Archive for February, 2013

Throwback Thursday #tbt

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

It’s Throwback Thursday!!  If you’re glued to your smartphone and you’ve checked your instagram, facebook and pinterest accounts before you’ve even stepped out of bed in the morning, odds are you’re already participating in Throwback Thursday (#tbt) each week.  If you haven’t jumped on the tbt bandwagon yet, we’ll let you in on this really fun photo upload that you can do to start your own #tbt tradition!

Throwback Thursday started on instagram and has been expanding to other areas of social media.  If you know anything about social media and photo sharing, you know it’s about being current and up-to-date.  The moment your party ends there’s instantly pictures of the event on your facebook to share with anyone, and throughout the day you’re constantly getting tagged in photos, locations, events, etc.  Throwback Thursday is the one day during the week that you are encouraged to share photos and memories from way back – thus a “throwback”.  Your photos can be from your childhood years, high school, college, an old party, or maybe even a photo from last year – as long as it takes you back in time and shares a memory, your photo is game!  Once you have uploaded your Throwback Thursday pic, give it a hashtag of #tbt.

In honor of Throwback Thursday, is offering an EXCLUSIVE 35% off coupon on instagram!  So get out there and follow us on instagram, upload your own Throwback Thursday #tbt photo and tag it  @invitationbox !  This coupon is too good to pass up, and it’s totally too much fun not to share one of those old pics you’ve got hidden away in your closet!

We asked our fellow ibox employees to allow us to share their favorite #tbt pics and they sent them in to give you a little inspiration for posting your own Throwback Thursday pic!  Above we have pictures from employees in marketing, customer service, typesetting, and even our general manager – but we won’t name names!

A Red Carpet Event

Monday, February 25th, 2013

The 85th annual Oscars were on last night, with highlights being Seth MacFarlane’s funny (or not so funny) jokes, Jennifer Lawrence’s trip up the stairs to receive her award (poor girl), Anne Hathaway’s award for Les Miserables and musical performances by Adele, Jennifer Hudson and Barbra Streisand, who hadn’t performed at the Academy Awards in the past 36 years.  For me, fashion is what draws me to watching the Oscars each year…the dresses, the hair, the jewelry.  To be honest, I play my own little game of best dressed/worst dressed from my very own sofa.  It’s also a great chance to find out about any amazing movies I may have missed and should run out to see in the coming weeks, (i.e. Silver Linings Playbook).

I have a friend who hosts an Oscars party each year at her home – she invites everyone to come dressed as their favorite actress or actor and everyone lives rich for the evening, coming dressed in evening gowns and pearls, sipping on champagne and dining on mini hors d’oeuvres.  She puts a red carpet at the entrance-way of her home and takes photos of everyone as they arrive, just like the paparazzi.  As the party progresses, the red carpet changes to a photo booth that everyone can enjoy together.  Voting is done an hour before the Oscars are aired and whoever guesses the awards correctly does an acceptance speech.  Guests can also re-enact their own acceptance speech being the actress or actor they are portraying.

Thinking of hosting your own red carpet event?  Red carpet parties are growing extremely popular, as we’d all like to know what it feels like to be rich and famous, even if it’s only for a day.  Red carpet parties are most popular for sweet 16 parties, adult birthday parties, Oscar parties, corporate events and retirement parties.  The perfect way to set the scene for your event is with a VIP invitation or a movie party invitation that makes way for your theatrical a-list party!  My favorite invitation is the VIP Pass Invitation by Checkerboard, which doubles as not only an invitation, but also an all-access pass to obtain admittance to your party!  Your VIP guests will feel extra special as they enter your party with their exclusive pass.  We also offer admission ticket invitations which are perfect for any red carpet themed event.  Choose a colored ticket to match your party theme and style.  We also have a Movie Clapper Invitation which features a large scene clapper which will add a little ACTION to your party.

Looking to create an amazing party production with an A-list cast and amazing reviews from the critics?  Check out our facebook page today to view our Oscar After-Party Sale.  It’s an EXCLUSIVE ONE DAY SALE for 30% off your order…so that you can plan the perfect VIP event for all of your famous guests to attend!  Simply use the coupon code ACADEMY30 at checkout and you’ll receive 30% off any size order.

This amazing deal is just like a VIP event, and it’s for one special day only, (today)!  Check it out!

