Support Multiculturalism with Arabic Greeting Cards

Recently I’ve ventured out of the wedding stationery world and started a small line of Arabic Greeting Cards.  

I’m Lebanese and we have many expressions that are so artistic, elegant, funny, poetic, loving, meaningful…. really there are not enough words to describe the beauty of the Arabic language.  The “meaning” of the phrases are really lost in translation and there are no words that can be written to replace them.

Nova Scotia is a very multicultural Province.  Arabic is the third most popular language in Nova Scotia.  It’s actually the number one “unofficial” language in our Province, with English and French being our two “official” languages.  

We have so many Middle Eastern restaurants, shops, bakeries, and there’s even a small section of Arabic books at the new library on Spring Garden Road.  Over the years, as the Middle Eastern population continued to grow here, the availability of items expanded and our local grocery stores now carry Middle Eastern foods.

Our universities and schools have “Arabic Societies” and events. In elementary schools the children are taught about all the holidays celebrated by the different nationalities here.  And although multicultural festivals are not new to our Province, these festivals have expanded vastly and there are a lot more than in the past.

Venues have expanded their knowledge and capabilities to allow our cultures to be able to have our celebrations and social gathering the same as in the Middle East (except for the weather!)

One thing was missing – the ability to celebrate and acknowledge an occasion with a card.  So simple yet absent – we all pass out greeting cards for every single occasion – you name it, there’s a card for it. 

I thought, why not take some of our common expressions used at birthdays, weddings, thank you’s, etc. and design a card that incorporates these expressions.  I used the English alphabet so they can be read and understood by those of us who are Middle Eastern, can speak and understand Arabic, but cannot read or write the language.

I’ve designed 15 simple cards with the most common greetings for a few occasions – birthday, thank you wedding, love and Ramadan. I plan on bringing new designs throughout the year as occasions come, such as Easter and Mother’s Day.

Never has it been more important to support multiculturalism and I hope that you will all enjoy these cards and show your support to the Middle Eastern people in this Province.  

A portion of the proceeds of all cards purchased from my Etsy shop will be donated to ISANS – Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia.

Please check them out on my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DiMDesigns

Cards are also available for purchase at the Dalhousie Bookstore, Chocolate by Design on Lower Water Street and SAJ House in Fairview.

Please contact me if you are interested in carrying these cards in your shop or as a fundraiser.

Have a beautiful day…

P.S. Don’t forget to contact me if you need wedding invitations!!!!

Diana Metlege

Wedding Planning Done Right – Stay Organized & Avoid Stress!

The 2017 Wedding Season has officially started and this means all of you lovely couples are in full planning mode for the upcoming “big day”!

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am super organized – to the point that I’m practically O.C.D. (fantastic for all those ordering stationery from me! Be assured that your invitations will be perfect!).  

I believe the key to having as minimal stress as possible in life is to stay organized.  The same is true with wedding planning.  The more organized you are, the less stressful the planning will be. Less stress means more happiness! And we all know that everybody is happy when the bride is happy!

Wedding Planners

Wedding Apps are great and there are so many that help with the planning, provide timelines, budgets, etc.

Personally, I recommend a paper planner.  I’m such a visual person and i need to see the “TO DO” list right in front of me.  I write down what I have to do every day, even if it’s only on a “Post-It”. It’s important for me to see the list and check off items as I complete them.  

My favourite wedding planner is “Planning a Wedding to Remember” by Beverly Clark, which can be purchased at any Indigo store for $37.    This book includes all the usual planning tools, timelines, schedules, budget sheets, etc., but also has tabs, dividers and pockets that help you organize each aspect of the wedding individually.

A “Day of Coordinator” is important, even if you have a good planner and can easily plan their own wedding. This person is key to ensuring everything flows smoothly so that the couple and their families don’t have to worry about anything.  If you need recommendations on who offers this service, please contact me..

