//social graces
Design House of Moira | Victoria Rothwell

when to mail out

wedding invitations

no seriously, when are you supposed to do that??

 

There are so many conflicting questions and answers out there it will make your head spin!  I can't even imagine being a bride and attempting to navigate the vast world of etiquette for your wedding day; I don't envy you one bit.  However, we're here to help! 

Wedding etiquette is something we've been practicing for so long, it now come second nature to us.  It's like a flow chart our brains are constantly cascading down.

 So here's the run down: 

Save the dates: 

Save the Dates are awesome.  They give everyone a heads up and allow your guests time to plan details like flights and hotels (even though, let's be real, they won't actually book their hotel until a month out only after you've hounded them for months).  Save the dates are typically mailed out 6-9 months ahead of your wedding.  We usually suggest avoiding holidays - so if your six to seven month mark falls between Thanksgiving and Christmas, try and get those in the mail before the holiday season hits so it doesn't get mixed up with holiday cards and widespread massive panic of the holiday season. 

Invitations 

These get sticky.  We suggest mailing out six to eight weeks prior.  Here are some general ideas that are often mistakenly disregarded:  

- No, it's not helpful or appropriate to mail them out 12 weeks early.  This is not only generally considered rude, but unnecessary.  You also put far more time between telling guests your date, your reply date and your actual wedding - you'll end up with a far greater number not sending their reply cards back and guests are far more likely to forget about your wedding all together (yes, this actually happens).  If you have an idiosyncratic notion that for some reason, your guests are the exception and your invitations really really really need to be out four months in advance, just know that you're incorrect.   

- Six weeks prior is fine.  This reminds me of eating out at steak restaurants in a major metropolitan city...I say 'medium rare' and it's like it has become a competition to see how close they can get it to rare while still calling it medium and everyone tries to out do everyone else.  Six weeks is fine, and just because your friend, who's wedding is AFTER yours has already sent hers out 10 weeks prior, just know that you're right and she's wrong.  Six weeks is your minimum; it gives your guests two weeks to get reply cards back and a month to get your count to your caterer (more on this shortly).

- Eight weeks is the maximum.  Any further out than this and you'll start running into issues: guests assume their on the A/B list and cause drama (whhhhyyyyyyyyy), people forget to reply at all, your invitation gets lost in the time shuffle and you end up out of sight and out of mind. 

- Six to eight weeks out is when they get mailed, not received. 

- We schedule all of our invitations to be mailed at the eight week mark.  This means we're early.  It gives us leeway in case you've changed your mind on what postage you'd like to use, there was a holdup at the printer, or you're not quite finished putting together your address list on time.  Anywhere between six and eight weeks is acceptable and follows protocol.  If you're at seven weeks and five days,  you're not late.  If you're at 6 weeks and four days, you're also not late. 

- Reply dates: caterers typically ask for your final count ten business days prior to your event.  We recommend setting your reply by date at four weeks out, giving you two weeks to hunt down the ungrateful slackers (I mean, your lovely guests and family) who haven't replied yet.  If your caterer is one out of hundreds of thousands that thinks it's normal to ask for your head count two months prior, ask them what they're smoking. 

- Your guests will receive your invitations anywhere from 2 days to 7 days after you mail them.  It wont be consistent, either.  You'll have local people get them a week later than people on the opposite coast.  We serve at the pleasure of the  United States Postal Service, ladies and gentlemen.  If there were another plausible option for sending mail, we would be using it.  Trust me.  

 

 
Copy of Creative Process | Behind the Scenes

Once we have our sketch finalized and our lettering style selected, we begin creating the artwork that will be included in the invitation suite.

It is our goal and part of our business philosophy that we never want a client to feel limited or concerned that their design won’t be everything they had hoped because they’re limited on how much artwork they can have created for them.

All of our projects include unlimited artwork, regardless of what type of artwork it is. For this suite, we had a watercolor floral pattern, two watercolor wash patterns, a modern landscape piece, and line botanicals.

This is the longest portion of our process without contact with our client. Once they’ve approved the sketch and calligraphy style, we set about creating all the artwork, scanning it into the computer, digitizing the artwork and calligraphy, and getting it ready for their design.

The proof is the next step in the process and is also the next thing the client sees after the sketch (unless they follow us on instagram, in that case, they’ve seen the entire creative process along the way as their design comes to life!).

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Aubrey & Adam

Courchevel, France

The proofs shows the overall layout of the suite, as well as each individual piece. A proof is usually about 9 pages long, but can get up to 14 if the suite includes several additional pieces.

