Texture is Better : featuring Jillian + Tommy's fall wedding

Oh fall - such a great time of year. We love the richness it brings - the colors of the leaves, the crispness in the air, excuses to stay inside and bake, watching football - the list goes on. Fall almost has a texture. On that note, this year we have played with texture more than ever before. Today we are showcasing Jillian + Tommy's invitations [FINALLY]! I have wanted to share these for some time and since their September 19 nuptials have made this lovely couple official, feast your eyes!

We used a lovely matte finish Navy pocket. Honestly, there's nothing like a matte navy. It's so luxe - you don't need any added sparkle. Add some navy velvet ribbon, walnut wood veneer, and cotton paper stock and you've got it made. Jillian + Tommy wanted a hint of rustic with their otherwise elegant, formal, and victorian style.  The combination of floral liners and backers and the gold foil stamping set off the wood veneer accents perfectly, leaving guests with the wow factor that the couple was hoping for.

You all know about my love for a good monogram and luckily Jillian + Tommy felt the same way. We designed this beautiful crest for them and the couple included this foil stamped crest throughout the remainder of their printed pieces. This couple gets an A in my book for consistency (which is key to developing a cohesive look/feel for your big day).

Extra love to Ashley and Nicole from Ashley Nicole Events for their outstanding eye in planning and for bringing us such a lovely client.

Best wishes to Jillian + Tommy and a lifetime of only happiness!

IMG_9461 IMG_9462 IMG_9463 IMG_9464 IMG_9465 IMG_9466 IMG_9467

We've Got News!

Hello Paper Lovers!

Lots of new and exciting changes happening over here at Sweet Zion Paperie! We have hired a new social media manager! Her name is Sydny and we are calling her our social media guru! She knows the ins and outs of all things networking. From Colorado, Sydny is a broadcasting and sports journalism student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and found a passion with social media. Sydny will be writing blog posts, tweeting daily and sending out the newest information over Facebook! We are thrilled to have her on board and share all of her insight with us.

So, stay tuned! There are lots of things to look forward to! New posts, new custom invitations and maybe even a few “giveaways” along the way!


Wax on, Wax off

Wax! Not only is it a cool word, its definitely a cool trend in the wedding industry at present. I've seen a true resurgence of "craftsmanship" in this day and age with young couples bringing back letterpress like it's gold as well as the aforementioned wax seal trend. Now, I'm not as old as I sound, but I do take time to appreciate nostalgia and also to give credit to the sage and true coined phrase "They just don't make them like they used to". However, in this case (and good news for you), they do!

Wax seals are perfect for event stationery for a myriad of reasons. We have used seals to close pocket invitations, to add a finishing touch, to establish a brand or theme, and even to seal an envelope or two. Check out these beautiful photos of some recent wax seal projects.

Lauren & Tino 2013



Now, you can integrate what was once a very vintage thing into a very modern and current piece of stationery giving just a shadow of scrutiny to the old adage "They just don't make them like they used to".

Oh the Places You'll Go - Destination Weddings

As if a wedding isn't a rad enough party to attend, imagine spending it on the beach! For you crazy lovebirds who plan destination weddings, I'm sure it is a ton of extra work - especially if you travel to a country where English isn't the predominate language and you're not bilingual. 

My brave brother and sister in law did just last September as they celebrated their nuptials in Turks & Caicos, a place very special to the Bride & her family growing up. The beautiful sands, the warm sunshine, the TURKouise water....the setting was beautiful. The bride, Becca was absolutely gorgeous and my brother Andrew, of course a handsome groom. Together, they are a super fun pair, not to mention stand outs as individuals. 

The stationery for their big day was also really unique. We created a custom passport invitation and then an airline ticket piece as their announcement for those that could not attend. Enjoy these snapshots of the work and of the beautiful wedding. 







Island photo credit to Brovado Weddings (stunning, stunning work)

Mailing Mania - Don't Get Stuck on Stamps

So your invites are all designed - you're ready to take them to the post office for drop off. Imagine, you are surprised to pay $.66 per invitation when you thought it would be only $.44 per invite. Your total bill for postage on 200 invitations equals around $220 (for both invite & response card). Unfortunately, I have no need to imagine this scenario as it's what happened to me when I was a bride.

