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.

Ananya_pink parrot wedding invitation.jpg
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?

Autumn kraft wedding invitation_ananyacards.com.jpg

 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!

Winter_Wedding Invitation1.jpg

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’.

Colour Infusion blue.jpeg

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.

Colour Infusion.jpeg

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.

HRP Wedding showcse.jpeg

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.

Wedding Showcase envelope.jpeg

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 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…

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.

Wax Seal Stamp_ananyacards.com.jpg

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

 

 

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.

bespoke-wedding-suit-michael-op.jpg

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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

Meadow botanicals.jpg

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.