Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Invitation Story!

Here we go: the long awaited story of the wedding invitations! We knew we wanted to make our invitations from the very beginning, but the getting to the finished product was a long and arduous process. And I loved every minute of it. Well, maybe not every one. But it was worth it.

So here's the beginning, and my favorite part of the whole thing. We worked on a few different designs and variations of the invitation, taking inspiration from some of my favorite paper goods and concert posters (the thought had crossed our minds to design an actual poster for our Save The Dates, but that obviously never came to fruition) and settled on this one. I think it's a perfect balance of fun and elegant. :)

Part of the design process was coming up with the most efficient printing layout, figuring out what size envelopes we would need, and making sure everything would fit together the way we wanted it. For me that meant measuring and cutting out pieces of paper which would represent the different elements to fit them together. Fitting an RSVP proof into a fake envelope, setting it on top of an invitation proof, sticking it all into a fake treat bag and finally another fake envelope... satisfaction when it all came out perfectly was, in retrospect, a bit unusual. They were all scraps of paper after all. It's not like I successfully finished invitations. The troubles had not yet started. But I was so proud!

The original idea was to screen print everything. We took the design and separated it into two templates; one red and one black. But we quickly realized that the screens we had would just not get that kind of detail no matter how hard we tried, we decided to just print the black text on the printer and then screen print the red on top. I won't get into the frustrations of getting photo emulsion to cooperate and how many screens we (the mister) made before we got one that actually worked. It did get to the point where I thought we would have to scrap the whole thing. It was not a happy thought. (Oh, and if you're thinking that fingerprint heart looks familiar? You would be right, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.)
Meanwhile, I was keeping myself busy with stamping and addressing envelopes. We ordered an address stamp from the lovely Angelique Ink so I wouldn't have to hand write anything, and I just love it. Don't be surprised if you start getting more cards than usual in the mail, as I will be looking for excuses to use my stamp. We also bought a rolling stamp from Violet Gift Shop to do the rest of the addressing. It sounds like a good idea at first, until you realize how hard it is to get everything to line up correctly, stay lined up when you ink it, and give a good clean impression on the envelope. And when you forget to turn a letter or make another stupid mistake? Forget about it. I made plenty of mistakes, resulting in some envelopes that I had to throw away and many more that just went in the mail imperfect. But who needs perfect?

I don't have any good photos of the addressed envelopes, so I'm moving on.
Here's the cute little bundle after you take it out of the envelope and the little treat bag (which I'm told made everyone crave popcorn. I'm sorry for that.)

More Etsy links: striped paper bags from The Carrier Bag Store, baker's twine from omgchocolatefrog. Those little details are some of the very first wedding related purchases I made, several months before we even really started the invitation design process. But all together I think they fit just perfectly, represent who we are, and really convey the mood I want to have for our wedding day. All that and tons of saved money too!