Married Life After the Perfect Wedding Day - Q&A with Former Oklahoma Bride Teale Janysek

Former Oklahoma bride and Rachel Kathryn Design's client Teale Janysek is settling into her new life as a wife after her big wedding day in December of 2016. I loved working with Teale last Fall to create her custom, handmade wedding invitation suite to match her elegant, southern winter wedding at Spain Ranch in Jenks, Oklahoma. 

Recently, I caught up with Teale to see how newlywed life has been so far and what advice she has for brides in the midst of planning their weddings. 

Teale's custom handmade wedding invitation suite. Photo by Amanda Watson Photography.

Teale's custom handmade wedding invitation suite. Photo by Amanda Watson Photography.

RKD: What was your favorite part about wedding planning?

Teale: I think I am a weirdo. I seriously loved every part of wedding planning. I wouldn’t want to do it again, but I loved planning every little detail! I think my favorite part was towards the end when I got to start to see everything coming together. Also, it was also a really special for my mom and I to spend some quality time together, which I wouldn’t change for the world.

What was your least favorite part?

Getting caught up in the details! So so silly! I was brought back to reality a lot by my friends telling me seriously no one is going to notice this expect for you (so true!).

Josh and Teale Janysek on their wedding day at Spain Ranch in Jenks, Oklahoma. Photo by Amanda Watson Photography. 

Josh and Teale Janysek on their wedding day at Spain Ranch in Jenks, Oklahoma. Photo by Amanda Watson Photography. 

What do you wish you would have done differently?

Not fought Josh on some many silly little things. He was so great through the planning process, and honestly, he wasn’t super opinionated about much at all. But, I was so sure that we should NOT have the band that he so desperately wanted and it was so important to him. I finally gave in and seriously the band was amazing and I couldn’t even imagine our wedding without them now! I probably would be sitting here typing, let Josh have the awesome band he wanted had I not given in! A live band is one of my top recommendations.

Did you do premarital counseling? If so, was it helpful? How so?

Yes we did do premarital counseling and we loved it, the program at our church pairs us with a couple who has been married 25+ years and we met with them every other week. The curriculum is set up with homework, but it wasn’t overwhelming and although Josh and I felt pretty in sync the process really helped us to talk about some core issues as well as gave us an opportunity to be mentored by a couple who has been through it all! It was an awesome experience and we really loved digging into some deeper issues knowing we had support.

What are you glad you splurged on? 

Oh gosh, what didn’t I splurge on yikes! I think top three for me personally was videography/ photography, flowers and of course my stationery! I spent probably more than half my budget on these three things and my dad and husband both thought I was insane for wanting to spend as much as I did especially on the videographer, but let me attest my dad was the FIRST to say once we got out video back, how can we make this 30 minutes longer. The day was such a blur in so many different wants and it is hard to soak in everything, but have tangible memories, video and still pictures of every moment has seriously been the most incredible gift no one can even imagine not having them now. I’m super glad I stuck to my guns on that one.

My pictures would not have been half of what they were without my amazing florals! Alison from Juniper was amazing to work with and I am so grateful for her, she took my vision and made it hers and it was flawless.

Rachel knows this best but I spent HOURS online looking for invitations and I seriously didn’t like anything. When I met with Rachel she had me completely sold on custom invitations and they turned out to be everything I could have dreamed of in more. I had such a vision for what I wanted them to be to tie into different parts of our day and she carried it out perfectly! She also says it perfectly I don’t care who you are people LOVE getting mail and having something this beautiful come addressed to you could make anyone feel special!

What advice do you have for brides and grooms planning a wedding? 

Don’t sweat the little things and on the day of let go of everything. Soak in every moment and don’t worry it is so so important to remember at the end of the day that the flowers will die and guests will return home but you will be MARRIED no matter what goes wrong you have your life partner and to lose sight of that is so silly! It is so easy to get bogged down in the details and stress stress stress, but it is pointless the thing people will remember most is how beautiful and happy you looked don’t lose sight of what really matters. I will NEVER forget the moment I stopped in the middle of the dance floor and told Josh, look around look at all the people that are here to love on us and celebrate this chapter, just look. It was incredible!

How is married life so far? 

Gosh, married life is amazing, Josh and I have been through so many changes in the first seven months. We moved to a new state, both started new jobs and bought our first home together! Josh brings me so much joy and even on tough days knowing I get to come home to him is the most incredible feeling. We have also grown so much closer and have become amazing teammates through all of these changes, which has been so neat. I can also say that there is something about buying a home that has drawn us so much closer, having something that is ours has just been so special and we feel so blessed. Having a partner in life is seriously just the coolest!

Former Oklahoma bride Teale and new husband Josh buy their first home as newlyweds.

Former Oklahoma bride Teale and new husband Josh buy their first home as newlyweds.

How is it different than what you expected so far?

I don’t know that I had any expectations, living with a boy definitely has it’s ups and downs but I wouldn’t change it for a thing, it’s all about learning to compromise!

What was your first married argument about? 

Hmmm, I can’t really remember but I’m sure it had something to do with the move. Moving is tough and it stretches you in different ways. I also had a really tough time leaving my job, and Josh couldn’t wait to get out of his so that was tough as well. Communication is so important and something I am definitely weaker at then Josh! We also communicate in different ways and are still learning how the other best receives information, so important!

What have your learned about yourself so far as a wife?

That I love being one! One of my friends, who I lived with in college, was over a couple of weeks ago and I was bustling around the kitchen getting dinner ready. She knew that the microwave was my best friend in college, and she looked at me and literally said, "Who are you? Is this what happens when you get married?" I died laughing, and I told her, "You know what, I guess so!"

