Posts in the 'stationery' Category

Real Bride Shannon: Be Honest with Yourself

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As I and many of my fellow Real Brides will tell you, DIY is a great way to save some dollars.

IF you’re crafty.

IF you know where to get supplies on the cheap.

IF you’ve got buttloads of free time.

I tossed around the idea of designing my own save the dates, but when MagnetStreet was running a great sale (and they do that a lot), I ended up ordering save the dates and invitations at the same time so I could take advantage of $150 off a $500 purchase and got the whole shebang for under $400 for 75 save the date magnets, invitations, RSVP cards, guest info cards and all of the envelopes.

Shannon and Woody's save the date

The ordering process was a breeze: Most of MagnetStreet’s designs are completely customizable from the colors to the fonts and when Woody and I couldn’t decide which of our engagement pictures to use, there was a great design that used two images. The package was delivered in a lovely box, neatly packed with all of my stationery pretties. I probably could have saved a little by designing and printing myself, but the estimated $50 savings wasn’t worth the sanity I would have lost. Remember the super-trendy engagement party invite I told you about last time? Yeah, that took me over a week to design and cost me over a buck a piece to print.

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BUT I still wanted to leave a little DIY mark as I addressed the envelopes and mailed our save the dates. I felt like something wedding-related needed a little more pomp than regular ol’ black pen scrawled on the envelope. “Let’s do calligraphy in gold!” I said to myself. Let’s be honest, myself is a bitch with no respect for my time.

Shannon Calligraphy

As lovely as they turned out, I spent five hours on a Friday night before my hand was cramping and I was so cross-eyed that I had to employ reading glasses (when up to this point I thought I had perfect vision). Four hours isn’t that bad for all that writing, you may think. Honestly, four hours in and I had 24 out of about 70 envelopes written on … but that was just names. I began to develop an affinity for my loved ones with short names with “i”s and “l”s over ones with “M”s “C”s and “G”s, which is adorable seeing as my last name is McConathy and I’m marrying a Graham. This text to my best friend sums things up well.

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I had visions of ornately calligraphed names and addresses taking up the front of the envelope, but in the end, gold gel pen filled in the address part. Because, time. I started looking through the list and figured single guys couldn’t give two shits about gold calligraphy and just started writing their names. Because, time. My handwriting got decidedly less neat. Because, time.

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Once I got all of the writing done, I noticed all the fine pencil lines directing my pen in a straight line. So used up an entire eraser deleting those and trying not to ruin the gold paint pen.

Then I had to stuff.

Then I had to seal.

Then I had to stamp.

Then I began to wonder whether I was ever going to hand-write anything again. I signed my name on a bar tab and it gave me flashbacks.

All in all, I spent about 24 hours on save the date addresses. It was a labor of love for about 10 percent of that. The rest of the time I think I was just keeping up appearances and being bull-headed about finishing what I started. But what did I save by addressing them myself? I looked up calligraphy services and the prices range between $4 and $6 an envelope! So yes, it was a huge chunk out of my weekend, but I also didn’t have to spend $300. I twitch a little when I think about the fact that now I have to do that all over again with the actual wedding invitations, but I’ll sacrifice my time for something pretty and almost free. (Three pens cost me about $12.) Hey, at least I ordered those bitches three months ahead of time!

So has anyone else bitten off more than you can chew with DIYs? Do you pay a professional or settle for less? Let us know how you handled it in the comments!

Real Bride Elissa: Kicking Butt and Taking (Vendor) Names

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Credit: Bright Fizz Photo

I downloaded one of those wedding countdown apps a few weeks ago out of curiosity. Just how many seconds were left until we said “I do?” My biggest shock though came in realizing that, duh, January to June is FIVE months, not six. We had missed the six month mark, when I told myself that I’d have to actually start making hard decisions instead of continuing to do research on my lunch hour. So January got a little crazy for me, and now, it’s February (a.k.a., four months, two weeks, six hours and 10 minutes).

