2013 Trends: Printed Pieces with Olivia San Mateo of Olive Route

They say that first impressions are everything, and Olivia San Matoe of Olive-Route would be the first to agree.  She always keeps this in mind when designing and creating her beautiful printed pieces for weddings and special events.  As save-the-dates and invitations are the guests’ first impression of the celebration to come, it’s important that the pieces be memorable and unique to the couple.  In this interview, Olivia shares her expertise on the various options and processes that go along with creating specialty paper goods.
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Please tell us a bit about your company, Olive-Route. How did you come up with the name and logo?

Olive-Route is a custom design and letterpress studio that I started in 2005 after purchasing my first letterpress machine. My portfolio is a collection of wedding paper goods, small business collateral, and art collaborations. My company name is a combination of the latin meaning of my name: “Olivia” means olive tree and my nickname “Via” means route. The logo was something I developed when I was still in design school and I just carried it through my professional career.

When it comes to creating invitations and other printed pieces for couples planning their wedding, what’s your specialty?  

I specialize mainly in letterpress printed pieces – that’s where my heart is. But besides being a printer I’m also a designer, and will specify other types of printing (digital, foil, etc.) if it makes sense for the design and budget.

What makes you stand out from other design studios?

I’d like to think my designs help me stand out from other studios. Everything I do is custom, so every project is unique and I rarely reprint a design. I always make variations and like to experiment with different styles.

In your opinion, why are printed pieces so important in the grand scheme of the wedding?

Invites and Save-the-Dates help set the tone of the wedding. And since they’re sent out early, the first design decisions have to be made when they get sent out (the color palette, the motifs, the overall look and feel, etc). The day of pieces such as programs, menus, placecards, etc. become wonderful keepsakes and takeaways for the guests.  Not only are they functional, they’re also fun and unique. Here are a few samples that have a variety of paper goods in the set, the first set from a Stacy McCain Event Planning wedding for Rachel and Blake, at Cavallo Point.

Photo by Heather and Carol for Gertrude and Mabel

Photo by Heather and Carol for Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Heather and Carol for Gertrude and Mabel

Photo by Heather and Carol for Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Heather and Carol for Gertrude and Mabel

Photo by Heather and Carol for Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Heather and Carol for Gertrude and Mabel

Photo by Heather and Carol for Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Heather and Carol for Gertrude & Mabel

Second Set:

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Third Set:

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Photo by B&N Photography

Fourth Set:

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

Photo by Thayer Gowdy

At what point during the planning process do engaged couples come your way?

I encourage them to come very early on, usually about a year out, since save-the-dates are typically sent out at least 6 months from the wedding date.

What’s the best time frame for the creative process to begin, and what is the typical turnaround?

My process is broken down into two phases: design and production.  Each takes about 4 weeks, so 8 weeks total from start to finish.

How do you begin the process of creating custom wedding suites for your couples?

We usually start with a phone conversation or a meet and greet. I like to get to know my clients and understand their aesthetic and style choices so I can better customize the design for them. Then I ask them for any inspiration they may have collected or take a peek at their Pinterest board if they have one. Once I get a better understanding of who they are and what they like, I put together my own style board featuring all the details of their paper goods. The board will consist of color, typography, image, and material inspirations.

Keeping in mind that each couple and wedding is different, how much should couples plan to spend on their printed pieces?

There’s a huge range when it comes to the amount spent on paper goods. It really depends on how important it is to the couple and how they want it printed.  Digital printing is always less expensive than letterpress.

Which components of a suite would you say are most necessary?

I think that when working within a budget, it’s nice to have the invite card printed letterpress and maybe opt for the enclosures to be digital. I always encourage having the addresses done in calligraphy, but if it’s not in the budget, ask someone you know who has nice handwriting to do it for you. Finding some vintage stamps also adds a nice touch. I think whatever you can do to make it look more personalized is worth the effort.

Can you explain the differences in paper weight?

