24/12/15 Blog , Inspiration Vibes , Wedding Vibes # , , , , , , , , , ,

2015

Happy Holidays all!

This year has been incredible. I can’t even begin to describe it. I also feel like I’d ramble to long, so I will try to keep it short and sweet!

2015 has been a HUGE year for us at Vibrance Designs. We opened the year with a fresh look, complete makeover and new perspective on our business. Taking you behind the scenes for the first time with this blog, not to forget bringing stationery advice, tips and tricks – and trust me that won’t stop. The readership on this blog always blows my mind (super thankful for all of you).  While keeping the personal hand-drawn touch to our work we also managed faster turnarounds and brought several new services like laser cut invitations, personal address stamps, wax seals, full colour canvas bags and more! Not to forget the expansion of our Etsy shop. I can’t say this was all easy, 2015 was the year of the hustle, I don’t think our team has ever worked this hard and trust me when I say it’s only getting better! XmasCards

As you know 2015 is a huge year for me personally too. I married the man of my dreams. I knew this new chapter in my life would teach me a lot but I never imagined learning this much. My business expanded and services tweaked the more I became a bride and sat on the other side of this industry. Nothing can help a vendor expand and grow as much as being it’s own client. I still am oozing advice, tips and tricks and trust me there will be more posts on my big day for all of you who have been asking for more. I only think it’s fair!

Lastly I want to thank you. Yes, you! Whether you’re a reader, client, supportive friend, frendor [vendor-friend], family or just someone who loves us – thank you for making 2015 the most amazing year yet. Without your support none of these new services or expansions would come to be.

Without you I wouldn’t be living my dream. Yes it’s a lot of hustle but you make it all worth it.

Thank you and Happy Holidays.

Cheers,

Puja xo

 

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24/09/15 Blog , How To , Stationery 101 , Wedding Vibes # , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Creating a seating plan

The hardest thing you will ever do as a couple in your wedding planning process is create a seating chart. I’ve heard this from almost every client I’ve had in the past; but to be honest I never realized how hard it was until I had to make one myself.

Two families coming together for a big fat wedding is always fun, but the bigger the crowd the bigger the drama. There is so much to consider and rethink. I swear it took us about 8 hours. Thankfully it was a beautiful day – and we took (LOTS of) breaks to find music or practice our first dance. Why not?!

Anyways – we had a few different versions and some last min changes before print but we survived! 😉

So if you’re about to create a seating plan for your wedding here are my tips.

  1. Date night anyone? Remember to take breaks, have fun, listen to music – and dress up for the occasion (casual of course), looking at how gorgeous your future hubby/wifey could help relieve some stress! Who doesn’t like a little eye candy?!
  2. Less is more! Do not I repeat, DO NOT invite other people into this process! It’s stressful, you’re going to want to be blunt, honest and not deal with trying be the perfect daughter/son-in-law. So sorry MILs, SILs, BILs, FILs and any other “ILs” you cannot be invited to this party. I do advise for you to speak to your parents/siblings prior so you get their input.
  3. Set a deadline. Set your seating plan date, two weeks after your RSVP date, and CALL everyone that hasn’t RSVPed. Honestly in today’s world everyone SHOULD understand the importance of RSVPs. It’s not rude to call someone if they haven’t responded to you it is however rude to not RSVP and then show up with extended family. Thankfully this didn’t happen at our wedding but oh have I heard stories.
  4. Get the big wigs done first. There are certain people that you know play a more significant role in your life – so give them the best view in the house (this may not be right beside the stage which is sometimes the worst view).
  5. Use sticky notes. The first thing we did was draw a layout of the room on a large sheet of paper. We stuck families/couples/friends on one sticky note; this way they stayed together and it allowed us to easily move people around and see how many empty seats we had left. It is visual aid before the excel sheet list.
  6. Take a picture of your rough chart – trust me the sticky notes will fall and it will unnamedbe a perfect reference point in the palm of your hand.
  7. Use pencil – you will be erasing and adding info all the time.
  8. Have a few extra seats – you never know! There are always a few people that didn’t RSVP but come. Surprise! It’s always nice to have accommodations so that you’re not setting up last minute tables. Our seating chart clearly stated to check with the wedding planner if you couldn’t find your seat. Any empty seats were then filled with these guest. They may not have the choice to sit together but that’s what happens when you don’t RSVP!
  9. Load each name into a Google Doc Spreadsheet. Names in one column and the table number in the next. Google docs are also amazing – you can share the seating chart with everyone and see any updates they make as you go.
  10. ALWAYS stick to alphabetical order. Ok so this is something I know as a designer but this is a VERY common mistake that many couples make. Never, ever, ever, ever set your seating chart by table number. I could go on for AGES about this, but simply put; no one will know their table number walking into your wedding but they will (hopefully) know their name!
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15/09/15 Blog , Wedding Vibes # , , , , , , , ,

