Monday, September 29, 2008

Nerd Alert!

A few months ago, I was chatting with Kelly over at Bright and casually mentioned that I had some ideas for a new display table at the aforementioned event gallery. I was ecstatic with the level of enthusiasm this was met with, and even happier when the girls let me see out my idea in the form of the August display table.

My concept was born out of a desire to see something that is not traditionally associated with style and turn it into something cool. The "something" in this case was science, particularly Chemistry.
I recall many a late night sitting at the kitchen table with my dad as he patiently explained (for the bazillionth time) how to write out and balance chemical equations. I never considered my Chemistry classes to be anything but horrible graduation requirements. I'm still not the first person you'd want to ask about atomic weights or inorganic compounds, but I do look back now and appreciate the struggles because I know in the long run it made me a better student. And it made my dad one helluva teacher. 
So here it is, my stylish tribute to science. Or as I like to call it, Geek Chic.
No science-inspired table display would be complete without the periodic table of elements. 
I found some great visuals online and recreated the chart on metallic paper with black and green ink. The name itself is a play on words. Please be seated at The Periodic Table. I can just see my high school chem teacher's eyes light up.
The look of the table revolved around a palate of greens, black and white with lots of clear glass. The centerpiece candlesticks (used as vases above) came from CB2. You can get your own right here. Erlenmeyer flasks filled with green candies served as a cool favor. These are also a fantastic alternative to a traditional vase. 
I dug out one of my favorite Einstein quotes, printed it on sheer vellum and laid it over a cool graphic patterned paper for the menus. It reads: "gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love." The plates came from Tri Rentals. I kind of want them for myself.
Special thanks to Harrison Hurwitz for these lovely images, and to the Bright girls for allowing me to bring this idea to life. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wedding Programs made easy

{ Bhavi and Tom's wedding program. Photo provided by Jared Platt }
In my experience, nothing seems to stump a bride like the wedding program. By the time you reach this point in the planning process, you're likely to be worn out making decisions that have anything to do with your wedding. Understood. 
That's why I'm providing you with the Kelly Ashworth Design Super Fantastic Wedding Program Checklist (or KADSFWPC for those of you who like a good acronym).
I normally have brides build a program around four main components:
1. Wedding Party
2. Order of Ceremony
3. Message of Thanks from the Bride & Groom
4. Remembrances / Tributes
Then if you want to get a little more in depth, you can explain your relationship to the members of your wedding party. Depending on your energy level, this can include a straightforward "Shannon Snodgrass, bridesmaid, college friend" or a more intimate approach that may sound like "Shannon Snodgrass was one of my Biology lab partners at MSU. We bonded over bunsen burners and beer at The Riv."
For brides with unique cultural or religious traditions, I always recommend laying them out in the program. Guests will appreciate being able to follow ceremonies they may be otherwise unfamiliar with. 
{ Bhavi and Tom's ceremony combined elements to celebrate their Indian and American heritage. }
{ Stephanie and Jordan's wedding program provides detailed explanations of Jewish wedding traditions. }
And always ALWAYS thank you guests in some way for attending your wedding. It doesn't have to be eighteen paragraphs long. It does have to express your gratitude and appreciation that people have taken time out of their busy lives to be with you. 
Easy, right? Now just make sure you don't put this off until the last minute because your friendly designer is liable to FREAK OUT. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

September Charity

For the month of September, I have donated to Autism Speaks. The statistics concerning autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is startling:  today 1 in 150 people are diagnosed with autism. This is more common than AIDS, pediatric cancer and diabetes COMBINED.
This cause is near and dear to my heart because my mom works in a school with kids who have ASD. It's heartbreaking to hear about these kids who are unable to communicate, who won't make eye contact or smile, and whose tiny lives revolve around confusing repetitive behaviors. 
So check out the website, get the facts and donate to this worthy cause.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Teresa + Mike

Teresa and Mike were married Saturday at DC Ranch, and I had the opportunity to stop by to take a few photos while everything was being set up. Let me just begin by saying that Teresa goes in my client Hall of Fame for being so much fun to work with. I was actually a little sad that my "summer of Teresa" was coming to an end. 

Obviously these photos won't compare to Hollye's (who shot the wedding), but I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.
{ gerber daisies were a recurring theme in the wedding }
{ the gorgeous chuppah }
{ all of the wedding stationery included this illustrative daisy motif }
{ Since this wedding was on the smaller side (only 39 guests) we created a seating chart that also becomes a wedding souvenir for Teresa & Mike. }
{ the feasting table looked amazing against the backdrop of the DC Ranch courtyard. }
{ the centerpieces coordinated brilliantly with the beaded linens }
{ each place setting was accented with a single gerber daisy }
The wedding was coordinated by the always wonderful Victoria Canada Weddings and Events
The Flower Studio created the gorgeous floral displays, and Hollye Schumacher shot the wedding. (Her photos never cease to amaze me!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This takes the cake...

