Time on the Beach – Time for Celebration

I just got back from a wonderful vacation in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  I mean, it was what the doctor ordered.  My husband and I were celebrating 10 years of marriage (actual anniversary is April 19) and we went back to Jamaica where we spent our honeymoon.

Enter in sunshine, cold drinks and relaxation.

This vacation did a lot for me.  For one, it was a personal accomplishment.

I paid for it.

My business, the one I work so hard on day after day, paid for the entire trip for my husband and I.  And that’s a big thing for me.  Any business owner knows that taking the jump from a promised paycheck vs. being your own boss is scary.  And knowing that the failure rate of all U.S. companies after five years was over 50 percent, and over 70 percent after 10 years, is even more of a reason for me to celebrate.

I’m not one to toot my own horn often, but I am very proud of this.

I’d love to hear from other entrepreneurs and the moment they felt they hit a big goal.  Send me a message and let’s celebrate together!

Mint and Modern Rustic: Nick & Anna’s wedding at Noah’s Event Venue

Modern rustic.  Two crazy words together. But being in the wedding industry, I can have a couple say something like that and I know exactly where they’re headed.  Mainly, rustic but no burlap.  Bring in some classic elements and don’t be afraid to make it stylish, but fun.

Enter in Nick and Anna who came to me with that style with a fun mint green wedding color to play with. And what I loved about their wedding invitations, is that we weren’t afraid to use the mint at all.  Mint colored envelopes had to catch the eyes of their guests when they opened the mailboxes.  These were fun, classic and original for their wedding day.

The thing that I loved most about this couple was their wedding day items.  Of course, I always point out ceremony programs as something to have wedding day.  But for them, the list continued on and on and on.  I was blown away but super excited at the same time. 

I’m trying to think if I can even list these things off the top of my head.  Here it goes:

Ceremony programs
Table Numbers (with their baby photos!)
Custom Signs
Seating Charts
Engraved wood frames (for parent gifts)
Gift Bag Tags (the only one I did have to look up to remember)

These pieces made their wedding day even more personalized for the couple. And that’s the element of surprise that I love.

Noah’s Event Venue in Omaha was the perfect location for these two and the amazing Brett Brooner did an amazing job (as usual) capturing their wedding day.

Congrats, Anna & Nick.  Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!

Golden dream wedding comes to life at Champions Run, Omaha

I seem to find a couple each year that will put their fingerprint into my business.  When I look back at 2017 weddings, Leslie and James’ wedding at Champions Run in Omaha will be that wedding. 

They have a style that is impeccable.  Classic.  Elegant.  Timeless.  I loved diving into what Leslie & James had in mind for their big day because they threw me so many things that I could only dream of designing. 

Custom cigar wraps?  Sure.

For reals.

She came to me with a logo that was designed by Schuler Studios.  I’ve seen their work and recognized it right away.  I love the monogram that they created for Leslie and James and she did too, because I’m pretty sure she had it printed, embroidered and laser cut into everything.  That’s where the classic elements started.

Their Save the Dates were oversized die-cut and gold foiled cards.  I knew the invites had to be spectacular if the Save the Dates started there!

And they were.  Leslie loved the idea of an oversized, tri-fold pocket invitation.  We incorporated gold foiling throughout the invitation and then my favorite part of the entire invitation: thin gold ribbon wrapped around the pocket and sealed with a gold wax seal.   Perfection.  One would have thought I would have gotten tired of doing 400+ wax seals.  But I didn’t (keep reading).

Add custom envelope liners and calligraphy by the talented Miranda Writes.  I mean, c’mon.  People should have a gotten an invitation to receive this invitation.  It was the main event!

Wedding day items were just as amazing.  Wax Seals?  Bring ’em on because their ceremony program was a tri-fold program sealed with that same gold wax.  500+ more wax seals (maybe by that time I was done doing wax seals….but I’d do it again in a heartbeat!).  We also created gold vinyl monogram signs, white ink acrylic signs plus all the details for their rehearsal dinner.  And yes, custom printed cigar wraps (with their amazing monogram of course!)

