3 Top Perks of Hiring a Stationer

Recently in consultation, something was mentioned in passing that I had not heard in a while. While explaining our process to a bride, she made the remark that some of her friends had scoffed at the idea of hiring a stationer for her wedding. In fact, they suggested to her that she should, instead, just buy some paper and take care of it herself. While I was that bride who did exactly that (see our origin story here), here are 3 Top Reasons to hire a stationer for your big day.

 Photo Credit -  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit - Dipp Photography

WE ARE A FOUNTAIN OF KNOWLEDGE

There are lots of trends, rules of etiquette, and options I can guide clients through because of my experience in providing this service to many brides. Just like everyone turns to their favorite Food Network Chef for the best stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, you need someone in your corner who will help you make sending out your invitations easy and fun. 

 Photo Credit -  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit - Dipp Photography

EXPERIENCE. EXPERIENCE. EXPERIENCE.

It is always my hope that planning your wedding is the first and last time you will have to plan your own wedding. With this being your first time in the rodeo, it's not mine. 😉 I have a few tricks and methods up my sleeve that will make sending out your invitations much simpler. Based on your individual needs for your wedding, I can also guide you to wording, font choices, and suite pieces that will help your guests get all the information they may need to know more about your big day. 

 Photo Credit -  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit - Dipp Photography

MORE TIME FOR OTHER DETAILS

There are aspects of my business that I delegate to other people. Why? Because I know that I have no idea how to handle this task and need to trust someone who has more experience and knowledge. This gives me more time to handle other aspects of my business that I know I can handle and, quite frankly, wouldn't entrust anyone to do. The same thing goes for planning your wedding. If there is an aspect of your wedding day you need to delegate or have no idea how to do, you should entrust someone else to do it. Someone, I may add, who preferably has provided the service more than a just "few times". You want to know that they have been in business for some time and have more than 10 weddings under their belt. I've heard too many horror stories that because of a tight budget, someone hired the wrong "professional" and regretted it later.

So before you go pin crazy on Pinterest to figure out what are #allthedetails you can do yourself, sit down and plan what exactly you would like to delegate to a professional. You may find that you will want to design your invitations on your own. That's fine, however, follow this rule from Martha Stewart, "Never try to make a Thanksgiving dish for the first time on Thanksgiving Day. Make it a few days ahead to work out the kinks or pick an alternative dish to take." I learned a lot of what not to do with my own invitation experience. 

Want to know more about my process and how I can help you make designing and sending out your wedding invitations? Click the image below to get started.

 
 

The First Look Blog - The Truth About Your Wedding Invitations

If there is one thing I know to be true, there are endless blogs and websites that offer advice and tips to brides as they begin planning their big day. The First Look is a blog created by Dara Lynn Smith where she gushes over making planning a wedding easier and a lot less stressful. 

I'm excited to have joined her on her blog to give some advice of my own. 😉 Click below to read more about The Truth About Your Wedding Invitations. 💌

 Photo Credit:  Deni Dom Films

Photo Credit: Deni Dom Films

Heart + Hustle Podcast Interview #101 - Becoming a Full-Time Artist

Whether you are a full-time Entrepreneur that's been around for awhile or just starting your path to entrepreneurship, it's common to seek advice from different sources. Whether if it's from a daily newsletter, self-help book, or podcast, we tend to try to gain as much knowledge as we can. The ladies at Heart + Hustle Podcast are no different. Their motto is:

Dream Big. Work Hard. Repeat. ⚡️🖤

After meeting Charisma O'Keefe at the Your Story Workshop last year, I began listening to the podcast and got to listen to different topics discussed by herself, Angelica Yarde, and other women who talk about business and life. I was honored to be asked to join them for a recent episode discussing the evolution of my business, becoming a mom-preneur, and plans for Only One Mark's future.

Click the button below to listen to the episode.

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What I Think About Digital Invitations & RSVPs

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With the ever changing world we live in, it seems like the next technological advance is almost seconds away from being discovered. One of the latest items to affect the wedding and event game is the introduction of the Digital RSVP. In this new age of managing your schedule through your ever useful smart phone, it was just only a matter of time that digital Invitations and RSVPs would hit the market promising a cheaper way to afford one of the most important details for your special event. While I’m totally up for not breaking the bank for your big day or special life time event, but here are a few points I would like to make about digital RSVPs and Invites.