I find myself doing things I never did for myself, because I know it will mean something to Josh. I love that it is so easy to put his needs before my own. I also have seen my relationship with Christ change as my focused has shifted from me to we. Josh and I are so blessed to have Christ centered marriage, and I think this is what has truly started to shape me as a wife.

What kind of wife do you hope to be in 5 years?

I hope to just continue to grow and serve Josh the way he needs to be served and I also hope to be a mom! I hope our home will be a place of fellowship for our friends and family. If God blesses us with our own family I hope that I can provide a loving home where they know they love of their parents and God.

What married advice do you have for brides and grooms about to make lifelong vows to each other?

Never ever lose sight of why you made your vows and what you said to one another and why you said it. Marriage isn’t easy its work, but this isn’t a boyfriend girlfriend relationship! You can’t just give up when it gets hard, you have to work harder. Never stop praying for your marriage or your spouse, God will sustain you! People also have told me a million times, never go to bed mad, well I’m not going to tell you that this is always going to happen, but what Josh and I have found is at some point you have to go to sleep, some times still mad, we have vowed to always pray together before we go to sleep even if we are still mad and even if we aren’t going to solve whatever it is until the morning, this has put are arguments into perspective and in the morning it is easier to move forward, and its also easier to fall asleep!         

What is next for you guys? 

I think I have been long winded! haha we have had so many changes we are just looking forward to enjoying our new home together and finally relaxing! We are planning to take a ski trip to celebrate our year anniversary! 

. . . 

Teale's Wedding Vendors:

Wedding Invitations: Rachel Kathryn Designs

Photography: Amanda Watson Photography

Florals: Juniper Designs

Venue: Spain Ranch

Decor/Rentals: Party Pro Rents

Bridal Gown and Accessories: J.J. Kelly Bridal Salon

Grooms Ring: BC Clark Jewelers

Make Up: Chelsey Ann Artistry

Videography: Pen Weddings

*Josh and Teale's wedding was also featured in the Brides of Oklahoma magazine and blog. Check it out to view more photos of their special day!

Handwritten and Digital Calligraphy: A Harmonious Relationship

Handwritten and Digital Calligraphy: A Harmonious Relationship

In a high tech world dominated by mass production, it’s a treat to get to enjoy handmade things – the kind which lets you feel the essence of the artisan who dedicated time, effort and skill just to produce something special. Modern calligraphy belongs to this category, and perhaps that’s one of the major reasons why it fascinates a lot of people today. Like how Epoch Times described it modern calligraphy “has become a novelty.”

Since its inception, modern calligraphy captivated society to the point of needing workshops to accommodate all who’ve become interested in the craft. As stated in a previous post here at Rachel Kathryn Designs, this type of decorative handwriting is all the rage right now, and there are other benefits you’d get aside from creating your own beautiful lettering pieces.

Photo by Robyn Icks Photography

Photo by Robyn Icks Photography



On the other end of the tunnel though, digital calligraphy follows the footsteps of its handwritten counterpart. There are still many people who enjoy writing with their hands, which is why tech titans like Microsoft added similar features to relevant apps such as Plumbago.

Sophisticated programs may emulate the look of decorative lettering, yet the vintage style of handwritten calligraphy has a unique look and feel. But just like how modern calligraphy has its nostalgic appeal, digital calligraphy has its own strengths, too.

Digital Calligraphy



Movies and TV shows have established their own identities through creative digital lettering, which have become a focal point of their productions and franchises over the years. Take for instance the classic Jurassic Park film. Springfield News Leader shared how the commissioned artist came up with the lettering design, which eventually became immortalized as the 'Jurassic Park font'. The typography is now synonymous with the franchise and its video games also reflect the popular style. Recent games following the release of Jurassic World made sure they carried the iconic typhography so that players could relate to the game. Digital platform Slingo released its own Jurassic Park game on the back of the Colin Trevorrow directed film, which carried the famous lettering. Gamers enjoyed the game’s aesthetics because it reminded them of the original Jurassic Park movie that was released back in the 90s. The digital calligraphy on the Jurassic Park logo is now one of the most recognizable in the film industry. 

That’s not to say, however, that handwritten and digital calligraphy can’t form a harmonious relationship. Digital Arts Online showed how handwritten calligraphy serves as a tutor so computers could learn, which is basically just like how a nursery student learns to write.

Moreover, type designers, dubbed by Gulf News as ‘calligraphers of the digital age’, rely on handwritten calligraphy to create digital lettering or fonts that can be used by people around the world. Writing systems with complex strokes like the Arabic alphabet are difficult to project on screen, which is where traditional sources come in.

An Iranian animator even took it a step further and celebrated Persian calligraphy through an animated story. The Creators Project relayed how Meghdad Asadi Lari turned traditional lettering into digital then into birds which are the characters of the short film.

The connection between handwritten and digital calligraphy shows that there are cases when traditional doesn’t have to be overshadowed by modern, or vice-versa. Seeing how the two forms of calligraphy co-exist, today’s society is fortunate to receive the best of both worlds.

Advice From an Oklahoma Newlywed and Former RKD Bride

Advice From an Oklahoma Newlywed and Former RKD Bride

As a wedding calligrapher and stationer, I have a big heart for keeping marriages strong and decreasing the number of divorces in our communities. The marriage vows we say to each other are the most important words you will ever say. Marriage can be the best journey and sometimes the hardest journey.

