Submit a Feature Advertise Subscribe

Invitations & Paper Goods

Paperkuts Studio on Money Saving Tips for Wedding Stationery

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wedding invitations are your guests' first impression of your wedding. And this is why having a great stationer to work with is key! Kim with Paperkuts Studio is a great source for all things wedding paper goods. From personalized invitations to place cards to menu cards, Kim can create custom designs specific to your wants and needs for your wedding. She even created all of these gorgeous invitations, place cards + menu cards for our greenery themed table scape on Today in Nashville! But here's where it gets a little tricky with invitations and paper goods - pricing. How much should you be spending on your invitations? Kim breaks it down and gets real with us on the numbers of how much your invitations should cost. Keep reading below to get her take on the cost of your wedding invitations...

How much do you recommend couples spending on wedding stationery? 

Kim: That is the top question from brides as they begin their search for wedding invitations - and it's the hardest to answer! The statistics show that the average wedding costs around $30,000 and your budget should be 2-3% for stationery. That’s $600-$900 and yes, that’s a lot of money, but most often, not enough. Realistically, you should budget 4-8% or more and that’s $1,500-$1,800 based on the average wedding cost.

What are the must have stationery pieces for a wedding? (Save the dates, invites, RSVPs, thank you notes, etc.)

Kim: The must haves for your wedding invitation suite are two items: your invitation and RSVP. But it totally depends on your vision. Most brides will send save the dates about a year in advance, especially if they are planning a destination wedding or expect a lot of out of town guests.  From there, you can add a reception card, accommodations card, directions card, website card, etc.  Along with your invitation and RSVP, the next must have is your thank you cards.  Order early and have them available as you receive gifts.  This will lighten the load!

How can couples save money on their wedding stationery?

Kim: As always, your invitation sets the tone for your wedding. Couples can save money by setting a realistic budget and assessing their needs. Ensuring your guest list is accurate and  confirming that the information on the invitation is correct (location, time, names) is crucial. The worst thing is to re-order paper because of an error like that! Also, understanding that all of those bells and whistles have a price tag associated with them is important. And if you are a DIY’er, totally go for it! 

What is your best money saving tip for couples searching for wedding stationery?

Kim: The best money saving tip is to stick with your budget. I am the classic, “Bologna budget, Caviar taste!” Invitations are like everything else, you get what you pay for. Let your stationer know what your budget is, the number of invitations that you need and what message you want to convey.  Nothing hurts my heart more than when a bride loves the caviar selection, but it isn’t within her budget. Don’t even look at those types of selections because nothing else will compare and you will never be fully satisfied.  

Any other tips/comments you may have?

Kim: Be open to ‘tweaking’ the invitation you originally found on ebay or Pinterest!  The majority of those invites are custom and custom costs money. Most of all, relax, savor the moments and enjoy!

Thanks so much for sharing all of your insight with us, Kim! Want to see more of Kim's work? Check out the Paperkuts Studio website here and also see more of her work on Instagram here!

All photos by Jenna Henderson

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Advice & Planning, Invitations & Paper Goods, 0 comments »

Meet Darby Cards Collective: Nashville’s Source for Wedding Invitations + More

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Photos by High Five for Love

You've seen her work on our blog before.... here, here and here. And if you know what the Nashville Bride Guide logo looks like, then you for SURE have seen her work! Who am I talking about? Darby of Darby Cards Collective! Darby is the master wedding invitation designer in the Nashville area. Not only can she design your invitation suites, but Darby can also help with your Save the Dates, placecards, wedding signage, thank you notes and more! So no matter what design you are looking for, Darby (along with her team of talented local designers) can help you find the best quality invitations for the best price! Without further ado, I'd love to introduce you to Darby - read below to learn more about her business!

Photo by She He We Photography

Tell us about Darby Cards Collective + how long you've been in business!

