Wedding Installation #1: Invitations

As things begin to calm down here in Jersey following super storm Sandy (by the way, it is snowing right now as the first Nor’easter moves in. Like Jersey hasn’t had enough already!) I am finally ready to start sharing my wedding projects.

So let’s start at the very beginning (It’s a very good place to start).

Ok, Sound of Music lyric aside, perhaps this is not the very beginning of my wedding projects, but as I shared the easy Save the Dates we made at Wedding Paper Divas in the months leading up to the wedding, the next logical step is the official invitations! Our wedding invitations (and all of the associated day-of paper the follow) were a huge labor of love for me. I definitely obsessed over the design, and I definitely made my hubby a bit crazy showing him version after version that looked more or less identical- asking him to weigh in on font size, spacing, and a variety of other minor details.

At the end of the process, however, I had a final product that I was very happy with. I have absolutely zero graphic/stationary design background or experience, and for as much as I love typography, photography & design- I still haven’t invested in Photoshop yet! These invitations were designed using Pages (Apple’s word processing/publishing software).

The invitation design centered around this little image:

I purchased a customized wedding monogram stamp  from the Etsy shop Stamp Out Online, which I used throughout my wedding-related crafting. I scanned the stamped image into my computer to use it in my invitation design as well, and image wound up acting as a sort of “logo” for our wedding.

As I shared in this post, the fonts I used throughout my wedding paper products were Campland Letters & Symbols, and Lavenderia. I loved the way the two fonts looked together- a pairing of rustic simplicity & elegance. These two fonts helped to inspire the entire wedding design!

I tried to keep the invitation proper as simple as possible, utilizing an additional information card to relay the details, and a reception announcement card.

The reply card included a place for guests to share their “favorite love song” – I loved reading the sweet (and sometimes hilarious) responses from our friends & family!

After printing loads of proofs at home, and sampling a great variety of papers from Paper Source, I opted to send the job out to a local printing company for a nice crisp final product. I used Sand Laid paper in Ivory from Paper Source- which had a great texture and weight to it. I loved the way the ivory paper looked when paired with my Kraft paper envelopes!

I stamped the 3.5″ x 5″ reply card envelopes with a custom return address stamp from Etsy shop Note Trunk.

Organizing tip: I was warned by some married friends to be prepared to receive reply cards with no names (and I did!). Not wanting to be stuck searching for a nameless guest, I numbered each of my reply card envelopes. This turned out to be super helpful in tracking all returns!

The completed invitation was tied up like a little package with simple jute twine & adorned with a tiny kraft paper tag that I punched with a heart shaped paper punch.

My envelopes were hand addressed by the talented Elise of With Joy Calligraphy. They were perfect & she was amazing to work with! (Noticing an Etsy-trend? If my wedding were on public television, it would be billed “this wedding brought to you by the amazingly talented artists of Etsy!”)

I completely adored my finished invitations, and remember the thrill of sending them off in the mail! It was such fun to come home to a reply card or two in our mailbox every day during the RSVP time period. That was definitely when the whole wedding thing started to feel super real!

 

{Wedding Wednesday} Whose Idea Was This, Anyway?

No, I am not referring to overall concept of big, crazy weddings, or even my own big, (sort-of crazy?) wedding- although, I must confess there have been moments throughout the past 6 months of our engagement/wedding planning experience where FH and I collectively agreed an elopement (in the south of France? On a remote island somewhere?) may have been the better route for our own sanity’s sake….)

But no, I am not referring to our wedding in general, which I am getting more and more excited about by the minute, but to my decision to design an invitation suite that includes assembling six pieces, stamping, hole punching, paper cutting, and tying. I say to you: OI VEY!

I love my invitations. I can’t wait to mail them out (hopefully soon…), but I’m just halfway through there assembly and am slowly…  losing…. my…. mind!

