For a wedding or formal event that is bespoke right down to the tiniest detail, custom-printed neckties are a great way to incorporate a focal point, logo, or color to tie (see what I did there?) everything together. Read on as expert event-designer Xochitl Gonzalez of AaB Creates explains how Spoonflower helped her create perfect custom neckties for the Brown University Capital Campaign.
Xochitl: One of the more interesting ways to make an event more personal and really infuse your “branding” is through attire. In weddings, a lot of attention is paid to what the bridesmaids are wearing, but the groomsmen’s attire is an often missed opportunity to weave the unique design of your event into what everyone is wearing.
In October, we were tasked with designing an event for Brown University that involved quite a bit of moving guests around, and we effectively needed to have “ushers” who were easily identifiable to guests as being an “official” part of the event. We decided that the best way to go about this was to create neckties and scarves for the volunteers to wear that visually coordinated with the rest of the event, which worked really well for this, but is also a fantastic way to infuse a personal touch to your groomsmen’s attire.
For us, we started with a Brand Book for the event, which gave us a great number of stylistic elements to choose from as well as a color palette. We worked with our graphic designer, Katie Fischer to create a continuous pattern design in three different colors that we decided we would use for both the neckties as well as the backdrops and signage for each of the areas that our “ushers” would guide guests to.
In some ways the pattern was the easiest part and for a wedding this could be adapted by taking the pattern from your envelope liner of your invitation or a save the date or a repeating pattern of a monogram or something else like that and work in your wedding colors.
Though I know how to sew, making neckties is a totally different kind of business so I went onto Etsy to find a few people who offered custom made neckties and found Daryl at Cozy Chipmunk to be the most agreeable and excited to work with custom fabric. He helped us to coordinate and figure out the yardage needed (This project requires 2/3 of a yard per tie). Though I had the actual fabric swatches with me, we emailed Spoonflower customer service to help us identify which fabric would be best suited to the project and ultimately went with the Cotton Lawn for the ties, which would be a little easier to work with. For structure and slight stiffness, a fusible interface was added to the ties during the sewing process to help with that “neat necktie” look we were going for.
We also ordered some in the Poly Crepe de Chine for the neck scarves (a fabric that would also be great for a simple pocket square if you liked this idea, but didn’t have the sewing skills or budget for the neckties). Our graphic designer uploaded her continuous pattern onto Spoonflower and it easily repeated as a fabric.
The ties (which matched the backdrop as shown above) were a big hit, not only with the students who were wearing them, but also with the guests and the client, because it provided a very subtle way to message our look and feel for the entire event and was a chic way to make our volunteers stand out.
Xochitl (So-cheel) is the Chief of Making Things Pretty at AaB. A Brown University alumna, Xochitl’s background is in Fine Art and Art History. She’s also an experienced stitcher, crafter and re-purposer of old finds from Brimfield. With over 15 years of experience designing and producing events, Xochitl was the Director of Events and Marketing for The Clio Awards before launching Always a Bridesmaid (now AaB Creates) in 2003. Xochitl has been featured on The Style Network, TLC, HuffPost Live and About.com and is frequently called on for speaking engagements. Xochitl is very active in the wedding blog-o-sphere, as editor of our own blog, Always a Blogsmaid and as a former contributor for The Huffington Post Weddings and the Current wedding expert for About.com. She sits on the President’s Leadership Council for Brown University and the board of Cool Culture, a non-profit dedicated to Arts Accessibility.