Taylor and David’s Wedding at The Crossings, Carlsbad — Elegant Lace Wedding Stationery

Not every day does a designer get the privilege to have their hand, in my case that can be taken literally, in so many aspects of a single wedding. My wonderful family friend Taylor, had me create so many amazing pieces for her wedding last year two years ago… from the save the dates and invitations, to the tent cards to signage, I got to do it all—and I loved every piece! I have been so excited to share this special day with you all and the time has finally come! Just in time for their 2nd anniversary!! What the what?! Where does the time go?!

Starting with the Save the Date… we started to explore the type we would eventually use and the overall look and feel.

Sam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor Save the Date

Then a few months later we started on the invitation. I love every bit of it even still after these last two years! I found the lace embellishment on shutterstock.com and after showing Taylor, she LOVED it as it reminded her of her wedding dress. So that was the perfect border elements to our stationery for the invitation suite and day of paper goods. After you take a look at the invite, there’s beautiful photos from the wedding day itself ahead!

Sam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor fullSam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor full2Sam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor invite onlySam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor lace detailSam Allen Creates Wedding Invitation Suite for Taylor RSVP

Okay okay, enough invites already… here’s the beautiful wedding day photos captured by Heather Elise Photography.

Heather Elise Photography crossings at carlsbad escort tent card display lettering by Sam Allen Creates

Guests first look after arriving to the wedding was seeing this amazing table set up for the place cards! I loved the circle design these tent cards were placed it with the large silver vase in the middle.

But of course, before the guests were to find their seats. We needed to watch those two lovebirds get hitched! It was such a beautiful ceremony! Not only did I cry, but I laughed as the groom handcuffed himself to his new bride… and then they couldn’t get the handcuffs off later. Oh my.

Taylor and David are beer snobs connoisseurs, so the reception tables were named after their favorite breweries.

Heather Elise Photography crossings at carlsbad tablescape (565)

Heather Elise Photography crossings at carlsbad tablescape (562)

Heather Elise Photography crossings at carlsbad tablescape lettering for centerpieces by Sam Allen Creates 2

Thank you so much, Taylor and David, for letting me be such a special part of your wedding day. Creating your paper goods was such an honor. Love you guys!

Taylor+David Highlight Film from KAPPEL IMAGERY on Vimeo.

Two Oh Fifteen

I totally missed the months where the reminiscing posts are made, but I still want to take the time to look back on the crazy year of 2015. It was a year I will never ever forget…

January + February

These months were so work-centric. Tons of overtime and I know I’ve shared so much of Etsy based stuff so I’m just rushing past this… if you don’t mind 🙂

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March

The month started off with a bang, just mere months after celebrating the BIG 1,000th Etsy sale, I made my 2,000th sale! And after that very stressful 2014 year of working a “getting busier by the month” Etsy shop while maintaining a full time job, I finally decided to put notice in at my job to be able to fully focus solely on my shop. Even though I still worked both for another few strenuous months, there was finally light at the end of the tunnel.

Your New Friend Sam Bubble Mailers

April

Following a weekend trip to Salt Lake City for BBQ, my best friend Amie and I with her little 4 month old, Hudson, in tow, we traveled to go see the missing piece to our set: our bestie Joyce in New York.

New York Amie Joyce Sam 2015

May

In May, Andy and I traveled up the state of California to the coast of Oregon where Rooftop BBQ took calls in every category at the Coos Bay BBQ Competition and won Grand Champion! We then drove from Oregon to Colorado (yes, we are crazy) to compete in Loveland, spending a few days at my aunt’s in the mountains where we got some rest and work done before the competition and the drive home.

Rooftop Barbeque Grand Champion Oregon 2015

Watercolor Envelope Addressing from Sam Allen Creates

June

Toward the end of June, one of my best friends from high school, Brittany (who you’ve seen around here quite a bit!), gave birth to her sweet baby girl. While I don’t get to see them very often and not even close to enough, I was so happy to take her newborn photos and get some extra cuddles in with the lil’ princess. More photos here.

