Author: Annie Bowers

On the Move

On the Move

Hey, guess what? We’re moving this week! You’ve heard the rumors…so let’s set the record straight, shall we? After 11 years in business, 2016 had me noodling on how to continue to grow while meeting the needs of my clients in the absolute best way possible. So, I did what […]

Signage

Signage

Mailers & Postcards

Mailers & Postcards

Logos

Logos

Some days you need scones

Some days you need scones

Truth: As a business owner, for the most part I get to decide what to do every day. Some days that can be a blessing (all right, most days), and sometimes it’s a curse (especially without a team of coworkers to help keep the creative juices […]

Bridesmen and Groomsmaids: Not Your Mother’s Bridal Party

Bridesmen and Groomsmaids: Not Your Mother’s Bridal Party

For much of my adult life, and even during my teenage years, I’ve felt like “one of the guys” in many ways. Growing up, I even cut off my Shirley Temple curls at the age of three, purportedly so I could “run faster” like my big brother. […]

10 Things to Ask Your Stationer {and we hope that’s us!}

10 Things to Ask Your Stationer {and we hope that’s us!}

Wedding Season has begun! Wait- what’s that you say? But it’s January! Yep, that’s right… And in the world of wedding industry professionals, this is the beginning of our busiest time of year since most couples plan weddings that will take place during the months May-October.

Since we know a lot of our customers are in the early stages of planning, we thought we’d help answer some questions before you tackle the task of choosing the perfect invitation. Ever-popular wedding website, The Knot, formulated a fantastically thorough list of questions to ask your stationer before ordering wedding invitations, and we thought we’d take some of the guess work out of it for you:

Q1: Do you sell custom designs or invitation lines, and if so, which ones do you carry and how many are available?
A1: Yes and yes! We offer custom designs featuring paper from the Envelopments line, as well as a number of albums from other vendors (Checkerboard, Kleinfeld, and Designers Fine Press, just to name a few) featuring their own design styles and wedding suites that can be customized in varying degrees.

Q2: Do you specialize in a specific style or theme (for example, traditional or modern)?
A2: We don’t specialize in any one style; we offer them all and will work with you to ensure the style of your invitation fits the overall theme, level of formality, and color palette of your wedding/event.

Q3: Are there books I can browse through?
A3: Yes, indeed! We have almost two dozen different albums and literally hundreds of samples to peruse.

Q4: Are other personalized items available? If so, can I see examples and a price list?
A4: Yep! We can help design and print any number of things from place cards, table numbers, and menus, to napkins, favor boxes/tags, programs and seating charts. Just ask, and we’ll be happy to provide style ideas and a quote for any wedding day project you can dream up.

Q5: How are invitations priced? Is there any benefit to purchasing other wedding paper (menus, escort cards) at the same time?
A5: Invitations are priced by the companies who design them, for the most part. The cost is typically made up of three things: material, printing, and labor/setup. Tip: the price will vary considerably depending on the print process, the materials used, and the amount of customization. There can be benefits to ordering multiple items at the same time, as you can save on shipping, proofing, and cutting fees if ordering multiple pieces from the same line.

Q6: How much customization is possible?
A6: Almost anything can be designed based on your individual taste, style, or ideas you’ve seen and fallen in love with. Bring in your ideas! Share your Pinterest boards with us! We are happy to help bring into reality whatever vision you have for your invitations, and help convey the overall feel of the event to your guests.

Q7: What about calligraphy—do you work with anyone? Can you recommend someone?
A7: We work with the most amazing calligrapher in the Dayton area, and we’re happy to serve as the liaison for you to have your envelopes, place cards, or even your chalkboard seating chart, done in the beautifully hand-written style of your choosing.

Q8: Am I allowed to customize my invitation wording?
A8: Of course! There are a rare handful of invitations we carry that have a pre-printed design featuring some sort of verbiage, i.e. “Love” or some other expression that may not be able to be changed if it’s part of the overall design of the card, however the vast majority of our invitations are able to be customized with your unique wording and fonts.

Q9: How long after I place my order will my invitations arrive?
A9: Depending on the style you choose and how much assembly is involved, this could take anywhere from 1-6 weeks. If you’re in a bind for time, let us recommend some of the quicker options to make sure you get them in the mail and off your plate.

Q10: Once I’ve placed my order, will I be able to see a proof (what the invitation will look like) before the invitations are printed? What happens if there’s an error in the order?
A10: Always! We never order invitations without proofing them first, which protects us AND you from spelling errors or design issues that could be costly and time-consuming to correct. And the bottom line: we want you to be thrilled with the finished product, so we do our very best to get it right from the get-go!

Let us know if there are other questions we can answer for you, or feel free to visit our gallery or FAQs section for additional information. Happy browsing, and we look forward to working with you!

Get Over Yourself {and Do It}

Get Over Yourself {and Do It}

I’ve been stewing all morning about what I should be doing differently… with my business, with my life, and with my relationships. There’s just an overarching feeling that I’m not quite doing something “right.” And I’ve felt somewhat paralyzed by indecision as I’ve been swirling […]

Emily and Blake

Emily and Blake

Holy @&*!, Ten Years!

Holy @&*!, Ten Years!

The Envelope celebrated its tenth anniversary on September 3, 2015 – that’s ten whole years of being open for business! In some ways I can’t believe how fast the years flew by, and in other ways it seems like an entire lifetime. To say I’ve […]

Abby and Collin

Abby and Collin

Erin and Seth

Erin and Seth

Courtney and Joe

Courtney and Joe

Centerville HS Prom

Centerville HS Prom

Palm Beach Save the Date

Palm Beach Save the Date

This save the date had a cool retro feel, incorporating vibrant Palm Beach artwork on one side and wedding weekend details on the other.

Poinsettia

Poinsettia

Abstract poinsettia leaves in light and dark green, red berries, and looping script combine for a beautiful holiday greeting.

Peaceful Tidings

Peaceful Tidings

This might actually become my own holiday card this year. I love everything about it. It’s a unique style: a folded layer mounted to a single green piece, with just a minimalistic message.

Cookie Exchange

Cookie Exchange

What an easy card this was to whip up… We chose a small trifold card with a bright green damask pattern on the back, printed large cookie graphics on the white side, and threw it into a red envelope. One layer, simple layout and no […]

Chalkboard Save the Date

Chalkboard Save the Date

A cool way to tell friends and family to “save the weekend”, this chalkboard style save the date lists on a timeline three key events for the weekend: a birthday party, an engagement party, and a bridal shower. Let the fun begin!