Darby: Darby Cards {now with the added word Collective} has been up and running since the summer of 2011. The idea started out as a greeting card line business for card shops and boutiques. The greeting card line is still alive and growing, however, the paper market dictated a lot of where we would go in the future. The retail line of invitations and stationery started in 2012 and has remained the bulk of my business. Creating wedding invitations, coordinating cocktail napkins and designing seating arrangements keeps us busy bees year round! We love becoming someone's "paper person for life." We keep up with our clients through birthday parties, baby announcements, Christmas cards and so much more! Just recently, the idea of a collective has been bouncing around our office walls. This is a collective of young designers looking to get their designs out into the market under the umbrella of a largely recognized name. I love working alongside these designers to see their aesthetic and creativity. It has been such a success for Darby Cards by bringing in new clientele and keeping the creativity new and fresh.

How did you get started in weddings?

Darby: I was hired as a part-time sales girl at a gift and invitation shop while I was in college. I didn't realize I loved the art of invitations and stationery until I discovered it there. I worked there selling invitations from big design companies in the north while learning the etiquette and aesthetic of spacing, fonts, balance and color. Shortly after graduation was when I had left this shop to pursue my own designs and create Darby Cards.

What's the philosophy behind Darby Cards Collective?

Darby: There is something for every bride. I loved working in the boutique selling wedding invitations but many brides were disappointed to find out how expensive some invitations can be. The print world is massive and can be very confusing to someone who hasn't done their homework. There are all types of printing processes; digital, thermography, letterpress, foil stamping, and engraving and they have different rules for printing and of course, price. I recognized that brides of course could fall in love with a $17.00 letterpress wedding invitation, but many girls don't have that in their budget or want to spend the bulk of their budget on some other aspect of their wedding, so the premise for designing invitations was to design elegant flat printed invitations at an affordable cost. Our most basic cardstock is still a gorgeous 120 pound eggshell finish cardstock that comes in a crisp white or warm ivory. It's getting the look you want without spending an arm and a leg. Since our first year in business, we have grown quite a bit and now have the options for letterpress, foil stamping and engraving, but still striving to get the best look at a fair cost. We meet with each bride (face to face if they are local) to talk with them about their wedding to get a sense of feel and tone so we can point them in the direction of a wedding invitation that would be perfect for them. From there, we look through our predesigned invitations and past samples to get together a collection of their interests and then we design a custom look for them. Each bride is different, so every invitation should be too!

Photos by Tracy Burch Photography + High Five for Love

Photo by Kelly + Logan Photography

What are your strengths compared to other paper goods companies?

Darby: We are here to meet with you and talk through your questions, likes and dislikes. A bride can feel extremely comfortable that she is working with someone that if she has a question, she can pick up the phone and call us. She won't get a recording and wait on the phone for hours. Because we are a small business, each bride is very important to us. By the time their big day rolls around, we are usually hugging, wishing them the best, and begging for wedding pictures as they leave our office. We are definitely in the relationship business and love to make each client happy.

What attracts brides to Darby Cards Collective?

Darby: Brides come to us because we have such an extreme variety of design and styles. A bride getting married at Loveless could come in and get a southern style invitation suite with the Nashville skyline and a paper bag colored envelope or a bride getting married at Cheekwood could come in and we can design a gorgeous orangic wreath letterpressed on our cotton paper and tied with silk ribbon. The collective really helps us expand our design styles as well by bringing in new invitations from a completely different aesthetic and perspective.

What is a huge trend you're seeing right now in wedding paper goods?

Darby: The biggest question I get right now is about seating arrangements and YES, we do them!! We can design a seating arrangement to coordinate with your invitation and other paper pieces so everything from save the date to cocktail napkin flows flawlessly. A seating arrangement chart does the exact same duty as placecards but saves a table and instead is placed on an easel. We print them in a number of different sizes and then back them on foam board so they are sturdy. These also make for a grand entrance into your reception!!

Photos by Rachel E. Ligon Photography + Amilia Photography

Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful invitation designs with us, Darby! You can find out more about Darby Cards Collective by visiting her website here and browsing lots of ready-made invitation designs (or create your own custom design alongside Darby)! And be sure to give her a follow over on Instagram here to see the latest and greatest designs!

