Designing Save the Dates with Photos

Creating Save the Dates with engagement photos is one of my favorite things to design.

I love seeing a couple’s style and personality come through in a photo.  If that’s a professionally shot engagement photo or even a candid one, couples pick photos because they like how they look in it and it shows who they are as a couple.

I recorded myself designing a Save the Date a few months ago to see it all come together.  Even though I didn’t have the groom’s name at the time (it’s Irby…I got it in there for the final print), I was excited when Taylor & Michael picked this Save the Date design out of the three I designed for them. 

3 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Guest List

It’s the most painful part of wedding planning: the guest list.  I mean, where do you start?  How many people can we invite? Where do you draw the line?

Before you even open that Google doc to type in your uncle’s address, consider these 3 things before your start.

1. How many people can your venue hold?

Seems easy enough, right?  But many times people over invite thinking some of their guests won’t show up and you’ll fill the venue perfectly. But what if that cousin in Ohio decides they want a little vacation for her family of 8 and your wedding is a great getaway? Things happen.

Find out the max capacity of your venue and stick with that number at first.  If your list grows past that, consider the 80/20 rule.  80% of your guest list will come; 20% will decline. 

2. Who’s wedding is this?

What do you mean, it’s ours, right? Yes, kinda.  There are some people who raised you (*cough cough* your parents) and they may have a list of their own.  Keep in mind, if you have parents that are contributing financially to your wedding, it’s best if they can invite people they want to invite.  Even if they’re not, be considerate of your parents and their own lists.

3. Openly communicate with your fiancé on who you’re inviting

If you want to invite your second cousin who you haven’t seen in 10 years, be ready for your fiance to want to invite his second cousin who he hasn’t seen in 15 years.  Have an open discussion with your significant other on who you want at your wedding.  Is this going to be the biggest party the city has ever seen?  Or do you want something more intimate with family and close friends? Understand the vibe you want before deciding who to invite.

Bright & Beautiful: Omaha Spring Wedding at CityLight Church

Pocket Wedding Invitations were a perfect match for this spring wedding.

We’re in a neutral world. The color tones I often see for weddings in the past two years have centered on neutral colors…ivory, white, blush, gold. I’ve designed for those weddings and I still honestly love that color palate.

But when a couple embraces their own thing, my heart jumps for joy. Mainly because I can work outside of the norm and know that this couple is down for it.

Enter in Jessica & Trent. They wanted an elegant and formal look to their wedding but they wanted to embrace that they were getting married in early spring. Their bright turquoise and raspberry colors tones worked so well as the blossoms were in rare form on the budding trees in early May. It’s kinda like they knew spring was going to come a bit late this year and they’d coordinate well with Mother Nature.

We designed pocket invitations for Jessica and Trent with pops of their raspberry accent throughout.   I love the timeline we created on their ceremony programs as well. He asked her to marry her the same way he asked her to prom….for real, people. Is that a dream or what? And the Thank You notes are perfect with one of their beautiful wedding photos from Daniel Dunlap Photography.

In fact, check out all these images from Daniel Dunlap. I don’t think he could have captured this beautiful spring day with this beautiful spring wedding any better.

Jessica + Trent
May 5, 2018

Ceremony: City Light Church
Reception: Hotel RL
Dress: Bridal Traditions
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Suits: Bridal Traditions
Photographer: Daniel Dunlap
Videographer: Foster Creative
Floral: Taylor’s Flowers
Cake: The Cake Gallery
Transportation: Nebraska Party Bus & Rockstar Party Bus
Rentals: AAA Rentals

Downloadable Wedding Guest List

The guest list could be the hardest part of wedding planning.

I provide my couples with a template to get them started. This template helps you stay organized and is exactly what I need if we’re printing on your envelopes.  I have a lot of tips included on this excel sheet, so make sure to check those out!

Enter in your info below and I’ll send you an email with your guest list template!

Romantic Blush Omaha Wedding at the Omaha Design Center

I sometimes look back at my notes I take when I meet with couples at our invitation consultation.  When I look back and Jenn & Austin’s notes and then look at their wedding photos, it reminds me that visions of a wedding day can come true exactly how you want.

Within their notes I have the words of “classic” and “romantic” and “airy”.  What does airy mean when it comes to wedding invitations?  I’m not sure but I believe we nailed it with their design.

Jenn and Austin were a fun couple to work with and you can tell their personalities not only through the design of their wedding invitations, but from the beautiful wedding photos by Green Feather Photography.  They’re not afraid to have a little fun yet know that they wanted to throw a beautiful party to celebrate their marriage.

