Thursday, July 1, 2010

And the ISES Big Apple Best Invitation of 2009 Award goes to....

We were so excited when we received news from our friend Lisa Ceci Hoffman of Manhattan's most exclusive couture invitation design house Ceci New York that the invitation and stationary suite we dreamed up together for Lori & David's wedding WON The 9th Annual ISES Big Apple Award for "Best Invitation of the Year".

                                                                    Photos by Shawn Connell of Christian Oth Studio

It was just about this time last year that I took my client Lori to visit Ceci New York.  She tasked me with finding just the right vendor do something luxe, yet totally out-of-the-box for her five-star farm wedding--without it being a "Hoe Down!". I knew that Ceci would be just the right partner to design Lori's wedding invitation.

Lori is famous for her annually-televised holiday cards often featuring her friend Regis Philbin and co-workers at LIVE! With Regis & Kelly and her dog Molly. We all shared a laugh as we quickly put a nix on sending a carton of eggs (not quite right, would ya say?). But a simple flat card -- not matter how beautifully letterpressed -- simply wouldn't be up for the job of inviting Lori and David's friends and families to their Blue Hill at Stone Barns nuptials, home of the James Beard-winning chef Dan Barber. The invitation had to be as special as the venue.

Was it a trifold card tied together with a golden pitch fork? Nah. Was it a bottle of wine? Not quite right (although Lisa has designed some amazing oenophile suites). 

And then it hit me--I said, half jokingly to Lisa, "can we brand -- as in burn -- the text of a formal invitation on a slab of wood?!" And, of course, Ceci said, "Absolutely!". And so a star was born. Lisa pulled out a number of wood samples, a box it could be packaged in, and a bound of raffia that would appear as hay. The companion cards were letterpressed with a map leading up to the famous farm at Stone Barns, and invitations to the satellite parties of the weekend. And just like that, we had a winner!

Lori and I felt like we hit invitation gold. Lori suggested a Farmer's Almanac would be a great theme for the Save the Date. Done. Lisa even found a way to get a silhouette of Lori's beloved Molly into the design. The designs were used for Lori's beautiful Ketubah:

Then came the escort cards. Lori and I tasked Lisa to create seed packet labels (tables were named after farm fresh produce, of course!) and the beautiful result was an escort table created by my team at Chandelier Events (who filled every last seed packet) and carefully placed them into individual pins into an antique trough filled with lentils created by the ever-fabulous Matthew Robbins!

Instead of table numbers or traditional name cards--I thought of belly bands on the menus--and Ceci designed the most beautiful belly bands I've seen featuring the same colorful etchings on the seedling escort cards. 

And, finally, the ceremony pieces (even the ketubah!) -- Lisa created the most beautiful programs that opened like the gates to the farm that mimicked the aisle that Lori walked down as she entered the courtyard for the twilight ceremony.

Needless to say, we are SO excited to see that Ceci New York was recognized for this stunning work....and thrilled that our creative vision was a thrill at the ISES Big Apple Awards. Here's the whole suite in a single shot!

See more of Ceci's work and sign up for her new online style publication, CECISTYLE, that's launching later this fall!

And we cannot wait to show you some amazing location-based details we're dreaming up for some events we've got in the cue at Chandelier. Stay tuned!

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