Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Custom Save the Dates

It's that time of the date season for 2015 weddings! Over the past few weeks, we've sent out some incredible save the dates, each set so beautiful and creative!! We are so lucky to have 2015 brides who truly embrace the N&L vision when working with us to create their custom save the dates. What exactly is our vision you ask? And what is the process about going about creating your own custom save the date for your big day?

Let's start from the beginning! At Nico and Lala, we specialize in branding weddings. We help couples create pieces that are both classic and custom, but often with some kind of a modern twist. Save the dates are vital to setting the tone for your big day, since it is the first item they will receive. But before we start on this all important step of designing the save the date, we often start with creating a custom wedding monogram. Not all couples opt for a custom monogram, but if you're interested in creating a wedding logo (which is an excellent way to brand your wedding), we ideally start by creating this first. This helps us narrow your vision, and allows us to effectively move into your save the dates, invitations, and fun flair, or "swag" as we like to call it!
Custom Save the Dates
We LOVE the inspiration behind this watercolor save the date. The bride wants an ombre pink wedding, so each wedding piece will progressively grow darker. So for their save the date, we started with a "ginger" colored envelope, and incorporated the couple's custom wedding monogram, a watercolor Chicago skyline and assortment of pink peonies.
Morgan and Jon are getting married at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, so we helped them create a save the date that incorporated the rich and historic feel of the resort. We also created a custom map of the Washington D.C. area so guests can pre-plan activities in the capitol city.

After we have the custom monogram design down, we start on the good stuff...custom save the dates! Since wedding invitations tend to offer a more formal feel, couple's often choose to incorporate more style and personality into their save the dates. We love stretching our creativity, and have gained inspiration from the most original sources. From an ombre wedding, to a logo inspired by a bench at wedding venue...creativity comes from everywhere and is so fun to incorporate into your custom save the date!
For Melissa and Jeremy's save the date, we took inspiration from the wedding's location, The Bel-Air Beach Club!
For Shawn and Steven's save the date, we created a postcard to get guests excited about their Hawaiian destination wedding! Hawaii is not only where the pair will tie the knot, but also happens to be where they got engaged.

So, how do we capture your wedding vision before we start designing? We normally begin with an in-studio consultation, or for couples not located in Chicago, we often do phone consultations! We love our long distance brides, and are experts at interpreting your loose words and ideas into a tailored and to die for wedding. If you are lucky enough to be in the Windy City, we meet one on one and talk about your vision, share samples of our previous work and get a feel for what you had in mind. We want to know YOU, so Pinterest boards, binders full of photos and articles, or emails of ideas are all welcome.
Last but not least....let's talk timelines. Once we get a feel for your vision, proofs take two weeks to be created and sent. Once your final design is set, it's on to printing! Most save the dates we design are printed digitally, and once approved, are printed and shipped within 5 to 7 business days. Upgraded printing often takes a bit longer, and can be estimated at the time of design approval. If you choose to accent your beautiful creation with calligraphy, we have several calligraphers we work with who are excellent. We are happy to share samples of their work, their pricing, and a timeline based upon their availability.
For more information on our printing styles and processes, please visit our website! We would love to design your custom save the date! Please e-mail to get started!


Nico and Lala

Ps. One of our favorite additions to a custom N&L save the date is a coordinating wedding website! Designed before save the dates get sent out, a wedding website is a stylish place guests can go to get all wedding day specifics. Check out Melissa and Jeremy's custom wedding website that coordinates with save the dates for their Santa Monica wedding!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Stock the Bar Engagement Party

It's been wedding week in the N&L Studio! We've had so many pretty wedding goodies go out in the past week, and we're just bursting with excitement over all of it! If you follow us on Instagram, you've seen a sneak peek at some of the gorgeous things we've been working on (including 3 different sets of save the dates for 2015 weddings, gorgeous blue and white foil stamped wedding invitations, AND amazing swag for a wedding in Vero Beach, FL). It is all SO GOOD!!! We will share more pictures with y'all in the coming weeks!!

