Wedding invitation goodness

Hooray for finally having a Saturday afternoon with enough time to post pictures and write a bit about our wedding invitations. Before my life was overtaken by all things matrimonial, it was all about running. After our wedding, it's been taken up with fun domestic tasks like rearranging the contents of our kitchen cabinets to make room for our matching, non-chipped dishes and going through years of accumulated hand-me-down housewares to drop off at Goodwill. I'm glad to be returning to normalcy (whatever that is).

Our invitations were a labor of love. Obviously, I had to design them myself, however painful that process might prove to be. I wanted to do something different, something handmade, letterpressed, personal, and classic. Something that I wouldn't look back on and cringe at later in life for having fallen victim to some cutesy wedding trend. (I won't name any of the ones that annoy me, but there are plenty—a slight downside of reading wedding blogs). 

I decided that I wanted Scott and I to write each other letters and have that be the main idea behind our invitations, since we hadn't dated for that long and not all of our guests knew about how we met. Somehow, I convinced Scott that pouring his heart out on paper, and publicly, was something he could do. He endured ridicule from his male friends and tears from our mothers and many compliments all around from everyone else.


I knew that I wanted to incorporate blind letterpress into our invitations, and I think it turned out really well. I was a little worried that some of the detail might get lost, but I think that if the illustrations had been inked, it would have been a bit overwhelming. I actually squealed when I picked these up from the post office.


I also wanted to make a protective cover for the booklet, which is the gray outer layer. A sane person would have probably looked at Papersource for these pre-made envelopes. I am not sane. I made them all by hand—trimming, folding, and gluing in the pocket to hold the booklet. Like I said, labor of love.


Initially, I was going to stamp the "J+S" monogram on the outside of the gray cover in silver, but the hues were too similar, so the stamp wasn't visible enough. Aside from that, it looked too plain. So I moved on to plan b, which was to take leftover gray paper scraps and roll black acrylic paint on them with a brayer to create a darker texture on which to stamp. A quick trip to the craft store for yellow scrapbooking paper to back the belly band was the finishing touch. Well, I guess gluing it all together was the finishing touch. Along with printing, cutting, and double-stick-taping in all of the envelope liners. 


These invitations were one of the few splurges we had in our wedding budget. We definitely spent a chunk of change on them (because they were letterpressed) but it was well worth it. The whole time I was putting them together, I kept thinking of how astronomical the price would have been if I wasn't a designer with the crafty cheapo gene! Thank goodness I will never have to worry about that. 

Please pardon the long absence

There has been a severe lack of me blathering on about my personal life here, and I'll get to the reasons behind that soon (for the 1.4 people who read this blog and the .08 people who care). In the mean time, here's some new work... Save the dates that I did for our wedding! (Please don't anyone post bizarre things on our wedding website).


Here's a bit of background about our save the dates: my main goal was to not overthink them. That was the approach that I had to take—really, I just wanted to "do something cool and plop those suckers in the mailbox." I printed everything digitally. The yellow "save the date" banner was printed on cotton paper, trimmed out, and then glued on to the postcard just to give it an interesting tactile element. I knew that I wanted to do a teen-tiny cute envelope since I saw these invitations from designer Erin Jang.


Inside of each envelope was an even more tiny insert with our wedding information. I had originally wanted to do these save the dates as postcards to save money on postage (because yes, I'm a broke ass bride). Ironically, it ended up costing me way more. Not only did the post office tell me that I needed full postage because of the measurements of the postcard (ugh, it was like 1/8" too long or something) (things I should have researched before designing and printing 65 postcards), nearly all of our save the dates were returned to us in the mail. In a moment of what I thought was being helpful, I put our return address and a giant "FROM" underneath all of the addresses of our guests. That meant that the post office misread the addresses and sent our save the dates back to us. So there went $30 worth of postage down the drain.


It was sort of a blessing in disguise, because the postcards that got  returned to us were just about destroyed. Many were torn, the toner had  rubbed off, the labels peeled (though remarkably, the mini envelopes  all stayed intact—good old rubber cement never fails me). In a word,  they all looked like doodie. Luckily, I had printed a ton of extras and  was able to re-use some mini envelopes. I also ended up buying gray  drawing paper at the craft store and cutting out envelope templates and  making about 25 of my own—that was a lot of fun. HOWEVER. As a designer,  I could not be sending out crap for my own save the dates! So I put together another batch of postcards, but this time I mailed them all in a lovely, protective envelope to keep the battle wounds at bay.

It seems to have paid off. I've gotten some very nice compliments. Now the pressure is on to do a wedding invitation...