Our Wedding Invitation

14 Jan

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.


Invitation Inspiration

13 Jan

I have so many images of invitations saves on my computer, I had no idea what I wanted when we started talking about the invitation.  After looking at some online I thought the Suites with the pocket envelopes were really neat, then I found a tri-fold with a perforated RSVP card.  I was getting ahead of myself though, I didn’t know what fonts I wanted, what colors from the wedding to use and if I wanted to include any type of design, let alone the wording.  Before I dive into all of that here are some images I used as inspiration.




Here are links to some of the images and a few other invites I like:












Hawaiian Bridal Shower

12 Jan

Last July my bridesmaids threw me a Hawaiian themed bridal shower.  Here is a moodboard that was used for some ideas for the party.

We search the internet for some inspiration, most of the photos were found on pinterest, some can be seen on my party board.  We searched for luau, hawaiian and tropical to find some ideas.

The main colors were magenta, orange and bright green.  I found some bright green vinyl table clothes at Meijer with some of their summer seasonal products.  We found most of the other decorations at party and dollar stores.  We made tissue paper poms to hang from the trees, I think we just used string and tied the poms to tree branches.  Tiki torches were lit around the area.  Family and friends made food to go along with the theme, like pinapple and chicken kabobs.  There were leis and the girls made flower hair clips by hot gluing hair clips from hobby lobby onto hibiscus and orchid flowers they got from the dollar store.  The prizes for the games were in colorful sand buckets.

Made in excel and printed for guests

The girls came up with some fun games they found online and customized for the shower.  One game we played was Bride Bingo, the guests were given a blank bingo card that we made in excel.   Before I opened my gifts guests had to fill in the blanks with gifts they thought I would get then as I opened my gifts they checked off a box if they had it on their card.  Just like bingo whoever filled in a row first and yelled Bingo won a prize.

Another game the girls did was 20 questions.  They came up with 20 questions about my husband and I, some easy some more difficult.  This was also made in Excel and printed for guests, the guests had a few minutes to answer the questions then the bridesmaids took turns reading the questions out loud and had the guests yell out what they thought was the answer.  The guest that got the most questions correct won a prize.  Some of the questions were ‘where did the bride and groom meet?’, ‘where did the groom propose?’, ‘how long have the couple been together?’, ‘what was the bride/groom’s first job?’, ‘what foreign language did the bride/groom take in high school?’, and ‘what is the bride/groom’s middle name?’.

Another fun game played was Purse Raid.  The girls found a list of things that the guests had to find in their purse, the first person to find the item won a prize.  The girls had a list of 10-12 items and throughout the party they would yell out “Purse Raid!” and the item guests were suppose to find.  This way most people will get a prize, I think they had small bottles of lotion for the prize.  Some of the things on the list included a toothpick, keys, child’s toy, lipstick, giftcard, a pen.

The decorations, food and Hawaiian music that we played on my laptop really tied everything together, but it was so great spending time with family and friends.  I can’t wait to throw a bridal shower for my sisters some day 🙂

Here are a couple of photos that were taken during the party

My sisters and I, to the left is the Maid of honor on the right is one of the bridesmaids

Amanda hanging the decorations

Guests talking before the party

The dessert table

Here is the invitation (some information blurred out for privacy reasons) that my Maid of Honor and I designed together

Invite designed by Amanda and I

A lot of catching up to do!

12 Jan

My Husband and I have been married for 4 months!  and I have missed out on so many posts here.  I started to get a little overwhelmed with the wedding and had to quit blogging so I could put all of my energy into the wedding.  Then all of the posts I missed seemed so daunting but I’m ready to update you on everything!  I’ll try to do it all in order starting with the bridal shower my bridesmaids threw me.

Keep checking back for more updates in the next couple of days!

Dresses for my Bridesmaids

20 Apr

We decided on bridesmaids dresses awhile ago but I never shared them with you!  We decided to go with long dresses, when we started I thought that I would like the cocktail dresses but I think we all actually like the long dresses the best.

