I'm in shock all around. That's not to say I'm even halfway done. I still have to print RSVPs (now that we officially have an address!), emboss the RSVPS (on both sides), label all of the tags, and apply glue to all of the envelopes so they'll be functional in posting. I realize that none of this makes sense yet, but keep scrolling. All I'm delegating is the addressing (because Veronica has calligraphy skills). We'll see were my progress stands at Christmas. At that point, back-up may be called.
So to start, I designed my invites. I used the 30-day free trial of Illustrator to hammer out some pieces, namely the invite, details card, and thank you note. I made sure to save everything outside of Illustrator for when the clock ran out. Luckily, I found I could do a lot in Word still because I already had a working knowledge of it. Calling it a working knowledge is also a very generous term for my skills.
I used three fonts in the process, all downloaded for free from dafont.com. All of the print is Simple Print, the cursive is Jellyka Bees Antique Handwriting, and the date on the actual invite is Basic Title. I had originally wanted to use the Basic Title for all of the writing (except the cursive), but it didn't print as crisply as the Simple Print. I didn't like the numbers in Simple Print, though, thus the combination of the two.
Next I picked my paper. As I'm designing, printing, collating, addressing, and sending everything myself, I'm saving a lot of money. I'd estimate that savings to be about $1,000 from the estimates I found online and talked about with already-married friends. That's a lot of money and something I'd rather spend elsewhere.
Still, I didn't want the invites to look like I'd saved money and skimped on quality by crafting them with glue and pasta noodles. Keep in mind that that's exactly what I did - crafted them in front of Say Yes to the Dress marathons, to be exact. To keep the invites from looking like that, the quality of materials was important. I was all too excited to explore Paper Source. I'm not paid or otherwise compensated by Paper Source or any other vendor mentioned in this post. I'm just a huge fan and all-too-willing to spend money on stationary.
On my first trip there, I found pointed flap envelopes on sale. They were enclosure envelopes, but at $6 for 10, I knew I could find a sealing alternative. I'm hoping I could maybe do a wax seal, but need to check with the post office. I then picked up A9 notecards in Night and text paper (the standard 8.5x11 size) in Luxe Cream.
I picked up a pack of grey cardstock at Staples. I'll work on getting that link for you. After playing around with a few alternatives, I decided on using the grey paper for the additional information and the Paper Souce paper for the actual invite. The grey paper had a little more weight to it and felt like it could stand alone more easily. It was also cheaper, and with twice as many inserts, it was more economical. I also grabbed some baker's twine from Amazon and tea-dyed tags from March Hare Made on Etsy. It ended up being cheaper to buy tags than to buy and dye them myself. I wanted to skip the formality of an inner envelope, but knew I needed to be explicit about who was invited.
Quick interlude about the customer service from Kerri at March Hare Made: it was amazing. I had found a listing for 100 tea-dyed tags, which would only fulfill half of my invites. I emailed the shop and asked about the possibility of ordering 200 to use for my wedding invitations. Kerri promptly responded offering to set up a special listing for 200, to give a reduced price, and then asked what specifically I would be using them for because she didn't want me to be disappointed. How great is that?! I explained that they'd be used to address the invite, in lieu of an inner-envelope, and she was on board with my vision. It's so refreshing for a vendor to care about you and how you will use their product. I bought gloves for a Halloween costume the other day that they wouldn't let me try on and then said all sales were final. That's the world we live in, so it's so exhilarating to work with someone that actually cares that you enjoy the product. On top of all that, Kerri added extra to my order in case I mess up any and offered to refund my order if I didn't like them. Honestly, I can't make up service this good.
I think the invites, paired with the wording, help to convey the casual vibe we're aiming for with the outdoor wedding and barn reception. The navy font and invite backing ties into the bridesmaid dresses, the grey into the suits, and the cream invite paper, envelope, and tea-stained tag into the natural setting. I also love the bees. They're embossed, so that's going to be real annoying, but they're becoming a bit of a theme themselves, and I'm not mad about it.