A Glamping Getaway (glamorous camping)

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Last summer we were invited to our annual family reunion up in Michigan.  Most of us have anywhere from 2-5 kids, thus driving twelve hours and then paying close to two hundred dollars a night for a hotel can sometimes be a bit hard on our patience and wallets!  The idea was brought up that we should go camping and I have to admit, my first thoughts were of sweating in 95 degree weather, showering in humid campsite bathrooms, a bad back each morning and thousands of mosquitoes!  My second thought was that it would really be enjoyable to experience the gorgeous Michigan nature with our family and friends – s’mores, campfires, gossip, ghost stories…there just had to be a happy medium between the good times and the mosquitoes!  And that is where we found glamping, (or, glamorous camping, if you will)!

Glamping is the newest craze in camping these days, however it actually dates back to the 1900’s, when Europeans and Americans wanted to travel on Safari in Africa, however the wealthy travelers did not want to forgo the comforts of home.  Glamping was thus created, bringing at-home luxuries to the African safari.  Guests would thus travel with a butler, chef, large tents, Parisian rugs, guides and a bed, of course!

Today’s glamping is similar to the days of safari, but a bit more trendy, of course!  Glamping is actually a mix of camping with the luxuries of a hotel.  This way you can experience nature without the hassle of carrying camping gear, pitching a tent, finding space or eating beans out of a can.  Glamp sites can feature cabins, tree houses, tipis, camping pods, luxurious pop-ups or belle tents.  You can create your own glamping site, or go to a location that specifically specializes in glamping.  Believe it or not, there are companies that offer glamping from $50 to $1000 per night.  Luxuries can include beds, cabins, fresh daily linens, air conditioning, bathrooms, showers and food services.

We were lucky enough to find small ‘glamping-style’ cottages that summer, which were very small but offered a nice bed, air conditioning, mini kitchen and bathroom/shower for a very affordable price.  No 5-star meal, but it allowed us to “camp” without dying in the summer’s heat.  Glamping might be the perfect theme for your next party – whether you’re planning a bachelorette or simply a girls weekend.  We offer plenty of camping invitations (or glamping invitations) to help you set that woodsy scene!

Ready to give glamping a try?   Camping sounds so much more fun when you add gourmet s’mores, wine and showers into the mix…

fire ~ tent ~ pop up ~ food ~ wine ~ s’mores ~ table ~ flannel ~ shades ~ hobo ~ tank ~ jeans ~ boot ~ hat ~ scarf

A ‘First Look’ Before the Wedding Ceremony

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

It’s that moment we all dream of all the way up until the wedding day – the moment when our groom looks at us in our wedding dress for the first time and is simply awestruck, in tears or at a loss for words.  The tradition that most brides and grooms follow is that the bride and groom are not allowed to see each other before they get married.  Where did this tradition stem from, you ask?  It actually dates back hundreds of years, back when a bride and groom had an arranged marriage, and would not meet until their wedding day.  It was feared that if the groom saw the bride prior to the wedding ceremony, and found her to be undesirable, he may never make it down the aisle, or vice versa.  This was the reason that the tradition began that the bride and groom should not see one another before the wedding ceremony.

At what point do we say, okay well that is just silly – I didn’t meet my groom yesterday, and I know he will not leave me at the altar?  Many couples have this viewpoint in today’s modern times, and thus brings you the “first look” of the bride and groom.  It is becoming increasingly popular for the bride and groom to meet about an hour prior to the wedding ceremony, once they are dressed and ready for their big day.  This is the perfect photo-opp for photographers to catch the bride sneaking up behind the groom and catch their initial reactions to one another on film.  The benefit to the “first look” is that the bride and groom can meet each other in a private setting and truly appreciate their love for one another.  Nerves will be calmed by being with their loved one, and if the bride is concerned about weeping through all of her vows, she can have the surprise factor and nerves of her wedding calmed before she even steps down the aisle.  Also, often after the wedding ceremony the bride and groom are limited with how much time they have for photos before their reception starts – this gives your photographer an entire extra hour of photos, which make the perfect keepsakes.

I have found that a couple’s “first look” is a very black and white topic for a bride and groom – you either love the idea of seeing your partner before your wedding ceremony or hate it.  But what’s the alternative to the first look?  If you decide to stick with tradition and wait until you walk down the aisle to see one another, how can you emotionally connect with each other before your lives hit a brand new milestone?

