Happy New Year 2016

2016 bonne année

2015 brought beautiful events and wonderful clients. As we end this amazing year, I want to say thank you to our colleagues, clients, friends and family. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.

Cheers!
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I love hearing from you

I’m not afraid to admit that, after I drop wedding invitations in the mail, I get nervous. Each à deux creation is like a little gift to every guest invited to a couple’s special day. The anticipation of whether the gift is well received keeps me up at night sometimes.

But then the calls, emails and texts start coming in and it makes me so happy to know that friends and family love the work as much as I enjoyed making it. October couple Kirby and Andrew shared a few messages they received recently.

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We live in an age of instant communication and, thankfully, these positive messages come through quickly so I don’t lose too much sleep during wedding season. 😀 Thanks for sharing these with me, Kirby!

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Mr. & Mrs. Humphrey

Kim and Doug rings

I know it sounds selfish but I love changing a couple’s mind. I really do it out of love, I swear. Kim was planning to buy her wedding invitations online. Her maid of honor, who is also getting married this year and will also be getting an à deux design, suggested she meet with me before deciding to go that way. Boy, I’m so glad she did.

Kirby and Kim

With a small guest list and a limited budget, Kim and Doug didn’t think it was “worth it” to have custom stationery made. They only needed 30 save the dates and invitations. But after my consultation with them, I knew they had very specific ideas that a mass-produced online marketplace wouldn’t be able to provide.

Kim and Doug invitation

They both wanted their stationery to be traditional but not stuffy, a little bit Art Deco but not heavy-handed, a blend of feminine and masculine with calligraphy that was easy to read. Anything else? Doug wanted a custom monogram and thick cotton paper. Kim had a specific shades of peach and gray she wanted to use. This would have been a tall order for anyone other than a custom stationer. Together we were able to craft a stationery suite that was unique to them and their wedding celebration.

Kim and Doug invitation open

Kim and Doug enclosure cards

Kim and Doug got married last weekend in Boston. It was captured beautifully by photographer Michael Goderre of Island Road Images. You can see more of their lovely wedding photos on Island Road’s Facebook page.

Boston wedding

Shout out to Kirby for sending this great couple my way. You just raised the maid-of-honor bar. Thanks, Kim and Doug, for allowing à deux to be such an important of your wedding. Cheers!

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Rustic with a twist

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The first thing that pops into my mind when I think of “rustic” weddings in an open-field ceremony with a reception held in a beautiful old barn. We’ve all seen that, right? There might even be some burlap in the décor, kraft paper invitations, a vintage typewriter guestbook, wooden escort cards, mason jars and stacked vintage suitcases.

Don’t get me wrong. These can be gorgeous, love-filled affairs. They’re just all starting to look the same to me. Which is why the wedding I attended over the holiday weekend was so refreshing. It was an urban-rustic celebration with a twist.

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Instead of a field and a barn, the venue was an architectural salvage warehouse that multitasks as an event space. Salvage One is that vintage shop where your eclectic friend finds her cool furniture. I could have spent hours wandering around looking at of the bits and pieces they’ve saved from the landfill. I saw lovely old doors, massive concrete columns and a fountain made out of old claw-foot bathtubs.

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With so much going on in the space, there was no need to decorate it. The indoor and outdoor areas are filled with plants and texture and felt unique without being weird.

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The second floor of the warehouse has an open floorplan with vintage chandeliers hanging throughout. Because Salvage One is also a furniture store, they provided the couple with a fun mix of tables and chairs from their in-house collection. There was furniture from different design styles — mid-century modern, Victorian, craftsman, Shaker — but it never felt disjointed or overwhelming.

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Having a rustic wedding doesn’t have look like it was pulled directly from Pinterest. The secret to making any wedding memorable is to make it your own in unexpected ways. I was inspired by Salvage One to think about rustic affairs in a whole new way. What do you think?

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Summer!

July

June is the peak of wedding season for me, which is why things have been so quiet around here. Who has time for blogging when there’s pretty paper to play with?

It’s officially July, so I can say without hesitation that summer is upon us. My favorite season + my birthday month = YAY!

NSS 2015

National Stationery Show 2015 logo

I can’t believe that it’s May! The move from Boston to New York, and all of it’s logistical upheaval, made the time disappear. We’ve been here a month already? Wow.

