Now that I’ve revealed our invitations, I’m ready to get into the details. Since our invites were closely related to our save the dates, let’s do a really quick inspiration rewind. Our main inspiration was the string tied around the finger motif from a (slightly creepy and not pictured) “don’t forget”-themed knick knack that I had found at a thrift store, and the graphic from our cake:
We loved our save the dates, and I was so pleased with how well the black string and bow graphic ties in with our bridesmaids’ dresses.
You may remember that we were very lucky when it came to our STDs:
Mr. Taffy’s brother designed them and printed them on his Gocco for us. He did the same for our invitations, and we are so, so grateful that he offered to do this for us. In some ways I feel like this gift was good karma from all of the hours and hours (and love!) that I have donated to various weddings over the past few years. 😉
Since our invitations arrived finished at our door, you know I had to find a way to “put time in” on them somehow. I felt like laboring over our invitations was a rite of passage! 😉 Here’s how I chose to torture myself:
I ordered all of the envelopes before the invites arrived, so I could get an early start on addressing. I was inspired by this recent DIY post about a clever calligraphy “trick”: you print the addresses on your envelopes in a light color (20 percent gray, in my case), and then write over them with ink. Here is my sample, a fake address, in the font Kon Tiki Enchanted:
And oh, was it torture. I printed out the first half of the outer envelopes, then Mr. Taffy took over at printing, and I “wrote” the envelopes as he brought me piles and piles from the printer. I toyed around with some calligraphy pens, but quickly realized that I didn’t feel comfortable enough with the tip, so I used a 0.5 mm size Staedtler pigment liner pen, which was archival quality. I think that using a regular pen worked just fine, and I was more comfortable. Well, as comfortable as I could be when my wrist felt like it was going to fall off from writing…
Seriously. My wrist ached from the first day to the last! It took me about eight days, writing three, sometimes four hours each day to address everything. I did the outer envelope address and return address, the inner envelope, and all of the RSVP envelopes. Whew! It was pretty crazy, but I was really pleased with the results, and I achieved the level of involvement that I felt like I wanted to put into these… trust me, if I had actually made the invites, I wouldn’t have put myself through this!
I was going to line the inner envelopes, but scratched that idea about an hour into the addressing saga. 😉 Instead, I chose to use a contrasting inner envelope:
Which required no extra work on my part, and achieved the contrast that I was craving. The blue envelopes also ran the same amount as the eco white envelopes, so no extra cost was added for the pop of color.
The other project that I decided to take on was the black ribbon and bow belly bands. I am so glad that I did… this project only took around three hours (tops) with two bridesmaids helping, and only cost 24 cents per invitation! It was so awesome to do such a quick, breezy project after the hell that was DIY calligraphy! Do you remember this project from our shower?
Little did we know that we were training for belly band production! Taffettes Miss A & L were pros at making these bows by the time we worked on the invitations!
Here are my tips for the belly bands:
- To save on cost, use single faced satin ribbon instead of double face satin ribbon. It is way less expensive, and you cannot tell the difference in this application.
- Also to save on cost, buy your ribbon by the spool instead of by the yard.
- Buy ahead of time. I waited until we received the invitations to decide on the width of our ribbon, as I wanted to do a mock up with the actual invites. This meant that I had to scour all Jo Ann’s stores in the metro Detroit area to get the nine spools of ribbon that I needed in time to make these! Beware, the stores only carry between 1-4 spools at a time! If you know you want to do this beforehand, I highly recommend that you find your ribbon online. You can probably get a better deal, and you won’t have to run around to so many stores to get what you need!
- Pre measure and cut your ribbon pieces before you assemble. This will really streamline things when you are ready to assemble!
- Don’t make the band first and then slip it over your invitation suite. It is much quicker to wrap each invitation with ribbon and then secure the ribbon, instead of slipping the band on later.
These belly bands consist of three pieces of ribbon. Our invites were size A6, so I used the following measurements:
- Band- 10 inches
- Bow- 6 and a half inches
- Center of bow- 2 inches
Multiply your total ribbon per invite (in my case, 18 and a half inches) by your number of invitations to calculate how much yardage you will need. Check how many yards the spools contain before you purchase them.
We made the bands using the following steps:
- Taffette Miss L sorted the invites into individual piles and layered them in the desired order.
- I would take a pile, wrap the 10 inch ribbon around it, and secure it with an adhesive photo square.
- Meanwhile, Taffette Miss A assembled the bows using adhesive photo squares. Check out Mrs. Emerald’s tutorial for details.
- Once we finished, we separated the invites and bows into three piles, each took a pile, and glued the bows to the center using Aleen’s Tacky Glue. I didn’t want to attach the bows with the adhesive photo squares, as I worried that the force of pulling them out of the envelope would tear the bow off. The glue was very sturdy and dried quickly. Tip: you can get mini bottles, which is helpful if you have a group working on them together, so you don’t have to keep reaching for the glue!
On to the actual invite details:
- Outer envelope: A7 PS collection
- Inner envelope: A6 PS collection
- Invitation, map & accommodations card: A6 Flat Card
- RSVP card: 4 bar flat card
- RSVP envelope: 4 bar PS collection
We printed the map card & accommodations card back-to-back to save on paper and weight:
Our custom stamps from Zazzle were inspired by this fabulous invitation suite:
I loved that it was a coordinating graphic instead of an image of the couple. Here’s a look at ours again:
Tip: Putting our stamp on a white envelope was good because I didn’t fuss over the blue on the stamp matching the blue on the envelope. I am so critical when it comes to color matching, and this way I didn’t have to think about it.
We ended up going with 59-cent postage. On average, the custom stamps were about 40 cents more per invite than regular postage, but it was a little splurge that we were more than willing to take.
I think that about covers it! Please let me know if you have any questions at all. I would also like to give Mrs. Cupcake a huge shout out for the amazing post on DIY invitations, which was immensely helpful to us. 🙂