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DM and Me - Christopher and Bryan's Papertale
Monday, 15 February 2016 15:53

DM and Me - Christopher and Bryan's Papertale

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 When I first sat down with Debra to discuss save the dates and invitations I had no idea that three completely different, wondrous things were happening at the same time.  I was meeting an amazing stationery designer who would create my dream wedding from beginning to forever.  I was finding a new passion in my life and career in the incredibly rewarding world of paper design.  Last, and most importantly, I made a friendship that would change my life.  My consultation at DM Paper Designs created the wedding, the job opportunity, and the friendship of a lifetime.  Today's blog will share how DM shaped both my wedding and my future.


This is actually the second version of our save the date.  Debra recreated them for me after our courthouse ceremony in January changed the plan for November to become a celebration for family and friends.  This first design set the whole tone for my wedding - the ecru paper, the graphite, the bold choice of peacock colors, the bow ties, the use of black and white to represent the laws changing in our country, and also the grey area in between - where I felt we find ourselves often in our adventures and lives.  Debra gave me the day off for my courthouse wedding and even created custom stationery pieces for the brunch which were later published on the H & H Blog.  The florals for both the January courthouse ceremony and the November celebration were created by Sue Bain of Signature Florals.

 When our matron of honor threw us a bachelor party we had to think outside the box once again.  We were already married so we went with a party with the idea of "Getting Groomed" - a term I borrow from the title of my friend Jason Mitchell's popular book, a guide to planning same sex weddings.  Debra encouraged me once again to take bold risks in color to peak guests' interest and get them to turn up for this amazing event.  We used ocean colored envelopes and she incorporated the same color into the text.  She tied it in with all of the other pieces by adding a beautiful black and cream bow tie on the front and our custom peacock stamp.  You can't see the back of this invitation but it is a chalkboard style map of all the places in Naples we visited the night of the party.  I was already working as Debra's project manager at this point so I was quickly learning learning how taking chances can make an amazing difference in impact- in life and in paper.

Our Invitation suite was the beginning of the adventure.  I knew I wanted the peacock color scheme for my wedding.  In discussing ideas with Debra we were drawn to the idea of having the invitation look similar to a travel tag because we had friends coming from all corners of the world for our wedding.  This would, later, inspire the entire catering theme for our reception and dinner.  Debra once again encouraged me to be bold and go with the beautiful fairway color for the tags.  That color choice combined with sophisticated and masculine fonts, and a few brave other color pops in text gave the whole invitation the classy but unique feeling we wanted.

I originally wanted a simple ecru response envelope for our invitations.  When Debra showed me how all of the insert cards would stack it revealed just a small peek of what the guests would see.  I was so in love with the ocean envelopes she chose for our groom party that we decided to change the response envelopes to that same blue.  It had more than one effective purpose.  Not only was it an amazing presentation for our guest but I also got excited every time I saw one of those blue response envelopes in my mailbox signaling a new RSVP had arrived!

 Moving towards our big day I was already head over heels with everything Debra had created for me and enjoying - even more - spending my days working with her at DM Paper Designs.  Planning (and paying for) my own wedding had given me a new appreciation to the thought, care, and value that go into each special item.  I knew that because I worked in paper that I would be able to share Debra's special talents as the centerpiece for my wedding.  We started with the welcome bags that my mother in law created which presented each guest with a number of items but featured koozies created by Debra to match my invitations and a hang tag welcoming our guests to Naples created with paper similar to the ones seen in my save the date and invitations. 

 Debra covered every last detail - she even provided the folded cards on which we hand-wrote our vows.  She attached a beautiful peacock feather to each one to give it a special feel.

For the actual ceremony Debra introduced a new font which I absolutely love but she also tied it back to the original pieces using a signature border seen on our save the dates, invitations, and koozies.

Debra calls me her "wordsmith".  We have a great time coming up with fun sign wording ideas.  She then takes those ideas and brings them to life.  I especially loved our social media signs because my husband is a television journalist.  Once again, everything tied together with the ecru paper and signature borders that match the other papers.  This sign features fonts from my save the date, groom's party invitation, and day of stationery. It's all in the details!

 I love how effective Debra's simple designs can be.  She completely understood that I wanted clean lines with a  lot of fun colors.


 Our groomsmen and matrons of honor read poems that we picked for the ceremony.  Debra printed them on ecru paper using fonts from our all of our invitation and incorporating the new day of wedding font.

 Simple table numbers using the font from our grooms' party invitation floated in acrylic frames provided by JetSetWed.  Kehrin has an amazing eye for decor.  She also created our timeline for the wedding.  This kept all of the vendors - and us - on an organized, efficient schedule.  That contribution to our wedding day is priceless!

 I love this photo of our table setting!  JetSetWed drew the original sketch and provided the chargers.  I wrote the poem for the program.  Debra designed and created the menu and had it die cut to a circle.  Our guests raved about this gorgeous design!

 Tiny tags in papers that complimented all of my other pieces adorned the guest settings.  Each place card was attached to a glittered peacock feather that guests took home with them.  It became a staple in the photo booth for many of our guests and added sparkle and color to a lot of the other photos taken that evening.

I adore this photo.  It captures Debra's focus and commitment to the evening in one glance.  I think I was thanking her at the time it was taken.  I am lucky enough to see this expression in her thought and care for the design of countless other lucky brides and grooms.

 Debra designed our wedding cake topper and we had it laser cut from a polished, mirror card stock.  Everyone was crazy about this design!  This cake was created by award -winning Grace & Shelly's cupcakes of Naples, Florida.

For our sweetheart table Debra also designed a "Mr & Mr" sign that we attached to the runner.  The sign laser cut.

I asked Debra to create my food decor to be a surprise to me.  She amazed me with every detail.  Our caterer, Greg Shapiro, of Tastebuds Custom Catering created a custom taco truck and Debra designed the sign in perfect style. 

Each food station from around the world had a different font and look that captured the feel of the culture. This was a side dish from our American steakhouse station.

I love the fun clean lines used in the signs for the dim-sum station.

Debra captured the whimsy of the french design for the dessert station.




This is one of my favorite pictures.  The three of us sharing a moment shortly after the ceremony.  As is always with us, the perfect combination of handling business while having fun.  Matt Steeves and Fallon Long of Matt Steeves Photography captured every detail and emotion of the event.

 This is a great photo of Debra watching bridal party photos being taken.  She was entertained by all the groomsmen.


And we close with our Holiday/Thank You card.  Debra created this for us after all the hubbub had died down.  One last piece of DM was sent to all of our guests to say 'Thank you' for celebrating with us. Debra, once again, used our ecru papers and a more sophisticated version of our signature border to create the perfect Thank You.

While she will continue to create perfect thank you's and perfect papers for other lucky newlyweds, I'll never be a great enough wordsmith to find the perfect way to say Thank You.  Luckily, I get to spend a lot more days trying to show her how much I appreciate the way her paper made my wedding a memory to last a lifetime.


  • Comment Link Fallon Long-Steeves Friday, 19 February 2016 19:40 posted by Fallon Long-Steeves

    Best. Blog. Ever!! I loved reading the stories behind the paper products I got to photograph at the wedding (and in the months leading up to it)! Seeing the beautiful design & quality of the paper products that Debra & Christopher provide, plus getting to know them while working on this wedding, made it clear where we needed to go when it was time for our own wedding invitations - dm paper!

  • Comment Link Robin Friday, 19 February 2016 19:10 posted by Robin

    The photographs and the decor are beautiful!


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