In simplest terms, I always refer to cardstock in 1ply vs. 2ply. Letterpress is always best on thicker 2ply stock, but that also adds to the cost. So if you want to save some money but want to stick with letterpress, going 1ply is a good alternative.

In your experience, what are the most common printing practices?

I mainly provide letterpress and digital services. I’ll also use foil, which is similar to letterpress but instead of ink we use foil.  This works best for metallic colors like gold or silver. Here are some examples:

Letterpress has a nice textural quality to the printing:

Calligraphy by Nancy Hopkins

Photo by Olivia San Mateo; Calligraphy by Nancy Hopkins

Digital is flat printing and works great with saturated colors such as this example:

Photo by Angie Silvy Photography

Photo by Angie Silvy Photography

Here’s an example of foil printing on cloth and wood paper:

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Photo by Olivia San Mateo

What concepts did we see a lot of in 2012, that we are seeing less in 2013?

I would say patterns have been big and are still running strong, which I love!

Can you tell us about some exciting new concepts you’ve rolled out in 2013?

I’ve integrated some bookbinding into some of my 2013 custom projects like these custom folios with wax seals:

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Photo by Olivia San Mateo

I love lots of texture, so anywhere I can mix and match materials is great. I love the liner on this design as well as the wallpaper backing we used for the invite:

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Photo by Olivia San Mateo

I also love pops of color as seen on these bright edge-painted cards:

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Photo by Olivia San Mateo

Thanks for all the inspiration, Olivia!

Follow Olivia on Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram

In case you missed it, be sure to read our September installment of Trends, featuring Wedding Ceremonies with Lisa Francesca

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2013 Trends: Wedding Ceremonies with Lisa Francesca

Happy Fall, everyone!  Our November Trends blog post features the words and wisdom of one of our very favorite officiants, Lisa Francesca. Stacy was first introduced to Lisa by her father, Hank Basayne, who was also an officiant.  Hank was the officiant of the first wedding where Stacy served as an assistant in the Bay Area. Soon after, Hank became a colleague and trusted confidant.

Shortly after Hank’s passing, Stacy began to work more frequently with Lisa. Lisa is kind and has a wonderfully calming presence about her. She is a superb listener and is easy to talk to. Lisa is so well respected in the industry that she is in the process of writing a book, forthcoming in the Fall of 2014, from Chronicle Books.  You can read some samplings of her writing on her website.

Photo by Mark Baumann

Photo by Mark Baumann

First tell us a little bit about yourself, and the scope of your services.

I was born and raised in a multiple-module, multiple-faith family in San Francisco. As such, I began my informal studies on religion and spirituality at the very young age of eight, when I left my home and wandered four blocks to an empty church! I have officiated at weddings and other ceremonies since 2002. My ceremonies range from civil and community-oriented to spiritual to interfaith and intercultural. I believe that love wins, and every adult should be able to marry.

What is your process in terms of getting to know a couple?  How much time do you spend with them prior to their wedding?  How far out are couples hiring you?

I like to spend at least an hour during the initial interview with my couple. We usually meet in person, but often we need to meet by phone or online because they are from other parts of the country.  We often have a second interview to hammer out some parts of the ceremony after they have had time to think about their options. Once I draft the ceremony, I ask them to review it online. I attend the rehearsal and am basically on call for anything they might want to discuss from the first interview through their wedding day.

Ceremonies come in all shapes and sizes.  What are the first steps a couple should take when drafting their ceremony?

I encourage a couple to think about their ceremony from the inside out. An easy first step would be to start thinking about what kind of vows they want to make to each other. That is the kernel, the essence of the ceremony. Everything else is the frosting on the cake.

The second step should be an examination of the outside: how long do they want their ceremony to last? This will depend, frankly, on the comfort of their guests. They can go longer, adding more elements, if their guests are appropriately seated and shaded from the sun.

Photo by Gertrude and Mabel

Photo by Gertrude and Mabel

How much personality do you suggest couples incorporate into their ceremony?  Is there a time when the couple should defer to traditional practices?

