The Grayson House | New Uniontown Wedding Venue

The Grayson House

Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with some very talented vendors at a new wedding venue in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, The Grayson House. Uniontown was long overdue for an new upscale wedding venue and I’m happy that Ashley and her family decided to build this unique barn in the rolling hills of the Laurel Highlands. I like to call the building a barn, but this elegant white building is more than just another barn wedding venue. It’s an upscale, chic wedding venue where it seems Ashley has thought of everything. From the adjacent house hosting the caterer’s quarters and a spacious bridal suite to the gorgeous wood sliding doors peeking out to the mountains, this venue has a welcoming feeling for you and your wedding guests.

The Owners

Funny story, I went months chatting back and forth with Ashley about her venue and the styled shoot we were putting together and when I arrived for the shoot we both realized that we went to high school together! She and her husband, Steve, really made myself and all of us feel welcome and comfortable during the shoot. They made the new friendship seem like we were a family and I really loved that about them. They are really excited about providing their couples with the best possible wedding experience and making the whole day seem effortless.

The Styled Shoot

The styled shoot was put together so that Ashley could showcase her collection of rentals and the gorgeous interior and exterior of the barn. I know as a vendor, I was especially excited to be there and get a sneak peek! Ashley wanted to use a neutral color palette to appeal to a wide range of future brides planning their wedding. We all had a wonderful afternoon making magic and enjoying what we we do best, creating and capturing beautiful, love-filled wedding celebrations.

Vendors Involved

Venue: The Grayson House
Photography: Jessica Fike Photography
Videography: MotionWorks
Invitations and Menus: Paper Hearts Invitations
Flowers: The Gypsy Annie
Gowns: The Vow Boutique
Makeup and Hair: Makeup and Hair by Claire
Jewelry: Joyce’s Jewelry
Models: Natalie Grote, Jo and Shane Daughterty

The Grayson House

Allison Kotarsky

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Why Paper Wedding Invitations Are Still Important

Deep Creek Lake Maryland Boho Wedding
photo by Jessica Fike Photography

So you’re planning your wedding and getting advice from everyone in Facebook land on where to order. Many of them suggest discount places because “it’s just paper” and “they will end up in the trash anyways.” Well guess what else will? Leftover food, dead flowers, ripped apart wedding favors (you know, the little boxes with mints that get scattered all over the table), half empty beers, and so on. You see, you can’t make all aspects of your wedding live forever, so why skip on one of the only tangible items your guests will receive? Paper wedding invitations are still important.

When your friends and family members get that invitation suite in the mail they’re going to hold on to it and use it as their guide to book hotel rooms, plan their GPS route and know the name of who in the heck you are marrying. This little package you send them gives them everything they need to have the best possible experience at your wedding by being on time and in the right location. Sure, you could have them designed and printed at a discount place online but, unless you’re confident you know what needs included on the invitation, you might leave something off. You could also have an online wedding website to have people RSVP, but there are still so many people, like older relatives, that become overwhelmed with wedding websites. This is where the professional stationery designer comes in. I’ve designed hundreds of wedding invitations so I know how to word things properly and offer suggestions on what to include and what not to include. For instance, I bet you didn’t know it’s considered tacky to include your wedding registry on the printed invitation?

The form you fill out after booking gives me all information for all the possible scenarios of wording you need to include. Planning a wedding can be super overwhelming. I’ve heard it from brides time and time again. But hiring a trusted, local stationery designer is just like hiring a photographer or videographer. We shouldn’t be an afterthought. We need to be there from the beginning to guide you along the way and offer our professional advice. I love helping brides and learning all about you as a couple. Making your wedding day as special and as beautiful as I can is the best part of my job!

Ready for more information about custom invitations? Click here.

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When Should I Send Out Invitations?

Planning a wedding and sticking to a stationery ordering schedule can be a little confusing. Since there are so many different paper pieces to consider, I’ve created a wedding stationery timeline to make ordering your invitations and wedding day pieces a breeze. The timeline lists each item and tells you when your order should be placed with Paper Hearts and when to send them out to your guests.

You can download a printable version of the guide that has spaces for you to fill out your own dates.

Paper Hearts Wedding Stationery Timeline

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Elephant Baby Shower

As we are preparing for baby boy #2, I can’t help thinking about my beautiful elephant themed baby shower for Luka 3 years ago.

Fun fact: Luka didn’t officially have a name until 12 hours after he was born! We couldn’t agree (err…decide).

