Building Your Wedding Brand - Ro & Co Designs



Hey ya'll!  Happy Monday!  You've all heard plenty about Rosalie of Ro & Co Designs here on the blog before.  She was a 2015 JDE bride, turned friend, turned my all-time favorite graphic designer.  I must send her a request at least once a month of something new I need designed and she hits the nail on the head every.single.time.

Today she's here to teach us a bit about wedding branding!


Hey there!  I'm Rosalie with Ro & Co Designs and I am so excited to share with you what I consider to be the secret ingredient that will help you personalize and fuse together every detail of your wedding day .... Friends, I give you Wedding Branding!


Wedding Branding can be defined as the overall look and feel that you have chosen for your special day.  I like to think of it as the expression of you and your fiance's love through meaningful, cohesive design.  It helps to tell your story visually and emotionally so you are able to connect your story to every element of the big day!


You may or may not have met my frenemy, Pinterest.  I remember when I first got engaged, I immediately unlocked that "secret" wedding board I had been pinning to over the years {that's right - years.  Guys, my husband waited 7 years to propose....a girl had to dream out loud somewhere} and I felt so overwhelmed.  I'm talking major bridentity crisis.  I had pinned rustic barns, bohemian hair styles, ballgowns galore, mason jars, and nautical bottle opener favors...all in one board.  This is where wedding branding rides in on its big white horse to save the day.

Establishing your branding early on in the planning process helps you focus your vision and "see" it in action, allowing you to make more informed choices along the way.  Not to mention, it's extremely helpful for your vendors to see what you're envisioning in terms of specific colors, design elements, and the overall aesthetic you've dreamed of.  This results in a unified look that ties your whole day together and truly captures your essence as a couple.  Most importantly, a strong and consistent brand has the power to transform an already beautiful event into an unforgettable and meaningful experience that you and your guests will always remember.


Here's the fun part!  Here are some tips to help you and yours find your "brand".

DEFINE YOUR STYLE
I know this sounds daunting.  But start with a simple conversation between you and your fiance and create a list of things that represent you as a couple.  What do you like to do together?  Where are your favorite places to visit?  What kind of experience do you want to give your guests?  Are you rustic?  Nautical?  Preppy?  Whimsical?  By asking these types of questions, you should be able to pick 4-5 words that define who you are together.

WHEN AND WHERE
Before you get too far into the planning process, you have to figure out when and where your nuptials will take place {if you haven't already}!  This will not only lay the foundation for all design choices, but it will determine vendor availability and really put the planning into overdrive.  WOO!

COLORS, FONTS, PATTERNS...OH MY!
Now that you have an idea what you want to represent and when/where your wedding will take place, you can determine your colors, patterns/textures, fonts, and even a logo!  This is where I like to create an inspiration board for my couples to present their very own unique brand.



Your wedding inspiration board should include the following:
color palette
Start by picking one or two colors that you two adore, and build off of them with accents.  OK - so this is where Pinterested becomes a bestie again {DARN YOU} as it can be a wonderful tool to find colors that complement one another without overpowering.

inspiration
As you peruse through wedding blogs and magazines, try to find images that reflect your overall style.  ANd keep in mind that textures and patterns can be a subtle way to create a strong image for your day.  Do you find yourself gravitating towards nautical stripes?  What about bold Lily patterns?  Or maybe you can't stop pinning rustic wood images.  Incorporating these textures into your wedding stationery can be a great way to really set the tone for your guests from the get go.

logo and fonts
A wedding logo?!  Yes, the exist and they are the strongest ingredient in successfully weaving your brand throughout every detail.  You can opt for a custom designed logo or monogram, as well as two complementary fonts to use on all of your paper goods!  From your save the dates and wedding invitations, to your wedding website, to your reception signage and favors, all the way to your thank you cards.  This is where your wedding brand comes to life and what will make your wedding day truly memorable!  By taking this time to brand each element, your guests will actually notice the continuity and appreciate the thought that went into every decision.



Branding a wedding is a fun way to make it memorable, but you do want to avoid going overboard.  Focus on keeping it personal and meaningful, and you'll achieve that perfect balance that comes with a beautiful branded wedding that reflects what's most important here - your life as a married couple!

Vendor Spotlight: Ro & Co Designs




Hey there friends!  I hope you all had a fantastic Valentine's Day weekend!  Who got engaged?!  I'm a huge sap for engagement stories, so if you want to gush to someone, I'm your girl!
Ok back to business.  What better way to start off this week than to share a vendor spotlight with ya'll?!  I'm so happy to introduce you to Rosalie of Ro & Co Designs. You might recognize her name because I say it quite a bit around here.  She is a 2015 JDE Bride and she also did all of JDE's rebranding. I basically hit the bride jackpot when she booked with me.  Not only do I absolutely adore her as a person and friend, but I respect her so much as a fellow vendor.  Read on to learn more about Rosalie's company!

