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." 

 

 

 

 

 

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. :)

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!