Picking the dress was quite the adventure.  We looked a little at David’s Bridal when I bought my dress, then we met in Illinois and went to some lame prissy store, then we went to David’s Bridal,  also in Illinois.  I fell in love with the Barry Jay Chiffon dresses that they had at the prissy boutique, we looked the designer up online later to see if we could get the dresses in Wisconsin anywhere.  The girls went to a boutique in Wausau, WI to try on some Barry Jay dresses and sent me some photos.  My mom and sister, Gabrielle, drove out here for a visit and we tried looking at dresses again.  We went to another lame prissy boutique, I hate bridal boutiques, I feel like they are judging me.  I guess they can tell that we don’t want to put a ton of money into the bridesmaids dresses, we like getting a good deal!  So, when we saw that the Barry Jay dresses were around $200 we decided to take another look at Davids Bridal.  I really loved the Barry Jay dresses but I don’t want to make my sisters pay that much for a dress.  So I took another look at the photos we took of the dresses the girls tried on, looked on the Davids Bridal website and went back to DB to look at the dresses again.  I made my decision and e-mailed the girls.  They’re on board! So, the dress we chose is the Long Jersey Dress with Charmeuse  Straps and Waist in the Lapis color (dark purple).

I think the dresses will look great with the grey suits that the guys are going to wear.  The bouquets that they will carry are similar to the picture to the left.  Their bouquets will have more fuchsia with purple and green accents.

My fiance and I are going to Wisconsin for Easter.  We’re doing our taste testing at our new reception location and we will be looking at suits for the guys, I’ll post some photos.

Centerpiece Idea from Green Wedding Shoes

19 Apr

This wedding photo shoot set up by and featured on Green Wedding Shoes is so beautiful!  I love the centerpieces, I think I might use this idea for our centerpieces.

Save the Dates are in the Mail!

13 Apr

I’m mailing out our last few save the dates today, then it’s on to our invitation design.

I made our save the dates in Adobe Illustrator, with some help from my fiance.  We made them 4×6 post card size and printed them through nextdayflyers.com.  I’ve recently found out about Vistaprint.com where they print invitation suites.

I used a bunch of different fonts, I guess it’s a “rule” to not use a lot of different ones but I don’t really like following design rules.  And I’ve seen invitations and save the dates online that have done the same thing, and I think they look great!  As long as it’s pleasing to the eye and people can read it, it shouldn’t matter.

So, back to my design.  I played around with color but we ended up using only black and white.  On the back (the side with out the address) I actually used 5 different fonts, with a black background, white font and white floral pattern.  On the front I split the card in half with a line down the middle on the left I used the same floral pattern and listed our blog for guest accommodations and travel information.

On the right side, I messed up… in Illustrator I had some lines where the addresses would go to get a better idea of how to split up the design and didn’t get rid of them before we had the design printed.  We didn’t really think about how we would address the cards and having those lines made things a little difficult.  If we wanted to print the addresses right on the cards we would have to get the spacing right and when we practiced some of the addresses came out crooked.  Also, we were using an inkjet printer, if the ink gets wet it smudges and I didn’t like that.  We thought about using labels, white would be really obvious because it’s brighter than the white on our cards.  We ended up buying clear labels for our laser printer.  We also ran into a problem with the size of the labels, I found the right size online but they weren’t available in stores.  Since we took too long designing the cards and then longer getting our addresses together (side note, start getting your addresses early! we had a hard time getting hold of people and then it took people a long time to get back to us with the addresses) I didn’t have time to order the labels.  I bought a pack of 100 2″x4″ Avery labels, #15663.  Because the labels were larger than the space I had, I centered the addresses and used a paper cutter to cut down each side of the labels.  I created a spread sheet in excel, then brought it into word, created a mail merge with a template for the labels I have.  You can edit the individual labels when you are finished merging the documents, it’s pretty easy to do.

I didn’t mind the extra work too much and I love how they turned out!  Check out the photos below.

Now I have to make sure I get these last few out before they change the price of my stamps on the 17th!