Melissa and Kevan

Melissa and Kevan

Melissa brought us this design she had seen online, and we recreated it using her own unique story. We frequently have customers who see something they like on Pinterest or Etsy and ask us if we can create something similar. We are always happy to […]

News Flash moving announcement

News Flash moving announcement

Extra! Extra! Read all about it… These adorable vintage photos of the two kiddos matched up nicely with an old newspaper themed moving announcement.

Laura and Jessica

Laura and Jessica

Everything about this invitation suite was gorgeous. The paper we chose was lightly textured and felt like a letterpress stock (even though we printed these digitally). The graphics were pale green and coral succulents, and the text was all soft shades of grey. These romantic, feminine invitations were one of the last projects our intern Eric completed before he moved out to the West coast, which is coincidentally where this lovely wedding took place as well.

Kaitlin and Jonathan

Kaitlin and Jonathan

I love this invitation. It’s one of the only single layer custom invitations we have ever done that I actually loved every part of. The card stock they chose was a duplex with a dark grey damask pattern on the back, and a lighter grey […]

Laura and Edward

Laura and Edward

This simple, elegant program was perfect for Laura and Edward’s wedding. The gold paper with dark ink were a rich but understated combination, and full of class.

Sporting Event Wedding

Sporting Event Wedding

This couple came to me with the vision of having a sports-themed wedding. They wanted us to create an invitation that felt like a ticket to an event, so we developed an invitation, reply card and program to fit the bill.

Mary Oliver Quote

Mary Oliver Quote

“Tell me- what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” This Mary Oliver quote was a request from a customer who wanted to give these framed as gifts. We fully justified the text and made key words stand out, […]

Modern Script Menu

Modern Script Menu

What makes this menu stand out is the large script that bleeds almost all the way to both edges. It was a cool way to let guests know what they were being served, and matched the colors of the wedding as well, serving up a […]

Bridal Party Silhouette Programs

Bridal Party Silhouette Programs

This was one of our more popular designs for wedding programs during Summer and early Fall, and involved the use of bridal party graphics to provide a fun visual break in the text. Of course, we customize the colors of the paper and ink with the bride and groom’s wedding color palette, and could easily switch up the font for a less traditional look as well.

Laurie and Keith

Laurie and Keith

This one should look familiar… despite it being one of the year’s most sought after designs, this invitation never gets old. This image really shows the depth of the letterpress, and paired with the gold printed patterned envelope liners, this invitation was simply bellissimo.

Love Letters

Love Letters

“I’m deep into writing love letters…” she said as she walked in the door. “I hope you can help me. I was up until 3 a.m. because the words kept pouring out.” Simply put, I love this. I love that people are still writing love […]

Rustic Montana Wedding

Rustic Montana Wedding

Ok, so this was pure awesomeness. This was a collaborative effort between myself and Sam, the groom. He found someone to die cut wooden invitations into the shape of Montana, and burn the text into the material. We stepped in to find a pocket that would accommodate the shape and size of the invitation, as well as provide enclosure cards to match the look and feel of such a rustic, outdoorsy invitation. Check out the gallery below- these pieces are all worth a good look!

Jenna and Michael

Jenna and Michael

Jenna had an apple-themed wedding, so we created an original apple illustration to use on everything from the invitations to the place cards and thank you notes.

Katie + Joe

Katie + Joe

Still haven’t quite had enough of the chalkboard look…Especially when it involves really fun fonts, like this rehearsal dinner invitation does.

Kelley’s Wedding Program

Kelley’s Wedding Program

We keep getting requests for bridal party silhouettes on wedding programs, which is fun because we are able to change up the colors involved, as well as the style of the program. This was a trifold square program on a raw silk ecru card stock, using the bride’s colors of coral, gold and ecru.

Carrie’s Scrabble Shower

Carrie’s Scrabble Shower

This was one of the more fun bridal shower themes I’ve heard of to date. Carrie grew up playing Scrabble, so the ladies who threw her shower thought it only appropriate to go along with her idea for a theme. They were even able to procure […]

Katie and Tal

Katie and Tal

A great change of pace from most traditional programs, this single card two-sided wedding program explained Jewish wedding traditions in lieu of simply listing the order of ceremony events. I really loved putting this program together to match the invitation Katie and Tal chose, as well […]

Caitlin + Craig

Caitlin + Craig

We saw a lot of coral and persimmon in 2014… Shades of orange, grapefruit, and dahlia were extremely hot, and look good with nearly any color you pair them with. The tailored stripes and traditional font were a crisp combination for this July wedding.

Woo Pig Sooie!

Woo Pig Sooie!

This year’s triumphant return of the Pig Roast invitation adhered to the ultra-trend of using reverse type and a chalkboard background (don’t knock it too much- it’s part of our logo, too…). The stripes on the back were a fun surprise for anyone who turned the card […]

Kelly’s William

Kelly’s William

Love. That’s what this adoption announcement was all about. ‘Nuff said.

Kelsey and Dan

Kelsey and Dan

Kelsey chose one of the contemporary designs from Designer’s Fine Press for her wedding invitation ensemble and we ran with it for some in-house accessories, including her programs, menus, and “newlywed advice cards”.

Lauren & Brad

Lauren & Brad

Art deco font wedding program in pink and grey

Emily + Rob

Emily + Rob

This Charleston, South Carolina wedding was full of southern charm and hospitality. The welcome dinner invitations included the iconic pineapple as a watermark, and a tree dripping with Spanish moss.

Samantha + Bradley

Samantha + Bradley

Watercolor effects made a BIG comeback in 2014, and this invitation shows off exactly why. The vibrant, hand-painted look of this card immediately makes a statement.

Meghan and Mark

Meghan and Mark

This pink floral pocket invitation was a nice remake on the classic ivory and gold version we have done several times. Meghan still wanted to bring ivory and gold into it, but couldn’t pass up the lovely pink textured pocket.

Old Balls 40th Birthday

Old Balls 40th Birthday

Oh buddy… this invitation kept us laughing from the moment the customer brought the idea to us. She saw something similar elsewhere and wanted to know if we could recreate it for her… and it was truly our pleasure. This surprise 40th birthday party for […]

Carolyn + Adam

Carolyn + Adam

City skylines made quite a splash in this year’s printed world… Tag and Co. offers some really cool skyline ideas- everything from abstract outlines to more detailed pencil sketches. With the popularity of “going local”, people are developing a healthy sense of pride in their communities and wanting to show off their local love by incorporating skylines of their city on everything from save the dates to rehearsal dinner invitations. (It would also be cool to screen print a skyline onto t-shirts for the bridal party- hint, hint.)