Great question! Personally, I am not “married” to traditional practices at all. A legal ceremony can be as brief as “Do you?” “I do.” Any ceremony choices after that should be all about the couple’s unique personalities.

How long do ceremonies typically take place?  What is your ideal length of ceremony?

A typical American wedding takes between ten and forty minutes. If you are in the hot sun at a beach, ten is better. But usually twenty or thirty minutes is best for everyone. Any shorter and they will wonder what just happened. Much longer, and guests might begin to fidget. This is not to disparage wedding masses, which can take hours, and Hindu ceremonies, which can take days.

Photo by Meera Fox

Photo by Meera Fox

What is the most unique ceremony you’ve ever been a part of?

I had to think a long time about this question. I think my own wedding in 2004 was perhaps the most unique in terms of sheer variety in faiths. My Humanist minister father married my husband and me. Our ceremony included readings from a Jewish sister and a Baptist brother, and a Buddhist sibling led Grace at our reception.

What is the one thing you’d advise couples against when they’re working to create their ceremony?

Don’t feel the need to try to memorize your vows. You don’t need to add anything to the pressures of an already exciting day. As the officiant, I always have the vows written down for my couples.

Photo by  Kate Harrison Photography

Photo by Kate Harrison Photography

To write vows, or not to write vows – that is the question.  When do you suggest couples make the decision to write their own vows?

Each participant must feel comfortable reading something personal in front of a group. If one just feels nothing but terror at the prospect, it is far better to just limit the speaking to “I do.”

What is your all time favorite ceremony reading?

A: I wish I had just one, but I keep finding new ones to add to my list of favorites. As I am preparing for a wedding in October, I have been researching Slovenian poets and finding new poems to love.

What should couples keep in mind when choosing their readings?

The readings should enhance the tone you want for your wedding.  What three adjectives describe how you want your ceremony to feel? If you want romance and passion, try poetry by Octavio Paz, or D.H. Lawrence. Or you may prefer the simple, plain-speaking piece of advice from Hugh Prather. If you’re looking for a poem about nature, check out Mary Oliver or Jane Hirschfield. If you’re hoping for more humorous and whimsical literature, try something like Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein.

Here’s a Shel Silverstein poem we’re particularly fond of:

IMG_4349

by Shel Silverstein

Thank you, Lisa!

To learn more about Francesca or to contact her directly, please visit her website.

In case you missed it, be sure to read our September installment of Trends, featuring Bridal Party Jewelry with AJ Stout of Stella & Dot

Jennifer + Brandon Tie The Knot

In honor of the first week of Fall, we have the pleasure of sharing the wedding of Jennifer and Brandon. Their wedding was full of warm Fall colors, echoing the surrounding grape vines which were in the process of transitioning from shades of green to yellows, oranges and reds.

In the months following her wedding, we asked Jennifer to share the story of her relationship and wedding to Brandon. Here she shares their sweet story, as well as some helpful tips on making the most of your own special day:

There was a lot of history leading up to our big day. Brandon and I grew up together since elementary school, and share many mutual childhood friends. We even went to the high school prom together!

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We went our separate ways for college, but one day during summer break our paths crossed in our hometown Clayton, Ca.  We hung out together almost every day that summer, even before we started dating.

We dated for about three years before Brandon proposed at one of our favorite picnic spots at Rutherford Hill winery.  It was the most perfectly romantic proposal; just the two of us overlooking the valley.  We then spent the weekend visiting other wineries across the valley.

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I always knew I wanted to find a venue in the wine country, so I asked our friends, the Sherwins, of Sherwin Family Vineyards, if they had any suggestions.  They told me about Beaulieu Garden.  After seeing Beaulieu firsthand, we knew immediately that this was the spot!

We were engaged for a year and four months before we got married. We had a lot of close friends getting married that same year, so we wanted to choose a date that gave enough space between all the different events. We also liked the idea of getting married in September, as the weather is usually mild and the vines are lush with grapes.