I have reached out to a former bridal client Ashton to share some of her newlywed and wedding planning advice :) 

Newlyweds and former Rachel Kathryn Designs clients Ashton and Brent

(RKD) How long have you been married? (Ashton) We have been married for a year and a half. 

How is married life going? Married life is great! It's been a busy first year but I wouldn't change a thing. 

What is the best thing about being married? Knowing your best friend is always going to be there for you and having someone to do the big life events with but also the small things, like waking up on a Saturday and going to the Farmer's Market together.

Is the first year of marriage what you expected? It's been so much more! To say we've been busy, would be an understatement. We moved from Texas back to Oklahoma, took new jobs, are wanting to buy our first home, traveled quite a bit, watched several friends tie the knot/have babies and made sure to soak up every moment of it together.

Describe some expectations you might have had that were true and some that were unrealistic.  I think the biggest unrealistic expectation people have for their marriage is that every day will be like the honeymoon, and that's just not true.

Life happens and it's easy to get in a daily routine that can feel like a rut, but it's important to remember to put your relationship first. I have found that it's 100% true to remember to communicate, and to communicate effectively. 

What have you learned about yourself in your first year? That i'm not as patient at times as I thought I was. I think being honest with yourself is a big part of growing together and bettering your relationship. It's not always easy, but it's worth it. 

What have you learned most about your relationship? That distance really does make you stronger. Brent moved to OK almost 4 months before I did. So, those months without him (and the dog) were hard but we made it a point to see each other almost every weekend and came out on the other side feeling even stronger about our relationship.

When you were planning your wedding, what is one thing you wish you would have done differently? I definitely waited last minute to design and print my own wedding programs...the last minute stress was not welcome and could have been avoided. I just let it slip my mind. 

What wedding planning advice do you have for other engaged couples? Stick to your budget! But also, don't let the pressures of friends and family get to you. If you want a long or short engagement, go for it. It's YOUR big day, it should be everything you've ever dreamed of.

Just don't stress about the little things, at the end of the day it's just important you're officially married and remember at the end of the day, nobody will remember what color your napkins were.

What advice do you have for other engaged couples to help them not lose sight of their relationship in the midst of the wedding planning? Keep the wedding planning light and fun. Make sure to involve one another throughout the planning process.

What would you like to tell soon-to-be brides about marriage? It's a fun ride! But be sure not to take yourself too seriously. Remember to compromise and make decisions together. I also think it's important to laugh often and to remember what brought you all together in the beginning. 

What do you look forward to most in the next 5 years of marriage? Buying our first house, traveling together and starting a family <3 

From OKC to London - A Travel Love Story

Vacation (noun) - Freedom or release from duty, business or activity.

Recently, my husband Isaac and I traveled to the UK for 17 days exploring Scotland first then moving down to England. To be immersed in such magnificent beauty together brings about feelings of peace, gratefulness and awe-inspiring happiness. 

We believe travel refreshes us individually and as a couple. We are challenged in new ways. We learn new things about each other. And it broadens our perspective of culture, life and love. 

During our trip, we laughed in moments that we usually wouldn't laugh about back home. I danced in an open field, just because it was so breathtaking. We giggled when a Scottish police officer gave us a parking ticket just because we loved the way he talked. I sang worship songs while hiking and breaking a sweat.

During the last part of our trip, we spent several days in London and hired a photographer to follow us around for a couple hours while we took in the breathtaking sights of Big Ben, Westminster and the House of Parliament for the first time.

I wanted such a sweet, joyful time in our marriage to be captured while in the midst of a historical, majestic and romantic place. 

All photos were taken by Jesse McGhie Photography. 

5 Reasons to Learn Modern Calligraphy // OKC Modern Calligrapher

Modern calligraphy is all the rage right now, and learning how to do it is even more popular. But why learn how to write pretty in this 21st century digital age?

1. You can break the rules

Unlike traditional calligraphy that follows a specific set of lettering rules and stays perfectly inside the lines, modern calligraphy allows you to "bounce" your letters outside of lines if you desire, develop your own style that can be similar to cursive and opens the door for more creative freedom. 

Modern calligraphy letters can bounce around on the page. They have a mind of their own. :)

2. It can be therapeutic and an anti-stressor

I have found that once you get over the hump of learning how to use the nib, understand how ink flows and get a groove down while learning letter forms, pointed-pen, dip calligraphy is quite therapeutic. 

Feeling the pen glide across the page while ink is slowly flowing out feels peacefully delicate. Because you simply cannot do calligraphy in a hurry or with an anxious mind, the practice of the art forces me to slow down and rid my mind of any stressors from the day. 

Even if pointed-pen calligraphy is just not your thing, brush calligraphy is just as fun and therapeutic. Brush calligraphy can be achieved using many types of markers, like Tombow markers, or by using a small paint brush. 

3. It keeps you smart

I keep hearing that hand lettering and cursive is not being taught as often in public schools anymore, and that is such a shame! However, researcher have found that when we write letters and words with our hands we learn better, are more successful, creativity is inspired and so much more according to thefederalist.com. 

Although this article focus on hand writing with pens and pencils, I truly believe hand lettering using calligraphy as adults can have the same type of benefits. 

Wrapped up in my own little world calligraphing. 

4.  You can make your friends and family feel loved

Writing birthday cards, addressing envelopes and making handmade, framable art are the best ways to make your friends and family feel loved. Who doesn't love something handmade with your time and skill poured into it? 

5. Teaches patience

In the beginning, calligraphy can be quite frustrating, because you are learning how to use a new tool that your hand is not used to holding. Even to an experienced calligrapher, there can be frustrating mishaps like ink splatters and just honest human error. 

