Tuesday, August 24, 2010

tania+lenin's wedding photos by anika london

Hope you're having a great day, B&W fans! Here are the gorgeous photos of Tania+Lenin's wedding day (June 26th, 2010). Anika London Photography did an amazing job capturing the bold, bright tangerine and crimson color palette, and also the romantic, dim lit Prado ballroom. T+L selected our Emerald Design Package (6-month) and Gold Coordination Package (1-month), and B&W had a blast helping produce such a wonderful wedding. By having an understanding of the proposed vision, we were able to tie in the bright color scheme, hint of Asian flavor, and elements from the invitation.

On top of helping craft the overall design including the tablescapes, B&W designed all the paper goods, including the logo which was inspired by the cake topper. We also helped style the stage by using paper parasols and lanterns, to be later dressed with a long row of floating candles and loose petals. It took a good three months (here and there) for us to fold more than 150 paper cranes using real origami paper. The team strung four cranes on each centerpiece, being careful not to distract from the plush spray of flowers. With a great collaboration amongst a strong vendor team and an extremely dedicated couple, we were able to adhere to an agenda that ran on time with no snags. It takes a good while to study an agenda and it definitely helps to know who we are working with months in advance -- something brides get with our Gold package. At the end of the night, this highly organized and creative couple wowed guests with an amazingly designed ballroom and a really festive ambiance!

Thanks to T+L's team:
Bellz & Whistlez | Prado | Anika London Photography | FloralWorks | Flour Power | Sharpshooterz | Rita Nguyen Makeup | Mish Mucho Hair

Back to the design approach, what strikes me about this particular wedding is the bright color palette. The Prado ballroom has dark wooden floors, chandeliers, and a prominent stage, but what is distinct about this venue is the old world feel of the space. The bold tangerine and bright crimson manage to pop and contrast against the dark colors of the room. I almost always recommend pin spot lighting to give dimension to the reception, and T+L utilized Prado's in-house pin spots to ensure their tables would be highlighted. FloralWorks produced some of the largest spray centerpieces I've seen in that ballroom -- they were so huge that guests refrained from trying to take them home due to the size, and I'll be honest -- I LOVE huge centerpieces!

Though the hint of Asian is very subtle, the bamboo touches (steamer giveaways with red + orange chocolate dipped fortune cookies) and origami cranes are a great complement to the bold color palette, and they were just enough to suggest a taste of Asian style.

Photos: courtesy of Anika London Photography (Ariel and Josh)
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Monday, August 23, 2010

creating a couture look with designer accessories :: kirsten kuehn

"Custom" is a word you'll hear from us in almost every post, and the reason is that we're firm believers that customization (or personalization) adds value. Knowing how important "good design" can transform a wedding, we keep our eyes peeled for anything that can add a hint of personality to elements like the centerpiece, invitation, and even the dress. And for years, I've been on the hunt for beautifully designed belts, sashes, and appliqué to not only embellish the waist line, but to create a truly bespoke wedding gown. Today marks a milestone for me -- I found a source -- she's a talented, young, and brilliant designer, who upon graduation from FIDM in '09, wasted no time producing accessories for the modern day bride. Thank you, Kirsten Kuehn! Your designs are more than fabulous. And as a fan to customizing pieces simply to make a personal statement to the world, I'm so proud you're doing your biz, helping brides turn their ideal wedding gown into a dream wedding gown by adding designer accessories.

Click HERE to go to Kirsten Kuehn's Etsy page.

Photo above: Raine Medallion Sash

Photo above: Double Austine Crystal Sash

Kirsten Kuehn is an extremely detailed artist who hand crafts amazing bridal belts, luxury hair pieces, couture garters, and even designer ring pillows. I'm excited to be able to share her work with our readers and boast prices that can't be beat. Trust me, I know. I customized my bridal gown and spent $50/yd on a simple poly-satin sash to later discover I could have gone to the local craft store and bought the entire 100 yard roll for $10. But my sash wouldn't have looked like Kirsten's pieces! Her price point can't be argued -- the quality is evident and hand work, impeccable. And lastly, Kirsten just helped you create a bespoke wedding gown.

Photo above: Tina Crystal Fascinator

Photo above: Lizzy Crystal Sash

Photo above: Kali Crystal Sash

Photo above: Cele Floral Sash

Photo above: Abril Garter

Kirsten designs some of the nicest garters and head bands. I wouldn't toss these sexy garters though! Make sure you have a "toss" garter. And dare to impress with a vintage head band to rock throughout the reception.

Photo above: Bali Crystal Sash

Photo above: Harvey Garter

Photo above: Rachel Garter

Photo above: Kali and Holly Crystal Headband
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

custom cake designs by bellz & whistlez

Bellz & Whistlez LOVES designing cakes. Here are illustrations we created for our 6-month and 12-month design clients, Becky+Errol, Tania+Lenin, and Joanne+Justin! The bakers, Flour Power, Sumi's Oven, and the in-house pastry chef at the Manchester Grand Hyatt did an amazing job capturing our designs. As an edible art piece, your cake ought to match your reception, color palette, and overall tone of the wedding. These come with a price tag, so spend time thinking about your perfect wedding cake. And don't forget to personalize with your wedding logo/monogram, custom cake topper, or dressed up cake table!

