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The Invites by Jen Blog has moved!

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Thanks for visiting the Invites by Jen blog!  Please head on over to my new blog address, The Wedding by Jen.  Thanks!

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Same Products, Better Look!

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Back in March, on my Facebook fan page, I announced that I would be working with Marie of MCM Portraits to give my invitations and products a better look.

To take a quick step back, one of my goals for 2011 was to research and determine which DSLR camera I was going to purchase.  The reason for this goal was that I wanted a more professional look for my products in their listing pictures.  Well, after researching my options and evaluating my knowledge and abilities (or lack thereof) in photography, I decided it would be best to outsource this goal.

That is when I turned to Marie of MCM Portraits.  I have known Marie for quite a while.  She took my engagement pictures and captured my wedding (oh so beautifully I might add) when I was married back in 2008. 

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I have been able to watch Marie’s business successfully grow over the years as well (she is just about to move into her new studio).  Marie is very passionate about her work, does an amazing job, is so friendly and fun, so I knew she was going to be the right photographer to work with.

I am extremely excited to be able to show you pictures of the first design I had MCM Portraits photograph!

The first set I sent to Marie was the Grace design in a Hot Pink, Black, and White color combination.

One of the things I asked Marie to do was find a background that we would be able to hold consistent with every product that we photographed.  My goal with having a consistent background is to achieve a more consistent look on my website, on my blog, on my fan page, and in my Etsy shop.

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Marie found a way to incorporate a black background (something I had tried to do previously, but completely failed at; one more reason I am outsourcing this aspect of my business life).  I love how much the pink color pops and is evident in the invitation.

Another request I had was that one of the pictures have a close-up of some aspect within the design (it could be anything, just something to give a more “in-depth” look at the invitation set).

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I also threw out the idea of using props of some sort (once again, nothing specific in mind, I left it up to Marie).  Marie found the perfect props and found a way to make a very flat invitation have a more dimensional feel to it.  She has mentioned some other ideas she has in mind for future sets and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!

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With every product and design I send her way, I have asked Marie to allow me to have five total pictures to use in my product listings.  I chose the next option as my fifth picture for this design – I liked the change in background (still very elegant).  I also liked how the set looked like someone had just received it in the mail, opened it up to take a look, and set it back down on the table.

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Now, most of these pictures will be cropped into a square shape (required for my Etsy shop), but I just had to share the full fledged options!

As I mentioned, Marie is currently building her new studio (she anticipates being moved in before the month of May is over).  However, if you are in the Milwaukee, West Bend, Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) areas and are in need of a photographer, I highly recommend Marie of MCM Portraits.  I do believe I saw on her Facebook fan page that 2011 weddings are almost booked, however, so do not wait too long to book her or you may miss out!

Check out the MCM Portraits website at:  http://www.mcmportraits.com

LTS is awesome!

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This is just a quick post to recommend a website to all of my fellow stationery professionals. If you haven’t checked out Let’s Talk Stationery, you should! I love being a member, it is awesome!

Check it out for yourself: http://www.letstalkstationery.com

Not just a website under construction

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One of my goals for 2011 is to finish the revamp on the Invites by Jen website.  Had I just gone ahead and completed the new website design with only the elements from the old website, I would be done.  However, as you can see from my list of goals for the year, I plan on adding many new products and designs.

So, I decided to create my website with these new products in mind.  Even though this means my website will be “under construction” for a while, you will at least continue to see previews and glimpses of wonderful things to come!

For instance, the new lines were just introduced on the website:

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On this page you can read the description of all the lines that will *eventually* be offered.  The plan is to have a scrolling sideshow for each line (such as was done with the Classic Line).

Once you click on the button to your preferred invite line (for instance, if you clicked on “Classic Line”), you will see the different designs I have to offer:

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You will then be able to click on your preferred design to read more about it:

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At the bottom of the page for each design will be a scrolling slideshow that shows different ways other clients have customized that particular design:

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Also added today is the ability to request a sample of some of the designs shown on the website!

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Other exciting news is that this week I started working with Marie of MCM Portraits out of Allenton, Wisconsin.  She will be photographing my invites so that I can provide you with a beautiful look at your future invitation set.

 

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Valentine’s Day Wedding Theme

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Valentine’s day can be synonomous with a couple getting engaged, but there is an increasing popularity in exchanging vows on this day as well.