Their wedding: amazing. I still get chills watching their wedding video. And the thing is: this couple is so down-to-earth.  That’s what I think I enjoyed most working with them.  They are good people.  And when you find a couple like that, my job isn’t a job at all.  I’m just a part of the amazing day they created to kick off their lives together.

Congrats, Leslie & James.  I enjoyed every moment working together and wish you an amazing lifetime together!

Thanks to Iwen Exposures for the amazing photography of their wedding day!


Five Reasons to Choose Custom Designed Wedding Invitations

Omaha has a great wedding vendor community and I love working and meeting so many vendors in the city (and state!).  I met Ashley Nicole Photography a few years ago at a Tuesdays Together meeting.  I checked out her work and immediately knew I found the perfect photographer to capture images of my invitations.

My website is adorned with her work.  She has a gift of not only photography, but styling, which I can attest is way harder than it looks.

So when she asked to write a guest blog on her website, I was all in.  So check out Five Reasons to Choose Custom Designed Wedding Invitations and drool with me over the amazing photos of some of my favorite invites from 2017.



Kira & Kyle – Rocky Mountain Bride Feature

When I see my invites in print or on a national blog, I get kinda gitty.  I got an email before Christmas that Kira and Kyle’s 2016 Montana destination wedding would be featured in Rocky Mountain Bride magazine.  Merry Christmas to me! 

I still constantly show off their invites to new couples.  This was one of the original invitations I designed with a water color floral look.  She was right on trend and I loved that I could create this beautiful design for her. 

Check out the feature here.  And thanks to RMB for featuring this beautiful wedding and beautiful couple!

I’m Engaged! Now what?

I say this a lot.  One of the favorite parts of my job is meeting with couples and talking about their wedding day.  I want to hear about everything from the dress to the flowers to what the guys are wearing.  By the time I meet with couples, most of the big stuff is planned.  Invitations make their way to the middle of the planning list, which is actually perfect. 

But I have met with couples who don’t even know where to start.  I mean, how many newly engaged couples have planned a wedding before?  And I’m sure that moms/sisters/friends/cousins/random people on the street are giving you their opinion on what you should and should not do.

engaged Omaha, Nebraska wedding planning invitations

If you’re just getting started, here are a few tips from me on where to begin.

  1. Take a deep breath! – Unless you have to get married tomorrow, there is no rush in planning your wedding.  Take time to be engaged!  Talk about your wedding dreams and what you both want for your wedding day.  And then start reaching out to vendors based on your dreams.
  2. Who’s paying for this anyways? – Ah…the big budget question.  How much money do you want to spend on your wedding?  That’s something only you know the answer to.  Do you have parents contributing to the wedding fund?  Are all parents or just a few?  How much money do you want to spend?  Start penciling down some numbers BUT keep an open mind.  Again, you’ve never done this before so start researching how much things cost.  If you’re dreaming of a floral filled wedding day but have $100 in your budget for flowers…you may be disappointed.
  3. Location, location, location. – The start of your wedding plans should be planning where you want to get married.  Do you have a specific venue you want to get married in?  Or maybe it’s even location…destination weddings are so popular!  Narrow down where you want to get married.  Sometimes, that’s more important than WHEN you want to get married.  Venues book up, so if you do have a favorite location, find out what days the have available and go from there.
  4. Inquire with Vendors – The only way to know what you like and what you can afford for your wedding day is by reaching out to vendors.  Most vendors will be more than happy to meet with you (usually free consultations) to give you an idea of what things cost based on what you want.  I have pricing on my website so I’m upfront about your investment into invitations.  Where do you find wedding vendors?  Some of my favorite websites are as well as Nebraska Wedding Day and All About Weddings Omaha, for local Omaha and Nebraska vendors.
  5.  Pick your non-negotiables. – What have you been dreaming about for your perfect wedding?  Is it that cathedral long veil?  Is it that Kim and Kayne-esc floral wall?  Or maybe sending out invitations that will wow your guests.  Figure out your top categories and reach out to those vendors first.  The rest of the details will fill in.

