The benefits of shopping local

What helps a couple set the stage for their wedding better than their invitations? For this reason, I was very excited to take on the task of creating an invitation for our nuptials that would give our guest a glimpse of what they would be in for on July 5th. As I've mentioned before here at BSB, Matt and I are all about bringin' the fun. We want our friends and family to walk away from our wedding day saying, man, that was a great wedding! At T-10 weeks (eeeep!!), I'd say we're well on our way to accomplishing that goal.

Although I was excited to meet the great wedding invitation challenge of 2013 head-on, I wasn't really sure where to start. I did know that I wanted fun, eco-friendly invitations at a very budget-friendly price. While I saw some incredible creativity on Etsy, I quickly found myself overwhelmed with all of the options (are you sensing a theme in my wedding planning mentality here too?). So, I did what a lot of BSBers do to score a deal — I asked for a recommendation. Enter, August Park Creative.

August Park Creative is a local Long Island-based husband and wife design team recommended to me by our good friend Cadie (who happens to be a great local photographer in her own right!) I had a look at their Etsy shop and immediately knew that they could create the aesthetic that I was looking for. While I wouldn't say I have an eye for design, I do know what I like. And as with the rest of our planning, I wanted a balance of feminine and masculine to reflect me and Matt as a couple. Florals and calligraphy certainly aren't his scene, nor are they mine. Right now, I'm completely obsessed with chevron stripes, which respects that balance nicely, and feels like a good fit for a summer wedding.

Nicole from August Park Creative and I immediately hit it off via email. I told her my list of wants/needs/likes and she was completely unfazed by my zillion questions about post-consumer recycled paper and soy inks! In fact, within a few hours she had a detailed response from her printer on everything I wanted to know, and a list of vendors that she works with who could order every eco thing my heart desired!

All in One Wedding Invitations - Affordable Wedding Invitations from Minted

And then there's the design — the I love every single thing about it design! APC completely nailed our Queens boy Brooklyn girl (borough wars!) thing in a fun, light way that I think will really show our guest that they're in for a unique wedding.

A sneak peek at our Queens Boy Brooklyn Girl RSVP cards, courtesy of August Park Creative!

A sneak peek at our Queens Boy Brooklyn Girl RSVP cards, courtesy of August Park Creative!

What's even better is the Nicole and Mike worked within my budget. After I'd done a bit of research, I figured out that for me to get exactly what I was looking for elsewhere would have cost me at least a third more than with APC. So not only am I giddy with happiness over their final product, but I'm excited that I could keep it local and support a small business at the same time! So heed this advice fellow BSBers — do your research, ask for recommendations and go local! There are amazingly talented designers in every city who are eager to work with couples looking to creative without breaking the budget.

The invitations will go out any day now and I can't wait to hear what our friends and family think! Stage set – check!

I was not compensated in any way for a positive review of August Park Creative or their product. The opinions above are entirely my own.

Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here

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