My brunch themed shower, complete with mimosas, was held at the Historic Stone House Inn in Farmington, Pennsylvania. It featured a delicious dessert bar and plenty of rustic, chic charm. We had so much cake leftover, that I actually saved the top of the cake to use for Luka’s first birthday smash cake! I am forever grateful for the talents of my friends and family and the beautiful work they did to pull off a shower better than I thought was possible.

Cookies: Kate and Cookies @kateandcookies
Flowers: Gypsie Annie @thegypsyannie
Paper Items: Paper Hearts Invitations @paperheartsinvitations
Buffet: Simply Sweet Shoppe

Allison Shower blue Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 3.52.53 PM DSC_0417DSC_0408DSC_0400DSC_0406


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Menu Card Inspiration

Who said reception tables have to be boring? Why not add a pop of color and incorporate details into each guest’s place setting?! My standard size menu card is 4×9 and printed on cardstock to match your invitations, but they can come in all shapes and sizes. Below is a collection of images from various events to bring you inspiration and encourage you to use a dinner (or lunch, or brunch) menu at your wedding or next event. If you want to discuss how we can incorporate a menu into your next event, please email me at

 Paper Hearts Modern FarmhouseSandie Narvaez Photography

Burgundy wedding menu with wax sealBritani Edwards Photography

Rustic Blush Navy WeddingJessica Fike Photography

Barn at Fallingwater Pennsylvania Wedding by Caitlins Living Photography and Paper Hearts InvitationsCaitlin’s Living Photography

http://michaelwillphotography.comMichael Will Photography

Portfolio_0035Britani Edwards Photography

Portfolio_0025Ashley Friend Photography

Portfolio_0018JB Gallery

Phipps Pittsburgh WeddingAshley Friend Photography

Deep Creek Lake Maryland Boho WeddingJessica Fike Photography

View More: Emily Photography

View More: Abbey Photography

2016-12-30_0012JB Gallery

Brandi Linger Photographer

Caitlin’s Living Photography

WhiteBarn_1255Ashton Kelley Photography

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Farmhouse Table Decor Ideas

I recently had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite venues, The White Barn at Lucas Farm! Brittney Lucas, the owner and coordinator, invited me to help decorate her farm tables with paper goods for a styled shoot showing creative ways brides can have them styled for their event. We decorated four different tables as well as a brunch bar and two cake tables. See the list of vendors involved below!

Here’s how you can incorporate paper goods into your wedding decor to add a little touch of detail on your wedding day or bridal shower.

1. Table Numbers
Table numbers often get overlooked as a decor piece, but they can help tie in the rest of the paper goods at the table.

2. Place Cards
Whether you’re hosting an event for 25 or 225 people, place cards are a great way to organize your guests. The help save their seat while they mingle and give them direction as to where they are to be seated during a large event.

3. Menus
Who doesn’t like to know what’s on the menu? I love seeing the food options right there in front of me. Once of the biggest attractions at a wedding, besides the actual wedding ceremony, is the food! Let’s face it, your guests came to eat, drink, and celebrate!

Brunch Display

White Barn Brunch White Barn Brunch

White Barn Brunch White Barn Brunch White Barn Brunch White Barn Brunch

Dessert Table

Dessert Table Dessert Table

Blush and Gold Rustic 

Paper Hearts Blush and Gold Rustic Paper Hearts Blush and Gold Rustic Paper Hearts Blush and Gold Rustic Paper Hearts Blush and Gold Rustic Paper Hearts Blush and Gold Rustic Paper Hearts Blush and Gold Rustic Paper Hearts Blush and Gold Rustic Paper Hearts Blush and Gold Rustic Paper Hearts Blush and Gold Rustic Paper Hearts Blush and Gold Rustic

Boho Table

Paper Hearts Boho Table Paper Hearts Boho Table Paper Hearts Boho Table Paper Hearts Boho Table

Modern Farmhouse

Paper Hearts Modern Farmhouse Paper Hearts Modern Farmhouse Paper Hearts Modern Farmhouse Paper Hearts Modern Farmhouse Paper Hearts Modern Farmhouse Paper Hearts Modern Farmhouse Paper Hearts Modern Farmhouse

Venue: White Barn at Lucas Farm
Photographer: Sandie Narvaez Photography
Flowers: Floral Ingredients
Food and Desserts: Deep Creek Cakes and Bakes

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Burgundy + Gold Fall Wedding

Hello, friends!

A big wedding trend that I am seeing right now is the burgundy and gold fall wedding, and I can honestly say I am not sad about it one bit! Last year burgundy really seemed to take the spotlight and I’m glad that it is still a popular color for my 2017 and 2018 brides planning their fall weddings. The invitation suite I designed for this shoot is one of my favorites to date. The wax seals, hand torn paper, and velvet ribbon are soft, romantic and elegant and fit perfectly with the overall feel of the event.

