Wedding Wednesday: DIYing Our Wedding Invitations… It Sucked.

I DID IT! I FINALLY finished and assembled our FREAKING wedding invitations. And anyone who tells it you its super fun and easy is a BIG, FAT, STUPID LIAR! *Ahem* What I meant to say is that those whole DIYing my wedding invitations this is pure joy and I’m currently shitting rainbows… and THAT’S coming from someone who’s more than a little creatively talented and crafty. For your viewing pleasure, this is wee sneak peek of what the final product looked like:

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Here’s the whole DIYing sucks sometimes dealio:

Since I got engaged back in January of 2011, I have been DYING to do all my own paper goods and stationery for my wedding. I used to be active (and work) in the scrapbook industry and I truly love playing with paper and office supplies. I even have a little freelance bidness where I create banners, sidebar ads, and business cards for bloggers. It’s fun, it’s colorful, it’s creative – I lurve it. But this whole “making my own wedding invitation suite” thing? Not fun. In fact, it really started pissing me off at times. First, I was completely overwhelmed by choices. I’ve been pinning things for months and my mind was just overly saturated with ideas. Second, I really didn’t WHAT to include in my wedding invitation suite. Third, I have here thing called a “real job” now and between that, my commute, the gym, Kiss My Tulle, and The Boy – I just didn’t have the time to play with design programs and screenprint my own hankies.

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So, first thing I did was contact the lovely Jenna at Bit of Heart for advice on what to include. She told me that all I needed was an invitation with the ceremony and reception location (since both are in the same the place it was ridiculous to waste money on two separate invitations), an RSVP something (I ended up doing the traditional card insert with a pre-stamped envelope), and a directions card. Jenna also suggested including our rehearsal dinner invitations (to the applicable people) in with the wedding invitations to save postage – LOVE HER! Also? SUCH a relief to know those were the only things I needed. My mind was so brainwashed by the Style Me Pretty “Everything to the Extreme” Syndrome, that I was convinced I had to include tons of bits and bobbles. And guess what? YOU DON’T. Just put in the necessary and nix everything else. Here’s what ended up in my wedding invitation suite:

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*Censored (badly) to protect the innocent*

Simple and pretty – my extras were the packaging. Here’s a breakdown of what each item is and how it was designed:

The Wedding Invitation:

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*Censored (badly) to protect the innocent*

This was designed in Vistaprint using a $10 for $50 in product deal. I actually saw this invitation at my lovah, Katie Farrin’s, house – it was her wedding invite! I loved it, it was what really close to what I had been planning to design for my own invitation and saved me buttloads of time. Win/win! I chose the matte finish and printed a floral background on the blank back once I got them back from the printer. The deal included free white envelopes – I wanted color but couldn’t pass up free.

The RSVPs:

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I actually designed these in Illustrator at work one day while on a loooong conference call. I used another Vistaprint $10 for $50 deal and had these done up as postcards. These also came with free envelopes – again, I wanted color but couldn’t pass up free. I also designed these will a silly little RSVP options (which have been really popular with our guests!) and included a spot on the back for people to slip a piece of fabric in with the RSVP (I’m making a quilt from the scraps). This was made easier by including a small coin envelope on a pre-designed blank spot. I adhered the coin envelope with Scoth double-sided tape then finished off the RSVP envelopes with preprinted addresses on the computer (in Word its: Mailings>Envelopes) in a Copperplate Gothic Bold font.

The Directions Card:

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*Censored (badly) to protect the innocent*

This was the BIGGEST PAIN IN MY BUTT. I had the genius idea to pick up some blank Avery business cards using my Office Max rewards, design something in Illustrator, and print at home. Easy, right? WRONG! First, I COULD NOT get the design to fit on those stupid Avery templates – it just simply WOULD NOT work. THEN the papers kept getting stuck in the printer and jamming (I tried this in 5 different printers – truth). Finally, I gave up on having pretty direction cards, scrapped my original design, and typed the information into the Avery template. I managed to print out exactly 105 before the last printer refused to continue working with that paper and died. So a few people didn’t get direction cards and only 6 people got them with the pretty, pretty gingham design on the back.

The Rehearsal Dinner Invitation:

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*Censored (badly) to protect the innocent*

This was another “I WAS going to design it myself but…” situation. A couple of months ago I won a contest on Design Editor for $50 worth of free stationery from Storkie.com. I visited and fell in love with these invitations. With a bit of wording modification, they worked great for the rehearsal dinner invitations (I also had enough money left over to order some thank you notes for my bridal shower!)!

The Packaging:

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This was my one biggest task and it was a pain but look at how cute they are! Basically, I knew I wanted a wrap of some sort to bundle everything together and tie in with the whole wedding’s handmade vibe. I got some oversized brown lunch bags from the grocery store, some baker’s twine (that I already owned), some metal rimmed pricing tags from Office Max, some Martha Stewart stamping ink (a Christmas gift from my niece), and a floral acrylic stamp (that I already owned) and assembly lined these fuckers.

Fist, I cut the lunch bags horizontally with scissors to create strips. The, I started off using a cute scalloped punch that I owned to punch a pretty design on the edges. This ended up being a HUGE PAIN and very quickly killed the punch. So, I switched the less cute but MUCH faster pinking shears method. Next, cut each lunch sack strip open (to create one long strip), wrapped it around the stacked wedding invitation suite, and secured it with a Glue Dot.

The final part of the DIY involved creating the stamped tag and tying it all up. First, I removed the string that came with each metal rimmed tag, and then I stamped each one with the floral stamp, and let them dry. The Boy cut lengths of twine which I used to tie around the lunch sack strips and tie the stamped tag on.

The Envelope:

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*Censored (badly) to protect the innocent*

These were free with the wedding invitations. I printed our return address with envelopes on the computer (in Word its: Mailings>Envelopes) in a Copperplate Gothic Bold font. Then I used the Martha Stewart for Staples Avery labels to do each person’s address. Again, I did this using the Copperplate Gothic Bold font but this time (because the template is from Martha) – the printing went smoothly. I only had one mistake and that was because I loaded in the sheet of labels backwards.

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*Censored (badly) to protect the innocent*

Phew! This whole process took me a total of 3 days (and one extra day to design the printables). It was a process but people seem to love them and really, really like the RSVP options. I’m also getting some really cool fabrics (and stories!) back with the RSVPs so I’m really glad I did it. A note about the stamps: I wanted pretty ones, they are mind-numbingly expensive!, so The Boy picked out those ones (I joked that if I had to have a president, I wanted G.W. and Obama so I could force them to make-out). I decided not to fight that battle. Not worth it.

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*Censored (badly) to protect the innocent*

So, Tulle Nation, any of you DIYing your wedding invitations? Any of you semi-DIYing like I did? Or are you a sensible person and you bought yours? I’d love to know!