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?

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
Napkins
Koozies
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!

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. 

Classic to the Core at beautiful Omaha Country Club Wedding

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.

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Gold Foil Classic Invitation Defines St. Vincent de Paul Omaha Wedding

Andra & Connor  |  Omaha, Nebraska  |  dSy invitations

I meet a bride who knows exactly what she wants a few times a year.  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  The couples I usually meet with have a good idea of what they want.  But then there is Andra.  I still remember the day I met with her.  She had her style down pat.  And when it came to designing it, she had me double and triple check font sizes.  As a designer, I don’t encourage that, but I do appreciate it.  What we designed for her Omaha, Nebraska wedding at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, nothing less than stellar.

It’s the first one I currently grab when I meet with a couple who wants something classic.  I’ve had brides want to recreate it in their own colors or just sit in aww at it’s pure beauty.

From the photos from the talented Wyn Wiley of Andra and Connor’s wedding day, it looked as amazing as she described it to be.

Not only invitations, but we designed ceremony programs, welcome cards for her hotel guest welcome bags, menus, placecards and a large welcome sign.

I loved all these pieces!

Congrats to this wonderful couple!  Wishing you a lifetime of happiness.

Ceremony Location: St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
Reception Location: Omaha Country Club
Photographer: Wyn Wiley
Dress: Ready or Knot
Tuxes/Suits: Jerry Ryan
Florist: Flowers for Special Occasions
Videographer: Complete Video
Music: Eckophonic
Makeup: Kiss and Makeup
Hair: Wedding Specialist Katie P

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Kim + Dan | Pensacola Beach, Florida | dSy invitations wedding

It seems like forever ago when I met Kim to discuss her destination wedding.  It was cold and we were talking about a destination wedding in Florida.  I’m not sure if I was more excited to design these based off her amazing style or the fact that a Florida wedding sounded FANTASTIC as we talked on that cold November, Nebraska day.

Kim wanted something that showed their Florida wedding without screaming WE’RE GETTING MARRIED BY A BEACH with sand and seashells (but we did fit a little starfish in there).  I knew exactly where I wanted to take these.  We created these fantastic wedding invitations with a watercolor water look splashed throughout.  This watercolor look was brought into the ceremony program as well in the custom “guest book” map we created.  Kim and Dan love to travel.  So we designed a map for their guests to sign and they can frame afterwards.  Super cute and it turned out perfect.

Congrats to this great couple!  Thanks to Alena Bakutis Photography for the great photos of their wedding.  Here is just a sneak peak of their gorgeous wedding day.

Kim + Dan
May 14, 2016

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Megan + Nathan | Fremont, Nebraska | dSy invitations wedding

“I really like that one, but could you…”

I hear that once in awhile during a invitation consultation.  I tell all couples when we meet and I’m pulling out my bins of invitations, that none of the invitations I’m going to show them are exactly their style. That’s what’s great about custom invitations.  You can create whatever you want to match your wedding style.

But Megan saw one of my previous invitations (which I also blogged about) and it was in her wheelhouse.  We changed the colors to match the light purple and gray color scheme she was going with as well as changing up the floral arrangement designs.  What we came up with…something that was close to the previous invitation, but something truly their own.

For Megan and Nathan’s wedding, I designed these gorgeous invitations with guest information timeline (love this!) that were wrapped in a monogrammed belly band.  We also designed coordinating ceremony programs which were on hand when this gorgeous bride walked down the aisle this past May.

Thank you to Megan and Nathan for letting me design for your wedding day.  Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!

Megan + Nathan
May 21, 2016

Ceremony: First Lutheran Church, Fremont, Nebraska
Reception: Fremont Golf Club
Wedding Planner: Holly Strudthoff
Photographer: Becky Novacek Photography  (check out her blog on Megan & Nathan’s big day)
Dress: Ready or Knot
Tuxes: Tip Top Tux
Florist: Avant Garden
Cake: Cupcake Island
DJ: DJ Dustin Papa
Hair & Makeup: Jenn Hadaway
Invitations & Stationary: dSy invitations

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Mary + Justin | Omaha, NE | dSy invitations wedding

Currently, Mary & Justin’ style and color combination for their wedding is one of my favorite.  Navy is such a hot color right now but incorporating this color into fall colors through florals is amazing.  And this is seen in their wedding photos.

Mary & Justin wanted something classic for their wedding invitations.  Their ceremony location sets that tone but with the script font on this invite, we were able to give a lighter side of a super classic invitation as well.  We designed a standard package for Mary & Justin and incorporated a monogramed belly band to keep everything together.  We also design ceremony programs which matched everything perfectly.

Congrats to this wonderful couple!  Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!

Mary + Justin
October 9, 2015

Ceremony: St. John’s Catholic Church (Creighton Univ. Campus)
Reception: Omar Arts & Events
Photographer: Amanda Kohler Photographer
Dress: Rhylan Lang
Tuxes: Jerry Ryan
Caterer: Eddie’s Catering
Florist: Flowers for Special Occasions
Cake: Cake Box by Chris Janicek
DJ: Showtime Music
Makeup: Blush Makeup Artistry, Christine Danderand
Hair: Stephen’s Salon, Terri & Aimee
Invitations & Stationary: dSy invitations

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Style Watch – Navy & Gold

What’s hot in weddings for 2016? I’m starting to see a trend through the couples I’m meeting with and booking for the upcoming year.  I want to highlight one of my favorite color combos and style trends for 2016.

navygoldwedding1 navygoldwedding2 navygoldwedding3Navy and gold is a common and great wedding style I’m seeing for 2016.  Gold is being incorporated into everything and I love adding gold glitter bands or gold glitter envelope liners to invitation packages.  I have an invitation coming out soon for a couple that incorporates both of those elements.

What are your thoughts on this classic look?  Leave your comment below!