Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Floral Inspiration: Paper Moon

When I visited the Summer Inspiration at New Covent garden back in June I spotted this cute little flower in one of the flowers stalls, I hadn’t seen it before so was curious to find out what it was. It’s called Scabiosa Stellata ‘Paper Moon’; it has delicate lilac petals that shed to become lavender tinged papery spheres in the summer and early autumn. Since spotting it at Covent Garden I keep seeing it pop up in some fabulous floral arrangements on the wedding blogosphere.

I love how its neutral colours mean it can be combined with a number of colours from pale pinks to dark purples and its unique heads work with a variety of blooms from large peonies to delicate cottage flowers or quite simply used on their own.

1. Photo by Caroline Ghetes via Style Me Pretty, here
2. Photo by Jill Thomas Floral Design by  JL Designs via Style Me Pretty, here
3. Photo by Aaron Delesie Floral design by  JL Designs via Ruffled, here
4. Photo by Boutwell Studio Floral Design by Mindy Rice Via the Bride’s Café, here (love the chandelier with paper lanternsabove the dance floor at this wedding)

1. Photo by Jodi Miller Photography floral design by JMFlora Design.via The Brides Café, here
2. Photo by Jill Thomas floral design by  JL Designs via Style Me Pretty, here
3. & 4 Photos by Aaron Delesie floral design by  JL Designs via Ruffled, here

I also think they make great (not too girly) buttonholes...

Photo by Caroline Ghetes Floral design by The Bloom Room via Style Me Pretty, here

Photo at top by Sakura Photo Floral Design by Blue Lotus Floral Design via Ruffled, here

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Adorable Finds: Umbra fotofalls

I was in House of Fraser last week when I spotted these fabulous Umbra Footfalls photograph holders and thought what a great addition they would make at a wedding for a really contemporary take on a wishing tree, a table plan or escort cards holder and of course they could always be used to show family photos or a way to display fun photo booth shots.

They come in two sizes the one above which would sit on a table or below that's floor standing.

While looking around the website for these which I’d seen in House of Fraser I also found this one called ‘Petal’ which I think would make a very cool and different take on a table centrepiece and lovely gift for one lucky guest at the table.

And this great wall frame cluster Huddle frame (large) would make a wonderful table plan holder that you could use to display some of your wedding photos after the big day.

Take a look at the Umbra website, it’s a fabulous find of modern design led products for the home many of which could easily be used for your wedding day.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Always Asks Ananya Cards (Part 2)

Welcome back to part 2 of our Q&A with Vaishali from Ananya Cards

What’s your design process?

There are five main steps to the design process:
  •  ESTABLISH CRITERIA of the project
This stage involves understanding the design requirements and determining timelines and fees involved
  • EXPLORATION of the design possibilities
At this step, we explore the design possibilities for the wedding stationery, and present the first round.

  • REFINE the design
Once a couple confirms which design direction they would like to go with from stage 2, we will continue to edit the invitation and stationery with the design and text edits.

  • PRODUCTION of the invitation stationery
As stage 3 is completed, our designs become tangible! Print co-ordination with printers begins after sending the couple a production estimate and getting it approved by them. Proofs can be made for their approval before the final quantity is printed.
  • DELIVERY of the deliverables
The entire package is delivered to the couple, and they are now ready to enjoy their wedding invitations and stationery!

We work very closely with our clients both through face to face meetings and emails. Clients know that we are available to them and respond quickly to their questions or comments. We like to meet a client ideally 3-4 months before the wedding invitations need to be sent out, to allow enough time for the design process, proof, print quotes etc. However, we try to accommodate clients who have shorter timelines.

What do you think couples should be looking for when buying their wedding stationery?

Couples should remember that their wedding stationery is a reflection of who they are as a couple, so it should be like a personal statement about them. I feel that couples should have a theme in mind for the wedding. This will be the basis for the design process and will give a sense of continuity and conformity throughout. They should also have a fixed budget in mind, but allow for at least 10% more which will give them more flexibility in making choices. Quality is key and should never be compromised; couples should go for as high a quality as their budget allows.

What advice would you give to couples wanting to incorporate a fusion of cultures in their wedding?

If you are having a multicultural wedding, you are naturally sensitive about respecting the values and traditions of both cultures. Are there themes or aspects that are common to both cultures? For example, ananya recently designed stationery for an Indian Scottish wedding, where we used paisley as a motif because our research showed that the paisley had symbolic significance to both cultures. To harmonise the two cultures further, we also used a green background to match the tartan and the paisley in deep pink to give it a rich and exotic Indian look.

What do you wish couples knew already when working with you?

Before talking to us, it would be very helpful if couples had their budget worked out. This would save a lot of time during our initial discussions and it would allow us to quickly proceed to suggesting what is possible within that budget.

