The invitation EXPERIENCE

Yesterday, I had the experience, for the FIRST TIME, of actually receiving a Bella Carta Studio invitation in the mail.

Yes, I've worked there for a year and a half-ish, but funny, none of the brides that I have crafted invitations for has ever felt compelled to actually invite me to their event. Huh....

This week we made the invitations for my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary celebration that will be held in October. (It's a surprise - shhhhhh!) The card that was designed is simple, yet elegant; it has rich gold and black linen borders backing a white mica card. And was mailed in a matching white mica envelope and addressed using the script from the card.

And yes, what an impact they make when you get one in the mail! I know my neighbors were jealous when it was sitting, tantalizingly, on our ledge. I love the experience of opening the envelope, holding the hefty, gorgeous card - thinking the event I am invited to will be as rich and as elegant!

My mom, dad and grandmother all commented on how beautiful the invite was. As I'm sure the other guests will also.

I wanted to share this personal experience of what exactly we produce here. It certainly isn't just invites - it's the FEELING of the upcoming event...



Ah, love those escort cards!

A few years ago we, along with Kelli Berg of Simply Beautiful Events, designed an escort card template that has since become our very favorite! It's similar to a tent card, but it has a lower back slope so it's easier to view from the front. How many times have you stood there trying to find your name looking down at this sea of tent cards? Not with ours!

Angela Hall of Out of the Ordinary Events just sent us this great picture of our escort cards at the last wedding in which we worked together. They were made from a rich copper backing with a creamy creme brulee printed card. They were luscious!
(This great pic was taken by Brandon Vick)

Here's another from a wedding a couple of months ago. Similar concept, but here we used a moss green backing that was printed with one of our custom paisley designs and then had a lovely metallic ecru printed piece on top.
(This lovely pic is by Rachel Gracie)

Oh, and what's the difference between an escort card and a place card you ask? An escort card gets your guest to their table whereas a placecard tells them where to sit AT the table. Most people need escort cards or something similar so their guests know what table at which to sit. Only some people have place cards telling their guests where to sit at the table.

Those are my thoughts for the evening. Good night!


Carrie signs in

I am the trusty assistant and self described "arbiter of all things good taste."

I truly believe it was fate that lead me here to Lisa and Bella Carta Studio. I am originally from here, in Rochester, New York. But I've spent almost 25 years away, chasing the dream of big time graphic design all over the northeast. I returned here in March of 2007, to be with my family again. And I had walked away from design.

Until I got bored and needed something to distract me from the family. Scanning the local Craigslist, I found Lisa's post for help. Upon meeting her and seeing the wonderful work she was doing in invitation design, I was lured back to help make these beautiful creations.

I am the person that makes the invitations by hand. Cutting, taping, folding, tying. Sometimes hundreds a week. And I love it.

Also, I do lots of other things here in the studio. For example, today I am painting our ribbon cabinet a clean eggshell. We take great pride in the appearance of our showroom and want to create a lovely environment for our local clients and to display the invitations and other items we create.

After this introductory post, I will be making paper "kimonos" as we are calling them for a bride who chose cute fair-trade bookmarks as her wedding favors. Her mom brought one in and wondered how they could be presented to their guests. This was after searching all over for an appropriate container that worked with both the item and the color scheme of the reception. After folding some "french roast" paper that is being used in her other wedding day stationary, we came up with a wrap that does indeed look like a kimono! These will be finished with a organza green ribbon tied around them.

I will be making 170 of these to start, all by hand. There is my afternoon.

Again, I love it.

Got to go do some work...
- Carrie


We're here! Thanks for having us!!!

Yes, thank you…we’re finally joining the blogosphere! So now you get to listen to not only my ramblings about the fabulous (if I do say so myself) invitations and whatnot we create every day, but my trusty sidekick Carrie’s ramblings, too! So a little about us and who we are, blah, blah, blah…

I’m Lisa. I own this whole shindig and am the principal designer. A long and winding road brought me to this incredible job…everything from an advertising degree with a graphic design concentration, to graduate degrees in interior design and education (yup, even a Ph.D…you can call me Dr. Frey if you want). I taught interior design at a major university for several years, and then was drawn back across this great country to Rochester, NY when I met and married my husband. Then what was I going to do? Well, after being talked into designing our own invitations and all the wedding day stationery for our wedding (yes, he seriously had to talk me into it…I was dubious), and after receiving such support and praise for it, Bella Carta Studio was born.

So we started small, out of my house. My husband evicted the business after 6 months and we’ve moved twice since then. Now we’re in a gorgeous mansion-turned-professional building in The Neighborhood of the Arts in Rochester. We’ve got two big museums within a block from us, art galleries all around us and a great shopping and dining district within walking distance. We love our new space and plan to stay a while! We have a great showroom…oh, here are some pictures so you can all see our space...

What do we do here at Bella Carta Studio (or BCS for short, I suppose)? Well, mostly invitations and announcements, but also all the wedding day items you can imagine…menus, programs, escort cards, water bottle labels…you name it, we can design it. We work mostly in the wedding industry, but we’ve also done birth announcements and shower invitations, corporate work, invitations for some NBA folks (Dwyane Wade!!) and hope soon to get further into party invitations…we’d be GREAT for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs!!

So you’re asking, ‘what are we going to talk about in this blog?’ We’re going to showcase our work and talk about the thought process behind it. The website is great (and will be even better with the redesign coming soon!), but it’s sort of static. The blog will be a place where we speak regularly to what we do every day and where you can see how we think and more importantly DO!

I’ll let Carrie introduce herself in the next couple of posts, but let me say that I couldn’t run this studio without her. She is an integral part of my staff and really gets the job done…any job that needs to be done! She’s awesome!