Photo: Ira Lippke for Ira Lippke Studios
When wedding style trend maker Ceci Johnson opened her namesake stationery studio over 11 years ago, the bridal world was far from custom. Brides could only order wedding invites from big, clunky binders, and they rarely had something truly unique. Ceci never bought off the shelf, and always desired something one-of-a-kind that no one else had. So she launched Ceci New York to offer a truly couture design experience to brides around the world.
Now that "custom" has been commonplace in weddings, Ceci is continuously striving to produce the most innovative, groundbreaking concepts for her inspiring clientele. In fact, she's even launching a completely customizable e-commerce site this fall, where brides will be able to shop her collection of thousands of designs and personalize them in their own way.
We sat down with Ceci, as she shared some of the chic and outside-the-box ways she's helping clients make their weddings as personalized as possible.
1. Make your invites stand out with custom details.
"I truly believe all of my clients should be making their own statement and standing out from the rest. The more personal I am able to get with my clients the better. It's incredibly rewarding and beautiful to hand paint a client's wedding venue to use within their invitation suite or design a custom crest based on the life they share."
2. Create a personal story through your entire paper wedding suite.
"I love to create a personal story for my clients through my art, and brand their life moments. That means taking a consistent design and weaving it throughout the entire event. It can start with a save-the-date or invitation and carry through to all the accessories on the day (or weekend!) of the wedding. I love to design everything from welcome bags for guests, ceremony programs, signage, escort and place cards, menus, napkins, stir sticks for your cocktails and wedding favors and beyond."
3. Take your invitation details into your event décor.
"I'm obsessed with taking our custom prints and incorporating the graphics into the event decor. Going beyond paper, turning art into wallpaper or fabrics for the linens or pillows in the lounge or printing custom graphics that match the invitations on the dance floor. So much you can do! Your custom designed crest or brand can show up on many of these personal pieces mixed in with beautiful design elements. From there, we can work these moments into your home and life together — the possibilities are truly endless!"
4. Invest in the best.
"Commission a talented and reputable invitation designer — that is the first step to making your process easy, fun, creative and in-line with your tastes. Not only do you want an outstanding design to show off to your friends and family, but also that's only 50 percent of the job. The other 50 percent is the service and execution. That's what sets Ceci New York apart from the rest — we cater to your needs, track all of the tiny details (so you don't have to) and deliver products that will surely beautify your world."
5. Consider the (ever-chic!) mix of floral and foil stamping.
"I love the mix of floral and foil stamping (metallic, shiny printing). I've recently created a few commissioned floral watercolors and the addition of foil stamping as an accent results in this wonderful juxtaposition of soft and intense. I always look to the fashion runways for cutting edge inspiration... It's like paring a beautiful, soft silk dress with bold jewels and accessories — it works and is a fun balance!"
6. Remain true to your style.
"And always remain true to the tone that you want to set for the wedding. Go with your gut and what moves you. It's always right. Remember, this is the first impression your guests will have, so make it a good one! (Oh, and get your guest list together as soon as possible. This will affect everything you do so, trust me, it's important to sort out right away)."