I personally love the proofing point in the process. It’s the first point that the client sees their sketch come to life in full color.

Similar to artwork, we do not limit how many proofing rounds each client is allowed. We want the design to be perfection, and we’ll tweak it as much as needed.

Two to three rounds tends to be the average, so that is how we timeline out the clients project. If more rounds are needed, we always make sure to keep an eye on our mail date, since that will get pushed back based on how long proofing takes.

 
 
Creative Process | Behind the Scenes

Following the sketch, we create a sheet of lettering and calligraphy samples for our clients to review. We based the styles we provide on the couple’s overall style and the formality of the wedding as well as any personal preferences. Our calligraphy styles are not a generic sheet we give to each client, but created individually for each project. We also prefer to show calligraphy styles shows in the couple’s names, since seeing one’s own name is so much more exciting than seeing a generic style name.

For Aubrey, we created a calligraphy sample sheet with six styles. We knew she preferred minimal and modern, so we showed several variations of that style.

Aubrey selected a delicate monoline style for her lettering. We liked the minimal visual impact it had, while still being interesting and unique.

Sometimes we nail the style on the first try and sometimes it takes some tweaking. For Aubrey, she loved it right away.

Once we’ve selected the style, the Design House team sits down to see where in the sketch the calligraphy falls and what words or phrases we’ll need for the design. Once we have a list of what needs to be written, we write their lettering or calligraphy out by hand.

Design House of Moira | Victoria Rothwell


Aubrey & Adam

Courchevel, France

Creative Process | Behind the Scenes
Design House of Moira | Victoria Rothwell

Aubrey & Adam

Courchevel, France

Aubrey and Adam were married at a gorgeous chalet in Courchevel, France and came to us with some specific ideas in mind. They wanted to incorporate ochre into the design, but dit not want the overall look and feel to be summery and cheerful, but moody and modern. They came to us specifically because of our use of original artwork and lettering designed for each client. As with all our clients, we began the process with a sketch, detailing out our overall ideas for their suite, mixing media and multiple styles of artwork.

We love beginning with a sketch for several reasons:



  • It helps a client envision the overall look and feel by putting thoughts onto visual mediums

  • It allows the client to visualize how we see the art moving from one piece to another throughout the suite. We rarely do pieces that all match exactly, but vary the art across multiple elements of the invitation suite.

  • It creates a point from which we can create and generate all the artwork. As artists and creators, we avoid redoing repetitious work, which consumes a massive amount of time and energy. We want to create your artwork once and do it correctly the first time, rather than missing the mark. This is where the sketch comes in.

  • We can make adjustments to the art while the art is still theoretical to allow for more time during the proofing rounds and on assembly details.

 

shown here: the final pieces of artwork used in the printed pieces of the suite, generated from our original sketch







Featured | Oh So Beautiful Paper
Design House of Moira | Foil & Watercolor | Flourished Calligraphy | Handmade Paper

We had an unusual combination of requests from this bride: she wanted black, dramatic, foil printing, handmade paper, a large scale wax seal, unusual size, and mermaid paper (yes, mermaid paper).  Since size and handmade paper are the most difficult, we started there. We collaborated with Owl Post Calligraphy to create a custom order of black handmade paper in 8×11 inches.

We wanted to be able to fold the invitation into thirds, so we paired it with inserts that were long and thin to fit inside the folded invitation. We choose a long envelope that opened with a flap rather than on the end of a #10 envelope.

The mailing envelopes were a gorgeous handmade paper from Spain with a lacy and delicate deckled edge, while the reply envelope was a deep matte black.The wording on the invitation was also unusual. The wedding was hosted by the bride, groom and their son, whose names are listed together as a family.  The additional inserts were all hand painted with watercolor in shades of blues, teals, and purples (mermaid colors!) on Italian paper with an extremely soft felt finish and delicate deckled edge. We selected the Italian paper for its cotton content and knowing that it wouldn’t buckle or warp with the watercolor.

We paired an extremely formal and flourished calligraphy style selected by the bride and with a simple sans serif. We then selected a pale silver with a slightly matte finish for the printing. We wanted to be able to use the same printing on all four paper types included in the suite – Spanish and Italian handmade paper, custom black handmade paper and the flat black envelope.  

