Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monograms, Crests and Logos. What's the difference?

The creation of a personal mark is one of my favorite parts of a luxury wedding invitation and, in my opinion, is a wonderful way to weave in meaning and personalization in a small and very concise little package. For Centuries, crests, monograms and the use of symbols have been utilized to reflect individual people, families and their beliefs and history. Think of the Italian Medici family and their intricate coat of arms, the Pope’s personal insignia or even modern day logos like the Great Seal of the United States! Personal symbols are the perfect place to put your own special touch and individual personality so I'm excited to share some of the marks, monograms and symbols I've designed for my clients over the years and the meaning behind them.

First off, what's the difference between a monogram, a crest and a logo/icon? This can easily get a little confusing so let's highlight the difference between the three.

Monograms typically consist of letters that may or may not overlap each other. The oldest form for a monogram has the groom's last name initial in the center with the bride's first initial on the left and the groom's on the right. Recently, many couples also opt to do both last name initials or both first name initials for a more modern take. Take a look at some examples we've created...

Crests or 'Coat of Arms' have a different look altogether. Historically, a coat of arms design was used in the middle ages to distinguish an individual's personal achievements: Different symbolic elements and creatures adorned these designs and were all unique to that person. In today's day and age, crests are a gorgeous way to bring together special meaning and showcase a classic or regal look. Take a look at some samples below and how we were able to weave in details that were specific to each couple.

Last but not least, the logo or icon is the most universally known type of personal branding. With corporations like Starbucks or Apple having become widely recognized for their graphic symbols alone, why not do the same for your wedding? The same idea certainly applies where a design is created that truly epitomizes the couple's personal style, wedding design or their story. Here are some fun and creative icons we created for some of our clients.

So what will you choose as your personal mark? Will you showcase a fabulous monogram, flaunt an opulent coat of arms or strut a stylish logo?

For more ideas and examples of our custom wedding invitations,
Check out our portfolio!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Elie Saab: Fall 2011 Couture Show

Images courtesy of Style.com
 I’m in love! The new Fall 2011 couture line by Lebanese designer extraordinaire, Elie Saab is to die for! The dreamy draping and gorgeous hand sewn details on these gown take the concept of luxe and glam to a whole new level! To see the rest of the amazing dresses from this collection, take a look here

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Magnificent Cakes!

Many people don't know this about me but when I was a child, my mother owned one of the most successful and recognized wedding cake bakeries in my hometown of Hong Kong. I spent many years of my childhood watching her mold sugar flowers by hand and grew accustomed to the sound of mixers and the rattling of pans in our kitchen. As her business grew, she moved into a lovely studio in downtown Central and I would come to the bakery after school to do homework on one of the marble topped tables in the workshop, flanked left and right by towering multi-tiered wedding cakes. Sylvia Weinstock was a household name that I learned from a very early age! Little did I know that I would later become immersed in the world of weddings (and bring home a personally signed copy of Sylvia's book Sensational Cakes for my mom)! I never lost my admiration for the art of baking and confectionery arts so with this post I would like to highlight some of my all time favorite cake masters.

Sylvia Weinstock is widely recognized in the business as being the 'Queen of Cakes' and for good reason! I've seen her work firsthand and must say that her artistry and attention to detail are only rivaled by her unbelievable passion for her craft.

Ron Ben-Israel is the quintessential showman (he used to be a professional dancer!) and his personal flair and passion transform beautifully in his gorgeous creations. His cakes have drama, elegance and a timeless quality to them as well. Here are some of my favorites.

Margaret Braun is an artist I discovered while I was attending design school here in New York. As an artist myself, I was instantly attracted to the bold and unbelievably unique nature of her designs. Unexpected, elegant, and wildly creative are perfect ways to describe her fabulous cakes.

Alexandria Pellegrino, founder and cake master behind Canadian cake company Cake Opera Co is an artist and designer after my own heart! Having studied Fine Art and baking in Florence and Bologna, Italy, it's clear that she is paving the way for a new form of cake art! I just love the unique and theatrical nature of her creations!

And of course, saving the very best for last my mom! A tremendous talent and role model, there was no doubt in my mind as to where my own wedding cake was going to come from, and my mom didn't disappoint. She made all the sugar flowers ahead of time in Hong Kong and hand-carried all of them in her 16+ hour international flight. It was so meaningful to me and I couldn't have asked for more!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fantasy Wedding: Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

Kim Kardashian countdown is on! Everyone is abuzz with excitement and speculation about the various details surrounding the upcoming nuptials of reality starlet Kim Kardashian and star athlete Kris Humphries. I think we're in store for a very glamorous and fabulous affair indeed! With the wedding set to take place this summer we've all been dying to see the gorgeous details... So I've decided to bring a little Atelier Isabey flair and inspiration to you all by putting together my very own vision for this lavish affair. From dress and decor to, of course, the invitations themselves!