The below collage will give you a few great pre-wedding ideas to help you reach out to your bride or groom in a personal way, to let them know how excited you are for this giant leap you are both making together.  My favorite has to be the secret message left for the bride (by the groom) with a handwritten note on the bottom of her shoe, or the secret note left by the bride on the underside of the groom’s tie.  Hand written letters are also a wonderful way of expressing your love to one another before you walk down the aisle.  If this sounds like something you’re interested in, arrange a time for the flower girl and ring bearer to come deliver your letters.  Then meet on opposite sides of the bride’s dressing room door and hear each other’s reactions as you both read the letters.  A quick hand hold or simply hearing the other person’s voice may be all you need to melt your heart and have you ready to run down that aisle to get married!  You can also blindfold the groom and have the bride come visit him before he heads out to the ceremony.  A quick blind kiss is such a romantic way to end your single life and begin your married life.

Whatever you decide to do, whether it’s the first look before the wedding or a letter before you head down the aisle, do what feels the most natural and comfortable to you as a couple, and know that just a few minutes after your first look or your wedding letter, you’ll be headed into marriage bliss!!

shoe letter ~ tie ~ door ~ bride’s letter ~ blind folded groom ~ tearful letter ~ kiss note

Save 48%, Limited Offer – Personalized Stamp Sale

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Remember playing with stickers as a child?  Once you got a sheet of stickers it was only about two minutes before you had used up the entire sheet by putting stickers all over everyone in your family, on the dog, the fridge, the wall, books – everywhere.  There was no ‘use one now, and the rest later’, it was a necessity to use all of the stickers at once.

It’s that same feeling I get as an adult today when I have my Snap Stamp within reach.  I am always looking for different places to make my mark and put my insignia upon.  Once you start stamping, you really don’t want to stop.  They’re great for return address labels, but I also like to use them to decorate the inside covers of my books and as gift tags for friends.

Today I am happy to tell you that we have an awesome sale on our stamps going on, which saves you 48% off of the regular gift box stamp!  For $29.99 you get a self-inking stamp, one black ink cartridge (that creates up to 10,000 impressions) and a personalized stamp face of your choice from our redemption website – on top of all that, you also get free shipping.

Check out this amazing deal below…which is available until February 24th, and get ready to make your mark!



A Rehearsal Dinner How-To

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Got a case of the pre-wedding jitters?  You’re not alone!  Every bride and groom get a bit nervous before their big day – What if you forget the rings?  What if the flower girl was really too young and she ends up crying through the entire ceremony?  Or worse yet, what if you forget your vows?!  Take a breath and relax because everything will go just fine – and a wedding rehearsal is most definitely in order!

After you rehearse your wedding ceremony, you’ll likely invite your wedding party to a rehearsal dinner for one last dinner together before you tie the knot.  It’s a great way to relax the evening before your big day and go over any last minute details with your wedding party.  If you’ve never attended or hosted a rehearsal dinner before, you might not know exactly where to start, or what events are to be held at the rehearsal dinner.  Our below tips will help you set an elegant and appropriate rehearsal dinner scene, and we’ve also included an inspirational collage for you to grab ideas off of, too!

Who should host the rehearsal dinner? The rehearsal dinner is traditionally hosted by the parents of the groom, as the bride’s family is traditionally hosting the entire wedding event.

Who should be invited to the rehearsal dinner? Traditionally, the bride and groom’s wedding party is invited to the rehearsal dinner – think bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls/ring bearers, parents of the bride and groom and any other immediate family members.  Some families may also decide to invite out of town guests that will be attending the wedding the following day.  This is a wonderful gesture if it is in your budget, as it provides the guests with a meal as soon as they get into town, and it also shows them your appreciation for their travels.

When should the rehearsal dinner be held? A rehearsal dinner is typically held after the ceremony rehearsal, the day before the wedding.  When setting a time for your rehearsal dinner, be sure to give your guests time to finish the ceremony rehearsal and travel to the rehearsal dinner site.  About thirty minutes between the end of the rehearsal and the beginning of dinner is appropriate.

When do I send out invitations?  What should the invitations look like? You will want to send out your rehearsal dinner invitations approximately 2-3 weeks before the rehearsal dinner.  Most members of your bridal party will assume there will be a rehearsal dinner, thus if you are a bit short on invitation time, do not stress.  Your rehearsal dinner invitations should be an indication of the event you are hosting, regarding formality and theme.  Many couples will base their rehearsal dinner theme off of the location of where the dinner is being held, be it at the beach, an Italian restaurant, an Asian bistro or a backyard barbecue.  Remember that your rehearsal dinner and rehearsal dinner invitation should not upstage your wedding, nor does it have to match the formality or theme of your wedding day.

