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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

WEDDING STATIONERY TIMINGS: A USEFUL GUIDE

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

As soon as you’re engaged

Photography:  by Lumiere

Photography: by Lumiere

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

As soon as you know the date and venue

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

6-12 months before the wedding

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

6 months before the wedding

Photography:  by Lumiere

Photography: by Lumiere

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

2-4 months before the wedding

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

2-3 months before the wedding

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

1 month before the wedding

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

2 weeks before the wedding

Photography by:  John Nassari

Photography by: John Nassari

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

1-3 months after the wedding

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

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

 

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.

 

How to add details to your Stationery

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

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

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Photography by  Fiona Kelly Photography

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

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

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

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

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Photos by  Amanda Karen Photography  Stationery by  Ananya

Photos by Amanda Karen Photography Stationery by Ananya

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

5.              Aisle style: The Dress and The Suit

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

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

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6.              Fabulous Flowers

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

7.              Photography

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

8.              Food for thought

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

9.              Let’s Drink

Photo by   Fiona Kelly Photography  Stationery by  Ananya

Photo by  Fiona Kelly Photography Stationery by Ananya

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

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

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

Stationery by  Ananya

Stationery by Ananya

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

 

Choosing a Stationery Theme for your Event

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

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

What’s the occasion?

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

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

Formal black tie event

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

Garden party

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

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Teenager birthday celebration/coming of age

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

Intimate elopement (and ‘after party’)

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

Pearl anniversary

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

Who’s invited?

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

childrens-stationery-invitations-ananya-02.jpg
Photgraph by Holly Clark Photography

Photgraph by Holly Clark Photography

Colour me impressed…

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

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

What do you need to include?

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

All this will influence your choice of stationery theme.

And finally:

Where will your design inspiration come from?

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

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

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

Vaishali x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trend Alert: The Monogram

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

Monogram: The Art of a Personal Marque

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Win a Custom-Designed Monogram from Ananya

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

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

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

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

How to Incorporate Watercolours into a Spring/Summer Wedding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which weddings works best with a watercolour theme?

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

Watercolour Wedding Stationery

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

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

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

Watercolour Wedding Flowers

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

Watercolour Wedding Table Settings

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

blue and gold mandala inspired wedding stationery

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

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

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

pink gold lime mandala inspired wedding stationery suite

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

mint green save the date mandala inspired wedding stationery

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

 

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.