Guide your wedding guests with a seating chart

Tight on space at the entrance to your reception? Looking for something other than the sea of escort cards that usually greets guests at a wedding? Then maybe you should consider using a wedding guest seating chart instead. They can be beautiful, and are certainly useful, plus they're a big space saver.

If you have 2 of them flanking the doors to your dining room, tent or reception hall, your guests won't find themselves in a traffic jam searching for their names on the chart.

What's the cost, you ask? Actually, depending on the size of your wedding and the frame size, they can actually save you money compared to the cost of individual escort cards! A seating chart sized to fit a 24" x 36" frame is just $150 for a design in your wedding colors. Escort cards often easily surpass that price for medium to large sized weddings. Smaller sizes are available for even less cost! We recommend that you buy your frames at one of those big craft stores (Michaels, JoAnns, Hobby Lobby, etc.). They have great sales, plus if you plan well enough, you can use the frame in your home after the wedding. Maybe you even have one at home now, and can switch out that lovely Degas for the seating chart, and replace it again after the wedding!

Take a look at these examples. More can be added to the design...do you want your wedding party listed? Maybe a larger design on top...the sky is the limit. We can design it to fit your style and wedding design.

Enjoy!! Happy wedding planning!


Well Wed in New York, Fall-Winter 09 issue

We're SO excited to be featured in three (yes THREE) places in the newest issue of Well Wed in New York! Go pick up a copy from your local newsstand if you're in Upstate New York.

Grace and Chris' wedding, coordinated by Kelli Berg of Simply Beautiful Events, was a featured wedding...we did their full letterpress stationery suite. Plus, we provided menus for 2 of their photo shoots. It was so much fun!

What a beautiful magazine and we're so THANKFUL to be a part of it!


Engraving versus Thermography...benefits and drawbacks

Most of our wedding invitations & stationery are printed using thermography, a raised printing method that is relatively inexpensive and offers any option you could want in PMS (Pantone) colors. It's versatile and fast and provides that finished look that you can't get off of a digital printer...here's an example of typical thermographic printing on a metallic stock:

You can see the raised impression and the light reflection on the surface of the graphic. Lighter colors have a beautiful translucent effect that works especially well on metallic stocks. So why would we use engraved printing, a much more expensive process (which is the primary drawback)? What is the difference in process and what are the benefits of engraving?

Thermography is an offset printing process. The type/image goes onto the paper as flat ink and then while the ink is still wet, a very fine powder is dusted onto the paper and it goes through a very high heat oven. That powder liquifies and hardens to form the raised print.

Engraving requires the design to be etched onto a copper plate. The engraver then forces the paper onto that plate with very high pressure and the result is a raised image on the front, and you can see the "bruise" of the plate on the back of the paper. That is the evidence of true engraved stationery. Additionally, when metallic ink is used, the paper passes through the process once more to burnish the ink and give it a finished, smooth look.

The benefits of engraving include:
  • Engraved type and graphics usually result in a much sharper image compared to those printed with thermography.
  • Whereas thermography usually has a glossy look, engraved graphics look more like matte-finish paint on paper, with little gloss except in the case of metallic inks.
  • Engraving allows you to print light colors on dark paper stocks. Thermography doesn't have a "white" ink, so there's no way to get that sharp, white or light type layout or graphic that you can with engraving (note: you can also use white/light foil to get that light on dark impact, but it's a very different look).
  • Engraving is the true "traditional" printing method for wedding invitations, so if you're having a very formal, traditional wedding and have the budget for it, engraving is an excellent choice for your stationery.
Here are a couple of views of an engraved job we recently completed. We never would have achieved the sharp distinction of line in the interwoven monograms if we had printed them with thermography. For the full view of this job, click HERE to see the full portfolio from this wedding.


It's getting hot in here...

If that tune starts going through your head when you think of your wedding ceremony, perhaps the ceremony program should be shaped like a fan, cooling your guests while they follow along with your vows. One of our latest fun-loving brides decided she wanted functional fan-shaped wedding programs for her June ceremony, so of course we obliged. We were planning another fan program for a wedding later in the summer, and moved up our timetable to make this fabulous new die cut. We're so happy with the outcome...and the bride was, too! We love the way the yellow orchids fall over the top of the cover, just like her invitations! The navy blue and butter yellow colors are so crisp and summery, and were accented nicely with the fern green ribbon going through the silver grommet. So pretty


Pretty in Pink...

We were so fortunate to have a hand in designing the invitations and wedding day stationery for an incredible wedding at Esperanza Mansion in the NY Finger Lakes. Kelli Berg with Simply Beautiful Events was the wedding planner for this fabulous occassion, and the most of the photography that follows is by the talented Karin Von Voigtlander.
We love it when we're given a bit of direction (blush pink and black, and they wanted an airy damask pattern) and then we're allowed to go with it. Kelli Berg has a great vision and helps her clients interpret their own style into something that can only be called spectacular.
We're so proud of these pieces, and we'll load more later...the hotel bags were SO wonderful!


National Stationery Show, here we come!

Heading off to the National Stationery Show in NYC this weekend. I'm looking forward to finding some new sources, and I'm also going to hit the garmet district while there to find some new rhinestone buckles and trims!