With the arrival of beautiful weather and my daughter‘s birthday comes the National Stationery Show. Every year during the second week of May, stationery lovers, retailers, designers, suppliers, industry experts and more converge at the Jacob Javits Convention Center here in New York for a few days of total paper adoration.

NSS 2015 entrance

Being just a subway ride away from the festivities made me downright giddy. The show is only open to the trade and draws people from all over the world to exhibit and attend. I’ve been going for almost 10 years and it’s always a treat to see familiar faces and make new paper-obsessed friends. It’s a great place to spot the next big thing in stationery, and likely what we’ll see everywhere for the next few years (chevrons, anyone?). The trade show floor is MASSIVE and can be as overwhelming as it is inspiring.

NSS2015 show floor

After walking around for a few hours, I already have lots of great ideas for some new products in the boutique. And I discovered some new designers to fawn over, like U.K. designer Jolly Awesome.

Jolly Awesome cards

While what I do is very different from what American Crafts specializes in, their booth design stopped me in my tracks. It’s modern, inspiring and fun combining lots of trends in one look.

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There are ALWAYS tote bag giveaways at the stationery show. This one by Fawn Paper Co. is very cute and speaks directly to the show audience.

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Yes, even in the age of email, Facebook event invitations, Paperless Post and others, snail mail is authentic and still special. Paper forever!

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Merci, Boston!

New York City

If you follow me on social media, this announcement isn’t news: à deux is moving to New York City!

Boston has been à deux’s home and headquarters since 2009. When I made the move from Denver, I didn’t know what to expect and I had a lot of learning to do. In five-plus years, I made some fantastic friends and built lots of lasting business relationships here. And I sincerely appreciate the amazing New England families who made my work an integral part of their wedding days. I’d be nothing without them.

My diminutive design studio has grown so much in that short time and I’m super-grateful to have been given as many opportunities as I’ve had in Beantown. With several awards and appearances on TV and in magazines, there’s no doubt that Boston has been really good to me. A sincere THANK YOU, from my heart.

For now, everything will be business as usual. While I’m getting set up on the other end this month, it might take me a bit longer that usual to answer calls and emails. But once the dust settles (hopefully by May 1), expect the same good times. And you’ll probably still see me around town. I’ll be taking monthly train rides up to Boston to meet with clients and reconnect with colleagues.

Au revoir.

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Hot color duos: part 2

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For many years, the only acceptable paper color for wedding invitations, according to etiquette, was ivory or ecru. Today, if you’re having an ultra-formal white- or black-tie wedding it’s best to stick with tradition. But if your big day is less bound by custom — or if you’re looking for a creative, contemporary twist — why not experiment with a little color?

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Hot color duos

modernColorDuos

For many years, the only acceptable paper color for wedding invitations, according to etiquette, was ivory or ecru. In Europe the color was always white. Today, if you’re having an ultra-formal white- or black-tie wedding it’s best to stick with tradition. But if your big day is less bound by custom — or if you’re looking for a creative, contemporary twist — why not experiment with a little color?

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New stamps

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As you can imagine, I spend more time than most thinking about postage. The U.S. Postal Service issues new stamps all the time and I’m usually trying to find pretty ones to complement the wedding stationery I design.

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Boston Wedding Group award

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When I’m not at my desk working to create innovative nuptial stationery, I’m involved in local wedding organizations. After being a member for a few years, last year I sat on the board of the Boston Wedding Group, a comprehensive resource for couples marrying in New England. The group provides support to make wedding planning simple and enjoyable and to create an unforgettably beautiful affair.

As the education chair, it was my responsibility to coordinate monthly educational speakers and programs. As with anything, I took my job very seriously and, hopefully, added something fresh to the group. With my fellow board members, I worked to keep the members up to date on national wedding trends, energized by strong speakers and informed about new ways to think about their small businesses.

This week I was surprised, honored and sincerely flattered to receive the Boston Wedding Group’s 2014 ABC Award: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. From the group’s president, “This award recognizes a member who has given generously of his/her time and talent to an important BWG function or project.”

