It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the mother bleeping wedding planning process.
I had my eye on Oak Lodge from the very beginning, but selecting a date was quite a different story. I didn't feel a deep, fiery passion to select a date that looked pretty on a piece of paper or a had a nice little ring to it when you said it out loud. Something like "05/05/15." Tell me... How long did you actually have to study the calendar to discover such a date? But I digress...
Unsurprisingly, Oak Lodge had only one date available for the 2015 season: Halloween. I mean of course it was available. Who in their actual right mind would willingly choose to get celebrate life on the bloody (pun intended) "Day of the Dead?" My mother protested, I was sure that our guests would wind up thinking that I was some type of practicing wiccan or gothic, triple six, devil worshiper. But hey, it was an available date. Get over it.
Initially, we tried to steer away from the Halloween theme. Fast forward to October 1, when my brother in-law bought a $200.00 British Army uniform with a matching colonial wig for our mandatory costume party. Don't believe me?
When it came time to designing my invitation suite, I wanted to suggest Hallow's Eve without digging myself knee deep into an orange, green, and purple, 5th grade Halloween parade, sugar-coated sh*t show. I kept telling my vendor's that I wanted to be "Vampire Chic," a term that I would later believe I coined myself. Hysterical in retrospect.
In creating the design, I really began to buy into the theme, and selecting Halloween as a wedding date became something to be excited about, rather than feared. It was different, unique, it was off the path of what was expected, and it was fun. Weddings don't have to be so serious. And anyone who knows me, also knows that I hate when things are serious.
So I was subtle about my inclusion of Halloween. I used black, laced paper for liners, I chose fonts that were dark and weathered, I included suggestive wording like, "I'll be there for the boos," and I sealed the envelope shut with a waxed, black spiderweb seal.
I sent the invitations out, I posted them on Etsy for other people crazy enough to dare the Halloween theme, and I didn't think twice about it.
About a week went by... I had several views on my listing, but I knew Halloween brides would be a long shot... UNTILLL I was contacted by a photographer in Virginia wanting to FEATURE my invitation suite for a Halloween-styled shoot that she would later submit to several big-time wedding blogs. WHAT?! As a newbie to the stationery & design industry, I wasn't really sure what that meant, and I was especially concerned that someone was trying to steal my work. But, in the same way that I selected Halloween as a wedding date, I just went for it. You live and you learn, right?
Her shoot turned out better than I ever could have anticipated and I'm so thankful that I took a chance on it (more on this later). Moreover, I'm glad that I designed my invitation suite and stayed true to myself in the process. In doing so, my #Hallowedding look ended up being much more representative of myself, Jared, and our relationship than I ever thought was possible.
That being said, to those brides looking and considering their options for their wedding stationery needs: Fly your freak flag. Don't be a basic. Be yourself. That's the only way you'll walk away happy with the end product. #WiccanBrideOut.