Here are a few of my favorite valentine’s day wedding theme ideas:

1.  Colors — to keep the event classy, try keeping the bold “valentine’s day” red clean and simple by accenting with the strong contrast of black and white

2.  Patterns — if hearts aren’t your thing, try incorporating a lace pattern or a black and white plaid pattern

3.  Flowers — red roses would be the *obvious* choice here, but try finding red poppies (which will also pull in that black accent)

4.  Invite wording — add a cute, yet elegant greeting to your guests — somewhere along the lines of “Come celebrate love and romance on Valentine’s Day at the wedding of Jack and Jill”

5.  Table Numbers — instead of using table numbers, name your tables after famous couples

6.  Cake — instead of the traditional square or round, have a heart shaped cake

Of course, one of the places you will want to check out (especially when planning a themed wedding such as this) is Etsy!  Here are a few of my favorites (clicking on each picture will take you to the listing on Etsy):

 

Have a custom print made to display at the card or guest book table:

 

Think outside the traditional ring bearer pillow options — this would make an amazing statement as the little one walks down the aisle!

 

What a charming touch to the groom’s ensemble for the day:

 

Hang this at the head table as added decoration!

 

Custom heart shaped soap favors for your guests:

 

A unique guest book idea!

 

Beautiful necklaces for your bridesmaids:

 

A great photo prop or decoration!  Why not write “thank you” and have a picture on your wedding day to include in your thank you notecards after the big day!

Freebies at the Wedding Planner and Guide Show!

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Next weekend, January 15th-16th, Invites by Jen will be one of the many wonderful vendors at the Wedding Planner and Guide Show in Madison, WI.  The show will be held at the Alliant Energy Center (for more information please visit the Wedding Planner and Guide website here).

If you are planning a wedding, I highly recommend this show.  Not only because I am a vendor, but because I utilized this same show myself while planning my own wedding a couple of years ago.  One of the best perks for attending is that many of the vendors offer show specials and discounts (who doesn’t like something for free).  Invites by Jen is no exception!

If you book with me at the show you will receive a 10% discount on your invitation order!  You do not need to know exactly what you are going to order at the time of booking, this is simply to ensure your wedding is available on my calendar!  

The savings do not stop with the 10% discount either…..after we book your order, you will get the chance to choose one of my secret freebie favor boxes!  Inside the box will be a ticket for a special reward that will be reedemable with your invitation order.  Examples include: free guest addressing, an additional 5% discount, free shipping, or a Swarovski crystal upgrade. 

One of the favor boxes will include a special discount — 50% off your entire order (please note this will not be in addition to the 10% discount, but will instead replace it).

Are you reading this and thinking “But I live hundreds of miles away, I cannot possibly take advantage of this discount, bummer”.  Well, don’t worry — I am extending this show special to any and everyone that wants it — even if you cannot attend the show. 

If you cannot make the show, but decide to book your order with me between now and the end of the day on Sunday (January 16th), you will receive the 10% discount AND free guest addressing (this will be your favor box prize).

So don’t wait, book your order today — 2011 dates are booking up fast!  As I only take a certain number of orders for every season, I suggest you contact me right away to ensure your date is still available!!

Happy planning!

Will You Be My Bridesmaid Cards

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You just got engaged and have shared the wonderful news with your friends and family.  Now, you can start the planning process!  One of the first things to do is ask those nearest to your heart to stand by your side on the big day.

Why not ask them with a cute notecard?  Invites by Jen now has wedding party cards available!  Need a custom color or text option?  Not a problem, just send me a quick note with what you are looking for.

The current design features a trio of bridesmaids holding a colorful bouquet of flowers.  The ribbon sashes on their dresses are adorned with a sparkling Swarovski crystal.

The cards are currently available in my Etsy shop — check them out!

Of course, in writing this post, I decided to head over to Etsy to see what other creative ways the wonderful artists on the site had to offer.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

FlourPot offers freshly baked cookies packaged in the cutest little box as a fun, original way to ask your friends to be in your wedding party.  There are even different dress types available — the one pictured is her “Jessica” dress.  Each gift is $12.00 over at FlourPot’s Etsy shop.

How about a “Bridesmaid Proposal Ring”?  A handmade rosette flower is attached to a ring and comes in a pretty ring box.  ButtercupMarketplace on Etsy offers these as a custom order for $9.00 a piece (free shipping is offered as an added bonus).