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!

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. :)

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. 


 

Chad and Kimberly are Married!

Chad and Kimberly are Married!

I'm so happy for this couple. From the moment Kimberly and I started discussing her wedding on the phone, she reiterated to me how she and Chad wanted to keep their wedding simple and focused on Jesus. Even before they said "I do," Kimberly and Chad knew the importance of keeping God at the center of their marriage. 

Most of Kimberly and I's correspondence was over the phone since she works a busy job during the week in Stillwater, OK. She did a great job of communicating her vision for her invitations and programs. When designing the stationary, I wanted to coordinate the "look" of  both the invitation and the program. I made sure that both elements complimented each other well, but were still unique elements. 

Kimberly described her wedding day as simple, rustic and small decorated with burlap, hints of sage green and white flowers throughout. The ceremony would be held in a quaint, old church in Stillwater on a hot summer afternoon. We both agreed the kraft brown paper paired with white linen paper and accents conveyed the wedding day she envisioned quite well. A crisp bright white kept the look simple and clean, while the brown kraft brought in the rustic element. 

I love how Chad and Kimberly's wedding stationary turned out. I look at this stationary, and I can't help but think about how sweet and selfless they are as a couple. 

Chad and Kimberly,

Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your special day! I had so much fun designing and creating your wedding stationary as a set. I hope you keep this invitation and program as a reminder of your beautiful day celebrating your love. 

I pray that you continually keep the Lord at the center of your marriage. When marriage seems hard, know that He is right there with you. Turn to Him for help. Include him in all areas of your love for He is your biggest fan. When life seems hard, "be Jesus" to each other for He will bless you for loving each other like He loves you. 

Rachel

 

Most Important Thing You Need to Know During Wedding Season

The Most Important Thing During Wedding Season

While practicing my calligraphy the other day, I wrote this quote and framed it in our master bathroom as a reminder of how we can keep our marriage great. 

As we are right smack in the middle of wedding season, months that are full of fluffy white tulle, bouquets of flowers, sparkling objects, invitations and all the beautiful details that make up one romantic day for a wedding, my mind is on the things that matter the most in a marriage. 

Isaac and I are celebrating three years of marriage this month. It seems like yesterday that I was picking out my invitations, floral arrangements and planning my wedding day. These details are all so much fun. In fact, I love the planning so much that I decided to get into the wedding business myself with this invitation business. 

But whether you are a bride planning your wedding or a newlywed, I want you to know one thing that is more important than choosing the right color of bridesmaid dresses, flowers or even your invitations (which I would love to design!). Marriage, a real marriage that will last, is not build on how romantic your wedding day is or how well written your vows are, but it is build on learning to forgive each other, keep no record of wrongs and choosing to loving each other through the every up and down of life. 

Even if you just got engaged, it may not feel like it now, but marriage will be hard sometimes. Once you get back from your honeymoon (maybe even on your honeymoon!), you will need to forgive and learn to be patient with each other. Real love and a real marriage that will last is based on patience, kindness, forgiveness and self-control. 

Have fun when planning your wedding and the festivities the day of, because it is an unforgettable experience, but don't lose sight of the details of a marriage that are the most important and will make your love story last a lifetime. ;)

Ashton and Brent are Getting Married!

Ashton and Brent are Getting Married!

A couple months ago, these beautiful watercolor invitations that were printed on cream linen paper were sent out to 200 guests for the wedding of Ashton Thomas and Brent Sheik. And the day is finally here. Today, on this beautiful, warm summer day, Ashton and Brent will say I do in Stillwater, Oklahoma and become man and wife. Their guests will finally get to see the wedding day that they only had a glimpse of on the invitation. 

Back in February, when the air was bitterly cold and snow was still on the ground, I first met with Ashton and Brent at Panera Bread to discuss their wedding invitations. So graciously, they paid for my drink and then Brent took a drive around town with their French Bulldog so that Ashton and I could chat about the girly details of weddings that make women giggle. 

As I listened to Ashton gush over her vision and the details for the special day, my mind was spinning with my own vision for their invitations. 

My head was spinning with images of soft floral designs for their invitation suite. 

Over the next several months, we began to see the pieces put together, and when the final set arrived I couldn't wait to see the smile on Ashton's face when she could see and feel the first detail of her wedding day. 

I had mixed emotions when I handed the invitations over to Ashton and Brent. I was just a little bit sad to see them all go, because they were so beautiful. I could just stare at them all day. But most importantly, I was so so happy to hand them over to their owners so that they could be dispersed out to all their loved ones. 

I was so happy to hand over these beautiful invitations to the bride and groom. I couldn't wait for them to mail them off to their loved ones! 

Ashton and Brent, I am so happy for you guys. Enjoy your day from the moment you wake up to the second you close your eyes to sleep. It will go by in a flash and soon be only a memory. But it will become one of the most important memories you will ever make. Always look back on this memory during the hard times, and there will be hard times, and remember the sweet vows you made to one another to love, honor and respect each other to the end of time. 

Even the reply card was designed with care matching the invitation. 

Ashton and Brent opted to have a wedding detail card to inform their guests of their wedding website and the hotels that were saving special rooms for them the weekend of the celebration. 

My First Year of Owning a Business

I received a phone call today from Google Plus. 

"Do you own a business?" the representative said on the other end of the phone. 

"Uh, yes? I think you have the wrong number?" I stammered back. 

She did not have the wrong number. Since I launched this web site a month ago, she was calling to confirm my business contact information for Google. I told her that I'm not used to officially admitting that I am a small business owner. 

I still have a ways to go and so many "to do" lists to grow Rachel Kathryn Designs. But when I look back over the last year and everything I have accomplished, I feel very proud. 

Although my love of paper started when I was a child, I began learning how to design just over a year ago. Once I started learning, i became a little obsessed. I spent all my free time learning how to change colors, place pretty florals in just the right place on an invitation and learning all different kinds of beautiful fonts. The beauty of design is the learning never stops. After a few months of learning, I began designing invitations pretty quickly and quickly had my first handful of clients. 

Next I went on to learn all about paper (my favorite part!). I love, love, love all the sizes, weights and textures of paper options that are available for your invitations. I want to touch them, smell them and own them all. Kinda silly, I know. Like I said my obsession with paper started long ago. (I used to collect boxes and boxes of Post-It notes, blank journals and Hello Kitts note pads. 

And just a few months ago, I dove into learning all about the art of calligraphy. Calligraphy takes practice, practice and more practice. I love making beautiful words and phrases. 

I desire to create beautiful sets of invitations for your special events in your life. By meticulously choosing the right paper, fonts, colors and even the envelope the final invitation communicates your wish for your guests to  join you in celebrating a very noteworthy event. 

I feel so overjoyed when I hand off off those final invitations perfectly packaged together to my clients. The paper is so perfect and so smooth. I'm almost sad to see them dispersed in the mail for fear the mailman will indeed "mess them up." But I feel complete when I see the smile on my client's face and a sigh of relief that I took great care of something so special to them. 

So, yes I am a small business owner. It may be small, and I may still (and always will be) learning the art of invitation making. But, I deliver a beautiful product from start to finish with great detail and care. 

Rachel

 

 

 

Welcome to my new site!

I am so excited to launch Rachel Kathryn Designs website! Thank you so much for visiting and taking a peek around. I'd love to chat with you and say hello. If you live in the Oklahoma City area, let's meet for coffee! If you live outside the state, let's skype or have a phone chat! Getting to know you and your style is the best way for me to provide you with the best invitation for your event!

I will be posting tips, tricks and advice about all things invitations. As well as my own personal journey with design and paper. Check back often!

:)

Rachel