Meet Darby Cards Collective: Nashville's Source for Wedding Invitations + More - Nashville Bride Guide

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

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!



Nashville Bride Guide’s Owner + Editor, Alyssa DiCicco

Since 2016, Alyssa has combined her loves to become the owner and editor of the local wedding blog, Nashville Bride Guide! The online publication showcases weddings, engagement sessions, styled shoots, vendor spotlights and advice posts from all across the Middle Tennessee area. Read more...