Italian inspired Vow Renewal

We are so excited to have our custom tuscan stationery published on the “Italian inspired Vow Renewal” blog post at 100 Layer Cake Wedding blog today! A few months back Kristin Garcia of Kristin La Voie Photography and Kristina Fossbakk Ferris of Vision of Elegance Events set out to design a gorgeous shoot around an even more gorgeous couple and their very perfect vow renewal.

The feel of Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum transports you to a grand hillside estate in Italy, but the team didn’t have to go that far …they just traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The day was perfect and the photos turned out even better! Read the blog post for yourself at

Our custom aged wooden signage to say “Your seat is special, please sit here!” for the Bride and Groom.

…the details….that is all that needs to be said here!         

Custom background papers were wrapped around and designed for this soft, romantic tuscan feel “paper pretty”. Using the inspiration of grape foliage and lemon for the pop of excitement gave this suite the overall look and feel we were all going for.

The watercolor of the venue was added to the inside of the back pocket and adorned on the “amore” gift tags as well.

Truly an Italian inspired Vow Renewal! Limoncello shooters for everyone.

A festive Italian meal generally begins with a variety of appetizers, which are known as antipasti — a word that literally translates as before the pasto, or meal. These antipasti vary considerably from place to place in Italy, but they will often include a selection of cold cuts,       which are known as affettati misti.

Cheers to L + R! And kudos to Kristin + the team below for pulling off their dream day!

Photography: Kristin La Voie Photography / Venue: Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum / Floral Design: Vision Of Elegance / Hair & Makeup: Bianca Sansosti Artistry / Paper Goods: Eight21 Studios/ Tableware: Nimble Well / Linens: Nuage Designs / Dress: Anna Campbell / Accessories: Percy Handmade

Glamping in Style

Glamping in Style. Our second table that Jeff of The Huestudio+Co had produced was even more beautiful! These gorgeous linens from Over the Top Linens are both soft to touch and amazing on the eye! Anemones galore, when we saw this linen choice we knew the anemone artwork would be perfect but we didn’t want to over stimulate the tablescape so we went with the “camping theme” of  hand drawn black and white bandana print. Our menus were designed and folded like a bandana but they opened…with a pow and double wow! The anemones got the sugar cube glitter inside and pumped the glamping in style up a notch.

photogabi, eight21 studios, ove the top linens, the huestudio+co

photogabi, the huestudio+co, eight21 studios

photogabi, eight21 studio, carol mass, carol woldhuis

Our love for saving the “lost dishes” at garage sales, goodwills and other thrift stores has us with an abundance of dishes, and serving pieces. We supplied this tablescape with our mis matched white dishes. All the textures just added to the already play on patterns and textures of the linens. We have a love for these cake plates and stainless dome covers too. Vintage but just gives you a warm place in your heart when you see them used again. We have often said with some of our pieces…just use them! Why keep them in the cabinet on display…enjoy the love and share it with others.


Layering the many patterns, some many struggle with it but they all play into the vintage shabby chic look perfectly! Truly glamping in style or anywhere for that matter. Make your table setting a conversation starter, where the items came from, the love that went into searching for them, who may have owned them in the past and the stories that were told during their meals has been our drive and obsession behind it all.




Photographer: PhotoGabi | Artisan Chocolates: Anna Shea Chocolates | Chair + Table Rentals: Halls Rentals Event Stationery: EIGHT21 Studios | Event Planner: The Huestudio + Company thehuestudio.comFloral Designer: The Flower Studio http://www.myflowerstudio.comHeirlooms + Extras: Posh Chicago | Letterpress Coasters, Letterpress Notecards + Custom Printed Linens: Lucky Invitations | Linens and Coverings: Over The Top Rental Linens | Venue: Private Home in Arlington Heights, Illinois

Glamping Time

Glamping Time. Who wouldn’t love to glamp? The days of camping in a tent have been long gone in my vocabulary but this is definitely camping in style. We love our job! Sometimes we actually get to play too. A few weeks back we loaded the car with some Sister Dish items and some menu ideas and headed to a private home in the suburbs of Chicago to meet our friend Jeff with The Huestudio + Co and photographer Gabi of photogabi. We set up several vignettes in Libby and John’s lush yard to “glamp” in style.




