What makes a wedding special is often going to depend on who is being wed, because what's special to one person may not quite inspire another.

That's why Sandy Shannon -- having met with mild disappointment over the choices for her own wedding invitations -- decided to take her own design skills into the area of matrimony.

Roseville Designs creates invitations and other graphic-design work, as well as offering branding and logo services. A native of Westport, Shannon has found the greater part of her work centered on her clients in her hometown of Darien.

"I was always into design, and I really had trouble finding any invitations that were fresh and fun and kind of reflective of my husband and myself, and our wedding, Shannon said.

"Everything we looked at was kind of a little drab," she said. "There wasn't a lot of modern, different ideas out there. It was all kind of plain."

For a while, Shannon had offered her design services to the people closest to her, but about a year-and-a-half ago, she really went about laying the foundation for her new business.

"I think for a while I was doing things for friends and family, but I decided to go full force and make a business out of it more recently," she said.

And it's paying off. This month some of her work, as part of the Wedding Loft of Connecticut -- a bridal collective based in Milford -- will be featured in the Connecticut Bride magazine.

"A bride's entire dream for her wedding begins with the invitation, and the mood (and) message it sends to potential guests," said Brooke Allison, a Wedding Loft photographer who works with Shannon.

"Sandy's product is special because she is such a good listener," she said. "She really takes the time to hear the client -- what they want, what they like -- and translates that into her work."

Allison said she is also "super easy to work with -- laid back, friendly and very creative."

Shannon said, "I think that I just have a really good balance of creativity and customer service. I think I go above and beyond for my clients ... and I really love doing it. It's something I get paid for, but I really love to do it. It doesn't feel like work."

Siobhan Young, of Allentown, Pa., who is planning her Connecticut wedding long distance, vouches for Shannon's work ethic. "Working with Sandy has been nothing short of fabulous," she said.

"Sandy has been incredibly attentive, available and flexible to my planning schedule, which is a dream come true," she said. "Her unique and beautiful designs are only topped by her quick responses, professional and incredibly friendly nature, and honest assistance."

Shannon emphasized that every client is going to have different needs, and that part of her job is to acclimate herself to that.

"The way that the wedding industry is now, people are very involved in their weddings," she said. "They love the planning process and they want details of it that are reflective of who they are and what they're about."

She said people are also always interested in supporting local businesses, not only for their wedding invitations, but baby shower and birth announcements, graduation notices and more.

"People love to support small business," she said, "I think especially around Darien. It's a very proud town. They love to do things within Darien."

For information, visit www.rosevilledesigns.com.

Jarret Liotta is a freelance writer.

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