Category Archives: Wedding Stationery

Q & A’s with Borrowed & Blue

Events of Distinction recently teamed up with Borrowed and Blue, a locally-focused online wedding resource, to give couples everything they need to know about our event planning services.

Here’s our Q&A with Borrowed & Blue:

1.      If you could possibly narrow it down, what would be your favorite moment of a wedding day?

My favorite moment of the wedding is when all the talented wedding professionals arrive at the venue to begin the installation and setup of the wedding. The wedding couple secures the services of these professionals, and like a perfectly oiled machine, we magically transform an empty canvas into a wedding work of art.  We take the vision and dreams of our wedding couples, and together, the perfect team executes a wedding beyond the imagination of our clients.  It’s so rewarding to be of service to our wedding couples on one of the most important days of their lives.


2.      Describe your event aesthetic in three words.

Euphoric, Experiential, Epic.


3.      The first thing you ask when you sit down with a couple?

I always ask these questions:

  • What would you like your guests to say about your wedding?
  • What does that experience feel like?
  • What don’t you want to see or experience at your wedding?


4.      Top three pieces of advice for couples who just got engaged?

My advice is to first just revel in your engagement…quietly. Don’t tell everyone until you have had time to take it all in and discuss the details between the two people who matter the most, yourselves.  It’s time for you to simply savor the moment and celebrate your engagement quietly together.

Second, there is nothing more important in your initial steps of wedding planning than getting a grip on your guest list.  The number of guests you decide to invite will greatly affect the cost of your wedding, as well as many decisions that you will need to make.  For instance, you wouldn’t want to select a site for your reception without first knowing how many people you expect to have there on your big day. Create a guest list with the correct spelling of first and last names and correct addresses.

Since I am a wedding designer and planner, I willing acknowledge that I may not be totally unbiased about the subject of securing the services of a wedding planner.  With a myriad of wedding details that can be all time-consuming to plan, most busy engaged couples are enlisting the services of a wedding planner.  While you can certainly plan a wedding yourself, it will not have the same outcome if planned professionally. And the more complex the details of your wedding are, the greater the level of skill is required for your professional wedding planner.  Therefore, my third piece of advice for couples is to weigh the pros and cons, especially if you want a fabulous you-don’t-have-to-worry-about-a-thing day!


5.      Most important detail of wedding decor?

You want your wedding to reflect your personal style and elicit an emotional response from guests as the day unfolds.  My advice is to start and finish with a flourish and utilize the five senses.  Incorporate your style / design concept into the first communication about your wedding, such as your Save the Date card or invitation.  When choosing a style/design concept, make sure it can be communicated through not only the invitation, but your decor, music, food, beverage, tabletops and vignettes. Continue to thread elements of your style/design concept throughout the wedding, from the start of the ceremony to your last dance or final getaway.


Tamara & Damon’s Save the Date and Grand Get-away


6.      Your thoughts on DIY weddings?

I’ll repeat it again, and quote myself this time from my book Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding: “While you can certainly plan a wedding yourself arguably, it will not have the same outcome if planned professionally.”  Ever try doing your own highlights on your hair, give yourself a manicure or cook a gourmet dinner for 100?  It’s worth the time and money to pay a professional to do these things, not to mention relieving yourself from the aggravation and stress.


7.      What would your ideal tablescape look like?

Rather than focusing on one individual tablescape, I prefer to design with the entire dining area in mind.  When guests first transition into the dining area, I don’t want them to see a sea of sameness.  Instead, I try to create a sense of excitement and interest through a variety of tabletop designs that complement each other.

A good example is Marissa and Matt’s wedding, where we had a combination of nine 54” square tables from Classic Party Rentals with “Williamsburg Celery” linens from La Tavola, four kings banquet tables with Rico Jungle Green linens, and two long farm tables.  Each type of table had its own sensational tablescape.

For the 54” squares, arrangements of plum, raspberry and fig flowers were placed into large clear square glass vases with added green accents.  On the banquet tables, low rectangular ceramic containers each had their own monochromatic arrangements. And for the two dramatic rows of farm tables, vessels of various shapes and sizes created a chic and modern look. Eclectic place settings featured a Green Swirl charger on the natural wood farm tables and a white square charger on the squares and kings banquet.  Each charger was layered with the Sophia dinner plate and a Camelot Kiwi folded napkin, which showcased the custom menu.

Photos: Arrowood Photography


8.      Your favorite of all the San Francisco wedding venues?

As a native San Franciscan, I love the iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the James Leary Flood Mansion in Pacific Heights.  Known as the Convent of the Sacred Heart by day, this private all-girls’ school turns into a fabulous wedding venue for special events on weekends and evenings.

The Flood Mansion is a symphony of classical styles—Italian Renaissance, Rococo, Tudor and Georgian—featuring a “Grand Hall” with marble floors and great views of the Bay.  There is also a lovely enclosed courtyard off of the Grand Hall available for outdoor  ceremonies and receptions. The Flood Mansion is definitely a venue to show off the City by the Bay!


