Wedding Wednesdays:

Vinh and Flora were married on Saturday, July 27th at Puddingstone Resort followed by a reception at Capitol Seafood. The reception included a plentiful meal of lobster, shrimp, crab and other Chinese delicacies. During dinner, we set up games for the guests to play including a scavenger hunt, which was a total hit! The lady who won received a gift from the bride herself. The bride and groom then went to each table and mingled and toasted with their guests. The night was very special thanks to Susie Chour, Capital Seafood, Henry Chen Photography, Prince Photography, The Little Branch, Let’s Make a Memory, and Diamond Bakery. Congratulations, Vinh and Flora!

Copper Willow Paper Studio

I am so inspired right now! Why, you ask? Because I just visited Copper Willow Paper Studio, that’s why. I had initially planned on simply picking up some really cool programs for some Orange Blossom clients and heading home, but also I left with a personal tour of the studio led by one of the shop’s two owners, Leora Mauck. I’m a Communication Studies Major, so the moment I was invited to get a look, I turned it into an interview too. Thanks for putting up with me, Leora!

Copper Willow is our go-to place for so many things. Invitations, save the dates and programs are just the beginning of a long list of creations you can make come to life with Leora and her co-owner, Jill Velez. Both ladies work hard to make sure that their clients leave happy, whether they’re simply buying a greeting card or a 200-count, 4-page order with custom design and construction. Which is what Leora was working on today. After hours. On a Friday. As moms of two children each, it’s the dedication and passion for what they do that keeps them going.

“I had always wanted a business but had no particular talent or idea or product to sell,” Leora said, “but I had always been interested in graphic design and had collected drawers full of thank-you cards and other stationary as a kid.”

Almost perfectly, Jill had a different dream: to start her own stationary company, which rooted from her love of graphic design. Naturally, when the two women were introduced by their husbands (who happen to be best friends), Copper Willow was born in July of 2006.

When I asked Leora what a normal day was like running their business, she laughed. “There is no normal!” she said. After getting their kids up and where they need to be for the day followed by computer work, designing, accounting, client meetings and blogging, Leora and Jill’s day isn’t nearly over. Hours of production, cutting, painting, binding, and edging later, they have the product to show for all their hard work. Clients rave about their work as you can see here, here, and here.

The two manage to stay humble despite all of their accomplishments.

“Without the other vendors–whether they’re in printing or other parts of the wedding industry–I don’t think I could make it I,” Leora said. “They can be really great motivators!”.

So please, stop by Copper Willow. Whether you have a family member or friend’s birthday, anniversary, wedding, or any other event coming up, we promise you won’t leave empty-handed! The best part? You can leave knowing your greeting card isn’t mass-produced nor will it be a copy of someone else’s. Copper Willow doesn’t sell anything that isn’t handmade using a letterpress in their studio!

Leora working hard in the studio today!

Where all of the magic happens!

“The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword”

Calligraphy is beautiful. Even its many definitions sound pretty on the tongue. “The art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner” is just one way to describe this art form. A Chinese calligrapher by the name of Wang Hsi-chih once said, “Writing needs meaning, whereas calligraphy expresses itself above all through forms and gestures. It elevates the soul and illuminates the feelings.”

Calligraphy used to be used to express words or feelings through pictograms, because letters did not exist at this time. Major points in someone’s life were expressed in this way. Stories were told this way. There are many cultures linked to calligraphy including Chinese, Latin, Egyptian, Greek, and so on. Today, calligraphy is not as widely practiced, especially since the rise of technology. You may have noticed that many people’s handwritings have become sloppy and ugly in our time.

Wedding and other special event invitations, font and tattoo design, religious art, announcements of any kind, graphic design, birth and death certificate typography, mapping, film and television scripts, original logo designs, and much more might be a reason for you to learn Calligraphy. Not only will your friends be impressed, but it is also known to be a form of relaxation and creative expression for the soul.

There are many workshops in the Los Angeles area that focus on Calligraphy. Here are just a few!

-Society For Calligraphy

-Kathryn Murray

-Dee Ann Singh

If you’re on a budget, but want your wedding invitations (or whatever else it is you’re working on) to be beautiful and personal, you can try learning from one of these beginner videos.

