Thus, it is probably no surprise that I sent out rehearsal dinner invitations a few days back.
Our wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are in two different locations/towns, and we are also scheduled for them to be three hours apart. This time gap was due to the time block in which our venue would let us get into the space. I’m not too concerned about having the gap, just that people are aware of the gap. We are after all close to Boston Commons and other historic Boston landmarks. I’m sure people can keep busy as long as they are aware of the gap.
Thus, the need for an invitation that explained the logistics of the situation. I found very few invitations that seemed to address the rehearsal itself, and so I thought I would put something together myself.
So I was miserable about my invitations but happy with my stamps.
And when I received my stamps I started thinking about what I could do to the envelopes to make them a bit more…awesome. It was whilst searching for ideas that I came across this picture…
Image via Bang Boom Pow Design
…and I sort of fell in love with it.
A quick look on their website showed they had an Etsy shop, and a set of these invitations would cost £250 ($375), which was around £100 more than I was originally going for. Still, this price was for the whole set which included things I wouldn’t need (save the dates, for example), and I wondered if omitting them could reduce the price a little.
And there was the other obvious thing staring me in the face, of course.
I love everything about our wedding—really and truly. I’m in love with our colors and their meaning; I’m all about my girls and their get-ups (both bridesmaids AND flower girls); I think my dress is so dreamy and perfect for me, even though it’s not what I thought I wanted; our invitations are very fitting; and of course I’m a HUGE fan of our venue, our photographers, and all of the other vendors playing a role in this shindig.
There are some weddings, though, that I stalk see and they just make me swoon. I mean, get out the smelling salts, I might utter “I do declare” and flutter my eyelashes, someone catch me before I hit the floor, straight-up swoon. So, with under a month to go (eepies!), of course I find myself Pinteresting in a completely different direction. I’m sure some psychology-based folk would be able to chalk this up to some subconscious desire or something, but I’m just going to stick with the fact that I’ve always been a dreamer and a thinker and I’d be doing this regardless.
So, hive, without further ado: This is the story of The Palm Tree wedding-that-wasn’t.
Image via Wedding Paper Divas | I actually ordered this with an “eight free samples!” discount/promo.
I could never have an outside wedding in Pittsburgh, with the unpredictable weather and everything else that needs to be considered, but I would have the most whimsical, magical wedding, full of fairy lights and twinkles. This invitation would set off the tone perfectly from the get-go—and, you know, if it didn’t, or if it didn’t match, who cares? It’s my wedding-that-wasn’t and I’ll do as I please. HMPH.
Our invitations were definitely a labor of love. Thankfully, I learned the basic ropes of Adobe Illustrator when I sat down to create our save-the-dates earlier this year. This meant that the invitation process went much more quickly and smoothly than the save-the-date creation process. What took me a long time was finally settling on a color scheme and design. There are so many choices and it can feel overwhelming at times. At the end of the day, I simply needed to sit down, pick a design and walk away from it—and that’s just what I did. I’m incredibly happy with the way that they turned out. Here is how it appeared to our guests upon opening the envelope:
Poor Mr. C punched out all of those belly bands using a Martha Stewart punch one morning while I was sleeping in. He popped in The Hobbit DVD and went to town. By the time I woke up he had 100 beautiful belly bands neatly stacked into piles. He was also a huge help in the assembly process, as we ended up mailing off around 80 of these invites to our nearest and dearest.
Oh snap, y’all.
Although we are still four months away from the big day, my wedding checklist countdown app has suggested we start looking at invitations.
Invitations, for some reason, are very important to me. Like probably too important. But, at the same time, I don’t want to spend $500 on a wedding “suite” with inner envelopes, outer envelopes, etc. As many bloggers before me have pointed out—most people (myself included) throw out the wedding invitations. Why should I invest a ton of time and money in them?
Because I want them to be perfect, that’s why. Another case of bride brain.
Sometime after our wedding “vibe” materialized, I decided I wanted our invitations to reflect that: something kind of casual, but not “backyard barbecue.” Clean, but not super formal.
I searched high and low—Etsy, Wedding Paper Divas, Minted, Michaels, etc.
There were a lot of candidates in the running, and here are a few of my faves:
Image via A Sensible Habit on Etsy
So because our invitations weren’t something I was happy about, I started to look for other ways to make them a bit more “fun”—and that meant stalking the Royal Mail website.
