I've told you before that I know some amazing people. I am proud to call them my friends. One of those people is my buddy Bree (aka: Lucy). Bree is the owner of Wedding Tulle (weddingtulle.com), an online wedding stationary and accessories site. You may have heard of it, it has been featured in Real Weddings, The Knot, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Brides Magazine and more. She's kind-of a big deal. And she's my party-planning-partner-in-crime.
One day Bree and I were discussing the shower and as soon as I mentioned "Japanese Theme" I could hear her little wheels turning in her brain. About a week later she called me up and said, "I have the perfect invitation template... it's folds over like a kimono!" to which I exclaimed, "That's exactly what I was thinking of doing!" We think so much alike it's scary.
The next thing to do was to pick the paper that would become the "jacket" of our invitation. The internet search began and soon we were reminded of this website: The Paper Studio. I have drooled over their papers for years and this was the perfect excuse to order some samples. They have a whole section of their site dedicated to authentic Japanese Chiyogami, Yuzen & Washi papers and for a small fee will send you samples of them. I went a little crazy. I ordered about 20 samples. This turned out to be a problem because I fell in love with ALL of the sample pieces! Here are a few of the samples I ordered:
It was so hard to choose! I shuffled those samples around and around, I polled everyone for opinions, and in the end I did what any self-respecting designer would do...
I ordered 5 different papers and used all of them! I need to stop right here and let you know the customer service at The Paper Studio was out-of-this-world! They are so friendly and helpful and I would definitely buy their products for future projects.
You'll notice above that the envelopes we used were made of vellum so that the gorgeous papers were visible as soon as the guest picked up the mail. We made the mail pretty!
As I was mailing the invitations it donned on me you might like to see the stamps we used so I snapped this real quick with my phone, in the back of my car, in the rain. I must really like y'all.
This was one of those details that I had planned on doing, then when it came down to the wire I was tired, I was cranky, I didn't think we had time and Bree insisted we simply HAD to do it. She was right. It was the icing on the cake. Here's how it happened: at the very last minute, I raced home and scanned the image (a bag that you will see later) and emailed it to Bree. Bree did some fast editing and uploaded the graphic to stamps.com. A couple days later we had darling little Japanese-girl stamps and people just raved over them. And it gave the guests a little peak into what they might expect come shower-day.
The moral of the story is, always listen to Bree. She knows her stuff!
Oh! I almost forgot to show you the inside of the invitation!
Since the outside was the main attraction, we kept the inside of the invite pretty simple. And that was also due to the fact that Japanese styling tends to be real minimalist. I wanted to carry that feeling over to the invitation. The one truly OCD moment Bree and I had was with the color of the wording. You see, each of the papers were different colors. We could have settled on black or brown for each invitation. But we didn't. While Bree was slaving in the back of her shop cutting out all of the "jackets", I was in the other room searching Adobe Kuler for just the right ink color...for each paper. I must have printed out about 30 samples until we arrived at just the right shades of ink. So five different papers, five different ink colors. Don't look at me like that, we wouldn't have been able to sleep that night if we hadn't done it our way!
Bree added the finishing touch with the coordinating belly-bands and medallions. That girl is pretty clever.
I just loved how these invitations turned out and the guests seemed pretty excited about them too.
Next post I will try to delve into some of the decor, and a little DIY project that turned into the favors.