I need to keep pinching myself because, amazingly, this week is CeciStyle’s one-year anniversary. From a spark of an idea I had bouncing around in my head, the magazine has turned into what I hope (and keep hearing) is an exciting and must-see resource for anyone needing style inspiration. Of course, none of this would have been worth doing without you, my loyal readers, so here’s a big shout-out to you all!
If you haven’t been here since the start, know that you can browse all 52 previous stories in our StyleFix Archive, which is always one click away in the tab above. Here you’ll find all kinds of inspiration, starting with my own nuptials in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, to popular stories such as our big Valentine’s Day issue and a more recent tribute to all-white entertaining inspired by Diddy’s White Party.
Needless to say, it wouldn’t be CeciStyle without a fresh round of chic encouragement, so this week I’m featuring a creative photo shoot I did with event whiz Jill La Fleur, in which both of us did our part to fashion an ode to shabby-chic French style. Take a look at how Jill and I used a mostly black-and-white palette (with a pop of robin’s egg blue) to lend the day a timeless vibe. I also didn’t hesitate to throw in bits of French, like adding merci to the thank-you notes I designed for the project. You should try it yourself!
There’s lots more in this issue, including truly expert wedding tips from Jill and how to capture your special event on film from cinematographer Joel Serrato, so be sure to read on. As always, enjoy!
Be inspired by this elegant wedding in black and white
FOUR ESSENTIALS TO KNOW BEFORE ORDERING INVITATIONS
I was recently interviewed and asked, “What’s the one thing you wish all brides knew before seeking out an invitation designer?” I thought this was a great question and wanted to share the answer with all of you. As it turns out, I wasn’t able to pick just one tip because there are so many details when it comes to invitation design. But I did narrow it down to four key points, below.
Four Essentials To Know Before Ordering Invitations:
On a financial level: Know your budget. This is sometimes a hard request, but it’s important to understand what you can afford before going into your invitation design meeting. Invitations, especially those that are custom made, can have a large price range depending on your style and preference. If budget is a concern, ask for the invitation designer’s starting price points and range so you can let him or her know what figure you’re most comfortable with. Is it $2,500 or $25,000? There’s a big difference! Plus, this way you won’t have any surprises at the meeting and everything will be much more productive. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a design that you later discover was completely unaffordable in the first place!
On a practical level: Be sure of your venue and wedding date – it doesn’t make sense to start without it. Everything from the dress to the decor to the invitations depends on that essential bit of information. Get that settled before you begin anything!
On a creative level: Embrace the fact that with couture invitations you don’t need pre-set designs or ideas before you come to the meeting. Turn yourself over to the talented hands of a real designer and let them do what they do best! If you come to your appointment with an open mind and heart, you will be amazed at what can be created just for you!
On a technical level: Do your homework and understand the difference between the various available printing techniques. Do you love letterpress? Or are you more traditional and must have engraving? Each means something different and has its own price.
Ceci Tip: I highly recommend to reserve your invitation designer directly after you book your venue and secure your event date. With so many items you have to send out to your guests, it’s important to get an early start. Also do not forget the long lead times for custom printing. At Ceci New York, we love it when our clients book us eight months to one year in advance. To book your consultation appointment with one of our specialists, feel free to contact us now.
To get an idea of our recommended timing, please reference our timing calculator.
Ceci Process Timing Calculator
LA FLEUR WEDDINGS & EVENTS
La Fleur Weddings & Events specializes in exclusive destination weddings and events throughout California, Hawaii and Mexico, and is now expanding to destinations around the world. Offering full-service event design, planning and production for the most intimate gatherings as well as the most lavish events, Jill La Fleur and her team will take care of every detail with creative vision, style, and grace, helping to create the experience of a lifetime for you and your guests.
“I have been working with Jill for many years and every time it’s been a true pleasure. She is a genuine, passionate, wonderful person who has developed a chic style and sensibility that is all her own. Continually staying true to her commitment to excellence, her work is always top-notch and as beautiful as she is.” - CECI JOHNSON
Tips for Designing a Beautiful Wedding by La Fleur Weddings & Events:
Ambient lighting: Lighting is sometimes overlooked but I feel it is one of the most important aspects of creating an intimate and festive ambiance at a wedding. It really does show off your decor and set the mood. A few tips when planning your lighting: request to have a lighting technician who can stay through the night. This extra cost will alleviate any added stress by ensuring that all of your lighting remains in working order and is controlled throughout the evening. Double check that all of your lighting has dimmer switches (you will need to request this – I always do!) to help create the ambient lighting specific to each part of the night. There is nothing worse than having string lights over your dining space or dance floor that are so bright that guests want to turn them off after you have paid to have them there! Consider adding romantic lighting in neutral tones to the space just as you would add candlelight – it creates the same effect if done properly.