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Invitations & Paper Goods, 0 comments »

A Calligraphy Workshop for Brides on April 29th by Nashville Bride Guide

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hello hello! I have some really exciting news over here in Nashville Bride Guide land! Nashville Bride Guide + White Ink Calligraphy are co-hosting a calligraphy workshop for brides! It will take place at the beautiful historical venue Briar Rose Hill on April 29th from 10:30am-12:30pm. This workshop is for brides + 1 guest of honor! You'll have the chance to learn calligraphy basics from Claire White of White Ink Calligraphy, take home your very own calligraphy set, create framed calligraphy wall art, and grab some info and resources to help you plan your Nashville wedding!


What can you expect at the calligraphy workshop? Here's a little timeline of how the day will go!

10:30 am - Guests arrive, mingle, have some food/drinks

10:40 am - Introductions + Itinerary for the day

10:45 am - Calligraphy 101 class with Claire

11:30 am - Break for brunch by Loveless Catering and receive tours from Briar Rose Hill

12:00 pm - Begin framed take home project

12:30 pm - Group photo and final announcements

Also, did I mention you'll receive a swag bag chock full of goodies from some of our favorite Nashville wedding professionals? I already heard that Briar Rose Hill's scented candles and the famous Loveless jams will be making an appearance in each bag! Plus, here's what you'll receive in your take-home calligraphy starter kit (each item is hand-picked by Claire!):


Pen Holder


Tracing Paper

Guideline Sheets 

Hand lettering instructions

And what about the food + drinks? We've got you covered! Bar Magnolia will be on-site serving some beautiful hand-crafted cocktails and Loveless Catering will serve their famous buttermilk biscuits + jam as well as hash brown casserole, bacon and more! Wow - I'm getting hungry already! And you'll eat all of this delicious food from vintage china from The Wedding Plate! (We had to have cute plates for this event!)

What will the space look like? Briar Rose Hill is a historic home and wedding venue and our workshop will take place in the bridal suite (yes, it's that beautiful room with the magnificent fireplace!). Liberty Party Rental will provide us with some farm tables and J. Alexander Home Designs will be there with some cute pieces to showcase. Petals & Fields will be installing some gorgeous flowing flowers along the grand staircase and Nashville Event Planning will spruce up the workspace with some fresh florals in the bridal suite. 

Hannah Elaine Photography + Anne Claire Patterson will be documenting the workshop with photography and videography. So you'll get to see it all in action after the fact and share the experience with friends and family. 

We only have space for 30 attendees, so be sure to grab your tickets quickly before it sells out!

Photos provided by White Ink Calligraphy + Briar Rose Hill


Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Bridal Showers, Luncheons, Parties, Bridal Shows & Events, Bridesmaids & Bridal Party, Invitations & Paper Goods, 0 comments »

White Ink Calligraphy’s New Branding + Calligraphy Services for Nashville Brides

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 brings about a fun change for Nashville calligrapher Claire Cohen Lettering... she now goes by the name White Ink Calligraphy! Her fresh and clean rebrand is so beautifully designed - it's like we're sitting right next to her while she's calligraphing our wedding envelopes! From custom calligraphy to her Etsy shop items, White Ink Calligraphy has so much to choose from for your Nashville wedding. If you're looking for that extra wow-factor for your bridesmaid gifts, your place cards or even your wedding signage, Claire of White Ink Calligraphy is your girl! Check out our interview below to learn more about her rebrand!

Woo hoo! Claire Cohen Lettering is now White Ink Calligraphy! Tell us about the new brand!

Claire: Out with the old and in with the new! I was patiently waiting for the new year to break out the new branding! With 2017 comes a ton of change for me personally, so I'm ready to embrace the new-ness and I'm beyond ecstatic for the amazing feedback I've received about the rebranding!

Are you offering any new services or specialties with the new name change?

Claire: Yes! Use promo code GIRLBOSS through 2-15-17 for 10% off all orders through my Etsy shop as well as custom orders that are placed prior to 2-15-17.