The night before

It’s funny no one really talks about the night before your wedding. Yes, helpful aunties and millions of previous brides told me “you need your beauty sleep,” but what really happens the night before isn’t always sleep. To be honest I don’t have a word for it.

Hosting “out-of-towners” meant it was a free for all; find a mattress anywhere available and claim it before someone else does! I claimed the one in my parents’ bedroom that night. It was the last night I would be just their daughter with no other role to play in life *cue the emotions.* Also my sisters and cousins were in my room prepping Mr. Fiance’s doom (doli games) so if I wanted sleep it would have to be elsewhere.

I laid, my last night as a single woman with my mind was racing. The dialogue went something like this…

  1. OMG I should totally do a blog post about the night before the wedding (literally started mind-writing that moment onward)
  2. I have such fabulous vendors, I’m so happy I don’t feel stressed at all and I can’t wait to see them… but wait if I’m not stressed then why am I not sleeping?! Should I be stressed?! ERR…
  3. I hope Mr. Fiancé is not going to be too hungover tomorrow.
  4. I wonder what he is doing right now?
  5. What are the girls (my sisters and cousins) doing in the other room?
  6. Why is my mom not sleeping yet, she needs her beauty sleep too, where is she?!
  7. I feel like I’m missing something or someone… but who?
  8. God, I can’t wait to see all the stationery. Please tell me it turned out perfect…
  9. Wait, will I see the stationery?!! Of course I will see the stationery… it’s going to be everywhere and the wedding planner will save it for me. Right!?
  10. Ok, sleep woman why are you not sleeping???

These thoughts were circling my mind the whole night. Then my parents finally came into the room (THANK YOU for turning on all the lights – ouch). They gave me a hug, we had a quick talk and then told me to sleep!

OK so I’m ready now, no more thoughts racing just sleep…

I WISH!IMG-20150915-WA0002

Nope, not yet, once my dad stopped snoring, my mom decided to for the first time in her life to join the snoring symphony. I wasn’t annoyed though. I had this odd feeling. I kept thinking I should go downstairs and sleep. So eventually after much thought I snuck out of the room, and slept on my couch alone.

Yes you read right – the couch. I’m not sure what time it was but I know it was late. My sisters came down and offered the room but I was way too comfortable. I wanted to stay here and honestly felt like coming down there all night. So they crept back upstairs while I laid comfortably.

Finally…

I’m not sure why this felt so right but I kept thinking about my grandmother who was no longer with us. I missed her a lot throughout my wedding. See, she would always sit on this couch – it was her seat and everyday routine and for some reason I just felt warm being there, thinking of her hugs. This is exactly what I had been seeking all night. No more thoughts racing through my head. I felt like she was there with me, which may sound cliche, but it’s exactly how I felt. I’m not sure if I even slept that night, but I know I woke up very relaxed, calm and ready to get married even though it was 4 am.

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17/08/15 Blog , Wedding Vibes # , , , , , , , , , ,

Married.

I’m back and I’m married!