Invitations

On a final note, the time to order your invitations is NOW!  Please start looking into ordering your invitations as soon as your date and venue are booked. Don’t leave this until last minute because it takes time to choose / design the perfect invitation for your special day. It’s better to order sooner rather than later – less stress this way!  

New this year at our DIY invitation packages, which allows you to design the invitation suite with us but assemble on your own. This is great for those looking for beautiful stationery, but on a budget. Please inquire for details.

Our Etsy Shop has a small selection of our favourite invitations.  You can also request a custom order and we offer free shipping within Canada.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to meet.

Save 15% on all orders this month!

Happy New Year and Happy Planning! 

Diana.

facebook.com/dimdesignshalifax

@dimdesigns1

 

Wedding Season 2017!

The 2016 wedding season is drawing to an end and I’m starting to meet with lovely couples who are getting married in spring/summer 2017 and are getting ready to order their invitations.

I look back and reflect on this past wedding season, and it truly was an amazing year for custom invitation design. The majority of our work focused on exquisite and unique stationery for each wedding.  We also did a lot of coordinating “day of” stationery and favours. This allowed us to expand our imaginations and have a little fun!

Every bride and groom definitely has their own style and we certainly did a little bit of everything!  Laser cut, glitter, gold foiling, letterpress, boxed invitations, forest themed, Paris themed, floral, die cut papers and more.  Napkins and matches are also a fantastic “blast from the past” that many couples ordered as wedding favours!  I can happily say we fulfilled every request and our couples left very pleased!

I’m updating my website and photos of these beautiful designs will be uploaded soon.

So what’s in store for the 2017 wedding season?

There doesn’t seem to be one specific trend or colour so far.

Of course, we have our Carslon Craft, Wedding Star and Envelopments Collections, plus 100s of our own speciality designs that incorporate laser cut, brooches, lace, glitter, embossed papers, etc.  The options in our studio are absolutely endless! Believe me when you come in and see the invitation choices you will get lost!

It seems, however, that the majority of couples will want custom invitations that relate to their specific style and taste.

But that’s what DiM Designs is all about! We don’t want to you open a book and choose an ordinary card (although none of our cards are ordinary!)  You are not ordinary nor is your wedding.  Every bride and groom is extraordinary and desire original designs that have not been seen before! That’s why we do not charge design fees or set up fees!

Laser cut invitations and glitter papers will continue to trend this year, but with more detailed inserts and layering of speciality papers.  I also think lace and brooches will be popular!

Stay tuned for photos from some of our 2017 Collection as we continue to update the website.

Until then, please check us out on our social media pages:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/dimdesigns.ca

Instagram – @dimdesigns1

Shop on our Etsy page – https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DiMdesigns

Have fun and stay in love!

Diana Metlege

Wedding Stationery Checklist – what do you actually need?

There are so many new trends and ideas for weddings every season that it becomes hard to know what to focus your budget on.  Often times, couples think they should save on the invitations and other paper items and spend more on the decor, flowers etc.  Truth of the matter is, spending more on the stationery will allow you to spend less on the decor, flowers and other unnecessary items.

First of all – let’s start from day one – the bridal party. Today’s trend is to create a little gift box with goodies and ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen in person if they will stand with you on the big day.  These little gift boxes are a nice idea, but they can add up quickly.  You’re better off buying “Will you be my bridesmaid” cards and writing a note to each member of the bridal party.  It’s more intimate, personal and …. less expensive.  Later, if you want to get the bridal party gifts buy them earrings or cuff links – something they will need to buy for the wedding and then you are saving them money too.

Next up are “Save the Date Cards” – I personally think that instead of spending on these cards, take the money you are planning to put towards them and put towards buying nicer invitations.  Most people pass their invitations out 2-3 months before the wedding and that’s usually enough notice for the guest. The only time I think Save the Date cards are necessary is if you have friends and family who need to book flights to come to the wedding, or if you are having a destination wedding.  In these instances, the guests need more notice so they book flights to attend.