Basically, if this whole post ends up being tl;dr: shop small, shop local, go with your gut, ask everyone you know, and don’t be afraid to ask for a payment plan. After seeing the countdown clock tick faster and faster (or so it felt), I allowed myself a few days of panic, but then gave myself a deadline of the end of January to have some big decisions made and contracts signed. Let me tell you how amazing it feels to have so much crossed off my list:

  • Catering: In my last post I questioned whether I should take a leap of faith and try a caterer whose food I’ve never tried. In the end, though, I realized that I needed to go back to my original vision: Tacos. You guys, I love Mexican food so much. So does my fiancé. So does all of my family. And we live in Los Angeles, which has some of the best Mexican food in the country, outside of Mexico. Why was I bothering with anything else? On a whim, I checked the website of my absolute favorite taco stand in the city, MexiCali Taco & Co. I swear six months ago they didn’t have a catering link on their website, but now they did. I reached out, got an immediate answer from their awesome proprietor and sent in my deposit last week.
  • Cake: L.A. brides, one word: Porto’s. Actually, six words: Cuban cake with mango cream filling.
  • Music: After having a whole DJ vs. iPod playlist existential crisis, I went ahead and asked on Facebook if anyone knew any good DJs. I got tons of great recommendations, and even got some great tips from one company about what to look for in a DJ, after I told them they were outside of my budget. But, as I had secretly hoped would happen in a city like L.A., an old friend whose boyfriend is a professional DJ messaged me. We’re meeting up in a few weeks, so more on that later.
  • Rentals: If I had any advice to give newly engaged brides, it’s that all-inclusive venues are a generally a great idea. Since that wasn’t an option for mine, I called a place nearby my apartment with reasonable rates. After calculating which items were cheaper to rent than to buy, we settled on tablecloths, napkins, dishes, and wine glasses. I could possibly have shopped around more, but I got such a good vibe from them that I knew I should just trust my gut (and Yelp).
  • Dress Alterations: Facebook came through once more with tons of awesome recs. But once more, I felt such an instant connection with a seamstress my BFF recommended that I decided just to go with her and not look around anymore. I dropped my dress off last Saturday to have straps added and all the usual fit issues corrected; not only did she already have all the materials I needed in her shop, but she also quoted me significantly less than I was expecting.
  • Save the Dates and Invitations: After a kind of crappy experience with Vistaprint on my Save the Dates (more on that later), there was no way I was going to use them for my actual invites. I LOVE graphic design, and though I’m by no means a pro, I designed both my save the dates and my invites myself. I found a graphics/print shop near by my house with great reviews, and got a sample printed on some Paper Source bulk paper the shop recommended. It looks amazing, and I’m going to save about $100 by buying all the supplies myself, versus using a professional invitation company.
  • Wedding band: My fiancé bought my engagement ring from a jeweler’s stall in an antique mall. Luckily he restores and recreates jewelry too, so we were able to melt down an old white gold ring and have it remade into a band that perfectly complements my current ring. Reduce, reuse, recycle! Plus, he was able to break out a payment plan and provide a slight discount because we’re paying with cash. This is another huge tip, especially if you’re using smaller, more local vendors.
  • Decorations: We were able to find an awesome stained glass piece at another antique mall, already on sale but again with the payment plan/cash discount. We brought it home a few weeks ago and are currently on the hunt for more antique pieces for our altarpiece – between Craigslist and haunting my local thrift stores and salvage shops for the next few months, I’m feeling pretty confident we’re going to have a pretty bad-ass creation to share with you after the wedding.

I think I may take a break from wedding planning for the next week, since I’m starting to feel like a broken record with my family and friends. But the next big task is something hopefully a little more fun: finding bridesmaid dresses!

Ten for the Weekend: Stock up on Essentials and Wedding Gown Sale Alert for SoCal Brides

Happy Friday, everyone! I’ll be traveling to Charlotte, N.C., in the morning for a meeting with some of our partners and to see a friend, and Dana and Paul are officially on the second leg of their epic honeymoon tour, chilling in a great hotel in Seoul. But I’d never take off without leaving you with some great deals and discounts to help you kick your weekend off right. From Anthro to Tradesy and a super awesome deal on wedding dresses for those of you in the Southern California area, this Ten for the Weekend has got the goods to make your wallet happy.

Ten for the Weekend: Stock up on Essentials and Wedding Gown Sale Alert for SoCal Brides

1. I know I know, Halloween isn’t even here yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stock up on Thanksgiving cookware. Sur la Table is having a sale on various essentials — from roasting pans to immersion blenders to spiral slicers.

