Vendor Spotlight: CW Designs

Good afternoon, Readers! How about some pretty illustrations to brighten this overcast day? Carol Sullivan, owner and designer with CW Designs was kind enough to answer our questions and send over some photos of her lovely work. Read on to find out more about Carol and her designs, and check out her website for more information and images!

photo credit: Lightbox Photography

photo credit: Lightbox Photography

How long have you been in the wedding industry?

I started CW Designs 8 years ago originally as a kids clothing shop, but very soon after I was asked by my best friend to design a wedding invitation suite and I included a map and stuck it up on Etsy. I started to get requests almost immediately and then it just took off.

photo credit: Raquel Reis

photo credit: Raquel Reis

What are your favorite wedding trends right now?

Right now, anything gold, wood, or boho. I am always trying new things and looking for ways to interpret classic design.

image courtesy of Carol Sullivan, CW Designs

image courtesy of Carol Sullivan, CW Designs

What do you love most about working in stationery design?

I love working with and meeting new brides; their enthusiasm is infectious. Every day is new! One day I could be working on an invitation suite for a huge wedding in Scotland, or another designing a relaxed island in Capri. It’s hard not to daydream a bit when the locations are so beautiful!

image courtesy of Carol Sullivan, CW Designs

image courtesy of Carol Sullivan, CW Designs

What makes you unique from other stationers?

I really try to capture the couple’s personality and interests in my designs. An invitation is the first thing their guests will see and I take that very seriously. I think great design in hidden in the details so I always try to give that extra little something that most people may not even notice but I will.

image courtesy of Carol Sullivan, CW Designs

image courtesy of Carol Sullivan, CW Designs

Tell us about your most memorable and fun event/client experience.

The most memorable was probably the time I was asked to create a suite based on Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson. It was something new for me, but I think we found the perfect balance of style while still allowing the couples personality to shine through. Oh, and I had to do two sets, one in English and the other in Italian! That’s amore!

I also created a huge map (36”x54”) for a couple that got married at the New York Athletic Club {below}. They displayed it at their reception where it made a great conversation piece for guests. The huge map shared all their favorite spots and memorable locations from their first date to the site of the wedding. They even printed small maps and attached them to caramel apples for their guests. I love it when people think outside the box!

image courtesy of Carol Sullivan, CW Designs

image courtesy of Carol Sullivan, CW Designs

Tell us one thing we might not otherwise know about your company.

It is truly a family owned and operated business. My husband does all the boring stuff to keep the business going which frees me up to do what I like to do, design! Sometimes I put my kiddos to work too. I have a 4-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. My dog Lulu is always at my feet keeping me warm.

image courtesy of Carol Sullivan, CW Designs

image courtesy of Carol Sullivan, CW Designs

Do you have any special discounts or offers for CW Designs at this time that our blog readers should know about?

Sure! Enter EAD10 for 10% off custom invites and maps!

photo credit: McKinney Foto, photography by Patrizia Montanari

photo credit: McKinney Foto, photography by Patrizia Montanari

photo credit: McKinney Foto, photography by Patrizia Montanari

photo credit: McKinney Foto, photography by Patrizia Montanari

Many thanks to Carol! More pretty after the jump. Have an all-about-you kind of day!

Vendor Spotlight: The Left Handed Calligrapher

One way to make your paper products a little more personal, a little more special, is to use a calligrapher. A unique handwritten font can really set the tone for your wedding day! Today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to Nicole Black, owner of The Left Handed Calligrapher.  Let’s see what she has to say! (All photos courtesy of The Left Handed Calligrapher)

Wedding calligraphy The Left-Handed Calligrapher

When and how did you get into the wedding industry?

I started my calligraphy business in August of 2007. I got married the April before and had such a positive reaction to my calligraphy that I decided to try a little shop. It helped that my mom was a creative entrepreneur when I was in grade school, so the skill set needed to make the creative and business merge was an example of living while I was growing up.

