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Behind the Scenes with A Day In May

There’s no part of weddings I won’t gush over but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to my stationery sweet spot. So I was beyond excited to get a little behind the scenes peek at A Day In May, a graphic design studio in San Fran where owners Lesley and Eve work on everything from logos and wine labels to custom invitations of every kind. See their story, creative process and inspiration – and samples of their wonderful work snapped by Carol Vaziri – below!

HOW DID A DAY IN MAY COME TO BE?

We met during a time when, in an effort to have more control over the type of design we were producing, we had both quit jobs at large design studios. Our friends were starting to get married and were coming to us to design their invitations. There were very few options for interesting invitations beyond the classic “Crane’s engraved” style and no one really knew what letterpress was all about. The more we designed, the more we realized that there was a real need for what we were doing and A DAY IN MAY blossomed into a design studio.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE VARIOUS INVITATION OPTIONS YOU OFFER?

When we started, we focused on doing all letterpress printing and we based all designs on six different “styles” we had created. Now, based on the demands of our clients, we do only custom invitation design work and we offer a variety of printing styles; everything from letterpress to foil stamping to digital printing.

WHAT SHOULD BRIDES KEEP IN MIND WHEN DECIDING WHAT TYPE OF INVITATION TO GO WITH?

They should first decide what they want their invitation to “feel” like. For example, should it feel; classic, or modern, or luxurious, or rustic chic? This will help them define the design direction. Then, they’ll need to decide what is most important to them – is it the weight of the paper stock, is it conveying a design theme throughout all the pieces, is it a size or shape (square vs rectangle, large vs petite), is printing in letterpress or a large variety of colors which works better in a digital printing format? When they provide us with these answer, it’s easy for us to shepherd the process.

WHAT DOES A CUSTOM INVITATION PROCESS LOOK LIKE FOR THE NEW BRIDE-TO-BE?

Every client is unique. They may know exactly what they want for their invitation or have absolutely no idea where to even begin. Either way, our goal at the first meeting is to clearly define their design direction. We’ll go through samples and discuss colors, styles and themes they have in mind. Once we’ve put together a concept, we create an estimate and when that’s approved, we can begin design. The design process usually takes about three weeks. We show all designs in a PDF format, beginning with many different options in the first round and gradually finessing down to a single layout.

WHAT IF THE BRIDE-TO-BE HAS NO IDEA WHAT THEY WANT?

We are a completely custom studio, so our specialty is working with people who need a lot of guidance. We sit down with each client (or set up multiple phone conversations) and go through samples and concepts, narrowing down likes and dislikes until we’ve defined one or two directions for their custom invitation.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY?

Love what you do, do it thoughtfully, and do it well.

WHAT BRINGS YOU THE MOST JOY WITH YOUR WORK?

Working together with a friend to produce quality work that we’re proud of!

Photography: Carol Vaziri | Invitation Design: A Day In May | Printed Materials: Full Circle Press

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Peach Rustic Boho Wedding Inspiration

Here at SMP, we love a good style pairing—the more the merrier! My personal favorite is a touch of boho. This free-spirited style can be woven with almost any other and the result usually leaves me speechless. Case in point? This rustic boho pairing from Maraluce. Sprinkled with rentals from One True Love Vintage Rentals, florals by Ampersand SF and a dress by Lovely Bride, the gallery speaks for itself.

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From MaraluceA romantic union of modern bohemia meets industrial polish for this unique and energetic wedding style shoot. A mix of film and digital photography, our goal was to inspire the eclectic, midcentury, blissfuly rustic and city dweller with luxe design and images. With over the top florals, lush textures, dynamic table settings, charming furniture, avant garde cake design for the stylish couple. A parade of style, sophistication and romance. A collaboration for the luxury bride.

Photography: Maraluce | Floral Design: Ampersand SF | Wedding Dress: Lovely Bride Boutique In San Francisco | Cake: Pretty Please Bakeshop | Invitations: Cheree Berry Paper | Hair And Makeup: Julie Dy | Location: Ampersand SF Floral Shop | Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals | Tablewares: Frances Lane Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Custom Gowns with JINZA Couture Bridal

There are bridal salons, and there are personalized bridal salons like JINZA Couture Bridal.  A place where beautiful collections and breathtaking custom creations join forces with the most amazing customer service you’ll ever experience to create an individually crafted design made just for you.  Think private appointments with top-notch consultants or your very own personal designer, aka, a team of wedding geniuses that know a thing or two about making you look awesome for your special occasion.