We created a logo for the couple of XX representing the day they decided to become a family. The XX logo was featured on the 2” wax seal as well as the return address and reply card envelope. The entire suite was folded and tucked inside the gorgeous, ivory Spanish paper envelope and addressed in matching formal calligraphy. We choose Oscar de la Renta postage with two stamps per envelope.

 

See the whole post here!!! 

 

 

Victoria RothwellComment
Design House Prep School
Design House of Moira | Design House Prep School | A School for Creatives | Creative Workshops

Semester IV course lineup announcement 

We will be announcing next semester's courses next week!  For current students, you can we'll be announcing via Facebook live on Monday, January 22 at 9am.  We'll be announcing the courses throughout the rest of the day on instagram on our blogs!

If you haven't joined us as a student yet, Design House Prep School is an online business school geared towards creatives.  We add new courses each semester covering both creative and business side of being a creative entrepreneur.  Join us at Design House Prep School to get your creative business on the track for success!

Real Wedding | Kristen & Sean
Design House of Moira | Portugal Destination Wedding

Kristen & Sean 

A gorgeous destination wedding on the sands of Portugal....

Featured on Carats & Cake

It was our pleasure to create this simple, moody suite for Kristen and Sean's wedding at Areias Do Seixo in A Dos Cunhados, Portugal.  Evoke did an absolutely gorgeous job designing the intimate wedding and Kristen's beautiful pale blue gown was a perfect fit for their destination wedding.  

Real Wedding | Annie & Matt

It is such a pleasure to work with a bride who's response to just about everything is, "sure! whatever you think will look amazing!" 

Annie was a dream client from day one - she knew what she was looking for and was able to described her vision and communicate what she liked.  Throughout the planning process, I would present her with ideas (hey, what do you think about doing your place cards so they ombre from the A's to the Z's?) and she trusted my judgement to make it happen.  Her wedding to her amazing husband, Matt, was a day made of sunshine and smiles with a to-die-for view!

Design House of Moira | Real Wedding | Bespoke Pape

Annie & Matt

 

A gorgeous view, intimate wedding and cozy atmosphere. 

Design House of Moira | Real Wedding | Bespoke Paper
Design House of Moira | Real Wedding | Bespoke Paper

Together, Annie and I created her reception pieces, using taupe pink watercolor and gold foil and calligraphy.  Her menus were each hand water colored and deckled with her menu details printed in gold foil.  Each menu was just the slightest bit different, and lined up on the table those details were noted by guests.  Her place cards were also all hand watercolored, with the guests names in dark pink to white calligraphy.  All the place cards were then arranged on a bed of flowers.  Each of her table numbers followed the same theme of watercolor topped with gold calligraphy.   

Design House of Moira | Bespoke Watercolor Wedding Invitations
Victoria RothwellComment
Bespoke | Laura
Design House of Moira | Indigo Blue Wedding Invitation

Laura & Ellis

shades of indigo, velvet, monochromatic, elegant, fall wedding


the tri-fold save the date folded into a thin, velum envelope so the artwork could be seen inside.  custom postage completed the save the date envelopes. 

Design House of Moira | Indigo Wedding Invitation

the invitation suite was kept simple on the fronts of the pieces with indigo monochromatic artwork gracing the reverse of each piece.  The suite included a save the date, invitation, reply card, reception card and dress code card.  The reply envelope and save the date envelopes were both a thin, transparent velum.


We paired the suite with a thin piece of velum, printed with the moody artwork suite to bring in the dark, winter reds and berries.

Custom postage and artwork printed envelope liners completed the suite.  We created the postage from the two artwork suites we used throughout the design.  


Bespoke | Kaitlin
Design House of Moira | Bespoke | Deckled Edge Handmade Paper

Kaitlin & Ryan

an elegant and refined affair, with romantic touches and personalized details. 

We lined the envelopes with custom liners featuring an illustration of the chapel the couple would be married in.  Each envelope was sealed with a custom wax seal with the bride and groom's new combined monogram in gold wax.

Victoria RothwellComment
Bespoke | Kiersten & Matt
Design House of Moira

Kiersten & Matthew

dark and moody, with elegance and romance - a perfect combination for a snowy winter wedding.


Design House of Moira | Bespoke

original artwork beside finished printed pieces


                We kept the invitation fairly simple with a line botanical laurel and a modern calligraphy style. 

                We kept the invitation fairly simple with a line botanical laurel and a modern calligraphy style. 

The additional inserts included the reply card and reception card, both of which we kept very simple and minimal.  They both featured the same modern calligraphy and small blooms from the line botanical artwork suite

Design House of Moira | Bespoke

We paired the suite with a thin piece of velum, printed with the moody artwork suite to bring in the dark, winter reds and berries.