I am a girl obsessed with patterns. I shop for duvet covers on clearance so I can switch up the patterns in my room to match my mood, or the season, or whatever other excuse I can dream up. Same with pillows. And I should probably add patterned papers to the list. 

So can you imagine my reaction when I laid eyes on THIS:
{From the Fall '08 Issue of In Style Weddings, cake by Bijoux Doux }
A patterned wedding cake, people! Another reason to renew our vows. Or to become a cake collector. Can you imagine how divine this would look in my bedroom?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rock solid seating

For all the minimalist brides out there, a cool alternative to traditional ceremony seating. Cushions disguised as stones.
{ starting at $298 (ouch) right here. }

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flaunt your fonts

Many times when I meet with clients and the subject turns to font selection, I will hear, "there are too many choices! I don't care, just pick something that looks nice." But the typefaces you choose really do make a difference. Careful consideration of this seemingly minute detail will make a huge difference in the overall impression you are giving your guests about your event.
Consider these four examples and what they say about Jim and Pam's wedding. (Can you tell I'm dying for The Office to start?) These invitations are identical in wording, but look at the style and you can see what they really say:
{ This one says "fancy schmancy traditional". As Michael Scott would say, "get your hair did." I realize the all cursive is still largely popular, but I often advise against it as it can be difficult to read. }
{ This one is nice because it combines two typefaces that are traditional, pretty and easy to read. You are still leaving an impression of formality with guests without angry phone calls from Grandma saying she can't read your invitation. But she might be bummed to discover the reception is in a warehouse. }
{ I love messing around with the same typeface in different ways. In this case, I'm using the same font, but one is Light and one is Block. Reverse out the names for a dramatic mod effect. Using more contemporary styles does not necessarily mean a less formal impression. If it fits the style of your event or the architecture of your venue, go for it. }
{ This would be great for a less formal affair. Maybe they've decorated the warehouse with tiki torches and will serve fruity cocktails. Perhaps it's better for a beach wedding at Lake Scranton. Either way, the lowercase lettering combined with a retro style font lends to a more playful vibe. } 
So in the process of making the 687th decision of the wedding planning process, don't forget your fonts! 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kelly Ashworth Design Holiday Greetings!

After a good deal of time listening to the likes of Harry Connick, Jr. and the Vince Guaraldi Trios' Christmas songs (in July), I am super excited to announce the launch of my new line of Photo Greeting Cards for Holiday '08! This year, I'm offering 13 styles and a number of options to customize your selection, including wording choices and premium paper finishes. All orders include a matching white envelope with your return address conveniently printed on the back flap.

I am posting each of the designs here and if you want to place an order, I will also link to the order form below. You can also place orders through my Etsy site. And if you don't see what you want, drop me a line! Custom orders are gladly accepted for an additional fee.
{ all photographs provided by EME Photography }
Pricing is as follows:
Download the order form right here. Or shop Etsy right here.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. By phone: 928.252.2590 or via email:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Make it work

For my birthday this year, my husband bestowed upon me a gift that can only be described as priceless. He knows that I need occasional words of encouragement (who doesn't, I ask?) and sometimes he's away from his desk at work. So he more or less found me someone who can fill in for him at a moments notice. Meet Tim:

All I need to do is press a button and he's all, "Make it work!" Now if I can just teach him to fix me a cocktail at the end of the day, I'll be all set.
{Image from You can get yours here.}

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dress Codes Decoded

There was a fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal recently about how dress codes for fancy parties and the like have spiraled out of control. Here's the gist:
"In recent years, party hosts have made dress-code descriptions ever more creative, trying to set a lively tone to keep their bashes from sounding run-of-the-mill. It's no longer unusual to receive an invitation prescribing a dress code of 'wild chic,' 'beach formal,' 'resort dressy,' 'international,' 'festive,' 'creative black tie,' or 'safari chic.' Now, there's a backlash brewing, with many hosts returning to simple, clear instructions -- both for their guests' sanity and for their own."
If I had it my way, a tank top, jeans and running shoes would be socially acceptable at any event (sorry, Stacy and Clinton). Since it's not, I am overcome with a feeling of dread at the very thought of attending a party with a "wild chic" dress code. Chances are, your guests will be too if you decide to spring something like this on them. So keep it simple. As one woman in the article pointed out, "I would much rather throw a party and receive 25 calls after, saying, 'What a great party that was,' than [get] 25 calls beforehand asking, 'What does this mean?' "
Read the whole story here.
And if you send me an invite prescribing a "festive" dress code, be prepared for a bedazzled tank top.