Photo:  Grace Image


9.      What about Lake Tahoe wedding venues?

Just south of Tahoe’s most spectacular beach, Sand Harbor, the Thunderbird Lodge is the premier place to get married in the Lake Tahoe area.  An historic stone house and lush grounds by the shoreline, together with the azure Lake and surrounding mountains, provide an unparalleled backdrop for a sensational celebration.


10.  The most important part of wedding planning?

The most important part of wedding planning is learning the ability to be able to make a decision together.  The wedding planning process is the beginning of your many decisions you will make together as a married couple. Where will we go on a honeymoon? Where will we buy our first house? Who will do the cooking, cleaning and take out the garbage? Will we have children? How you make decisions and communicate with each other will affect every day of your married lives. Your wedding is a day, but your marriage is a lifetime.

Invitation Inspirations (Part 2)- A Printing Primer

It is important to understand your options when it comes to printing, because this is usually where money and turn-around time become significant issues. So here is a brief review of the different methods of printing used for invitations.

Engraving is the most traditional printing method; it was introduced in the 1600’s in monastic schools.  The printing process involves etching the lettering and imagery into a metal die, inking the etched depressions, and then pressing the paper against the die.

The result is that the text and images are raised on the printed side of the paper and indented on the opposite side.  Engraving is used primarily on traditional, formal invitations.  It provides sharp, intricate lettering that has a three-dimensional quality, but it is a costly process, and often requires a long turn-around time.

Another classic printing method called letterpress was on the verge of extinction before recently enjoying a renaissance in popularity, especially among boutique stationers.  Letterpress can be considered to be the opposite of engraving, in that the lettering on printing plate is raised, which creates indentations in the paper during the printing process.  Letterpressing is especially suited for luxurious handmade papers.

Image from Peculiar Pair Press

Thermography remains a popular printing technique for invitations.  Thermographic printing feels similar to engraving, in that it produces raised lettering on the printed side of the paper.  To create this lettering, the paper is first printed with standard ink, then the paper is dusted with a resinous powder and passed through a heating unit. The thermographic lettering is not quite as fine as what you get with engraving, but it is popular because the raised lettering gives the invitation an elegant look, but at a lower cost.

Lithography or offset printing is a possible option if you’re on a budget, as it is less expensive than thermography and faster to print.  Lithography is basically a photographic printing method, where negatives are transferred to a thin metal plate which is wrapped around the cylinder of a sheet-fed press.  The ink lies flat on the paper, but a virtually unlimited variety of colors can be selected.

Digital Printing now surpasses lithography as a low-price option in many circumstances, especially when the print quantities are relatively small.  While the actual digital printing has a higher cost per page, there is an offsetting cost savings because there is no need to make printing plates.  Digital printing also provides a short turn-around time.

No matter how you choose to express yourself, the invitation and save-the-date card should set the tone for your special event by giving guests a captivating preview of what’s to come.  If you can create a sense of anticipation and excitement with your printed materials, you can be sure that everyone will have a fabulous time at your celebration.

Invitation Inspirations (Part 1): Trending Away from ‘Tradition’

Whether it’s an anticipated envelope or a complete surprise, we love receiving invitations in the mail that are more than just the date, time and place.  Most people get their first impression about a wedding when they receive the invitation.  And of course, we all want to be on the A-List of the most talked about celebrations.

Until recently, most people celebrating important events felt obligated to follow a rigid format when wording and sending invitations. In fact, there used to be only one “acceptable” choice of invitation – which we now call a “traditional” invitation. Governed by the etiquette mavens, the basic elements of a traditional invitation are a heavyweight, 100% cotton fiber card, white or ecru in color, with engraved printing in black ink and a delicate script type.  This kind of invitation makes a clear statement of impeccable elegance, backed by centuries of use by royalty, presidents and other dignitaries.  I used a traditional invitation when I got married seventeen years ago (but there weren’t a lot of other choices back then):

On the other hand, today’s contemporary invitations are an art form that can be fashioned from infinite possibilities of paper choices, colors and print styles.  A unique design and clever wording will raise anticipation for the wedding and elicit a “must attend” response from all your guests.  Plus, the invitation will provide a treasured keepsake long after the celebration is over.

Invitation Design by Painted Tongue Press

A modern-day phenomenon which has emerged with today’s busy lifestyles, the “save-the-date” card has become a great way to let guests know when the festivities will take place, so they can “schedule” you on their calendars.  Besides, if you are having your wedding in a faraway destination, it is essential for your guests to book their travel arrangements well in advance.

Layout and printing by Union Street Papery; wording by Events of Distinction

Save-the-date cards should be sent at least six months before your celebration.  The earlier you get the word out, the fewer excuses your guests will have for not attending!

Whether or not you choose to use a Save the Date, and whether you have a contemporary invitation or go traditional, remember that you are setting the tone for your wedding with whatever you send to your guests.