Wedding calligraphy The Left-Handed Calligrapher

Describe your favorite type of client.

I love a client who loves paper. Who values paper. Who respects paper. As a person who is all those things – the connection is instant. No matter the budget or the style – a paper person will always be my favorite type of client.

Wedding calligraphy The Left-Handed Calligrapher

What makes you different at what you do?

I am a classically trained calligrapher… who is young. So I am knowledgeable on the classic hands and also have a whimsical side that works for the modern styles. I have found a way to marry the pen and ink with technology making calligraphy available on many levels in the ever changing world of events and social gatherings.

Wedding calligraphy The Left-Handed Calligrapher

Why do you think your clients hire you?

My clients pick me because I have a strong foundation to make beautiful letters. My work is meant to be pretty and legible. It is meant to make you stop and say – wow, this is by hand.  Some one who cares touched each item of this (product) to celebrate with me and for me.

Wedding calligraphy The Left-Handed Calligrapher

Tell us about some unusual items you’ve been asked to do calligraphy on for weddings!

I have written on: people, sea shells, star fish, wine bottles, drift wood, metal, glass, mirrors, chalkboard, wood, large walls, live leaves, concrete, brick, Spanish tile, fabric and a guitar.

Wedding calligraphy The Left-Handed Calligrapher

Do you have a funny story to share about a previous event?

Gosh, I do not get to travel to my events very often; but I did get to work on-site for one in Oklahoma and wound up standing on a ladder in mud to complete (amend) the directional signage once it was in place. It’s a tough and dirty job – calligraphy. :-)

So there you have it! Check out Nicole’s portfolio at The Left Handed Calligrapher, or shoot her an email at nicole (at) for more information!

Vendor Spotlight: Chips and Salsa Design Studio

It’s time to shine a light on another spectacular vendor! Ever wondered who makes those gorgeous invitations you get in the mail? Your friendly neighborhood stationer, of course! One such team is Chips and Salsa Design Studio, based in Dallas. Read on to see what owner and founder, Abigail Luby, has to say!

(Unless otherwise noted, all images courtesy of Abigail Luby, Chips and Salsa Design Studio.)

chips and salsa design studio, stationery, floral, calligraphy

photo credit: Nicole Berrett Photography

How long have you been in the wedding industry?
5 years

What are your favorite wedding trends right now?
I really love that very classic and timeless weddings are currently in vogue. Timelessness never goes out of style.

calligraphy,beveled edge, gold edge, stationery, chips and salsa design studio

What do you love most about working in paper design?
Invitations are typically the guests’ first view of the wedding; I so enjoy
being able to help set the tone for one of life’s greatest events.

Birds & Gold Lace

What makes you unique from other stationers?
When brides work with Chips and Salsa, they work directly with me and we are able to create a design that is uniquely theirs.

Tell us about your most memorable and fun event/client experience.
I have to pick only one? Goodness. I truly consider it the most special opportunity when my past brides come to me for their baby announcements or other paper needs once they have been married for quite some time. I love catching up with them, hearing about married life and reconnecting.

modern invites,gray,grey,mint,white,stationery,chips and salsa design studio

Tell us one thing we might not otherwise know about your company.
We launched Chips and Salsa Designs in the UK last September. Kate, the head of our UK division, is rocking and rolling, introducing brides to our new wedding collection. It has been so much fun working on weddings across the globe!

chips and salsa design studio,kate,abigail,stationers

Kate (left) with Abigail at the UK wedding show launch of Chips and Salsa Design Studio UK

BONUS! Here’s the story behind that unique name shared from their website:
Although commonly thought to be named for the beloved Texas delicacy (hey, in Texas we take our Tex-Mex seriously), Chips and Salsa was actually named after two birds who were bright, full of life, and for pets, were a bit unexpected. Just like the birds, we hope to deliver a service full of personality, surprise and lots of smiles.

Many thanks to Abigail Luby for taking the time to answer our questions. Head over to their site to look at all the pretty and be inspired!

