Wedding Wednesday: Invitations
One of the biggest struggles I’m having now with wedding planning is redoing my paper goods – specifically my invitations. My wedding invitations for round one were everything I could have imagined and I know I can’t replicate them this go round for several reasons. So, I’m on the struggle bus as to what to do this time!
I knew right away for my invitations that I wanted some classic and luxe – letterpress invitations were my dream. But, they were not in my budget. So, with some research and the help of a dear friend, I was able to DIY the invitations of my dreams!
My work friend is a graphic designer, and once I worked up the nerve to ask if I could hire her to design my invitations, she graciously agreed (and wound up gifting the design to me as a wedding present afterward!). I gave her the wording and we had a general conversation about what I wanted where I showed her a few samples, and then she put together several options for me to look at. After a few more conversations and tweaks, we had them exactly where I wanted them!
Once they were designed, I had to find a printer. Through my research, I found tog.ink, a print company for creatives that need high quality printing at reasonable pricing. As part of The Occasions Group, they really know their stuff and you get access to incredible quality at truly affordable pricing. They have beautiful paper options, and I was able to choose from two different styles for my invitations. I went with white cotton 110lb paper, a thick, luxurious matte stock ideal for letterpress.
One of the great things about working with tog.ink is that they were there to help and answer questions, because I definitely had a few since this was my first time doing anything like this! Between them and my graphic designer, I was able to get everything figured out and do it mostly on my own.
For my invitations, I chose a simple blind letterpress mountain print at the top – blind letterpress meaning a design is pressed into the paper but no ink is applied. It’s a simple, subtle statement. The rest of the invitation was printed in a deep forest green, matching the main theme and color of our wedding.
In addition to the invitations, I created a details card with more information about where to RSVP and how to get details for the rest of the weekend. I didn’t want to include more than one additional piece in the invitation envelope because letterpress paper is thick, and I didn’t want to have to pay for additional postage. Plus, since our wedding was a destination wedding with multiple events throughout the weekend, I really wanted people to get to our website and check it out. Using a details card with that info instead of a traditional RSVP card saved me a significant amount of money and also forced people to view my wedding website – a win win!
Once the invites and details card were created, it was time to wait for them to be printed and shipped to me! In the meantime, I worked on the rest of the suite. I found vellum paper that gets inserted into the invite between the two cards at Michaels, an arts and crafts store that has a wedding section.
Next, I began the envelope search. I knew I wanted a green envelope that matched the ink color on the invites. I found beautiful formal envelopes on envelopes.com. If you ever need envelopes for a specific occasion, they are the place to go. They have everything! I selected these green linen envelopes with a contour flap – this particular flap style is a little dresser than a traditional envelope. I loved the texture but didn’t realize how hard they’d make the addressing portion – more on that later!
The last piece I needed to complete my invitation suite was ribbon. I had an invitation that was pinned on my inspo board with a beautiful silk ribbon tying it all together, and had my heart set on that. After much searching, I found a person on Etsy who customed dyed silk ribbons, and she and my mom worked together to find the perfect shade and enough yardage of the ribbon I needed to complete my invitations. The lady we worked with was truly wonderful and so accommodating right at the holidays to make sure I had everything I needed. I’ve tried to find her shop, but after finding her on Etsy, we actually purchased directly from her website and I unfortunately can’t find it!
I also found a custom address stamp that I purchased to use on the backs of our envelopes. I decided to emboss our address on the back. Since our envelopes were green, everything on them was in white ink, and since our stamp had trees on it, I decided embossing it would make it look like they were snow covered (we were getting married in Colorado in the winter, after all!). I bought white stamp ink and embossing powder also at Michaels, and my mom had a heat gun that I borrowed. If you have never embossed anything, let me just tell you – it is messy and time consuming but so cool!
The last piece of the puzzle was addressing the envelopes. This is where things got tricky. I wanted the calligraphy look, but like most things I seemed to want for my invitations, paying someone to do that has gotten extremely expensive! So, I once again found myself looking for a way to do it myself and WOW was it a way bigger undertaking than I ever imagined! After much testing, I finally figured out a system that worked. First, I created exactly what I wanted everyone’s envelope to look like on an individual word document using the fonts, spacing, etc. that this required. Then, I carefully printed each envelope with the correct info in a very light greyscale print so you could *barely* see it on the envelope. Then, I very painstakingly and carefully traced it using white gel pens. Just trying to find the correct white ink product that would write on those textured linen envelopes and dry well and be completely opaque took a LOT of freaking work. I finally found these pens and after everything I tried – even going to a legit art store- they were the winners! While I absolutely loved the way these turned out, this part was a ton of work, taking me a few weeks and lots of hours bent over invites with a cramped hand. That is one of the many reasons I’m not going the same route for invitations this time around!
Finally, it was time to assemble the entire suite together, put them in envelopes, stamp them and get them on their way! The day I took those to the post office was a huge relief! I spent a ton of time on them and fully believe they were 100% worth it. I got exactly what I wanted for probably around $500-600 when they would have easily cost a minimum of $1,500 if I’d had a professional do the entire thing!