Warning: If you are averse to paper crafts, you might want to skip this post. It's very paper-y, and it's very craft-y.
Personally, besides the cake, the invitations are my favorite part about weddings. At one point in my life, there was a huge boom wherein all of my friends got married at the same time. I remember getting so excited to find a wedding invitation in the mail, and I was always anxious to see how the invitation conveyed the personality of each couple.
There is something beautiful, especially in today's electronic age, about receiving an actual piece of mail that is more than a bill, a magazine or a grocery store flier. We just don't write enough letters that require actual postage these days. That, however, is another post for another day.
Today, I'm mailing out our wedding invitations. In line with standard etiquette (although I totally suck at this topic in the grand scheme), I'm sending them out about 2 months before the actual wedding date. I have, however, thrown caution to the wind in terms of some of the other things that the "experts" recommend. That's just how I roll. I try not to be too stuffy.
I didn't order my invitations from a print shop. I considered buying a box of "u-print-em" invitations from Target (some of their paper products and invitations are really cute), but I am kind of hellbent on things like this being personal. Something that you probably don't know about me yet is that I am painfully sentimental, and I always assume that everyone else is. What I decided was that I wanted our wedding invitations to be something I could look back upon fondly, and recall the hours that I spent making them by hand.
I am very rarely the first to point out any type of talent that I possess, but I'll be damned if I'm not crafty. When I was little, my Mom worked for a print shop, and when I went to work with her, she'd sit me down at the light table and let me trace and draw and cut and paste to my heart's content. I'm sure she only did that because it was the only way to make me shut up and stop whining for more than 15 minutes, but that was the beginning of my love for paper, pens, crafts, and anything that meshes these three things together.
If my friends need invitations, they call me. If they need wedding, shower, or party favors, they call me. If they need gift tags or goodie bags, I'm their girl. It's something that I love doing, and it's one of the few things that I'm not ashamed to say that I do well.
I knew that I could create the exact wedding invitation that I envisioned, and I could give our invitations the personal touch that neither a print shop nor Target could pull off.
I began with a sketch of what I wanted. I didn't know how I was going to get there, but I knew what I wanted: something classy, bold, and a little unexpected.
I decided to make the invitations from the Envelopments paper line by way of Red Currant Studio. I chose the Black Linen Pocketfold because I liked the idea of our invitation looking sort of like a little "package" that just folded up into itself.
On the main part of the Pocketfold, I decided to incorporate our favorite picture of us as a couple.
This picture was professionally taken at a friend's wedding, and the photographer uploaded all of the pictures to Shutterfly. I ordered 5 x 7 copies of the picture from Shutterfly, and was very happy with the result.
I also ordered pre-cut 5 x 7 sheets of Medium Clear vellum paper, also from Red Currant, on which to print the invitation wording.
Red Currant also provided some very good 5 x 7 cardinal red cardstock on which to print the information about our "Welcome Dinner" and the post-wedding dinner party.
I was happy to find that Red Currant offered all of these items in pre-cut sizes. Although I wanted to do most of the design and printing myself, I really didn't want to have to cut out several pieces of paper for each of the invitations. Although I only needed to make 30 invitations, I wasn't keen on all of that cutting.
In order to personalize the Pocketfolds and the envelopes a little more, I purchased a huge pad of 12 x 12 black and white patterned paper from Michael's. I can't find the paper on their website, but here it is on a different website.
From that point, I made two templates: one for the top of the Pocketfold, and one for the envelope. I wanted to use the black and white patterned paper to customize each invitation a little, and coordinate the Pocketfold to the envelope.
I feel like this added a nice coordinated touch to the invitations, and once I had the template, it was very easy to cut out the shapes and stick them onto the envelopes and Pocketfolds just using Tombo Mono Adhesive tape.
I knew that I wanted a black satin ribbon in order to tie the whole "package" together, but it took me a little while to figure out how to accomplish this. I ended up ordering some small (#0) drapery grommets because I liked the "finished" look that they gave to the invitation.
Using just a standard hole punch, I eyeballed 2 holes for the brads and ribbon. This was one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the whole process because there was very little room for error--if I was 1/4" off, my grommets wouldn't have lined up, and the ribbon would be strung through the grommets crooked. I could've made a template in order to avoid crooked grommets, but after a few practice runs, I became an expert at eyeballing.
I also strung a little silver charm through each of the satin ribbons to add some extra flair (and...ahem...extra postage...). I got these on sale at Michaels, and each of the charms had a different lovey-dovey sort of word on it (honesty, appreciate, joy, faith, etc.). After stringing the ribbon through the grommets, I tied it into a sturdy knot in the back.
This was a pretty important step because the grommets were not attached by anything, and the ribbon was the only thing that would be holding them into the punched holes.
After getting everything glued and tied up, I placed a tissue square (also purchased from Red Currant) on top of the vellum paper to protect the printed portion of the invitation. Although I tested this to make sure that the ink would not rub off, I thought it looked more "official" with the tissue paper square.
Then I tied up all of the little "packages", with a knot in the front, cut the ribbon ends into points, and burned the edges of the ribbon so that they wouldn't fray.
Then, each of the invitations went into their envelopes, I addressed them using a silver metallic pen, sealed the envelope using Aleene's Tacky Glue (because the envelopes were too "fat" for the standard seal to work), and finished them off with a personalized sticker that I purchased from Beau-Coup.
p.s...this is one of FOUR sets of stickers that I have purchased for our wedding. Don't ask. Let's just say that I now have a sticker for every wedding occasion.
So, there ya have it. Our wedding invitations, deconstructed. There are a few things that I would've done differently now in hindsight (namely, I don't like the font sizes and layout on the "before the ceremony" cards), but I love my invitations. They are exactly as I planned them, and they are definitely one of a kind.
Now it's your turn...tell me all about YOUR wedding invitations! Or, if you're not yet married, what do you want your wedding invitations to look like??