We gold foiled their invitation and created this oh-so-cute timeline of the day’s events.  I mean, no reason not to miss anything at this wedding!  We paired everything with a blush envelope to tie in this popular color and kept everything…airy.  And romantic.

Congratulations to this amazing couple!  Thank you for choosing me to help design your wedding day and I’m excited for what the future holds for you two!

Jenn & Austin |  4.28.18
Ceremony: St. Columbkille Church, Papillion, Nebraska
Reception: Omaha Design Center
Photographer: Green Feather Photography
Videographer: Roland Massow (check out the video below!)
Florist: Bloomworks
Cake: Cake Creations
Dress: Ready Or Knot
Hair & Makeup: Chloe Heil – Victor Victoria
Transportation: Nebraska Party Bus
DJ: DJ & Lights

Sunflowers, Sunshine and Smiles: Rustic elegance at The Players Club Omaha

I met Chrissy at an All About Weddings Omaha Happy Hour.  Here, other vendors and I meet couples who are engaged, have drinks, eat cake and hopefully help plan their wedding.  This is when Chrissy confessed that she stalked me on Instagram and knows she wanted me to design her wedding invitations.

Ultimate compliment.  We became friends fast.

I met with her and her mom and got her wedding style down pat.  Sunflowers.  Bright, cheery…pretty much summed up this gorgeous bride’s personality as well.  Throw in some lilac purple and sage green and I knew what I wanted to design for this couple.

I definitely brought in a sunflower look with these invites and after looking at the photos from her wedding, I LOVED how everything coordinated perfectly.  Sunflowers: check.  Smiles: check.  But sunshine? 

wedding invitation sunflower omaha nebraska dana osborne designWell, it was a bit cloudy on wedding day.  But you can’t tell from the smiles on Chrissy & Collin’s faces.  I’m pretty sure they lit up the room everywhere they went.

Congrats to this fun couple!  Thank you for letting me design your wedding invitations and here is to a lifetime of sunshine, sunflowers and smiles!

Photographer: Kimberly Dovi Photography
Venue: Divine Sheperd Lutheran Church, Omaha
Reception Venue: The Players Club at Deer Creek
Wedding Planner: Lindsay Elizabeth Events
Videographer: Clark Young Videography
Florist: Fancy Plants
Cake: Cake Creations
Dress: Ellynne Bridal
Bridesmaid dresses: Ready or Knot
Guy’s Wear: Men’s Wearhouse
Makeup: Joe Bohac from Colour Artistry
Transportation: Ollie the Trolley
DJ: Pat Geho from Complete Weddings
Jewelry: Elisa Ilana

marriage wedding couple prayer omaha, nebraska wedding invitations omaha, nebraska

New Years Eve Downtown Omaha Wedding – Love Warms the Record Cold

I’ve always thought a New Years Eve wedding is the perfect holiday for a wedding.  I mean, you want to stay up late and party anyways, right?  So invite your friends, have a wedding and count down to a new beginning of the year.

I was thrilled when my little brother proposed to his girlfriend on New Years Eve 2016.  Under the fireworks of the Gene Leahy Mall in Omaha, he got down on one knee and surprised her.  They thought that holiday worked well for them, so they set their wedding date for NYE 2017.

I gotta admit, they were my toughest customers last year.  Not because of their style or their demands (there weren’t any) or anything like that.  It’s because I wanted these to be as perfect as they could be.  I wanted to grab the style my future sister-in-law had for the big day and articulate it perfectly in their invitation.  This could be more pressure than I’ve ever put on myself to design wedding invitations. 

We created invitations that matched the day perfectly.  A soft dusty blue watercolor invitation with a fun yet elegant script font adorned their invitations.  The invites were wrapped in a beautiful hand dyed gray blue silk ribbon with a light blue envelope. 

What was most fun created for these two were their wedding day pieces.  Not only ceremony programs, but place cards, an acrylic white ink framed welcome sign, stickers for their New Years party hats and horns, champagne labels and tags for their guest bags, stickers and more.  The personalization was so much fun.

Also fun: the entire day.  The truth is, I design for weddings all the time.  But I don’t get to go to many weddings!  (watch it…I may be crashing yours soon) Paige was beautiful.  Just stunning.  I couldn’t have asked for a better sister than I got with Paige. 