Using the beautiful linen from Over the Top Linens it truly set the tone for the front RV tablescape. Using matching ribbed white dish ware and a hammered flatware just gives you the feeling of class with a touch of wilderness. Love the textures!


Even when you try to make something happen…sometimes mother nature may not cooperate. This day while we were glamping, the weather was beautiful and sunny. As the awning was pull back to take more over head photos the leaves that had fallen on the the canopy began to fall all over the tablescape as if the trees were shook and nature did it all by itself. Sometimes life is just perfect!

I say it again…Who would not LOVE to dine here? The floral piece just puts it over the top for sure from The Flower Studio with all of the shades of coral, peach and orange a true fall feeling. Glamping Time in its richness!


Look for more glamping time images and words…


Photographer: PhotoGabi | Artisan Chocolates: Anna Shea Chocolates | Chair + Table Rentals: Halls Rentals Event Stationery: EIGHT21 Studios | Event Planner: The Huestudio + Company thehuestudio.comFloral Designer: The Flower Studio http://www.myflowerstudio.comHeirlooms + Extras: Posh Chicago | Letterpress Coasters, Letterpress Notecards + Custom Printed Linens: Lucky Invitations | Linens and Coverings: Over The Top Rental Linens | Venue: Private Home in Arlington Heights, Illinois

Colorful Pineapple Housewarming Note Cards

Do you know someone that is moving? Give them some Colorful Pineapple Housewarming Note Cards. These Pineapple Note Cards will surely brighten anyones day. Have them personalized as a gift or purchase some for yourself. The inside is blank just waiting for your personal messages, with an added punch of color in the envelope make sure to pick the color of your choice. Our artwork is all original, painted in watercolor that is just bursting with even more color!

Visit our Etsy store to purchase these fun Colorful Pineapple Housewarming Note Cards and others.


colorful pineapple note cardscolorful pineapple note cards

Cute Ways to Pop the Question to your Bridesmaids

Congrats you got engaged! Now you need Cute Ways to Pop the Question to your Bridesmaids. What a great way to ask them to stand by your side, on your wedding day. Your fiancé has already popped the question, hopefully in a “cute” way, and now it’s your turn. These cute cards can be personalized with each girls name and often are kept as a keepsake of your day. Choose the color variation that best fits your theme and color palette. We carry Matron of Honor, Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids, Jr. Bridesmaids and even the little Flower Girl has their own dress style. Don’t forget the Bride-to-Be cards too!

How great you will look when thanking your friends and family with a personalized Thank You Note. Looking for a little card to Thank your attendants, we carry those too!

Our Etsy store if filled with some perfect personalized paper gifts.

EIGHTTWENTYONESTUDIO is our shop name or click the link here to get to one of the listings. EIGHT21 Studios

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Personalized Bridal or Bride to Be Notes: Click the link to see more!

bride to be notecards, soon to be the new mrs, wedding, bridal gown cards, personalized stationery



2015 Review – Pineapple Passion


Pineapple Passion- Michelle and Tony had a destination wedding in St. Croix. Not everyone could attend, with busy schedules and finances it is sometimes hard for all the guests to swing that. But they did not want to leave anyone out and planned a Reception Lunch in the summer. This way the guests could be part of the day, watching video and seeing pictures made them feel like they were part of the whole thing.

Working with them was always fun as they never liked the plain text of a standard RSVP card. I am sure it gave their guests a chuckle to receive the invite and fill out their response but it was truly “Michelle and Tony” style- and I LOVE that!


