Thursday, September 27, 2012

Aniversary Flashback: DIY Wedding Invitation Edition


Yesterday my husband and I celebrated the third anniversary of our most marvelous marriage. Hooray! It's hard to believe that it was three years ago now, because it feels like it wasn't that long ago that I was going crazy doing things like designing and printing and hand assembling my wedding invitations.

Which made me realize, that's one aspect of the big "I'm gonna make almost everything myself for this wedding" craziness I never shared: the invitation!

So I figured today I would share some snippets, along with some advice for any bride-to-be who is bold enough to tackle designing and making her own invitation suite amongst everything else on her giant to-do list.

Pictured above is a snippet of the main invitation design, which I designed and drew myself featuring a pair of doves and the floral pattern that reappeared and was repeated on all the various wedding things: coloring books, programs, menus, escort cards, hand sewn birds, etc. etc.


I even turned it into an all-over scatter pattern which I printed out and used to make my own coordinating envelope liners!

One piece of advice for folks going through the trouble to do all of this yourself – make sure to keep at least one pristine, unmailed, mint condition invitation for yourself, just for keeps. I was stupid (and tired), and I made only the exact number of complete invitation suites needed.

I did mail one to myself and one to my husband thinking that they would be sufficient for keepsake purposes. But, my husband ripped his envelope open all ragged-edge style, and running an inviation through the postal machinery never looks quite as nice. So mush for pristine keepsakes.

Now I wish I had just made ONE extra unmailed complete invitation set.  But I did not, and now I'm way to lazy to make one all over again.


Our invitation was a pocket fold, so all the info including maps, accomodations, and the all important RSVP could be stored in a convenient little pocket.

I purchased the pocket fold envelopes, the RSVP envelopes and all paper and cardstock needed separately, which not only allowed me to custom tailor the color scheme to our wedding, but it saved me quite a bit by avoiding expensive wedding invitation "kits" that did not necessarily include what I needed. Crazy how just adding the word "wedding" to a thing like an evelope makes it cost three times as much, eh?

I designed, printed, cut, folded, and rounded the corners all myself, using my printer, paper cutter, bone folder, and a corner rounding punch. I understand most folks might not have this stuff just sitting around, but I have a feeling that most modern crafty folks probably do.


I admit, I was very proud of the map I drew up for the invites. I had drooled over many a pretty wedding map on various wedding blogs, but when it came to making one myself, it was pretty daunting. I never draw maps, and it was a lot of important information that needed to fit in a small space.

The hardest part was trying to get all the information (maps, accommodations, and RSVP) included in the wedding invitation suite to come in weighing under the right postage amount.

I ended up having to downsize and simplify the map design of my dreams (which was a lot more illustration heavy) simply because I had to make the most of all the space available to avoid an uptick in my stamp costs.

The lesson: when you're designing your own invitations, if you have a kitchen scale or postage scale, use it, dagnabbit!


And this here is one of my favorite things about our wedding invitations. I designed and ordered a custom rubber stamp to use as both the return address on the invitation AND as the address on the envelopes for the invitation RSVP cards (here the RSVP envelope is the green).

Getting a custom rubber stamp made cost less than $20, it coordinated perfectly with the rest of the wedding design, and it saved me a lot of work when it came to addressing envelopes. And as an added bonus, it can still be used as a return address stamp. Sweet!

Just be sure to use a pigment based ink in you go this route. Not only does pigment based ink hold its color better, but it's waterproof too, which is very important when you're talking about mailing those all important wedding invitations.

Overall, if you decide to design, create, and assemble your own invitations: Congratulations!  You're crazy!

However, it is a kind of crazy that I love and fully support. I am so glad that such an important part of our wedding as the invitation was so individual, specific, and caringly made by my hand for our guests, family, friends, and loved ones. I don't think I could've done it any other way.

However, I am also admittedly crazy. Pin It

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