Postage can make or break your invitation budget. Overall, it's suggested that brides spend anywhere from 5 - 10% of their total  budget on their invitations. Assuming that postage falls underneath that category, don't let stamps alone take 1 or 2 percent of that cost. Here are a few tips for mailing your very special invitations for the biggest, baddest, and most beautiful party you'll most likely ever throw. 

The USPS has guidelines for mailing anything. Let's break it down piece by piece.

Shape/Overall Dimension:
1. Anything square is considered extra postage and require additional stamps or more expensive ones than just a standard piece of mail. This is the mistake I personally made as a bride to be. Not having this knowledge can cause you to spill over your invite budget and have to take from somewhere else. If you're carefully minding that bottom line, please consider a different shaped invitation as it will save you. FYI: the most common size is a 5x7".

2. Anything measuring over 5.75 x 8.75 (or an A9 envelope) is considered extra large and requires additional postage.

3. The smallest size considered mail-able is 3.75 x 5.75 (of an A1/ 4Bar envelope). This is the traditional size for response cards, however anything smaller than this, the post office will not mail.



Not only does the post office have strict regulations on size and shape, they consider anything weighing over 1 ounce extra postage as well. The amount of extra depends on the weight of the item. Typically any pocket invitation will be over an ounce. Those with wax seals will most likely be over an ounce. Letterpressed invitations can also possibly be overweight due to the materials (special paper) used in manufacturing.  It is my advice to take your invite, completed and assembled, to the post office to determine the postage before buying all the stamps as soon as you're engaged. 


For those who are considering post cards, the USPS has regulations on those as well.

The minimum size still stays the same at 3.5 x 5" (the enclosure size of an A1/4Bar envelope). The largest size is 4.25 x 6 without extra postage or an envelope.

A post card also needs to be at least 80# cover weight or about 10 point basis weight. However, they cannot be thicker than 1/4". 

Additionally, those beautiful mounted reply cards you've seen will not suffice as post cards. Post cards are required to be a single sheet only, so skip the mounting if taking this route. 




Here's hoping this little post helps you avoid the shock of under-budgeting. Enjoy this process as much as your guests will enjoy receiving your invites. If you have any questions, please give us a shout!


DIY or LIA (leave it alone!)

All the women who are independent, Throw your hands up at me! All the honey's who makin' money, Throw your hands up at me! All the mommas who profit dollas, Throw your hands up at me.... Oh heeeey...

Well, now that you've seen that, let's just talk a little about independence - particularly with brides and planning their weddings. Enter, the DIY movement - or Do It Yourself.

What a great thing to be independent! To be able to look at something and say, "I could do that". With the invention and rise of crafty sites like Pinterest, Etsy, or even blogs, brides are scoping and scouring the internet for the next DIY sensation. Don't get me wrong, I love when you see new and fresh ideas debut at highly photographed events like weddings. More power to you independent ladies (and gentlemen) for really digging in and doing it yourself.

Now, the flip side of the DIY movement is the LIA rule. LEAVE IT ALONE - some things you just shouldn't try on your own. Here's my list:

DIY: Purchase your paper and design your invites If your tech savvy, definitely try to design your invite! It can save you a lot on cost, but beware because it can be a frustrating process if you aren't gung ho for the challenge. However, I think this is something you definitely could do on your own.

LIA: Printing your invitations Never print your invites at home. Most home printers are Ink Jet machines (the small cartridges that are expensive to refill) and the ink in those machines is not water resistant. If you invite were to get wet or isn't left to dry for the appropriate amount of time, it will smear and smudge. Ink jet printers are also discriminatory towards many of the papers used in wedding invitations (metallics, linens, etc.). For such an important occasion, please consider utilizing a local print shop.

DIY: Print labels or envelopes You can get by with printing your own envelopes on a laser machine. Many offices have small printers that can print envelopes, so look into doing that yourself and save on having someone else addressing them. There are also tons of cute labels out now with downloadable templates for easy use. Check out Waste Not Paper's great line of products.

