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 

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.&nbsp;

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.&nbsp;

Calligraphy old hymn art available in online shop. 

I hope you enjoy and feel loved :)

Rachel

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.&nbsp;

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.&nbsp;

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. :)

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. 


 

Designs Made for Your Personal Event

Designs Made for Your Personal Events

So many of my designs can be swapped out and used for many types of events. Many wedding invitation designs would also be super cute as a bridal shower invitation or maybe even a birthday invite! It's all up to you! That's the best part: You choose the design that best fits your personal event. 

Please remember if you see something you love, let me know and we can customize it just for your event. Whether it's for your daughter's 5th birthday party or you are hosting an engagement party, designs can fit many different types of celebrations. 

Or, if you don't see what you are looking for, I can create something brand new and special just for you. Invitation design is an endless world of possibilities!

 

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. 

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