📧 Digital Invitations are great for INFORMAL Events. 

Having a backyard BBQ or small get together is in no way shape or form a time to break out the paper and send out paper invitations, especially if they are last minute (although you totally could if you really wanted to 😉😊). There are some great sites that will provide designs as well as a system to include all of the attendees emails. They are even known to collect an RSVP count and even request quests to pick from a list and confirm what they will be bringing to contribute to your shindig. But I would only suggest using these for an informal event. Not for a lifetime event like a wedding, baby shower, birthday, etc.

📬 Snail Mail still gets folks excited. 

Even now for my baby shower, I’m excited to receive my own invite in the mail (I was barred from creating my own invite and have been also lovingly banned from any involvement of planning pertaining to my shower). This is something I can put into my baby book and share with Baby G when he is older. This is the same sentiment I think most people have when planning their big events. I mean, how exciting is it when you receive an envelope in the mail that may even have a wax seal on it. How impressionable! It’s like I tell clients when they come in for a consult, the invitation is 

If you don’t want to are my word for it, check out this segment of After Elvis once he received his invite to the Grammys this year. 

While it is totally up to you whether to send out a digital invitation for your big event, I would consider the following if you are going to receive RSVPs digitally. 

  • Make sure your site to RSVP is password protected. The last thing you want is the link to your site being posted and folks inviting themselves to your special event.
  • If you are budget conscious and limited on seats for the party, make sure your site can limit the amount of RSVPs per guest. Similar to the note above, you want to make sure folks don't go nuts adding their friends and family who weren't intentionally invited by you. 
  • Still make paper RSVPs available for older guests so they feel included in their own way. Although I have known a few grandmas to be super tech savvy, not all older family members may know how to go online. Also consider that as we get older in age, we are creatures of habit and prefer to do things the way that we have always done them. Another point to be made is that little by little, older folks are stripped from actions that they used to do every day because of their age or health barriers. Making it a point to at least include a few paper RSVPs for these family members will make them feel included as well as special because you made it a point to make them feel included.

What do you think about this new way to RSVP for events? Comment below!

What No One Tells You About Being Engaged

Although it feels like a forever ago, it was only a short time ago that Gus and I were engaged and planning one of the most important days of our lives. It is one of the most meaningful experiences we’ve ever had as well as one of the most stressful experiences too.

Here are 3 of the most important lessons I learned about being engaged.

 Photo Credit -  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit - Dipp Photography

1. EVERYONE WILL GIVE YOU THEIR OPINION

No matter who it is - Mother, Mother-In-Law, Friends, Co-workers, that random person in the store - everyone has an opinion about YOUR big day. It’s almost like a tube of toothpaste. Once you open the cap, if you aren’t too careful, the toothpaste is just going to keep flowing out. And in no way do I mean to demean the advice of your loved ones. Most are just trying to be helpful. But too much of that help can sometimes feel really overwhelming. 

Advice - Limit what you tell folks about your big day. If they aren’t really apart of your bridal party or wedding vendor team, they really don’t need to know #allofthedetails about your plans. Some loved ones won’t understand why you want to do a first look or not want to do a bouquet toss. That’s ok, because at the end of the day, YOU and your future spouse need to be happy with how you want to shape YOUR DAY.

 

 PHoto Credit:  Kristy & Vic Photography

2. THERE WILL BE DISAPPOINTMENTS

One of the biggest disappointments from our planning experience was truly knowing the difference of a “dream budget” and what our “actual budget” was. Although we paid for parts of our wedding, we still had a lot of help from family and friends. It was truly a blessing as we were gifted some of the main items (my dress, our cake to name a few) so we could concentrate our budget on other items that were details we wouldn’t have had.  Another disappointment was the reality of planning on a tv show to real life planning. When visiting the first florist we initially booked, I fantized about a bouquet being built in front of me and hand picking the flowers, in person, that would go into the floral details of our big day. Boy was that bubble burst. Not only did they not build any bouquet in front of me, but they didn’t have any fresh flowers in person PERIOD. After two other big let downs, we terminated our contract and found an amazing florist (who did build the bouquet in front of me). 