The “Wedding Invitations” – I think these are the most important part of the wedding! The invitations give the guests the first impression of your wedding.  As soon as the guests receive their invitation they will know the style, theme and type of wedding you are having.  Personalizing your card and making it unique is very important – the invitations speak about who the couple is.  Ordering invitations that 1000’s of others already ordered doesn’t make you as a couple as special as you should be.

The way to save money on the invitations it easy – eliminate unnecessary inserts. Instead of an RSVP card, create a wedding email address for the guests to respond too.  This saves you the cost of the RSVP, envelope and the cost of a stamp.

Directions? Accommodations? Gift Registry? Instead of spending money on these inserts create a wedding website with all of this information and put it on the bottom line of the invitation.

Your guests should open a beautiful unique invitation that’s as beautiful and unique as the couple getting married!

What about “day of” stationery?  There are Table Cards, Place Cards, Escort Cards, Seating Charts, Menus, Programs, etc. the list is endless.  But what do you actually need?

A seating chart or escort card with table numbers is absolutely necessary.  Place cards are not necessary – the seating chart or escort card direct them to their table and they can choose their own chair.

Menus are optional but they really dress up the table and allow for you to spend less on other table decor.  When you are printing a large volume of menus the price is very inexpensive.

Programs are also optional, depending on your budget.  Most people keep them simple with the bridal party names on one side and the order of ceremony on the other side.  Again when you are printing a large volume of these the price is quite inexpensive.

To summarize, I totally recommend “Will you be my ….” Cards for the bridal party instead of gifts.  Scrap the “Save the Dates” (except for the traveling guests) and save on the cost of the card and the stamp that goes with it.  RSVP cards and other inserts can be eliminated with the use of a wedding email address and wedding website.  Spend spend spend on your invitations – this is the guest’s first impression of the wedding!  Organized seating with table numbers is absolutely necessary.  Scrap the place cards.  Menus and Programs are optional but dress things up and allow you to save on other decor.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to meet!

Love you all!

Diana Metlege

 

Do you need Wedding “day of” Stationery?

Summer is here and wedding season has officially begun.  Your invitations are out, RSVPs are rolling back in, everything has been booked and now it’s time for the final details.

“Day of” stationery is always optional, but usually recommended.  These items keep guests organized and in the know about what to expect all day.

Seating chart – yes or no?  It’s definitely good idea to assign your guests to a table, not necessarily a chair.  This accomplishes a number of things – firstly things stay organized and there isn’t chaos when the dining room opens because people are running to get a seat.  Secondly, it ensures that the tables are all filled – what if 7 people sit at a table, leaving 1 seat –  Then a couple comes to sit down and there are only single seats left.  Problem.  Thirdly, you’re guaranteeing that people who know each other or are family get to sit together.  Get a seating chart – No chaos, no people left without seats, no unfilled tables, everyone is sitting with friends/family = happy wedding day!

There are different types of seating charts and different ways to organize it. The most common is a foam core board, which can be as big or small as you need depending on the size of the wedding.  This is likely the most economical type of printed board to get and can be completed rather quickly the week of the wedding.

Once you choose your board you have to decide how you want to list the names – alphabetically or by table number.  The first way is to list all guests’ last names from A-Z and their table number next to their name.  I recommend this method for larger weddings.  The latter way is to have the table numbers listed and a column of names of the people sitting on that table printed underneath.  If you’re having a smaller wedding this layout is ok because people aren’t searching over 30 different table listings to find their names.

Table Numbers – if you decide to have a seating chart, then you definitely need table numbers.  You can be creative and give each table a name instead of a number.  Regardless you need an identifier on each table.  Sometimes the venues will provide you with simple numbers that are fine.  We can make you table numbers that match your seating chart, invitations, wedding decor, etc. You can put them in a frame, on a stand, they can be free standing, etc. – many options.

Place Cards – some people not only assign a table to their guests, but also assign a specific seat at the table with a place card.  These can really dress up the table and look beautiful next to the menus and other table decor.