Jeannette Newborn Photography Dana Point 811

July

In July, Etsy was at it’s peak. My full time job had finally and officially ended. I started working on my sign designs that as I know now, would end up being sold in Hobby Lobby (!!!!). One of my best friend’s wedding was coming up in less than 30 days so there was lots of painting, work to do and celebrations to have… and then we left for a road trip to Montana for my family reunion in which we flew back early for the wedding itself! Whoo!

Sam and Lindsey Newport Cruise

Sam Loves Buffalo Selfie

August

My beautiful friend Lindsey’s wedding was sandwiched right between our TWO Montana trips of last year. It was such a beautiful day and the wedding was a blast! I was so honored to get to stand up with her as she married the man of her dreams!

Lindsey Fogleminh Wedding - Melissa McClure

A week later, Andy and I drove right back up north to compete in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. In Wyoming, Andy won his second Grand Championship of the year and I can’t believe I got to be there by his side. I’m so incredibly proud of his talents and love when he gets recognized for his amazingness.

Rooftop Barbeque Worland Wyoming Fair BBQ Competition

September

This was our month to relax and recoup before the BIG trip to come.

Owen at the Beach, September 2015

October

At the start of October, we were already in the midst of our cross country trip that would be taking us to Missouri, Tennessee and finally to Florida before the long journey home.

In Missouri, Andy and Joe competed for Rooftop BBQ at the (Invitational and Open) American Royal World Series of BBQ in Kansas City. They not only got some high trophies, including a first in brisket, but they also were awarded their first ever PERFECT score!

Rooftop BBQ American Royal

From there, we spent a couple weeks crashing at my cousin’s house (more on our time in Missouri here) before heading on to Tennessee where Rooftop competed at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg—winning another top ten call for their brisket (it’s really that good, seriously).

Before making the final trip east to Florida, we spent a few days around Nashville including a cave tour! I’m 5 weeks pregnant here… even though we wouldn’t find out for another couple weeks!

Cumberland Caves

November

The start of November 2015 is where we found ourselves in the midst of a brand new adventure. The morning of November 2, hours before we planned to tourist around Walt Disney World… we found ourselves excitedly staring at a positive pregnancy test. After so many years, it seemed like a lost dream. I’ll be posting more about it (soon), so for now I just wanted to share our first official family photo at the Happiest Place on Earth.

P.S. The photographer who took this for us was the first official person to find out about the pregnancy! Ah!

Allen Baby Announcement Walt Disney World

December

The last month of 2015 is a total blur as I spent the majority of the month in the throws of morning sickness… but we did manage to have a quick photo session with my friend Courtney and make an announcement about our little one to come!

Allen Pregnancy Announcement Christmas Joy

So all in all, 2015 was a pretty spectacular year!

xoxo

How Andy Proposed, Reflecting Back 8 Years

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Yesterday marked our 7 year wedding anniversary, so today marks our 8 year proposal anniversary! That’s something to celebrate right?

Read how Andy and I met, our MySpace fairytale here.

I thought I’d take today to share how Andy proposed, because I just love this story!

Once upon a time…

Toward the end of the summer of 2006, Andy and I knew that we would be getting married in the next year or so—even before he proposed. So when he suggested checking out the chapel at the Christian camp that he and all our friends grew up attending, I didn’t think anything of it! We drove the 5 hours up to the Sequoias for my first ever visit to Quaker Meadow—the camp where so many lives had been changed and pledged to Christ. I was really excited to just see this beautiful place in person!

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Taken by our friend David who got us into the camp, before we went on our little hike.

After checking out the chapel and some of the other grounds, we took a mini hike, more of a walk, out to Inspiration Point—a view point where you can see quite a big tree filled canyon.

As we are walking around out there and climbing on the rocks, I thought to myself for the briefest of instances, “man, this would be a great spot to propose!” That thought then left my mind as quickly as it came.

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I still had no idea what was to come.

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Our last selfie photo as boyfriend and girlfriend.

