When I first stumbled upon DCo Lovenotes, I immediately fell in love with her work. Danielle Cole is a Milwaukee area wedding stationery and invitation designer. Her designs are unique and when you work with her, she has options for you to purchase pre-made designs or design something completely custom for your day. I love getting to meet local wedding vendors and I think it is so important to #shoplocal whenever possible. Danielle was gracious enough to answer a few questions. I hope you enjoy learning more about her, and her stunning work!
What’s something that most people might not know about you?
I actually work at a flower shop part time! I’ve been with Alfa Flower & Wedding shop for over 8 years and do all things wedding related there! This explains why I have such a large collection of floral assets for my designs and often times use the same wedding flowers of my couples in their stationery.
How did you get involved in designing wedding stationery?
I worked at a venue called the Outer Edge Stage in Appleton that held concerts designing tickets and posters for incoming acts. When they started shifting gears to accommodate weddings I began offering wedding programs as part of their packages and it grew from there.
Tell me about the different wedding stationery options you offer?
Each design has common pieces that couples may want for their stationery. This includes: Save the Dates, Invitations, RSVP Cards, Details cards, Programs, Menus, Table Numbers, Place Cards, and Thank You’s. I have however made numerous pieces in addition to these to accompany any suite like maps, envelope liners, signage, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners etc. Most of what I do is digital printing. I can however do letterpress, foil stamping, hand foiling, acrylic printing, thermography, and embossing to name a few.
What other services do you offer beyond the design of wedding stationery?
I typically don’t do assembly, partially because most people prefer to see their invitations before sending them out and also I don’t get asked very often. I do offer stamp design for postage, belly bands, stickers, seal and sends, guest addressing, and envelope liner adhering so assembly can go as smoothly as possible.
How soon before their wedding day should couples reach out to you?
That depends. If someone finds something they like right out of the book and doesn’t request any changes to the design turnaround can be pretty quick; 1-2 weeks from initial consultation. Your invitations should be sent out 6-8 weeks before your wedding, so if you want something custom, we’ll likely go back and forth for a while until we get everything right. It’s best to give yourself 1-2 months for this depending on the complexity of your design, and a couple of weeks on top of that to assemble and address so you aren’t scrambling to get them out.
Do you have an all-time favorite wedding invitation that you’ve designed?
I have so many! It’s always so hard to choose! My favorites are always the custom ones of course that hold a lot of meaning to my couples. My top 3 to name a few would be:
Alyssa and Thomas – https://www.dcolovenotes.com/lake-geneva-wedding-invitations/
They took a classic design of mine and made it their own with an image of their family dock that we printed on the back of their invitations. We also made a custom “logo”, and map of Geneva Lake. For their rehearsal dinner on the Louise from Lake Geneva Cruise Line; we did a custom boarding pass for those invitations. We kept the custom work coming with acrylic table numbers and signage.
Rose and Jack – http://www.mollyjocollection.com/jack-rose-2/
Rose and Jack are also a favorite. Rose found me on @theknot and we literally met the next day. She was getting married at @goodcitybrewing. When we met she said, “Call me crazy, but I’m envisioning my wedding flowers coming out of a beer bottle.” We got to work and this was the result! When I found out her fiancés name was Jack, she happily agreed to having me place a sinking Titanic ship in Lake Michigan after I freaked out a little over the Titanic reference. We finished off her programs, table numbers and place cards with the same design.
Caitlin and Jacob
Last but not least would have to be Caitlin and Jacob. I had the pleasure meeting Caitlin while working on her sister’s wedding invitations. Caitlin came to me about a year later excited and full of ideas. She really wanted to incorporate the iconic building for her #villaterracewedding. This was truly a labor of love and I think it shows. We worked together to not only recreate the building but also the beautiful iconic wallpaper from inside with custom sketches and watercolor. Any bride getting married at the Villa Terrace knows it’s all about the venue here with it being such an iconic and beautiful gem of Milwaukee.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you are designing wedding stationery?
Everywhere!! Lately it’s been hard for me to come up with new designs. Not because I’m lacking creativity but because I’ve been so busy designing custom suites for couples! A lot of inspiration lately has been a collaboration between me and my couples. People are wanting custom more and more these days because they believe that their wedding stationery should reflect their personality. On a rare occasion I’ll have time to do a styled photoshoot and let my creative mind go to work with a fun theme.
What are some of your favorite stationery trends in the wedding industry right now?
I’m really loving the custom watercolor maps lately. Being able to make something so whimsical and functional at the same time is really fun for me. It’s a bonus when we can incorporate little things into these maps that are special to the couple. I’m also loving the double thick cardstock, and letterpress. Something about that classic look and feel is just so luxurious.
What is something you wish you could tell all couples as they are planning out their wedding stationery?
Don’t be afraid to put a little bit of you in your invitations. They should reflect your personality as they are your guest’s first impression of your big day and will really set the tone. I have so many couples that come in with these great ideas and they hold back because “that’s not what their parents did….they won’t like them” or “people won’t like that, or get it”. It’s your day not anyone else’s, you should do what you want!
Anything I haven’t asked you that I should ask?!
There’s a big difference in shopping local vs. buying online. When you buy online you are guessing what the paper weight is and what it feels like, turnaround times are usually slower, and mistakes aren’t always corrected in a timely manner. Meeting face to face, feeling the paper, playing around with colors and font choices while being able to ask a professional’s advice is really a service in itself. We’ve done this a time or two. We know what questions to ask you to ensure your guests are not only receiving a pretty invitation; but also well informed.
Where can people find you?
I also have displays and look books at Savvy Bride, and Alfa Flower Shop. I’m at Alfa Flower Shop on Thursdays if you’d like a face to face consultation!
Fill out the form below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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