Christen & Kevin’s Black & White Save the Date Package

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Christen and Kevin live in Thomaston, Maine and are getting married later this year. With products and services purchased from local vendors and LCI Paper, they designed a special save the date ensemble that they shared with us. Enjoy the photos of their Save the Date package and the following interview with the engaged couple.

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Kevin & Christen's save the date - open

Here is a transcript of the interview:

I am here with Christen and Kevin and they are tying the knot later this year. They sent me a beautiful save the date card and I had never seen a save the date card like the one that you two shared with us and I have so many questions for you. First, how did you decide on the presentation of a decorative box to house the monogrammed napkin and the glider card? How did these three items come together-the box, the napkin, and the glider?

Christen: For me, it pretty much began with my gown purchase, which I never thought I’d say that, but I was very much inspired by Claire Pettibone. She is a designer out of the Beverly Hills area. She does beautiful work. She actually started as a lingerie designer and designed a friend’s wedding gown and her career just kind of took off. In seeing her line of gowns, she uses a lot of embroidery and just different, fresh types of details that I hadn’t seen before. Conceptually, that sparked a lot of the art direction that I’m bringing into our wedding. The save the date was actually the first piece that we produced for our wedding, so we wanted to really set a tone for the overall event. And a lot of our guests will be from out of town and are going through a lot of effort to be there on our special day, so we really wanted to do something unique, with a personality of its own and set the tone for a south Louisiana wedding.

Christen, are you the one from Louisiana?

I am. I am.

Ok. The French last name I guess fits as well.

That’s correct. (laughter)

Christen setting the handkerchiefTell me about the creation of your monogrammed napkin. How did you choose the decorative mesh that wraps around it? Was that inspired by the gown you just spoke of?

Yes, actually the back of my gown… I shouldn’t probably say this in front of Kevin. (laughter) There’s an area on the gown where the organza type tool just sort of spills out and it’s a design detail that is fabulous and that inspired using that overlay mesh to give an extra layer to the hanky, basically so it wouldn’t be as plain per say. Everything she [Pettibone] does just really digs into detail and I really wanted to instill some of that in that piece to kind of pick up on some of the elements. The gown has, pretty much top to bottom, really delicate embroidery. That’s what encouraged me to find a local vendor here in Maine to work with on that. And so Kevin and I designed the KC logo for our wedding-that’s our branding-and went to speak to the vendor about it and he was all about it. He had never done hankies before so he was excited. And we got to choose our own colors which we matched the thread to the gown sample swatch that I had. And the mesh just kind of added a little bit of sparkle, right?

Kevin: Yeah.

Christen: …added a little bit of what it needed, little bit of something extra.

Yeah. Did the glider card happen to fit perfectly on the left flap of the box?

Actually the glider cards were about a half inch too long for that opening panel of the box. The boxes were purchased with the hankies. I knew that the hanky was going to be a good fit for that particular size package. That had all been speced out really early on. The glider card was sort of a secondary thought in terms of trying to figure out the presentation for that opening panel. When I came across LCI and found that particular type of card… I had been doing quite a bit of research and I hadn’t come across this anywhere else. So it immediately struck me and when I saw the size I said, “Oh well, this will be easy. You know, I’ll just have them trimmed of course.” Initially, I was going to do them all by hand if I had to, but again, a local vendor here was super excited that I brought the job to them to print the cards. They made sure that the cards would be a nice snug custom fit for the glider card-the backings . It worked really nice. We actually used a Mohawk sheet that Unisource had provided. The printer was all about recycling our paper samples which was good. So that was one less purchase which helped to save some budget and recycled paper I might not have otherwised used. And the glider card really set that paper stock off from the surface. The interior of the box is sort of a plain cardboard finish and the glider card has a nice, smooth, metallic sheen to it. And then the save the date card-the Mohawk stock-is more of a matte ivory cover stock.

I was assuming you used our glider insert card, but no. Ok.

We actually intentionally saved them because we’re going to reuse them as the table cards.

Oh really? You’re going to fold them?

