to create ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ buntings using our template. It’s fun and easy to do, and should get your creative juices flowing to add your own unique touch and flair!

Each bunting template is A5 in size and so there are two templates per A4 piece of paper.

free downloadable wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding
free downloadable wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding
free downloadable yellow wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding
free downloadable yellow wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding
free downloadable wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding
free downloadable wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding
free downloadable grey wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding
free downloadable grey wedding bunting for outdoors summer wedding

- Download the templates and print on white cardstock. - Cut around the templates. - Using a hole punch, punch 2 holes along each corner of the top of the bunting templates (where instructed). - Using a long piece of string, thread through each bunting template, adding knots after each hole as you go along to keep each of the templates in place. - Carry on doing this until you have a sufficient length of bunting.

Please click on the links below to download your wedding bunting PDFs.

'Bride' bunting in green

'Groom' bunting in yellow

'Bride' bunting in pink

'Groom' bunting in grey

Enjoy! Please do send us some photographs of how you have used the bunting...we would love to see them!