Aloha, Heather

Aloha, Heather

Heather found us online, all the way from Hawaii! She knew she wanted to use green and yellow in her invitations, so we went back and forth via email with color swatch ideas for the card stock and the ribbon. She settled on a tall, […]

Aviva + Michael

Aviva + Michael

The credit for this grey on grey, half-tone monogram belongs to Eric, our intern who transplanted to Washington to work with reclaimed wood in early 2014. This was one of his projects while he was with us, and the monogram (which the bride absolutely loved) […]

Amanda + Navraj

Amanda + Navraj

This was another of my favorites this year. The invitation was neutral and formal using a palette of black, a tiny bit of ivory, and shades of gold. We used all metallic stocks, which set an extra elegant tone. One thing that was different about this invitation suite is that it included a card that listed the dates, venues, and locations of all of the wedding events to make it easy for guests to keep track of where they were supposed to be and when. To coordinate with her invitations, we also designed programs and rehearsal dinner invitations in the same color scheme.

Hamilton’s First Communion

Hamilton’s First Communion

This First Communion invitation could easily be turned into a baptism or birth announcement. The bottom layer is a white faux wood grain card stock, accented with charcoal and powder blue.

Words to Live By

Words to Live By

“Make good choices today,” my mom said as we hung up the phone this morning. Really? I’m a woman in my thirties, and my mother is reminding me to “make good choices”? I actually laughed out loud. But as soon as I hung up, her […]

Amanda and Alec

Amanda and Alec

A good use of fonts, frames and minor breaks in the text frames makes this invitation pleasing to the eye, while keeping it simple.

Andrew the Rock Star

Andrew the Rock Star

These VIP backstage pass invitations were being inserted into lanyards and distributed to the party guests. We tried to make them fun and authentic at the same time, complete with a bar code at the bottom.

Rebecca + Breck

Rebecca + Breck

One of the textured papers we carry has a tree bark grain to it, which comes in about half a dozen different colors including this dark chocolate, a lighter birch, and a cool white. This square pocket card invitation boasts a tidy pocket on the […]

Listen

Listen

I recently fell in love…with an old building in Centerville that caught my eye last Summer when it came up for sale. As I walked through it, it spoke to me. Not once, not twice, but every time I set foot inside it. The building silently told me things I didn’t know about myself; it showed me how much beauty there is in history, how much authenticity there is in a structure that has seen nearly two centuries of life…and it was clear that we had always belonged there. My business and I. It was where I knew I needed to be. The worn wooden floors- beams that have been around for almost 200 years, having seen things I can only imagine; the gorgeous stone wall that reaches up two stories and somehow makes me feel instantly safe. I feel at home in this place. More often than not, life happens to us, and if we aren’t listening, we miss out on opportunities that could transform us, adding a new dimension to our lives that we didn’t even know we needed. My heart is more at peace now than it has ever been at any other point in my life. I’m calm inside. I feel lucky. I feel whole.

Because of this experience- the instant, unexplainable connection I felt to this ancient, creaky, stone house- I’m trying to listen more. I’m trying to pay more attention to and appreciate the beauty in history, in old things- things that have endured. Things with a story to tell. I’m also trying to listen more to things that can’t be seen. There is energy surrounding all things, so I’m trying to listen with my instincts, my heart, my fibers, my nerve endings.

Just like with this old building, on several occasions I have recognized something within someone else that was familiar, and the need to know them was so great that I was drawn to them, despite being strangers. Part of me that I didn’t know existed recognized and connected to part of someone else whom I truly believe I was meant to know in this life. I’ve met several people in the past six months who have spoken to me without saying a word. They have appeared seemingly randomly, our paths crossing, and despite not knowing them, as soon as we spoke, I felt like I knew them. It was comfortable. It was familiar. For no good reason at all. And when something like that happens, you listen.

There’s magic in feeling things you can’t explain. And now I know that sometimes things are out of our control and out of our realm of understanding. Sometimes people pull us to them for reasons we might not know yet. Sometimes things or places speak to us silently in ways we cannot explain. But if you pay attention- if you listen- these experiences leave their mark on you, and help foster a belief in things that cannot be seen, that can only be felt.

There are people in this world who draw us to them. There are buildings we are meant to occupy and make our nests in, be it for work or play, or both. There are experiences that occur that are meant to happen to us. Open your eyes. Pay attention. Trust me, you do not want to miss these moments…they guide us, they fulfill us, and they make up some of the absolute best things in life.

Jen’s Post Wedding Brunch

Jen’s Post Wedding Brunch

This Palm Beach wedding began with a colorful retro save the date card, and ended with a leafy green and gold twist card as the post-wedding brunch invitation. We printed their names on a small card that we adhered to the twist card. Gently pull […]

Holiday Photo Greeting

Holiday Photo Greeting

One of my favorite things about this card are the tiny candy cane striped strings that stretch out from each side of the text box in the center, giving it just a sweet, pink touch of holiday magic.

Christmas with a Twist

Christmas with a Twist

This green twist card has an abstract drawing of Mary on one side, and the family’s greeting on the other. They chose a modern sans serif font for the message and just a few pops of red.

Winter Landscape

Winter Landscape

If you’re a little tired of all the red and green at Christmas, a lovely alternative for a holiday greeting is to go with a winter landscape in snowy tones of blue, white and chocolate. This Tag and Co. design boasts a sort of calm tranquility […]

Floral pocket program

Floral pocket program

This little pink and grey floral pocket program was fitting for the garden wedding it accompanied, and the sleeve ended up protecting the programs when it started to rain. They say rain on your wedding day is supposed to be good luck…

Lauren and John

Lauren and John

Green ribbon across the top ties the invitation and the program together (not literally), while the black and white and funky script makes these invitations crisp and modern.

Here Piggie, Piggie

Here Piggie, Piggie

It’s that time again! PIG ROAST TIME! This was the 2013 edition….as I’ve said before, every year is my favorite to date. This was no exception.  

Caroline and Matt

Caroline and Matt

Caroline and Matt’s program was a delightful compliment to their layered gold and ivory wedding invitation, from the layers of gold and ivory, right down to the moss satin ribbon.