To succeed and keep on learning, you must be patient with yourself and the art form. I've learned that I am naturally not a patient person. I want to be good now, and I want the projects done in my own timing. 

But calligraphy projects can often take longer than you expect simply, because you cannot rush a work of art. Be patient with yourself and you will reap great and beautiful rewards. :)

Flowy and peaceful modern calligraphy font

* Bonus reason: It's fun! 

Can't forget the best reason of all, modern calligraphy is so stinking' fun! I love it, and I love having a skill that will last a lifetime. I love writing with a tool that was used hundreds of years ago when writing letters. I love making beautiful art and sharing it with the world. :)

If you live in the south, join me for my next beginner calligraphy workshop in Oklahoma City. I love meeting other lettering enthusiasts. :)

 

Summer OKC Calligraphy Workshop Series Recap

This summer, I taught two beginner modern calligraphy workshops at West Elm in Oklahoma City.  So often calligraphy is seen as "pretty handwriting." I love the chance to set a high standard in my community for calligraphy as a skilled art that requires patience and a lot of practice. I love encouraging other women to learn a new hobby and appreciate the art as well. 

I want to thank Robyn Icks Photography for capturing beautiful photos of the events, and helping me set up and take down for each event. You are a rockstar. I also want to thank West Elm OKC for your hospitality, kindness and the space you allowed us to use as creatives. 

For the July workshop, Blair of Blair Sims Events helped plan the design, and "look and feel" of the evening. She did such a great job, and I loved Blair's help during the event. And Angie from Borrowed Charm was so kind to let us use some of her decor on this evening. 

Take a look through the photos of the events, and I'd love for you to join me for one of my Fall workshops starting in October! Purchase tickets on the workshop page. 

How Much Does it Cost to Mail My Wedding Invitations? // From an OKC Wedding Stationery Designer

The cost to mail a wedding invitation suite is often an afterthought. Depending on how heavy and bulky your suite is, mailing your wedding invitations can add up quickly. Doing a little research ahead of time for budget awareness and working with your stationer can help this part of your wedding budget not be such a shock. 

Calligraphy envelope addressing written in black ink. 

Calligraphy envelope addressing written in black ink. 

The cost to mail a wedding invitation depends on the weight of the entire suite. To determine how much postage you will need to purchase from the post office or your stationer, take one wedding invitation suite stuffed into the envelope to the post office and weigh it.

Typical invitation suites weight anywhere from 1-2 ounces. However, it can weigh more if you have ultra thicker paper, embellishments, wax seals, etc. 

For 2016 an invitation that weighs 1 ounce and is being mailed first class (what you should use), it will cost .47 in stamps. For an invite that weighs 2 ounces and mailed first class, it will cost .68 in stamps. 

For more pricing information for the various weights, visit weddingstamps.com/usps. 

If your invitation includes extra embellishments on the outside, like a wax seal, or is an odd shape, like a square, it will cost an additional .21 per invite suite. Wax seals are all the rage right now, and they are beautiful. If you have the budget for it, do it! Who wouldn't love opening a piece of mail like that? :) (Please keep in mind it can be time consuming to create and apply a real wax seal. If your stationer is doing it for you, you will pay an extra fee for her time.)

Surprisingly, calligraphy does not affect the cost of mailing your invitation. As long as the hand-lettering is legible, it will be mailed with no issues. 

If you want your stamps to match the design theme of your invitation suite, custom designed stamps are the way to go. Although it costs a little bit more than stamps already available at the post office, I personally love custom stamps - especially vintage-looking stamps if you can't already tell! ;)

Calligraphy envelope addressing written in gold metallic ink. 

Calligraphy envelope addressing written in gold metallic ink. 

Stamps are the final piece of the puzzle and the ultimate icing on the cake for your wedding invitations. When stamps are cohesive with the rest of the design and theme of the wedding suite, they don't stick out like a sore thumb. 

Well-designed, matching stamps say to your guests, "Special care and attention was given to this invitation just for you." :)

 

The Difference Between Minted and Custom Wedding Stationery

When working with brides on their custom wedding stationery, I start by always asking about their budget. Not surprisingly, I'm often met with "ums" and "I'm not even sure what to budget for wedding invitations." 

Usually, brides look through Minted to find designs that they like and get an idea of pricing for their invitation budget. Then, they decide Minted doesn't have exactly what they want. So, they call me - a custom invitation designer, one who can give them exactly what they want and more. 

Photo by Erin Goodrich Photography

Photo by Erin Goodrich Photography

Custom Provides Relationship and Endless Possibilities

Although Minted offers a very large selection of beautiful options and good paper stock - the fact is that you are still limited. And you are limited by no one to call, email, dream with, design with and develop a relationship with. You get a quick and easy ordering process, but if you are looking for a truly custom experience - that you don't get. 

But We Still Need Minted

I love how Minted teams up with graphic designers across the nation to provide trendy and gorgeous quality invitations for weddings and small events. Their business model is smart. We need a Minted for those with lower wedding budgets and want a no hassle, quick experience. We also need Minted for those who might need more affordable, beautiful stationery for their graduation party, holiday cards or birthday party. 

I'll admit, as an invitation designer myself, I love Minted. I love scrolling through the designs for inspiration and joy. Often I find myself wanting to purchase their stuff too, because they are cute and it's easy, no hassle. 

So, what is the price difference?