Adding the pineapple to their wedding flowers I had already designed, made a great collaboration for the Luncheon.The pineapple symbolizes hospitality and welcome to our home. In years past if a pineapple was displayed it meant you could proceed and enter the gates. Guests were often welcomed and stayed in guest bedrooms with pineapple bed posts. So the next time you cut into that juicy fruit or serve it in a fruit salad to friends and family…rejoice in the great meaning of the gathering and hospitality it stands for. It’s not just a piece of fruit!

2015 Review – Alice Part 2


Alice Part 2

The inside! Fun and filled with lots of information. Neatly incased in a perfectly designed folder

The menu played off the playing cards of the game and the program was a dual purpose. One to let guests know about the ceremony BUT the back was a Scavenger Hunt in the garden with all sorts of items from Kayla’s collection. It gave the guests something else to do while they were having cocktails and awaiting dinner and dancing to follow.

alice in wonderland designed by carol woldhuis designs

2015 Review – A little bit of Alice in everyone


We had the pleasure of designing a suite for a couple who themed their event around Alice in Wonderland. Kayla could recite the story blind folded. It was fun, playful, colorful but most of all THEM. Isn’t there “a little bit of Alice in everyone?”

Keeping with our standard papers, we designed it elegant and classy. The banding of colors stood for the “rainbow” of bridesmaid dresses. Kayla’s girls wore black dresses and each one had a different color sash…how fun!

All this to say, even when your event is formal…make sure to put a little “you” in the invitation! Let the rules go and show your personality in a small piece of the paper pie.

Event Planner: Denise Bonds of Windermere Event Planning in Gurnee, Illinois

Venue: Wandering Tree Estate







The Importance of Day of Stationery

table number rose carol woldhuis

The importance of “Day of Stationery”. I tell clients all the time, when you are choosing your wedding invitations…keep in mind you still have all of your “day of stationery” to purchase. We usually figure about 1/3 of the cost of your invitations is what most will spend on their day of stationery. A lot of brides will focus on the dress, the venue, the flowers and the invitations but forget that they need escort cards, possible programs, menus, table numbers, and maybe even social media signage. We hate to see clients get this far and then DIY or purchase “office big box” store items to fill in. Think about your stationery and wedding paper as a whole. Guests will notice, will they still come and enjoy the food without a matching escort card or table number…absolutely! BUT will they notice the details…ABSOLUTELY 100%! So show your guests that you have thought this through until the end…the over-all package, complete!

Escort Cards: escort your guest to their seats, tell them where to sit

Place Cards: these are cards at the table place settings, telling your guest what seat to sit in

Pricing: Escort Cards with names and table printed on the card $2.75 each. Table Numbers $6.00 and up


2015 Review: A Rose is a rose is a rose

rose watercolor carol woldhuis

A ROSE is a rose is a rose review, first you have to understand that a flower like a rose is created by mostly painting the “in betweens” and takes shape with shading. I remember once when I was struggling with a piece of art, my dad would send me links to sites that would give tutorials on “How to Paint a Rose” but this one day…was a GOOD day. A ROSE is a rose is a rose was painted! I met with Christina and her mother Gloria and Chad. We spent some time talking about the dreamy wedding they are planning. They were a great couple and wanted something special. Soft and special.

Couple: Christina and Chad

Wedding Date: June 6, 2015

Venue: Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago

Artwork: A ROSE is a rose is a rose

Suite Pricing: $7.50

rose watercolor carol woldhuis


2015 Review: A Teacher’s Fairy Tale part 3

teachers fairy tale love story

A Teacher’s Fairy Tale part 3. One of the invitation samples was Chapter One to their “love story”. Steph and Eric liked the idea so we enlarged the copy to an 11×17 adding the companion artwork that was matted to be used as a guest book. When the guests arrived at the reception, they were able to sign the matte for the couple’s keepsake wall art. The story in Chapter One tells of their day to remember…the best day ever!


