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?

Sparkle in the Rain: Becky & Brent’s silver and gray Iowa City Wedding

I pay attention to the weather forecast on the weekends.  Just so I can hope for a beautiful day for the couples I design for.  The day Becky picked up all her wedding day items, it was a gorgeous fall day.  But Mother Nature had other plans and brought rain on their big day.

But if it rains, dance in the rain.

And this couple did just that.

Becky knew exactly what she wanted for her wedding invitations.  And as we sat and talked about the beautiful ideas she had, I could tell she was on a mission.  A mission for a wedding day her father promised her.  Her father passed away only a few months before this time.  She told me that he promised her that she would have an amazing wedding day.  He was going to make sure of it.

Dance in the rain.

And as we put the pocket wedding invitations together, complete with a silver glitter belly band and silver glitter envelope liners, I knew we were on the right path.  And when a bride knows the current wedding trends I’ve been drooling over on Instagram, it’s even better.  Becky allowed me to create custom hexagonal marble tile place cards, with each guests name and meal choice.  Top it off with marble tile table numbers, which were stunning on each table.

And of course the other wedding day items such as programs, seating chart, custom signs, white print acrylic guest book sign…I can’t even begin to imagine her guests’ reactions when they walked into the reception. I mean, I think Becky and Brent were blown away as well.

Her dad’s promise: kept.  The wedding was a day of their dreams and even though the rain maybe could have stayed away, they danced. And that’s the beginning of a beautiful life together.

Thanks to Lisa Lytton Photography for the wonderful photos and to Diamond Label Films for a wedding video they won’t soon forget.

Congrats you guys.  Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!

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!

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!

 

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 TheKnot.com 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. 

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
Venue:
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