Joining the wedding industry fuels the love of certain things in a bride’s heart. Things like paper goods. Ask any wedding planner if she’s a sucker for stationery — I bet she’ll start swooning. Just look at the following for Stationery Academy!! I love looking at recap posts from the Academy; pretty typefaces and thick cardstocks and gorgeous graphic prints, oh my!

When Drew and I first started planning out how we’d be announcing our engagement and inviting guests to our soiree, initially we came into things with serious budget-vision. We tried to see what our cheapest options were, looking at ready-made invites online and etsy vendors with low prices. However, over the course of planning and utilizing Brocade Designs‘ event design services, we began to fall madly in love with the idea of a custom suite built to fit our specific vision!

Hillary did not disappoint. After filling out an extensive questionnaire, sending pictures of paper suites I adored, gasping over gorgeous fonts, tossing creative ideas around and tweaking verbiage… she sent me several stunning options.

Here’s my initial inspiration:

As you can see, the elements I was drawn to were:  suites in our color family (pinks, greens, taupe/gold), calligraphy-esque fonts, graphic (sometimes geometrical) prints, monograms, wreath detailing, and a soft/romantic look.

Hillary took those ideas and came up with three different models for our invitation.

Our favorite of the three was the model on the far right — the champagne backing and paler pink detailing seemed a little less feminine-only (although I tossed the idea of having it be completely gender-neutral pretty early on), I loved the fonts and outline pattern, and it could easily be translated into a cohesive invitation suite!

We tweaked a couple of things:  changing the color of the “D” monogram, adjusting the font and design hues a bit, and then changing the reception info/time (after we fired our caterer mid-invitation design period!). Finished design? See below!

For our RSVP cards, I had the strike-of-genius idea one evening to do a cookbook as our guest book*, compiling recipes from guests as they RSVP’d to the wedding. Hillary designed a super-cute matching RSVP card for the suite.

(*We didn’t actually make the cards into a guest book per se, but we do have them all to reference whenever we want a great new married recipe to make!)

Hillary showed me a pretty little booklet of paper types to choose for our big envelopes, RSVP envelopes, and envelope liners. I opted for the prettiest pink-and-green floral print liner (slid inside a STUNNING sparkly ballet pink envelope) and a little pop of bright raspberry pink for the RSVP cards.

After a few months of helping Hillary around the shop with crafts, I couldn’t stop there with the invites. To make them extra-special fancy and gorgeous, I crafted a multi-layered belly band with lace and ribbon to hold the pieces together. I made my team of dedicated bridesmaids slave away with me putting the pieces all together. It took a week, but the result was amazing!!!!! Way better than I ever could have imagined. Gorgeous work, Hillary!

{And in action:: As framed in my little shadow box on display at our reception!}

Stay tuned next week to see our other paper goods — save-the-dates we created from some favorite photos from our engagement shoot with Brett Price, menu/programs inspired by Style Me Pretty that tied in our invite suite, the escort cards that I didn’t finish until noon on our wedding day, and more!

~ Kelly