Should anyone give a speech at the rehearsal dinner? Typically the father of the bride and the father of the groom will give a speech at your rehearsal dinner.  The speeches are typically done between the early meal courses, as not to prolong the event, as everyone will need plenty of sleep before the big day.  The content of the speeches will generally be wishing the bride and groom the best of luck in their marriage together, as well as thanking everyone for their help in making the wedding a success, and thanking the out of town guests for their travels.

Are gifts given at the rehearsal dinner? Bridesmaids gifts and groomsmen gifts are typically presented to the wedding party at the rehearsal dinner by the bride and groom, possibly along with a short speech thanking them for all of their support and help throughout the wedding planning.  The bride and groom may also give gifts to their parents at the rehearsal dinner.

Now that you know exactly what is expected of you at the rehearsal dinner, take a look at the collage below, which features an elegant beach themed rehearsal dinner using our brand new circular invitation, Practice Makes Perfect.  It’s one of my favorites from our last release, which features a clean charcoal background with a pale blue banner and striped background.  I paired this chic invitation with seashell place cards to help direct your guests to their table, which is decorated with a pale blue table runner with formal silverware and pale blue wooden candle holders.  Provide your guests with a sweet treat with white chocolate seashell and pale blue chocolate cupcakes.  If you’ll be relaxing on the sand after the rehearsal, check out the contemporary wine bottle and wine glass holders which keep your fine wine from getting sandy!

shell placecards ~ seaside cupcakes ~ dress ~ earrings ~ bracelet ~ sandals ~ suitcuff links ~ tie ~ shoes ~ wine ~ table


New Graduation Announcements

Friday, February 15th, 2013

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt Graduation season is almost here!  If you have a high school or college student who will be graduating this spring, I’m sure you’re already busy planning your child’s graduation outfit, valedictorian speech and of course, the graduation party to celebrate when all the ceremonies have commenced.

At InvitationBox, our designers have been busy coming up with brand new graduation party invitations and graduation announcements so that your child can graduate in style.  Our newest designs feature modern hues, chic shapes, (think tri-fold and circular cards), trendy graphics and screen overlays that your child will love.  The most popular trends in graduation essentials this year are photo graduation cards which feature up to five different photographs of your graduating senior.  And while there will always be traditional hues to match your school colors, this year things have changed a little bit and you’ll see contemporary colored invitations and announcements with hues of teal, turquoise, lime green and charcoal over the typical purple & orange, navy & gold or red and black.  Showing your personal style is “it” this year!

If your child is modern, fun, vibrant and trendy, the below collage will inspire you to create a graduation announcement and party theme surrounding your daughter’s unique style.  We start with the brand new Graduate Ribbon Tri-Fold Photo Graduation announcement, which is printed on our new tri-fold card stock, which features three of her favorite photographs.  A teal blue flag adorns the right side of the card to showcase her name and graduation details.  “2013 GRADUATE” adorns the bottom of the card with screened print which allows your photo to subtly peek through.

From here we have paired the photo announcement with a teal decorated graduation party scene with a “GOOD LUCK” banner for the senior continuing on to college.  She’ll strut her stuff at her party with a coordinating teal dress, bangles, dangling earrings and a tall pair of high heels as she makes her way into adulthood.  Serve up some graduation themed treats at her party, like these chocolate and teal cupcakes and diploma inspired treats.  Your daughter is sure to be the star of this graduation party…

invitation ~ dress ~ earrings ~ bracelet ~ heels ~ clutch ~ cupcake ~ diplomas ~ banner ~ graduate

Love + Marriage

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Love is in the air today!  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  Being that love is the theme of the day, I felt it appropriate to celebrate long-time love in our blog today – and if you’re a sucker for romance, you know exactly what kind of love I’m talking about!

It’s the love that began when you were teenagers…sneaking out of your houses at night to meet in the park and you’d kiss for hours under the stars.  The love where you don’t care who is looking because you’re so caught up in it.  It’s that love that brought him to his knee one day, as he proposed, and you decided to make vows to each other to make your relationship last forever.  It’s this love that created a beautiful baby that is on the way, which will now turn a love between two into a love between three.

