Three Wedding Planning Tips You Need to Know about Wedding Paper

We got married on 6.23.12!  I am finally going to do a series of posts on the ins and outs of wedding planning!  Planning our wedding was my (second) full time job last year- we did not even hire a florist!  Any area that I could cut an unnecessary cost, I chose to do so and take on the project myself.

I designed all of our wedding paper …our save the date, invitation, RSVP cards, the program, and thank you cards.  Every bride has their own way of doing things, and there are definitely a few things we could have done differently.  As we reflect on our wedding, the tips I’ll be posting are some things that made things easier on us or our guests, so I’d love to pass on the info.

TIP #1: If you have an idea of exactly what you want, I would encourage any bride to create DIY invitations to save money.  The paper suites I liked ranged from 3-6 dollars PER invitation!  If you are a bride on a budget, it is the way to go!  Office Depot Print Service did a fabulous job printing and cutting everything!

Invitation- 5×7 (150 White 5×7 envelopes ordered for 7.00 from )

(I know chevron is EVERYWHERE now, but in Feb of last year it was a new trend so I was so excited about the crisp black and white colors!)

Directions Card- There was a detailed map on our wedding website, but several people thanked us for the extra direction card included with the invitation.  Anything so that people aren’t getting turned around and texting the bride for directions on her big day is a plus!  This card wasn’t anything too special, but I included it in the post because of our wedding website.  Most brides have a wedding website these days, but several opt for the free Knot website with the very long URL.

Tip #2– PAY THE 19.99 FOR THE CUSTOMIZED URL.  You won’t have “” and it will be something catchy and easy for the guests to remember.  Of course our registry was not printed in the wedding paper suite (DON’T do it or even mention the word!) but there was a direct link to help guests out on our website, as well as directions, pictures, and even an online guest book where it was fun to see people post a “Congrats” as early as when they got our Save The Date in the mail.  (Our site’s 1 year subscription expired last week so don’t bother going to the site…but I’ll indulge with you with our sweet and sappy love story that we put on the site at the end!)

The RSVP card was a stamped postcard.  We actually had 6 different RSVP cards printed- depending on how many guests were invited for that family.  I counted up how many couples, families, etc. and their numbers 1-6 to see how many of each amount of lines to print.  (Does that make sense?)   Unfortunately due to our venue, we were very tight on numbers so we had to know exactly who in each family was attending for our numbers and the seating arrangement.  This was our solution!  I wrote the names on the lines for each family, so all they had to do was check yes or no!  (And write in and optional song request!) Each card was a smidge smaller than the other, so they layered on top of each other to where you could see each pattern.  Our wedding invitations cost $78 to print.

Tip #3-  Buy a self-inking stamp for your return address.  It saves SO much time and it is classier than a label.  I ordered mine from Stamp Out Online on etsy here.  I used it for our save the date postcards, stamped it on the back of our invite envelopes, and also used it for the address on the RSVP postcards.  It was $34 but I also used it for EVERY single thank you from our showers and the wedding thank yous so it was worth every penny!  There are several elegant options for an affordable price.

Front of Program

Back of Program

All of these were designed in Power Point and saved as jpegs to print.  For the programs, I inserted two jpegs onto a page in Microsoft Publisher so it would make full use of the page and then they were cut.   All fonts are thanks to  The “Thank You” on the front was taken from Pinterest- I wish I had the direct source to give credit but there were several similar versions all over Pinterest so that is the only unoriginal part!

Out of all of these papers, the programs were my favorite.  Originally, we were going to have a giant chalkboard on display at the entrance with the ceremony info instead of handing out programs.  But once I saw the chapel, I realized there was literally NO place to put the chalkboard.  The hallway was too narrow and the chapel entrance was too small.  These programs ended up only being about $15 to print.  Sadly, only one grandparent could be in attendance so our tribute to our wonderful grandparents made the programs extra special.

See our Save the Date here.  I love that all of our Wedding Papers coordinate together because my sweet mother-in-law matted and framed our invitation, save the date, and programs for us and they look beautiful displayed in our new home!  This post got too long too fast, so the thank you notes will have to wait until another day :)

And as I promised… Our Love Story.