Menus – yes you are having a set menu and guests do not actually order off of a menu.  However, the menu tells the guests what food they will be receiving and there is usually a “thank you” from the bride and groom” at the bottom.  Menus also really dress up the table for little cost.  You can do one or two big fancy menus on each table, or you can do a smaller, simple menu and have it laid out on each guest’s plate.  Regardless, the “look” of the menu on the table is really nice and again they can be coordinated to go with your wedding theme/colors.

Programs – not so common anymore, but a very traditional wedding day item.  The program lists the wedding party, parents of the bride and groom, outlines the order of ceremony and the day.  It really gives your guests a sense of what to expect all day.

There are many other types of “day of” stationery – fans, escort cards, kissing menus, etc.

Regardless of how little or how much you want to spend on your “day of” stationery, we are here to help and work with all budgets.  The best time to order is when you have all the details ready, i.e. you know what the menu is going to be and where everyone will sit.

We look forward to hearing from you and making your special day even more special with our pretty stationery!

Diana Metlege

 

 

Order your wedding invitations early!

June is just around the corner and wedding season is in full force!  Are you ready?  Many couples are so busy planning the actual wedding and they wait until most of the planning is finished before dealing with their wedding invitations.  This is not a good idea for many reasons.

For one, waiting until the last minute will likely limit the types of wedding invitations that can be ordered within a short time frame.  You may not have enough time to order the invitation you really want or do a custom design. You’ve been planning your wedding day forever, so why shouldn’t you be able to order the cards of your dreams?

Secondly, you may incur extra costs for expedited production time.  If you’re already on a tight budget then why would you want costs that could have been avoided if you ordered sooner.

Thirdly, you will have significant stress if you order in a time crunch (and so will I!!!). There is never any absolute guarantee that your invitations will arrive on time or that other issues could arise.  What if they are damaged during shipping?  What if they are delayed in customs?  What if they arrive and you realize you needed 20 more? Planning a wedding is stressful enough, so if you can limit the stress levels you should.

So when should you order your invitations?  Although it’s great to choose your design and get started on the process as soon as possible, the best time to order is when you have confirmed the wedding ceremony and reception date, time and location.  These are all pertinent details and the invitation order cannot actually be placed until this information is ready.

Ideally, your invitations should be in hand at least 3 months before your wedding date.  This means you should place your order at least 5 months before your wedding to allow a full 2 months for production.

Please contact us if you have any questions, would like a quote or would like to meet!

Happy Planning!

Diana Metlege

Beautiful Invitations can be affordable!

So you’re planning your wedding and have set your budget. You’ve met with all the florists, decorators, venues, etc. and now finally you’re ready to order your invitations.

You want something beautiful but don’t want to break the bank.  You could order online and have the same invitation that thousands of other brides have ordered.

You’ve thought about making your own invitations, but don’t know where to start – you could buy a DIY kits or run around and buy everything separately and try to put it all together.  This will likely add up to more than what you expected and take a ton of your valuable time.

But guess what? You can still have beautiful, customized invitations that are within your budget.  DiM Designs works with all budgets – big or small.  We work with all quantities – large or small orders.  We don’t charge a design fee or a set fee, which means you can have your wedding invitation designed especially for you at no extra cost.

We will meet with you for free and price match any quotes received from local competitors.

Oh and did I mention, right now we are have 50% off a huge selection of inventory – great for those looking for fancier cards on a budget.  We have a lot of colours and styles available.

You shouldn’t think of your invitations as something meaningless that people will throw away.  Your wedding invitations are your guests’ first impression of what to expect on your big day.

So what are you waiting for?  You have nothing to lose by contacting us. So please do:

Call us at 902-404-1878 or contact us by email at dimdesigns@eastlink.ca

For a glimpse of our latest designs , please check out our Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/dimdesignshalifax

or Instgram Page at www.instagram.com/dimdesigns1

Hope to hear from you soon.

Diana Metlege