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When the wedding day finally arrived it was absolutely beautiful. The venue was gorgeous, and the flowers were absolutely amazing! It is so wonderful to see all the details come together and look more outstanding than I could have ever imagined. It was so special to have all of our friends and family coming together to celebrate our marriage and future lives together. I was so excited to see Brandon, to be with Brandon and to start our life together. It was so exciting that the day had finally arrived.

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On the day of the wedding, I was so happy and I felt so blessed that all I could do was smile. I watch my wedding video and I laugh because on my wedding day all you can see is teeth! I am smiling from ear to ear the whole time. Brandon and I had the most incredible time at our wedding. We enjoyed ourselves and had tons of fun! We danced with our friends and family and truly enjoyed our time together. It truly was an amazing day filled with so much love and a tremendous amount of happiness.

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The best advice I could give to other brides is to take a few moments to take it all in.  For Brandon and me, our first opportunity to do so was after the formal dances and speeches. We went around the property with our photographer and took pictures of just the two of us. These were the moments during which we could view the reception and watch all of our guests dancing and having fun. It was so cool to see our wedding from a distance. It was also nice to have time for just the two of us to be alone and appreciate our special day.

It can be overwhelming when you are surrounded by all the guests. Part of you feels obligated to visit with people you haven’t seen in a long time or to thank people for coming. I think it is very important to step away with your husband for a short time to relax and take in all the special little moments. Otherwise it can seem like the day went by way too fast. So remember to have fun and enjoy every moment!

~

Happy Anniversary, Jennifer and Brandon!

~

Planning & Coordination: Stacy McCain Event Planning / Photography: Kate Webber Photography / Venue & Catering: Paula Le Duc Fine Catering  / Venue: Beaulieu Garden / Flowers:  Sharla Flock Designs / Lighting & Sound: Got Light / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Videography: Weddings On Film / Printed Pieces: Union Street Papery / Calligraphy: Michelle Papineau Calligraphy / Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Eloquence String Quartet / Band: Sage Music / Cake Maker: Sweet On Cake / Toasting Flutes: Kate Spade / Transportation: Pure Luxury / Getaway Car: Classic Convertible Wine Tours / Wedding Gown and Bridesmaids Dresses: Alvina Valenta / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Men’s Suits: Calvin Klein for Mens Warehouse

Kate and Rob Tie the Knot

Welcome back for part two of our blog post dedicated to Kate and Rob tying the knot.  If you missed our last post of their rehearsal dinner at The CIA at Greystone, check it out here.

For Kate and Rob, Beaulieu Garden served as the perfect setting for them to exchange vows, becoming man and wife amongst their loved ones.  With the sun shining bright, their ceremony took place in the Sunken Garden.  After sneaking away for a private moment in the surrounding vineyards, they celebrated with delicious food and wine below the terrace and then danced the night away under the stars.

The florals for this wedding were a perfect combination of modern and romantic.  We were particularly fond of the bright color palette they chose for their bridesmaids’ bouquets and the long stem tulip bouquet Radeff Design Studios designed for the bride herself.  Chandeliers combined with green and pastel colored floral arrangements created a picturesque setting for dinner and toasts.  Additionally, freestanding ivy-adorned topiaries and orbs flanked pathways and aisles, luring guests towards the terrace and fireplace lounge.  Kate and Rob most definitely tied the knot in style!

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photo Credit Michelle Pattee

Photo by Michelle Pattee

Photography: Michelle Pattee  / Planning & Coordination: Stacy McCain Event Planning / Venue: Beaulieu Garden / Caterer: Paula Le Duc Fine Catering  / Flowers: Radeff Design Studios / Videographer: David Waldorf  / Band: Blacklist Band  / Cocktail Music: Eloquence String Quartet / Cake: Perfect Endings / Rentals: Wine Country Party Rentals / Lighting/Sound: Got Light. / Print Pieces: Ceci New York

Brooke + Damon Tie The Knot at Beaulieu Garden

April showers bring May flowers, as the saying goes and last May was no exception! Katherine Oliver with Cherries Flowers delivered us a wedding full of peonies, garden roses, sweet peas and blooming clematis in beautiful color palette of white, cream, blush and accents of pale peach. We especially love the moss details on the chandeliers provided by Got Light hung over the dinner tables.

