behind the scenes

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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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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On vacation

BRB

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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Illustrated flowers

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Non-wedding-industry folks probably don’t know that this is the tippy-top of the peak of the high season for wedding pros. I’ve got too much to do and not nearly enough time in which to do it.

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Nine years in

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Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. I know it sounds cliché but time truly does fly when you’re enjoying life. It doesn’t feel like so much time has elapsed.

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I’m already busy, people

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A photo of a photographer at a styled shoot I did in Florida a while back.
© Ashley Brockinton

I am often amazed how many calls and emails I get in January, February and March about participating in styled editorial shoots or volunteering my time or product for some wedding-related event.

While event planners, photographers, florists and other wedding pros are enjoying the calm before the wedding season storm, stationers and calligraphers are already mad busy with work. Surprised? Think about it: Our work starts many months in advance of the big day. Save the dates get mailed six months to one year before the wedding. Invitations go out 6-8 weeks before. That means I’ve been working on this fall’s weddings since January. The summer wedding invitations are on their way out now.

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Bonne Année: the blog is back

Happy New Year 2014

Oh friends, 2013 was quite the year. I did some of the biggest weddings I’ve ever done. I worked less, did better financially, spent more time with The Biscuit and had a lot more fun.

Several colleagues asked me why I shut the blog down for 6 months and the short answer is that I’d rather not do something at all than do it badly. In the busy-ness of business, the blog had become an afterthought and the quality was suffering. I shut it down to focus on doing my best work for my clients. Not having the blog to edit also freed me up to redesign the site.

As 2014 gets started, I’m still tweaking the site. You may notice small changes and additions (hint: there’s a “shop” coming). Thank you so much for being patient as I reevaluated, reimagined and reworked this thing.

More good things are in the works. Stay tuned!

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A few changes

newadeuxlogoOver time, every business evolves.

When I started à deux in 2008, the process of buying wedding invitations usually involved the bride and her mother and, back then, the conversation on marriage equality was still in its infancy. When I was naming my business, “bespoke bridal paper” was exactly what I wanted.

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Adieu, 2012 wedding season

Unlike many people, the fine folks who work as part of the wedding industry never get to take time off during the summer and fall months. Winter is à deux’s downtime and, starting today, the studio will be closed while we take a much-needed vacation. There will be some family time and a white-sand beach involved. Wooo!

We’ll be responding to voicemail and email after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The 2012 season is almost done and I’m counting my blessings. A lot has happened this year and 2013 is shaping up to be another rockin’ good time.

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{Behind the Scenes} The Production Process

SO by now you know that we like to post about colors and trends of the wedding world, but do you ever wonder what we reaalllyyy do here at the à deux studio? 🙂 We’d like to take you behind the scenes and show you our invitation production process.

To begin assembly, we need all the right components. This always includes the actual invitation and multiple layers of paper to “back” it with. If the couple also wants a pocket-fold envelope, ribbons, lace, or any extra accessories, we need those as well. Other tools we use are double-sided tape gun, scissors and hot glue (depending on the material).

Layering is often the most time consuming part of this process. If there are 150 invitations that all need 4 layers each, that can take almost two days to produce! Plus you have to think about the rsvp & travel cards; often those have layers, too. If the couple wants a pocket-envelope, those extra cards slide right in. If not, we usually secure all the pieces together with a belly band.

 

Once the invitations are done, the envelopes need tending to! We either print them all in-house or send them off to a calligrapher to get dolled up. Most couples these days like the look that liners give their envelopes, so this step is usually included in our process.

And with the two complete components – layered invite and lined envelope – comes stuffing, sealing & stamping. The announcements are then sent off to our lovely couples’ guests to enjoy.

On top of invitations, we also design and produce programs, escort and place cards, and table numbers to name a few. We love when our bride and groom’s wedding looks cohesive!

Thanks for looking a little deeper into our process; we hope this answers a few questions you had or sparks your interest even more! If you have any thoughts or questions, please leave them in the comment section below. Thanks!

~stephanie

 

Taking a break

No matter how you found à deux I’m glad you did. Thanks for visiting the blog.

I’m taking a short break to get to know the newest member of my growing family. After a brief maternity leave, we’ll return in a few weeks. Please check back soon.

How-to make: Coffee Filter Flowers

We wanted our space at last weekend’s Wedding Swirl to stand out amongst all the other wedding decor that was being presented. Since invitations don’t take up much space, we decided that something 3D and unique was needed. Thus, Marie was born. (more…)

{behind the scenes} Setting crystals

When used sparingly, bling isn’t boring. It can add a subtle touch of glamour to a simply elegant invitation package. We recently used genuine Swarovski crystals for an October couple’s custom belly bands. Here’s a quick, behind the scenes look at how each one is individually set.