Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Step by Step

I've read a few posts and comments on the boards from bees a bit apprehensive about tackling diy invites. I thought a step by step breakdown could be helpful. It won't be the same for everyone, but here was my experience:

1. Get ideas on what goes into making your own invitations. I of course looked to the Bees on this one. Mrs. Cupcake had a great post with 12 steps to creating diy wedding invitations. I've been in love with her invitation suite and found her tips super helpful.
2. Look for inspiration. I wasn't exactly sure what tye of invitation we'd like, so I started looking for inspiration on the web. I was looking for navy, nauitcal, simple, but a little embellished. I looked on photographer blogs, weddingbee, weddingbeePRO, and did some google searches. I fell in love with the invitation suite below by Etsy seller BrassPaperClip, but knew I'd need to do a simpler design.
3. Decide on a design. After gathering inspiration, it was time to narrow down our design. We wanted our invitations to be a preview of our wedding, so we included our wedding colors and gave them a casual, but classic feel.
4. Purchase and gather materials. For us, this included main envelopes, invitation cards, invitation backing cards, reception cards, rsvp cards, rsvp envelopes, calligraphy address stamp,white ink, embossing powder, embossing heat tool, white gel pens, and navy and white baker's twine. This included a few trips to Paper-Source, Michaels, and online shopping.
5. Choose a program to design the invite. I've worked with Adobe InDesign, Adobe PageMaker and Microsoft Word. I debated getting the free trial at home at one of the first two, but felt most comfortable with Microsoft Word. It's simple, and that's what we were looking for.
6. Pick wording- another element that requires research. This includes wording for the invitation, reception card ad rsvp card. I found great inspiration using the invitations tag. I was having a hard time especially with the rsvp wording, but found great inspiration from Mrs. Tiramisu's post. Her wording was so perfect for a semi destination wedding!
7. Get the ok from parents on wording- you don't want to offend anyone. If your parents are paying, the invitation wording will be different than if you are paying or the groom's family is paying, or if everyone is contributing.
8. Get to work- after all the research and choosing a program, get in there and get it done!
9. Proof read and get a few people to look it over for spelling and other things that could be cleaned up. I hadn't spaced out two lines on the response card well enough, and unfortunately, I didn't notice it until half way through the printing.
10. Print out invites. If your home computer printer is capable of this, you can print from home, but not all printers can handle smaller paper sizes. Look into the specs of your printer before doing so- as you may have a printer casualty like me, if the printer can't handle it. If your printer isn't capable, look into pricing of online print companies or local printers in your area.
11. Add embellishments- Emboss details, add backing, or other embellishments. We embossed starfish on the main invites and added twine after step 12.12. Assemble invites- this is one step that you can recruit friend to help with!
13. Find a calligrapher- make sure to book early. If you plan to do diy calligraphy, test out different pens in advance. Find one you like, and then sample different writing stlyes on the envelopes you plan to use to get a real feel for how it will look.
14. If you go diy with the calligraphy, or if you want to save a bit while still hiring a calligrapher, stamp personalized address stamps on the response envelopes and stamp your return address on the main invitation envelopes.


15. Deliver envelopes to calligrapher and pick up upon completion. Make sure you schedule it with enough time for assembly after the calligrapher is done, before you are set to mail them out. 16. Weigh a completely assembled and sealed wedding invitation. I've heard people test this at multiple post offices. I just weighed two at the same post office, and sent two test invites to family memebers to make sure they arrived safely.
17. Purchase postage. Once you know how much is needed, purchase stamps for both the outer envelope and the response card envelopes. I love zazzle custom stamps, but I was too cheap and found lighthouse stamps via They still fit our theme. I think the post office has gotten better about including fun designs. I am in love with the current LOVE stamp.
18. Add stamps to the outer envelopes and response card evelopes.

19. Close up envelopes- Seal envelopes with envelope sealer.
20. Drop your invites in the mail and be really excited that you have this checked of the to do list.21. Wait for responses to come rolling in!

While it seemd like a simple process, a lot really does go into it!

Would you consider making your own invitations?


Nicole-Lynn said...

Great tips! :) I'm so glad we won ours in a giveaway so I didn't have to worry about this, but I would have probably did them myself if we hadn't.

Mels said...

Or -- you can use an invitation kit. We worked with about 2000 DIY brides in the late 1990's and became intimately experienced with what worked and what didn't. (You should see what people came in with and we helped them fix!)
So we came up with really modern invitation kits about 1997. We diecut the parts, make pocket folds and booklets. Made from handmade paper and fine European papers:
Let me know what you think!