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Oh, Hoppy Day!

I was excited when a young couple came to me with a special request – Turns out the groom was a professional brewer in Northern California, and he wanted to include hops on their wedding invitation! This made me smile, since my husband is a passionate homebrewer who grows hops in the backyard.

The couple ultimately chose to include a silhouette of hop vines in purple. Below are updated variations in the more traditional green.

I thought today would be a good day to post these hoppy invites as the final weekend of SF Beer Week has arrived! You still have time to check out events on their Calendar.


Hops Wedding Invitation

Hops Wedding Invitation

Our First Giveaway!

I’m super excited about Sweet Penelope’s first Giveaway! The First Prize is $500 to spend on stationery in the shop – You could get invites, save the dates, programs…you name it! Win it for yourself, or for a friend who’s getting married!

The Second Prize is a $100 gift certificate to Anthropologie, and the Third Prize is a $50 gift card to the restaurant of your choice.

How to enter? Just like our Facebook Page and fill out the Entry Form here If you share the link on your Wall, you’ll also get a bonus entry for every person who enters from your post. The contest ends February 28 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Good luck!

Gloria and Kevin | Sayulita, Mexico

Here are some stunning photos from Gloria and Kevin’s wedding at Villa Amor in Sayulita. I love the lively bright colors, lush greenery, and relaxed vibe – makes you want to throw back a a few mojitos (or down some tequila, your choice!)

What JuneBug Loves originally posted these gorgeous images (and others) by Jillian Mitchell, along with a great interview. For more fabulous photos from the wedding, check out Jillian’s post as well.

It always makes me smile to see pics of the big day. I feel as though I were there, cheering along…All my best, Gloria and Kevin – Here’s to you!









Sketchbook: Love’n Honey

A young woman is suddenly stung by a bee. She’s severely allergic – oh no! An EMT comes along, saves her life, and the rest is history!

A sweet bride in Georgia called me up one day and told me this incredible story of how she and her fiancé had met. In honor of their encounter, they asked to include a beehive on their wedding invitation. After seeing some preliminary work, they opted for the bees on the invite, and the hive on the rsvp. I hate bees, mainly because my husband is also allergic, but I love this design. It’s so simple, fun, and sweet.

Artwork by Elise Ho

Liz and Mike | Vero Beach, Florida

I love how Liz and Mike let the details shine – the layers in a dress, the facets of a vase, the petals of a cream bouquet. The Minh design for the invitations, menus, and programs fit their clean, modern sensibility. Inspired by the chapel’s mint architecture, Liz used this color on the stationery, which complemented their fresh turquoise and white theme.

Vitalic Photo did a wonderful job capturing the day! Thanks to Nicki and Chrissy over there for sharing these great shots. You can see more photos on their blog and at Inspired by This.

Congrats again to Liz and Mike! I wish you all the best!









Sketchbook: The Manzanita Invitation

I’m embarrassed that I had no clue what a manzanita branch was until a client asked for a drawing of one a while back. Apparently, manzanitas are small evergreens with smooth twisting branches that can be found on the west coast of North America. The beautiful dried branches are very popular as home and event decor.

Here are a couple 14″ x 17″ preliminary sketches from the project. Funny, I like to draw on large sheets of paper, even if the final illustration will only be an inch or two tall!

Manzanita Branch by Elise Ho

I scanned my work and then created a composite branch in Adobe Illustrator. Here’s how it finally looks in the design.

Manzanite Wedding Invitation by Sweet Penelope

In case you’re now curious about getting a manzanita branch for the house, sells 18″-24″ sandblasted manzanita branches for $24.50/ea.


Hand-Drawn Illustrations

I love to see the texture of pencil on paper, and in our world of computer-generated curves, it’s always refreshing to see artists’ strokes for a change. I like the sweet simplicity of Birdsong and the sketchy swells in the Rose invite.

My cousin and her now-husband were going for something “kinda simple, cute and nature-y, not fancy or frilly” when I drew their little birds. In this version, I like the hand-written look of the Strangelove font.

songbird wedding invitation by sweet penelope

I originally made this other illustration for another awesome couple, my sister-in-law and her husband. They, too, were aiming for something less fussy, and they wanted to include his favorite flower, the rose. There’s a mysterious appeal to the gently curving vine and chubby bloom. (I love to say “chubby bloom”!)

rose wedding invitation

Less is More – Getting it All onto One Card

A couple recently wanted to fit lots of information onto one card, as they would be inviting guests to an east coast wedding in the spring and a west coast party in February. How would I cram two invitations plus hotel details, on just one piece of 5×7 paper, all while keeping the classic style they requested? Let’s see…

Classic Wedding Invitation by Sweet Penelope

The bride-to-be wrote yesterday, “Elise, the invitations have been a big hit!…One friend said they had all the information they needed to know in a very stylish and efficient way.” Yay!

So, if you prefer a single card for your lengthy invite, and want to do away with rsvp cards and inserts, keep in mind that it can be done beautifully (without looking like a crib sheet!). I did, in fact, make matching RSVP postcards, but you could easily mention an RSVP website, as pictured above.

This design isn’t currently available in the shop, but you can give a ring at 415.513.5735 or email if you have any questions.

Some New Favorites

I’m excited by Sweet Penelope‘s site redesign and new invitations, many of which evolved from custom commissions. Here are a few of the new styles.

Here’s a look at the Pacifica invitation, which comes from a design for a couple that was married on the California Coast. The vintage engraving matched their location as well as their outdoorsy sensibility, and the negative space creates a lovely peaceful feeling. I feel as though I’m hiking by the water!

Pacifica Wedding Invitation by Sweet Penelope

Gaudeo is Latin for rejoice. The invite, with its flowing script and pretty vintage border, looks rather formal here, but if you change up the typeface, it could easily morph into something more casual. I’ll show you what I mean in another post down the road.

Gaudeo Invitation by Sweet Penelope

The Zia invitation features a graceful crane next to an ornamental tree. I love the warm, earthy colors and quiet layout.

Zia Wedding Invitation by Sweet Penelope

Destination Save the Date

The new Destination Save the Date is super fun with a clean retro vibe, and I can move the star anywhere on the map for you! I can also change up the plane’s flight pattern or choose other fonts, colors, and dimensions.

Destination Save the Date by Sweet Penelope

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