Tag Archives: etsy

Stunning Stationery

2Today, my dears, I am going to give you a little preview of what is going on with our wedding stationery.  As mentioned previously, I started planning our wedding like I would plan a new room in our house:  modern and simple.  And then, I got the romantic bug stuck in my ear, and I’ve never looked back since.  We all get now that we want lush garden romance.  Along with the decor and atmosphere, I want my wedding stationery to be the same. 

We have BIG plans for our where this is all going, and the plans are centered around the creative talents of one of my favorite Etsy vendors:  LindseyRyanDesigns, otherwise known as Lindsey Petlak.  Please visit her etsy store, and you will step in to a world of romantic vintage designs only seen come to life from a few rare gems in our world.  Lindsey is FANTASTIC!  She is based out of Chicago but will do orders for anyone.  She is creative, flexible, and so enthusiastic!  She has fantastic vision and enjoys a challenge.  She also created WeddingBee’s Miss Perfume’s invitation suite.

I made the transition in my stationery mindset from modern to vintage in a heartbeat when I put an alchemy bid out for invitations, to which Lindsey replied.  At that point I was hooked.  I started really thinking about what would be our wedding theme and direction.  Stationery can really set the tone as it is the first glimpse of your wedding that your guests will see as they open the invitation.  Your invitation can tell your guests many things about your wedding including the formality and style. 

I started combing the web for vintage artwork and prints and started finding myself collecting images of vintage maps.  Eventually, we decided that our entire invitation will be one map with the invitation information built into the map such as you would find in a map key.  The maps will be printed on 9×14″ paper and folded accordion style.  There are many elements that I would like to see present in our wedding invitation…


I love the water marks in the map above.  The Mississippi River runs through our community, so water is something that will be incorporated into our map. 


I love how all the fonts in the picture above are different on each line and that there is a mix of bold and delicate.


I also love how vintage maps have random illustrations thrown in.  We will use illustrations like these to mark important locations on our map. 


This is how our map will look like when it is unfolded.  This map above is a little more simple in font and design than what we are going for, but the general lay out is nice.


I love the border on this picture.  So detailed and elegant.  The pieces of information in our invite will have these sorts of borders.


I also like the growing trend that I see in bringing back silhouettes into wedding stationery.  Our silhouettes will be our icon and will appear in our invitations, table numbers, programs, and what not.

So far in the process, Lindsey and I have been trading clip art and ideas back and forth.  Now she is ready for me to give her all the invite information so that she can create a draft of the invitation for us to see.  I’ll keep you posted!

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Taking the plunge…dress update.

dressmeasurefigureSo I wrote a few days ago about my communication with a Chicago etsy seamstress about making my wedding gown by scratch to look like the jcrew Lucinda dress.  I wanted to give you all an update on how that is going. 

The first thing I did after my initial emails with BeyondtheReflection, aka Brandie Thomas, was I called my momma and asked her if she would be broken hearted if we didn’t have that mother/daughter moment in the bridal shop where I’m standing on the circular platform thingie and I’ve tried on a dress and I’m looking in the mirror and she’s crying and I’ m crying and the sales person is crying because we all know that I’ve found THE one.  She said, “Of course not!This will be so much fun”  I love my mom.  Have I told you all that before?  I LOVE my mom.  Both my parents are totally supportive of anything that I want to do, plus my mom has extreme common sense and exemplary taste in all things beauty and fashion related. 

My mom and I both are having so much fun so far in planning this wedding.  She is the one person who never tires of hearing my revolving door set of ideas.  Now we are both looking forward to the fittings and the trips to Chicago to work on this dress with Brandie.  We are starting this weekend by taking my measurements and sending them with the deposit for my dress so that Brandie can start work on the muslin mock up. 

Getting to this point took a little work, though.  Along with being supportive, my parents are protective of their rights and are often leary of businesses and vendors.  Everything has to be in writing.  My mom insisted that I ask for references and for a signed contract from Brandie before I submit my down payment via PayPal.  I was a little uncomfortable asking for this…although…I don’t know why I would be.  If you have prior success in your work, you’d be happy to show it off, right?  Anyhoo, Brandie was great and gave me several references to contact, and they have had nothing but wonderful things to say about their experiences working with her. 

I also asked Brandie if I could draw up a contract for the dress, and she agreed to that as well.  I am no lawyer, so I Googled “seamstress contract” and came up with three different examples that I combined into one to make it work for my situation.  I emailed it to Brandie and asked her to look it over and to make any changes that she saw fit and send it back to me.  It went back and forth a couple of times, but before two days were up, we had a contract.  This weekend, Brandie is signing it, scanning it, and sending it to me to be signed and sent back with my deposit.  Easy peasy!

If any of you are considering going this route and would like to see the contract that I used, feel free to leave me a comment, and I will email the template out to you.

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Lucinda, you little harlot!

lucinda-dress-jpegOh Lucinda dress…How I love Thee…Let me count the ways dollars.  Is anyone else stalking this dress?  It is so lovely and simple and classic, it is the shape that I have always thought of when I heard the word “bride”.  I never thought about what dress I actually wanted for myself, but when we first got engaged and I first started looking for dresses, I found this one almost right away.  I did what any mature, well-rounded adult does when they find mecca…I called my momma.  Then I called my maid of honor, my bridesmaids, my high school swim coach, and the President.  They all had to know that I’d found THE dress.  Somehow when I first started looking, it didn’t matter that the dress cost $2500. 

