The Glossy Invitations: Invite Design Basics

Last time I left you all with this teaser pic of our invites, and now for the delicious DIY details!!!
If you are planning on making your own invitations I very much recommend checking out Mrs. Cupcake’s 12 Steps to Creating DIY Wedding Invitations. The three tips I found the most useful were:

3. When designing, START WITH YOUR ENVELOPES!!!!!

8. Print out drafts of your design — don’t just look at it on the computer.

10. Weigh everything before buying postage.

I knew I wanted to use an inner and outer envelope to keep everything together, since we did not elect to use a pocketfold type of invitation. Outer envelopes in specific colors are difficult to find, so plan ahead! I ordered the solid (outer and RSVP) envelopes from Paper Presentation, the outer is a A7.5 size envelope (5.5”x7.5”) and the inner translucent envelope is a generic A7 (5.25”x7.25”) envelope from Paper and More. This determined the size of our main invite to be a basic A7 (5”x7”) card.

Early on I decided that I wanted REALLY thick paper for two reasons. 1) I wanted to paint the edges (and be able to see the paint) and 2) I wanted to have a fairly solid invite that was able to stand on its own (without any type of cardstock backer). I ordered SO MANY SAMPLES and ultimately decided on the Crane Lettra paper. This line of paper is specifically designed for letterpress, so it’s very soft but still thick at the same time….it’s basically paper heaven in my mind (and they have free samples!)

For the main invitation we chose the 220# Crane Lettra in Fluorescent White. For the enclosures we dropped down a thickness, and went with the 110# in the same color. We ordered the paper from Kelden Paper (they are one of the few retailers where you can purchase the Lettra line by individual sheet) and had them cut down the paper to our two sizes ($25/per size). We probably could have gotten the paper cut cheaper elsewhere but they did a great job and I was nervous about shipping the large sheets (24”x40”) of paper cross country knowing how beat-up some of my other packages have been delivered. The total for the paper was around $150 including cutting and shipping and I have PLENTY of extra.

I had a hard time balancing the carefree attitude of our wedding with the importance of the event itself. Some designs were too formal, and didn’t fit the lakeside, easygoing feel we were trying to create. Others were too casual and lessened the importance of this momentous day. Ultimately we emerged with this design, which I am completely in love with.

I designed everything using Adobe Illustrator. The ‘handwriting font’ is from Fonts for Peas. To extend the letters to either side of the paper I used the paint tool and drew some squiggly lines (much more difficult when using a mouse than drawing by hand!) so it definitely took a few tries to get lines I was happy with.

I had designed them so there were elements on the front and the back of the invitation, but ended up not printing the alternate sides for two reasons:

  1. I started printing the hearts on the back of the main invite and didn’t like how they were coming out, it was very difficult to align them perfectly with the lines from the front.
  2. As many of you pointed out, probably no one would see them anyways!
So, I nixed all the reverse printing except the RSVP date. I also nixed the rounded corners because rounding 1600 corners sounded AWFUL :)

We included 3 enclosures with our main invite. A RSVP card, an information card, and a 'send-us-a-note' card (just for fun!).

The RSVP was pretty standard, with a place for names and food choices - we elected to use icons because we still have no idea what we are going to be serving! We are doing a buffet, so I don't think the numbers are too critical, but we wanted to have a general idea of what people wanted to eat.

The Information card had a link to our website. Rather than creating multiple inserts with directions, accommodations info, etc. we elected to just direct our guests to the website where we had already placed all that information.

The 'Send-Us-A-Note' card was partly for fun and partly for guest info. We asked our guests to tell us when they are arriving/where they are staying so we would know who to include in pre/post wedding festivities (we are not inviting all our guests to the rehersal dinner but are thinking we could all meet up for a welcome drink after). Then the fun part, the Mad Libs Marriage Advice! I can't wait to read all the responses!!

We put everything into a vellum envelope with the RSVP date facing up so it will be the first things the guests see (just so they don't miss it!!), tied it with blue and white bakers string and sealed it with a wax stamp!

This envelope then went into the addressed outer envelope with a custom liner. (I couldn't find ANY paper that I wanted to use for our invites so I developed a pattern, in Illustrator again, and printed it out).

Up Next:

  • Edge Painting FAQ
  • Useful Gocco Tips
  • Embossing & Wax Sealing 101

1 comment:

unaprincesita said...

I´m really amazed this is beautifull!!!