Layering linens: Don’t be afraid to layer linens. Oftentimes, I start the whole design of a wedding based on the linens that I choose. I love texture, so often I will layer a light-colored opaque, lace or textured fabric over a slightly darker natural fiber linen. You can order swatch books from linen rental companies and just play with the options. If I don’t layer linens or go for heavy texture, I like to keep it completely clean and tailored and add the texture in the chair sashes, napkin ties or tabletop decor. I liken it to getting dressed…only you’re dressing your tables and chairs!
Custom designs: Most designers will customize a hairpiece to fit your style, colors and wedding dress, which adds unique flair to your wedding day. Just a couple of favorite designers who are willing to do this are: Jannie Baltzer, Lo Boheme, and Twigs and Honey, to name a few.
To buy or to rent: If you are planning on having a small wedding, think about buying linens and napkins from a fabric store instead of renting them. I recently discovered the L.A. Fabric District and fell in love. The options are endless! Although I frequently rent linens from various rental companies such as La Tavola Linen and Wildflower Linen, I also love making them myself to create a uniquely styled event. You can even begin designing drapery, pillows, chair sashes, napkins and throws yourself! After the wedding, you’ll have sets of table linens with napkins to use at other parties or on your home dining table. Or give one set to each of your family members as a unique thank you gift!
Unique containers: Think outside the box when it comes to the containers and vessels for your floral designs. For example, you can mix and match vintage perfume bottles, jars, dishes, cake stands and coffee urns to give a unique, shabby-chic look to your tables. I love the mix of height and interest this creates on a table!
Inspiration boards: Picasa is the tool I use to create inspiration boards for my couples when helping them with their wedding design. It’s free and so effective when trying to establish a design scheme that can be forwarded to the florist, the invitation company, and all of the other vendors. Pictures can sometimes describe a style, theme or feeling that a couple is trying to achieve better than words, so I highly recommend using this tool when communicating with your vendors.
Discover more on La Fleur Weddings & Events
JOEL SERRATO FILMS
I am a sucker for LOVE. I am in love with movement, moments, laughter, light and life! I am so thankful that I found cinematography through the medium of Super 8 film; it’s something that I am extremely passionate about, and it’s my personal goal and inspiration to capture moments that will evoke the same emotions I feel when taking them in someone else. My films are not your typical two-hour long wedding videos; I love to capture snippets of celebrations in fine art form using Super 8 film. My technique creates an elegant, beautiful, nostalgic look that is truly one-of-a-kind.
“You might think that films are only for movie stars. However, after meeting Joel Serrato and viewing his work, it’s clear to me that everyone should have a video documentary created for their special occasion. While photos are equally essential, there is nothing that can match the sound and action of the live moment. Getting to relive life’s most precious events is priceless. Coupled with Joel’s talent, passion and his signature Super 8mm camera, your memories become works of art worthy of the silver screen!” - CECI JOHNSON
Tips for Successful Filmmaking by Joel Serrato Films:
Keep an eye on lighting: Place your subjects in natural light – windows or shaded places – which gives a soft look to people’s faces and creates an aesthetic that is truly beautiful every time.
Direction is essential: Always direct your subjects! This is HUGE and can actually help create genuine moments. For example: if you ask a couple to kiss and have them close their eyes before doing so, there’s a good chance they will kiss each others’ noses or chins – which will create laughter and a real moment that’s ready to be captured!
Create movement: If you happen to be on a road trip, roll that window down and get some motion in your shots. Filming how you got to a place is always the best way to tell a story.
Share: Spread the love to your friends and family by sharing the film/video you made on social media like Twitter and Facebook. Encourage more filmmaking in your life. It will change you forever – it changed me!
Discover more on Joel Serrato Films
Use this palette as a stepping stone toward creating your own dream event.
Click on the color swatches to see how the colors come to life at a real event or discover more inspiring color stories now.
CECI’S TRAVEL GUIDE TO PARIS & MORE GREAT ESCAPES!
I can’t believe that CeciStyle turns one this week! It’s a thrill to see what was once a spark of an idea in my head turn into a full-blown resource for you to use every day. Whether you come here for entertaining, weddings, recipes, travel, fashion, or just to get your style fix each week, CeciStyle magazine is your go-to for guaranteed style inspiration and ideas to help you live life more creatively and, of course, fashionably chic.
Below are some of the travel guides from Great Escapes, one of the sections that make CeciStyle one of the most resourceful, must-see new sites out there. I’ve also brought back my guide to Paris since I’m in a French mood this week.
Whether you’re a bride getting married or just a woman who desires unique and creative style, there’s something for all you taste-makers out there. I appreciate your loyalty and for being such great fans over the last year.
Please spread the word! And if you haven’t already, subscribe to CeciStyle now to get CeciStyle FREE in your inbox every week!
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In next week’s issue: Paper Art
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, Founder and Creative Director of Ceci New York
, is the authority on style and invitation design. She is also the author of her highly coveted weekly style magazine, CeciStyle
. Loaded with gorgeous tips and takes on invitations, fashion, parties, weddings, décor, gifts and more, CeciStyle
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