2. Man, there are few things better than a good dress sale, but one of those few things is a discount on already well-priced items. Boohoo.com is knocking 15% off their dresses until 10/19.

3. You know what costs a lot? Wedding stationery. You know who’s taking $40 off orders of $99+ for new customers? Wedding Paper Divas, that’s who (when you enter WPD40 at checkout until 10/28).

Wedding Paper Divas Enchanting Forever Invitations

I’m loving these “Enchanting Forever” invites.

4. Discounts on discounts are a great thing, y’all. BCBG is taking an extra 30% off final sale items. Now that doesn’t suck.

5. Designer shoes and accessories and getting to feel like one of the cool kids? That’s how Cole Haan rolls with their 30% off Friends and Family deal until 10/21.

6. Need to stock up on basics? Anthropologie is having a 30% sale off select sweaters, tees and pants for a limited time.

7. Guys, have you checked out Dessy’s sale section? They just added three different styles of twist wrap dresses, as well as a whole gang of accessories. Go on, get on it!

8. Call all beer lovers! Craft Beer Club is skimming $10 bucks off when you gift a membership of 3 months or more this holiday season (until 12/31) when you use code iSave5.

9. Do you guys know Tradesy? You should. It’s like, the greatest consignment store / thrift shop, ever. Like, serious designer duds, but previously worn / used (gently), and therefor cheaper than normal. And right now Tradesy is having an accessory sale. So you know, do it.

10. SoCal Brides, this one’s just for you! Unique Vintage’s real, actual brick-and-mortar store in Burbank is having a real life sample sale this Sunday. Check out our Pinterest board for a sampling of the gowns on sale!

Unique Vintage 10/19 Sample Sale in Burbank, CA

 

Happy shopping, darlings!

Ten for the Weekend: Wedding Websites, Art for Your Home and More Deals!

It’s almost the weekend, BABs! And that means I’ve found 10 smokin’ deals for you, to make your weekend and wallet a little happier. From art to online yoga classes to clothing and more, there are some seriously amaze discounts and offers this week!

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Looking to spruce up the walls in your home? Save 25% on all orders of Art, Prints, Posters, Fine Art, Decorative and More at Art.com. Use promo code SUNSHINE25.

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This piece is called “Jackson Lake and Tetons, Wyoming.” Which, incidentally, happens to be where I grew up. Hometown pride, y’all.

Spice things up with your partner with 50% off one item only at AdamEveToys.com! Use code MDAY50 at checkout until 5/11.

 Stuck on what to get mom for Mother’s Day? Until 5/11, you can get 40% off on YogaDownload gift certificates with promo code YOGAMOM14.

If you haven’t set up a wedding website yet, IM Creator wants to help! Get 15% off one of their professionally designed sites when you use WEDDING at checkout!

Vintage style and weddings go hand in hand, so make sure your girls are well-adorned!  Get 10% Off 5 or More Bridesmaid Dresses at Shabby Apple with discount code 5BRIDESMAIDS.

Thinking of using your engagement photos and others for your wedding guestbook? Save some skrilla and knock up to 50% off your photobooks at Shutterfly.

Have you always wanted to learn a skill like knitting, sewing or breadmaking? Craftsy is having a flash sale to celebrate their birthday, so now’s the time to learn! Get select online classes at up to 50% off until May 11th.

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You guys. METALSMITHING. How cool would that be? Now’s the time to find out!

Find yourself in need of some stationery? Fill that need and save some money by scoring  $10 Off all products when you spend $40 At Paper Style! Use Promo Code: PS10SPRING At Checkout!

Warm weather often means more time outside! Spruce up your back yard setting with 15% off select outdoor furniture at Design Within Reach until 5/27.

Add a little oomph to your summer wardrobe! Shop Adorn wants to give you a deal: Get 10% off new arrivals all month using code NEWSPRING10.

{Partner Love} Invite Your Peeps In Rustic-Chic Style With Wedding Stationery From InvitationStyles.com

country wedding invitations

OK, newbie BABs, by now you’ve probably looked through hundreds of pages of websites for those perfect wedding invitations that exemplify your fun, yet chic and colorful wedding theme. And you’ve probably ogled over countless letterpress, cardstock, fonts, and color options…all to be heartbroken by the uber costly price tag at the end.