Pricing is a very gray area, but hopefully I can help give you a general idea. If your budget is under $1,000 for 150 invitations and RSVP cards, Minted or a custom designer can help you. However with this budget, your options are limited on amount of and types of revisions to the design, paper choice, envelopes, and "bells and whistles," like belly bands, invite backings, assembly and calligraphy addressing. 

With this budget, you can still get a very beautiful invitation. (I don't ever want to bash Minted or make anyone feel bad for having a lower budget to work with). 

With a higher budget for your wedding stationary, you can afford the luxury items and services, like calligraphy, letterpress, a sit down relationship with your designer to allow them to get to know you and your dream designs, unique, high-quality envelopes, assembly so you don't have to do any work, and much more. 

Photo by Robyn Icks Photography

Photo by Robyn Icks Photography

Every Bride is Different

In the end, there is no right or wrong choice. Honestly. Be smart with your wedding finances. Put the most cash to those items that matter the most to you. And do what you can afford. 

I always tell brides, never make the wedding planning more important than the marriage preparation. 

Everyone has a different budget and cares about different aspects of the wedding. Go with the option that makes you the happiest, and you feel will make your guests feel special when they are invited to the best day of your life. :)

My Goal For You

My goal for all my brides is to give them stationery and calligraphy that will make their guests feel loved and special. My goal is for us, together, to create statioeary and hand-lettering that you keep as an heirloom and reminder of the day you said "I do." 

 

 

 

 

 

Oklahoma Wedding Planning: When Should I Hire a Calligrapher?

You love the pretty, personalized look of calligraphy and you realized the task of perfectly writing out 250 addresses for a fancy event is very daunting and stressful. So, you decide you want to hire a calligrapher for your wedding invitations. At what point in the planning process do you involve a calligrapher? How long do they need to do this? Or are you wondering if you are too late or too last minute?

Although every calligrapher is different in his or her pace and timeline of projects, it is always best to involve a calligrapher early on in the wedding planning to secure time in their schedule.

I always suggest reaching out to a calligrapher and invitation designer at least 6 months before the wedding, if not more. 

As a calligrapher and invitation designer myself, I prefer to have ample time to put careful thought and attention to detail to my bride's invitations. I love meeting with the bride in the very beginning to begin to develop a relationship with her and understand her entire vision for the wedding day. I strive to match my design and calligraphy with the vision of the event. 

For me, turnaround times are determined based on when you need to mail your invitations and what projects are already on my calendar. But to give you a rough idea, I typically ask for a 2-4 weeks for 100 invitations or less, and 6-8 weeks for more. 

I'm always willing to work with your wedding planner or stationer to discuss timing. I also ask that you involve me in the process of choosing and ordering your envelopes. Some envelopes simply won't work with pointed nibs. Even if the invitations are not done being designs and printed, I can still get the envelopes in my hands to begin work. 

But of course if you're the last minute gal stressin' about your envelopes, please call me. :) I'd love to see what I can do to help. No need to stress, we want your guests to feel loved when they get your invite in the mailbox!

And I want you to have an heirloom, a piece from your wedding day, to remember this special time in your life. 

How Do You Know When You're Really in Love?

How Do You Know When You're Really in Love?

With it being "wedding season," your mind may be focused on planning a wedding, attending an upcoming wedding or maybe you hope to be married soon. My heart is not that your focus will be on the details and products of the wedding industry, but the reason for your love for the person you are with. Does it just feel good? Does that person make you happy? If you are getting married this year or hope to someday, I hope that you think deeply about those words, "I love you." What do they mean to you? And will your love for that person really last a lifetime or will it fade when life gets hard?  

Recently, I was chatting with a friend of mine  about how to know when you love someone. I was sharing with her when I first told my husband, Isaac, "I love you," and how I felt confident saying three words and choosing him as my main man. 

Thinking back, it seemed so obvious. I didn't hesitate when I said it. But when I really try to remember how I knew, it's hard to describe. It almost seems too simple. 

Once I got to know Isaac over the course of a year, I knew that I didn't want to even try to do the rest of my life with anyone else. I knew he wasn't perfect, and there were things we disagreed on. But there are a lot of things we do agree on, like our morals, our belief in Jesus Christ, a growing family and activities we enjoy together. 

We are also compatible, meaning we are both introverts and home-bodies. We love our alone time to reflect and gain back energy from a long day. And we love just lounging and being at home. We also love to watch movies, travel, play with our dogs and eat out. Overall, we just enjoy the same activities and being with each other. 

Isaac and I on a recent trip to Hawaii. 

Isaac and I on a recent trip to Hawaii. 

Of course, there are also activities we enjoy doing without each other as well, and that is okay. In fact, that is healthy. We are still our own persons, so we do not need to always be with one another to be happy. He loves video games and Oklahoma State football. I love watching sappy, romantic movies and working on my calligraphy. He loves his weekly "guys night" to do manly things that I can never do with him. And I love to have a deep conversation with a girl friend over wine to discuss womanly things, which he can never do with me either simply because he is not a girl. 

We don't complete each other. We go well together. We work well together. We enjoy each other, and can do life together. He's my main person over friends and family. We encourage each other and are there for each other no matter what. 

I knew I loved him when I knew I didn't want this life with anyone else. I didn't want the daily grind with any other man. I wanted the rest of my life - the good, the bad and the ugly - to be walked with this man. 

But he is a choice. Even when things get hard, and you know they will (you're fooling yourself if you think life with your spouse-to-be won't get that hard, because "your love conquers all"), you must continue to choose your person each day. 

Isaac is my perfect choice for our imperfect life here on earth. 

So, I love him. 