We're in the middle of a beautiful rhinestone buckle project now...here's a sneak preview (this is just a prototype). Of course, mounted on that stunningly gorgeous Midori ribbon.

I can't wait to share with you our new finds!

Oh, and there's PLENTY of #NSS noise on twitter if you want to follow it! So much fun! We're really enjoying Twitter. Come follow us for the show and beyond: @bcsdesigngirl.
Enjoy your weekend!



50th Anniversary invites, part 2

OK, since Carrie, my handy dandy amazing assistant just outed herself regarding her parent's 50th anniversary invitations, I'll expound on it, and show you how the invites turned out for the actual event.

Without further adieu, here are the fabulous Picnic and BBQ Anniversary invitations:

So if you're planning an event, ANY event, I think these are evidence that we can create something PERFECT just to fit the event!


Invitations DO set the tone!

Oh come on, Lisa...

Hello everyone, it's Carrie. I know I haven't checked in for a while. Lisa will tell you I am a Luddite (look it up!) and thus afraid of the computer.

But today, here I am at home, surfing the web for party supplies. "Why?" you ask — because the Save the Dates that are featured below are for my parents, Barbara and Bob. Yes, it's been 50 years and we are having a big picnic/barbeque at a local park.

Lisa will also tell you that I GET IT. Invitations set the tone. I started thinking about these soon after starting at Bella Carta Studio, because I saw the potential of the paper (and the ribbon and the color envelopes and the fonts...!)

Part of being a Luddite is that I am terribly old fashioned about such things as BIG family events. I knew we were having a picnic, BUT it is a 50th anniversary, so how do you convey casual yet formal? This is a big event, but there will be barbeque sauce EVERYWHERE!

I think the Save the Date starts the general VIBE, if you will. The formality of gorgeous red textured card stock of the Envelopfold® contrasted with the fun red picnic cloth background pattern. The formal script contrasted with a great sans serif in the panel.

I GET IT! Wait until you see the invitations — like the Save the Dates, people are gonna PLOTZ!

Lisa was taking pictures of the invitations as I was out the door yesterday. Perhaps they are up NOW on the new bellacartastudio.com. CHECK IT OUT!

I'll tell you how it goes.


50th Anniversary...picnic style!

Just a quick post tonight to show you some fun Save the Dates for an upcoming 50th Anniversary party. We're producing the invitations this week so these are a couple months old, but I just posted them to the website and am newly enamored with them!
They're a treat compared to most formal 50th Anniversary parties. Inspired by the red and white checkered tablecloths that will be used at the big event, we created a fun and funky Envelopfold(r) Save the Date with an iconic 50th graphic that will also be used on the stamps for the invitation!
As a nod to tradition, we just added a TOUCH of gold (for the golden anniversary!) with an intermediate metallic gold layer...fun!


A Charcoal and Candlelight boxed invitation...don't you LOVE them?

I'm in LOVE with our newest invitation set. When this bride approached us with her 'charcoal & candlelight' color scheme I thought it would be beautiful, but perhaps a bit neutral. BOY WAS I WRONG! I'm just so tickled with the way these turned out--obviously this bride had impeccable taste...they're dramatic, stunning and opulent, but not pretentious. Seriously, I'm in love with these invitations! The box, oh, the box...a GORGEOUS sueded charcoal with a beautiful candlelight wrap with a custom pattern. The delicate floral rondelle adds such a sweet accent to the piece. I hope you love them as much as we do!

So what do YOU think? We'd love to hear from you!


Can't forget the babies....

Not to be outdone by our wedding invitations, we've also been busy with birth announcements!

Here are a few we've done in the last year....so FUN! I love it when our brides come back to us to design the introduction of their newest family addition. I can't think of better feedback than return customers!

We have lots more to post soon...both wedding and baby. We've been BUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSYYYYYYYYYY!!!

And the website is c o m i n g a l o n g s l o w l y but coming along. Soon, soon, I just keep telling myself that. I think it's true...that's what they tell me. :-)


Oh, and we're on FACEBOOK!

I forgot to mention it in all our exciting news. We've been on Facebook for a few months. Take a look and become our FAN! You'll get first peaks at new announcements. Please pass it along to your friends!

We love Facebook!

A teaser...we're back!

Hi Everyone! I know, I know. It's been SO long since we've updated our blog. The winter was cold and dreary but guess what, spring is here (we think) and that means it's WEDDING SEASON again!! YEA!

So many exciting things are coming our way. In just a few weeks we're launching our new website. YES, you heard me, a brand new look and new projects to drool over. We haven't updated our old website in quite a while as we've been putting all our efforts into the new site. I can't wait 'til it's live, and I'm sure you'll be thrilled! That also means that we'll be loading a new (coordinating) blog skin. Heaven.
I thought I'd post a few pics as a teaser to show you some of what we've been working on. It's been a lot of fun!

This one is a little older but we love it so much! It'll be featured on the new website but I thought I'd post a sneak peek of it here.

And one more teaser...he's a preview of our upcoming new website... **grin**

OK, I promise to come back SOON and regularly! Our winter hiatus is O.V.E.R.