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Category Archives: What’s Up and Down

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. 

Wedding Picture

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

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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

You Know You’re a Bride When….

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I thought I would share a bit of humor with you today!  Planning a wedding can definitely be stressful (for all my fellow Type A personalities…..you know what I am talking about).  But, when you take a moment to step back and think about how wedding planning has changed your life (at least for the moment), you may just have to giggle right out loud.

You know you’re a bride when………

….You’ve got alphabetized and color coded wedding files.

….You check your email for the caterer’s response to your latest question before you’ve had your morning cereal.

….Your phone is filled to capacity with pictures of wedding inspiration snapshots.

….You’ve developed an entirely new vocabulary (you know what the colors oasis, lapis, canary, capri, and peridot look like).

….You make flash cards to help you memorize your vows.

….You do not leave your house without fabric swatches.

Happy planning in 2011 and beyond!

New Year’s Resolution

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I know, it is only October 30th, but I have decided upon my New Year’s Resolution for 2011 already.  As a matter of fact, I am going to get started now (why wait for January 1st)?

My resolution is to blog Invites by Jen more often.  My goal is to have 100 brand new posts on my blog by December 31st, 2011 (that means approximately two posts per week).  Note that I have 36 posts on my blog (including this one), so I need 136 total by the end of 2011!

Recently I had started blogging about some cooking and eating research I was doing (only because it interested me).  Also recently, I was elected to the Board of Directors for our local area community garden.  Along with this I became the committee chair for the “Communications” group (I am going to be in charge of the garden’s blog too).

So, I had to sit down and think about all this blogging…..I have decided that first and foremost I have to keep my brides updated on wedding trends (not only in stationery) along with presenting new designs that I am offering.  Countless times I have said to myself “that would make a great blog post” or “I should upload this to my blog”.  Simply, I need to take more action and just write!  Working towards a definitive goal will help me with this.

Then, as much as possible, I will be keeping my city and local area updated on what is happening in the area community garden (my goal for that blog is 50 posts by the end of the year).  So, don’t be surprised if I share a little garden blog love with you as well.

I have a lot of blogging ahead of me, so watch out for much more to come!

A crazy week!

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I am currently in the middle of my busy season (people are sending out their invites now for their summer weddings).  This past week was definitely a fine example of what life is like during this time. 

All I have to say about this week is that I LOVED IT!  Being busy means I am creating beautiful keepsakes for brides and grooms all over the world — I get to be a part of so many special days; I feel blessed.

I thought for this post it would be fun to show you all the items I shipped out this week.  I am definitely seeing a trend in this season’s colors — can you?

Invitation Suites

This week’s full invitation order was one of my new favorites.  I typically do one to two full invitation orders a week along with the many table number, place card, confetti, and other miscellaneous stationery orders from my Etsy shop.

The colors included black, white, and violet (a light purple).  The couple customized my Jennifer invitation set, so the damask print really added an additional air of sophistication to their already sophisticated color palette.

The response card was a mini version of the invitation and the couple also had me create an additional enclosure card that gave guests accomodations information.

Because the couple added the additional enclosure card, they also decided to add a custom printed vellum layer to protect the face of the invitation during mailing. 

I designed the monogram that was printed on the vellum and sent it to the couple so they could use it on other wedding projects!

I also created matching place cards and donation cards for the couple.  Instead of traditional wedding favors, the couple donated to their favorite charities in memory of loved ones and wanted to give the guests a little note about the charities.

Table Numbers

A lot of table number orders have been heading out the door lately!  They are definitely that last touch in making your wedding reception decor really stand out.

This week I sent out a set of my Sophia style table numbers in Pecan/Chocolate brown, Light Pink, and White.  These table numbers use a special ribbon that is no longer available — I only have a small amount left, so this particular set will only be available for a while longer!

Hot Pink/Fuschia is definitely the “IT” color for the 2010 wedding season.  I shipped off a set of my Sophia table numbers that incorporated my Hot Pink color accented by black, white, and silver.

A timeless color combination, one that will always work with your decor, is black, ivory, and white.  I sent off three sets of my Jennifer style table numbers in this same color combo this week!

 Confetti

Along with one of the table number orders, I also sent off confetti in the same color scheme.

Samples

This weeks top samples included the following:

Jennifer Wedding Invitation

Jennifer Save the Date Card

Daphne Wedding Invitation

Sarah Wedding Invitation

Now that I have completed this blog post, I feel as if I accomplished quite a bit this past week — let’s hope this upcoming week is just as successful!

Happy planning,  Jen

Visit Invites by Jen on June 9th!

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Invites by Jen is finally diving into bridal shows!  I have done some small craft and vendor fairs in the past, but not yet a full-force, wedding specific show.  After some research, and visiting the shows themselves, I have decide to devote my marketing efforts towards the wonderful events put on by the Wedding Planner and Guide for the Madison and Milwaukee areas.

For those of you getting married, I am sure at one point or another you have received, or viewed, a booklet from the Wedding Planner and Guide.  I know when I got married I used that thing constantly to find vendors for myself!

If you would like to view the current Wedding Planner and Guide, visit their website here.

The Wedding Planner and Guide puts on two shows in the Madison area a year — one in the summer and one in the winter.  This year’s summer event is going to be held on June 9th at the Mariott, Madison West.

The show will run from 4pm – 9pm.  To learn more about the show and the exhibitors that will be showing, visit this link.  On the website you can purchase tickets and learn about the wonderful prizes that will be given away.

Not only will I be available to answer questions at my booth, but I am also helping with the stationery decor around the event itself — I plan on creating brand new, exclusive designs for the displays, so keep an eye out for them.  If you would like to come and visit or have any questions you would like answered, I will be in booth #304, so make sure to stop by if you are at the event!

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Featured in the Knot Magazine

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Invites by Jen was recently featured in Colorado’s Knot Magazine. One of my clients was married in Colorado and her wedding was chosen to be featured in their magazine. Along with it, Invites by Jen products. I just wanted to share with you the magazine feature along with pictures from the wedding. All pictures are copyright of Kai Heeringa Photography.

This page included the customized place cards I made for the couple
This page included the menus I made along with being listed as the stationery vendor!
The ceremony programs
Close-up of the programs
The menus
I made Thank You tags for their favors
This was one of the pictures (of the place cards) featured in the magazine article
This is a picture of the wedding invitations I custom designed for them
Another shot of the invites