Tell us the concept behind your branding - what type of style are you going for? White, clean lines? Fun and funky?

Claire: I wanted customers to have a view from my desk - on a good, clean day, of course :) A messy day contains ink splatters, La Croix cans, and paper situated everywhere. With custom lettering comes wax seals, embossers, tons of different inks, different nibs, my obsession with fancy pen holders, watercolors, lovely ribbon - all of the above and more. I surround myself with these things in my work space which provides inspiration for my work; therefore, I wanted these items to be part of my logo and rebranding.

What does 2017 look like for White Ink Calligraphy?

Claire: I'm super stoked for 2017. I've made a ton of new friends in the wedding industry and I'm so excited to get to work on some of the collaborations we have planned. P.S. to the brides, if you are ready to chat about calligraphy services, please reach out and reserve a spot on my calendar!

How can White Ink Calligraphy help newly engaged brides?

Claire: Let me help you make those Pinterest ideas come to life when you are sending out your "will you be my bridesmaid" gifts. We can chat about incorporating calligraphy from today through the big day, including keepsake calligraphed wedding vows and letters to the parents of the bride and groom.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about White Ink Calligraphy?

Claire: I now have a new Instagram name, @WhiteInkCalligraphy. As well, be sure to show my new Facebook page some love to keep up with my current work!


Thanks so much for sharing your exciting news with us, Claire! We're so excited to see where 2017 takes you!

Remember, grab the code GIRLBOSS to receive 10% off of your Etsy shop order!

Check out more on White Ink Calligraphy in our Vendor Directory!

All photos provided by White Ink Calligraphy. 

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Invitations & Paper Goods, 0 comments »

Nashville Event Collective: A Collaborative Group of Wedding Professionals in East Nashville

Monday, December 19, 2016

This past fall, I had the privilege of visiting with the Nashville wedding professionals at Nashville Event Collective. Their cute and modern digs in East Nashville is a collaborative office space for all six professionals who each specialize in a certain area in the planning process! Who are they? Abigail Volkmann PhotographyFanciful InkLaurie D'Anne EventsWhiskey TeacupThe Interior Maven, + Anchor Films. Put them all together and what have you got? An incredible wedding! But when all of us got together we had an incredible time of fellowship and fun at their studio space. We sat down, had some snacks (Five Daughters Bakery is right around the corner!) and said cheers to their new venture. Plus, we chatted about each of their wedding businesses - from custom designed cake toppers to cinematic weddings, we all learned a lot by the end of the night! And since we covered so much in the time we were there, we'll make this post a two part series! Today we'll see what Fanciful Ink, Laurie D'Anne Events and Abigail Volkmann Photography are all about accompanied by the beautiful photos Abigal (the NEC founder) took!

Meet Abigail Volkmann Photography

Abigail Volkmann Photography is a boutique photography company that specializes in capturing the light, love, and life of her clients. Telling the love story from the beginning is what she loves. She starts with the engagement session and then gets to watch the story unfold through the wedding day, pregnancies, celebrations, and milestones. It is a magical journey captured a tenth of a second at a time. 

Abigail: I founded NEC in April of this year. It was actually a dream coming to fruition for me. I wanted to create a place where a couple could go and plan their entire event. It has taken time to get the right collection of professionals, but that is because I knew it was important to find vendors that have the same level of expertise and professionalism as I bring to my company. I also have to give a shout out to my "OG," Laurie Montgomery with Fanciful Ink. She has been with me from the beginning, if she had not given a resounding yes and encouraged this vision when I first presented it to her, I don't think NEC would exist today. It was the start of just exemplifying this is a group of professionals who support NEC and each other. It is truly amazing to see this dream come true with the most perfect group of people.

Abigail: I have been a full time photographer for 12 years. I started my photography career working in commercial and advertising photography. I worked with companies such as Simon Malls and Sports Illustrated. I had a photographer friend who started photographing weddings and said how much he enjoyed it. I thought I would maybe shoot a few weddings on the side, so I gave it a try. For me, it was one of those things where I didn't know that I didn't love what I was doing, until I started to photograph weddings and realized it was truly my passion.