And how adorable is the library card catalog, where guests found his or her name on a library card directing them to their dinner table. Once guests arrived to their tables they found a french baguette with their name tied with bakers twine. We hope you enjoy the wedding of Brooke and Damon as much as we do.


Wedding Photography: Joe Mikos Photographers / Wedding Coordinator: Stacy McCain Event Planning / Venue & Caterer: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering / Flowers: Cherries Flowers / Cake: Perfect Endings / Music: Pop Rocks / Lighting: Got Light / Hair: Kerrie Urban / Make-up: Yvette Beebe Cosmetics / Linens & Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Classic Car: Classic Convertible Wine Tours / Lounge Furniture: Archive Vintage Rentals / Paper Pieces: Paisley Quill

Special Offer from Wedding Paper Divas!

We’re very excited to announce that we’re partnering with Wedding Paper Divas who have a very special treat exclusively for our readers. Today through June 1, enjoy a generous 25% discount at Wedding Paper Divas. (See bottom of post for fine print.) Who are Wedding Paper Divas? Read on to learn more and check out their beautiful work.

About Us:

Wedding Paper Divas is a stationery haven with an affinity for beautiful paper and fresh design. Today, Wedding Paper Divas is a member of the Shutterfly family of brands, which also includes Shutterfly, Tiny Prints and Treat.

We stand for high-quality stationery products and provide an abundance of exclusive beautiful designs that reflect a couple’s unique aesthetic. With a team of etiquette experts on-hand, Wedding Paper Divas offers advice and tips for all occasions, ensuring that the message is touching and tasteful every time.



What’s the concept behind Wedding Paper Divas?
Laura Ching co-founded Wedding Paper Divas in 2006. A more than frustrating experience trying to find her perfect wedding stationary in an antiquated stationery store in San Francisco inspired a marriage between her and two close friends in hopes of finding a more convenient, stylish and enjoyable way to shop for wedding stationery online. In her current role as VP of Merchandising and Chief Design Officer for Wedding Paper Divas, Laura’s mission is to bring fresh designs and style to customers through both the products and the overall look and feel of the website.  She brings fresh designs, etiquette advice, and style to customers through both the products and the website whether you’re planning your wedding “today” or “someday.” She looks to fashion, fabrics, interior design, travel and international cultures for inspiration, every day.


What sets you apart from other companies?

Unlike many other stationery companies, which simply provide an extensive, something-for-anyone offering, Wedding Paper Divas works with talented artists all over the country to translate the hottest new trends into perfectly unique products. We are proud to offer products from both seasoned veterans in the industry, as well as younger, fabulously talented designers. We have 60 different designers we work with at Wedding Paper Divas. Many of these up-and-coming designers are even making their debuts into online boutiques with us! Our designers have created stationery for many celebrity customers. We currently offer over 750 wedding invites.
– Created by top designers, every design is exclusive and cannot be found elsewhere
– Each product allows for extensive personalization, including wording, layout, font, size and color
– Continually releases new designs and collections – sometimes as many as 100 each month
– Process orders in as little as 2-3 business days
– More than invitations – including save-the-dates, place cards, menus, thank you cards and more
– Every order is reviewed and proofread by a client specialist, created a retouched by an in-house designer, and    reviewed by the quality assurance team, offering a true white-glove experience



How does the process work, start to finish?
We have a very easy personalization and preview process. It’s important to us that you get the chance to personalize and preview your invitations before ordering. You can let our suggested wording and layout guide you, or you can create a card entirely from scratch with the font types, sizes and colors of your choice. Either way, we’ll make sure your invitations are flawless, and you’ll be able to preview and approve the exact look prior to placing your order. With our powerful and easy-to-use tools, we’ve managed to make the personalization process just as carefree as it is convenient.



