National Stationery Show 2019

Two weekends ago I had both the honor and privilege of attending the 73rd annual National Stationery Show in NYC. Now let me preface this post by telling you how I’ve been fan-girling this show for about the past 5 years. I’m a paper junkie and I absolutely love stationery — wedding stationery, social stationery, journals, notebooks, whatever! This has been an obsession since childhood, so NSS and I are a match made in stationery heaven! 

When registration opened last year, I finally decided that I would take the leap and attend the show. It was perfect timing since I was in the beginning stages of creating my new business venture, Love Always Stationery Co. Between LA Stationery and Penned by Pink, NSS would be the perfect opportunity to meet vendors that I’ve worked with for years, as well as build relationships with new ones that could help propel my businesses in 2019 and beyond.

So, flash forward to the weekend of February 3rd. My husband/side-kick and I jumped on a bus and headed to the Big Apple for a couple days to explore the city and find out what NSS had to offer. From the moment we arrived at Jacob Javits Convention Center, I was in awe! We got to walk the pink carpet through the center up to the registration desk where the super helpful staff were ready to assist with anything you needed. From there, we hit the show floor where we found hundreds and hundreds of stationery vendors that all had something we needed.

I was a woman on a mission! Here’s a tip for anyone planning to attend the show in the future. Utilize the app that NSS makes available to buyers and attendees. From here, you can scout who will be at the show and use the planner feature to schedule meet-ups with them. I planned out each day that we would be there and it was a tremendous help. I had my top 5-10 vendors that I wanted to visit, so I made sure to get them out of the way first. I headed over to their super luxe booths and chatted them up for 20 minutes, and sometimes half an hour or more. They could tell that I was excited to work with them, and I knew the feelings were mutual. Within the first few hours there, I had literally found just about everything I had come to see! What a sense of relief! It was now time to enjoy the rest of the show and finally meet up with some of my stationery sisters!

I’ve been blessed to encounter and befriend some amazing people in this industry. When I found out that some of my fellow stationery designers would be attending NSS, we used that as an opportunity to meet up, grab lunch or dinner, and just share stories about our experiences and business plans for the future. This was definitely one of my highlights of this trip! These women are so genuine and down to earth, and that is not an easy thing to come by! I’m really looking forward to the next time we can meet up!

All in all, my first NSS experience was a huge success! I was sad to have to leave, but also motivated to return home and begin putting everything that I learned into motion. We are looking forward to purchasing the products that we selected for the new online store, and to partnering with some of the amazing vendors and attendees that we met. At this point, I’m just counting down to the 300+ days until the next show! Because I will be there with bells on!

If you’ll be attending in the future, feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions about the registration process, what to expect, or anything NSS related!  I’d love to help if I can, or point you in the direction of someone else if I can’t.

Talk to you soon, and love you always!

Setting Your Pre-Wedding Event Guest List

So now that you’ve got the rock on your finger, it’s only natural that you begin fantasizing about and planning your engagement party and other pre-wedding events. I mean, after-all, you’ve only been planning this moment for the last couple of decades, right?! Before you go off the deep end with your plans, I just want to cover some etiquette concerning your guest list.

Compiling your guest list will arguably be one of the most tedious and painful processes of your entire wedding planning experience. And once you think you’ve crossed the finish line, it’ll be time to come up with seating arrangements for these guests at your wedding reception (an even more daunting task!). But fret not, you’ll survive!  When the time comes to plan the engagement party, bachelor/bachelorette parties, showers, etc., out of excitement, brides and grooms tend to invite all of their family, friends and maybe a few co-workers to celebrate this joyous time in their lives.  One thing you want to keep in mind though is that anyone you invite to these pre-wedding celebrations will likely be expecting an invitation to the wedding! (*gasps!!*) That’s right! Can you imagine celebrating with your friend for months on end at the events leading up to their wedding, purchasing shower gifts, as well as an outfit to the wedding, but then never receiving an invitation? Ouch! That would be a little hurtful, don’t you agree?  So, in order to keep your relationships and integrity in tact, only plan to invite to your pre-wedding events those that will absolutely, positively be invited to your wedding. It’s just the courteous thing to do!

If you have any wedding etiquette questions, don’t hesitate to email us at Until next time, happy planning!