Originally, I had found these personalised stamps which looked really awesome. Except, although you could add your own photo (like Mrs. Turkey did with their logo), you had to choose one of the existing stamps to go along with it—and they just weren’t to my taste. Boo.
Plus, they were also £1. First class stamps have now gone up to SIXTY PENCE (90 cents), which is utterly ridiculous and I absolutely refuse to pay a quid for a stamp just because it’s got a funny picture on it.
I don’t know where to begin describing this frenzy called “save-the-date creation.” Although I am in love with the finished product, getting there consisted of a plethora of the following conversations:
“Can you change this color?”
“Can you move this over?”
“Can you make this smaller (or bigger)?”
“Can you capitalize this letter in the website?”
How annoying am I? I don’t want to say the Scooter Clan are a bunch of perfectionists, but I will say we pay extremely close attention to detail. It has made me successful in my career but also caused some friction in other aspects of my life. And since I had a friendship with our graphic designer prior to hiring her to create our wedding stationery, I felt like I had to be very delicate about how I worded things…in the beginning. But after a FaceTime convo, we learned the best way of communicating with one another was to be direct and honest. It cleared up a lot of confusion and eliminated my need to put “please” after every change/alteration.
But before we could really get into what was expected of one another, we had to decide what the design would be. There were a few things that we wanted to incorporate in our designs that would represent The Scooters. We made a short list of must-haves and then ranked them. Here is how they turned out:
I discussed how we set up our invitations and now, without further ado, I’m happy to share them with the hive. Like I mentioned previously, these were a labor of love and I’m excited to be able to share the finished product. (If anything, I see it as one more use and I am trying to get as much mileage out of these babies as I can. At least there is no garbage can on the internets, right? )
all photos personal unless otherwise noted
Where we left off—the mock-up invite, addressed to none another than Ms. Summers and her soul mate
Before I forget to mention it, I used the font Quickier, downloaded for free from dafont.com and also the small-caps version of Andalus, which I believe comes standard with all Microsoft Office programs.
Last time, I shared with you our invitations. (Eeeee! They still make me excited.) Today, I want to talk about the behind-the-scenes work that brought them to life.
The first star of the show is Natacha, who runs the Etsy store WeddingSundae. I saw this picture on her page and fell in love with the invitations:
From WeddingSundae on Etsy
We ordered the digital files, and I cannot say enough good things about how fantastic Natacha was to work with. She advertises that she will work with you until the file is right, and she means it. We sent probably eight or ten messages back and forth with me asking to see something one way, then asking her to switch it back, and she was always happy to comply. You’ll notice that I had her change several fonts and sizes. I also had her remove the dotted lines from the RSVP card. And the “I Do” BBQ card was completely custom-made. They looked great, and she didn’t charge extra for a custom design! Fantastic!
The invitations are out, and the RSVPs are pouring in!
I’m thrilled to share our invitation design with you. After trying and failing multiple times to find the perfect invitation, I FINALLY came across Natacha, who designs and sells beautiful invitations at her Etsy store WeddingSundae.
So without further ado…the Blue Whale invitations! (Note: All the cards are two-sided, so the left is the front, and the right is the back!)
We’re also inviting everyone to a fun barbeque, since a lot of folks are from out of town:
Hive, I have to be honest with you. I still have a little bit of bitterness and/or resentment toward our invitations. They are GORGEOUS, don’t get me wrong, but MOH Mem and I put so.much.time. into them. I swear on all that is sacred: I still have nerve damage in my thumb from holding the scissors for hours.
We DIY’ed these suckers, bottom to top. I know—Miss Palm Tree, the self-proclaimed DIY Sadim (Midas backwards), DIY’ing INVITES. All I can say is that I’m stubborn, determined, in a probably unhealthy relationship with all things paper, and so grateful for MOH Mem (and also BM Tiny Dancer, who helped in intervals and on a smaller scale).
Personal photo / Yeah. This happened.
