14 March 2009

Decision: to Save the Date or not Save the Date

Our kitten Natalie was near the best source of natural light in the house, so she got to pose with our postcard

As a graphic designer, there was no question for me as to whether we'd send a Save the Date or not. Since most of our guests live in Columbus, or at least within driving distance, it wasn't a complete necessity, but I've taken any excuse to design paper pieces for our wedding. Once we had picked the date and color scheme, it was an easy process from there.

I knew I wanted to keep them inexpensive since a chunk of our budget would be needed for the actual invitations, and a postcard seemed like a natural way to convey our message.
The one indecisive moment that arose was when considering how to print the postcards. I requested letterpress quotes and purchased a gocco, but the letterpress would not have allowed me to flood the page with green and was too costly for us so early in the game, and the gocco was too small and didn't allow for the oversized cards I envisioned. Ultimately, I used a laser printer, and I was really happy with the clean results. Cutting corners in some places has allowed us to spend more in others, and this was a perfect situation to create something inexpensive yet still stylish.

I think the 250 page pack of 100lb. Cougar paper in bright white cost me all of $11 and I have access to an incredible laser printer, so really the only expense was a bit of a splurge on postage from zazzle. I wish the site didn't charge so much on top of the postage itself, but I think the details are the most important part of a design and Nathan agreed it would complete the piece, so we went with it. In the end, we got more comments on the stamp than the design, so it was really worth it. (People love a novelty!) I went with typefaces that were already on my Mac, and I knew I wanted our names to be big and bold with a calendar incorporated somewhere (much like the Chewing the Cud Save the Date featured on my inspiration board).

One design sacrifice was the rounded the corners I originally planned for, but upon researching the USPS regulations, I discovered postcards need square corners to be mailable. (So glad I discovered that before rounding them all; it pays to do a little reasearch beforehand!) In the end, the design of the postcards paved the way for the rest of the invitation suite (which went into the mail a few days ago) and one friend described them as chic, which made my day.

the front of our Save the Date

the back, with our custom stamp

Design nerd moment: I determined that the green I'd use for all the printed pieces would be PMS 376 by holding a Pantone chip book up next to my shoes and choosing the color that most closely matched. Yes, I realize this is overly obsessive, but it helps to be consistent! Plus I love that everything comes back to the shoes :)

10 March 2009

Decision #3: THE dress

I love to shop. I prefer to shop by myself. That way I can go at my own speed, linger over the items I like, and try on as many shirts as I'd like, without holding anyone up. This wasn't really an option when wedding dress shopping, but I did keep my shopping entourage pretty small. My mom accompanied my indecisive self to about six stores around Columbus in the course of a month. We saw many pretty styles and a bunch that flattered my shape, but since it seems like 90% of the options out there are strapless (not the most flattering on my long torso), it took me awhile to find "the one".

I had been stalking a gorgeous mermaid dress with a v-neck on Pricilla of Boston's website, but I knew it would be out of my budget. My mom offered to buy my dress as a gift, which is so amazingly generous, but I knew I could not abuse her generosity. I preferred the streamlined look while my mom gravitated to rouching, and I'm so lucky that she never once made me feel like I had to buy the dress that she liked just because she was buying (but I did have to try on a few that I otherwise would not have given a second glance to!). My most promising trip was to Saks, where I gravitated toward styles from Amsale and Monique Lhuillier, and I left that particular trip really liking a unique strapless with a crumb catcher and a sleek gown with a plunging neckline. Ultimately, I decided that while the dresses were beautiful, they weren't what I wanted for my one and only...and the Pricilla dress was in the back of my head the whole time. Many dresses had components I liked (buttons down the back!), but none had them all.

On a Saturday in October, just seven months before the wedding, we, along with my sister, headed to Bridal and Formal in Cincinnati, and the first one I tried that trip was an Alvina Valenta with a subtle mermaid shape, v-neck, and even my beloved buttons all the way down the back. I compared it to the other 12 dresses I tried on the rest of the time I was there, but I realized quickly that that one felt most me. Looking back, I think Monica Geller's dress was a long forgotten point of inspiration.


Once they placed a long veil on with it and a whimsical hair piece, I had my complete look. I was a bride that thought I'd never wear a veil, but I couldn't believe how much different (and more bride-like) I felt with such accessories. We took all of it, hit up Quiznos, and headed home to watch the Buckeye game. I was so relieved to have found my gown after rejecting hundreds, and I really hoped it wouldn't take more than four to six months to arrive. (It ended up arriving in Columbus in January.) Since then, I've had to refrain from peeking at the new 2009 collections that have appeared online! I just love eye candy.

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