Gift Tag Post Card

Gift Tag Post Card

If you’re looking for simple, this is the card for you. We designed a two-sided post card in a small 4×6 size with a little “gift tag” address block on the back for easy hand addressing.

Holiday Mendhi Twist

Holiday Mendhi Twist

Twist cards are a great way to include a photo and greeting on opposite sides of the same card, without actually turning the card over. Just gently pull on the left and right edges of the card and the photo twists around to reveal the […]

Elegant Tree

Elegant Tree

The cherry on top of this one was the one, tiny rhinestone at the top of the tree. White and red ink topped this gold card for an elegant, festive greeting.

Peace

Peace

Who says you have to use traditional Christmas colors on a holiday card? This customer chose pink and green shades to coordinate with the colors they were wearing in their family photo. Also by Tag and Co., this is a more contemporary design and was a different choice from years past that was fresh and fun.

Holly Holidays

Holly Holidays

There’s just something about a few bursts of bright holiday red that is absolute perfection when paired with light blue and deep mocha. This card found the perfect balance of soft blue, vibrant red, and rich brown.

Davis Holiday Card

Davis Holiday Card

Tag and Company does exquisite photo printing, which is why they are a big favorite of ours for any holiday card that uses a photo. This monochromatic card stays clean and simple with a black and white photo and grey tones for the rest of […]

Oh What Fun!

Oh What Fun!

We had Tag and Co. create another masterpiece with a selection of fun summer family photos that was sure to warm the hearts of their friends and family.

A + B Programs

A + B Programs

Angela’s Tiffany blue and mocha wedding needed a simple program to match, and by the time she made it to the program stage of things, Angela was tired of making decisions and asked me to suggest something simple and easy that wouldn’t break the bank. Our […]

Evergreen Christmas

Evergreen Christmas

This super fun couple comes in once a year to order holiday party invitations as well as their Christmas cards, and catch up on the latest news around the shop… this was the traditional Tag and Co. design they chose to send to friends and family.

Dana and Sean

Dana and Sean

Beach weddings are the most popular type of destination wedding; Dana exemplified the destination bride with her laid back attitude…from the first day we met Dana, she put the power of creative control into our hands and told us to “just do it.” She had a few ideas of her own that she wanted incorporated into her invitations, including a picture of the beach where they would be getting married, but other than that she just wanted something simple and fun to reflect her small destination wedding. We chose a tri-fold card that had a heavy texture on it, almost like seashells; to complement the shimmery silver tri-fold we used white micah printed cards and a simple black ribbon to pull it all together and make it feel less informal. The photo of their initials carved into the sand added a nice personal touch, and the overall effect was beach-elegance.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

There’s something about familiarity that you just can’t put a price on. Think about it. The folks from Cheers nailed it. What is it that makes you decide where you’re going to shop, get a cocktail after work, or buy a special gift for someone? […]

Art in the Burg

Art in the Burg

Come experience a vibrant collaboration of art by three local Dayton artists and community leaders at an Opening Reception Friday, June 15th. The Opening Reception kicks off the beginning of a special exhibit that will run through July 5th, featuring: Painting on Rusted Steel by […]

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

UPDAYTON’S “STAY IN DAYTON” MISSION CONTINUES

(Written for Dayton City Paper by Annie Bowers)

Where will you be on Friday, April 27th? Are you interested in attracting and retaining creative talent in the Dayton Region? If so, join close to 200 fellow Daytonians and community partners at the Dayton Art Institute for the 2012 updayton Summit.

The 2012 Summit, an annual event created by updayton, will focus on four key areas of community interest: Diversity, Alternative Transportation, Neighborhoods and Urban Vibrancy. Summit attendees will brainstorm ideas for new projects in each of the four categories with the collective goal of attracting — and keeping — young creatives within the region. Updayton Executive Director, Yvette Kelly-Fields states, “If we can get them here and involved, they’re more likely to stay in the region and continue to help it grow creatively.”

Updayton, the non-profit organization responsible for hosting the Summit, began as an initiative of DaytonCREATE 2008, a project formed under the direction of several companies that shared mutual concerns about the “brain drain” in the Dayton Region. The team selected 32 members of the community to act as catalysts and challenged them to develop initiatives geared toward making Dayton an attractive creative city. Two of these initiatives blossomed into unique stand-alone non-profit organizations: Film Dayton and updayton. The focus of the latter was to unite a group of young professionals and community members who shared a passion for local revitalization and a commitment to promoting their region as a vibrant place to live, work, learn and play.

Kelly-Fields further explains, “Updayton connects networks, challenges the status quo and inspires all people who believe in Dayton to roll-up their sleeves to help the community. Our efforts haven’t revitalized Dayton overnight, nor were they expected to, but they’ve shaken the ground in other ways. We’ve stopped waiting for someone else to do what we know needs to be done.”

In 2009, updayton hosted its first Summit, which drew interest from citizens across the region and rejuvenated the notion of developing Dayton into a vital creative community — and year after year, the Summit provides specific plans on how exactly to accomplish that goal.

One such plan, Welcome to Dayton, was a Summit Diversity project that aimed to connect native Dayton families with immigrant families in order to help immigrants become more acclimated to the area. The group also compiled an official “Welcome to Dayton” packet that will be available in all Dayton Metro libraries beginning May first.

In addition, the implementation of First Friday Scavenger Hunts began in 2011, encouraging people from outside the city to venture downtown to experience the energy of First Fridays and see what the city has to offer by way of galleries, shops and restaurants.

Under the Neighborhoods heading, the 2011 Summit identified the Warren/Brown Street area as a neighborhood with tremendous potential to attract young creative professionals. Kelly-Fields explains, “We saw it as a neighborhood on the rise, and asked ourselves, how we could make this area more interesting and attractive?” From these efforts, the Bridge Project was born: updayton asked local artists to submit designs for consideration, and on May 5 the winning design (chosen by public vote) will be painted on the Route 35 pedestrian overpass bridge.

Finally, under the 2011 Jobs category, the Dayton Interns project outlined a plan to create an online portal that would allow businesses to post a single listing for internships, which could then be communicated to eight different university partners with the click of a button. Students could view the listings through their university’s career services site. The result? Student interns and local employers were easily matched up, without having to sift through openings on multiple sites.

This year’s Summit will focus on the following areas:

Alternative Transportation: to promote bikes, bussing and walking as forms of transportation.

Diversity: to encourage Dayton Metro Libraries to embrace diversity by building library resources to reflect the growing immigrant population.