This is our life - at home, on our back patio chillin' with the dogs. :)

This is our life - at home, on our back patio chillin' with the dogs. :)

Now Selling Calligraphy Artwork

Now Selling Calligraphy Artwork

My online shop is now open! Now, you are able to purchase original, hand-written calligraphy art work straight from my website.

Pride and Prejudice calligraphy quote available in online shop.

Pride and Prejudice calligraphy quote available in online shop.

When you purchase your made-to-order custom art, each piece is hand-written from scratch and mailed to your door-step for you to feel the delicate and intricate calligraphy ink and frame in your home, bedroom, office or gift for a loved one. 

Of course, I still take requests for custom pieces, however, this online shop highlights my favorite, romantic and feel-good words written with beautiful, calligraphy ink that will make your soul smile. 

Home is Wherever I'm with You calligraphy quote available in online shop. 

Home is Wherever I'm with You calligraphy quote available in online shop. 

Pamper yourself with hand-written words that will brighten your day or motivate your soul. 

Never mass printed, this calligraphy art is made especially for you and with love.  

Calligraphy old hymn art available in online shop. 

Calligraphy old hymn art available in online shop. 

I hope you enjoy and feel loved :)

Rachel

In My Own Little Corner - Introducing My Design Space

Introducing My New Design Space in Oklahoma City

In my own little corner, in my own little chair / I can be whateverI want to be / On the wings of fancy I can fly anywhere / And the world will open its arms to me
~ Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella

Although I can design invitations or create calligraphy anywhere, creating at my kitchen table on a daily basis was becoming a difficult task. It was messy, all over the place and felt disorganized. Plus, I had to clean up so we could each dinner every night. So, I decided I needed a desk and chair in my own little corner to think, create, design and make pretty things. 

So, we made room for a small, well-lit area in the guest bedroom of our home for my design business. It's perfect and lovely. And it makes me feel happy. 

The vintage desk and chair were given to us by my in-laws. The desk used to belong to my husband's Grandma Mary and the chair is from England. Each show much love and use, yet so much character and inspiration. 

I wanted to share with you where I now spend my time writing beautiful words in calligraphy and creating pretty wedding invitations and designs. I hope you enjoy! 

My own little corner to think, ponder and create pretty calligraphy, invitations and designs.

My own little corner to think, ponder and create pretty calligraphy, invitations and designs.

Bohanan vintage chair from England. 

Bohanan vintage chair from England. 

Bohanan vintage chair from England. 

Bohanan vintage chair from England. 

My ever-growing collection of nibs. 

My ever-growing collection of nibs. 

Here sits my lamp for nightfall, collection of nibs and a framed photo I bought by Robyn Icks Photography. 

Here sits my lamp for nightfall, collection of nibs and a framed photo I bought by Robyn Icks Photography. 

Ah, a clean sheet of paper, fresh black ink and a nib to write whatever my heart desires. 

Ah, a clean sheet of paper, fresh black ink and a nib to write whatever my heart desires. 

Modern calligraphy written in my Danielle font style. 

Modern calligraphy written in my Danielle font style. 

My desk space to create pretty things. 

My desk space to create pretty things. 

Because who wouldn't want fresh roses on their desk for inspiration?

Because who wouldn't want fresh roses on their desk for inspiration?

Gorgeous fresh yellow roses for inspiration and happiness. 

Gorgeous fresh yellow roses for inspiration and happiness. 

My collection of vintage and useful books.

My collection of vintage and useful books.

Part of our wedding vows that I wrote in my Bethany calligraphy font style to remind me of the promises we made to each other. 

Part of our wedding vows that I wrote in my Bethany calligraphy font style to remind me of the promises we made to each other. 

All the scratches, bumps and bruises give my desk character and shows the love it has been given over many decades. These drawers on both sides of the desk give me wonderful storage too!

All the scratches, bumps and bruises give my desk character and shows the love it has been given over many decades. These drawers on both sides of the desk give me wonderful storage too!

Why You Should Hire Help When Wedding Planning

Why You Should Hire Help When Wedding Planning

Expert help should be arranged for well in advance to avoid last-minute confusion. Otherwise father may be irritated, mother jittery, the bride in tears, and the groom cross. - Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 1956
This quote from my grandmother's etiquette book makes me laugh every time I read it. But really, it is still so true today in 2015. 
Weddings, big or small, can be stressful. There are so many moving parts and emotions flying around. It's a big day - lives are changing, a last name is dropping off, two families are merging together, parents are giving away their young daughter and two love birds are vowing before God and family their commitment to one another. 
Your wedding day is a big deal, and this day deserves expert help in at least some areas of the planning process for a smooth and happy experience. 
Sometimes with so many close relatives involved and emotions flying around, it can be difficult to make decisions. It can be difficult to actually enjoy your engagement season and not feel stressed with so many decisions to make and things to do. And of course, you want it to be flawless and beautiful. 
Hiring wedding professionals to do the time-consuming work and research for you while also giving you an unbiased opinion on what will look best, will alleviate much of the stress and tension. Professionals from photographers to planners to invitation designers know exactly what will look best for your wedding, because they do this kind of thing for a living on a regular basis. 
They know what they are doing, and they are good at it. Trust them, lean on them and just enjoy your engaged time with your spouse and the day that you will one day tell your kids and grandkids about. 
Wedding invitation suite and calligraphy designed by Rachel Kathryn Designs. Photo by Erin Goodrich Photography. 

Wedding invitation suite and calligraphy designed by Rachel Kathryn Designs. Photo by Erin Goodrich Photography. 