Yes – you read right, all those months of planning, stressing, dancing and singing have come to an end. I still don’t feel like it’s over  – it all just felt like a dream; my perfect little dream. Everything was flawless – even though we had a few small bumps in the road, we smiled and just kept swimming. At the end of the day, all that mattered was that we were getting married. Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 3.34.11 PM

That being said, I know I’ve been kind of MIA on my blog – but trust me I have not forgotten about you all. There are a lot more wedding related posts coming your way very soon. I have a lot of advice and crazy stories to share from my experience so stay tuned – the next couple of weeks will be a fun ride through memory lane!

Cheers,
Puja

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18/06/15 Blog , Stationery 101 , Trends , Wedding Vibes # , , , , , , , , ,

Emotions Love Wedding Programs

Sakshi&SandeepWeddingProgram

Even if the culture and religion are the same, program to program this little piece of paper, or fan, or booklet, or whatever you want it to be, can uniquely express the couple’s love for one another. They are just as much fun to design as invitations since you can get super creative!

The very first wedding program I designed was for my girlfriend, who now is one of my bridesmaids. I remember clearly the day I sent her the proof. She told me she had tears of joy; all of a sudden as she read the ceremony program and it was real. She was getting married to the man of her dreams. That wasn’t the last time a bride (or groom) has told me that they got a little emotional while reading their ceremony programs. I always love being the person that makes everything in all this wedding planning craziness feel so real.

Today I’m designing my own program. Let’s just say, I’m feeling more like a bride than a designer today… *wipes away tears*

T-36 more days #PujaSumit2015

PS: This picture isn’t my wedding program (did you think you’d get to see it that easily?!). This is a fun behind the scenes look at one of our process days, where we created these fabulous fan programs for a wonderful 2015 couple! 

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10/06/15 Blog , Design Vibes , Wedding Vibes # , , , , , , , , , ,

Bridal Diary: Designing for my wedding

You’d think designing my own stationery would be easy. I mean the base of the design is done with the invitations and I’m all about branding the event so it should be.

Funny enough I don’t think I’ve every experienced a harder client to please. I am my worst critic. I find myself always trying to be more creative and out of the box with something different that is still within budget (Mr. Fiance favorite word these days – err!!). Maybe it’s the pressure? Everyone is expecting something fabulous so I have to deliver. As invitations roll out, I feel like expectations get higher too. Which is always a blessing of a problem to have.

Part of it has to do with my clients love. I want to love my stationery as much as my clients love theirs. I swear the best feeling in the world is when someone emails/calls or even sends you a nice text message saying how blown away they are by the designs and how they can’t Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 1.29.01 PMwait for the big day.

See that feeling right there, I did that, and there is no high comparable to that. It’s like giving someone happiness through my art. What more could a graphic designer ask for?

But when designing for myself it gets a bit difficult, no matter what I design I never know if it’s good enough. This is where my minions (aka Vibrance Designs Interns for life aka sisters) and Mr. Fiance come in. But should I trust them? What if they don’t want to hurt my feelings and it all really sucks! Haha, doubtful, they are a pretty honest bunch but the thought did cross my mind. Blame it on the bridal brain!

Oddly I also find I have similar concerns that my brides and grooms have with stationery, even when I already have the answers.

Like last night while designing my own stuff  I kept thinking  – does it all look too similar?! I literally had to walk myself through the guest experience to remember my guests are not going to see each element side by side, but rather each piece will stand out as they walk through the event; bringing it all together.

It’s strange I had to remind myself this, but I guess that is bridal brain too. I’m only human at the end of the day!

Okay I’m done my spiel. Back to designing…

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14/05/15 Wedding Vibes # , , , , , , , ,

Bridal Diary: Distance

Disclaimer: This blog post is an emotional one.

I am the eldest of three girls, my sisters are my world and mean more to me than words can describe. When I first met Mr. Fiancé I told him – if they don’t approve unfortunately I will have to leave you – and I honestly would have. Lucky for him, he fit right in. I don’t want to say more than this as I know I have to write a speech in just a few months and trust me I’m saving the good stuff for then.