Urban Vibrancy: to promote Dayton as a destination spot among college students, urging them to become more involved with the downtown area for more than just special events.

Neighborhoods: to work with East End Community Center in the Twin Towers neighborhood to implement strategies that will help encourage people to move there.

After a day of brainstorming, the energy and excitement will continue to build at the After Party at the CADC’s new location in St. Clair Lofts, featuring DJ Ruckus Roboticus, food, wine and Buckeye vodka. In addition, ten swag bags will be given away featuring goodies from local merchants, including a DAI membership, tickets to the Dayton Film Festival, and Sidebar, Ghostlight Coffee and South Park Tavern gift certificates. One lucky swag bag winner will also receive a key that provides the use of a Bob Ross Motors 2012 Fiat for an entire weekend. The event will wind to a close at the After After Party at Sidebar, which includes a $5 breakfast from 10p.m. – 2a.m.

Corinne and Pablo

Corinne and Pablo

Corinne and Pablo wanted to incorporate airplanes into their wedding invitations and save the dates, not just because they currently live in city known as the birthplace of aviation, but because they are both involved in the Air Force. They were legally married in a […]

Start Something

Start Something

“You don’t have to know where you’re going to be headed in the right direction.” I took the advice of a marketing guy I know and decided to use my most recent fortune from P.F. Chang’s as my blog post topic this week. (And by […]

Bre’s Graduation

Bre’s Graduation

Bre came into the store for the first time with her mom, brimming with excitement over her upcoming graduation from medical school. She informed me that she never goes “all out” for things, but she wanted something really special to announce the graduation she had worked so hard for, and the degree she was so proud to earn. She chose a fun geometric pattern in a cool chartreuse green and paired it with a navy blue border which gave it a tailored look. We kept the feeling lighthearted with a casual and fun script for her name, and lent a modern lilt to the invitations with one of my favorite go-to fonts, Century Gothic for the rest of her text.

 

 

The Power of One

The Power of One

I was pulling into the parking lot at work the other day, and I had this crazy idea… What if there was only one homeless person? Now I know that sounds ridiculous, but I just thought, “If there was only ONE person who needed  a […]

Look Ma, {I’m using my} hands!

Look Ma, {I’m using my} hands!

Just once this week, I challenge each of you to put down the laptop, the iPad, the smart phone….and make something with your hands. And don’t tell me you’ve forgotten how to do that. Remember in elementary school how we had art class at least […]

Sharing the (Local) Love

Sharing the (Local) Love

There’s been quite the hullabaloo lately surrounding the notion of “keeping it local” and supporting local businesses. Why all the fuss? Well, it’s like this: when small businesses support each other, it creates a sense of community. When there is a sense of community, people are more prone to endeavor to continue making that community the best it can possibly be. When the community thrives, the people who live and work there are productive members of society, and they continue to give back to their community…and the cycle of giving (and thriving) goes on and on and on.

Why else should we support our local businesses? Because those businesses were usually built from the ground up, with care and tenacity, sweat and tears- and since they are built with TLC, they honestly tend to care more about their customers who have helped make them so successful. Have you shopped at Dorothy Lane Market lately? DLM started as a fruit stand in 1948 – yes, that’s right, a fruit stand. And they still support local growers today with their “Honestly Local” policy. They also take care of their customers by offering some of the best service you’ll find anywhere, hands down. And because of their outstanding quality foods, unsurpassed customer service, and local flavor, they’ve built a loyal customer base of tens of thousands of Daytonians.

I’ve had several experiences lately with non-local vendors who have made mistakes on orders and haven’t been willing to work with us to make it right for our clients. We are just a faceless voice on the end of the phone or the unknown person on the other side of an email- and there was little motivation on their part to make it right. They don’t know us; they don’t know our clients- simply put, they’re not invested in us, our clients or our success. If we don’t place another order with them, someone else will, in some other city, in some other state, and these vendors will move right along down the “fill as many orders as quickly as we can” path without looking back.

I don’t want to sound like I’m whining – I’m not. I’m simply pointing out that when I compare large faceless companies to some of the amazing local vendors and artists I’ve worked with here in Dayton – there’s just no comparison at all.

For example, take Ashley Mauro, a local photographer who stopped by my store about a year ago to introduce herself. She came smiling through the door saying, “I’ve been referring people to you and decided I wanted to get to know who I was sending people to…” We had a long chat and afterward I knew I could recommend her work (and her personality) with 100% confidence that my customers would be thrilled with their choice. And if her amazing photography doesn’t speak for itself, her friendly and sweet nature would put even the most stubborn clients at ease. She even took the time to send me a thoughtful little gift of tea and teacups later that week after we’d chatted about our Starbucks addictions.

Then there’s Jaffe jewelers, a Dayton favorite for over 40 years. I had a bride tell me recently how impressed she was with her jeweler for really listening and carefully walking them through the process of choosing a ring that was perfect for them. After meeting with Jaffe, she and her fiance went out to dinner with family; the jeweler they had worked with earlier that day remembered where they had said they were dining and he had a bottle of wine sent to their table. Because he took the time to listen, and made an extra effort to make his clients feel special, he now has a customer for life.

When we continuously refer clients to other service providers we trust, the cycle of support continues…the local businesses thrive, the customers tell their friends about their experiences, and everybody wins.

What’s the bottom line? People like to shop local because they feel taken care of- they can put a face and a voice with a brand. My customers know me. They know what to expect when they come into the shop. And they know that if their New Year’s cards that UPS claims were delivered on December 23rd didn’t actually arrive, that I’m going to spend December 26th re-creating them from scratch and find a way to get them to my customer before the 31st. No matter what. I take care of my people because they take care of me. I believe in building relationships with the people I serve because they are the ones who support us and make it possible to open our doors every day. It’s about sharing the love throughout our network of clients and other local businesses so we can all continue to pay it forward and make our community grow and thrive.

 

 

 

 

< = > (less equals more)

< = > (less equals more)

If you’ve talked to me at all over the past month or two, you’ve probably heard me mention the term “minimalism” once or twice. Part of my excitement over this concept started during the research I did for a Dayton City Paper article that came out […]

Celebrate

Celebrate

The oversized script speaks for itself, and the subtle circles of light in the background look like stars or lights glittering in the snow.