Social stationery can and should reflect your personal taste, so it may take a little time and effort for a discriminating customer to find the right design. We are committed to ensuring that you have all the information and support needed to help you pick the perfect design. That’s why so many of our products include professional photography, design descriptions and all of the intricate details you need to know about our luxurious, high quality paper.



{Image Details: Kraft Arrow/Marigold/Designed by Petite Alma; Signature White Textured Wedding Invitations/Floral Watercolor/Raspberry/Designed by Lady Jae; Signature Ecru Wedding Invitations/All the Roads/Black/Designed by Sycamore Street Press; Signature Ecru Wedding Invitations/Dappled Glade/Spring Green/Designed by: Lady Jae;
Signature White Textured Wedding Invitations/Indian Summer/Sunny Yellow/Designed by: Petite Alma}


Special Offer Details:  To redeem the exclusive 25% discount, please email Stacy@stacymccain.com for the code. This offer excludes letterpress, thermography and 3rd party products (i.e. custom stamps, embossers, photo books, gift certificates and calendars).  There is no minimum purchase required. Cannot be combined with any other offers. One time use per customer. Offer expires June 1, 2012 at 11:59 PM.

Vendor Spotlight: A Day In May

We love what we do, but none of it would be possible without amazing vendors. We’re truly honored to work with some of the most incredible vendors around, and we’ve been dying to tell you all about them. So we decided to do a Vendor Spotlight series, where we gush about one fabulous vendor every few weeks. Please note: We are not compensated to endorse these vendors. We just really love their work and want to share the love!

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In the spirit of our recent paper post, as this month’s Vendor Spotlight, we’d love to share the beautiful work of the lovely ladies over at A Day in May. Enjoy!

What is A Day in May?
A Day in May is a graphic design studio specializing in letterpress invitations. As trained graphic designers, we bring our extensive design experience to each and every printed wedding element we create.

How did it all begin and what was your inspiration for “A Day in May”?
We (Eve Weinsheimer and Lesley Hathaway, the owners of A Day in May) met in San Francisco as graphic designers working in the corporate world. We had been hearing complaints from our friends about the quality of interesting, creative wedding invitations on the market. We immediately connected over our vision of the ideal design studio and letterpress invitation line. We took a leap of faith and started A Day in May Design. That was 11 years ago and we’ve now added a studio in New York City. A truly bi-coastal venture!

The name did not come as easily to us as the concept of the business did. We tossed around several ideas before settling on “A Day in May Design”. We started our business in the month of May 2001, and of course many of our clients have gotten married on “a day in May”, but mainly there was just something hopeful and promising about the sound of the name. And eleven years later we are happy to say that we were right. Our business has been a very fruitful endeavor. It doesn’t seem like work to us, but a wonderfully creative outlet which magically provides us with a paycheck at the end of each month.

What inspires you?
Everyday inspiration comes from all sort of outstanding cultural & interesting outlets around NYC and San Francisco. Recent trips to the Neue Museum and The Metropolitan Opera in NYC were wonderfully inspiring for Lesley, but inspiration in NYC tends to hit just riding the subway and checking out fashion on the street! Lesley and her husband, and Argentine native, also do a lot of traveling and have recently been to Madrid, Miami, Colorado and Buenos Aires. Of course, there is nothing like travel to really get the creative juices flowing.

Eve spends many of her days running around after her 3 beautiful, young daughters; Greta, Tessa and Esme. Eve is constantly inspired as she sees the world through their open, accepting and creative little eyes. Eve also loves hunting through flea markets and vintage stores and fine art is a true passion for her. She has started a wonderful art collection right in her own home and she’s always on the search for new and innovative artists who inspire her graphic design and life.

Ideally, when should a bride reach out to you?
Ideally brides should contact us about 7 or 8 weeks before they want to mail their piece, whether it be a save the date or an invitation. We ballpark design and printing at about 3 weeks each, and then the client will need to either address the envelopes themselves for give a calligrapher about 2 weeks to address the envelopes for them. Save the dates tend to go out anywhere from 1 year to 6 months before the couple’s wedding date, and invitations are typically mailed 2 months before the wedding date.

