Christine Traulich of Red Bliss
January 31, 2007

Okay, I lied...well, I didn't really lie, I simply didn't finish the "budget fabulous" invitation post for today. So, I bumped Thursday's post up to today, and we will continue with part II of the invitation post tomorrow. Sound good? Besides, today's Q & A is so much more interesting and idea filled!

I am so excited about today's post. I had a Q & A session with one of my very favorite invitation designers, Christine Traulich, who along with her sister, Dori, owns and operates this incredible design studio, RedBliss.

red-bliss-christine-2.jpgChristine has been an inspiration of mine for a long time. In 2005, she was named one of Modern Brides Top 25 Trendsetters in the wedding industry (literally alongside people like Wolfgang Puck and Vera Wang). Her work is as couture as they come, and often incorporates luxurious touches like silk boxes or envelopes, cashmere wraps, crystal pins, suede cushions, pearls and just about anything else that will add elegance and texture to the design.

I honestly cannot say enough about this woman's talent...down to the tiniest of details, her work is as good as it gets.  And, it's been addition to Modern Bride, Christine's work has been featured in Elegant Bride, In Style Weddings, Grace Ormond, Daily Candy and The Knot to name a few.

Q: Christine! I am so excited to be chatting with you today. Before I dive

into the questions, I would love to know how you began this crazy career in

invitation design? What is your background?

I founded RedBliss after pouring over countless stationery books that failed to offer a truly unique design for my own wedding that took place more than 7 years ago in our 200-year-old barn. As a result, I designed a very unconventional invitation “in a box”. More than five years later, I am extraordinarily lucky to do what I love every day. I was able to parlay my 10 years spent as a creative marketing director into a fresh and novel approach to invitation design.

Q. As a custom designer, I am sure it is incredibly important for you to follow trends. Can you tell us what you think the current trends in invitation design are, and perhaps what they are inspired by?

red-bliss-3c.jpgInvitations should reflect personal style rather than the trend-of-the-moment. There are several key elements to consider when thinking about an invitation design. First, never underestimate the importance of the invitation…it sets the stage for the entire day. Second, don’t be afraid to break convention! Use colors, words and materials that embody your personalities. Lastly, make sure your invitation components are “well-packaged” to avoid the mess of loose cards falling into the laps of your recipients.

Q. Specifically, where do you find your own inspiration for your designs

My inspiration is driven by our clients. It’s very personal…we listen and respond to the vision our couples want to achieve for their wedding day. Anything can inspire the creative process from the story of their first date, a favorite song or simply the season and setting of their nuptials.

Q. Can you talk to us a little bit about the difference between working with a custom designer, and ordering a ready made invitation from a local boutique? In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of each?

red-bliss-2b.jpgA custom designer allows a couple to create an invitation with personalized creative flair. However, couples will need to devote more time and energy in the design process.

A local boutique provides an expansive selection of invitations for a couple to consider. However, invitations will lack dimensional style and have limited design options.

Q. What is the process that you have when a new couple wants to hire you? Further, is there anything specifically that the couple can do to prepare for their first meeting with an invitation designer to ensure that their vision is realized?

During the 8-12 week collaborative design process, we carefully explore every detail with the couple to create invitations that celebrate their individuality. Fine detailing, custom styling, novel dimension and notable refinements go into each creation. We encourage couples to discuss the “attitude” they want to convey and to share photos that highlight their style. Just as important, we want to identify what they don’t like!

Q. In our opinion, details are everything. What are some of your favorite details that a couple can add to their wedding stationery to really make it unique?

Don’t be bound by convention. Start by choosing words that express your personalities – don’t be afraid to use humornest-b.jpg or verse, rhymes or narratives. Next, consider using imaginative materials. For a garden wedding, place your invitation atop a bed of moss in a wood box. Getting married on a ski slope? Send your invitation wrapped in cashmere and sprinkled with crystal snowflakes. Lastly, have your calligrapher use brilliant ink colors and fanciful flourishes when addressing your invitations. Guests will be eager to know what awaits them inside.

Q. Although your work is fabulous (honestly, the best that it gets), what do you suggest to a couple who might not have it in the budget to hire a custom designer. Are there ways to make a ready-made invitation more personal?

Always. Here are a few options: line your envelopes with beautiful paper or favorite photograph; slip your invitation into a colorful mailing box and toss rose petals or pearls inside; affix Swarovski crystals or sequin appliqués to the invitation card; wrap your invitation in several colors of silk ribbon instead of just one...I could go on forever.

Q. Can you give us the first thoughts that come into your mind (for an invitation design, of course) when you hear the following...

Beach Simplicity

Silk-wrapped invitation card layered in coconut paper and sprinkled with abalone shells.

Country Club Chic

A baroque fabric invitation wrap with Swarovski button closure and tied in satin ribbon.

City Glamour

Invitation engraved in glass and encased in a felt invitation box.

Country Affair

An invitation on rustic cedar wood atop chocolate suede underlay and wrapped in twine.

Q. And finally, is there one wedding invitation that really stands out inyour mind as the perfect invitation?

The perfect invitation is one that is timeless. One you can look back on years later and it still represents your style and personality as a couple.