Red Stripes Photo Card

Red Stripes Photo Card

Another by Tag and Co., this holiday greeting features a full bleed photo with a few red stripes across the bottom where the text is placed in reverse type. If you have a professional quality photo, let it speak for itself by keeping the photo as the main focus.

Amidst the Holiday Chaos…

Amidst the Holiday Chaos…

…don’t forget to slow down, make time for friends and loved ones, and try to remember that this time of year isn’t about rampant consumerism, or the latest technological gadgety doo-dads, or the eight dozen cookies you need to make for the school cookie exchange. […]

The Color of Energy

The Color of Energy

There should be more days when we allow ourselves just one goal: create beauty. I’ve had the unique opportunity to spend some time in the Front Street studios, working and painting alongside renowned artist, Mike Elsass. Mike’s Dayton gallery, “The Color of Energy,” and countless others […]

Don’t Try…Do It.

Don’t Try…Do It.

As I walked out of Boston Stoker this morning, chai in hand, I realized something. I had just wished the barista a happy Labor Day weekend, and he responded, “You have a good weekend, too!” To which I replied, “I’ll try…” Now, why did I say that instead of, “Thanks, I will!” or any number of other affirmative responses? Maybe I was still half asleep and feeling sluggish, or maybe I wasn’t feeling up to the task of making my weekend spectacular, but either way my somewhat lackluster response was, “I’ll try…” And immediately after the words left my mouth, I cringed and thought of the phrase my good friend Jeremy has been pounding into my brain for months now: “Don’t try. Do it.”  And while this isn’t Jeremy’s own personal wisdom, but renowned life coach and inspirational speaker Tony Robbins‘, it has become a mantra in his life as well as my own- and it stops me in my tracks whenever I think I’m “trying” to do something.

There is a difference between “doing” and “trying.” In one of Tony’s presentations he asks a woman in the audience who says she’s trying to fix her marriage to “try to pick up the chair.” She turns around and picks up her chair. He says, “No, don’t pick up the chair, TRY to pick up the chair.” They go round and round until she eventually gets extremely frustrated – but the point he is making is that there are only two options 1) picking up the chair or 2) not picking up the chair. If you’re trying to do something it’s the same as not doing it. It’s only when we actually DO something that it’s considered action. Trying is essentially the same thing as failing.

This concept is something I’ve had a hard time getting my head around, and it has been frustrating for me at times when I have felt like I really did try my best to do something. It’s easy to become indignant and defensive, thinking that I tried and still nothing happened. But obviously that’s all I did – I tried – which isn’t the same as “I did it.” This principle applies to every aspect of our lives if you really think about it: relationships, business decisions, everything we do on a daily basis. Here’s a perfect example of how trying isn’t action, but rather inaction – how many times have you said, “I tried to get out of bed when the alarm went off…” Did you notice that trying to get out of bed was the same thing as NOT getting out of bed? Hmmm…interesting how that works, isn’t it…When we successfully do something, we don’t ever say we “tried.”

Start paying attention to how many times you respond with, “I’ll try.” Then see if you can shift your mindset a little bit, and really ask yourself if trying is enough, or if you want to actually make something happen. There’s a difference. If you want to get more clients, get out there and market yourself. If you want to mend fences with someone, pick up the phone and talk to them. If you want to have the life you deserve, go get it.

When we decide to stop trying and start doing, we become forces of nature and catalysts for change. When we start “doing,” we realize the power we possess to make amazing things happen with our lives, and other people’s lives around us. Let’s become a force for change and see what happens….I’m betting we can make the world a better place. So let’s stop trying, and as Nike so simply and powerfully put it, “Just do it.”

*Please take a moment and read the manifesto in the image at the top- this is the mantra I have hanging above my desk, and last Spring I had the pleasure of meeting the people who created it

 

 

Change vs. Complacency

Change vs. Complacency

I had a hard time deciding which noun to use in the title of this post- does “complacency” accurately depict what happens when a business refuses to grow and adapt to the changing times? I also thought of the word “atrophy” because if we fail […]

Carrie and Mike

Carrie and Mike

Napa Valley here they come! Carrie and Mike’s invitations were from our custom line, Envelopments, and featured a 7×7 square black linen pocket invitation with a wasabi green accent layer, classic white top layer and enclosure cards, and a green satin ribbon. Since this is […]

Casey and Dustin

Casey and Dustin

This was a last minute wedding we pulled together this week (the wedding is in 10 days!) Since we had a pretty short window to work with, we used yellow topaz metallic card stock off the shelf, a classic white top layer, and then added a cool script and sunflower graphics. We tied it all together with a corner ribbon knot. I think it came together nicely, and just in time for a sunny August wedding.

Allyson and Ben

Allyson and Ben

This was an extremely meaningful invitation because it was for my very first intern at The Envelope, “Awesome Allyson” from UD. It was only a few months after we opened, and I didn’t even know I needed an intern until Ally convinced me of all […]

Guacamole…go ahead, you’ve earned it

Guacamole…go ahead, you’ve earned it

For any of you who have happened to make it through all of the FAQ’s (and actually read the blurb at the top about not getting answers to ALL of your questions), here is the final answer to a pretty darn important life question, if […]

Communicating 101

Communicating 101

There is a poignant greeting card from Curly Girl Design that says “It is without question our duty to honor the love of every human heart as we would our very own.” I just had a woman stop in and buy this particular card to send to a friend’s adult son who had been particularly hurtful to his mother (who was a dear friend of hers). She was hurting for her friend and felt it was her duty to gently suggest to the son that he be kinder to his mother…and she believed the best way to do this was through writing. I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve personally found myself in situations where I’ve opened my mouth and said things, only to wish I could reach out and take back the words- not necessarily because they were hurtful (although as humans that happens, especially when emotions run high), but because the words I spoke didn’t accurately convey what I really meant, what I deeply felt- and it ultimately ended up making things worse or more complicated than they needed to be. You’ve been there before- found yourself in an argument with someone you care about; you’re feeling frustrated, sad, angry, and like no matter what you say, it just keeps getting messier and more intense. It’s one of the worst places to be – stuck in a communication vortex where you find yourself and the other person spinning in circles around each other, waiting for the dizziness to stop so you can surface, regroup, and take emotional inventory.

In communicating with others it’s vital to not just be articulate, but empathetic and sincere. I’ve found the most effective way to communicate is to put my thoughts down on paper first- the simple act of putting them in writing is clarifying. Sometimes I write to myself. Sometimes I write to others, and even if I don’t always share those thoughts the act of getting them down on paper is therapeutic. It gives me a clearer look at my own feelings, and helps me express my needs and inner truths in ways that spoken communication sometimes isn’t able to.