LIA: Calligraphy If you haven't taken lessons for calligraphy, you aren't a calligrapher. Some people have great handwriting, so utilize that unique style if it fits the overall theme of your invite. However, do not attempt to address around 100 envelopes with a dip pen & ink well or even a calligraphy pen/marker if you've never done so. You won't be happy with the result. Paying a professional for this artform is the only tried and true way to achieve the look. In the end, paying $2-5/envelope can add up, but it's quite the first impression.

DIY: Assembling your Invites I caution brides and grooms on this item, but if you've got a big family or a really hands on supporting cast, rope them in and have an assembly party. LIA: Assembling your Invites (part two) It won't save you a ton of bucks to assemble everything yourself, so take your time and frustration into consideration. Many brides and grooms have too many plates spinning at the beginning of wedding planning. Paying a professional to assemble everything won't dip into your budget too much, plus they have all the appropriate equipment to do the job from start to finish. In all my years of doing invitations, I've only ever had 2 brides opt to assemble on their own - and not because of budget.

Enjoy! And go get 'em, Love Birds!

Post goes postal - enjoying modern times

Emily Post? Wedding etiquette? Our 2013 brides and grooms are throwin' them out the window! Here's how: 1. Monograms In tradition, the monogram was not to be used prior to the marital vows were spoken. Our modern take, monograms galore! The monogram is the best and easiest way to "brand" your wedding. It becomes the calling card for your big day, and also sort of identifies you as a couple. Whether a couple creates a stamp with said logo, an embosser, or uses it on their actual printed materials, monograms can be simple, elaborate, even fun. Monogram Styles

2. Invite Wording Traditionally, wedding invitations should mention the bride's parents and grooms parents - or at least whomever is footing the bill for the occasion. Our modern take, keep it simple. Many times invitation wording can be pretty touchy. For brides with particular mother in laws, or for couples with split families, sometimes grouping everyone together in a statement like "Together with our families" neutralizes the tension and puts everyone on the same playing field and still gives credit where credit is due. However you choose to word your invite, keep it respectful and simply stated so guests know clearly when and where to be.

3. Color Schemes Traditionally, color schemes were very neutral. Black, White, Ivory, Silver - decorations, printed materials, even attire was very low key. Interestingly, this decision may have been fear motivated for if a bride were to choose to have a colored or off white gown, she was considered "impure". Floral selections were traditionally white - and lots of satin and lace. Our modern take, Bright and Bold! Not only are we jazzing up our color schemes using bold jewel tones or bright hues of yellows, oranges, and pinks, our florals are power packed with lots of color, wire or bling accents, and even bejeweled bindings. Brides are even selecting pinks, blues, purple tones for wedding attire - and not just for their attendants. Even the fabric selections have changed from traditional laces and satins to everything from bold prints to burlap. Lazaro Dress available in light pink or the rainbow array.

4. RSVP Devices The Traditional take? Simple - Reply card with a pre-addressed and stamped envelope. Our modern take? Choice is key! Brides are opting for 3 basic options, some of which may have Emily Post rolling in her grave (and possibly a few stationers). Of course one options is to honor tradition by choosing the card/envelope combo. However, many brides are opting for a RSVP post card to both save on expense of postage and materials (sans envelope) and to honor their more modern roots. Finally, digital replies are becoming ever more popular, however for such a special occasion, many stationers (including myself) would request a couple to consider honoring the sacredness of snail mail.

5. The Gift of Giving Traditionally speaking, it's never posh to mention where the couple is registered. Instead, guests are to simply, dig out their address books or dust off the phone book and write or call the couple requesting the information. Our modern take suggests the opposite. Who needs additional phone calls? Setting up a wedding website and including the information is becoming the standard. Some couples even opt to include a sentence like "If you feel so led to bring a gift, the couple is registered at..." on a separate small card or include it on an event details card.

There you have it! I encourage you to enjoy the new trends that these modern times bring while still striving to honor the more traditional elements.