2015 Review: A Teacher’s Fairy Tale part 2

book marker escort cards

A Teacher’s Fairy Tale part 2. Keeping with the “Teacher” theme, we designed a thin bookmark that the couple inserted the guest names and table designation. These bookmarks were inserted into a vintage card catalog that Steph’s mom found and purchased for her after they got all tasseled up by the bride and her maids. A great keepsake for the guests, and a useful one too!

2015 Review: A Teacher’s Fairy Tale

storybook fairy tale the teachers

A Teacher’s Fairy Tale. Stephanie came to me with her mom Tina, her vision was a Teacher’s Fairy Tale. Steph being an English teacher and Eric is a Math teacher she wanted to have the storybook love story. Her quotes were added to the back of the flat panel invitation as well as the envelope liner. During our peak of the season we often end up with some clients that have the same name, giving our clients “nick names” helps us keep them all straight in production. Sharing this with Steph and Eric, they would sign their emails…from The “Teachers”. We love that during the process of designing wedding stationery, we also build a relationship with our clients.

Couple: Stephanie and Eric “The Teachers”

Colors: Coral and Teal

Date: July 27, 2015

Venue: The European Crystal Ballroom

Suite Pricing: $9.50 per Details Card: ADD $1.00 Envelope Liners: ADD $1.75 each


2015 Review: White and Ivory Blend

white and Ivory blend

Here we used just White and Ivory blend for their wedding invitations. We often have brides that do not want to commit to either white or ivory to be the main “neutral”color or some that do not want to introduce a “color” into the scheme. This allows for that dimension…without using “color”.

Couple: Cindy and Gavin

Date: August 8, 2015

Artwork: Pen and Ink Scribble Heart

Venue: Concord Banquets

Suite pricing: $5.50 per Details Card: ADD $1.00 additional

Add fun wording to your Reception Card, let the guests know there will be a food truck arriving and they do not want to miss the attraction for sure!

white and ivory blend

white and ivory blend

Trash to treasured art…

woman's trash is another girls treasure

I often am faced with what to do with the left-overs,…the scraps, the trash, from clients jobs. One woman’s trash is definitely another girl’s treasured art for sure! Trash to treasured art. I have a close industry friend, his girls are part of a charter school and love art and to craft. I use to keep all the small pieces, thinking one day I would have another job that I could use them…but that never happened. I went through a period of just tossing them all in the trash too, but now I have an outlet for my trash. A treasure for my paper trash. These two girls have created pieces of art, from my trash. How cool is that? I just may have to hire them someday!

Galleria Marchetti Flowers

What is behind the flower details you ask ? Galleria Marchetti of course!

carol woldhuis designs galleria marchetti draping with anenomies

Sometimes our inspirations and stationery are not the sample the client chooses, and that’s okay. But we still like to show it off and explain the method to our madness in creating some of our artwork. Or as we say the details that come from our “homework”.

Our Inspirations and Stationery for our flowers was the venue Gallery Marchetti in Chicago. The tented draped ceilings and the ornate light fixtures were what was floating around in my head when I was designing the suite for Kristin and Nathan’s July 2015 wedding.

Kristin and Nathan were looking for something clean but also “urban-chic”, while showcasing their Chicago venue. Although they didn’t choose this design, I wanted to share it with you and let you see inside my brain. We took one of our pieces in our collection and turned it into a black and white graphic, sweeping the flower petals with the draping inspiration. The centers of the flowers we added more circles to show off the orbs that hang seamlessly from the tented ceilings. Still our same anemone but a slightly different feeling.

You will have to wait and see what Kristin and Nathan chose for their stationery, along with suite pricing.

 corlis and megan gray photography galleria marchetti

An image of the ceiling and the draping that I spoke of,  perfectly dramatic and elegant city venue!