After starting budgeting negotiations with my parents and my FI, I realized that this dress was beyond my means.  *sigh*  So I started on the hunt for the ever so ellusive other perfect dress.   I felt attraction for several styles of dresses, but time after time, I returned to pictures of Lucinda to day dream.  Even the description that those tricksters at jcrew used to describe her reeled me in:  “A classic ballgown design in softly rippled cloqué fabric with a full-bodied drape and a very festive rustle.”  I WANT A FESTIVE RUSTLE!  Whatever that is. 

A member of weddingbee.com posted about how she had put an alchemy bid out for the exact same dress (copier…even though she did it before me…COPIER!  BLASPHEME!) and had had several people bid on the job.  For those of you unfamiliar with Etsy.com and their Alchemy program, you must try it.  Think of something you’ve always wanted and could never find/afford/imagine.  Then go and use the alchemy program at Etsy.  You can write a little diddy about this perfect thing and post it out there in Internet Land.  People will bid on your “thing” if they think they can produce it.  You can interview them, see what they would charge you, etc. etc. and decide if you are going to use their services or not.  It’s brilliant!  (I am currently using Etsy Alchemy for my invitations which I will post about soon.)

So I put in an alchemy bid for the Lucinda dress, and within 12 hours, I had about a dozen bids on my post.  The nice thing about Etsy is that you can go look at the “shops” and see what the bidders have previously made.  This is a good way to weed people out.  I had a couple of very nice ladies who put bids out for my dress, but when I went to their Etsy shop, they only had stuffed animals and other odds and ends.  Sorry ladies, I am looking for an experienced and qualified seamstress.  So you can write them a little “thank you but no thank you” message and decline their bid.  If you find someone who you think is super capable and talanted, then you can accept their bid and discuss payment terms and delivery and what not. 

I am currently in the discussion phase with Etsy user, BeyondtheReflection, who wrote an amazing bid back to me for only $375!!  This includes my initial fitting, a muslin mock up of my dress, additional fittings, materials, crinoline, final fittings, etc, etc. and voila!  Faux-Lucinda will be all mine.  Maybe I can call her “Fauxcinda”.  Or I can lie and tell people that she’s the real deal and watch them pout, quivering in jealosy.

I do have a little worry about whether or not an Etsy seller could totally con someone out of money.  It is important to do research on any potential seller so that those who prey on the indulgent and temporarily-aloof brides-to-be don’t take your precious pennies.  I went to this woman’s website which included examples of previous dresses and costumes that she had created by hand.  I have also asked for references that I can call and for our bid to be drawn up in an official contract.  She is in Chicago, so fittings and meetings will be a cinch, and I get a general good feeling from her.

Could she be a criminal?  Could she take my moneys?  Sure…but the way I figure it is that in worst case scenario, she swindles me out of $375 and I reverse charges on my credit card.  Best case scenario, I have a custom made and fitted beautifulbeautifulbeautiful gown that is made out of lovely perfect fabric for my lovely (perfect?) wedding. 

I will keep you updated as time goes on as to how this goes…who knows…maybe you could have Lucinda too.  At this point since I am calling my dress a she, an unsuspecting reader could stumble on this blog and think that we are bartering over loose women.  Don’t correct them just yet.  Let them ponder over their deluted musings…


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The bracelet that broke me down…


Modern.  Clean-lined.  Simple.  Those words could pretty much sum up my style.  I sound so cool, right?  I knew it.  I practiced.  No actually, I developed that style because working for pier1 for several years brainwashed me.  Our store was the number one ranked in visual appeal in our region, and our manager, a finicky gaygaygay man, could spot an unrully tassle or thumbprinted water goblet at 100 paces.  As I moved into my very first “grown up” apartment during the time that I worked for pier1, I cultivated my collection of “stuff” and evolved into a very finicky straightstraightstraight girl. 

So when I moved in with my FI whose house was decorated by his ma (don’t even get me started), it literally broke the mold to merge our two households.  Seriously.  I broke things secretly so that they didn’t have to be displayed.  I had to gradually weed out doilies, flowers, and mismatched candles for the first 47 days that we lived together.  Now we’ve been living together for about a year and a half, and our collection of stuff has evolved with our relationship into a comfortable modern English countryhouse feel.  Is that an official style?  Now it is.  Art Deco, Early Americana, Comfortable Modern English Country Feel…too long?  Superfluous wordage is my trademark. 

Anyhoo, what’s my point?  The point is as we started to plan our wedding, my choices started off very modern, clean-lined, and simple.  I was looking at tulips and orchids and square cut glass vases.  I professed that I wanted little to no decoration throughout the wedding and on my person.  I didn’t even want a veil or any jewelry  or any detail on my dress so that my ring could stand out as my sole decoration. 

Yesterday, I met my clean-lined adversary in the bracelet pictured above.  I was sitting in my graduate class trying to pay attention to the current discussion entitled “What is a Document?” (Librarians are nerds, okay?), when my mind wandered and I started stalking the WeddingBee discussion board.  An interesting thread on Etsy vendors led me to Noaki, a woman who sells STUNNING vintage jewelry.  I saw the bracelet listing, and my heart did a little booty dance in my chest.  I knew I had to have it.  I haven’t wanted something so badly since I refused to leave the Playschool play house display at the local Toys R Us when I was three (Mom:  It’s time to go!  I’m leaving!  Me:  Okay, bye.)  I bought it immediately so that I wouldn’t throw a full blown temper tantrum in the middle of my grad class.  That would be embarassing. 

It’s frilly, it’s pretty, my FI’s mom would probably approve.  It’s my very first fancy-schmancy thing.  And I love it.  I haven’t even purchased my dress yet.  I will either find a dress that “goes” with this bracelet, or so help me God, I will be walking down the aisle commando!

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