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To DIY or Not to DIY….

Recently, I have had several brides come to me as “do it yourselfers.” I have to admit though I am hesitant sometimes because I like to maintain control of what I do and produce, I love this spirit and the great ideas they have! It’s so fun to be injected with new passion for what I do because too often it’s easy to get complacent and do only what’s asked of you or “go with the trends.”

Sometimes though it’s not such a positive experience. I will give them great advice, etiquette tips, and only for them to turn around decide they would rather save money and do it alone. I have to say that it’s saddening at first. I lament their decision and am always said when something slips from my grasp, especially when I know I can give them something even better than what they imagine. This is what inspires today’s post: When to DIY and When NOT to DIY.

When to Do-it-Yourself

1. If you are on a seriously strict budget.

2. When you have lots of time. If you’ve got plenty of time before your mailing date then it’s fine to experiment. Don’t expect to experiment when you are working close to your deadline because mistakes are guaranteed to happen. Often a printer will require 10-20% extra of the total in paper stock because even the large presses make mistakes. Customers simply never see the mistakes and therefore aren’t aware that they occur every time.

3. When you have a lot of patience. If you have the time and patience to sit and watch your printer print each and everyone piece then DIY. It takes a great deal of patience to work carefully with your printer’s alignment and the design layout. Even graphic design programs such as InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop don’t always help with the printing of custom, non-standard size pieces.

4. When you can account to buy for more than you need.  It’s crucial that you overplan when doing it yourself. Whether the paper misfeeds or ink runs out there are always problems.

When NOT to Do-It-Yourself

1. If you are less than computer savvy. If you don’t understand how to format and custom design items it is better to trust a professional.

2. You have high expectations and desire high quality results. Being that your invitation is the very first impression of your event, guests will (for lack of better words) judge by how this piece looks. If you want everything to come out right the first time then don’t print it off your home printer. Awhile agoI helped a bride design, format and print items she purchased from a local craft store. It was a pretty nice set for a great price, but the quality proved to be lacking as the project went on. The box contained uneven numbers of items, the papers were perforated and came apart easily, and items in the same set where of different dye lots and thus varied in colors.

3. You don’t have the time nor patience to complete the job.

4. You really just don’t know what you’re doing. If you understand computers, printing, and design, and etiquette by all means you should do it yourself.  But there are so many aspects that you can overlook that a professional is used to dealing with – from quantity to typefaces to measurements and even proper assembly.

In the end, it can often cost as much as to do it yourself as it can to hire a professional. From the ink to your valuable time, it’s sometimes the best choice to go with someone who has experience! The benefits of hiring a professional (especially this one!) and purchasing from high quality stationery lines:

1. Choosing something offered by a printer means your work is guaranteed to be printed with high quality print presses

2. We can advise you on proper etiquette from addressing to wording 

3. Custom designing and one-of-a-kind pieces (including helping you precisely execute your vision)

4. Access to variety of papers, pockets, and more that you won’t see in other places or on the shelves of a craft store.

5. A Professional can be your advocate. Working with authorized retailers from print and stationery lines means that they are often trained in the products they work with. I make it my goal to deliver my clients the products they purchased. I always advocate for my clients if a print job returns to me that may not be up to par or comes out different than the client had imagined and would never produce something that I did not meet my own standards.

So, choose wisely my dear readers because your invitation sets the tone for your entire event. I applaud the people that try it and do it themselves! But remember, you can always seek the advice of a professional before jumping in. Just as a wedding dress and a venue help convey the mood, your invite sets the stage and introduces guests to what they can anticipate from your event. It sets the stage for the event you have been working so hard on so make every selection count!