Serving Bay Area brides since 2002, JINZA Couture Bridal’s new and exclusive Los Angeles boutique is now open in the heart of West Hollywood (933 N La Cienega Blvd), which means that even more brides get to experience the gorgeous gowns and attention to detail that JINZA Couture Bridal is so well-known for. Imagine a timeless piece created from scratch using only the finest of fabrics with custom tailoring to fit your figure perfectly, alterations included.  Brides can try on a range of gowns or mold a custom creation.

Explore high fashion styles, updated classics, unconventional sheaths, opulent ball gowns, the popular soft mermaid style and JINZA’s own signature couture designs at the new Los Angeles boutique. Each gown is light weight and comfortable (no shape wear or bra needed!), so that you can dance the night away with the one you love.  And you can complete your bridal ensemble with a veil, jewelry and shoes all available at JINZA Couture Bridal.  Amazing.

Classic, elegant and totally sophisticated – contact JINZA Couture Bridal TODAY to begin creating that dress of your dreams.  Take it from someone who knows – it will be the best decision you’ll ever make.

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Sleek + Sophisticated Black Tie Wedding

This, loves, is how you do a wedding.  Think two dapper grooms, a dream team of San Fran vendors (Morgan EventsSweet On CakePaula LeDuc and Michelle Papineau Calligraphy… to name a few) and an urban warehouse setting hosting the whole (totally glamorous) shebang.  It’s sleek + sophisticated details meets gorgeous candlelight meets a breathtaking Kevin Chin gallery.  Join me there for more.

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From Kevin Chin Photography + Cinema“All love is good love” is how I describe Gabriel and Thom’s same sex wedding. Classic church wedding in an old historic San Francisco church followed by a lively reception complete with disco ball and flaggers! This wedding is so San Francisco and so in the moment!

From the Grooms… Our story started in late 2002, when our paths crossed at Crunch Fitness.  After spending a couple of month’s talking every weekday morning before leaving for work, we decided to start seeing each other outside the gym.  Even though we were raised in different countries, we soon realized we had a very similar upbringing and so much in common.  By March of 2003, we officially started dating and a true love was born.  Over the years, we had casually talked about getting married, but in October of 2011, in front of a beautiful waterfall deep inside a rain forest of Olympic National Park, we exchanged rings and officially were engaged.  At that time, we agreed that we wouldn’t get married until it was legal to do so, and with the Supreme Court rulings in June of 2013, we knew our dream could now become a reality.  Fearing changes in laws again, we legally were married on August 10th with a small group of family and friends.   Now, we are so excited to spiritually renew our vows and have the kind of celebration we have talked about for years, with all of our friends and family surrounding us. 

Our wedding celebration was a dream come true, thanks to our wedding planner aka our “Fairy Godmother”, Morgan. From our initial conversation with Morgan, she knew exactly what we wanted – a modern classic black tie wedding that was filled with whimsical elements that reflected our personality but also our love for food and wine, ultimately a fine dining experience with a splash of fun. She definitely delivered our vision and beyond.

The attention to detail in all aspects of our celebration was magical. From the four-tiered ombre hand painted wedding cake to the two thirty-two feet kings tables to the whimsical large sculptural of hanging green amaranth, Spanish moss, white orchids and teardrop shaped LED candles vases to the six course wine and paring tasting menu – our celebration was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Photography: Kevin Chin Photography + Cinema | Cinematography: Kevin Chin Photography + Cinema | Event Planning: Morgan Events | Floral Design: Hunt Littlefield | Cake: Sweet On Cake | Invitations: Hello!Lucky | Ceremony Venue: Swedenborgian Church | Reception Venue: Bluxome Street Winery | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Calligraphy: Michelle Papineau Calligraphy | Lighting: Got Light? | DJ: DJ Cams | Linens: La Tavola | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Rentals: Blueprint Studios

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Marmalade Sky Films + A Discount + A Giveaway!

There is something so special about having your wedding day captured on film for you and your honey to relive over and over again. And when the film is done by the insanely creative Northern California boutique cinematography company Marmalade Sky Films, you’ll find any excuse to press play.

Behind the lens is a team of best friends, Eugene + Matt, who worked in the film industry prior to discovering their passion for wedding cinematography. Thanks to this experience, every film they create is based in a deep love for visual storytelling. Their films capture all the special moments of the couple’s big day, from the kisses to the laughter and tears, in a way that is authentic and genuine, to tell each couple’s individual and unique love story.