Yeah, yeah. So we had plans for them and we thought we were going to use them for the save the dates, but then we realized it would probably be easier, since they’re already trimmed, to use them in that way. So they’ll be like little tent cards.

Ok. On your mailing label, you’ve thanked a number of people and companies. Would you care to mention each one and share why you thanked them? That’s kind of intriguing.

Oh sure, sure. Camden Printing is again a local vendor that I met through this project specifically. They run a digital press and I knew I wanted to stick with a one color black imprint. So they did a sample card for me on my sample sheets and all came out really well so I gave them the printing on that piece. They also did the labels for me. So they were a real pinch hitter with this project.

Unisource out of San Diego, California-the corporate office there, I worked with a lot on various creative projects when I was in San Diego just a few months back. And we lived there for about five years. They’ve always been a really great resource-creative resource-for me and I was happy to actually use some of the materials that they had provided for this project.

I’ve been in house-corporate in house-for quite a few years now, so I very rarely get to do these types of creative projects where, from start to finish, kind of like the sky’s the limit.

LCI of course, you guys. The glider card and that eighth inch black satin ribbon-those two little details, they made all the difference in this piece. Had I not found them, I don’t think I would have the same piece that I made. I think those were important details. LCI is a really creative company. I love the DIY aspect. Their marketing’s really good for what they produce and what they sell.

And Embroider This, who’s out of Massachusetts; that was also a new company for me. In researching the embroidery idea of which this was my first embroidery project, they really came though in terms of their pricing is really great. The quality is really great. They had a variety of handkerchiefs and other lace elements to choose from. We had a pretty good selection to choose from. They were great about samples and letting us see the product before we purchased.

And then Squeegees which is another local vendor that I met through this project; they actually encouraged me to push forward with the embroidered monogram. After showing them the artwork and the actual packaging and the handkerchief of course, they could really visualize it and see it working. They did a sample for me as well as a few test runs. And then we got the imprint positioned just where we wanted it and sized just like we wanted it. They were really easy to work with.

Kevin & Christen save the date ensemblePen Ventures is another local vendor here in Maine; a shop that sells rubber stamps and different types of scrapbooking materials. I went in for inspiration and came out definitely inspired. And that’s how I chose my Fleur-de-lis stamp that was used on the wrap on the exterior of the package.

Of course my mom, Sharon Bourgeois, who’s in Louisiana, helped us to fund this fantastic project and we’re very grateful. She’s excited that her only daughter is finally getting married.

And Gail Singer which is Kevin’s mom-she’s in New Jersey-was also a super huge help in this project. A little learning curve; we had to rip the backing… When they embroidered the handkerchief, there’s this white…

Kevin: Like a paper type backing…

Christen: Yeah, a paper type backing that we had to rip with our fingers which were very numb by the end of the weekend. But we finally got it all ripped off and out of the little tiny grooves that are between the embroidered imprint and got them cleaned up a bit-enough to at least send.

Cool, thank you. Kevin, do you mind if I put you on the hot seat for the next one?

Kevin: No, that’s not a problem at all.

If you were to describe the save the date ensemble in just few words, how would you describe it?

A few words is just my style.

Alright (laughter)

It’s simple, Southern elegance in and eight inch by eight inch package essentially.

I like that very much. Well done.

Kevin & Christen engagementIt’s really neat to see all the details kind of pulled together-the Southern style, the handkerchief and the lace details, and seeing Christen work so hard on all the design elements, bringing in the Fleur-de-lis and the stamps. And I’ve spent a couple hours late nights assembling the packaging…was just a lot of fun too, and there’s a lot of fun in the creative process of being able to spend time together and enjoy each other as well as being able to put something together that looks great.

Christen: Tell them you enjoyed cutting all the tulle; that was your favorite. (laughter)

Kevin: Oh and I loved… Yeah, I was magnificent at cutting all the tulle as well and let me tell you, that was just an adventure. I’m an engineer as my brain thinks about how exactly to cut and minimize waste, all that fun stuff as well.

Ah. It’s nice to hear you talk about doing something together and that’s really what do it yourself invitations are all about I think, is when you can spend time and make it fun for each other.