Even though I no longer hold my board seat, it feels great to know that the behind-the-scenes work I do is welcome and appreciated. I’m thankful for the challenge and the amazing opportunity. Thank you to everyone who voted for me to receive this award.

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More monograms, please

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Last year, I created a lot of monograms, duograms and custom crests. Already, 2015 looks like it’s going to have more of this welcome return to tradition.

First up: a lovely peach and charcoal letterpress save the date for a July wedding. The color combination is both classic and modern and the design has a hint of whimsy while still being formal.

On vacation

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It’s cold in Boston. Like bone-chilling, eye-watering negative temperatures up here. Add to that more than 40 inches of snow on the ground and I’ve had enough. Winter is the worst and I’m escaping to someplace warm for the sake of my sanity.

Studio à deux will be closed until February 17. International travel means I’ll have limited phone access but I will be checking my email once a day. See you soon!

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Copying is stealing

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It happens all the time. A couple will come to me with a stationery design they found online or in a magazine and say they want “exactly this.” My response is that should hire THAT designer instead of asking me to rip off someone else’s hard work. (more…)

12.13.14

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Since there won’t be a 13-14-15, today is the last number-sequential date until January 2, 2034 (1/2/34, get it?). Wanting a “cool” wedding date – and not wanting to wait another 20 years to get it – more than 20,000 U.S. couples plan to get married today.

Here’s a fun article in The Washington Post about the significance of special wedding dates.

Congratulations to all!

{color} Pantone’s Marsala

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The Wall Street Journal has announced that the Pantone 2015 Color of the Year is Marsala. It’s described as “earthy,” with red and brown tones reminiscent of the 1970s. Kind of a dark dusty rose. Soon, you’ll be seeing this color in fashion, housewares, makeup and, maybe, weddings.

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Marsala is VERY different from this year’s Radiant Orchid, a feminine pinky-purple that seemed designed for spring events. Marsala has a richness that will definitely work for fall weddings.

I’m not sure what the Pantone Color Institute is up to but I’m not a fan. What do you think? Is this color a hit or a miss?

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Font | Ivory by FaceType

Ivory by FaceType

I haven’t done a typography post in AAAGES. Looking back at the archives, it’s been more than a year. Apologies. It’s been really busy in the studio what with 2014 weddings, 2015 save the dates and the new gift wrap line. #everydayImHustlin

BUT, while I was working on the initial design for an elaborate 2015 wedding invitation suite, I came across a typeface I’d seen before but forgotten about. Say hello to Ivory.

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Inspired by a beautiful typeface used in an illustrated book from 1882, Ivory is classic, stately and elegant with an almost medieval quality. I could use it for duograms, one large projected initial or as a drop cap on long blocks of text. Because it’s multi-layered, it allows for two-tone lettering.

Ivory by FaceType

With it’s sharp, angular serifs and just-right weight, it works as a headline and a strong detail piece. Oh, and just look at that sexy R. Even though it’s been around since 2009, I hope I get to see more of this one in the new year.

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Hello November

November 2014

Wow! Where has this year gone?

November marks the start of 2014-2015 engagement season, which will run through February 2015. Approximately 39 percent of couples (almost 800,000) will get engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentines Day.

Like clockwork, I start getting stationery inquiries right after Christmas. And January is when save the dates for the fall weddings start going out.

It’s going to be a busy new year, I think.

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Welcome fall!

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Today is the autumnal equinox, better known as the first day of fall. It’s no wonder fall weddings are so popular: Changing leaves create amazing photos and, with the summer heat gone, no one will be sweating through their fancy attire.

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mint + gold = fun

Marina Aguiar Araujo

There is nothing wrong with posting a cool color combo for no reason, right? I came across this image online and just love the look of mint and gold together. It’s retro and modern at the same time.

What do you think?

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photo by Marina Aguiar Araujo

Color Theory | Mixed Seasons

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In our neck of the woods, chilled autumn air is making an appearance in the early mornings. But it’s only August! It’s still supposed to be summer! Well, here is a color scheme that perfectly pairs the two. Shades of peach and orange highlight the familiar warm autumn hues, while the last days of summer are captured through the fresh sage.

You could use this palette for a late summer or early fall wedding! Do you like this look?

Happy Wednesday!

~Stephanie

florals / invitation / cake

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