Calligraphy for Beginners, How to Use The Pen

Calligraphy Lesson

Calligraphy-Dots and More

It’s important to know you may need lots of practice, so be patient and don’t give up! Enjoy your new hobby, and your Calligraphy will look beautiful and wow your friends and family in no time!

Wedding Wednesdays: Noah & Leah

Noah and Leah’s wedding was one for the books! It was held at Skirball Cultural Center , one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions. Guests enjoyed an hour of museum-viewing upon arrival, then headed to the Taper Courtyard for a beautiful and emotional ceremony. The reception was absolutely gorgeous thanks to The Little Branch and the staff of Skirball. The lively guests enjoyed an Horah dance following Israeli tradition and then danced, ate and drank the night away to Blu Note Entertainment. Thank you to LA Wedding Woman, BBJ Linen, Emily Dawn Artistry, and Henry Chen for being so great to work with, and congratulations again Noah and Leah!

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Wedding Wednesdays: Marcus & Nicole

Marcus and Nicole’s wedding was such fun for us to be a part of! From Nicole’s own personal touches including assorted mercury glass decor to the many glowstick favors for the guests, every detail of this event was a hit. The love shown between these two people was so clear, and the guests were so kind that quite a few of them even asked us to join their dance party. No more than a handful of guests were sitting at one time the entire night. Our favorite part of the evening was when Nicole’s cousin from Mexico nervously announced that she would be surprising the couple with a song, and then went on to sing the amazing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” almost to perfection. The whole room was full of soul and love. Thank you to all of the vendors we worked with to make this night special including Embassy Suites Oxnard, Emily Dawn Artistry, A Gift of Taste, Florals by Maribel, Bryan N. Miller and Tosin “DJ Tos” Adabale. We had such a good time working with Marcus and Nicole, and it will definitely be a wedding we will never forget! Congratulations you two :)

Trending now: Dessert trucks!

Ya gotta give it to the city of Los Angeles: we know our desserts. From cake pops to organic ice cream, every kind of dessert truck you can find with a Twitter is running out of their homemade goodies daily. Whether you’re craving gourmet or gluten-free, hot, cold, iced, or exotic, LA’s got it. It’s quite popular these days to invite these trendy trucks to private parties including bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and receptions. Will you be joining in on the trend?

Here are just a few of La-La Land’s hottest (and coldest) spots for treats when you’re on the go (in no particular order, might we add, we love them all)!

1. The Churro Borough: How many 5-star ratings on Yelp can a girl read before starting to drool? I mean really, you can’t go wrong with homemade ice cream and churros, and on top of that, they have ridiculously good flavors like Spicy Mexican Chocolate that your taste buds will love. Here’s their Twitter to track down this perfect harmony of hot and cold sweets. Oh, and here’s a pretty sweet video of the process of making of these tasty things: THE CHURRO BOROUGH LA

2. B Sweet: If you’re craving delectable desserts that remind you of what your aunts and grandmas used to make, this is the place for you. From their homemade chocolate chip banana bread to their red velvet truffles, they definitely have something for everyone! We’ve heard Chef Barb’s bread pudding is to die for, so check them out on Twitter here

3. Sprinkles Mobile: You knew this one would be included, didn’t you? LA Locals far and wide know (cough, obsess, cough) of these delicious goodies and many of them serve them at their weddings. Sprinkles is one of the very first LA foods you should try in our opinion. You won’t find anyone leaving a crumb trail for you, though, so you’ve gotta follow their twitter to find out where they are if you’re not near a shop!

4. Coolhaus: With their weekly schedule, Twitter AND a daily happy hour, there’s no excuse not to try creating your very own Coolhaus Sammie. There’s lots of options of cookies and ice cream in addition to their original recipes, so let your growling tummy decide. Let us eat cake!

Once you’ve tried some of these LA gems, you’ll surely want to hire one of them for your private event! Their booking information can be found on their websites.

The Big Decision: Band or DJ?

When you’re bringing together a group of the most important people in your life to celebrate your wedding, you want them to dance the night away, right?! There comes a time when you need to decide whether you want to hire a wedding band or a DJ, and that can be a difficult decision to make. Here are some tips to help you make that big decision and make the party go out with a bang no matter what!

