suite-hearts: me + him {save the dates}

It is terribly hard to blog, run a business and plan a wedding at the same time. And that is coming from someone who is entrenched in the wedding industry. I design custom wedding invitations. I design albums and branding systems for wedding photographers. I am constantly wading hip-high in our overly saturated, highly stimulating visual world of Pinterest, Facebook, bridal magazines and blogs. And that is just because I work in that space, not because I am planning wedding. But, I am also doing that. And I vowed to myself that I would make it simple, stress-free, classic and "me." Ha. Well, that works for me some of the time.

One of my favorite areas of the Summer House, is our "suite-hearts" product – fully custom wedding suites including {but certainly not limited to} save the dates, main invitation suites, on-site suites {menus, programs} and more.

But, let me tell you. Being "your own client" is rough. You nitpick every design decision. You overanalyze the color, type, image, process, content and production costs. You become immune to seeing anything with "fresh eyes" and having the capacity to really make a decision you feel comfortable with. All of that being said, I would never dream of hiring someone else to design my wedding invitations. Or -- *gasp* -- even fathom choosing them from something already pre-designed and at the ready. Oh no. I dove in head first. And at the end of the day, when they finally hit guest's mailboxes, I received the best compliment that I could – "they are so you."  After all, isn't that our goal? To have it be "so you" rather than "so pretty, just like another wedding?" I think so.

As with anything, I never do it the easy way. Or, the "normal" way. Our wedding event is no different. Instead of one day, we are having two. Instead of a big ceremony and reception with our entire guest list, we are having a small private ceremony followed by a big honkin' BBQ party the next day. Seems like a great idea, right? Well, I know it is the right idea for us as a couple. But it is a horribly big challenge to figure out HOW to convey this message to our guests via printed stationery.  

 Design preview for Erica + Bryan's save the date element in their suite-hearts package. 

Design preview for Erica + Bryan's save the date element in their suite-hearts package. 

Our suite started off with a save the date card, as most do. But not one design. Two. I knew I wanted simple. Something that appeals to my "right angle issues" and love of clean lines and white space. Something that pushes the envelope on typography. {Wait, that's not me, nevermind.} Something modern. So, I started with two fav images from our e-sesh with the incredible Schultzes. I added simple black type, a combo of sans serif and script. A clear message {here is when and where it is, please be there}. And laid it all out on the most gorgeous 24 pt super-thick crisp white matte stock I could find. Combined with two different lined envelopes, a uniquely shaped address label and a custom rubber return address stamp {here is where I allow myself to blur the lines of perfection}, and it was in the mail.

 The final product, printed cards for Erica + Bryan's save the date in their suite-hearts package.  24pt matte, 4/1, offset press combined with a kraft paper and snow white envelope, lined with stardream metallics.

The final product, printed cards for Erica + Bryan's save the date in their suite-hearts package.  24pt matte, 4/1, offset press combined with a kraft paper and snow white envelope, lined with stardream metallics.

 The final product, printed cards for Erica + Bryan's save the date in their suite-hearts package.  24pt matte, 4/1, offset press combined with a kraft paper and snow white envelope, lined with stardream metallics.

The final product, printed cards for Erica + Bryan's save the date in their suite-hearts package.  24pt matte, 4/1, offset press combined with a kraft paper and snow white envelope, lined with stardream metallics.

 The final product, printed cards for Erica + Bryan's save the date in their suite-hearts package.  24pt matte, 4/1, offset press combined with a kraft paper and snow white envelope, lined with stardream metallics.

The final product, printed cards for Erica + Bryan's save the date in their suite-hearts package.  24pt matte, 4/1, offset press combined with a kraft paper and snow white envelope, lined with stardream metallics.

"Instead of searching for inspiration, how about you search out someone to inspire."

— TONY KIM