Our last selfie photo as boyfriend and girlfriend.

Minutes later, I was shocked and overjoyed with surprise when Andy then got down on one knee to ask me to marry him by saying something along the lines of “here is where I dedicated my life to Christ, and now I dedicate myself to you.”

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Notice the drastically increased joy in our smiles in our first selfie photo as fiances!

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Of course, I said yes!

 

 

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Nothing much has changed in the last 8 years, as even back then I felt the impulse to document every moment of our lives, down to the dirt Andy knelt in to propose!

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As we were walking back, I remember looking back and thinking, that’s where we just got engaged…. Oh my gosh, we are engaged!

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And lastly, calling the parents from the camp phone! Thanks again David, semi shown below, for taking us up to camp!!

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Thank you Andy for 7 marvelous wedded years together, looking forward to all that’s to come!

Your New Friend Sam, Etsy Shop: Wedding Vows Typography Art Printables and Prints

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Whimsical Handwritten Wedding Vows Kraft paper 767

Earlier this year, just over 6 months ago actually, I posted about a new product I had added to my shop.

You see, I thought I invented these things… making art with your wedding vows. In my head, the biggest challenge of getting this product sold would be just to raise awareness and make it “a thing.” But you see, thanks to Etsy, wedding vow art is very much a thing and  passing that hurdle was a breeze.

Now, after over 60 designs and sales, I thought it was time to share some of the photos of some of my favorite pieces.

These are probably my favorite products in my shop, what an honor it is to be given the task to create art with words that are held so near and dear to a couple’s heart. And whether it’s with song lyrics, or wedding vows, the words are always so beautiful… and even sometimes funny. It’s a treasure to be able to have such an intimate glimpse into these almost stranger’s lives.

And just recently, after developing a few clear lettering styles, I broke the listing down into 3, and then 4 lettering styles…

Smiling is My Favorite

A fun and bubbly script…

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Smiling Bubbly Handwritten Wedding Vows 444 Your New Friend Sam Etsy Smiling Bubbly Handwritten Wedding Vows B&E 231 Your New Friend Sam Etsy Smiling Bubbly Handwritten Wedding Vows Daniel Katie 437

Why, yes, this next one is in German!! So fun!

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Smiling Bubbly Handwritten Wedding Vows Jennifer Nikolaj German 550 Your New Friend Sam Etsy Smiling Bubbly Handwritten Wedding Vows Peter Angela 449

Footloose and Fancy Free

A classic script…

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Footloose Handwritten Wedding Vows 116 Your New Friend Sam Etsy Footloose Handwritten Wedding Vows 124 Your New Friend Sam Etsy Footloose Handwritten Wedding Vows 126 Your New Friend Sam Etsy Footloose Handwritten Wedding Vows 833

And even though most want the classic black text on a white background, sometimes we get creative… one idea is white text on black chalkboard.

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Footloose Handwritten Wedding Vows 843

A Little Bit of Whimsy

With an uneven baseline, these handcrafted words are whimsical and feminine.

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Whimsical Handwritten Wedding Vows Alyce Scott 439  Your New Friend Sam Etsy Whimsical Handwritten Wedding Vows Andy Cara 455

With Thanksgiving

Another style with an uneven baseline, but a little bit less whimsy. This one is new to the shop, and its definitely my new favorite. The style first came to be after writing a ton of “thanks” gift tags, I liked this new style so much, so I just had to try it out on a few vow prints with some willing customers!

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Whimsical Handwritten Wedding Vows Nate and Kate 106

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Whimsical Handwritten Wedding Vows Chris Chirsty 121

Hand Lettered Originals

By request, I’ve added original prints as well, without the crutch of editing the final design digitally, these are always a challenge to get right and perfect but I always love them… the look and fill of the imperfections of pen to paper.

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And this is totally brand new, just a couple weeks old, and by my own request to fill a frame in my house, white ink on gritty Kraft wrapping paper! And then right after that, created a black inked print on Kraft cardstock for a friend.