-Top Hits or Favorite oldies?

Usually, DJs are on top of their game when it comes to having all the top hits on their playlists and on their minds, so if you have a younger crowd who keeps up with the iTunes top charts and who might want to request some of these songs, hiring a DJ is probably the way to go. However, you might also be inviting guests who love dancing the night away to their favorite oldies. This is a great reason to hire a band, but you must remember that not all bands include all the instruments you’re used to hearing in those songs. In addition, DJs can most likely play those songs, too, especially if you ask beforehand.

-Budget

DJs usually cost less than live entertainment, especially if the band is booked through an agency. They must pay the entertainers, the agent, and anyone involved with setting up sound equipment all in addition to paying for the time they play at your event. DJs usually send one person to set up, provide entertainment, and close down all for a more reasonable price. Bands do provide for an awesome party environment, however, so to you it may be worth the price.

-Room

Venues don’t always have enough room for a band, especially if you need a large dancing space for your guests and if the band has a lot of members.

-Originality

Last but not least, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons when it comes to the actual sound of the music. Say you want to hear the song “Good Feeling”. To some, you might be thinking the original by Etta James:

Something\’s Got A Hold On Me

But to others, Flo Rida’s club mix might come to mind:

Good Feeling

Bands also often sing a song you request in their own way, with a twist. Make sure that if you do end up hiring a band and have certain songs you need to hear on the night of your wedding, that you tell them how you want it to sound. And don’t worry, they won’t think you’re being picky: it is your wedding night after all!

-One last tip!

We had a client recently who knew exactly what songs they wanted played at the wedding. It was great for their DJ and their guests, because they really tried to cater to every guest, young and old. They gave a list of almost 4 hours of music to the DJ and he set it up. This is on option that might take some extra time, but it might be a really fun way to involve your guests! Some people even include a song request line on their RSVPs.

Wedding Wednesdays: Jen & Ray

Jen and Ray were married Saturday, July 7th at St. Hilary church. Despite the hot weather, guests showed up with a smile to celebrate the couple that has loved each other for over 15 years. They began dating in high school, and Ray knew he had met the love of his life. As Jen and Ray’s Catholic ceremony came to a close, they walked through an arch of swords, a traditional ceremony exclusive to the Marine Corps members. This ceremony gives a symbolic pledge of loyalty to the newly married couple from their Marine family.

Following the ceremony, guests proceeded to the reception at the beautiful Padua Hills Theatre. Jen and Ray’s family and friends were taken aback by the beauty of the entire evening. The couple went with French theme including macaroon favors, several types of wine, and Eiffel Tower statuettes on tables.

Everyone had a blast after emotional toasts from the Best Men, Maids of Honor and parents of the bride and groom. Hey, they waited a long time for this day! Thank to to everyone who made this evening so special for Jen and Ray including St. Hilary Church, Padua Hills, Veenus Beauty Lounge, Del Sol Flowers, Tease, Entertainment Expressions, and last but certainly not least, Lin & Jirsa Photography!

Wedding Wednesdays: Audrey & Jason

Audrey and Jason were married on Friday, July 6th at The Sheraton Universal. Their colors were white, black, red and hints of silver and gold. Setting up throughout the day, we noticed some gray skies, but right before their outdoor ceremony, the sun came out and stayed throughout the entire event. A light breeze sweeping throughout the patio area and a song performed by the groom’s sister made the ceremony especially beautiful.

Afterward, a cocktail hour was held inside followed by a dinner and dancing throughout the night. One thing we loved was the band “City Connection”. They were amazing! They had the crowd pumped up the entire night and kicked it off with the “Married Dance,” which is when all of the married couples join on the dance floor and an announcer goes through the years and asks couples to return to their seats until the longest married couple is left. Then, the announcer asks the longest married couple to present the newlyweds with advice on a long lasting marriage.

We’d like to thank everyone involved in making the night so special including Emily Dawn Artistry, LA Wedding Woman, Pink Shutter Photobooths, Stephanie Grace Designs, Vanilla Bake Shop, City Connection, Sun & Sparrow and last but not least, Sheraton Universal.