Writing gives us certain luxuries that blurting out whatever comes to mind cannot – it’s an insurance policy. Through writing we get to self-edit. We get to save our thoughts and come back to them later, editing, re-reading, deleting, and cultivating our words until they are juuuuuuust right (I love Evernote!). Writing gives us total control over when/how/what we communicate to others, so we can ensure that our words are true to our thoughts and will hopefully result in the outcome we’re aiming for- with as little collateral damage as possible.

So who do you need to write to today? What do you need to say? Think about it, write it down, and let it marinate for a little while…Trust me, you’ll be happy you did.

Joe’s 75th

Joe’s 75th

This was a “think outside the box” project, to say the least…when I got an email from a long-time customer telling me her latest theme (she’s a Party Planner Extraordinaire), I couldn’t wait to sit down and design it. Her father is a Sweepstakes fanatic […]

Baby Gavin

Baby Gavin

Welcome to the world, Baby Gavin! What a sweet surprise to have one of my brides from a few years ago wander into the store…8 months pregnant! A few weeks later, she and her husband welcomed a beautiful baby boy. For his birth announcement we […]

Heather and Matt

Heather and Matt

Heather and Matt got married at The Dayton Art Institute in November 2010. Their wedding colors were primarily black and white, with hints of green. To create a Fall Elegance feel, their ceremony featured amazing floral displays lining the aisle that included tall tree branches, clusters of hydrangea and glass votive candles hanging off the branches. The reception featured menu cards, place cards and table numbers that matched the colors and style of their invitations.

Free Hugs

Free Hugs

I took this picture in Times Square in May as I marveled at this guy who was offering free hugs to passers-by on the street. There is something so honest and vulnerable about a stranger on the streets of New York asking for hugs, but […]

The Art of the Written Note

The Art of the Written Note

“The concept of a handwritten note, a wax seal, and the whole nine yards is kind of lost on the public at large these days,” he said as he looked through paper selections trying to find the perfect stationery to represent his personality and taste. […]

Lobsterfest

Lobsterfest

Every Memorial Day Weekend, Dorothy Lane Market hosts what is known as “Lobstermania”, which is an all day event at which they sell {super cheap} lobsters until they run out. It’s first come, first served; you get in line as early as you want, you get as many lobsters as you want, and you take them home, invite over a couple dozen people, and feast on lobster as you welcome Summer.

Be Merry

Be Merry

This was my own little grinch (pretending to be mad), and I thought it would make a great holiday card especially with an ironic message blazing across the top. Just a friendly holiday reminder not to let the stress of the season get you down…

In the Spirit of the Holidays

In the Spirit of the Holidays

As I sit here taking a small break from the hustle and bustle, I am reflecting on this past year, and realizing how lucky I am. First and foremost, I’m so lucky to have such a cool, smart, sensitive little boy that I get to […]

Gold Holly and Ivy

Gold Holly and Ivy

Classic. Traditional. Gold. This card reminds me of something out of a Charles Dickens novel. With the shimmery gold and deep brown graphics and text, this card practically sings its own Christmas carols.

Noteworthy

Noteworthy

I had an enlightening experience today that reminded me of the caliber and integrity of our customers. A young man stopped in today explaining that he was in a major time crunch and hoped we could help. His wedding is next weekend, and the company […]

Turn-around time is…?

Turn-around time is…?

Q: How long does it take for invitations to come in? A: Depending on which company produces them, turn-around time is anywhere from 1-6 weeks. The quickest formal invitations company we currently carry is Embossed Graphics, which boasts proofs within 24-48 hours and ships the […]

Expressing Gratitude

Expressing Gratitude

Q: What is the proper way to send a thank you note?

A: A thank you note should be written on a note or card bearing your name or monogram, rather than the words “thank you”. This is a common misperception due to the influx of thank you cards in stores (we even have a few, gasp!), but etiquette dictates that a card should be personal and not look mass-produced (i.e. “less special”). I would make an exception to this if, for example, you found a completely awesome “thank you” style card like the one from Old Tom Foolery that says, “I’m forever indebted to you.” (*By forever I just mean until you finish reading this card, then we’re square.)

In any case, the card or note should be personal and heartfelt, at least several sentences long, and should always follow a gift or an invitation (particularly if you’d like to stay in that person’s good graces and/or be invited back again sometime). In short: it’s a nice thing to do, so do it.

Sending social invitations

Sending social invitations

Q: How far in advance should I send social invitations? A: Party or shower invitations should be sent one month before the event. Any sooner than that and they tend to get overlooked or forgotten about, and any closer to the date and people will […]

Mailing save the dates

Mailing save the dates

Q: How far in advance should I mail save the dates? A: You can send save the date cards anywhere between 6-12 months before the wedding. You don’t want to send them too early or people will forget, but too close to the wedding and […]

When to mail wedding invitations

When to mail wedding invitations

Q: How far in advance should I mail wedding invitations?
A: Six to eight weeks in advance, or earlier if it’s a destination wedding. Most weddings fall during what’s known as “Wedding Season” which runs May-October every year. Due to the popularity of weddings during these months, and the fact that people typically get pretty busy during the summer months, it’s a good idea to get your invitations in the mail in plenty of time in order to ensure that people will pencil your wedding into their busy summer of vacations, holidays, clam bakes, and festivals – and all the catching up at work they’ll have to do once they recover from all the partying.

I tend to suggest mailing invitations two months ahead of time. It’s a nice round number and gives your guests plenty of time to respond, and you plenty of time to track them down when they don’t.

If you’re getting married in the islands, Napa Valley, Vegas, or some other exotic location such as Detroit, you’ll probably want to mail your invitations closer to 10-12 weeks in advance to make sure people can make travel plans, arrange to take off from work, coordinate childcare if it’s an adult only wedding, etc… with comfortable time to spare.

When to order wedding invitations

When to order wedding invitations

Q: How far in advance do I need to order wedding invitations? A: We generally tell people to order invitations 6 months in advance. This is a safe amount of time in case something is backordered, or the proofing process takes an extraordinarily long time […]

Envelope addressing makes (your) life easier

Envelope addressing makes (your) life easier

Q: Do you address envelopes? What if my invitations don’t have inner envelopes? A: We offer several options for envelope addressing: calligraphy, computerized addressing, and some of our companies also offer cool labels and off-site addressing as well. There are a bunch of choices depending […]

Wedding Planners – Friend or Foe?

