Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Amazing Dandelion Patch giveaway!

Here at Bridal Bubbly, we try to make the prizes and giveaways we offer things that our readers all over the country (and world) can enjoy. Today’s giveaway is a bit more geared toward our DC-area readers, but it was such a wonderful opportunity we didn’t want to pass it up. Check out this amazing opportunity for our DC area brides: if you schedule an appointment with The Dandelion Patch and mention Bridal Bubbly, you will receive $100 off your in-store purchase!!

The Dandelion Patch is a charming northern Virginia stationery store that offers the largest selection of custom wedding invitations in the DC area, and complete in-store printing for fast turn-around time. The store’s owner, Heidi Kallett, was kind enough to answer some of our questions about her business and the wedding paper industry in general. Read on for Heidi’s great insights and advice. 

How did you start your business?
Actually, The Dandelion Patch was started in 1994 and I purchased it from the Founder in 2005. However, the company was nothing like it is today. Since that date in 2005, we've remained focused on exceeding our brides' expectations, providing superior service, having the largest selection of wedding invitations in the area, and offering honest advice and feedback. I guess we're doing something right because we've grown by 425% over the past 5 years and have accumulated much recognition and respect from the industry!  
Describe your style and the style of your shop.
I'm so glad that you asked this question! Our philosophy is that our store should feel like a "girlfriends' home" so our stores have many features you'd see in a home. From barstools and kitchen tables, to molding and carpet, we are more residential than retail. Our brand and style is comfortable but not "slouchy," we're traditional but yet up-to-date, and we're a bit preppy but don't scream pink and green. We'd like to think Trina Turk, Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer, Jonathan Adler and Martha Stewart would all be comfortable here.  

How have you seen wedding stationery market change over the past 15 years?
Honestly, I can only speak for the past five years, but in general I think brides are becoming more aware of the Green movement and are trying to do their part in hosting an eco-friendly wedding. To respond, we've invested tons of money on new vendors and lines that carry tree-free paper products, soy based inks and non-mass produced products plus we've spent tons of hours training our whole team on Eco-Chic options.    

What are the current trends in wedding stationery?
From a wedding invitation perspective, we are seeing blind embossing coming back with a vengeance right now! And we love, love, love it! Letterpress is certainly a hot item and engraving is back on the scene too.  Peacock colors-- greens/blues/purples-- are the rage and we are loving to partner those accents with platinum instead of black or brown. For design features, we're seeing more "white space" than year's past and less stylized patterns. As a fun twist, we are excited about the die cuts that are being shown in today's invitation suites. Rounded edges, scalloped sides, and non-traditional shapes are all in vogue at our stores. Call us crazy, but we get fired up about the details!  

How has the "green" movement changed your business?
The Green movement has made our job more fulfilling because we get to 1) create stunning one-of-a-kind invitation suites that reflect the couple, AND 2) we get to educate our brides on all the lovely options (think gorgeous letterpress and bamboo paper) they have by way of a wedding stationery wardrobe. Our philosophy is that "in addition to conserving resources and supporting Green business, having a Green wedding is one way to infuse one of the most important days of a couple's life with meaning and purpose beyond the marriage ceremony." Thus, we feel privileged to help guide, lead and share in this effort.

What do you love about weddings?
We love weddings because ultimately, weddings are about celebrating hope. And seriously, what's not to love about a hopeful future? :-)

What I love most about being involved with the wedding of a couple is the chance to forever be connected with them in one small way-- long after their "dream day". We have love to see our couples grow and celebrate the many milestones through the years- from babies to birthdays and promotions to anniversary parties. It's all the more special because we were there at the "beginning."   

What is your favorite new "find"?
Belly bands are our new "accessory of choice" because they are super cute and functional. Although pocket folders have a usefulness when a couple has many additional pieces to their invitation suite (like directional cards, weekend activities or reception information), for most couples once their guests send the reply card back, they are left with a lone reception card in the pocket. With an uber-chic wide belly band, guests can keep information together and organized plus couples can print graphics, names or dates along this band to further expand their theme.  

What do brides often forget when shopping for paper products for their wedding?
Budget appropriately. I can't tell you how many times our brides come in with pictures of fabulous wedding suites that they've torn out of a bridal magazine but they have no idea of their costs. Simply put, individual greeting cards cost upwards of $4 each and they are mass produced by the thousands. A wedding invitation is completely customized to your name, date, colors and theme and I would guess that you need less than 50,000? Add to that, any "extras" (layers, ribbons, embossing, letterpress, belly bands!) and you get the picture. A basic baseline for a custom invitation is roughly $10 each, with the "extras" adding up from there.

What is one bit of advice you'd offer brides?
A wedding invitation sets the tone for wedding, and is the first glimpse your guests will get into your vision for the "big day". We encourage our brides to weave as much personality into the invitation as possible so their guests feel they know more about the couple through the design or paper choices. Although the choices may seem overwhelming at first, a good stationer should be able to navigate you through the plethora of options and will educate you about common etiquette guidelines. Remember that you will spend many hours with your stationer, so make sure to find one that fits your style, personality and decision-making process.    

And finally, once the invitations are ordered, don't forget to continue the theme on your paper products-- from programs, escort cards, table cards and favor tags. A reputable stationer should be able to easily thread that same color, font, graphic or theme into all of the remaining pieces that make a memorable event even more personal.    

Thanks, Heidi! We couldn’t agree more about the wedding invitation setting the tone for your big day. And now for our DC area brides, a special opportunity: if you schedule an appointment with The Dandelion Patch and mention Bridal Bubbly, you will receive $100 off your in-store purchase. 

There are two great Northern Virginia locations: Vienna and Reston.

111 Church Street NW
Suite 101
Vienna, VA 22180

11923 Market Street
Reston, VA 20190

Have fun and tell them we sent you!