Where do you see the future of Ananya Cards?

My goal is to expand the business geographically and in particular, broaden my client base in the US as well explore the UAE. In addition to wedding stationery, we are also focused on personal stationery and correspondence cards.

Thanks for answering all my questions.

Ananya cards offer a truly bespoke service and create the most beautiful stationery which would really set the tone for any wedding. For further information, please visit their website or contact Vaishali by email

All images courtesy of Tino & Pip and styled by Always Andri Wedding Design

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Always Asks Ananya Cards (Part 1)

As mentioned before back in July I went down to Tunbridge Wells to assist the fab photographers Tino & Pip style a photo shoot of Ananya Cards; I got in touch with Vaishali, the founder and owner to ask her a few questions about the company and her background.

What’s your background?
My educational background includes an IB (International Baccalaureate) from the International School of Paris and a first class Joint Honors degree in International Management and French, where I specialised in Marketing. I am also an Associate of The Chartered Institute of Marketing. I have always had a keen interest and flair for design as well as a knack for spotting gaps in the market. My strong connection to my Indian heritage gives me a lot of exposure to its rich and varied artistic culture from which I constantly draw inspiration. Using this inspiration, I work closely with my design team to create new designs.

Why did you decide to set up Ananya Cards?

As a British Asian who has maintained a deep connection to my culture, I became acutely aware of the need for a culturally aware design agency. In order to address that need, my company creative id which is a boutique design and marketing agency established in 2000, launched a new service called ananya in 2008.

How would you describe your style/vision?

The name ananya means ‘without equal’. It inspires us to live up to the name and our vision of creating unique and innovative designs. ananya products have a signature deluxe feel, combining Eastern and European design elements with metallic inks and hand-embellished crystals. Our designs are known for their exotic elegance, sophistication and high quality. We at ananya have a multicultural approach and excel at creating stationery that is a beautiful fusion of cultures for our mixed and multicultural couples. With our attention to detail, we combine all the key elements that make a personal statement about the couple. Even our boutique collection of pre-existing designs for the more budget conscious is beautiful without sacrificing elegance. Our clients say we offer something that is very different and truly reflects who they are.

Our vision is to use our passion for perfection, style and multicultural sensibility to explore new ways to create something of unique value to the couple; something they will cherish and remember for the rest of their lives. What a perfect way to symbolise one of the most important days of their lives!

Where do you find your inspiration?

I try and keep my finger on the pulse and am always on the lookout for trends and themes and try to combine them in a way that is fresh and different. I am an avid reader of magazines and always looking for a different angle to express our style and vision. Because our designs are a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures, when I travel to India and Asian countries a couple of times a year, I draw inspiration from the vast array of colours, textures and art and explore ways to incorporate aspects of that into ananya’s designs.

What has been your favourite wedding to design for /work on?

One of my favourite weddings we designed for was for Kalyn and Todd. It was particularly satisfying for several reasons. Kalyn lived in New York, so we were never able to meet in person, however, thanks to modern technology we were able to communicate every aspect of the design process easily. Although ananya’s designs normally have a blend of Eastern and Western influence, Kalyn did not want any Eastern influence; she just wanted an exotic look and feel to the stationery and we were able to come up with a design she absolutely loved! She also wanted a complete suite of stationery including thank you cards, place cards, menus, table numbers and order of service. This really got our creative juices going and imagination soaring, harmonising all the different aspects of the stationery. Since Kalyn’s wedding was also a destination wedding, we were able to incorporate elements from the destination into the stationery. The final result was a triumph – we were able to bring her vision to fruition!

What have you found the most challenging job?

One of the most challenging aspects of our job is dealing with last minute changes from a client. We always spend a lot of time discussing and planning every aspect of the stationery design, including time scales, with a client at the beginning so we have the required amount of time to incorporate all the facets such as colours, patterns, textures, card stock, embellishments and printing that will deliver the ‘wow’ factor the client wants. However, when a client wishes to make changes at the last minute, it can make it difficult for us to juggle and co-ordinate the various components of the design and printing process in a timely and smooth manner. Although we try to be as accommodating as possible, it can be difficult and challenging for us and often clients are not aware that sometimes even small changes asked for at the last minute involve a lot of additional time and effort on our part.

What’s your one obsession at the moment-something you just can’t live without?

My collection of Converse shoes (I won’t tell you how many I have!!). What I love about Converse is that they have taken a basic design and are constantly adding variations to that design in terms of colours, textures and patterns. They’ve created a dynamic process which is very adaptable to your mood, style and the current trend. I’m always curious to find out how they’ll innovate next!

Come back next time for part 2 when we ask Vaishali about the design process and her advice to brides when planning their wedding and thinking about their stationery choices.

All images courtesy of Tino & Pip and styled by Always Andri Wedding Design
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