Advice from Miss Palm Tree: I love our invitations, but honestly, if you have room in your budget, buy them. Or at least source parts of them out—the printing, the assembly, whatever. Not only did I create/tweak a design and the wording, but I printed it onto card stock. We cut the card stock and used adhesives to stick it onto fancy backing paper (that we also cut to size). We cut the RSVP cards and put them in their envelopes. We hole-punched hearts, we cut ribbon, we hole-punched info cards, we assembled the cards on the ribbon, MOH Mem tied the ribbon (the one time I tried I ripped the sides of the invite…sigh), I addressed the invites, we stamped and sealed them. It’s a lot, hive, and it took us two sittings—one of which consisted of well over seven hours—to complete them. All I could think in the back of my head was, “These are going to end up in the garbage.” I’m not even hating on that. I get it: paper, clutter, whatever. Of course you’re going to recycle/throw away the invitation because why keep it? Granted, I keep the really nice ones, because I’m sentimental and goofy, but there are plenty that still make it into File 13, you know? That’s fine. But to know that’s the inevitable end result of our bruised thumbs and damaged nerves and chunks of time…siiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Pour one out for the homies, hive. Invitations can be a bitch.
Enough misery. Let’s get to the details. I purchased the envelopes from Envelope Mall, on the recommendation from a coworker. This was a total win. I went with the Stardream line for everything, including the backing paper.
Pleasing your guests. Everyone’s family is different, but we ultimately all have this same problem.
Hopefully, we all know our guests well enough to make these decisions ourselves, but the hive is quite a diverse place! So I thought it would be quite interesting to see what guests like at a wedding, to offer a little insight!
This giveaway is closed. Congrats to our winners:
Weddingbee loves Minted! Offering the freshest, most unique stationery designs printed on luxe paper, Minted is a an online boutique offering wedding stationery created exclusively by a community of indie and professional designers, hobbyists, moms, even some of our VERY OWN BEES like Mrs. Cookie. Through frequently held design challenges, Minted fans and enthusiasts choose what they’ll carry in their online shop, and the designers that win the challenges win cash prizes and ongoing revenue every time someone purchases their designs. How cool!
We’re thrilled to help spread the BIG news: Minted is now offering a slew of new luxurious paper and printing options, including…wait for it…letterpress! Check out the details and enter to win $250 towards letterpress (or anything you love!).
Minted is so excited to now offer letterpress printing with a crisp, deep impression, handcrafted on vintage Heidelberg presses. They currently offer 30 designs, and chances are you’ll find one you love—whether it’s modern, floral, hand-drawn, or classic.
Each suite is printed on thick, soft 100% cotton paper and includes matching letterpress accessories: RSVPs, thank you cards, direction cards, and reception cards. Choose from 25 fonts, over 30 hand-picked colors (you can choose up to three!), and two paper types.
Also, check out their new new Silhouette™ shape options, for invites and save the dates that stand out. Choose from a variety of Silhouette shapes to accentuate your invitation design—wave scallop, bubble scallop, dotted scallop, classic frame, tag, curved frame, scallop circle, and rounded corner.
Also new is Minted’s premium wedding service through their new Perfection Team. When you choose Minted for your wedding, you’ll get a dedicated Perfection Team of wedding experts who will help you with not only amazing customer service every step of the way, but design consultation as well to make sure your wedding stationery is as perfect as can be and none of your questions go unanswered.
In celebration all-things-new, Minted is giving away gift cards to three lucky Weddingbee readers!
You have until 11:59 PM PST on Monday, April 8, 2013 to enter the giveaway. Good luck!
I pride myself on how calm I have been throughout this entire planning process. Things have just fallen into place, and other things that could have been a big deal just haven’t been.
But all that stopped when it came to our invitations. I love paper. And I have incredibly expensive taste when it comes to invitation suits.
Whenever I get invitations, I’m not amazed by them. I think “eh, it’s cute enough,” but I’m never wowed. I like people to be wowed.
But I also know that I’m different to most people. I notice the little details like wine glasses and paper, and I have to remind myself that no one else cares like I do.
My sensible head told me to not be ridiculous and spend £400 on invitations that I thought were the best things in the world, ever.
Board game invitation, anyone?
Image via OneLittleM
Or a book invitation?!
So, you’ve seen the final product, and you’ve seen how to make it. I’m sure you’re sick of me talking about the invitations now, but last one—I promise! I wanted to talk about the price breakdown so that if you’re interested in DIY letterpressing your own invitations you have a sense of if it is worth it to you or not.
This is the total cost breakdown of everything used for the invitations:
Letterpress – $184.00