Meet Fanciful Ink

Fanciful Ink offers completely custom wedding stationery, placing pride and emphasis on creating something to fit a couple rather than the couple selecting something pre-designed that may not reflect the overall look of their special day. Color, details and typeface are all carefully thought out for each couple. I want them to walk away knowing a special piece of artwork was made just for them!

Laurie: After starting out designing for couples I knew and loved, I realized that I wanted to approach my clients with the same amount of care and love. A wedding day and all of the moments leading up to it are precious, though many instances can be stressful. I want to provide a relaxing space for couples to know that they are taken care of and are special to me and my business. I love making new connections with them and forming relationships. My husband and I actually ran into a couple at a restaurant recently whose invitation suite I designed. We had dinner with them and thoroughly enjoyed it! So many couples spend hours and money on each detail of their wedding and that very first detail that the guests will see is their wedding invitation or their Save the Date. It sets the tone of the wedding and shows guests what to expect. I want guests to immediately know if your wedding is formal at an elegant mansion or a rustic backyard casual ceremony just by pulling that invitation out of the envelope.

Laurie: I love illustrated elements! I like to encourage couples to think about little details to tie everything together. If they are using a particular flower, I will draw that out and incorporate it throughout the design. Since barn weddings are so popular, I love to draw out the barn where the wedding will be. I have even included a sketch of a couple's dog into their RSVP card! I incorporated the stained glass ceiling design of Union Station for my own wedding invitations. Getting couples to think outside of the box as far as what they can pull into the design of their stationery is fun and allows them to realize that the sky is the limit and they really can have a design that fits them perfectly.


Meet Laurie D'Anne Events

Laurie D'Anne Events is a luxury wedding and event planning company. Founder Laurie Hardman is the lead designer and planner. As an event designer first, Laurie revels in fine lines, strives for harmony and balance, and relishes in the heightened senses. She has been designing and planning events for over 9 years, primarily in the Nashville area and has had clients that are across the US both. She thoroughly enjoys all types of events, including corporate and social event planning. When it comes to weddings we offer everything from Full Planning and Design to Partial Planning. Everything is customized to what is most important to the couple. Laurie says. "I love the building new relationships, creating lasting memories for each my clients"

Laurie: We joined Nashville Event Collective to partner with other great talents. In our business I typically handle most all of the elements of the event. Working together in the same space as other amazing, talented partners makes the planning process so much more convenient. We can meet with brides as a group and they can get several elements checked off their list all at once. Laurie D'Anne Events offers a full service package called "The Limo Ride" where the planning process is seamless. The Collective was the perfect fit for us and the vision of the future of the company. Wedding planning can be stressful so having a place where the brides can relax and enjoy the planning is terrific!


Laurie: I have always loved weddings. I joke, though it sounds cliche', I love, "LOVE" . I love seeing people in love. I love the relationship of the human spirit engaging with one another. Weddings are such a monumental moment in a person's life. They are filled with so many emotions and I love helping to make that day all that a couple has dreamed it would be. It is as once in a lifetime event. When I started in designing and producing events, I had a special ability to make people feel comfortable and to help balance out all the unknowns in planning an event. Because of this I was handed most of the weddings in the company was working for at the time. And so the more weddings I helped create, the more I loved doing them. Soon, I became the Director of Wedding and Events. We do plan all types of events but I have a special love for weddings.


I'm so happy that all of these incredibly talented professionals were able to spend some quality time with Nashville Bride Guide! You can find Nashville Event Collective on Facebook here. Also make sure you follow them on Instagram here!

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow with more vendor interviews and a video by Anchor Films!

All photos by Abigail Volkmann Photography.

Posted by Alyssa | Filed under: Helpful Vendor Interviews!, Invitations & Paper Goods, Photography, Wedding Planners & Coordinators, Wedding Resources, 0 comments »