About this shoot, from the photographer:

The goal of the shoot was to create magic with the details and capture genuine, authentic moments of the couple.

With this shoot, we wanted to achieve a transitional look that would work from late summer into autumn. We incorporated a moody gray and burgundy color palette with pops of red, amber and yellow. Lush bouquets, fresh fruits and a vibrant color pallet are a stunning combination for any time of the year.

For the venue, we chose Stonewall Resort; the photo shoot took place overlooking a Stonewall Lake and highlighted by a field of goldenrod bathed in gorgeous evening light.

A flowing garland of seeded eucalyptus draping over a copper arbor, candle sticks, lush center pieces, gold-rimmed stemware, elegant menu cards and cross back chairs completed the head table.

The hand torn invitation suite combines traditional elements such as elegant typography with lush florals and gorgeous pops of color. The suite is tied together with rich brown velvet ribbon and adorned vintage postage wax seals.

Center pieces and a bouquet of seeded eucalyptus, golden rod, solidago, red roses, blackberry scabiosa, orange roses, mini carnations and alstroemeria perfectly complemented the shoot’s color palette.

The couple chose a two-tiered naked cake, with layers of rich devil’s food cake and buttercream frosting draped with a decadent chocolate ganache. The cake is adorned with seasonal stone fruit & berries, which reflect the warm gold and red tones of the florals.

The altar area was completed by gold rings adorned with florals and four cross back chairs.

Photographer: Britani Edwards Photography / @britaniedwardsphotography
Rentals: W Rentals & Events / @wrentalsandevents
Video: Sparks Productions / @sparksproductions
Cake: Cakes by Samantha / @skoreski
Stationery: Paper Hearts Invitations / @paperheartsinvitations
Makeup: Brittany Ilene / @brittanyilene
Model: @juli.anneb


Burgundy Gold Wedding BurgundyandGold_1200 BurgundyandGold_1201 BurgundyandGold_1202 BurgundyandGold_1203 BurgundyandGold_1204 BurgundyandGold_1205 BurgundyandGold_1206 BurgundyandGold_1207 BurgundyandGold_1208 BurgundyandGold_1209 BurgundyandGold_1210 BurgundyandGold_1211 BurgundyandGold_1212 BurgundyandGold_1214 BurgundyandGold_1215 BurgundyandGold_1216 BurgundyandGold_1217 BurgundyandGold_1218 BurgundyandGold_1219 BurgundyandGold_1220 BurgundyandGold_1221 BurgundyandGold_1222 BurgundyandGold_1223


Like this post? Check out this Burgundy + Gold Winter Wedding or this Romantic Halloween Wedding

winter wedding wv







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How to Address Your Wedding Invitation Envelopes – Part 2

This post, How to Address your Wedding Invitation Envelopes – Part 2, is going to cover four different envelope printing methods for placing your guest’s address onto the envelope! Let me note that these four methods are not the ONLY way to address envelopes, but they are, in my opinion, the most common and most traditional ways.

In How to Address Your Wedding Invitation Envelopes – Part 1, I shared with you proper techniques to write your guest addresses, please reference that post before moving to Part 2.


Printed by Paper Hearts in our studio, digital address printing is an easy way to address envelopes and have the font and colors match your invitation. You submit an excel sheet (we provide the template) and we print the envelopes – as simple as that! A PDF proof is always provided so you can double check your addresses before they hit the press. We also print your return address on the front left corner or on the back flap of the envelope!

Paper Hearts Invitations Envelope Printing MorgantownPaper Hearts Envelope Printing

Paper Hearts Envelope Printing



Perfect for when you don’t have it in the budget to print white ink on dark colored envelopes, wrap around labels are a stylish way to address your envelopes without using those ugly white or clear “corporate” labels. Also printed right in our studio, Paper Hearts offers this type of labeling to our brides and is set up with an excel sheet similar to digital printing directly onto the envelope.

Paper Hearts Envelope Printing



Hand-lettered envelopes is a stylish way to address envelopes by combining traditional calligraphy and modern lettering. Hannah from Dainty Daisy Designs creates one-of-a-kind addresses and her modern, fun style is sure to complement your invitation and wow your guests! If you are interested in her envelope addressing services, you can check out her work and services on her Dainty Daisy Designs Website and Dainty Daisy Designs Instagram page!

Dainty Daisy Designs



A beautiful way to add a classic touch to your wedding invitation envelopes is with traditional calligraphy. Marisa Jackson is a calligrapher from Charleston, West Virginia. She owns MarisaMade Illustration and Design and offers traditional calligraphy services in several different styles to add that extra unique touch to your envelopes. You can learn more about her services and see her amazing work on her MarisaMade Website or the MarisaMade Instagram page!