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Whimsical Handwritten Wedding Vows Kraft paper 776

Your New Friend Sam Handwritten Vows Kraft Print 972 Your New Friend Sam Handwritten Vows Kraft Print 977

But of course, I still create the original, all digital typography prints too!

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Typography Wedding Vows 81 Your New Friend Sam Etsy Typography Wedding Vows 426your new friend sam wedding vows printable dr pruz DSC_0599

Client Photos

I really do have the best clients, especially when they send me photos of their prints hung up or on display in their homes!! What an honor!!

With all that to say, these sure do make great gifts. Most of the above are created by the bride for themselves as a momento from the wedding… but quite a few are purchased as anniversary presents to the spouse, or even as a day of the wedding gift! And one was created the week after the wedding, as a wedding present based on the best man’s speech! I thought that was pretty brilliant and may be stealing that idea some day soon.

I’m hoping to one day make more book quotes or bible verse prints… and even prints for baby nurseries! I think that would all be so fun!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this extra peek behind the scenes at some of my favorite pieces, after all, Etsy only allows for 5 photos! What else am I supposed to do with the rest!

Custom Lettering and Design for Amie’s Shabby Chic Vintage DIY Wedding

Harvard Photography

Just a month after the wedding, I posted an in depth recap of that glorious day, when my best friend married the man of her dreams under the trees, amongst the hills of Temecula Valley.

While this post shares my best friend’s wedding on a whole, I wanted to share a few photos of the behind the scenes of parts I got to work on!

To make it to that gorgeous day though, a lot of craft nights (and mornings, and days, and weekends) had to happen. Because she loves me, or my writing I should say, I got to hand letter on just about everything! From the invitations to the cake topper… my little hands were busy!

Of course, as a matron of honor, I had many other duties from planning the bridal shower (link), the bachelorette party, and of course on the day of, I had to give a speech. But all in all, my main duty was just helping the bride along the way. Facebook Chat was our go to means of communication. Almost daily, messages were exchanged with links and “so what do you think about this and that’s?”

I just wanted to take a moment to go over some of the crafts and projects we worked on together. It’s a big thanks to Amie Belle and her encouraging me on these projects that pushed me in my passion for hand lettering which launched my Etsy shop to where it is today.

So in a way, this is a giant portfolio update for me—a way to say “hey, I can write that for you!”—and also a way to share ways you can DIY your own wedding day!

If you have any questions, give me a shout out in the comments and I will get it answered!

The Invitations: Save the Dates, Rehearsal and the Wedding

Let’s start with the invitations! I posted about the Save the Dates last March! And here is the very first rubber stamps that launched over 100 more! Kinda crazy to look back on that actually. Who knew?!

save the date kraft stamp_0369

After the Save the Dates, Amie and I worked on her wedding invitations. But of course, before the wedding, comes the rehearsal! I just adore how these came out… all Amie asked for was a “type” look. Which is a favorite of mine so I was happy to oblige! These are actually for sale in my Etsy shop too!

rehearsal-invite-collage

For the wedding invitations, Amie wanted something “simple.” So we kept the invite itself pretty simple and then hand punched (using this Martha Stewart paper punch) the bottom of each card. Then glued those cream pages (from Staples) to a piece of Kraft paper (from Michaels). We also designed maps and a RSVP postcard (postcards printed at UPrinting.com). All the pieces were then tied together with lace and twine and we added 3 Kraft hang tags (Recollections tag punch from Michaels) that read “You’re Invited” along with a verse from the book of 1 John. The invite was then mailed out in a charcoal grey envelope addressed with a large sticker label and the return address was rubber stamped.

wedding invitation assembly

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wedding invitation with lace and kraft tags

For the day of, we did quite a variety of projects. Not really sure where to start…

Let’s start with the directional and other fun wood signs!

Hand Painted Wood Signs

The benefit of hand lettering everything, starting with the STDs, was that everything matched seamlessly and we didn’t have to depend on stencils or trying to figure out how to get certain fonts painted on to wood. We did however create stencils for the serif font seen below… but those were easy since the lines are mostly all straight. We just printed out the words at size, cut the inside of the letter out and voila! Home made stencils!