With the wedding fast approaching my mind seems to wander to areUsas I didn’t quite imagine it would ever go.  Growing up with sisters I always had a best friend, roommate and someone to attack those closet monsters with. As we grew older they became the closet monsters, seeing how every time I would purchase something it would somehow end up in their hands and I’d get it back as soon as it was worn out. This year both my super intelligent sisters (“creative” engineers – I’m  the only one with the artsy gene) had opportunities they couldn’t say no to. One moved to Calgary, Alberta for this opportunity while the other is spending the summer in Kingston, Ontario researching alongside her prof – I know, nerd alert! I am beyond proud of them; the thing is as selfish as this may sound it hurts every time they leave after a weekend. I tried describing this to Mr. Fiancé but it’s something you just won’t understand unless you are a girl and have a sister.

Years before my wedding – as any normal group of girls we’d always spend days talking about “wedding prep” … “oh but when you’ll get married we will do this and that and make sure I’m there for the tasting” … etc. Now that it’s time – it seems the universe had other plans and separated the three of us physically. See now, this is all done over the phone or Google Hangout. It’s not how any of us imagined it, nor how we wanted it to go down. Yes, it works – but it’s just not the same. Although technology demolishes the distance between us, it’s still unsettling w10403012_10100771829141731_3394418821229135517_nhen you want to walk into the other room and just talk to someone, yet no one is there. Let’s also not forget how crazy parents are – three against two is a lot easier than one against two. We get a dose of this every time one of them visits, but it’s just that – a dose. My sisters weren’t able to come to the tasting nor the initial reception gown selection. They know my every move with the wedding – it’s just different. I wish I could change it but at the same time I’m proud of these women in my life.

Maybe the universe did this to make moving out a lot easier. Maybe it was done on purpose to ensure I don’t flood my town with tears during the doli (who are we kidding I probably still will and don’t think I’m less of a person for being emotional while one chapter closes in my life – that’s another ramble for another post).

Whatever the case may be it is not easy. Especially now that sometimes my new purchases end up in Kingston and Calgary. 😉

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08/05/15 Trends , Wedding Vibes # , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bridal Diary: Concept Films

Last weekend Mr. Fiance and I went on a mega date! HerWe did everything we love doing in Toronto, from walking around Yorkville with Summer’s Ice Cream to biking around the Toronto Islands.  It was one of those refreshing weekends. At times I even felt like Beyonce – well mainly because we had someone follow us around town filming our every move. Okay, not creepy I promise – we shot our wedding concept film with the fabulous people over at JF2 filmsHim

This is probably one of the fastest growing trends I didn’t see coming! Who am I kidding though – doesn’t everyone want to feel like a movie star?

I’m not going to lie; at first it was a bit awkward. I’m used to cameras, but, to just be me and showcase my love for Mr. Fiance  – hmm tequila, please. I love him, but I never thought I would have to film my affection.

As the day progressed we became more and more comfortable with the idea (blame it on the Goose?!). A lot of this had to do with our videographer, Joseph! He’s a gem and had us doing some crazy things but like I always say – anything for the shot!

We allowed him to be creative and just direct us. I think by day 2, we were just about ready for Bollywood – hey I mean as long as Joseph is directing. Jokes aside, it was an amazing experience! We can’t wait to see everything come together and what this creative genius will do with these fun shots.

Oh and that’s not all – we always love giving you a little something extra at Vibrance Designs so this week please welcome our fabulous guest blogger – Joesph and find out his side of the story…

Tips________________________________

My inspiration to create – my father

Video is my preferred visual medium of choice because it allows me to document movement in more than just one frame.

Portrait {Films} for me are what extreme sports are to a performance athlete – exhilarating, high-energy and doing what I love and know best.

When I met Puja and Sumit in person, one of the first things we agreed on was producing something different and pushing all creative ideas as far as we could with purpose. Portrait {films} are my take on exploring my couples dynamic through video. 

Before I get to filming with my couples we go over a list of potential ideas, locations, themes, outfits, prop ideas, experiences they’ve both had and everything central to why they want to create this body of work. My creative films all serve a purpose; each shot is carefully composed & never documented without a reason. 

