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 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.
If you’re just getting started, here are a few tips from me on where to begin.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 TheKnot.com as well as Nebraska Wedding Day and All About Weddings Omaha, for local Omaha and Nebraska vendors.
- 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.
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.
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.
Andra & Connor | Omaha Country Club | Omaha, Nebraska | dSy invitations
Black on ivory.
Those three words could have been the only thing I wrote down from the consultation I had with Andra before we started designing invitations for her August 2016 wedding. She knew what she wanted. And classic was what she wanted.
And even today, when I meet with a future bride wanting a classic look, Andra & Connor’s wedding invitations are the first I grab. These beautiful ivory paper invitations are adorned with gold foiled names. Past that…it’s black on ivory. The font is classic and beautiful. And everything flows. It’s one of my favorites from this past year.
We created so many great pieces for their wedding day including ceremony programs, custom signs, menus, place cards and a welcome card for their guest hotel gift bags.
Of course I need to give credit to Wyn Wiley and his amazing photos from Andra & Connor’s wedding. I have a few photos here, but please go check out the rest of his blog post about their big day.
Emily & Paul | Legacy Hall | Omaha, Nebraska | dSy invitations
I never ask, “what are your wedding colors?” I’ve learned that not all couples have distinct wedding colors. The typical response I would receive: “Well, I don’t really have A color.” Tones, hues and combinations is typically what I see.
Emily and Paul were on the opposite spectrum. Her purple was beautiful and we brought it out perfectly on their wedding invitations. Their wedding invitations have a very classic look to them, which paired perfectly for their Catholic wedding ceremony. I was in awe when she sent me her wedding photos. Those florals! Breathtaking pops of color to compliment everything they put together.
Emily and Paul were a joy to work with. We designed their wedding invitation suite, ceremony programs and thank you cards for their wedding day. Congrats you two! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!
Ceremony Location: Christ the King Catholic Church
Reception Location: Legacy Hall
Photographer: Bailey Sturgeon Photography
Dress: David’s Bridal
Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse
Florist & Cake: Hy-Vee (96th and Q St.)
Caterer: My Own Touch Catering
Makeup: Teresa and Melissa Gorman
Hair: Ambition Salon
Invitations: dSy Invitations
Kelsey & Grant | Livestock Exchange Building | Omaha, Nebraska | dSy invitations
As I dive into 2017 weddings, I’m designing my fair share of watercolor floral invitations. And with each one being so different, I’m not sure if I can get tired of creating them. And there is always one bride who will set the tone for me. Who will bring me an idea that I’ve been seeing out there, but haven’t created yet.
Kelsey wanted to bring in her neutral floral inspiration into her wedding invitations. My response? Yes, please! I’ve been wanting to create something like these, but since I only do custom design, I need a couple who wants to create these too. And did we ever. Pair a beautifully designed wedding invitation with a blush pocket, a lace belly band and navy blue envelope liners (which I pretty much begged her to do), and I can’t show off this invitation enough.
Kelsey & Grant’s invitation suite is one I feature on my website and my social media quite a bit. Their inspiration and style helped me create a design I show off so much at my invitation consultations. And has inspired other designs as well. For this couple, we created the invitation suite as well as ceremony programs.
And these photos….seriously? Can these two make a rainy wedding day look any more amazing? Congrats, Kelsey & Grant. Your day looked amazing. Thank you for trusting me to design such amazing pieces for your perfect day.
Ceremony location: First Unitarian Church of Omaha
Reception location: Livestock Exchange Ballroom
Photographer: Cassie Rosch
Dress: Ivy and Aster
Tuxes/Suits: Tip Top Tux
Florist: Loess Hills Floral
Cake: Lynn Paumer (groom’s mom! amazing!)
DJ/Music: Complete Music
Makeup: Model Perfect Airbrush
Invitations: dSy invitations
Danyelle & Jim | Omaha Design Center | Omaha, Nebraska | dSy invitations
There are sometimes I really connect with a couple. And then there are sometimes I connect so much that I kinda wanna ask if I could come to their wedding. I mean, I do have an invitation, right?
Danyelle and Jim were such a fun couple to work with. Their Save the Dates showed their personality. Laughing. I’m thinking they probably do this a lot together. They allowed me to create one of my favorite fall inspired wedding invitation. Plus other pieces. A lot of other pieces. We created so many fun custom wedding signs, table numbers which were also booklets their guests could write in (so amazing) and then top it off with Thank You cards.
The day after their wedding, I was at the Omaha Design Center for a wedding show. Of course, I posted on Instagram I was there. Low and behold, Danyelle and Jim stopped by because they were staying at the hotel next door. They just wanted to thank me and say hi. That is the reason I do this, people. To connect with people. To make their biggest day, just a little bit sweeter.
Congrats, you two. Thanks for being you.
Ellen & Matthew | FFA Enrichment Center | Des Moines, Iowa | dSy invitations
We were down to crunch time with Ellen & Matt’s invitations. She wanted gold foiling, which I love, but it takes some time for this gorgeous process to happen. So I had my print shop ship the invites directly to Ellen. She promised to send a few to me. No problem. But was I disappointed when they showed up to me. Not because they weren’t gorgeous…because they were. It’s because Ellen was doing her own calligraphy on the envelopes and she didn’t do one for me! I forgave her because she’s one of the sweetest brides I worked with. From her photo, the calligraphy looked amazing 🙂
Ellen and Matt were on trend by bringing gold into their wedding day color. But what I loved was the “pop of raspberry” that we brought to this invitation package. There was just a bit on the printed pieces. But the envelope liner…oh my…that pop had to impress when guests opened it for the first time.
Their wedding day looked nothing less than perfect. For this couple, we designed wedding invitations, ceremony programs and reception menus. I feel blessed to have designed for this Des Moines couple and created some fantastic wedding invitations. Congrats again, Ellen & Matt!