Paper or…Paper

image courtesy of Joy Paytes with Clover & Bloom

image courtesy of Joy Paytes with Clover & Bloom

Who doesn’t love paper products?! Well, a lot of folks, I guess… Perhaps only because they’re not aware of all the fascinating things paper can do! Click through this link round-up to get some ideas of ways you can make this comparably inexpensive material work overtime in your wedding.

…these pretty paper roses

…this table runner for book-lovers

…the paper flowers on this ceremony arch

…this oh, so stylish Art Deco wedding cake topper

…this fun alternative to a bridesmaid bouquet

…or these giant flowers for a ceremony or photo lounge backdrop

…these colorful big top chandeliers

…these adorable tin can vases wrapped in paper

…this ridiculously romantic ceremony backdrop featuring your vows

There are many, many more projects and ideas where those came from. Think outside the box and let paper work for you!

Print Types 101

image courtesy of Mospens Studio (

image courtesy of Mospens Studio (

Perplexed about print types? You’re not alone! There are 7 major types available and the price range varies widely.

The type of printing you choose can have a large impact on your viewer, since paper goods are important for setting the theme, color scheme, and level of formality for your event. And since they’re responsible for disseminating your information, it’s guaranteed that everyone will look at them! In the case of save-the-dates and invitations, they’re usually the first hint for your guests as to how your wedding will look and feel.

So how do you choose a printing type? First, educate yourself as to your options, and then factor in the combination of which makes the most sense with your theme, level of formality, and budget. (Pro tip: Don’t forget to add in both postage and return envelope postage in your stationery budget; especially if you choose a square or odd-sized invitation!)


Digital (the 1st image in the collage above)

This is a cost- and time-effective method of printing. It looks like a nicer version of your laser printer at home.
– flat ink on paper
– multiple types of paper are appropriate, but must be thin enough to send through a printer
– most flexible with regards to level of formality; can skew formal but will be most effective for casual designs


Offset is still a flat-ink printing type, but due to a difference in printing process, it’s a better quality, which also makes it slightly more expensive than digital printing.
– flat ink on paper
– more choice in paper types than with digital printing
– due to the heavier weight of paper available, an excellent choice for a cost-effective formal style

Thermography (the 2nd image in the collage above)

Often referred to as raised-ink printing, this is a process of combining resin-like powder and ink in the shape of your design or letters, and heating it until it hardens. It usually looks shiny or glittery.
– raised letters/design on front, no effect on back
– avoid shiny or glittery papers so the text and design remain legible; cotton fiber is a good option
– specialized ink means a restriction in ink color options, though it’s still a wide variety available
– increased difficulty of the process means an increased cost
– turn-around time is not typically long, compared to the most formal types of printing
– subtle sparkle in the ink


There’s technically no ink used in foil printing, just foil heat-stamped to the paper, lending this process the name “dry inking.”
– slightly indented on front, slightly raised in back
– most effective when using a high contract between foil and paper colors
– thin lines don’t show up as well, so best used for heavier images and larger text
– dependent upon preference, but generally, a little foil goes a long way
– check the turn-around time with your stationer, as the process requires specialized equipment not all have on site
– the most expensive printing process

Letterpress (the 3rd image in the collage above)

This is still largely a manual printing process, with plates made for your design and then hand-set into a machine and pressed into the front of the paper. It’s pricey because of the process and the custom plates that have to be made, but some places will offer a “cut-price” letterpress option with less customization available, so look around if this is your preference!
– indented on front, raised on back
– more ink colors mean more money, as the plates have to be changed manually for each color
– typically a more formal feel, though some very modern styles can benefit, as well
– you need very thick paper for letterpress, which feeds the formal feeling
– check the turn-around time on this print type, as it can very widely depending on whether or not the stationer has a letterpress on site
– one of the most expensive printing types – using a pre-made design from the stationer can save some money on custom letterpress plates