My brother…What happened to that goofy 4 year old that would follow me everywhere?  What happened to that kid in the glasses that would visit me in college?  He’s grown up.  And I’m so proud of him. 

Congrats, Paige & JJ.  Thank you for letting me design for your wedding.  It was an honor and I wish nothing but the best for you guys as your life begins together.

photos by 1962 Archive

Rustic Iowa Wedding with Burgundy Charm: Caylee & Dustin’s wedding day

It seems honestly like forever when I got to work with Caylee and Dustin.  But as wedding seasons come, they go.  I feel horrible for blogging about a 2016 wedding in 2018…but this one is still on my radar because of the amazing pieces I created for this couple.

Caylee was referred to me by a good friend of mine who worked with here.  What a small world to have one of my friends give my name out and then CLICK with the couple instantly.  Caylee had a style I loved.  Rustic, yes.  But with charm. 

Her invites were fun with a polka boarder which we brought into other pieces as well.  And every. thing. coordinated.  My designer heart was full 🙂  We created signs and signs and tent signs for the reception that put everything into place.  Trust me when I say THIS MAKES ME HAPPY.  I know it’s a little thing, but the coordination of everything makes wedding day puzzle pieces fit together.

Beautiful stationery aside, look at this beautiful couple!  Caylee and Dustin beamed on their wedding day and Jamie Van Kley Photography did an amazing job capturing the amazing moments of their wedding day.

Plus, check out Blushing Bells Iowa where Caylee & Dustin’s wedding was featured!



What to expect when you hire an invitation designer

You finally got the ring from the person you know as your best friend. You’re in 100% wedding planning mode.  You have booked the venues and have already thought about the day you try on wedding dresses (what am I kidding…you’ve thought about that day your entire life!).  You check back on your Wedding Pinterest board and realize you need to separate that into distinct planning sections (dress, cake, decor, etc).  And as you browse Pinterest almost daily, you realize…I need someone to help me with some of this stuff.

Does that sound like you?  If so, you’re the perfect bride to hire a designer like myself.  You know what you want.  You know your style.  You can make decisions once you see the amazing options in front of you.  That’s you.  And if that’s you, you’re the couple I want to work with.

I get so lucky to work with so many great brides and grooms over the 10 years I’ve been working with client and couples.  And there are a few traits of these couples that make things easy.  Our expectations align.  So I wanted to jot those down to my easy list of :

What to expect when you hire an invitation designer:

1. Trust me.  Easier said then done, right?  I mean, you have your binder and timeline and shouldn’t we be staring to design my invitations for my November wedding in April?  I mean, that’s what the timeline says!

Slow down.  I got ya.  And that’s trust.  I will make sure your invitations are in your hands before you need to put them in the mail (which is usually 2 months before your wedding day, unless we talked differently).  I would lie to you if I didn’t sweat some timelines myself.  But then that’s on me and I’ll rush ship or print things to get them into your hands in time.  I promise or I’ll make it right some other way.

2. Let me show you some new things. Pinterest has given us a world of beautiful things at our fingertips.  I get many photos shown to me for inspiration, which I love!  Here’s the thing…some designs aren’t meant for you.  I had a bride once who wanted a monogram like the one she showed me.  Wonderful!  I love monograms.  But her name started with a B, and her future husband’s name started with a J…and I don’t want their wedding invitations to have a monogram on them that also refers to anything that would make your grandma blush. 

So I was able to show her a few different things that would work and she ended up loving our creation even more.  So don’t be afraid to see something different. 

3. Communicate with me.  I say this in my Wedding Invitation Guide I send out to couples when they book with me: be honest with me.  I’m designing for YOU….YOU need to like what I do.  If you don’t like something, tell me.  You are not hurting my feelings. 

I have developed some very thick skin to criticism of my work over the years.  I do not take it to heart.  My heart would hurt more if we get everything printed and done and you tell me you didn’t really love it.  UGH!  Then tell me that before we’re done!  We’ll keep working on everything!

4. We can do anything together.  I’ve gotten this line lately: “So you’re like a one stop shop?”  Uh, yes.  But that sounds bad in marketing so I don’t ever say that.  But I can design anything for your wedding day and I’ll make sure we’re staying consistent on the look and style we created.   I love new ideas so if you have something crazy or unique or just want to know if I can help you with something, let me know!  I’d say 95% of the time I will say COUNT ME IN to your idea.

So those are just a few things to keep in mind when you hire an invitation designer.  Looking back at my points, those are also good points for your upcoming marriage too.  Kinda fun connection, huh?