One year ago today my best friend, Katrina, got married. The wedding was perfection. She married Tom, an incredibly amazing guy. They complement each other so perfectly it often makes me grin ear-to-ear.
Katrina and I have been best friends since the second grade. We met wearing similar gigantic sized New Kids on The Block pins. At that moment, I had no idea this girl would be my soul sister, but I am so thankful she has been there with me through everything in life. Together we survived high school, lived it up at college in Boston, and created our lives in the real world! When she asked me to be her matron-of-honor I was so excited to take on all the typical duties, then she nonchalantly mentioned that I would have to do her invitations as well. This is why I love this girl. She was so mater-of-fact I truly believe that she had never even considered having someone else do it. I was 100% honored and couldn’t wait to make her dream wedding stationery come to life.
I am happy to share the process with everyone and we figured since the traditional one year anniversary gift is paper, there was no better time than today.
Save The Dates
Katrina & Tom’s engagement wasn’t long in today’s standards. He proposed on Christmas morning 2012 and they were married at the end of August 2013 (that’s 8 months for those of you counting) So, as soon as they found the perfect location and chose the date, we got to work right away.
Katrina knows style. She has a vision and knows how to execute it. She is elegant, classic, and always put together. This is her every day, so when it came to wedding planning I knew she would do it flawlessly. Our first conversation about the vibe she wanted for the wedding was simple – “Vintage Modern.”
I first learned about mood boards from Katrina – long before Pintrest was even a thing – in fact, I’m almost positive she had us making mood boards before we even used computers. Sometimes, I think she secretly invented Pintrest and is just being humble about it. Naturally, she started a Pintrest board right away and the ideas started rolling.
Katrina’s family is from Italy and her first date with Tom was at an Italian restaurant, so we wanted it to have an old-world feel. This lead to the idea of making the “Save The Date” resemble a telegram. We started with a pattern that evoked the feel of antique paper. The back included a very condensed version of how they met, fell in love, and got engaged -- plus a friendly invitation to attend the wedding. Then we simply listed the hotel information, so people would be able to book their rooms ASAP.
On the front we featured 3 photos with the wedding date big and bold. Since they were getting married on a holiday weekend when people might be traveling, we were sure to note that August 31st was Labor Day Weekend. At the bottom we included the link to their wedding website, which had more information for their guests. As a final touch we attached a small magnet to the back so that people could easily hang it on their refrigerator.
Designing the invitation was by far the most fun. Katrina and Tom had recently moved to New York City and I was so excited to be living in the same city again, which we hadn’t done since college. One afternoon we met at Paper Presentation to look at the different options in person. We decided on an (5 ¾ x 8 ¾) invitation with two side pockets in opal. I designed the main invitation to be printed (5 ¼ x 8 ¼) and then mounted on a (5 5/8 x 8 5/8) gold leaf piece of card stock that would then be mounted in the middle space of the pocketed invitation. This gave us a tiny border (1/8 of an inch) between the opal invite and gold leaf and a slightly bigger border (3/8 of an inch) between the gold leaf and the print.
The design process was done through email correspondence. We knew we wanted the lace detail, damask background, and scrolls to bring the “Vintage” into the invitation and the fonts, dots, and layout to make it more “Modern.” Even the wording Katrina & Tom chose was both vintage and modern. They started with the traditional “Mr. & Mrs. Michael Koptiw request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter Katrina Marie & Thomas Robert Delark,” but then listed the date, location, and time in a much more modern, easy-to-read format. We used the fonts Chopin Script (formal) and Bakerville (modern) in the colors gray and mauve.
The RSVP was a single sheet of printed (3 ½ x 4 7/8) card stock with a coordinating 4 Bar gold leaf envelope. So that it coordinated nicely, we printed the Accommodations Card a quarter inch smaller (3 ¼ x 4 5/8) and mounted it on a (3 ½ x 4 7/8) piece of Gold Leaf card stock. Both cards used the same damask pattern & lace detail to keep things cohesive. The RSVP card featured a hand holding a quill pen at the bottom and the Accommodations card pictured a couple riding in a horse and buggy at the top. Both of these images said “vintage” to us and felt very “Philadelphia,” which is where Tom & Katrina met.
We had a small dinner party when it came time for assembly, which made for a fun night of food, wine, and laughs. Often, assembling the invitations is my favorite part, especially if I am able to do it with the couple – so to have that couple be my best friends, it was perfect. We stuffed the pockets, wrapped the invitation in a delicate lace, and sealed the whole thing with a gold wax using a fleur de le crest. This now little package was then put into an opal (6x9) outer envelope. It’s the little touches like the lace and seal that set this invitation apart and gave the guests a true idea of what the wedding would be like.
This was our first time using a wax seal and we pretty much fell in love. If you know me, you know I love a glue gun!! If you have a glue gun, you MUST try sealing wax. It couldn’t be easier. They sell special glue sticks made of wax, the gun heats it, and then you just squeeze it onto your paper, press it with metal seal, and voila, it’s done. The wax comes in several different fun, metallic colors!! They make many metal seals you can buy or you can have one custom made. Don’t be surprised if everything we mail out going forward has a wax seal on it. It is addicting.
We wanted to keep the menu simple and have it tie into the design elements of the invitation, so again we used the damask and lace pattern with same fonts and had it printed on 5 x 7 card stock.
Rehearsal Dinner Video
As the matron-of-honor, I made a speech at the wedding. In all honesty (and as I stated in my actual speech) I had been practicing the speech for years. When your best friend gets married you look forward to the day when you can tell a whole room full of people how amazing she is. I truly wanted to make this special. One day I had an epiphany for my speech! You see Tom is a huge fan of old school rap music and I thought it would be a genius idea to change the words to the lyrics of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Juicy” and rap it as my speech. (You might remember we did karaoke this song together in South Philly on Trina’s 30th Birthday! Legendary!) After going back and forth, deciding it would either be epically awesome or a complete bomb, and then telling a few close friends, I quickly came to the conclusion that I am by no means comfortable performing in front of crowds of people, let alone rapping. I still thought this was a genius idea, so we decided to shoot a music video and show it at the rehearsal dinner. Lucky for everyone, I was about 8 months pregnant at the time and had the body of Mr. Biggie Smalls himself. A little DIY “Bad Boy Jersey,” the help of some incredibly talented friends, plus all of Trina & Tom’s wonderful family and closest friends and we had a pretty memorable video. Showing it at the rehearsal dinner was overwhelmingly the right idea. Today, with the risk of completely embarrassing myself, we decided to share it with everyone and put it on YouTube. There are many inside jokes, but we hope you still enjoy it, if for nothing more than a good laugh.
The wedding was perfect. Katrina and Tom were beaming with love and happiness. Their ceremony was outside and the weather was spot on. The reception was completely elegant…delicious food, memorable speeches (no rapping – on my part – well… at least, during the speech), and a lot of dancing.
I must give a small shout out to my amazing two-week old son and my parents who made sure he was happy and occupied during all my matron-of-honor duties. Georgia was a gorgeous flower girl and Chad was the best dance partner (as always…and in life).
For more amazing photos from their big day check out Maria Mack's photography blog.
It’s now been one year of marriage. Katrina and Tom are off to a great start. We love having Tom as a part of the family. It’s been filled with dinner parties, nights out in the city, a vacation at the beach, and lots of laughter. Happy Anniversary guys!! Looking forward to a lifetime of more good times. Love you both!