Custom postage and artwork printed envelope liners completed the suite.  We created the postage from the two artwork suites we used throughout the design.  The three envelope liners (save the date, mailing envelope, reply card envelope) featured the two main artwork suites as well as a contemporary landscape scene created to reflect the bride's childhood home. 


12 Days of Christmas - Day 12
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15% off

ALL WEDDING STATIONERY ORDERS

Because we wouldn't want our stationery clients to be left out this holiday season, we are offering 15% OFF ALL WEDDING STATIONERY ORDERS if you send in your inquiry TODAY.

That means, any inquiry received today, December 24, that continues on to an eventual contract will be eligible for a 15% discount on their full invitation or save the date order. 

Design House of Moira prides itself on creating beautiful, heirloom quality, one of a kind suites of wedding stationery, with every piece tailored to your personality and style. If you or someone you know will be planning an upcoming wedding soon, send us an inquiry at the contact page to see if we would be the right fit for you!

Victoria RothwellComment
12 Days of Christmas - Day 11

...on the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

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Free artwork

We love gorgeous artwork and pretty things, and we know you do too! Even better, we love it when they're free.

Newsletter subscribers & current students of Design House Prep School will receive some digital pretties such as printables and wallpaper backgrounds for their smartphones a few times throughout our holiday celebration. 

Today, we are celebrating with line botanicals! We absolutely love how gorgeous and versatile this style can be, especially when combined with other styles of art. We have incorporated our line botanical technique into our invitation work alongside watercolor florals, minimal type, calligraphy both modern and traditional, and loved it more every time. We hope you enjoy this line botanical piece and--pssst! If you are interested in making some yourself, we have a Line Botanical course available with DHPS Semester III! So check your inboxes and get downloading!

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

Giveaway of Awesome - Third prize

Every day of the year, but ESPECIALLY on the holidays, we are so thankful for all of our awesome friends and followers.
In order to give back to everyone in the community, we are running a giveaway contest offering a chance to win one of three awesome prizes! 

The giveaway will run until 11:59 PM EST on December 24th, after which we will choose three winners at random to win one prize each! Some entries for the giveaway can be done more than once for additional entries, so make sure to come back and do them again if you want to up your chances!

Here are some details about our third and final prize! 

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branding consultation

Simply put, branding is the promise of what a client can expect from your experiences and services. It sets you apart from your competition. 

One lucky winner of this giveaway will get a 45 minute one-on-one phone/Skype session with Victoria to go over their branding. You can go over anything branding related, including what you're looking to achieve with your business and whether your branding accurately reflects your goals and aesthetic. 

The winner will be contacted to schedule their session in Jan 2018. Can't wait to work with you!

Victoria RothwellComment
12 Days of Christmas - Day 9

...on the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

15% off

any class course from SEMESTER III of Design House Prep School, including Class Passes!

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We've had three semesters so far, and our ninth day of Christmas will be for courses in Semester III.  If you haven't joined us for DHPS yet, it's an online business school and community focusing on running a profitable creative business.  Courses topics included are The Art of Saying No, Paper & Printing Flowchart, Line Botanicals, Digitizing and many more.  We also have several creative courses each semester to expose students to new techniques to either further their work or introduce something new.  We're all about recognizing the unique struggles that creative business owners face and approach them in a direct and honest way.  

Courses are always available to view and do not expire.  All students also have access to our private Facebook group, bonus content and live Q&A sessions with Victoria and Karen.

Simply enter the code "9THDAYOFCHRISTMAS" at checkout for any of the Semester III classes TODAY and receive 15% off your order. Third semester courses are:

- The Art of Saying No
- Paper & Printing Flowchart
- Eliciting Support
- Line Botanicals
- Ribbon Making & Fabric Dyeing
- Digitizing Calligraphy & Artwork

or even better,
- 2017 Fall Semester Class Pass
(for all six classes at a 25% discount!)
- 2017 Fall - Creative Class Pass
(for all three creative classes at an additional 15% discount)

- 2017 Fall - Business Class Pass
(for all three business classes at an additional 15% discount)

Any of the courses above are eligible for this holiday discount, and with the way we structured Design House Prep School, these courses build on many of the foundations established in previous semesters! 

Click through to check out the courses available and make a purchase!
The "9THDAYOFCHRISTMAS" code is valid only until 11:55pm EST on Dec 24, 2017.