In keeping with our theme of weddings and everything that goes into them, we're excited to share a preppy stock the bar engagement party! We recently partnered with Brittney Ann (of the blog Hosting and Toasting) to throw a fabulous party in celebration of one of her friends engagements. You might remember BAC from past parties, including her "favorite things" Christmas gift exchange, as well as her D.C. meet and greet for Carly of The College Prepster. Every party we've helped her with has been super preppy and fun, and this stock the bar engagement party was no different!
Stock the Bar Engagement Party
We stuck with classically preppy colors when designing the invitation, at the hostess' request. We love any color paired with navy, but this bright green adds such a fun pop of color!! We added a fun envelope liner, filled with a wine glass and beer bottle pattern...of course! We even added in a fun insert card that read, “A bottle of red or a bottle of white, maybe tequila and salt for a margarita delight. Glasses, napkins or an ice bucket too! Let’s stock their bar before they say “I do!”
 BAC already had a lucite tray (which is one of our favorite home accessories), so we made her a custom insert just for the party! Such a cute idea, and it looks so great paired with the fun navy and green straws!
Guests were treated to custom koozies to celebrate the happy couple!
Cheers to the happy couple! And a huge thanks to BAC for including us in this special day! Looking for more engagement party inspiration?! Be sure to check out some parties we've helped with in the past including this nautical engagement party! And be sure to check out BAC's post over on Hosting and Toasting on her sister (Megan's) summer engagement party!

Don't forget--only one week left to take advantage of our deal on custom holiday cards! If you order before October 15th (next Wednesday), receive 20% off printing! For more info, visit our website or e-mail to get started!!


Nico and Lala

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ode to Toile: Our Favorite Fall Pattern

Happy first day of October!

Today, we're celebrating our favorite pattern for fall...toile! The pattern that decorated your great Aunt Milly's tea set is back and better than ever. While the centuries old pattern will always be associated with classical decor and luxury, toile has received a modern makeover in recent years by changing up the classical pastoral scenes, colors, and even which items are decorated in this traditional print. We love this trend of giving the classical print a modern makeover, and in true N&L fashion, we do just that by adding in an unexpected colorway or pairing it with fun design elements! The more we do with toile, the more we love it!! Check out some of our favorite ways we're using toile this fall!
We adore this toile patterned envelope liner! Especially when it's paired with a foil stamped rehearsal dinner invitation printed on WOOD. Very masculine, and chic!!
One of our favorite things is adding a modern twist to classic designs. Which is why we love our brightly colored toile iPhone cover, which is monogrammed, and comes in several fun colors!
For this sweet birth announcement, we paired baby blue toile with an antler monogram to create a Southern feel!
We love our toile pencil/ makeup brush holder--a pop of style for your desktop!
Does anything pair better than Chinoiserie and toile? We love this blue and white save the date featuring a ginger jar inspired toile on the envelope liner!


Nico and Lala

Friday, September 26, 2014

Custom Holiday Cards

It's the most wonderful time of the year...that's right, it's holiday card season! Even though the calendar still reads September, we're already hard at work creating custom holiday cards. From traditional green and red cards, to brightly colored pink and green designs, we do it all when it comes to Christmas cards!

You know what they say...the early bird gets the worm. Or as we like to say, the early bird gets a really great deal on their custom holiday cards!! Now through October 15th, receive 20% off the printing of your holiday cards. Still trying to decide on the perfect picture? No problem! Pay your design fee now, and get us your picture before November 1st to take advantage of this discount. Email us at to get started!

Need some help getting in the Christmas spirit?! Take a peek back to some of the cards we designed last year, to get inspiration and get yourself in the spirit of the season!
We love our brides, and have so much fun designing first married Christmas cards for them!
We're excited to get started on your family's custom Christmas card, and make 2014 our best holiday season yet! E-mail to get started! And be sure to order before October 15th to take advantage of our holiday card special!


Nico and Lala

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wine Tasting with Lauren Nelson

Most Wednesdays, we celebrate Wedding Wednesday in our studio. But this week, we're kicking it KLG and Hoda style and celebrating Winesday Wednesday! Recently, we helped our good friend Lauren (of with party swag for a wine tasting event she threw to celebrate the end of NYFW. Lauren partnered with Seven Daughters wine for a delightful afternoon in West SoHo filled with wine, cheese, sweet treats, and girl time. So when she asked us to help her swank up the event with a little N&L flair, we couldn't resist!!!
For the tasting, we created wine menus, which incorporated the gold and turquoise colors from Lauren's website. We also created matching "wine tags" for guests so no one got their glasses mixed up!
Lauren also partnered with one of our favorite vendors to create wine themed sweet treats for her party!! Gretchen of Sweet G's Cookies in Nashville is so talented, and has helped us create fun cookies for all kinds of events. From football helmet shaped cookies for a wedding welcome bag, to a Mr. T medallion shaped cookie for an A-Team birthday party...she's done it all! For Lauren's event, she created cookies shaped like grapes, wine bottle shaped cookies with the Seven Daughter's logo, AND Lauren's logo onto a cookie! So cute (and delicious)!
The beautiful hostess! How fab is her necklace and braided updo!?
 The event was held at Dune Studios in West SoHo.
A huge thank you to Lauren for including us in her event! Cheers to fashion week, and wine with girlfriends!!