 
Tell us about Ro & Co Designs!
Ro & Co Designs is a boutique brand and stationery design business founded by me, Ro! I specialize in creative event & business branding, custom wedding stationery, and all things paper goods! When it comes to weddings, the invitation sets the stage for the big day and I just love working with couples to create a look that is original, timeless, and uniquely them. I love working alongside my longtime love and husband, Troy, who handles the business side of things... as well as my four legged soul mate, Reggie, who keeps me focused with his rhythmic snores while soaking up the sun next to my desk. Together we are Ro & Co!



How long have you been operating?  What made you go into graphic design?
I've been operating as Ro & Co Designs for about a year, but I've been designing for many! For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed art and had a love for making things look pretty... in fact, I was that student who couldn't pay attention to anything in school aside from the doodles and designs in my notebook. When I went off to college, I decided to follow my heart by studying art and design with a concentration in graphic design. I've been taking on freelance projects ever since but it wasn't until I got engaged in December 2014, and obsessed over every design aspect, that I found my passion for this particular industry. That's when I decided to turn my passion into something more.


How would you describe your design style?
My design style can be described as finding the beauty of simplicity and adding a touch of whimsy. Inspired by romantic fonts, natural elements, and soft pops of color, I truly believe less is more and that's where the essence of my style can be found in every piece of my work.
What's the most memorable event you’ve ever contributed to?
Of course I would have to say my own wedding! Those are the memories that inspired me to do what I do and being able to add that extra bit of joy to an already beautiful time in someone's life makes me so proud.

 
What are your top 3 tips for couples choosing a designer for their wedding stationery?
- Opt for a custom design. The invitation is the first glimpse into your wedding day that your guests will see. You want it to match not only your wedding theme, but also to reflect you as a couple and showcase your personality! By choosing a custom design, you can cohesively weave your look throughout every aspect of your day... Plus, it will be unique to you and only you!
- Relationship. You want your designs to accurately reflect your personality so you will want someone who is going to invest their time in getting to know you.  Building a relationship with your designer is crucial in order to curate a design that "fits". All of the details like how you met, what you like to do together, if you have pets, children, favorite music, etc. - they all inspire the designer to turn your love story into something visual!
- Communication. Of course you should go with a designer that has the style you are looking for, but clear communication is the biggest thing in the process. Make sure your designer is open to your input... and it is OK if you don't necessarily have a clear vision of what you want, that's why you chose a designer after all! But if you can describe what you are looking for, be specific! As long as your communication is clear, the design process is so much fun and the results will be everything you've dreamed of... it's a win win!

  


What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?
One of my very favorite things is hearing how my designs helped make an event so much more special. And even more than that, getting referrals from past clients! It really is the best feeling in the world... proud would be an understatement. This adventure has been incredibly self-fulfilling and I feel humbled and more even more inspired than I ever thought possible.
 
What’s your biggest goal?
My biggest goal is to grow my passion into a full time family business. I know it will take many years to get to that point, but I'm still young... I am confident it'll happen one day. But until then, I'm focused on working harder, facing new challenges, meeting and working with new people, and delivering quality designs and paper goods :)


What kind of future do you see for Ro & Co Designs?
2016 is going to be a big year for us! I'm currently working on my website launch and I've got some big ideas to implement over the next few months! I don't want to give away too much... just stay tuned!
 
 
Thank you so much for sharing Rosalie!!  Everyone be sure to follow Ro & Co Designs to see what big things she's got in store!

Christmas: Small Business Roundup



If you know me at all, you know I’ve always loved to support small businesses.  Even more so now that I’m a small business owner myself!  The impact each consumer has on a small business is just crazy.  And if I can support a local small business, I’m seriously on cloud 9.


With Christmas right around the corner, I figured now was a great time to give you a little round-up of some of my favorite small businesses, all local to Virginia.  They each offer something completely different and I’m pretty sure you could wipe out your shopping list this season by checking them out.



Water’s Edge Design

Water’s Edge Design is run by my sweet friend Julia Stancampiano.  She designs custom signs and rehabs & re-purposes antique furniture.  If you could see how her home is decorated, you’d want to move right in.  Everything is so unique, but each piece has such a classic feel to it.  I’m obsessed with pretty much everything she creates.


Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift to give, or you’ve been searching high and low for a beautiful Christmas sign to grace your own mantle, Water’s Edge Design is worth a look!