12 Days of Christmas - Day 8

...on the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

W97A8517.jpg

Free assets

We love gorgeous artwork and pretty things, and we know you do too! Even better, we love it when they're free.

Newsletter subscribers & current students of Design House Prep School will receive some digital pretties such as printables and wallpaper backgrounds for their smartphones a few times throughout our holiday celebration. 

Today, we are celebrating with some stock photos, already styled and edited for your use. Whether you want an image background for an announcement or a stock image for social media, you can have the rights to do anything with these images that you'd like. So check your inboxes and get downloading!

12 Days of Christmas - Day 7

...on the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

W97A8517.jpg

Free pretties

We love gorgeous artwork and pretty things, and we know you do too! Even better, we love it when they're free.

Newsletter subscribers & current students of Design House Prep School will receive some digital pretties such as printables and wallpaper backgrounds for their smartphones a few times throughout our holiday celebration. 

Today, we are celebrating with hand-marbled artwork! If you're familiar with Design House Prep School, we taught a course on Japanese suminagashi marbling technique in Semester I. Today's artwork was created using the Italian marbling style, which can produce some very different but still gorgeous results. So check your inboxes and get downloading!

12 Days of Christmas - Day 6

Giveaway of Awesome

Every day of the year, but ESPECIALLY on the holidays, we are so thankful for all of our awesome friends and followers.
In order to give back to everyone in the community, we are running a giveaway contest offering a chance to win one of three awesome prizes! 

The giveaway will run until 11:59 PM EST on December 24th, after which we will choose three winners at random to win one prize each! Some entries for the giveaway can be done more than once for additional entries, so make sure to come back and do them again if you want to up your chances!

Here are some details about our second prize! 

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original artwork

Whether they are watercolor florals or line botanicals, hand calligraphed quotations or delicate venue sketches, we love creating unique pieces of artwork every day at Design House of Moira.

One awesome winner for our holiday giveaway will get the chance to choose their pick of artwork piece selected from a curated collection of Design House of Moira originals. We'll pack it up nicely and mail it off for you to enjoy in person! 

The winner will be contacted to make their selection in Jan 2018. Can't wait to see what you pick!

Head below to get as many entries into the giveaway as you can!

Victoria RothwellComment
12 Days of Christmas - Day 5

...on the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

15% off

any class course from SEMESTER II of Design House Prep School, including Class Passes!

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We've had three semesters so far, and our fifth day of Christmas will be for courses in Semester II.  If you haven't joined us for DHPS yet, it's an online business school and community focusing on running a profitable creative business.  Courses topics included are Watercolor, Pricing for Creative Businesses, Branding, Establishing Your Creative Process and many more.  We also have several creative courses each semester to expose students to new techniques to either further their work or introduce something new.  We're all about recognizing the unique struggles that creative business owners face and approach them in a direct and honest way.  

Courses are always available to view and do not expire.  All students also have access to our private Facebook group, bonus content and live Q&A sessions with Victoria and Karen.

Simply enter the code "5THDAYOFCHRISTMAS" at checkout for any of the Semester I classes TODAY and receive 15% off your order. Second semester courses are:

- Pricing for Creative Businesses II
- Watercolor II
- Cyanotype Printing
- Design Boards
- Branding
- Time Management

or even better,
- 2017 Spring Semester Class Pass
(for all six classes at a 25% discount!)

Any of the courses above are eligible for this holiday discount. With the way we structured DHPS, these courses both build upon the first semester courses as well as build a foundation for the subsequent semesters, so if you were looking to take some of the other classes, these might be related! 

Click through to check out the courses available and make a purchase!
The "5THDAYOFCHRISTMAS" code is valid only until 11:55pm EST on Dec 20, 2017.

12 Days of Christmas - Day 4

...on the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

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15% off

ALL WEDDING STATIONERY ORDERS

Because we wouldn't want our stationery clients to be left out this holiday season, we are offering 15% OFF ALL WEDDING STATIONERY ORDERS if you send in your inquiry TODAY.

That means, any inquiry received today, December 16, that continues on to an eventual contract will be eligible for a 15% discount on their full invitation or save the date order. 

Design House of Moira prides itself on creating beautiful, heirloom quality, one of a kind suites of wedding stationery, with every piece tailored to your personality and style. If you or someone you know will be planning an upcoming wedding soon, send us an inquiry at the contact page to see if we would be the right fit for you!

Victoria RothwellComment