A word of advice to any future brides out there: if you tackle a project like this, enlist some help! My mother and I began the process together while I visited home last weekend, but we spent most of our time chatting & looking at dishes on the Pottery Barn website, and finished only a fraction of the total invitations. I should have called up a bridesmaid or two to speed the process along, but since my friends are scattered all over the country, and I have a deadline, here I am plugging away!

It’s not all bad news & grumbling, though, because I really do love them! Here’s a little sneak peek at the process:

My gorgeously hand-lettered envelopes fresh out of Elise’s With Joy Calligraphy Etsy shop.

The box full of invitation supplies- including our return address custom stamp from Note Trunk.

Did I say I didn’t have any help? That was a lie- my mother’s Siamese cat Stanley generously offered his assistance.  🙂

Back to assembling… have a great Wednesday!

{Wedding Wednesday} With Joy Calligraphy

I’m very excitedly checking the mail these days, waiting for a special package of my wedding invitation envelopes to arrive complete with beautiful hand calligraphy by Elise at With Joy Calligraphy.

With full acceptance of my own pitiful handwriting (I usually ask my future hubby to address & sign all cards, since his writing is FAR nicer than mine!), I scoured Etsy for hand calligraphy options.

With Joy Calligraphy offers a great variety of hand written fonts, and I found Elise’s prices to be some of the best available.

I chose the Simple Elegance font  as I felt it reflected the simple yet elegant vibe we are hoping to achieve at our wedding! What could be more perfect?

 

I also loved the Have a Heart font for a bolder look:

 

And With a Flair for a romantic touch.

 

My envelopes should arrive any day now, which will allow me to check of a huge item on my to do list! Working with Elise of With Joy Calligraphy has been a pleasure- she made the purchasing process quite easy, and even adjusted for a couple of last minute address changes. I highly recommend working with Elise if you are in the market for some unique calligraphy!

 

 

{Wedding Wednesday} My Fonts

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday!! I am super excited today (hence all the exclamation points), because my mostly-DIYed Invitations are about to be printed!

I ended up designing my invitation suite myself (on my macbook, using Pages). I don’t want to give away too much right now, but I’m excited to share the two fonts I chose to use in my design.

We wanted invitations that would convey the feeling of our outdoor, rustic-yet-elegant fall wedding. I have a love of typography and cool fonts, (and totally wish I had the spare time to take classes in graphic design). I spent a lot of time searching for fonts to use in our invitations.

The first font was free, and I found it thanks to this super helpful font post on Snippet & Ink.

Lavenderia can be found on Lost Type, and as I mentioned before, it rocks my socks because it was free!

My second invitation font was not free. It was worth the money though, because I am obsessed with it.

The campland font family ($38) from Magpie Paper Works is rustic, casual and fun – with a “summer camp” kind of feel- perfect for an outdoor wedding (with S’mores!) The Campland font letters ($20 purchased alone) are hand-lettered & fancy-free, and the Campland ornaments ($20 purchased alone) include hearts, arrows, pinecones, and some great borders.

 

 

I had so much fun playing with the symbols in the Campland font suite, and am sooo excited with the way my invitations came out! I can’t wait to share the finished product- but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy my font picks!

Wedding Invitations {to DIY or not to DIY}

Help me, internet friends.

My WedHappy app just alerted me that it is time to order my invitations. I’ve been back and forth between ordering a set from an Etsy designer that I love… or attempting to DIY my invites.

I’ve got several DIY plans for the wedding, and part of me feels like the invitations may not need to be added to that list. But then another part of me thinks it would be wonderful to look back and know I really put my personal touch on the paper memento our guests will have of our wedding. (Until they are thrown away, that is. Which is another reason not to spend extravagant amounts on a piece of paper…)

So… I’ll take some free advice now, please! Anyone out there who DIY-ed wedding invitations, and lived to tell the tale? Anyone who purchased them & loved them…even in retrospect after paying all the bills?

p.s. I love kraft paper envelopes!