Well, rest easy, darlings. InvitationStyles.com has the easy-on-the-wallet wedding stationery respite you need. With super pretty designs at prices that will leave you feeling flush with happiness, InvitationStyles.com has exactly what the budget-minded bride is pining for. From the right-this-season green invitation designs, to themes that fit right in with your cowgirl-boot wearing rustic shindig, there are a myriad of options available.

Wedding invitation orders include free response cards, printed outer envelopes and response envelopes, which help ease the strain on those purse strings. With prices starting as low as $0.94, with free envelopes and RSVP cards thrown in, your broke-ass saving senses will be tingling! As an added bonus, if you throw down for more than 40 wedding invites, you snag free shipping! And with e-proofs, you can rest easy knowing you spelled the name of your venue correctly. What are you waiting for? Check out all the pretty invite goodness InvitationStyles.com has to offer!

That’s not all, BABs! When you enter coupon code thebrokeassbride at checkout, you can score 12% off your order. Now get to inviting!

{Partner Love} Invitations By Dawn Wants You To Get The Word Out Without Breaking The Bank

Oh, hey, newbie bride! Got that guest list done? Are you now working on those baller wedding invites and scouring the Interwebz for the cheapest yet most amazing ones you can find?

WELL, YOU CAN STOP.

Invitations by Dawn has a ridiculous amount of beautiful and shockingly wallet-friendly options for you. Want it quick ‘n’ easy? Want fancy-pantsy? Want ALL THE THINGS? They’ve got it covered.

Whether it’s chevron-striped, engraved or thermographic style you’re coveting, or a quick ‘n’ easy seal ‘n’ send, there are a wide array of options available to make it simple, painless and fully within your budget.

Don’t have time to figure out how to coordinate your invitations, response cards and reception cards? Or the budget to pay out the nose for each individual item? No sweat. Choose the 3-in-1 package and get all the stationery coordinated to match and worded by you. Check those bad boys off your list and move on to the next big to-do.

Working with Invitations by Dawn is uber simple. Not only can you have your pick of their huge selection, but you can choose to get an e-proof to make sure all your info is legit before it flies away in the mail. Got a huge order? Sweet, because any purchase over $175 scores free shipping! And if you tend to be the antsy type (let’s face it, you’re planning a WEDDING. Antsy is your middle name!) you can check in on your order status any time. Oh and their customer service? Yeah, they’ll take care of you. Super quick responses make those middle-of-the-night panic attacks about spelling dissipate in no time flat.

Check ’em out and get another thing checked off your list. You’ll thank me for it later.

 

 

{Partner Love + A Contest!} Invitations By Dawn Has Some Baller Invites On The Cheap, & A Pinterest Contest to Boot!

YOU GUYS. (Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell, but this is important.) Invitations by Dawn. Let’s chat, shall we?

I must admit, I’m a pretty serious mom-and-pop-store lovin’ kinda gal. And when it came to my wedding invitations, I wanted so hard to keep it small, but with my 200 invites, it proved a difficult task. So, being the resourceful Interwebz maven I am, I searched high and low for something that would be uber unique to our small Hawaiian fete. I stumbled upon some super rad, and super cheap ones that had the Hawaiian islands and were made to look like an old-school treasure map. Slap some of our faves The Beatles lyrics on there? That’s a match made in stationery heaven!

Our invites were not only something I love so hard it hurts, but they were really affordable and we had so many customizable options, as well as amazing customer service. (Our proofs had a whopping error I missed the first time around and there were no problems fixing them.) They were printed on high-quality paper and were a cinch to fold up and make purdy for those mailboxes.

Thus, I was stoked to find out that Invitations by Dawn was doing a Pinterest contest. Yessssssss!!!!

Here’s the deal:

– Head on over to Pinterest.

-Follow Invitations by Dawn. Http://pinterest.com/dawninvites

– Go ahead. Create a wedding board. Already got one? You’re a step ahead.

– Hit up that hashtag and tag each pin with #dawninvitescontest

– Send it up! Email your completed board to mediarelations@invitationsbydawn.com

Onward, ye brides-to-be! Go forth into the great battle for amazeballz wedding invitations! May the best bride win!