Are you head-over-heels yet? Well now’s the time to book your big day with Marmalade Sky Films because they’re giving SMP readers who book before September 2015 $200 off a Wedding Cinematography Package of their choice! Simply mention this post when booking to redeem the offer. Check out their packages here.
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Oh and there’s more! Marmalade Sky Films is giving one lucky reader a Save the Date film shot on Full HD ($499 value).

To enter:Comment on this post with why you’d love to have Marmalade Sky Films tell the story of you and your honey!

To win: A winner will be randomly chosen and announced in WIUP on Friday, April 24, 2015.

The details: Session must take place in San Francisco or mutually agreed upon location on mutually agreed upon date. The giveaway includes session time and one Engagement Video or Save the Date Invitation video (30 seconds to 1 minute in length).

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Elegant San Francisco Spring Wedding

Having first met and fallen in love on NBC’s “Love in the Wild” these two cuties continued their story and only a couple years later, won their true prize and said “I do” with one sparkling soiree in San Fran. With the help of Charmed Events Group and Nancy Liu Chin Designs, they sealed the deal and Meg Perotti captured it all for us to ooh and aah over right here!

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From Charmed Events GroupThere are certain love stories that are a “forever love” that you could only imagine happening in movies and on TV, but not in real life. Samantha and Mike not only have one of these love stories, but they found love with one another, true love, on a reality TV show. They were both competitors on NBC’s season 1 of ‘Love in the Wild,’ and not only did they find love, they won the entire season and earned themselves a first class trip around the world! Samantha was a wedding planner in Southern California when she chose to join the show, and after winning the show, decided to move to San Francisco, where Mike was in commercial real estate, and the two were shortly engaged two years later.

It was important for Samantha and Mike to incorporate personal and sentimental elements of their journey to finding each other into the feel and look of their wedding. It was also important for Samantha and Mike to invite their family and friends for an elegant evening of celebration so they chose to have a black tie affair at the historic Palace Hotel in San Francisco. A sophisticated palette of charcoal, white and black was chosen to color up the day with notes of gold. Elements of glitter added texture to the day and infused a sense of fun and sparkle.

We used two main motifs in designing their wedding: a compass that represents their journey to finding love and the phrase “I Choose You,” both paying homage to their time on ‘Love in the Wild’ and where it’s taken them. Love is a choice and throughout their time on the show and through the different challenges they’ve faced on the premise of the show, they repeatedly chose each other and chose to be together no matter the obstacle.

The ceremony was held at the Sunset Court on the mezzanine level of the Palace Hotel and the decor and floral design was in an all-white, lush palette with hints of silver and gold. The idea behind the ceremony design was to create an ethereal and heavenly feel to the altar. The ceremony backdrop was draped in white with a modern white table with luxurious blooms and candles by Nancy Liu Chin.

Guests were invited to the Ralston Room for cocktails and hors ‘d’oeuvres and asked to find their seats by seeking out our Escort Wall which had individual guest cards and feathers with glitter gold tips for each guest. The feather represents that “love always finds a way” and pays homage to the couple’s love story. Upon the Bride and Groom’s entrance into cocktail hour, a live demonstration of a champagne tower was poured in celebration.

The reception was a rich and luxurious space with sparkle silver linens and adorned with decadent and lush white flowers that were perfectly matched against gold rimmed chargers. The menus at each place setting had corners dipped in gold glitter that created the perfect setting to a regal and ethereal affair. There were so many warm moments of the evening that is such a beautiful reflection of the love shared by Samantha and Mike’s family and friends. Their first dance happened on a white dance floor with their compass motif on it, serenaded by a good family friend on video as a surprise to the couple, the cousin of the bride performed a special song after dinner and the evening was complete with an custom ice cream sandwich station with cookies made by the Bride’s family. Every moment of the evening literally glistened and danced under the grand chandeliers of the Palace Hotel’s Garden Court surrounded by the sparkle reflected from the candlelight on the table. The cake topper that said “I Choose You” is the perfect way to describe Samantha and Mikes’ day, one that was sentimental in telling their love story and one that was a beautiful and luxurious experience for their guests!

Photography: Meg Perotti | Videographer: Twisted Light Films | Floral Design: Nancy Liu Chin Designs | Officiant: Tim Mills | Wedding Venue: Palace Hotel | DJ And Lighting: Sound In Motion | Drape And Chairs: Asma's Designs | Event Planning, Design And Stationery: Charmed Events Group | Event Rentals: Hartmann Studios | Linens: La Tavola | Photobooth: Tomfoolery

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here