Your wedding invitations are your guests’ first impression of what to expect on your big day. They set the tone – is this a casual, backyard wedding? A glamorous “ballgown required” event? Barefoot on the beach? A Rocky Mountain adventure? You might have the concept in your mind, but getting it down on paper is another task entirely. Luckily, Shanna Cremers, the brains behind Pink Umbrella Designs, has seen it all.
Shanna is a talented graphic designer who brings creativity and connection to all her wedding invitation designs. So she knows how to get to know you as a couple, listen to what your wedding plans are, and transform your vision into beautiful printed invitations.
So, whether you’re looking for modern styles and trends, a rustic mountain feel, or something that’s totally unique to you, Shanna is your girl. She works with couples from all over North America on wedding invitations, place cards, save the dates, seating charts and more.
We had a chat with Shanna to find out more about Pink Umbrella and what she loves about working with couples on their dream wedding invitation design.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m originally from southern Ontario and moved out to Canmore in 2003 when I was 22. I met my husband in 2005 and we got married in 2009 at Riverside Park in Canmore. We moved to Cochrane in 2015 to raise our kids.
My life revolves around being outside and being adventurous! We are a family who likes to hike, bike, and just be outdoors. I find most of my creative inspiration in nature.
How did you get started in graphic design? And how did that evolve into designing for wedding invitations?
I graduated from design school in 2002 and mainly focused on website design. In 2004, I started a job with the Canmore and Banff newspapers in their graphic design department. Then I worked for a marketing agency from 2007 – 2011 when I had my daughter.
I started a freelance company in 2009 focusing on graphic design, but I had a few friends who were wedding planners. They would ask me to do their couples’ stationery, so Pink Umbrella blossomed from there. While on maternity leave in 2011-2012, I really started to focus on the wedding invitation aspect of the business and it’s been a full-time gig ever since!
What was your journey like when starting out with Pink Umbrella Designs? How has the business grown?
Pink Umbrella has grown exactly how it should. With every stage of my personal life, Pink Umbrella has grown to meet my needs, which has been just so good for me and my family. I recently cleaned out my office and found some of the first designs I ever made. It’s interesting to see how my style has evolved over the years!
What wedding services/packages do you offer?
Anything print, really! We can start with a Save the Date, design an Invitation Suite to match and then work on Seating Charts, menus, programs, thank you cards, place cards, Welcome signs, decals, etc.
We offer digital printing, letterpress, foiling, custom die cuts, later cutting, specialty printing such as UV and screen printing, etc. as we have a plethora of outsourced printers.
Do trends in wedding invitations change a lot?
There is definitely a different trend every year. So couples might be drawn to a colour palette or a design style. I wouldn’t say the changes are drastic, it’s all very subtle and organic change.
What is the biggest up and coming wedding invitation trend right now, in your opinion?
I’m seeing more and more mixed-use paper, which is something I’ve been advocating for years. Rather than adding layers and expensive printing methods, couples are choosing to use different coloured paper and envelopes to add texture and depth to their custom suites. Pairing this with a wax seal and a beautiful ribbon or vellum wrap really ties things together.
How would you describe your philosophy when it comes to working with couples on their wedding invitation design?
I tell all of my couples that it’s very important that their suite represents them as a couple. Their guests should know who it’s from just from looking at the envelope. They should know exactly what kind of day to expect when they open it up and see what’s inside.
When creating a custom invitation suite, it should be created in a way that it becomes a keepsake that you, your family and your friends will cherish. A well-done invitation suite is a work of art.
What are the questions you hear most frequently from couples?
How many people are doing mail back RSVP’s vs. Online?
I’d say it’s 50/50. But, more importantly, it’s about what you are comfortable with as a couple. If you are not computer savvy, and creating a website stresses you out, then it’s not worth it! Adding stress in unnecessary places when planning your wedding just isn’t required.
How long before my wedding should we mail our invitations?
It depends on your situation. If you’re getting married locally, and more of your guests are local, 3 months is more than enough. If you or lots of your guests are travelling, especially to the mountains, they will need to book accommodation well in advance. For this, I recommend 4 – 5 months in advance. If you send a Save the Date, you can still get away with 3 months.
What is the most important advice you would give to couples when it comes to choosing their wedding invitation design?
Make sure it’s something that represents you as a couple!
What are some of your favourite wedding invitation looks?
I’m a big fan of clean and modern designs using a mix of papers.
What positive feedback do you hear most frequently from couples?
Almost every couple I design for sends me a note after they’ve mailed their invitations saying that they have had many guests comment on just how amazing they are. It’s so nice to know that their investment has made an impression!
Photo: 2 Brides
“Phenomenal service, Shanna works very hard to get the perfect look for your event. We met in person and talked over email frequently, she was the only one of my vendors that didn’t need chasing. Everything that she said was going to be done was done on time and to a high quality, and with personalized kind words to go with. A fantastic company run by a great lady. Would happily recommend it to anybody.”
If you want to talk wedding invitations with Shanna, you can find all her contact details here.