The above baby shower invitation is one of my favorite shower invites, as it takes me back to my childhood crushes and romances.  Whenever your friends found out your crush they’d always be chanting, “First comes love, then comes marriage, next comes so-and-so with a baby carriage!”  This trendy Love + Marriage invitation encompasses just that with a heart for love, a ring for marriage and of course, a baby carriage!  If you’re planning a love + marriage shower, you can carry the invitation theme throughout your event decor by putting up pictures of the happy couple in love with pictures throughout the years.  Your guests will love to see how the mommy and daddy-to-be have evolved over the years, with their love only to grow stronger.

To all of you love birds out there today – we wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day – celebrate love today, be it for your friends, family, partner, husband, wife or that little bundle of joy on the way!  <3

Party Ideas ~ Mini Desserts

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Big is OUT & Mini is IN!!  Sometimes all you need is a bite or two of sweetness, to tend to that sweet tooth!  And if you’re watching your weight, mini desserts allow you to indulge into your favorite sweet treats without the loaded calories in a large portioned dessert.  They’re also a great idea for parties!  They make for a gorgeous party spread and they are so much less messy than regular desserts…because let’s be honest, nobody wants to be standing around a party table trying to eat a huge crumbling cupcake and then an hour later realize that you’ve been walking around with blue frosting on your face and nobody told you, (yes, this has happened to me)!

I have seen mini desserts make it to the party scene for kids princess parties, sweet sixteens, cocktail parties, adult birthday parties and even weddings!  Mini desserts come in a variety of scrumptious bites, from mini quiche type pie shells to layered dessert shooters (my favorite), to bite-size macaroons, jam bites, mini wedding cakes, edible cake wraps and more.  You can even do mini donuts for kids parties!  Start with your favorite recipe and create it in smaller portions and your guests will have a mouthwatering treat while you have a gorgeous party spread, and a million hostess compliments!

Below are a few mini dessert ideas for your next party, wedding or event…

Superhero Birthday Party Invitations & Ideas

Friday, February 8th, 2013

The most important thing in life is to be yourself…Unless you can be Batman – Always be Batman.

THIS JUST IN:  WHOOSH!!  Kids all over the world are flying around wearing colorful uniforms and capes as they tackle the nations crime and bring peace back to the people!  They may look like normal kids on the outside, but under their childish grins there’s a superhero inside just waiting for their next rescue mission.  KAPOW!

…Calling all superheroes big and small!  You’ve been requested for a rescue mission birthday and the fate of the world is in your hands!  I’m sure you’ve been to the movies lately – it seems like over the past couple of years superheroes have come back into the scene with movies like Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers, Batman and more. It’s no wonder that our kids run and fly around the house  yelling “Super Logan”, “Zoom”, “Zap” and “Kaboom”!  Who would have thought that our favorite comic books would turn into movies that our kids would adore, twenty years later?!  A superhero birthday party may be exactly what your son or daughter needs to tame her superhero ways…and we’ve got the perfect ideas to help you set the scene for your superhero birthday party!

Set the scene for a super party with a superhero party invitation that’s made for a hero!  My favorite superhero party invitation is the Super Hero Brunette Invite by Noteworthy Collections.  It’s a perfect bright yellow with a little boy dressed up like Superman in his read and blue superhero outfit standing next to a blue comic book POW action bubble.  The best thing about this invitation is that it is available in blonde hair, brown hair, black hair and African American so that your invitation can look exactly like your little superhero.  Pair it up with the matching thank you notes and return address stickers and you’ll have a matching team of stationery for your superhero party.

Need a few ideas and inspiration for creating the perfect superhero party scene?  Our collage below offers some amazing party ideas for your superhero’s big birthday.  Create a backdrop that looks just like a scene from your favorite comic strip with a city mural at night hanging behind a table of party goodies, treats and snacks.  Add a few action bubbles and a superhero character to the scene to make it more comic book friendly.  When your guests arrive, ask them to choose a cape from your superhero cape collection, and remember to have a couple of pink capes in case there are any girl superheroes invited, (or Wonder Woman).

You can also pick up superhero stickers and conversation bubbles at your local party store, and easily turn generic party goods into a superhero masterpiece.  Take white cups and stick them with “POP” bubbles and fill them with popcorn.  Make upside down cake pops that look like TNT and use white candles in the top rather than pop sticks.  You can even hand out Clark Kent glasses and super hero flyers as party favors.  Use these tips to create your own Super Hero Party and you’ll create one comic themed birthday that your child will never forget!  It’ll be a RESCUE MISSION: COMPLETE!

clark kent ~ banner ~ capes ~ city ~ popcorn ~ favors ~ gumballs