The happy bride and groom
The first question that pops into everyone's mind is "What will the dress look like?". Well we've heard through the grapevine that Kim has been spotted multiple times at Vera Wang and she's even shared that she wants it to be a little bit of high fashion, but also timeless and classic with ivory, and most of the detailing in the stitchwork or beading. I've always been a fan of classic and timeless looks so here's my personal selection for the dress, the shoes and attire of the bride and bridesmaids!

Wedding gown and book by Vera Wang, peep toe pumps by Christian Louboutin, bridesmaid dress from Jim Hjelm Couture, bouquet by Karen Tran Florals and of course fragrance by Kim Kardashian.

We've envisioned that the decor will be as luscious, glamorous and sexy as the starlet herself. Filled with crystals, feathers and a bit of an old Hollywood era vibe. Elements like Swarovski crystals and opulent ostrich feathers are elegant ways to add drama and really make a statement! Take a look at our picks for visual styling as well as ceremony and reception decor!

Window design by Bergdorf Goodman | Ostrich escort card table from Michelle Rago | Ceremony image from Olivier Lalin
| Chandelier by Konstantin Sutyagin
Ceremony and Reception decor by David Beahm Design, photography by Jasper Sky Photographers and Jefferson Thomas
And of course, no wedding would be complete without a gorgeous bespoke wedding invitation! Here's my pick and custom designed invitation suite for Kim and Kris. The invitation is laser cut featuring multi-media materials and a combination of fine letterpress and foil printing for maximum drama and glamour!
For more ideas and examples of our custom wedding invitations,
Check out our portfolio!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Touch of Romance

I'm a lover of all things glamour and romantic. Lace, chiffon and soft colors... So beautiful and so quintessentially bridal! Our Romance design above embodies a blend of a classic look with fashion forward style and elegance. Perfect for a classic wedding with a twist!

For more ideas and examples of unique wedding invitations,
Check out our portfolio!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wedding Invitation Tips: Incorporating meaningful details

As a custom invitation designer, I am always on the lookout for creative ways to incorporate meaningful details and a certain level of storytelling into all of the designs that I create for my clients. It’s one thing to have a gorgeous wedding invitation, it’s an even better thing for it to have personal significance to you, your fiancĂ© and to your family and friends! Let’s face it, your invitations are one of the few things along with your dress and album which will stand the test of time and survive for decades beyond the big day! So why not commemorate it with something that has as much meaning and symbolism as the vows you will exchange? So with that said, I’m thrilled to share with you some easy tips and ideas for how to infuse some of those personal touches into your own wedding invites!

A very fun thing to incorporate into your invitations is a meaningful symbol or landmark. Now landmarks are not to be confused with city scapes or destinations which can also lend a thematic feel to the design. What I mean by symbols is a place or element in your lives that may have a personal meaning to you both. I once had a couple who’s nicknames for each other was ‘Bumblebee’ so we put a small bumblebee on the bottom of the invitation. You can incorporate a symbol or a small icon as an unexpected and personal element on the invitation. The invitation below was designed for a couple who just purchased a new home and were getting married in Montana. Their new home overlooked a magnificent mountain peak so we decided it would be wonderful to commemorate this milestone with an invitation that shared the beautiful view from their home with their guests. All details are tailor made to reflect the area of Montana and their new neighborhood!

This second tip may seem a little obvious to some but I frequently encounter couples who are led to believe that they need to word their invitations according to a certain norm and standard format. While tradition is certainly nice, I personally believe that a combination of factors should influence the wording: Location is an important one, formality of the event as well as the couple’s personality for example should all play a factor into the wording. This doesn’t mean that you need to throw away all formality and etiquette.. A few details or words of you own can transform your invitation wording from standard to special!  Take a look at the invitation below to see a lovely example of a simple and meaningful way to word an invitation. You can also take a look at websites like Verse It or Offbeat Bride for some more creative and unique examples.

Papers and textures can speak volumes to your personal sense of style or even to your wedding aesthetic or venue! Whether it’s an accent or an integral part of the invitation, the types of papers, ribbons or even fabrics can make a huge difference in the overall presentation of the package. If you're having your wedding in a charming country barn, you may want to weave in textures like woodgrain or linen whereas if you're having an old world glam New York City wedding you may prefer for an ultra sleek suede or damask fabric instead. I love incorporating accessories like textured bellybands or fancy liners to bring an unexpected and personal touch to a wedding invitation suite.Take a look at some examples below which used elements like marbled paper, dyed silk ribbon and embossed finishes to reflect each couples special day!


So there you have it. A couple of ways to make your invitations personal and uniquely YOU.
For more ideas and examples of unique wedding invitations,
Check out our portfolio!