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A DIVINE Vendor: APictureLife Photography

Whether it is planning an event or a even preparing for a new addition to the family capturing all the details of your life are so important. I for one am always carrying around my point and shoot trusty digital camera, but honestly nothing is like hiring an exceptional professional to capture each and every detail. Let me tell you my darling readers, Ashley Concolino of APictureLife Photography is a rare talent. Ashley is not only a beautiful person from the inside out, she is blessed with immeasurable talent for capturing the best of life’s moments. She is so talented and sees the most beautiful things through that lens! Ashley and her additional photographers shoot everything from family shoots to you guessed it: weddings! APictureLife Photography offers not only the highest quality in photography, but unique images, affordability, professionalism, and reliability. Owner Ashley is a gem and that’s why we’re spotilghting this one as a DIVINE Vendor! Check out her work! (Click on an image to enlarge)

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What we have been up to…

We have had an amazing summer so far… so busy and very excited about all the great things we’re doing. Trends of the summer: colorful designs and pockets! Each bride, though unique, is after that one-of-a-kind look with the benefit of an organized, clean look. I love the different papers and flourish designs my clients are drawn to.  I am so grateful to have the greatest clients who trust me and push me to try new designs. Check out the following pictures (edited for client’s privacy)!

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Aww shucks…..

Well March 1, 2010 marked the official Second Birthday of the Divine Invitation! It’s been up and down but thank God it’s mostly up! Starting a business right as the economy changed was so challenging, but with the loving support of new clients, family, and friends we’ve been happy to progress!

I truthfully hadn’t thought about it but last week this little package came in the mail…. I opened this unexpected delivery and found this:

Really? Me? Aww thanks! It’s our first “real” award marking our sales for 2009! Carlson Craft noted that it’s for exceptional sales and service in the past year. Well I was surprised and thankful. So now I guess The Divine Invitation is a “Distinguished Dealer.”

It made me pause and appreciate the last two years. I am so thankful that God has put me in a place where I can do what I love and work with people during joyous times in their lives.

Hey, thanks for letting me brag for a minute!

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Getting inspired!

So some time has passed and yes, I am a bad blogger. There I said it! We’ve been so busy around here that I really have just dropped the ball. But, I promise I will pick it up again and try to juggle! So on to the post…. getting inspired!

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from? How do you pick colors, style, and theme for an event?

A: Evaluate your personal style. Look around.. what’s your taste? How do you dress and decorate your home? Are you a glam girl? Do you favor clean, classic, simple lines? Or maybe you like vintage chic. Jot down your ideas and make an inspiration folder. Save pictures and tear-outs of anything that draws your eye. It takes time of course,  but in the mean time, a great place to start is looking through magazines and of course blogs. So on that note, I thought I would compile my all-time favorite event-planning and inspiring blogs and pass on my addiction.

 Style Me Pretty  is the best blog featuring DIY tips, real weddings, and vendor references.  I love the photos submitted for this and ideas they feauture.

The Wedding Chicks is another amazing blog with beautiful photography, DIY ideas, downloads, and planning tips.

Green Wedding Shoes is full of galleries and real wedding features drawing from inspiration from all over for bridres right here in Southern California.

Ruffled is a beautiful blog featuring vintage weddings. I simply love the unique, Anthropologie-esque styles they feauture.

I also love the following sites for inspiration for showers and parties:

Hostess with the Mostess is amazing for real party inspiration for showers and parties.  I love love love this site for party ideas and great decor finds!

The Celebration Shoppe Blog, The Party Dress,  and The Creative Party Place are also great resources for the hostess of all of life’s celebrations.

So stay tuned for more of my ideas on how to determine your personal style! Thanks for reading!

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Last Minute Post: A Leukemia Benefit

I know this post is very last minute, but tomorrow Saturday, November 21st Lorri and I will be taking part in a Leukemia Benefit for her close friend and neighbor. Lindsay, who is only 15, has battled this for years, only to find that it is returned in full force.

To show her support, the community has rallied together to raise awareness and funds! Tomorrow from 11:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. the Fender Museum of Music & Art in Corona, CA has offered to host a huge benefit showing and boutique show. Proceeds will go straight to Lindsay and her family during this difficult time. If you can make it I would love to show Lindsay God’s extending love throughout the community! For more info. e-mail me or visit the site.

