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Vendor Interview: Ceci Johnson

Visual stylist, invitation queen, and New York City’s arbiter of glam and couture style.

Your start?
Eight years ago I was living in San Diego and designing bridal registry kits for Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s when an engaged coworker asked me to design her invitations, so I gave it my all. Six months later I moved to Manhattan to design websites for Fortune 500 companies, but I missed the paper. So I started designing couture invitations for friends and the word spread. In 2004, I launched Ceci New York and, soon after, won the trendsetter award by Modern Bride magazine and never looked back.

Key components for great invitations?
It’s all about personalization, style, and confidence.

Tips for brides when designing an invitation: Create a personal theme.
Start by making a list of what excites you. Is it your venue, the city location, how you met, places you’ve traveled, or just an element you love about the two of you?

Timeline:
Etiquette is very important. You must order your wedding stationery nine to 12 months before your wedding date. Save the dates are mailed out six to eight months before your wedding and invitations are mailed six to eight weeks prior.

Any trends you like?
Hand-painted watercolor, mixed textures, and laser cut printing.

Favorite finds?
I am loving Leah C.’s couture millinery headpieces. Also, eyelash extensions are the coolest invention ever! I just tried them for the first time. They last for two to three weeks so they’re perfect to get right before your wedding day and they’ll stay on through your honeymoon.

Philosophy on formal versus creative invitations:
The beautiful thing about wedding invitations is that it’s completely okay to send an invitation that reflects your personal wedding style. If you are not the fancy formal type, you do not have to send an all-script engraved invitation. Send one that reflects your signature style but make sure it also reflects the type of wedding you’re having.

Role models:
Coco Chanel, Frida Khalo, and Diane von Furstenberg. All of them pushed the boundaries in their societies through their work and art. They are women of confidence, individuality, and unique style.

Best gift for a bride:
Spa treatments. Getting married can be such an exhausting and stressful time.

Bridesmaids gift ideas?
Give them a box of personalized stationery. Everyone loves to receive a gift with their monogram or name on it.

Craziest request you have ever gotten?
When I designed the wedding invitations for the Princess of Qatar she required that we personally escort her finished invitations on a plane and hand deliver them to her in Qatar. No request is too big for us.

Ann Wycoff

Love getting an insider’s peek into Ceci’s stylish world? Subscribe to her online magazine CeciStyle at cecistyle.com.

 

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