This first photo is Matt and I working on the LOVE sign and cutting out stencils along with a bunch of the completed wooden signs at my house.

wedding wood signs DIY

Harvard Photography

Harvard Photography

Harvard Photography

Harvard Photography

For the cake topper, from Morgann Hill Designs, we just used a purple Sharpie paint pen. Easy peasy.

Harvard Photography

For this LOVE sign we followed the tutorial on Shanty to Chic—except we created stencils of our serif font to match the rest of the wedding materials. Side note, tonight we are making more of these but with more custom designs! I can not wait to have one of my own!

Harvard Photography love wooden sign

Harvard Photography ring box

Hand Lettered Escort Name Tags

We also hand lettered the escort tags… to save time we ordered these tags on eBay and then used these Micron pens in sepia along with some rubber stamps for the table number.

name card calligraphy

Harvard Photography

The large chalkboard was from Kirklands, and I hand lettered the sayings using this pen from Hobby Lobby. So easy, and much less messy than real chalk. I did however, prime the board with a real stick of chalk. That helped a lot—and gave it a more worn look. In the image above, you can tell that the board was primed, the image below was written straight on the board without any real chalk lather. The ink sticks more to the board in the unprimed which will make changing it much harder. So it really just depends on how you want to use them in the future.

Harvard Photography

Amie also picked up a few frames from Hobby Lobby and then created chalkboards out of them using some chalkboard spray paint.

Harvard Photography bbq chalkboard menu

Harvard Photography

wedding DIY assembly

The wedding favors were red neck wine glasses (candlestick glued to a mason jar) for the ladies, and plain mason jars for the men. Attached to each jar was a hand tag using that same Recollections punch from the invitations—and inside each jar was a personalized bookmark, with the name of the guest on top to help with the seating arrangement. These tags and bookmarks were just printed (same ream of paper from the invitations too!) and cut at home. The bookmarks were also punched at the bottom to match the invitations along with an eyelet (see above photo) to hold the twine tassel in place.

Harvard Photography rings and bookmark favor

These last paper products to show you were also just printed at home using normal stock paper that was the same cream color as the wedding cardstock.

The wedding programs: the lightweight printer paper made it easy to roll up and then tie off with some more twine.

wedding program your new friend sam

Harvard Photography

DIY wedding programs

These fun Mad Libs we created using a bunch of sayings we found online.

Harvard Photography

Harvard Photography

Slideshow

And the last thing I helped Amie with was completing the slideshow for the wedding… it was created using iMovie and could not have been more easy! I had never used it before and was really relieved that it truly was as easy to use as my husband kept promising it would be! 🙂 One big tip: before placing music, make sure you have all your images and transitions set up because once you have to change those, then you have to go back in and tweak and every single song.

Harvard Photography

If I can give any advice to any of you soon to be MOH’s and bridesmaids, it would be to just be an ear and a helping hand to the bride. While that seems so obvious, it’s easier said than done.

Another piece of advice: if you think a project will take one evening to complete, double or triple that! 🙂

Many of the elements above are now for sale in my Etsy shop:

Address rubber stamp. You’re invited! rubber stamp. Invitation card. Rehearsal invite. Custom Lettering. Escort tags.

Save the Date rubber stamps as seen above are coming soon—see my other Save the Date rubber stamps in the meantime.

Kathleen and Allan’s Wedding Featured on Green Wedding Shoes

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Photo by Caleb John Hill.

A few months ago, Kathleen called me and shared the news that her wedding would be published on Green Wedding Shoes… and then after what felt like forever, it was posted today! Click here to read the post.

What a cool nod to the bride and groom, and a giant pat on the back, for such a fabulous wedding!

greenweddingshoes.com:modern-art-museum-wedding-kathleen-allan

You can see the paper goods I was credited for in the post by visiting:

Wedding photography and the engagement session images used in the invitations are by Caleb John Hill.

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