Nico and Lala

Monday, September 22, 2014

Things We Heart: Fall Edition

Can y'all believe it's officially fall?! Where did our summer go?! With the changing of the seasons, it means it's time for a new "things we heart," fall edition!
Things We Heart: Fall Edition
1. Stylish Coffee Table Decor: Oscar de la Renta: The Style, Inspiration, and Life. There's something to be said about a book that provides as much design inspiration closed as it does open. We recently purchased the book celebrating the iconic American designer, and haven't been able to put it down. Not only is it filled with rare images and tidbits of Oscar's life while building his fashion empire, it also looks really, really swanky while sitting on our coffee table. This is a must read for anyone interested in fashion, design, or those simply looking to be inspired.

2. 2015 N&L Brides: While we still have some fabulous weddings in the work for 2014, we're already hard at work on 2015 weddings! Typically save the dates are sent between 6-8 months prior to the big day, so we've already been busy designing swanky save the dates for our 2015 brides. If you're tying the knot in 2015 and interested in creating a custom save the date and/ or wedding invitation, e-mail us ( for more information. For more on the N&L design process for wedding paper, be sure to visit our website! Below are a few samples of some save the dates we've already created for 2015 weddings.
For this 2015 wedding in Houston, we designed a sophisticated save the date that combined Kate Spade chic with the iconic shape of Texas! Printed in gold foil, the piece was accented by a simple black and white striped envelope liner.
This preppy save the date's custom wedding logo was inspired by a bench at the resort where the couple is tying the knot. So creative!
This classic blue and white save the date was inspired by the centerpieces being used at the couple's wedding reception...ginger jars!

3. The O-Ring: For those who live in Dallas, Ellis Hill is probably a familiar name. As one of the area's premier stationery shops, the recently opened store offers monogrammed gifts and stationery perfect for every occasion! We got to help the owners, Kerri and Margretta, with their branding last year, and have been dying to visit Ellis Hill ever since! So when we recently found ourselves in Dallas for an event, we HAD to stop by. While visiting, we found our new favorite accessory...the Big O Key Ring!! Gone are the days of searching for our keys buried at the bottom of our bags. These oversized, leather bangles come in a variety of large colors, and play the perfect accessory for any outfit. For those who easily lose their keys or hate dragging around a clutch...this is for you!
The Big O Key Ring!
The logo we designed for Ellis Hill....on an awning! We love seeing our business branding work come to life!

4. NEST Candles: If you've ever visited our studio, you'll know that we have a bit of an obsession when it comes to candles. We always have a candle burning, and lately we just can't get enough of the newest addition to our collection...Nest's Lemongrass and Ginger candle. NEST luxury fragrances are meant to inspire, and with all of the creativity happening in our studio, their lemongrass and ginger scent is just what we need. It awakens all of our senses, while filling our space with a delightful scent! We're obsessed with our new find!

5. Sam Smith: If you've heard his newest album, you know what we're talking about. If you haven't yet listened to this British singing sensation...immediately open Spotify and play his entire album, In the Lonely Houron repeat. We're very sad that we only JUST now realized that he's playing in Chicago....TONIGHT!


Nico and Lala

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fun First Birthday!

We woke up to a heavy dose of FALL this morning in Chicago!! Even though we're sad to see summer slipping away, part of us can't help but be excited for the changing of the seasons. With the start of fall comes a lot of things we love including Saturday football games, dark manicures (welcome back Lincoln Park After Dark), and pumpkin flavored everything. But before we completely immerse ourselves in autumn, we want to share a fun first birthday from early in the summer! 

Hugh was celebrating a very important birthday (his first!), so his mom wanted to create a party that was both special and creative. Being the first boy in his family, we focused on masculine, primary colors (navy and kelly green), added in some fun polka dots, and finished the invite off with an unexpected and whimsical banner! These design aspects were carried all throughout Hugh's party. From his invitation and party swag, to the adorable coordinating cookies his mom had made, Hugh's fun first birthday was nothing short of delightful!
Fun First Birthday!
Hugh's fun invitation and party swag including a custom placemat, cupcake tags, waterbottle labels, and favor tags!
A closeup of Hugh's invitations. We love the monogrammed banners on his envelope liner!
Since Hugh's invitations included a unique shaped banner, we HAD to create a matching birthday banner to match!!
How adorable are these cupcakes topped with sweet cupcake tags?!
Cheers to one year, Hugh! Hope you had the best time celebrating your first birthday. For more creative first birthday party inspiration, be sure to visit our children's party gallery and check out Harrison's first birthday fiesta! SO cute!


Nico and Lala