Love Always,

Wedding Stationery Timeline

So you’re engaged! You’ve probably booked your dream venue, set the date, and now you’re scouring bridal magazines and salons for the perfect gown! Ahhh….wedding planning bliss. Before you get too far into your planning, you want to make sure you’re sticking to a timeline for items such as wedding invitations and stationery. I briefly touched on this topic in a previous post, but I’d like to expound on it a little bit more. Sticking to a timeline for your wedding stationery will not only keep you organized, but will also alleviate lots of stress leading up to the Big Day. Below is the suggested timeline that I share with my clients:

  • 9-12 months – During this timeframe you want to decide how much you’re able to spend on invitations and stationery, as well as interview stationers that fit within your budget plan. On average, Brides and Grooms spend about 6% of their wedding budget on invitations. Contact a few stationers and schedule a sit down consultation so that you can learn about the styles they offer. Please keep in mind that most stationers will require you to make a deposit to be added to their calendar.
  • 6-9 months – By this time you should have your initial guest list finalized and your save-the-dates in the mail. If you’re having a destination wedding, you’ll want to have your save-the-dates in the mail 9-12 months in advance. Some opt out of sending save-the-dates which is fine, but keep in mind that if your date falls on a holiday, or around a popular travel season, you’ll want to make sure to give your guests at least 6 months notice so that they don’t make other plans.
  • 3-5 months – It’s time to start the design process of your invitation! This is the fun part. Based on the feedback you gave at your consultation, your stationer will design an invitation that captures your wedding vision. This may include a monogram or logo, a unique floral, texture, or geometric design, bold and beautiful fonts, or pops of color in all the right places. Whatever design scheme you decide to go with, make sure that it represents the theme and vision of your wedding.  Your invitation will be the first introduction to your wedding that your guests receive, so you want it to cue feelings of anticipation and excitement for your wedding day!
  • 6-8 weeks – You’re now just about ready to mail your invitations.  Before you buy postage, be sure to take one invitation to the post office to have it weighed. Oftentimes with adding enclosures, heavier papers, and multiple envelopes, the weight of the invitation will change which will cause the postage to increase. Please note that if you’re having a destination wedding, your invitations should go in the mail 12-16 weeks in advance.

There you have it, folks! If you stick to this timeline, your guests will have ample notice to plan for your wedding, and you’ll remain on task and as stress-free as possible. If you’d like to interview Penned by Pink as a potential stationer for your wedding, contact us via email at We’re also here to answer any stationery etiquette questions you have! Hope to hear from you soon.

Love Always,


Social Etiquette Basics: Handwritten Thank You Notes

In this day and age where everyone seems to be engrossed in social media, smart phones, and the like, manners and social interaction are at an all-time low. Now, I can’t write this post and pretend that I don’t fall into this category most times; however, I do acknowledge how important it is to slow down and take a moment to express love and gratitude to the people around me. I think we can all take pointers in this area.  That said, let’s talk about the importance of handwritten thank you notes. All of my blog posts thus far have been geared towards brides and pointers for wedding stationery. While this post does apply to weddings, it mostly applies to the day-to-day interactions we have with those we love and care about.

In the hustle and bustle of life, it can be easy to overlook the need to show gratitude. If someone holds the door for us while entering a store, of course, we say thank you.  Or when you’re driving through an intersection and another driver waves you on, you give a return hand gesture as a thank you. But when’s the last time you took the time to write a personalized note to someone to show your gratitude for something they’ve given you or something they’ve done for you? Handwritten notes have a certain charm about them that shows your genuine appreciation for that person. Below are some tips for writing “the perfect thank you”.

  1. Purchase stationery – This may seem a bit much, but if you have a nice set of note cards or thank you cards in your desk or on your table, you’ll be more inclined to send them out. It also helps if the stationery is personalized! 
  2. Use a nice pen – With your stationery, you should have an ink pen that writes well. I don’t know about you, but I am very particular about the pens I write with. When the ink flows better, your penmanship tends to be neater.
  3. Short and sweet – There’s no need to write a 3 paragraph letter.  Keep your note short, sweet, and to the point. Address the person by name, and get to the gist of the note by stating your thanks for whatever it is you’re writing about.
  4. Be sincere – It’s important to be sincere and not too general. If you’re thanking them for a wedding gift, you don’t want to say, “Thank you for the lovely gift, we appreciated it”. Say something along the lines of, “Thank you for the beautiful set of porcelain china. We can’t wait to use it at the holidays!” It personalizes the note and makes the thank you more genuine.
  5. Be prompt – If you’re writing a thank you in response to receiving a gift or other kind gesture, try to be as prompt as possible. Your thank you should be mailed within the same week if possible. If you miss that timeframe, you still want to get the note out as soon as you can. Better late than never. 