Marisa Made Calligraphy



How to Address Your Wedding Invitation Envelopes – Part 1

Envelope Header

As a stationery designer, I am always here to answer questions and educate brides on invitation etiquette. I’m hoping that this post helps answer the biggest questions about how to properly address your wedding invitation envelopes so that when the time comes to get your guest list together, things will be easy-peasy! I’ll go over address and state abbreviations, writing out your guest’s names, and how to properly use inner envelopes if you choose to incorporate those into your wedding suite.

Wedding invitation address on envelopes by Paper Hearts InvitationsGuest address on envelopes



When it comes to getting your guest list together, formality is key. Wedding invitations are not just any old invitation, they are your wedding invitation, and probably the most expensive invitation you will ever mail. Even if it is a backyard wedding, you should still write out the address the properly: no abbreviations on the address should be printed on the envelopes. All words such as “Street,” or “Boulevard” are spelled out. State names may be written in full or use the two-letter postal code abbreviation.

Here’s a list of the most common abbreviations used in addresses and the correct way to spell them out.

Street Abbreviations


State names may be written in full or use the two-letter postal code abbreviation.

State Abbreviations



To address the envelopes using proper etiquette, you want to use your guest’s proper names on the envelopes. Example: “Bob” should be written out as “Robert”, and “Patty” should be written out at “Patricia”. Unless your guest’s never go by their formal names, you should try to use the formal name over any nick names or shortened names.




The etiquette guide below is from The Emily Post Institute

  • The outer envelope is addressed conventionally using titles, first, (middle), and last names. Middle initials aren’t used, so either write out the middle name or omit it.
  • Titles are abbreviated (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr.)

To roommates residing at the same address
An invitation to two people residing at the same address is addressed with both names connected by “and.” Use one or two lines, depending on length.

Example: Mr. Timothy Harris and Miss Stephanie Jones

To an unmarried couple living together

An invitation to an unmarried couple living together is addressed with both names connected by “and.” Use one or two lines, depending on length.

Example: Mr. Robert McCarthy and Miss Katherine Wilson

To a married couple
Invitations are always addressed to both members of a married couple, even though the bride may know only one or knows that only one will attend.

Example: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith
Mr. Robert and Mrs. Kimberly Smith

To a married woman doctor or two married doctors
If the woman uses her husband’s name socially, the address is “Dr. Barbara and Mr. James Werner.” If she uses her maiden name both professionally and socially, it is “Dr. Barbara Hanson and Mr. James Werner.” If the husband is also a doctor, the address is either “The Drs. Werner” or “Drs. Barbara and Robert Werner.”

How to add “and Guest”
Some believe that it is impersonal to address the outer envelope as “Mr. James Smith and Guest,” but I think that it is just fine to include the words “and Guest” on the envelope. I’ll explain below how to use the two envelope method to avoid placing “and Guest” on the outer envelope.

Example: Mr. James Smith and Guest

How to send an invitation to a family
Generally, an invitation to parents and children is addressed to the parents, but you may include “and Family” or list the child’s name under the parent’s names.


Mr. and Mrs. James Arthur Darling
and Family
Mr. and Mrs. James Arthur Darling
Sarah Darling
Adam Darling




Some believe that it is impersonal to address the outer envelope as “Mr. James Smith and Guest,” or to list “and Family” under the parents names, so the two envelope system works well. Also, if you are inviting only certain members of a household you can easily list the invited members names on the inner envelope to avoid confusion as to exactly who is invited. Two envelopes, of matching or different colors, are used. The inner envelope is an un-gummed or unsealed envelope that holds the invitation, and then is placed in the outer envelope so that when the flap is lifted, the name(s) of the guest(s) is visible. The outer envelope is the one that is sealed for mailing and has the mailing address on it.

Example Outer: Mr. James Smith
Example Inner: Mr. James Smith and Guest
Example Outer: Mr. and Mrs. Angela Holmes
Example Inner: Mr. and Mrs. Angela Holmes, Sarah Holmes, Ashley Holmes

It’s also fine to write familiar names for close family:

Example Outer: Mr. and Mrs. Angela Holmes
Example Inner: Uncle Bill and Aunt Angela



Thanks for reading, friend! I hope this article helps answer questions you may have about how to go about getting your guest list together. If you ever have any additional questions, please feel free to email me at

In part two I’ll go over different methods of actually getting your guest’s addresses onto the envelopes by explaining different printing and calligraphy methods. Subscribe to my mailing list so you don’t miss it!


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