Embossing (the 4th image in the collage above)

This is very similar to engraving, but typically uses no ink and relies on the relief created between two levels to give contrast and interest (think the embossed leather belts your grandpa used to wear – or was that just my grandpa?).
– though typically used without ink, ink can be added to the raised design
– needs a thicker paper to show off the design crisply
– very subtle, if used without ink, and can work for both formal and contemporary styles
– similar in price and turn-around time as engraving and letterpress


Unlike embossing, engraving is done with ink from the beginning of the process. The ink used in this process is particularly thick, making it ideal for light ink colors and dark backgrounds.
– very formal look and feel
– works best with thick paper so it doesn’t tear during the pressing of the letters (the actual engraving portion of the process)
– multiple colors of ink can add lots of time and expense to this process since each color will require a separate plate and another run for each invitation through the machine
– pricing is on par with embossing and letterpress

We hope this helps! Paper goods are often at the bottom of couples’ budget priorities, but hopefully this illustrates what can be done with some forethought and a good design. Check back after Easter weekend to see some ideas for creative paper use, as well. “Hoppy” planning!

Wedding Paper Basics

This month on the blog, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of paper products for your wedding and hear from some of our favorite vendors on how they make all that paper look… so… PRETTY! To start out, let’s look at the necessities – what are the paper products that pretty much everyone needs to consider?

Steampunk Invitation Suite Flashbox Photography

 Photo credit: Flashbox Photography

 1. Save the Dates

Save the dates are a chance to get a little creative with your paper. Use your engagement photos to do a postcard, create a magnet, or send an electronic save the date. Or, tap into a part of your wedding design that’s just not going to fit into the broader wedding theme. Save the dates should be sent 6-8 months before the wedding, ideally. Be sure to have a firm guest list before you send save the dates – it’s definitely not fun to call someone later in the process and say, “Yeah, about that… You’re not actually invited to the wedding.”

Invitation suite

Photo credit: Katie Cassidy Photography

2. Invitations

When sending out paper wedding invitations, you’re actually putting together an “invitation suite” – generally, this includes your invitation card, the RSVP card and envelope, the outer envelope, and any additional enclosure cards (accommodations, directions, or even a single card sending guests to your wedding website for more details). It is becoming less common to use an inner envelope, which would contain all the pieces of your suite and be addressed more informally than the outer envelope. Don’t forget to budget for postage! Read more about:

RSVP cards

Inner envelopes

Paper charger menus Joseph Mark Photography

Photo credit: Joseph Mark Photography

3. Wedding Day Paper

There are a number of paper products that you’ll need just for your wedding day. Of course, these are optional items for the most part – consider if these items fit the feel and style of your wedding before diving in headfirst!

a) Programs: Programs are used at ceremonies to either guide guests through the religious aspects of the ceremony or highlight important people (bridal party, parents, etc.). Programs can also be a good place to put in memoriam statements for relatives who have passed away, reminders to put away cell phones for the ceremony, and/or a note of appreciation from the bride and groom.

b) Seating Chart, Escort Cards, Place Cards: Yep, we really do think you should assign tables for your guests, and here’s why. A seating chart can be as simple as a big list of guests by last name with their table number next to their name. If you’re having a served meal with a choice of entrees, we suggest using escort cards (cards your guests pick up from a central table and take with them to their seats) or a seating chart and place cards (cards that are sitting above the charger or place setting at each chair around every table). That way, you can color code your guests’ cards to match their entree selection, and you a) end up ordering the correct number of each entree, and b) your servers know who gets what without asking!

c) Table Numbers: If you’re assigning tables, you’re going to need table numbers! These can be as simple or elaborate as you like. This is also a good thing to get crafty with – there’s not going to be a million to do, so it’s an easy-to-complete item for your checklist!

d) Menus: Menus can come in all shapes and sizes, so feel free to get creative! You can slide them in napkins at each place, create framed menus for each table, or even print them as chargers.