What Taylor says about Katie

The first night I met Katie, I was drinking a pineapple Fanta at Camp War Eagle in 2009. I had just moved back to AR from CO and had no idea what the future entailed. Katie approached me and introduced herself, I thought she was talking to someone behind me because the only thought that occured to me was that this beautiful blondie was way out of my league. Come to find out, she knew who I was because her freshman year roomate happened to be Tristan McCullough (now Lawler) who I’ve known most of my life. Anyways, after meeting her I thought to myself that there was nothing I wouldn’t do to win her over. My buddy Tyler Taggart was there and he encouraged me to make sure she was a “Proverbs 31 woman”, and I told him I’d never read that passage but I’m absolutley sure that’s what she is. The next night my “I’ll do whatever it takes” attitude got put to the test when Katie told me I should come learn the “Hannah Montanna Hoedown Throwdown”. Luckily my country dancing gone disney skills paid off and she became interested in getting to know me a little

Over the summer we kept in touch through the mail, sending each other letters and surprises. However, I still couldn’t convince her to make things official. Towards the middle of the summer I decided to call her and tell her that I was coming up to visit Fulton, MO with my best friend Joey. I’m glad the rest of the Swiney family welcomed us with open arms, however Katie introduced me as “a friend from camp”. Looking back now, Katie tries to say we were official
in July,but really it wasn’t until after camp was over in August that she would admit I was her boyfriend.

Throughout the next year we made countless trips back and forth from Springfield and Fayetteville. When Katie graduated she moved here without a job and luckily things worked out in our favor and she has been my “sugar momma” ever since. Well not exactly “sugar momma” but the teaching biz gave her the ability to have a life here and for that I’m eternally grateful. She does a pretty good job of handling me in any situation, and most would agree that can be slightly difficult at times. Don’t let her innocent smile and blonde hair fool you though, this southern belle can be quite the spitfire and a lot more adventuresome than most would think. We can’t wait to spend our “all the time in the world” together, and outside of spending forever together we are quite myopic. Then again, our outgoing and spur of the moment behavior is probably the best thing about us. It’s important to enjoy the little things, and the big things such as this wedding… can’t wait to see y’all there.

What Katie says about Taylor

Where do I even begin?I know where Taylor would- he loves to tell people he was born in the same town as Bruce Springsteen, which makes him “from Jersey” even though he’s lived in Rogers, AR since he was 4. Taylor’s favorite things are running, vinyl records, the mountains, concerts, (me) oh… and more running. Taylor is in his last semester of college, student teaching through the U of A. He is the most hard working (and not to mention handsome) man I know- he took 23 credit hours last semester, worked almost 40 hours a week, and still managed to take care of me… and PROPOSE.

Why do I love Taylor so much? If you read his story above this, you now know I was hesitant that first summer. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but Taylor pursued me with his whole heart. From day one. And hasn’t stopped. At the end of the summer, when I may have mentioned it was just a summer fling, Taylor said “This is in no way, shape, or form a summer fling. I’ll do whatever it takes. You say ‘drive’, I’m in the car. You say ‘drive 2 hours to take me to dinner’, I’ll make a day of it.”

That first year, long distance was hard but we made it work. In those days, Taylor had the Red Robin gig so he had to wait tables on Friday nights before traveling to Springfield. He always joked that he basically asked families if they would like a to-go box right as he handed them their food so he could get outta there.

Now over two and a half years later, he still thinks of the littlest details to make me smile. He’s basically my hero. And when he frustrates me to no end, I can’t even be mad because he will crack me up. The boy is hilarious. Taylor is passionate about every single thing that he does. He has so many dang talents it’s ridiculous. He always has to be moving- his heart is always seeking adventure. He has broadened my horizons and taught me to do things I never would have tried- snowboarding, wakeboarding, 10 weeks of swing dancing lessons, running 5ks… the list goes on. I can’t wait to embark on our adventure of marriage. Taylor has brought so much joy to my life. Our lives will always be filled with deep, deep love!



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