Wedding Planners – Friend or Foe?

Q: Do you offer wedding planning services?

A: Yes, we do! We are happy to sit down and discuss your needs, whether it’s full event coordination or just day-of services. We also work with several wedding planners in the Greater Dayton area and can recommend one if special services are needed that we cannot accommodate. We are also happy to give recommendations for various other vendors within the industry, and we are an excellent resource for wedding tips, planning, advice and etiquette.

What’s the hurry?

What’s the hurry?

Q: Is rush service available? A: Yes…most of the time. An in-house rush is easier to accommodate since we have more control over the projects we design and print, but it can still be tricky depending on how many other jobs we have at any […]

Can you help me with invitation wording?

Can you help me with invitation wording?

Q: Do I need to know all of my wording before I can order? A: No, and honestly that takes all the fun out of it for us. We do this all the time and can make it much easier for you if you sit […]

Cocktail (napkins) anyone?

Cocktail (napkins) anyone?

Q: How many cocktail napkins should I order?

A: How fun are your friends? Just kidding. Kind of…In all seriousness, you should anticipate 2-3 napkins per person, depending on whether or not they are just being used at the bar, or also for the cake table and/or passed hors d’oeuvres. If you’re using them in multiple places, it doesn’t hurt to order extra. The additional lots of 50 are usually a few bucks, so it makes sense to be prepared. One other piece of advice: I don’t recommend putting the wedding date on them because if the leftover napkins bear only the names or monogram of the bride and groom, the happy couple can use them again when entertaining friends at home, post-wedding.

Thank you kindly

Thank you kindly

Q: What is the time frame for sending out wedding thank you notes? A: There is a lot of debate on this one. Some say you have up to a year, but let’s face it- if you got a thank you note for a wedding […]

Whose parents are listed on the invitation?

Whose parents are listed on the invitation?

Q: What is proper etiquette regarding whose parents are listed on wedding invitations? A: Parents of the bride traditionally host weddings (host=pay for) however these days anything goes. The rule of thumb is to list whoever is hosting the wedding at the top of the […]

The early bird gets the holiday worm

The early bird gets the holiday worm

Q: When is a good time to order holiday cards?

A: If you’re an early bird, you can usually get killer deals in September like 10-15% off or free return address printing on your envelopes. Otherwise, October is the month to order to ensure you get your cards mailed out before the holiday craziness begins. Please, I’m begging you, don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to order! I know you have a turkey to cook, and dinner for 28 people to plan, but you can squeeze in a trip to pick out your holiday cards before then, I promise! I’ll even help you decide which ones look best with Grandma’s sweater you begged her not to wear in the family photo. (Hint: when in doubt, let us convert the pic to black and white!)

What other products do you carry?

What other products do you carry?

Q: What if I don’t find what I’m looking for in the store? What else do you offer besides invitations and stationery? A: Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll see if we can order it, or create something even cooler! In addition […]

Friendly competition (and recommendations)

Friendly competition (and recommendations)

Q: What if I find a better price somewhere else? A: Just bring us your estimate from a competitor and we’ll take a look and see if we can beat it. We’d love to work with you and frequently offer the same products at lower […]

Registy information goes where exactly?

Registy information goes where exactly?

Q: Is it appropriate to put registry information on wedding invitations?

A: Nope, sorry…registry information should only accompany shower invitations or be spread via word-of-mouth. Etiquette dictates that putting registry information anywhere in a wedding invitation = asking for a gift. I know this worries some couples, but I promise: people will get you a gift, find your registry using other resources, or hey- you might end up with cash! And who doesn’t love cash? It’s an easy gift to give, and it can be turned into whatever you didn’t get from your registry. See? Win-win!

To Photo or Not to Photo? That is the Save the Date question

To Photo or Not to Photo? That is the Save the Date question

Q: What if I want to use a photo on my save the dates? A: Great idea! We have several companies who do an outstanding job with photo save the dates. Tag and Company is our favorite because no one has better photo quality, anywhere. […]

I’m a Do-It-Yourself kind of person…but can you help?

I’m a Do-It-Yourself kind of person…but can you help?

Q: Can I order paper and make my own invitations? Can I bring my own paper in to be printed? A: Absolutely! We have many stocks to choose from and we’re happy to help with as much or as little of the design/print process as […]

Average cost of wedding invitations

Average cost of wedding invitations

Q: Do you have invitations in all price ranges? What is the industry average cost for wedding invitations?

A: Yes, we do have invitations in every price range! In case you’re curious, the industry average cost for wedding invitations is approximately $800 for the ensemble. Most ensembles include the invitation, outer mailing envelopes, reply card and envelopes, and some also include a reception card. Most companies sell the enclosure cards a la carte since every wedding is different and not every bride and groom need various additional cards above and beyond the invitation itself.

We have books from a number of vendors with invitations ranging from under $100 for 100 invitations to upwards of $10 per invitation – it all depends on personal taste and budget, but we definitely offer something for everyone. We also have a popular custom line where the sky is the limit and the price can range dramatically depending on size, papers, layers, ribbon, and any other accoutrements that are added. The best bet is to stop in and see the various items we offer and get some ideas!

You want me to pay you how much?

You want me to pay you how much?

Q: Do I put down a deposit on invitations or pay in full? A: Once upon a time, we used to take a deposit for orders, but there were a few unhappy occasions where people ordered things and never came back to get them- this […]

Red and Green Flourish

Red and Green Flourish

This was one of my favorites of the holiday designs Tag and Co. brought out a few years back. I love the combination of the vibrant red and green pattern contrasting with the black and white photos.

Ryan’s 1st Birthday

Ryan’s 1st Birthday

This was a very special invitation because it was for my son’s first birthday party. Since Ryan is such a little monkey, and always getting into everything, I decided a Safari theme would be fun to work with. I love the bright orange paired with the chartreuse and butter yellow- it was exactly the feel I was hoping to accomplish. To carry out the theme, I did matching photo cards that I hung on ribbon from the market umbrella on the patio – one for each month of his first year, with a photo and milestones from that month printed on them. It was a cute way to share the details of his first year with friends and family. I also did tent cards for the food table that were labeled with names such as “Tiger Tails” (i.e. cheese sticks) and had the same stick-on embellishments that were featured on the invitations. The weather even made it feel like we were in the middle of the Serengeti- it was over 80 degrees in October!