Photo Credits: Corlis and Megan Photography


Inspirations and Stationery D+K

SUITE Cost: $11.00 each
Invitation, Response Card and Monogram Tag. Envelope Liners and Digital Addressing
What is behind the Inspirations and Stationery D+K?
donna and kevin inspiration and stationery watercolor contemporary

Donna and Kevin came to us from a referral. We LOVE referrals! We met on January 29th. They were under a bit of a time crunch, but we arranged a few things and turned their stationery around with no problem. Donna and Kevin wanted something plain and simple… that was their inspiration and stationery…we laughed, when they came and saw some of our past invites, they began to see “color.” They were drawn to one of our past clients that had an overall liquid watercolor contemporary look. Donna was set on “that” piece of artwork, but me not wanting them to settle, I began with my questions and here is what we came up with.

Favorite Colors: Red, Purple and Teal (Donna Red and Purple and Kevin Blue/Teal and Red)

Type of Ceremony: Christian ….use some yellow to create the “light” and the presence of Christ in their relationship

Flowers: Reds and Purples


I designed a new watercolor piece incorporating their favorite colors with a hint of yellow peeking through. Using some of the same Dr. Martins Inks, I designed some modern and contemporary flowers to add to the details. We kept the cover plain and clean, so when the guests opened the envelope and the inside of the folder they saw the fantastic colors that were personalized for the client. We added a belly band to seal the suite that was of the artwork topping it with a round medallion monogram.

It is so fun to send the slideshows and get an immediate response back with over joy, tears and lots of !!!!!!!!! after the words.

We also created the “Day Of” stationery for them. I always say, “Don’t blow your entire paper budget on the invites (yep that comes out of my mouth)….you are only half way there with all that needs to be printed.” We try to be upfront and honest with our clients, most are not thinking about anything beyond invites.

Cute square tented Escort Cards cost them $2.75 each with matching artwork to the backside, why not give the guests on the other side of the table something nice to look at, right? details, details…

Table Numbers for $6.00 each. Our Table Numbers are ALL tented with a support strap so they stand up nicely for your event.






Inspirations and Stationery

What is behind the inspirations and stationery here at Carol Woldhuis Designs?

michelle and tony st croix destination wedding

SUITE Cost: $13.50 each
Invitation, Response Card and Details Card with Addressed Custom Art Mailing Label 


Michelle and Tony are planning a St. Croix destination wedding…

I met Michelle and Tony at a Bridal Expo Chicago show, they were looking for something “different” that would describe the soft, beachy, romantic feeling they were wanting their guests to feel when they received their special wedding invitations. After listening to their vision, we took off with the corals and pinks, swirling around to create one of a kind garden roses. The wedding will be held at the Carambola Beach Resort, carambola is star fruit. Did you know the star fruit has a pretty pink flower tip to the plant like the brighter pink cluster flower in the invitation’s artwork?…we do our homework.

Inspiration and Stationery:

Beachy: starfish and drift wood

Colors: Peach, Coral, Pink, and Gray

Theme: Beach and Romantic but also FUN. We had fun with the wording, the couple wanted it to be “personal and not the dry text that most people receive in a wedding invitation.” It is so fun to work with clients that like “out of the box” ideas.

Design elements: While mostly we stuck to floral images, we needed to give Tony a little brake. We created a watercolor stripe for the inside, that added pop when they guests opened the suite folder. We love to mix up patterns and styles in our art pieces.





Simple Invitations

Simple Invitations can also be very custom. Sometimes when you begin looking for your wedding invitations it becomes overwhelming with how to word it, or what font to use…find a design you like. We try to not only give you a custom simple invitation but also take the stress out of the process for you.

Here is an example of one of our Simple Suite 4.5 ($4.50 per) Using the ribbon for holding all your companion pieces together is a great inexpensive way to dress up your invite as well.

The simple invitation is dressed with a silver metallic card stock that makes the kiwi green ribbon pop with that burst of color. Our client used the LOVE wording on their wedding website…so incorporating that just made sense.

We are “branded” by most as a hand-painted artistic feel stationer, which is our specialty but we like to be known as a stationer that can take the stress out of the process whether it is a simple invitation or an intricate hand-painted design.

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Digital Guest addressing extra.