It will be Sunday, June 17th @ 1:00 pm (13:00) @ Harmony Cafe 3287 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. (It’s in Georgetown, just a 10 – 15 minute walk from the Rosslyn Metro Station.)

Since most of us are DIY people, I figure after our late lunch, we can traipse down to the Paper Source store and look at their supplies, get some ideas, and check out their upcoming workshops.

If you’re interested in attending, please drop me line, so I can give the Harmony Cafe staff a rough head count when I arrive. Thanks!


It’s that time again… time for’s annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress contest!

2006 winner
Winner from 2006

2005 winner
Winner from 2005

It’s amazing what these girls can do with toilet paper. If I had some free time, I’d enter. The contest rules are available here.

This Sunday, April 29th at 2 pm, the Offbeat Bride DC Wedding Co-op will be meeting at Cosi (1647 20th Street Dupont Circle North Exit i.e. Q Street). (Thanks to
cchan8 for organizing this month’s meetup.)

At our last meetup, we had a lot of food and fun, and even Ariel Meadow Stallings, the author of Offbeat Bride, attended.

The Offbeat Bride DC Wedding Co-op is a community / sewing circle / support group / wedding co-op for brides to be and recently wedded brides in the Northern Virginia / Maryland / Washington D.C metro area.

We hope to provide advice on vendors, locations, and assistance for non-traditional brides (and grooms) trying to plan and pull off their ideal wedding without losing their minds. It’s a group where you can vent, share experiences and resources, and be yourself without judgement.

Last Saturday, D. and I went to Paper Source in Georgetown. I’ve never been in a Paper Source store, but I heard amazing things about it. I love assemblage and decoupage. (I still kick myself for not studying more about assemblage in college.) I’ve always been fascinated with papers and boxes with compartments. I don’t know why. It’s probably the same reason why I like typeset sorts and trays. (Side Tangent: D. and I saw the Joseph Cornell exhibit while it was in town at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.)

Anyway, I walked into Paper Source and was overwhelmed. I wanted to feel all the papers. I wanted to buy invitation kits, paper flower kits, journals, ink, glue, etc… I dragged D. through the whole store, upstairs and downstairs. There were so many different things we could do with our invitations, decorations, and favors for our wedding that I could not figure out where to start. I picked up some information about their upcoming workshops. Hopefully, I can take advantage of the hands on aspects of the workshops to rule out projects that are just too expensive and labor intensive.
With our wedding being so small, I’d really like to create some uniquely personal invitations. Since our guest list is limited to our close friends and family, I don’t think we need save the date cards. Part of me wants to sit down and brainstorm with someone who already has all the supplies and experience crafting invitations, but another part of me says I won’t save any money by doing that, plus I want to play with the fancy paper and gadgets! Why should Sarah at Haute Papier and Mary Alice at Oh My My Design have all the fun?
Let’s be honest here; I’ll probably end up calling them anyways to at least get price quotes and review their portfolios. If one of above designers can envision and produce our invitations for around the cost of me designing and producing them myself, I’ll go with that designer.
Hmm, I wonder if I could arrange an “Invitation Design-Off”… The ManicBride Wedding Invitation Invitational. I could post the initial interviews, the works in progress, and then the final results. Of course, I’d let you all weigh in on the results. However, I would be the one making the final decision, obviously. Are there any other local (Northern Virginia/Baltimore, MD/DC) invitation designers that I should look into as well?

Back in January, I saw the “Trellis” place cards from Sharyn Sowell featured in some bridal magazine. I really loved the romantic look of the silhouette. I contacted Sharyn and found out that it takes several weeks to produce the order because the cards are handmade. I was fine with that; my wedding isn’t until 2008. There was a minimum order of 50 cards, and they were $100 per set of 50. I thought, it’s a bit pricey, but they look romantic and classy, and not too formal, so I placed an order.
Last week, I realized that I had not been charged for the cards, nor have I received them. I contacted her via email, and she was ecstatic to hear from me. Apparently, her computer had crashed, and she lost a bunch of order information. My cards were completed, but she didn’t have a way to get in touch with me. Because of the inconvenience, she offered to supply me with 25 extra place cards. I told her I didn’t need additional place cards; I had already ordered more than I needed. She said that she would enclose some of her letterpress cards instead. I thought that was very nice, and I anxiously awaited the package.
Yesterday, the cards arrived. And honestly, I’m disappointed. The “Trellis” design itself is very cute. I love it. However, the construction of the place card overall is fair at best. There are four paper components to the card. A scalloped-edged white under card, a black and white striped scalloped-edged over card, a piece of vellum, and then the scalloped-edged card with the “Trellis” design. The card components appear and feel like standard cardstock; the “Trellis” design was not printed using letterpress or thermography. I am aware that there are variations in handmade cards. However, I don’t think visibly crooked placement of the components or including some card components without scalloped edges as an acceptable variations.

This is one of the better constructed cards.
Trellis place card

It looks like I can take apart the cards without destroying them. I’ll straighten out the cards, re-scallop the edges, and glue them back together. I just wish I didn’t have deconstruct/reconstruct these cards.

*EDIT: When asked by her for feedback, I honestly described the concerns I had with the cards, and she kindly offered me a partial refund. I declined the refund telling her that I appreciate the work that went into the cards, and I guess my batch of cards were a fluke.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept of the cards, and with a little more work, they will be perfectly fine.