Hello! I am Amanda Cookson, and I am the wedding invitation designer and lead coffee maker for Be My Guest. I live in Mosgiel, 20 minutes south of Dunedin, New Zealand.
I started Be My Guest so I could flex my creative muscles on a daily basis, while having more flexibility with a young family.
Creativity has always been an outlet for me. It’s not just creating something I enjoy, but the challenge of problem solving. I love the process of creating… taking raw materials, lines on a screen and turning it into something beautiful, practical and awesome.
I like to think I’m pretty practical. If I think you don’t need some extra embellishment, I’ll tell you. Or if you need to stick to a budget, I’ll suggest different options.
Wedding Invitation design that’s good for the soul
I love the flexibility, empowerment and mental stimulation that running my own business lends. When you support me, you also support the New Zealand economy. I use a local printer, source my envelopes from local manufacturers and have a wonderful VA, Elien, who is based in New Zealand too. I endeavor to run my business with the ethos “what would I want if I was the bride/groom?“.
I love being able to support couples with stress-free service and always strive to hear “the wedding invitation design process was my favourite part of the planning process”.
Reviews of Be My Guest
It’s all well and good having me rabbiting on about how wonderful I am – it’s my website, I can say what I want, right? So I wanted to share my reviews, which have been written by my fabulous brides and grooms.
Why I do what I do
My family are SO important to me. Having my son made me re-evaluate my life priorities, and I made the decision to follow my heart. Be My Guest was born! I get to design pretty things, work with awesome people, and I can pack Henry & my laptop in my car and work from anywhere. This means a ton of kilometers on the OD and a bit of juggling, but it also means we get to be together as a family. My husband works away from home a lot, so this compromise means I actually remember what he looks like!
For you, this means my end of a Skype call could be from the beautiful Maniototo, or else from my office in Sunny Dunedin. I need to be a bit clever to keep my work-life balance balanced… hence why the website is setup to take your orders online, and a few other whizzy bits and pieces you’ll encounter if you chose to work with me. I’d rather spend my time designing, or with my family – not bogged down in admin.
What makes me special?
I juggle. That’s what I’ve always done. I did my degree while working full time (Bachelor of Communication – after eight years of part time study). So being a Mum, being Be My Guest, and being Amanda (somewhere in the mix) is just part of who I am. In my former life, I organised events – over 1,000 of them. I’m organised, I’m a details person, and I bring a fair amount of experience to the table.
I’m also loyal. I’m stubborn. I have a resting bitch face. I’ll never be cool. I am always smacking myself on the forehead for oversharing: “the lady in the dairy doesn’t care what you have in the slowcooker!”. I’m a Capricorn. I need to eat better, drink less wine, exercise more… but instead I have an idea, I scurry to the office, and I start working on something – and I can’t relax until it’s perfect.