Because we weren’t having a particularly fancy invitation suite with letterpress, response cards, fold outs and all those other “fixins” and whatnot, I knew I wanted to at least give the envelopes a wow factor.
I searched high and low for A9-sized chocolate envelopes (for my wonky-shaped invitations) in my city but always came home empty-handed. So I planned a trip with one of my bridesmaids over to Atlanta so I could check out PaperSource (the BEST excuse to finally visit such a coveted place in the wedding world!). I called ahead to make sure they had the envelopes I wanted in stock (shimmer chocolate—yummy!!!) and I also planned to do some other wedding-related shopping while in Atlanta to fully justify the $25-in-gas trip.
When I got there, the sales associate already had my lovely envelopes waiting for me! But of course, I couldn’t just grab my envelopes and leave like a good girl on a budget. Noooo, I just HAD to look around. But I’m glad I did, because I ended up finding our liners doing that! Many of you know that PaperSource has an extensive supply of fine papers and they do a great job of displaying them to entice impulse buyers like myself.
Luckily, I found a stack of gorgeously printed paper that was half off! I originally planned to use the pink shimmer paper from this post, but Michaels ran out! Besides, they would have cost me more than the gorgeous brocade paper I ended up with.
I used a template in the store to count out how many liners I could get per sheet of paper. And because that number came to 10 sheets, I got an additional 10% off! Everything in PaperSource has discounts attached to how many of 1 item you buy. SCORE!
I grabbed a few other items (like the liner templates and the ribbon for my bouquet) and then finally pried myself from “Heaven on Earth” to face my fate at the cash register…*
As soon as I had the chance, I began working on assembling our envelopes and liners and addressing them. One session turned into another session into another session… and on and on! It took FOREVER. I even brought our invitations to work one night:
I finally had to delegate some of the work to bridesmaid Ashley (aka mash8!) and even Mr. Lab helped assemble some of the liners. I used Mrs. Sprinkle’s advice and made the liners shorter than the template to save paper.
I used the Paper Source template to trace out one liner partly off the paper to make it shorter. Then I used that liner to trace the other liners out. (Still with me?) It took me a couple tries to find the best layout to get the most liners on one sheet of paper.
My technique worked because I ended up with way too much! And to think, the lady at Paper Source thought I could only get 4 liners per sheet (I got 9!). I have a leftover stack of liners I may use for Christmas card envelopes this year. 🙂
Next, the front of the envelopes! I can’t afford calligraphy and unfortunately, not being able to afford something doesn’t mean you quit liking it. Actually, I wanted it even more because I couldn’t afford it. No worries! That’s why “fauxligraphy” was created! 😀
I bought a metallic pen at my local craft store. I tested it out on the paper the store provides before purchasing to make sure the color was pretty and it wrote with ease. Here’s the pen I got:
Then after several frustrating tries adjusting my printer settings, I printed out all the addresses in black (printer set to light ink). Black was the only color that would show up on the deep chocolate envelopes. I downloaded and used the “Renaissance” font on Dafont.com for free!
Sometimes the pen would clog and I had to shake it or bang it to get a flow going again. Make sure you have a scrap piece of paper to write a little out before going straight to the envelope or you could get blobs of ink on them!
I had to trace over some of the addresses a couple times to get rid of the “faded” look. Sometimes the pen made it through an entire envelope with no problems, other times it was a bit trickier. What seems like a million and one envelopes and days later, I had this:
And my stamps? Ordered from USPS for the actual price of the stamps plus $1 for shipping! They only took two days to arrive! I only used 1-3 stamps per envelope depending on which ones got extra inserts, but I put all of them on my mock invitation to show you the variety:
The best part about the invitation process was finding out that when Mr. Lab took them to the post office, he actually hand canceled all of them for me! I would pay a pretty penny to be a fly on the wall watching him doing that! I just think of all of us detail-obsessed brides being the only ones crazy enough to stand in a crowded post office hand-stamping a box of invitations. I really wish I had a photo of the occasion. LOL! Mr. Lab definitely got extra kisses from me that night! And he still doesn’t get why it was a big deal…
*Next Up: The cost breakdown and the dinner rehearsal and bridesmaids’ brunch invitations!
Previously: Invitations Part 1