Both Puja and Sumit made it very clear that they wanted this film to embody their personalities and foreshadow specific moments during their relationship i.e. Sumit’s proposal to Puja, locations they frequented on date nights and how they felt about each other. Documenting emotions and in particular “love” can feel and become very cliché as I go from one couple to the next. It’s when I dig deep into conversations with my couples and find out what their favourite song is or what they majored in during University or what makes them happy or sad – this changes everything. Understanding my subjects translates well and yields a better result to a finished portrait {film}.

Months later after we exchanged numerous phone conversations and a plethora of emails, it was time for day 1 and 2 of filming. Working with a creative from the wedding industry felt daunting at first but Puja made that feeling disappear quite instantly. Puja and Sumit spoiled me silly & made me feel super comfortable over our 2 days together. The large benefit of working alongside a creative is that they understand the time and efforts spent in creating a vision and finally being able to execute it – perfectly. Every location that we chose was relevant and significant during our shoot and while most people don’t ever see it at first, every frame of my films are carefully thought out from the second I hit record on my camera, down to when bring everything into post production. 

My work and approach isn’t for everyone but at the heart of these Portrait {films} remains one constant – exploring and uncovering a dynamic between my clients that most family, friends or guests at a wedding reception don’t see at first. 

~ Joseph A. Fernando, JF2 Films

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29/04/15 Design Vibes , How To , Stationery 101 , Trends # , , , , , , , , ,

Must-Haves | Wedding Ceremonies

What do a vendor, a couple gearing up for their big day or a girl planning her sister’s baby shower, all have in common?

They are all looking for something unique.

Call me bias but nothing is more unique than couture stationery. By hiring a couture stationery designer, you’re creating artwork that’s personable and fit to your event. No two people are alike and the same should go for stationery!

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be featuring the Must-Haves –a list of items that will give all your events that extra oomph.

Today we start with the top 3 must-haves for any wedding ceremony.WelcomeSign Deep&Sonya

  1. Ceremony Welcome Sign. The welcome sign is growing popular quick. It’s beautiful, fun and can show a lot of personality (there are no rules to this item and it doesn’t JUST have to say “Welcome”). Not only are you setting the tone for your guests, you’re and making them feel special but also reminding them to brace themselves – this is just the beginning.
    Side note: these are also perfect for pre-wedding events like sangeets or engagement parties and non-wedding events! 
  2. Ceremony Programs. This is a staple. Not only does it add to your décor and design but it’s a way for guests to follow along with the ceremony. The best part – you can get a bit playful with the art and the structure of these. For example, if you are hosting an outdoor event, why not make your program into a fan!
  3. Food Station or Food Labels. Menus can sometimes be a bit formal, so opt for some nicely framed food station signs. Your guests will love it! They will know exactly what they are getting and it helps those guests who are new to any style of cuisine being served.
    Food labels are important, but instead of using those boring black and white ones, add your design to it. Attention to detail will tie your whole event together!
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22/04/15 Blog # , , , , , , ,

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day all! We love our paper goods here at Vibrance Designs. We also love making the world a beautiful place and making sure it stays that way.

How do we ensure we do our part?

  1. OfficePlantRecycled Papers. Did you know, all our card stocks are FSC Certified? Even our specialty papers – like those beautiful shimmers, are made from recycled materials. (The recycled shimmers actually have a tiny bit more sparkle to them, than non-recycled shimmers!)
  1. Shut Down. Computers and printers take up a lot of energy, so as much as it’s a pain to start it up every morning, we shut down our office computers and personal printers every night.
  1. Paperless Office. Although we produce paper products we do try to keep the office as paperless as possible. This means online calendars, quick notes and all.
  1. Food & Green Bins. Stay green while eating your greens! Our team is big on waste-free lunches. You can easily decrease the amount of garbage you throw out and increase the amount of recycling and compost.
  1. Lights out.  I LOVE sunlight! My office space has a huge window that I can’t live without. With all this natural sunlight why do we need our office lights on? I place my desk right beside the window so I can take in as much natural light as possible and only use the office lights in the winter (when it’s basically dark out at 4:00) or for those occasional late nights.

Every little action can have an effect on the environment. Comment below and tell us how you stay green!

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