After looking through my inspiration images of wedding invites, I did a few sketches to get a better idea of what I wanted. I also did a little research on the wording, I had no idea that the way you word your invite lets guests know who is hosting the wedding. The Wording Wizard from The Knot really helped. We ended up going with : Together with their families, Elizabeth (middle and last name) and Carl (middle and last name) request the honor of your presence as they are married, Saturday the tenth of September, two thousand eleven, at two thirty in the afternoon, Prince of Peace Parish, (address). Scroll down to see photos of our invite.
Once I got the wording down, I took my sketches to the computer and started to design a few concept ideas. I am a visual person so I needed to see my ideas put together. Here are a few designs that I came up with (names blocked out for privacy reasons).
When I was working on these ideas I really liked the invitation suites, where you have the main invite and separate inserts for a reception card, accommodations, maps/directions and the RSVP card. I saw a lot of pocket envelopes with the invitation suites so I did some searching and found two sites that other brides had used. I ordered samples from Cards & Pockets and Paper and More. On forums that I read, brides that used colored envelopes suggested ordering samples in different shades of your color because the color on your screen can be totally different then what you actually get.
After going over pricing and how much more work I would have to put into the pocket suites we decided to go with a tri-fold design that had a perforated RSVP card. I couldn’t find a lot of invites like this online and also found it difficult to find a printer. I found this blog post about another bride’s tri-fold intive. Throughout my planning for the wedding I would go to the Knot’s message boards and also Wedding Bee for help and inspiration, I found our printer by searching on those forums. If you are doing any DIY projects for your wedding and need help the DIY board on The Knot is really helpful.
The printer we went with was CatPrint. It was between them and VistaPrint, again I ordered some samples. I was really impressed with the quality of CatPrint and I liked their choices for paper, they had a nice linen cardstock. A lot of brides like VistaPrint because they always have coupons or some type of deal.
We did run into trouble printing because of the stripes in my design. CatPrint was very helpful though and tried really hard to work out the problem, in the end the print was still off a little but it wasn’t a big deal. I thought it was a huge deal at the time but really we were the only ones that knew there was a problem.
They didn’t have the option to do a perforated cut so once we got the printed invites that was Carl’s job:) I ordered a perforated blade for a fiskars paper cutter, if you do this make sure the blade is the right size for the paper cutter you use. We thought about using this for our DIY photo booth, more on that later.
Before we folded our invites (they were scored by the printer to make folding easier and so they could be shipped flat) I had to get my addressed together. I suggest getting your addresses together as soon as possible, it took some relatives a long time to get back to me with their address. Also it helps to create an excel sheet or google doc to keep track of the addresses and whose you sent/when. I didn’t want to hand write anything if I could help it, I know a lot of brides think that it’s bad etiquette but I have really bad penmanship so I printed on clear labels that I used for the RSVP cards. I also designed wrap address labels because we used black envelopes.
To review, my steps were to start database of addresses, get inspiration, do some sketches, figure out the wording, work on some designs (or find a design), order samples from printers and envelope co., pick a printer, order envelopes and invites, print address labels, put names on RSVP cards, fold and assemble invites, put address labels on envelopes, seal, buy stamps and get hand canceled at the post office/mail.
So here is our wedding invitation! (so far I only have the flat file images, I will take a few photos and post them later, also I will find out the names of the fonts I used and try to include some links of where to find them)
I used full sheet clear laser labels to print out guest’s names on the RSVP card and tried to be really specific that people initial each guests meal choice but some people didn’t do it right, so I had to make a couple of calls. I have read that some brides leave the name area blank and use invisible ink so if it is sent back without anyone’s name she can find out whose card it is by using a black light. There are so many different ways to do the RSVP card and the invite, I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do it.
Let me know if you have any questions about how I did anything, I tried to include as much detail as I could but this was a huge project, I’m sure I missed something.