What is the general process in working with A Day In May?
A Day in May has clients all over the globe (the most recent one being in Dubai!), so if brides and grooms are not in New York City or San Francisco, they should not worry. We easily work remotely. We can either set up a meeting in one of our studios or send a package of samples out to prospective clients and then set up a conference call. Once we have nailed down the design vision, we provide the potential client with an estimate. If they would like to move forward, they email their text (of course we can help with this too), we take a 30% deposit on the overall project, and get the ball rolling! We provide the client with 3 design rounds via PDF. The final PDF is approved by the client and then sent to print. We ship directly from our print shop to the clients (or to their calligraphers), whatever the client wishes.

 

What are the basic stationery pieces that a bride should include in her invitations?
A basic invitation set will include a main envelope, invitation, reply card, and reply envelope. However, as weddings become more involved, it is also very common to include a “detail card” in the main invitation packet. That card would serve to highlight the weekend events, times and locations so that the guests can plan accordingly.

What other add-ons do you recommend?
We love adding an envelope liner to invitations in either a fun and fabulous color, or even one that’s the same color as the envelope, either way it gives the piece an extra special richness and weight.

Recently, we have been digitally printing a lot of vellum overlays and folders. They are a great way to pull in a full spectrum of color (digital printing is produced in 4-color so we can print any color under the sun for no additional cost) and texture to an already stunning letterpress piece.

What is the average cost of a basic stationery suite? About how much are we looking at in terms of costs for add-ons?
Our invitation suites start around $1300 for a quantity of 75 and move up from there based on the level of custom design work, add-ons such as envelope liners, maps, second ink colors, belly bands, decorative folders, weekend event cards, etc. Most of our clients spend between $2000 and $4000 with us.

What other types of pieces can be printed? (save the date, menu, program, escort card, etc)
If a client comes to us and orders “the works” that would consist of the following; save the date, wedding invitation, thank you note set, welcome to the weekend piece (waiting for guests in their hotel room), wedding programs, dinner menus, coasters, seating cards and place cards.
Of course we can create anything under the sun and have also designed and produced; cocktail napkins, bar menus, custom wine labels, olive oil labels, wedding ceremony fans, maps of the wedding location, custom wooden boxes with logos branded on the lid, individual stationery for the bride and groom, etc, etc. We love brainstorming new and exciting pieces for weddings. No project is out of the question at A Day in May, we are most assuredly up for anything.

What are your favorite types of pieces to work on?
That would definitely be a custom wedding project where the client comes to us to create several pieces with a beautiful design language that shifts and changes a bit (not the same logo stamped on each piece), but overall has a very tight and consistent look and feel.

Do you charge for consultations? Can we see examples of different styles of printing in person?
We do not charge for the initial consultation whether it be a meeting in person or a phone consultation. If the client meets us in our studio, we will show them a wide variety of our work and we are also more than happy to ship a big sampling of our work to clients who live outside of SF or NYC.

Frequently asked questions that you wish brides knew before meeting with you?
I would say the most frequently asked questions are “how much will it cost?” and “how long will it take?!” Beyond that each client really comes to us with a host of different circumstances and questions which we are more than happy to answer for them. There are no wrong questions at A Day in May.

What trends are you seeing in paper goods for 2012?
A hot palette right now is gray & pink, ranging in depth of color. For instance right now we are working with charcoals, very soft warm grays, heathery mid-range cool grays, hot pinks, deep raspberries, soft petal pinks, fuschia and deep cranberry. They work wonderfully together since it’s a great cool/hot combination.

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Eve Weinsheimer & Lesley Hathaway

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A Day in May Design NYC
195 Chrystie Street, Studio 809F
New York, NY 10002
TEL 917.592.2661
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A Day in May Design SF
1850 Union Street, Studio 4
San Francisco, CA 94123
TEL 415.614.0005
{all images via A Day in May Design}