Low on wedding cash?
Determine a couple aspects of the wedding planning that are most important to you or give you the most stress when you think about having to do them Set aside the budget to hire professionals for those couple areas.
Maybe the idea of you or your mother dealing with all the set up, decorating and coordination on the wedding day makes you cringe, and you don't want coordination to to get in the way of enjoying your day. So, set aside some extra money in the budget to hire a wedding planner or day-of coordinator. 
Maybe sending out beautiful, classic invitations that give your guests an exciting first glimpse into your special celebration is important to you. Leave the designing, paper selection, printing, assembly and envelope addressing up to a professional who has the time and experience to give you an amazing product and less stress. 
Professionals I Recommend
Of course for wedding invitations for calligraphy, I would love for you to come to me. However here in Oklahoma there are other amazing options as well like Paper N' More or Chirps and Cheers in Oklahoma City. 
For photography, Erin Goodrich Photography located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Magnolia Adams Photography in OKC are both amazing. Erin shot a lot of the beautiful photos on my website!
For wedding planners and floral design, I would definitely recommend Talia Morgan of Inspire Events and Design or Forever Cole Events both in OKC. Erin Goodrich Photography also offers day-of-coordination
If you are not in the Oklahoma area, there are so many wonderful professionals all over the country. Meet with them, get to know them, grab coffee with them, read reviews and go with your gut! :)
Comments? Advice?
For all the married couples out there who have already gone through the wedding planning, what is one part of your wedding you wish you would have hired expert help for and why? What do you wish you would have just spent an extra few hundred dollars on just to alleviate stress? Comment below! :)

Honor or Honour on Your Wedding Invitation?

Honour or Honor on Your Wedding Invitation?

For the longest time, I assumed using "request the honour of your presence" was just the fancier version of the word. Although it is, there is also actual reason behind why you might choose to use the spelling "honour" over "honor" on the request line of your invitation besides the fact that it just looks pretty. 

This formal modern winter wedding invitation uses "honour" on the request line. 

This formal modern winter wedding invitation uses "honour" on the request line. 

It is customary to use "honour" if you are saying "i do" in a church or religious house of worship. According to Crane and Co., the word "honour" is used to show respect and deference to God when your ceremony is held in a place of worship on sanctified ground. 

As one of faith, I love that one word, just by spelling it a smidge differently, can show enormous respect and submission to the God of the universe. However, I believe that God is everywhere, and even if the ground you stand on to say your vows before the Lord is in your parent's backyard or at a garden wedding venue, it is sanctified, because He is present. 

For other venue locations outside of a religious location, using the word "honor" is equally beautiful and acceptable. Also, using "request the pleasure of your company" is equally acceptable as well. Determining which one to use just comes down to your personal preference. 

For more casual weddings and invitations, you might choose to use the wording "invite you to celebrate the marriage of," which implies this will be a beautiful, but casual celebration. Maybe the wedding is a small and cozy event as opposed to a large and elaborate ceremony. 

Remember, etiquette is just a guide to follow. Sixty years ago, etiquette was like some sort of unspoken law among women. (and maybe it still is with some) Nowadays, is it completely acceptable to word your invitation and plan your wedding to what fits you and your partner's personality while using modern etiquette as a guide. Although etiquette is not an much law as it used to be, the main rule of thumb is to ensure whatever you do or say does not offend your guests. Just put yourself in their shoes. 

You can also check out the modern version of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette book to help you. 

Show who you are as a couple in every aspect of your wedding, and that will be timeless. :)

Stationary and Design Brands That Inspire

Stationary and Design Brands That Inspire

As a member of the Rising Tide Society, an organization that educates and empowers creatives to thrive in the spirit of community over competition, we are encouraged to highlight and collaborate with other creatives locally and nationally. I love this group of creatives and learn new things from them every day.

So in the spirit of highlighting other creatives, I wanted to share some of my favorite stationary and design brands that inspire me to do what I do here in Oklahoma. 

Rifle Paper Co. has taken off in the last few years with their vintage floral designs on iPhone cases, stationary, gift wrapping and more. I see their stuff everywhere, and I love it. I'm drawn to the muted vintage, yet simple colors, florals and typography. A lot of their inspiration for design comes from Europe and their travels around the world and the U.S. 

I also love the fact that just five years ago Rifle was started by co-founders and married couple Anna and Nathan Bond in their garage apartment. What a fun husband and wife team. They also share the same believe I have that life's sweet messages and encouragements are best shared through a hand-written letter or hand-picked card. 

I am one that saves all my birthday, anniversary and holiday cards to look back on them and feel loved. Do you? :)

The sweetest hand-written birthday message from my husband right before we went on a weekend getaway to Branson, Missouri. Reading this reminds me that I am loved (because he took me to Branson to see the Titanic museum!) and to soak up the simple things in life. 

The sweetest hand-written birthday message from my husband right before we went on a weekend getaway to Branson, Missouri. Reading this reminds me that I am loved (because he took me to Branson to see the Titanic museum!) and to soak up the simple things in life. 

I have also used Rifle's paper before as envelope inserts for my wedding invitations. They are amazing and make any invitation suite look beautiful with a pop of color. 

Modern Wedding Invitation Suite with Rifle Paper Co. Inserts and Backing

Photo by Erin Goodrich Photography

Another brand that inspires me is Crane and Co., which was started by Stephen Crane in 1770. That fact alone draws me to the brand, because I LOVE history. I love antique shopping, documentaries, old films and all the stories behind them. 