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Merry Open House Re-cap

A big thank you to everyone who turned out for our Merry Open House! I was thrilled beyond words to have such an outpouring of support and love from our guests! We wined and dined, ate too many sweets and definitely stayed longer than anticipated. The afternoon was a huge success, special thanks to Natalie Merrick’s Southern Home Living and last minute featured guest Andrea Field! Natalie as always was a fantastic addition, bringing her awesome spirit and amazingly friendly personality on top of the beautiful home decor items. And Andrea crafts the most beautiful jewelry, all handmade with love! Not to mention the unique items she makes are reasonably priced. I just loved her gorgeous style, laid-back and loving personality. Note to my brides, she can even create custom jewelry for your wedding party! Anything from earrings to bracelets, Andrea has amazing wire wrapping talents and an eye for rare, precious stones.

Lastly, thanks to my mom, Nikki, who without such support we couldn’t have done it all. She exemplifies love and selfless service. Stay tuned for more holiday posts and a wedding. Meanwhile, here are some of the beauties that Andrea created:

Andrea Field

Andrea necklace

Andrea necklace 2

(All images from

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A Merry Open House!

 Spending time with family and friends is our favorite thing to do at this time of year and always! My gracious mother is hosting a Merry Open House party this Saturday for all of our female friends to enjoy some sweet treats, hot cocoa, and early Christmas shopping! Come and receive 15% off your entire order of holiday cards, invitations, and more!

Additionally, my lovely sister, Patricia Burns, sells Arbonne International skin care and make-up. She’s offering free skin care consultations during the party! While Natalie Merrick will be offering home decor items from Southern Living at Home and Leslie Stratton shows off her amazing gift baskets from OMG Baskets!

Wanna join us? Contact me for more information via e-mail or telelphone! (For security I have covered the address.) See below for the adorable invitation I designed on Mindy Weiss stationery for Inviting Company.

Merry Open House


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Visit me this Sunday!

This Sunday, October 25 The Divine Invitation will have a booth at Hephatha Lutheran Church & School’s Annual Fall Festival! We will be displaying our newest holiday products, including invitations from Inviting Company and unique photocards from Carlson Craft. Mention that you checked out our blog and get 15% off your order!

We hope you can stop by to see an array of boutiques featuring everything from home decor, crafts, clothing, and more. My sister will also be there offering all-natural skin care products from Arbonne International.

Oh and not to mention the amazing walk-thru adventure, where live actors will engage the audience with a funny moral tale. Our very own Lorri Keevern, my partner and owner of Style and Grace generously donated her time and talents to help the church spread the word! Hope you can visit all of us!

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Proof, Proof, and Proof again!

Today’s quickie lesson: proofread.

My dear friends, placing an order for anything, whether it’s invitations, announcements, programs, or even just a business card – it’s always best to take a few moments to proofread. Glance over your text and give it a critical eye. It’s simple and easy and boy can it save you a lot of money and time in the long run.

 For example, say an unnamed invitationer spent a bit of time specially designing an invitation for a dear friend… only to realize that oops! The date written reads, Saturday, November 1… November 1 is a Sunday! Or even in the event that an invitationer designed an elegant Rehearsal Dinner Invitation, submitted it to the printer, only to find that on the requested proof half of the given information simply didn’t appear. Mistakes happen people and they happen often. Save yourself time, money and worries of costly reprints by simply verifying your choices. So I thought I would develop a little helpful post for all of us. Some tips and tricks for you as gathered by a certain invitationer:

1. Always request a proof. Yes, sometimes proofs cost money from reputable invitation lines. Having an electronic proof provides specific visual representation of your piece and yes its important that you can see the EXACT layout. If a proof is not offered, ask for a copy to be taken of the information provided or confirmation of the text. Bonus: I always do this for my clients before submitting an order!

2. Share the proof with more eyes! Make sure that your fiance, husband, mother, brother, or whoever see what you are ordering! It is very important to have more than just your eyes look at it, they may catch something you didn’t.

3. Take careful notes. Double and triple check all spellings, dates, times, and addresses. Even though you may be so confident in another’s abilities, it goes a long way just to confirm your text.

Once you ‘sign off’ or provide a proof most often you are responsible for the costs of any mistakes. Sad sorry truth here, but it happens time and time again where a minor mistake could have been prevented by proof reading carefully. No one is more aware of the details of an event or announcement than you are!

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