Jen + Dan — Lobster Bake Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

Hello, hello!  This is Jen with the haystack needle again.  Thanks for following along this week as I guest post for Nole, who’s moving into her new home.  Today is all about the invitations for our wedding rehearsal dinner:


We hosted a small wedding with a simple ceremony (no wedding party and our friend Erin married us.)  So the day before the wedding (after a big morning of decorating the barn with the help of friends), we invited everyone to Dan’s family’s camp for a classic lobster bake.  Dan and I get lobster every time we’re up in Maine, but we got really lucky that day.  His dad picked up a crate of lobsters straight from a fisherman’s boat.  Fantastic.



Most of our friends and my family had never been up to camp, so it was a treat to have everyone together in such a special place for us.  My mom contributed a couple favorite dishes that represent my background: German potato salad and Persian spinach patties.  Dan picked up sparklers which were a perfect way to close the night with our whoopie pies.

lobster bake


For the invites, I used letterpress flats with lobsters (of course!) by Linda & Harriett.  L&H designer Liz Libré and I share a love for Maine.  When I met Liz at the National Stationery Show years ago, we discovered she and her huz went to college in the Maine town where Dan grew up!  How fun, right?!  I wish I had figured out how to run the flats through my printer rather than writing them out by hand (since my handwriting would not be mistaken for calligraphy, let’s be honest.)  But live and learn.  In my scrapbook, the background paper is part of a lobster placemat by Carrot & Stick Press.

All photographs by the lovely Charlotte Jenks Lewis.

Jen + Dan – Save the Dates

Hello again OSBP readers, this is Jen from the haystack needle!  Today I wanted to share a peek of our Save the Dates (which are now attached to the pages of my soon-to-finished wedding scrapbook):

save the dates

Our Save the Dates were truly a labor of love.  I wanted to create fabric pouches for our announcements.  My amazing friend Chris offered to silkscreen our pouches, and designed a loon that she screen-printed on the fabric.  The loon feels so Maine to us, because Dan and I often see loons when we’re up at his family’s camp on a lake.  They make the most amazing sounds, too.

save the dates

At the time, I didn’t even know how to thread a sewing machine.  Thankfully, a dear friend of mine mentored me through my first sewing adventure.  My cheap Singer machine broke, because I wanted to use a canvas fabric that was too heavy-duty for it to handle.  So we cranked out the pouches (sewn with a zigzag stitch) on her awesome vintage Elna sewing machine.  And miraculously, I got them out in time.  I used turquoise papers from Martha’s craft line for the announcement.  And I had a custom stamp made from Three Designing Women.


We also used the loon design on the welcome bags. My friend Chris silkscreened a larger version of the loon onto canvas bags. It makes me happy whenever I see our friends using our wedding totes.

All photographs by Charlotte Jenks Lewis.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing a peek at what we decided to do with guests the night before our wedding…

Jen + Dan’s Wedding, Part 2 – Details and Our Invitations


Hello again! Jen here from the haystack needle.  Yesterday I left you on a Maine farm with many ways to craft together a wedding with rubber stamps.  Still following?  Here are some more details from our wedding (no stamps involved.)



I outsourced the paper cocktail napkins and drink stirrers to For Your Party.  I love how they turned out. And I picked one of my favorites in the paper world, Delphine Studio, for the napkin design.


My father-in-law is my hero.  We needed a bunch of signage to point to where to park, where to go for the ceremony, and even where to find the loo.  He made us wooden signs that looked adorable.  All I did was paint them.



We turned the back room of the barn that served as our wedding venue into a lounge where everyone could eat cupcakes and blueberry cobbler and check out old photos of Dan and me (and our families.)  My friends decorated the cupcakes with fresh blossoms and set a few birch paper flowers around the table.


Our wedding invitations!  I decided to splurge on letterpress, because I love it so.  I saved on costs by opting for a postcard rsvp card and handling the map and envelopes myself.  Stacy of Pancake & Franks designed our wedding invites.  She was so much fun to work with and Stacy really understood my vision.  I made the maps by simply photocopying our Maine atlas, glued the map squares to cardstock, and then I punched a hole to mark where the event was taking place.  I couldn’t swing the cost of a calligrapher, but I really wish I had ordered a custom return address stamp, which would have saved time and looked prettier on the envelopes.

All photographs by the ever-talented Charlotte Jenks Lewis.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing our save-the-dates!

Jen + Dan’s Wedding – Crafting with Rubber Stamps

Hi everyone! I'm Jen with the haystack needle. I'm so happy to be guest blogging this week here on Oh So Beautiful Paper while Nole moves into her new apartment!  I'm a huge fan of OSBP, and there are few things (besides homemade gelato) that I love more than stationery and pretty paper goodness.  To kick off the week, I thought I'd share some details from my wedding. 


I had so much fun planning and crafting the elements of our wedding — for seven months I was stamping, snipping, and sewing on our living room floor.  Dan and I got married on a farm in Maine (his home state), so I let the natural setting inspire all the details.



I've always loved skeleton keys, and I liked the idea of having guests pick up a key to find their seat. I organized our 60 guests into seating groups by animals (and the butterfly, my favorite).  These key tags also served as an alternative guestbook.  I made a sign telling everyone to sign the back of their tag, and then my friend Sue-Anne picked them all up.  I have a vintage blue mason jar filled with the key tags now on our dresser.  It's fun to read the messages every once in a while.  By the way, the keys I used were actually wooden skeleton keys I found on Etsy.  I couldn't find a lot of skeleton keys for a good price on eBay, and I liked the idea of wooden keys.

menu cards wedding


The table cards were everyday letterpress cards by Pancake & Franks (who also designed our custom wedding invitations, which I'm sharing tomorrow!).  I brought the cards to a local rubber stamp maker who created custom stamps from the images of the cow, horse, pig, bird, butterfly, and rooster on the cards.  Then I stamped river rocks at each place setting to make the seat groupings
clear, since we were using long communal tables rather than separate
round tables.  I loved Stacy Pancake's horseshoe card, so Dan and I used the good luck horseshoe to mark our seats.


The photo above is of our handmade ceremony programs.  Here's what I used: bakers twine, rubber stamps, faux bois paper, Japanese screw punch, and I printed out the program text on kraft brown paper.


I like to use my ever-growing collection of rubber stamps whenever possible.  So the stamping didn't stop with the paper.  I bought floursack towels from Kmart and dressed them up with a little pattern using stamps and fabric paint, and we used the printed tea towels at each place setting. (Do not try this with a large wedding!)  In hindsight, I should have figured out how to silkscreen the pattern, which would have saved a ton of time.  After the wedding, the tea towels were a sweet way to say thanks to my friends who were a tremendous help pulling everything together with me.  We went with biodegradable bamboo forks, knives, spoons, and plates — I saved a ton of money on rentals and didn't need to hire a dishwasher. 


It was blueberry season in Maine in September when we got married.  Early on, we decided our favor should be a food treat and we fell in love with the idea of blueberry jam.  I sampled a bunch of Maine blueberry jams and found them to be too sweet, too jiggly, too pasty, or just not quite right.  Spoon had just debuted their collection of homemade jams, and after sampling their blueberry jam, I knew it was the one.  And it was sweet that Spoon packages their jams in pretty jars  — even the turquoise blue label coincidentally fit in my wedding color palette.  I made paper butterfly tags to dress up the jars.  I love how the butterflies look like they're about to take flight. 


More details on our wedding tomorrow — including our invitations!  See you soon.  

All photographs by our wedding photographer, Charlotte Jenks Lewis.  She's amazing!