Escort Cards Katie Cassidy Photography

Photo credit: Katie Cassidy Photography

So, where do you find all these amazing paper products? There are many online resources, like Minted and Wedding Paper Divas.  Etsy also has a TON of vendors working on paper. You can also order from large suppliers like Carlson Craft, which are carried in stores like Michaels, as well as smaller stationery chains. Paper Source and Papyrus also do custom paper orders. If you’re concerned about maintaining a specific style or theme throughout, it’s usually best to visit a stationer – here in Dallas, we love Chips and Salsa, 5 by 7 Designs and CW Designs. Also, check out our post on our Peaches on Par photo shoot and the costs associated with producing the paper products!

Open House Extravaganza!

This month, Each and Every Detail will be at quite a few open houses for venues that we adore!  If you’re still ins each of a venue, these events will be a great opportunity to check out the spaces and meet some vendors.  Here’s the full list – we’d love it if you come out and see us!

Absolute Photography Heritage Springs

March 14

The Grand Hotel Bridal Event, McKinney

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

RSVP – jdukes(at)


March 18

Chapel at Ana Villa Spring Open House, The Colony

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Follow the link for more information!


March 22

La Cour Venue Open House, McKinney

Times TBD

In the meantime, check out La Cour’s Facebook page!


March 26

Hidden Springs Event Center Open House, Aubrey

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

RSVP – hidden(at)


Photo courtesy of Absolute Photography

DIY Fringe Letter Banner

We’ve got a special treat for you today!  Here’s a cute and (relatively) quick project you can do to add a little sparkle to your wedding, shower, or engagement party.  We’re indebted to the super-talented and fabulous Joy Paytes of Clover and Bloom for helping us out with this nifty little tutorial!

Materials Needed

  • Chipboard or cardstock letters
  • Gold mylar sheets
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors/X acto knife
  • String, twine, or ribbon


1. Gather your materials.

  • You can use store-bought letters or cut your own from chipboard or cardstock sheets.
  • Mylar sheets can be found in the party section of your local craft store.

Clover and Bloom DIY Step One

2. Cut the mylar into 1-2 inch strips, depending on the size of your letters, and cut small sections into each of the strips to create the fringe.

Clover and Bloom DIY Step 2

3. Starting at the bottom of your letters, glue the fringed strips into place one row at a time, slightly overlapping each layer as you go.

Clover and Bloom DIY Step 3

4. Continue layering each row until you have covered the entire letter.

Clover and Bloom DIY Step 4

5. Once the whole letter is covered, trim the extra fringe around the edges using either scissors or an x acto knife.

Clover and Bloom DIY Step 5

6. To create holes for stringing the banner, cut a small X shape in top corners of each letter using an x acto knife. Pierce the area with a pencil or other pointed object to create the hole.

Clover and Bloom DIY Step 6

7. Thread your letters onto the string and hang where desired!

Where can you use this? What about Mr. and Mrs. chair signs?  As a dessert table banner?  The backdrop of your photo booth?  Make a ‘thank you’ version and have your photographer take pic of you two holding the sign to use for your thank you cards!  Pop it in the entryway!  Spice up your guest book table!  Lots of options – have fun crafting!

Clover and Bloom is a boutique event decor company specializing in handcrafted paper party goods.  They are based in Dallas, and you can shop for their products online at  All images courtesy of Joy Paytes, Clover and Bloom.

Vendor Spotlight: Holly Viles Design

Ben Q Photography

Ben Q Photography

When it comes to weddings, there is one element that can stun to silence (besides the gorgeous couple, of course), and that’s floral. Please read on to learn about the gorgeous blooms and feeling created by Holly Viles of Holly Viles Design!

How long have you been in the wedding industry?
I have been doing wedding and event floral for 6 years.

What are your favorite wedding trends right now?
I am happy to see a shift towards whimsical, larger and free flowing styles which have a picked from the garden feel. I am also a big fan of working with local farmer florists and choosing seasonal blooms to create a farm to table look. Last but not least, I love that more of my brides are choosing bold colors for their bridal bouquets.