 

Advice - Before you go visit any venues or book your first vendor, write out wishes and needs on a sheet of paper and have an idea of what your budget really is. You will need an initial list of guests to really help you get an idea of the cost per guest. If you need an idea of what to write down, click here to download a sample worksheet that you can work from to get started.

 

 Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa

3. HAVE FUN + ENJOY THIS SPECIAL TIME

Yes, this is one of those pieces of advice that you’ve probably heard from 90% of the people you chat with. From experience, you and your fiancé have to mentally make the decision to do so. And trust me, with all of the details that can go awry, it’s super easy to displace your anger or disappointment on your partner. This is why at one point of our planning story, Gus and I decided that any time we would spend together on a date would be just that - a date. There would be no talk of wedding planning unless we had both agreed to set that time as planning time. One of the ways we did that was by playing games of UNO until our food arrived to the table. One of our favorite restaurants even dubbed us as the “Uno Couple” because of how much entertainment they received from watching us play (it was super competitive and there may have been a few choice words shared). 

 

Advice - God willing, this is the one and only time you will ever plan your own wedding. That is one of my hopes and prayers for all of my brides. But you and your fiancé really need to agree ahead of time on what details or possible occurances you are willing to entertain or shoot down. This is, in a way, a build up to what marriage is like. Being a team that works together to make the best life possible WITH one another. #foodforthought

 

At the end of the day, everyone’s wedding planning experience is different. You can watch #allthemovies and read #alltheblogposts, but no one experience is ever alike. My hope for all my brides is that no matter what their planning experience was like, that they feel nothing but calm and peace as they get ready for their big day. I call it the “calm of the storm” GET THE REAL NAME. (Eye of the storm?)

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at the button below. I’m more than happy to share some of my experiences from my big day. 

The Invitation That Started It All

Isn't it funny that for most of us, the one thing that holds the highest significance why we start our businesses or new life chapters isn't something that everyone gets to see? Funny enough, I was made aware some time ago that I've never shared an actual image of our wedding invitation. This was just a part of our story that I hadn't thought about before. Of course, I've told our story of how our business started to clients and vendors. It's been one of the bits of information that remained after our rebrand back in August. But this is the first time our invitation will be seen (unless you were a recipient of the invitation of course). 😉

 Photo Credit:  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography

Something I would like point out is that this wasn't the first invitation I had made before. In fact, I had been creating invitations for some very important family celebrations such as both of my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversaries and helping a one of my dearest friends with her bridal shower and wedding invitations. These weren't elaborate invitations at all, not like what you've see from me today. But...our wedding invitation was the first real moment I got to create something that reflected the people behind the event. It was a lot more personal and meant so much more.

You see when it came time to decide on our invitations, I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted to let guests know exactly how magical this moment in our lives was going to be. While we visited a few invitation shops, they just didn't have what I was looking for. Needless to say that the more "Nos" I received, the smaller I felt. If it hadn't been for Gus' encouragement, we would have probably gone with some plain, mundane invite that everyone else was using. 

Don't get me wrong...it was a ton of hard work. I bought shimmer paper to really give the "shining, shimmering, splendid" feeling I desperately wanted to glow from the invitations. My mom found invitation packs at Target 🎯 on a clearance rack that had similar, delicate design that my wedding dress also had. I looked up through countless rules of invitation etiquette while adding some new twists to personalize our invitation suite a little more. We may have also sent them out a little later than we should have 😅 , but the results were worth it. 

So what would be my one bit of advice if you choose the same route that I did for my wedding day? PLAN AHEAD.🗓  Do your research and see if the cost and time spent (because it will take a lot of time) is really worth it for your time frame and budget. I have had cases where brides have come to me either having experience with DIY projects or know how design, but just didn't have the time to create their invitation suite. Designing them yourself can also bring extra purchases like paper cutters, extra paper and envelopes for "just in case" boo boos. 😱 🤕 

Well, that's that. Now you can't say you haven't seen our wedding invitations. 😜 😁  And maybe...just maybe...I'll be sharing some of our wedding photos too.