Paper.  Indeed it is the traditional gift for your first wedding anniversary, however it plays a very important role leading up to & even during the wedding.  From Save The Dates & Invitations, to Ceremony Programs, Thank You Cards & so much more.  There are a multitude of options to aid in your wedding paper needs.  From pick & customize sites, to freelance designers, even large stationary design houses.  The options can be almost over whelming at times.

Poole Hardy Wedding Skinner Barn Vermont Wedding Paper

Our Entire Paper Suite Design by Myself

When it came time to begin our journey down this road, I wasnt perfectly sure which way I wanted to turn both in  look & feel, as well as where to get them from.  Being a bit of a perfectionist, tie it all  together-er, I caught early writers block.  I felt a bit of pressure to get our Save The Dates out the door in a timely fashion, but had no idea what I wanted, & weren’t they supposed to tie in with the invites!?  To make matters more confusing, Truly desperately wanted something that included our photo, where as I was happy just to ‘Get’em out the door” if you will.

Poole Hardy Wedding Skinner Barn Vermont Save The Date

As I started sifting through the endless possibilities, I realized only I could produce what I wanted, even if I didn’t really know what that was.  Fortunately, with my background in photography, I was no stranger to various art related programs & was able to make our paper goods from scratch, however…. the writer’s block problem.  We knew our wedding look/feel/theme was to be vintage shabby chic, but what on earth did that really mean.  So I decided to approach it the way I do when I have a project I simply dont know where to go with, I search stock photography sites to get inspired!

After searching for a bit, I stumbled upon the bird that you will see in the bottom corner of our Save the Date.  I cant quite say why, but it spoke to me.  I showed the lil guy to Truly & he agreed.  After that, it kind of went from there.  I recalled seeing someone who went the route of not only having a magnet, but a card that the magnet was fixed to.  I loved that idea!  Running with the bird inspiration, I played with the whimsy of the saying, “A Little Birdie Told Me…”  This was a great lead in to the meat & potatoes, the magnet.  We found a great design for our magnet that complemented who we were at Wedding Paper Divas.  This was of course the one piece that I didnt create from scratch.  I still felt however, that the over all presentation was lacking something.

Being a lover of great quotes, I thought maybe I could find the perfect one.  I searched all over, using bird, sky, soaring, as my keywords, and came up empty.  Nothing quite fit.  Then it dawned on me.  I am giving Truly a smooch in our photo.  I began searching kiss, and there it was.  I felt it was a lovely way to sum up our Save The Date & put that perfect punctuation mark on it.  As it turned out, there was a minor detail I had forgotten!  Our wedding website!  Truly was the one that caught that, & not wanting to alter the original creation, he had the perfect solution to ‘hide’ it under our magnet, revealing itself to our guests when they took off the magnet.  It was perfection!


Poole Hardy Wedding Skinner Barn Vermont Wedding Invites

The next paper item for us to tackle were the invites themselves.  We wanted them to tie in to some degree, but initially I wasnt really sure how to make that happen.  After going through more then a few generations of ideas & attempts, I finally hit my stride & went full steam ahead.

When I found a shape that I really liked, I decided that I wanted that for our main invite.  This also presented me with a problem, to have our invites die-cut to that shape would have been quite expensive & that was one cost I was looking to eliminate.  I thought to myself, well, I really want this shape, but I dont want to pay for it, so, I’ll cut them by hand!  Eek, it was one of those moments where the reality of your decision doesnt fully hit you until 2 weeks later your sitting on the floor, cutting out 75 odd shaped invites by hand, cursing like a sailor, forcibly telling your fiance that if you ever think of something like this again, they better step in & say no!

The general layout of the information on our invite was modeled after one I had admired online.  Within the layout I had admired, were 2 lines of stars.  That didnt really jive with our designs thus far, so I thought about how to make that our own.  Then it hit me.  Truly had proposed to me in a hot air balloon, most everyone knew that, so why not run with it?  The rest of our designs really took off from there.  I found a great illustrator hot air balloon file & thus began our hot air balloon touches.  After all my kicking & screaming, going a touch cross eyed, I was left with a gorgeous invite however!

For our RSVP card, we wanted to keep it simple, carry over the B&W hot air balloons design wise, & address the few questions we needed answers to.

The info card was a biggie for me.  I really got to play and have fun with this one!  Using that wonderful art file I had found of all the great hot air balloons, I decided to create a fun trail of these guys floating high into the sky.  This created a natural break & allotted spacing for me to use for the 2 main areas of info that I needed address, while also giving a sense of movement and direction to the reader.  Last & final step was presentation.  I’m a big fine of baker’s twine.  Yellow was on of our accent colors, so I went with a lovely soft yellow & white, tying our various bits together for a total package.


Poole Hardy Wedding Skinner Barn Vermont Ceremony Program Fan

Pretty much from the start of sorting out the ceremony program, I knew I wanted to make it into a fan.  Our wedding would be at 3pm in August, so why not give them something they can use?  Again I carried over the hot air balloons, tying that back to the invites.  I kept the general layout simple, straight forward & easy to read.  A lot fans that I had seen for this sort of thing, always hide the stick, with the back being a separate piece of paper, adhered to the front with the stick ‘hidden’ in between.  Call me crazy, but I liked the curvy stick, so I decided to incorporate it into my design.  The last touch for these was of course my bakers twine from the invites.


Poole Hardy Wedding Skinner Barn Vermont Menu Stamp

Our final major paper item were our menus.  About 7 months before the wedding, someone had brought to my attention that Penguin Publishers had released a series of 100 postcards of vintage book covers.  I immediately fell in love with them & knew that was going to be our menus.  After some debating with Truly about the best way to get the menu actually onto the postcard, I decided that making a stamp & having that not so perfect, slightly worn look, would perfectly fit our vintage theme.  Here again I carried over the hot air balloons, keeping everything tied together.  We were really pleased with how these came out.  The final touch for the menus was presentation.  We had our caterers set them up on the tables, alternating postcard front face up, and menu face up, around the tables.

The only other detail that I have not really touched on were our envelops.  I created wrap around labels for them from scratch, again tying in the various elements that I have detailed above.  Overall I am really pleased with how it all came together, cohesive they look & like that they dont entirely mimic the other, but each have their own characteristics as well.

*All images taken by Jessica Hardy (me!)