Everything Emma

My crazy talented friend Emma Hering of Everything Emma makes some of the most delectable food I’ve ever tasted.  Her sweets are gorgeous and festive, and they seriously taste like heaven.  She even has gluten free options!  I just placed my order of yummies to take to Christmas dinner and I’m so excited.  I always feel like there’s this crazy pressure when it comes to bringing dessert.  It should be pretty and taste amazing.  #notabaker


If you’re in charge of bringing sweets for dinner, or if you just want something delicious to give as a gift, contact Emma to place your order!  She needs at least 48 hours notice and she offers both classic and custom flavors!





Ro & Co Designs

One of my absolute favorite things about this time of year is Christmas cards. I love sending them just as much as receiving them.  I display the ones I receive on a Christmas wreath at home and it always makes me smile walking by the wreath and seeing all the love sent my way.  Most years I try to design my own cards to send out, but sometimes time just gets away from me and I end up buying a box of traditional cards from Target and calling it happy.  If you’re hoping to have gorgeous custom cards to send to your loved ones this year, but you don’t want to make them yourself…. you have to chat with my friend & JDE bride, Rosalie Poulin.


Rosalie run Ro & Co Designs and she creates some of the most amazing paper goods I’ve seen.  She’s responsible for all my new branding and even the JDE Christmas cards I’ll be sending out this year!



Merry Christmas & Happy Shopping Friends!

Building my Brand & A Fresh Look for JDE

 
 
 
 
I’ve mentioned a few times that I decided at the beginning of 2015 that I wanted to be very intentional with my business decisions this year.  I had spent the last 3 years doing things to simply “hold me over”….till I felt more established, till I had more time, till I could justify the expense, etc.  But I realized how much a lot of those fix-for-now decisions were really holding me back from growing as a business.
 
Example: My website/blog.  Oh boy.  It was ugggggggly.  It just didn’t look professional at all.  In fact, someone in the wedding industry that I respect very, very much told me that it looked more like a hobby blog than a business website.  That was a big wake-up call for me, because I knew it was true!  I knew that my prospective brides were landing on my website looking for their first impression of me and all that Just Dandy Events was about.  And “hobby blog” was not the impression I wanted to give!  So I reached out to the wonderfully talented Tianna of Andrew & Tianna Photography and she helped give my website a much needed face lift.  Liz designed a quick and simple logo for me {I didn’t have one of those yet either}.  And so my new website looked a bit more professional.  I was so proud!!
 
A few months went by and I decided I needed to up my game.  I needed to really figure out what my brand was.  While I wasn’t completely sure what direction I wanted to go in as far as my branding was concerned, I knew that I wanted it to reflect me and my personality.  So I decided to come up with a few words that I felt best described both me and my business and then build my brand from there.  I came up with: Simple, bubbly, organic, fun.

I tend to lean towards clean lines and simple details, but also love fun colors and bubbly designs.  I don’t like to over-complicate things, but I definitely enjoy all things pretty…especially natural, organic things.  So that was a good starting place for me.  I also needed to figure out my colors.  When I first started JDE, I geared everything towards green.  I’ve always loved green and I felt like it just fit.  Well now I wanted to spice that up a bit!  I was discussing this with Wes and he just blurts out, “Teal…your favorite color is teal.”  To which I replied, “No it’s not.”  He went on to tell me that, in the 10 years he’s known me, he’s watched me pick out more things {clothes, décor, etc.} in teal than in any other color.  He said that whether I realized it or not, my favorite color is teal, sometimes with green accents.  Ha, what does he know.
 
Well a couple weeks later, I was searching Pinterest for some branding inspiration.  I happened across this color palette and just started swooning!
Maybe Wes was right….my colors really are teal and green.  Sometimes I think that boy knows me better than I know myself!!  I also really loved the grey and white!  It was so clean looking, but still fun and colorful.  It was exactly the look I was after!
 
 You know that saying "everything happens for a reason"??  Well, it's rang true a thousand times over for me.  Example: Earlier this year I met with a new JDE bride and immediately adored her.  Rosalie was the sweetest person ever and probably the easiest bride I've ever had {her wedding was just this past weekend and I can't wait to share more about it!}.  In addition to being fantastic, Rosalie is also super talented in the graphic design department. I was lucky enough to get Rosalie's designing skills involved in two of the styled shoots I coordinated this summer.  She designed the invitation suites in both the boho shoot and the coastal simplicity shoot and they were stunnnnnning.

So I got the idea to ask Rosalie to design a new logo for me and, somehow, she managed to pretty much see into my soul and nailed the branding I was going for!  Here's the wonderful new logo she designed for me, and the first part of my new branding!

I can't wait to share more soon!  Thank you Rosalie!!!  Be sure to check out her company Ro & Co Designs to see some of her incredible work!