Wedding planning can be overwhelming, but if you slow down and decide what you actually want for the big day, start there. 

New Name – Same Me

I’m so excited to announce the launch of my new brand, Dana Osborne Design.  This has been something that has been in my head for awhile but so afraid to push the button.  I mean, it’s been a lot of work.  And finding time to do something like this on top of invitations and graphic design work has been hard.  But it’s down a reality and I couldn’t be more happy.

dSy designs and dSy invitations started in 2008 when I designed my own wedding invitations and was moonlighting for businesses on the side.  I guess I didn’t know I’d be where I’m at today at that time.  dSy is a nod to my maiden name, Sayler.  D (for Dana), Sy (for Sayler – pronounced Syler).  When I thought of that, it was not suppose to be d-s-y designs.  It was one word…dee-sy.  But that never caught on and I got tired of correcting people, so I went with what people said.  dSy. 

As the years went on, I started designing more and more for couples for their wedding day.  I found a true passion here.  I love hearing the dreams about wedding day.  What the style will be.  The colors, the textures…you get the point.  I can about design the invitation in my head when I’m first talking to a couple. 

And I constantly get affirmation that I’m doing something great.  The reviews I get from couples are always gushing about me.  Yes, about the invitations…but mainly about me.  My “customer service” to put a business tone on it.  I will knock down a brick wall for my clients if I had to.  And trust me, there have been situations that about came to that point.

The words I get from clients who are over-the-moon happy with how everything went is what drove me to make this change.  “Dana was fantastic.” “She was the best decision we made for our wedding.”  I’m a humble person, so these words are even hard to type. But I had to listen to those words. I create relationships with the couples I work with. I insert myself into the most important day of their life and I work as if it were my own. I want everything perfect. They deserve that. Their love deserves that.⠀

Thus, Dana Osborne has turned from a girl with a dream of freelancing to an all-out brand.  There is more to come for this…my name, my brand.  Right now, I’m just taking it all in. 

Refresh and Connect

Last year I was fortunate enough to attend the Creative at Heart Conference in Memphis.   I came home refreshed, re-energized and feeling like I was ready to take on the next year.  I mean, by the end of wedding season, the last thing I want to think about is starting another wedding season.  Creatives need to rest and recharge.  It was good for my heart, soul and mind.

Going to a conference such as Creative at Heart isn’t something that is in my budget every year (fingers crossed, every other year).  So this year, I reached out to a few different people who do what I do in the Midwest.  There isn’t a lot of us, but I was fortunate to connect with Kelly with Noted Design, Andrea with Andi’s Invites and Bri and Natalie with Flyover Design Co. yesterday in Des Moines. 

We talked business and ideas and growth and lessons learned.  Mainly, it’s always great to know that there are people who get what you’re going through.  Who can nod their head in agreement and you talk about your frustrations and your challenges.  People who can say, “yes!” when you talk about your goals and dreams.

And as I sit down at my desk today, I want to knock 200 things off my list that I want to get done before the start of 2018 weddings.  Again, this was good for my heart, soul and mind.

Thanks to these amazing ladies for connecting yesterday.  I can’t wait to see where 2018 takes you and am excited to talk again next year.



Gold glitter with simple elegance in Downtown Omaha

Abby & Tom |  Holland Performing Arts Center  |  Omaha, Nebraska  |  dSy invitations

I always get chills when I see wedding photos from my couples.  Some come right away.  Some…months down the road.  And this one, a little over a year but so worth sharing still.  Thanks to Steph Fowler Photography for sending these in my inbox today.  Still so amazed with the simply beauty of Abby & Tom’s invitations and wedding.

Abby & Tom  |  August 13, 2017
photographer: Steph Fowler Photography
Holland Performing Arts Center
Cake: The Cake Gallery
Dress: Rhylan Lang
Florist: Loess Hills Floral Studio
Coordinator: Caitlin Fuller
Makeup:  Leni Lisiecki
Hair: Emily Deets/Creative Hair Design