Yep, I completely agree. I mean it was just… The late nights, you know, working on it and having fun…

Christen: There were a lot of late nights. (laughter)

So if this is your save the date, what are you planning for the actual wedding invitation?

Ok, so a lot of our friends and family-our recipients in general, vendors included-thought that we went a little over the top with our save the date, but again, it was a tag team project. We really had this concept and we wanted to push it forward. For the invitation, what inspired the size was the save the date because I wanted to stay square.

Ok.

Stack of save the datesBut I’m going to go smaller, minimizing it by three inches. We’re going to go to a five by five, approximately. The invitation card itself will have a piece of fabric. “Moda” is the brand name. “Fig” is the actual design and it’s a charm square–a fabric charm square. And Moda, the company, sells a variety of fabric charm squares and different types of designs and Fig was just sort of inspirational because it really had a vintage look. It had a lot of rose tones and greens and reminds you of spring. And our save the date was sort of monotone-Kevin and I were just talking about this-sort of monotone in color which was intentional. With the invitation, we wanted to just breathe a little more life into the design. In using a similar element to the handkerchief but without going the route of embroidery because that was an added expense, we decided to use the fabric swatches-these charm squares-that are already cut to the size we need so there’s less labor involved. The design-what’s cool about it is that no two are alike kind of thing so each invitation will essentially have a different design because it will be a different fabric swatch. Instead of them being per unit cost, they come in packs of almost fifty. That saves budget also. We’re going to use a backboard. It’s called “butter board” is a coin term for it-sort of a recycled paper backing that’s really soft to the touch, sort of ivory in tone. And we’re going to put wax paper behind our fabric charms and iron them onto the backboard. So it will be about an eighth inch thick. And then we’re going to use the same Mohawk sheet-the ivory cover stock that we used-with a one color black imprint like we used for the save the date, a typeset in a very similar manner, and affix the card to the backing. So that will be the main invitation piece and then we’ll also add in a response card and map directions. And those smaller pieces will be in the little five by five packet as well.

Please just tell me that your wedding is going to be full of so much personalization as your invitations.

(laughter)

I hope!

I hope so too. It’s going to be a very simple wedding. I mean creatively, I know we’re going though a lot of process so like Kevin says, this is what we enjoy doing out of all the details. It’s in south Louisiana. It’s in a garden. It’s informal but yet formal and everything’s in one place. It’s at a small bed and breakfast-a three bedroom bed and breakfast-on a family estate in St. Francisville, Louisiana and everything is very vintage and heirloom and antique and old in style. We’re going to have our ceremony, a cocktail hour and then a dinner/reception afterwards, all in one house on the outer deck near a fountain overlooking a little pond. We’ll have a lot of opportunity to be personal, hopefully, with our guests.

Kevin: One example of us personalizing the event are the food choices. You know there’s a lot of southern flair from Christen’s background. I’m originally from the northeastern United States so there’s a lot of New England type tradition. Additionally, we spend a lot of time in southern California so there’s a lot of Mexican, southern California, kind of Tex Mex type feel to it as well. Kind of bringing all those elements together in a somewhat appeasing way for the palate, but being able to personalize in that way to share what we’ve been through in the last couple years of our life together and the experiences we’re having and where we’ve been in bringing those elements into the meal portion of the wedding.

Very nice you guys. I wish you so much happiness as you spend the next few months planning together. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Congratulations.

Christen: Thank you.

Thank you both for spending a little time with me and the LCI customers and potential customers and folks who might be thinking of putting together their own save the date card. I’m sure you’re going to inspire them. So thank you once again for taking the time out.

Following their May 2010 wedding, Christen and Kevin sent us a beautiful card with their photo on the front, thanking us for the interview. They’ve allowed us to share the card with you, our blog readers.

Christen & Kevin thank you card

Christen & Kevin own OneWillow Studios, a boutique design and brand communications company rooted in Mid-Coast Maine. They specialize in Art Direction, Graphic Design, Brand Identity, Packaging/Product Design, Web Design, Marketing, Advertising, Publishing, Copywriting, Photography, and Illustration.

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