Tucker Images

Tucker Images

What do you love most about working in floral design?
What I most enjoy most about floral design is the limitless design possibilities. I love to think outside of the box and find inspiration in unexpected places. I get pretty excited when I come across the perfect branch, berry or unique container to compliment a centerpiece or bouquet.

What makes you unique from other florists?
There are many amazing florists in the DFW area, however I think I am unique in that I tend to gravitate towards a specific look which could be defined as rustic chic, vintage or eclectic. With that said, I still enjoy working with all styles which is evident in my portfolio.

Feather and Twine Photography

Feather and Twine Photography

Tell us about your most memorable and fun event/client experience.
I love seeing how each of my couples unique style choices and personalities come together on their wedding day, so it is near impossible for me to pick out one particular memorable experience.

wedding floral,bridal bouquet,bride

Dyan Kethley Photography

Tell us one thing we might not otherwise know about your company.
One thing people may not know about my company is we strive to create a boutique like atmosphere. We do not accept more than 2 weddings per weekend. Myself and my other lead designer have our hands on everything that is delivered to the wedding. We value customer service and developing relationships with our clients. Much love goes into our designs and we do not want to lose sight of that by over-committing.

Do you have any special discounts or offers for Holly Viles Design at this time that our blog readers should know about?
We offer complimentary toss bouquets as well as discounted portrait bouquets.

Dyan Kethley Photography

Dyan Kethley Photography

Many thanks to Holly for taking the time to let us interview her! Check out her website for more pretty pictures and information about Holly Viles Design.

Setting the Scene: Rentals

Sometimes, the venue you’ve chosen just doesn’t have everything you need. Rental items can make a dramatic difference in the feel of the room, whether you’re focusing on large items like lounge furniture or small items like centerpiece elements. And the great thing about rentals? They can be delivered and picked up, saving you and your family time and energy! Here are a few big impact rentals that can add some pizzazz to your ceremony or reception space.


Draping (also called pipe-and-drape) is kind of a magical thing. It can hide things! Or make things look bigger! Build little enclosures! Voila! It also looks wonderful when you add in lighting. When ordering draping, be sure to measure walls or other spaces as accurately as possible, so that the rental company brings the right amount! Also, be sure to confirm that you have enough time for set up and teardown – depending on the lengths involved, set up in particular can be time consuming. If you’re lighting your draping, make sure the schedule allows for the draping going up *first*, followed by the lighting once everything is completed.

 Wedding draping W Hotel

Photo courtesy of Monica Salazar Photography

Draping wedding Perot Museum

Photo courtesy of Flashbox Photography


Furniture is kind of a broad category. You may need additional tables to supplement those provided by your venue (i.e., square tables instead of round, tall cocktail tables, etc.). You might want to switch out or cover the chairs. You may also be looking at something more dramatic, like lounge furniture. This can be a wonderful touch when you have a lounge space for the evening (usually with a separate bar). It provides a wonderful area for older folks to hang out while you and your friends crank up the party. No matter what your aesthetic – rustic, vintage, elegant, contemporary – there are sure to be rental companies with options in your area.

Chair covers Gaylord Hotel

Photo courtesy of Flashbox Photography

Lounge furniture Hilton Rockwall

Photo courtesy of Joseph Mark Photography

Ceremony chairs wedding

Photo courtesy of Joseph Mark Photography

Ceremony Altars

Outdoor ceremonies are popular here in Dallas, but occasionally you need something a little more exciting to mark out your ceremony site. Rentals range from basic wooden arches to chuppahs to more creative backdrops, like antique doors or carefully crafted word art pieces. These can really punch up the mood of your ceremony site to better match the reception.

Ceremony arch Frisco Heritage Center

Photo courtesy of Katie Cassidy Photography

Ceremony altar table Heritage Springs

Photo courtesy of Absolute Photography