Will you please come to my wedding?
Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we could just send that text instead of spending a zillion dollars and a zillion hours ordering, addressing, and stamping?
I’m not sure why, but putting together a wedding invitation was so, so overwhelming to me. Probably because I fell into the black hole of stationery. I looooooved researching fonts and styles. I wanted my invitation to look sort of like this one but not so much like that one. Or maybe like the third one down on the page, except I hate that font.
Let’s just say wrapping my mind around making final decisions was NOT easy.
So buckle up--I'm giving you my process from start to finish! Here’s how it went…
Save the Dates
When I ordered Save the Dates, I had zero concept of what my wedding would look like. No theme, no colors, no nothing. But I knew I needed Save the Dates. My goal was to find something clever and unique that wasn’t too girly.
On Pinterest, I found some adorable library cards, and lo and behold, I found an Etsy vendor who could make them for me! The pricing was a little steep for my budget, but when I asked, the vendor gave me a discount on quantity. I even ended up ordering return address labels from her. This was my very first foray into the Etsy world and I am so, so glad it happened! (More on that later…)
Other than handwriting all the addresses (which was no picnic, let me tell you), the Save the Dates were relatively painless.
This was an easy one—we found a printable invitation on Etsy and sent it off to Vistaprint to make copies. (Vistaprint ALWAYS has amazing coupon codes available. Oh, and use their Linen paper finish!) Because my mother is a crafty perfectionist, she made a very fancy menu to include in the envelope with all sorts of scrapbooking doodads from Michael’s.
Again, I found a printable invitation I LOVED on Etsy. I ordered the printable design, and I had them printed at Cards and Pockets. I purchased the envelopes through them, as well. They strongly advise you to order a sample for $8 before purchasing the lot, but I didn’t really need to do that since I wasn’t doing a huge printing.
Now the only problem I ran into here was that the printable file wasn’t set up in the size that Cards and Pockets needed it to be. Luckily the Etsy shopowner was lovely and adjusted the sizing free of charge. But when you’re working on this, it’s best to get the printing specifications before you purchase the printable file.
I also ordered a return address stamp to cut down on handwriting. Yet another Etsy find. I'm using the stamp for our thank you cards, too!
A dear, dear friend of mine helped calm me down and streamline my 800 ideas into one cohesive invitation. I mean, honestly, I can’t even tell you how crazy I was becoming, going back and forth from invitation to invitation. Amazingly, my friend is a designer who laid out the template for me and advised me on how/where to print (CardsandPockets.com is amazing!!). Invitations can get REALLY pricey (try $6+ a pop!), so this was a huge cost savings for me. Check her out—she’s AMAZING! http://www.zazzle.com/thenotebox
Because I certainly didn't want to pay $2/envelope for calligraphy, I used another Etsy vendor to address the envelopes. I sent her the invitation fonts, and she modified her design to match. Then, I sent her an Excel file with names and addresses, and she sent me wraparound address labels!
I will fully admit that I was a little bit obsessive about the invitations, so it took hours over the course of two months to complete the design and click "purchase" on the order. Start early, friends!
Wow. That was a LOT of stationery talk. I loooooved my invitations but I know that all this work isn’t for everyone. As you can imagine, assembling these puppies took hours. 24 hours to be exact. I did it all by myself over the course of a week because I’m a control freak like that.
If I had it to do over, I would probably invite one meticulous girlfriend to come over and help me. It probably would have been a lot more enjoyable. Sometimes two control freaks are better than one. :)
Here’s my best advice for invitation creation:
2. Find an invitation you like that’s basically in your price range and don’t hesitate to ask vendors to modify color, wording, fonts, or even price.
4. Ask what the additional charge would be for the vendor to assemble the invitations.
5. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of stamps.
6. If it’s still too pricey, Google “free printable wedding invitation template.” You might find something you really like for FREE!
Even though that was a fairly detailed account of my invitation journey, I had an even MORE detailed account of the process as my first draft of this blog. So if you want to talk super specifics, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd be happy to send you the full version and answer any questions you might have.