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!

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!

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

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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Perfect Purple Classic Invitations for Omaha Wedding

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.

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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 purple wedding invitation omaha, nebraska dana osborne dSy invitations purple wedding invitation omaha, nebraska dana osborne dSy invitations purple wedding invitation omaha, nebraska dana osborne dSy invitations purple wedding invitation omaha, nebraska dana osborne dSy invitations purple wedding invitation omaha, nebraska dana osborne dSy invitations purple wedding invitation omaha, nebraska dana osborne dSy invitations purple wedding invitation omaha, nebraska dana osborne dSy invitations

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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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Relationships and Big Dreams | My time at Creative at Heart

My goal for 2016: invest in myself and go to a conference that will help me grow.  How I stumbled upon Creative at Heart, I don’t recall.  Probably an Instagram post that lead me to another post that lead me to another post and boom: I found the conference I needed to go to.  I was a bit bummed when their conference in Denver was only a few months after my son was born, but I wasn’t going to miss their last one of the year, so I signed up for the Memphis conference in November.  I mean, Memphis. Why not?

View More: http://callielindsey.pass.us/creativeatheartdetails

My expectations: I didn’t have any.  I just wanted to soak everything in.  And as I sit here and reflect, one month later, I still get goosebumps.  Never have I met so many like-minded women in the same room as myself.

I’ve always had a hard time explaining what I do:

Oh, you design invitations?  Like for a baby shower?  (Yes, but it’s more than that.)

I bet it’s nice to work at home and spend time with your kids.  (Well, my three kids go to school & daycare so I can work.  Have you ever tried to work with kids around?  I have.)

I bet it’s nice to work for yourself. (Yes, it is.  Except when I didn’t get a maternity leave.  And when I’m the only one who works on every aspect of a project.  And that business development/accounting/HR/marketing/social media….that’s all me too.)

But these ladies got it.  They got it so much when I would talk about my goals, my dreams, my frustrations…heads nodded.  Words of encouragement and relation came from their mouths.  I wasn’t quite expecting such a connection.

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The Peabody Hotel was a great backdrop to this amazing gathering of people.  (Yes, I saw the ducks. They were fantastic.) The speakers, top notch.  A few I have to point out:

Jen Olmstead with Tonic Site Shop – I loved listening to Jen speak and she was one of my panel leaders and I felt we coulda chatted about marketing, branding, etc all day.  She was the second speaker and after her, I knew I was at the right place to get my business to the next level. My takeaway from Jen: Build your brand and your ideal client will come.  Connect through content.

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Krista & Davey Jones – Loved these two.  And they really help me put SEO perspectives into place.  I kinda knew what I was doing, but now I know more of the why behind it.  Plus more.   My takeaway: doing the little things on my website and blog that can make a big difference on the web.

Mary & Justin – My roommate in Memphis said she saw Mary Marantz in the lobby.  She was awestruck.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her I didn’t know who she was talking about.  But I get it now.  Mary is now someone I follow and want to learn more from.  Her talk was on pricing.  I have no idea the details of pricing she shared.  But I gained a lot from her talk.  I loved how she showed examples of where they started to where they are now.  I could relate and it gave me confidence to be okay with changes I’ve been considering.   My takeaway from Mary: acting like a CEO and be willing to do the work (it’s suppose to be hard….love the photo below).

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Katelyn James – Her and Mary are hand-in-hand in my book as amazing business women who have set the bar high.  I coulda listened to Katelyn talk all day.  She has a great story.  So much I took away from her talk.  Highlights include: sharing more about myself; live in freedom, not fear; make small changes first.

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And I gotta give big props to Kat Schmoyer on her vision of this conference and bringing so many people who can benefit from each other together.  I understand the work it takes to put something like this together.  And three of them in a year….for real.  You deserve a vacation.

I got an email from two of my friend after my conference.  They asked how it was.  My answer: Life changing.  They thought I was joking. I wasn’t.  It was. Yes, a conference.  And I can’t wait to make some big strides in myself and my business because of it.

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