I hope these pointers have motivated you to write a note to someone you love and care about. You’d be surprised at what kind of impact this small gesture could have. If you have any questions about this topic or any other social/wedding etiquette topics, please feel free reach out. Also, if you liked the idea of a personalized set of stationery and you’d like for Penned by Pink to design one for you, contact us at We would love to get you started on this journey to mastering the art of social etiquette!

Until next time, friends!

Love Always, 


Anatomy of the Wedding Invitation

It’s a little after midnight as I sit here to begin this post. I am recovering from a bout of pneumonia which is both fortunate and unfortunate at the same time. I’ve been sick for a couple weeks with what I thought was the flu, but after time had passed and I still wasn’t getting better, I became a little suspicious, but still wasn’t too concerned. A couple people suggested I go to Urgent Care which is something I never do. But the other day on the way home from work I decided to “stop in for a visit” since the center was on my way home. At most, I thought they’d give me some medicated cough suppressants and send me on my way. To my surprise, after performing a chest x-ray, the doctor informed me that I had pneumonia. She prescribed me many antibiotics and sent me home to get much needed rest. That was 3 days ago. With the help of my mother and husband, I am starting to feel a little better. Now, why would I say that I am fortunate because I have pneumonia? I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s because I have it, but because of the way I found out. Like I said, I very rarely visit the doctor when I’m sick. I kind of just self-medicate until I’m all better (I know that’s probably not best, but I’m being honest here). In this situation, the Holy Spirit urged me to do something out of the norm because my life pretty much depended on it. Can you imagine if I had continued to self-medicate and continued to convince myself that I was just getting over a cold or the flu? That could’ve been disastrous. But God, being the loving God that He is, sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us and he interceded for me in a time where I desperately needed him. How fortunate is that?! I’m so thankful. I really wanted to get that off my chest, so thanks for reading through it. I hope it blesses you to know that the Holy Spirit will show up for you in your time of need, just as he did for me! Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty!

So, if you’re planning a wedding, it’s inevitable that you’ll get to the phase where you need to select wedding invitations and matching stationery. With so many different options and styles available, it might be a little overwhelming to select exactly what suits your wedding needs. My hope is that this post clarifies some things for you and lessens the burden a little. After all, selecting wedding invitations is one of the fun parts of wedding planning!

  1. The Invitation – First and foremost, you have your invitation. In a previous post we discussed the appropriate wording for your invitation, including what to say and what not to say, what important information should be included, etc. If you haven’t read that post already, take a moment to check it out! (The Wording Matters) All in all, the invitation states who is hosting the wedding; names the bride and groom; gives the date, time, and location of the ceremony; and lastly, it indicates whether there will be a reception to follow.
  2. The Reception Card – Next, you have your reception card. Typically, this card is only included if the reception is held at a different venue than the ceremony. If this is the case, your reception card will name the venue, the address, as well as the start time of the cocktail hour and/or reception.
  3. The Accommodations Card – This card is a popular option, but not all brides opt for it. It can be convenient if you are having lots of out-of-town guests and you have room block information that you want to convey. The accommodations card includes the name and address of the hotel where your room block is held, as well as contact information where your guests can reserve their rooms. It’s also a great idea to include on this card the deadline that reservations must be made by, as well as the name of the room block in case there’s a discount associated with the wedding (i.e. “Please reference the Jones-Harris wedding for discount pricing”).
  4. The RSVP Card – Here’s our good pal “the RSVP card”. This card is essential, but often times ends up being a brides worst nightmare (sorry, ladies!). The card includes lines for guests to say “attending” or “not attending”, as well as gives them the option to put the name(s) of the attendee(s) and select meal options. Most importantly, this card provides the date that the RSVP must be received by. For my non-brides and grooms that are reading this post, just to clarify, the date displayed is not the date that the card should be dropped in the mailbox to get back to the host, nor is it the date that you should pick up the phone and ever so graciously inform the bride that you forgot to mail back the RSVP, but you’ll in fact be in attendance at the wedding! Please, please, please be so kind as to mail your RSVP card back to the host several days/weeks before the requested date. This will help eliminate lots of stress as they must have final guest numbers to their caterer by a certain date. Please, don’t make the host have to hunt you down for your RSVP!

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but these are the key players when it comes to the anatomy of a wedding invitation. These enclosures will convey all the necessary information your guests will need for your wedding. And if you want to add a few additional enclosures, the more the merrier! Don’t forget to contact us if you have invitation or wedding etiquette questions you’d like us to address! And of course, don’t forget to contact us when you’re ready to start planning your wedding invitations and stationery!

Until then, Happy Wedding Planning!

Love Always,