{Partner Love} Postable Gets Your Addresses Organized, The Easy, Eco-friendly, Paperless Way

Be honest, do you have all the addresses you need nicely organized in one spot? Or do you have some in email, some in Google Docs, some in your cute little address book that you bought and swore to use (whoops!) and some on random scraps of paper strewn throughout your abode? And then there are those that you could swear you’ve written down a bajillion times … but it looks like you’re going to have to call Aunt Matilda to get Cousin Betsy’s address again. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you had one spot, one single solitary place for all of them to be stored and organized?

Especially now that you’re getting married and have to send out save the dates, invitations and thank you cards?

Oh, yes, yes it would. And that’s where Postable comes into play. The boys over at Postable, the genius behind the idea, schemed up a way for you to collect, organize and keep all your contacts in one easy place.

And the best part? It’s free!!! Yeah, they’re looking out for you broke-asses.

So here’s the sitch:

– You’ll get a link (http://postable.com/YourName).

– You send this magical little link to your friends, family and Aunt Matilda.

– They fill out a short form.

– You pour yourself a glass of wine and take another look at your dream dress.

– Abracadabra! Poof! Your address book is now filled.

Wasn’t that easy? No more trying to wrangle that third cousin twice removed who never answers her cellphone. Just zip her an email and you’ll be good to go.

Also: The guys at Postable are super, crazy committed to privacy, so the service is completely secure. No need to worry over security.

Postable understands what an asspain it can be to hound everyone for their deets. So they made it as quick and painless for everyone. And since it free-99, there’s no pain in your wallet, either. So, get yo-self all kinds of organized before the craziness of your wedding ensues.

Sugarflower Design’s Crafty Guest Post Part III: The Joys of DIY Lite!

This  is our very last crafty guest post from the fabulous Autumn from Sugarflower Design! Did you miss Part I or Part II? Be sure to check them out hereand here!  

I’m back for my third and (sniff, sniff) final installment on the ups and downs, dos and don’t of DIY’ing your own wedding stationery. We’ve already covered the potential pitfalls of DIY, and ways to keep your DIY design fly. But, we realized not all of you want to take on the whole enchilada. So, here are two options for cutting some costs with DIY “lite”.

Printable Stationery

Happy craftin'!

Printable stationery allows you to forgo the design process, but save money by printing and assembling yourself. There are lots of options available for printable stationery, generally breaking down into two groups:

1) Pre-printed, blank card “kits”. You set up files on your computer to print the details of your wedding on the blank areas of each card in the kit. Check out this adorable set from Target!

2) Pre-designed computer files (usually PDF files).  Typically files arrive pre-formatted with your wedding details and card graphics ready to print on your home printer. Most print on standard letter-size paper that you must purchase separately and then cut apart after printing. Etsy.com has a HUGE variety of printable wedding invitations and accessories

 

Sugarflower Design

Some things to keep in mind when considering printable stationery:

a) Are you confident in your home printer to do the job?

b) Does the printable stationery come with sufficient instructions, templates and/or support from the designer to ensure your stationery is printed successfully?

c) What level of proofing for both color and text is supported by the PDF
designer?

d) What materials and tools are required to print, cut and assemble the stationery? Are they supplied, or do you need to find them on your own?

DIY “lite”

You have a limited budget, but you are not interested in designing or
printing your stationery. Consider purchasing low-cost, simple stationery
and spiffing it up with some DIY embellishment. I suggest sticking with
something you’ve done before – particularly if it alters the invitations
themselves (such as watercolor or embossing). Some ideas:

I can haz print job?

1) Hand-cut your own envelope liners. Templates for your envelope size/shape are available online and in craft stores.

2) Apply some well-placed Swarovski crystals to your invitation

3) Purchase a nice, contrasting color of cardstock to “stack” behind your invitation card. Just be sure your envelopes will accommodate the larger backing card!

4) Add a fabric or ribbon “belly band” to hold your cards together.

5) If you are artistic, or have a friend willing to help out, consider some simple watercolor details on your cards.

6) A custom embossing stamp with a pretty emblem or your initials will add some detail to the top of your invitation card or the back flap of your outer envelope.

It’s been a blast my ladies of BrokeAssery. Now, go get your card-on!