If you read about Crane's history on their website, you will learn super fun facts like Paul Revere engraved bank notes on Crane paper which helped finance the Revolution. The Queen of England announced the celebration of her 100th birthday on Crane paper. And, our paper money is made from Crane paper! 

Another thing I love about Crane (among the many things) is the fact that they are a library of knowledge when it comes to stationary and invitation etiquette. And they would know the proper way to say something when they have been around for so long. 

Not only are they a wealth of etiquette knowledge, they share their stationary etiquette tidbits and best practices on their website and even published a paperback book, which I own. 

Crane and Co.'s Modern Stationary Etiquette Book Photo by Rachel Kathryn Designs

Crane and Co.'s Modern Stationary Etiquette Book

Photo by Rachel Kathryn Designs

Regardless of the time and trends, Crane stays true to the classic and traditional ways . They truly believe that paper and stationary, when done right, is timeless and altogether lovely. And I do too. 

These are just two of the brands that inspire me to love paper, learn about the printing process and design stationary items that will make your loved ones feel adored for a lifetime. :)

Live Life

Keep Calm and Live Life

The other night I listened to KC Clifford at a house concert. Her folk-style music, lyrics and personal descriptions of the songs really spoke to me. While sharing honest stories about her life, struggles and joys, she shared some inspiring words that her grandmother said to one her.

"You have one life to live. Go live it, and the rest will work itself out."

Live Life

Throughout my life, I tend to be always looking forward to and planning the next big thing. When I was a young girl, I wanted so badly to be 13 - a teenager. Then, 16 so I could drive. Once I met my husband, it seemed like I was planning our wedding in no time. A couple years of marriage, and we are talking about babies. Life really is one big moment after another. It makes it difficult to smile at the moments that are happening now when we are always looking forward to things we don't have. 

But what if we just stopped for a minute and reveled in the now a little bit more? 

I don't want to look back on life one day sad that I didn't enjoy the sweet moments that were actually happening. The next big things in my life will happen eventually, and it will all work itself out. But I need to live the life I have right now and enjoy it to its fullest. 

So right now, I have a husband who is so kind, thoughtful and loving. We have two dogs who make us laugh and give us so many snuggles. We have a quaint home that gives us a roof over our heads and a warm place to sleep in a safe neighborhood. And I have developed a fun and challenging design business that gives me a chance to meet such beautiful, kind and talented individuals. 

What should you be cherishing right now in your life?

Cinderella Inspired Wedding Invite Set

Cinderella Inspired Wedding Invite Set

After I saw the new movie Cinderella in theaters this year, I was immediately inspired to design a super girly and enchanting wedding invitation set. The big sparkly blue ball gown, the shoes (those shoes!) and the overall magical feel of the movie put me in the romantic spirit. This invite is a modern take on a wedding invitation fit for a royal bride. 

Modern Cinderella Wedding Invitation

The cream and light pink envelopes and inserts are slightly shimmery to give a magical, fairy tale feel to the paper. 

Modern Cinderella Wedding Invitation

The reply card is given the same amount of detail as the rest of the suite. Perfect for all your royal guests. 

egp-84.jpg

The black, romantic calligraphy is written with a modern hint. 

Cinderella RSVP

If you love this blog post and the photos, please share with your friends!

Photos by Erin Goodrich Photography. 

RSVP or Regrets Only?

RSVP or Regrets Only?

Which one is best to put on your invitation? More and more and I am seeing "regrets only" used on shower invitations for smaller events. Why is that?

Most of the time you will have more guests who are able to attend as opposed those handful who cannot. As a host, it is easier to wait for a handful of "can't make it" phone calls rather than hoping that 20-30 guests will let you know they are coming (when mostly likely they are).

As a guest myself, I always appreciate a shower invitation that allows "regrets only." I am much more likely to remember and make it a priority to let the host know I am not able to make it. When I am planning on attending an event, I usually mark my calendar, set the invite aside and move on with my day. 

For larger events like weddings, I always recommend the request for an RSVP. As the one planning the event, you will need to know a more concrete guest count for food, planning, etc. And guests typically make it a priority to pay more attention to an RSVP for a large event.

So, is it better to use "regrets only"? There is really no wrong answer. It is all preference!

As a host, you know your guests better than anyone. Decide which direction you feel comfortable with in order to make your event a success! 

Patience in Letters

Patience in Letters

When I took a calligraphy class with Frameworthy Designs in Norman, Oklahoma, Tara Forth, owner and designer, began the class talking about the importance of patience when you are learning calligraphy. What she said has really stuck with me through my journey of learning and practicing my hand lettering. 

I have not by any means mastered calligraphy, but I do feel that it is an art that has come naturally to me. I love the feeling of stroking the ink-filled nib up and down on smooth creamy white paper. I love making flourishes on my letters, and I love the end result. It's beautiful, and it's my own. 

Tara reminded us in the class that our handwriting is unique to us. We should embrace our own hand lettering, and not try to make it look exactly like someone else's handwriting. 

Although I strive to make my calligraphy look streamline and overall flawless, it wouldn't look like true handwriting without little bits of imperfections throughout. It wouldn't be unique to me without tiny pieces of imperfections that no one else's handwriting would have. 

So when I have been practicing for hours  trying to make it perfect and getting frustrated over a flaw, a little voice inside me whispers the word patience.

Be patience with yourself, I hear. There are beautiful and wonderful things for those with patience.

There is strength in patience. 

Learning calligraphy is teaching me and reminding me of the importance of patience. I know It will shape me into a stronger woman - exactly the kind of woman I want to be.