Bellz & Whistlez' original design for Becky and Errol:
• theme: modern zen, cool mint and deep cobalt

Finished masterpiece by Sumi's Oven:
*Instead of using the lace from the bride's dress, Sumi added her signature embossing technique to create texture on both mint tiers.

Photo above: taken by Chaz Cruz; cake by Sumi's Oven

Bellz & Whistlez' original design for Tania and Lenin:
• theme: modern, bright tangerine + crimson, hint of asian

Finished masterpiece by Flour Power:
*To compensate for the three taller tiers from the original design, Flour Power added an additional tier, creating four shorter tiers and alternated the bamboo on the top and 3rd tiers. Ana, from FloralWorks, chose golden and crimson roses to drape along the sides.

Photo above: taken by Anika London Media; cake by Flour Power

Bellz & Whistlez' original design for Joanne and Justin:
• theme: kentucky derby

Finished masterpiece by Flour Power:
*To compensate for the three taller tiers from the original design, Flour Power added an additional tier, creating four shorter tiers and alternated the bamboo on the top and 3rd tiers. Ana, from FloralWorks, chose golden and crimson roses to drape along the sides.

Photo above: taken by True Photography; cake by in-house pastry chef at Manchester Grand Hyatt . . .(click for full post)

Monday, August 16, 2010

creative packaging :: the envelope

When it comes to wedding invitations, most couples discuss how they want the invitation to look, focusing on the logo, paper stock, printing options, embellishments, but one thing that can be forgotten is the enclosure -- the envelope. Yes, it's a small detail, but YES, you can make a stunning first impression even before guests open the invitation. Whether you've decided upon using an outer and inner envelope, feel free to get creative! Use textured envelope liners, hand made papers, intricate die cuts, stamps, and out of the ordinary materials. And to create cohesiveness, ensure your material selections coincide with the matching paper goods seen throughout the rest of the wedding (programs, table #s, menu cards, favor tags, etc). The idea is to be unique and to unify your design vision, and what a better way to have fun with it by doing something different with your invitation packaging!

Photos: courtesy of MarthaStewart.com, Kuhlam, StyleHive, GirlGoat, Spluch, GracieBellaButterfly, Keetsa, Oh Joy

I love the idea of watercolor inking and stamping, especially if you've selected a dark colored envelope. And dress it with some custom address labels or beautiful calligraphy!

Photo above: courtesy of gina dedominici

Photo above: design sponge
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Monday, August 9, 2010

500 Bellz & Whistlez Facebook Fans PROMOTION!

Today we celebrate 500 Facebook fans ... and counting! If you're a current fan, it's your lucky day. We're offering a special promotion to show our appreciation! *Offer ends August 31st, 2010 at 11:59PM PST. Must be current Facebook fan (#1–500) to qualify for promo. E-mail {info@bellzandwhistlez.com} or call {949-689-9014} for more information.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

graphite+crimson+silver letterpress wedding invitations

Alyssa Summey, the Production Manager/Wedding Coordinator at 7-Degrees (Laguna Beach), contacted B&W to create a couture invitation ensemble for her big day in October. It was an exciting surprise to get to work with Alyssa and David, since I knew Alyssa has seen plenty of invitations in her time working at 7-Degrees. Nonetheless, B&W is one of 7-Degrees' preferred vendors, and I was confident B&W could produce something classy, chic, and modern to coordinate with her lavish reception plans.

Here are some photos from her invitation ensemble, which reflect a dramatic style incorporating a sexy metallic graphite jacket, ornate crimson letterpress graphics on fine cotton paper, and silver elements to balance light and dark. Alyssa wanted to include a key and we put our thinking caps on to design a key/tag monogram for this couple. The folding concept is very well treated with fine simplicity -- simple bi-fold with a pocket wrapped with a belly band. A personal "K" hot wax seal (which I will say, takes lots of time to perfectly center) adorned the custom belly band and proved to be a wonderful signature to the set.

A+D have been together since high school, so you can imagine the anticipation for this huge celebration, on what's to be their 10-yr anniversary. As a creative consultant and professional to producing some of Orange County's most fabulous weddings at the completely modern, industrial space that attracts many walks of life, Alyssa has finally switched gears to plan her very own dream wedding. With 7-Degrees as her backdrop, I can already tell you, it's going to be one fabulous party, and I'm not being biased because I got married here -- the space speaks for itself and you can ask any photographer, they'll attest that this is one undeniably cool location to shoot photos.

I'll be sure to try and get some reception photos from their photographer, Nicole Caldwell Photography to show you exactly how these invitations coordinated with the reception design. It took Alyssa and I a few conversations to nail the design direction, including seeing her table scape mock up crafted by her florist, but these invites are sure to make the perfect first impression of what's to come.
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