Geoff and I decided that invitations would be one part of wedding planning that we would really care about, so I thought I would share our invitations here. We also decided that we would have a fairly traditional invitation with a response card that would be sent in the mail, since that is what the majority of our guests would expect and understand. There was a lot of work involved, some tears, and even Twitter hissy fits (not my proudest moments), but in the end, I am happy with them.
Now pardon me as I get a bit long-winded about the process.
We knew from the beginning that we would design them ourselves, partially to save money, and partially because of the challenge it presented. I always love a challenge. My main inspiration was this piece in Acne Paper, which featured a classic serif (some form of Didot or Bodoni) and a gorgeous script font. I spent a long time trying to find the perfect script, and settled on Valliciergo. I wanted something that referenced Spanish calligraphy, and I loved all the extra swashes and glyphs (plus it wasn’t crazy expensive). Caslon, Bauer Bodoni, Scala Sans for the map, and, of course, an italic Didot used sparingly rounded out the font choices. I did most of the work in InDesign, but Geoff was at my side helping me narrow down my decisions. Teamwork. A hundred drafts, a thousand revisions.
I knew we were going to use an image for the background, and I spent months going through rolls of film trying to take the perfect shot of rose petals, peonies, etc. Nothing felt quite right. A while ago while walking home and cutting through the courtyard at Bloor and Dovercourt, I took a picture of the clouds and the sky with my phone, and I thought, “This is the one.” We ended up using a detail from that shot, which we barely had to edit. It had pinks and creams and blues in it, although it ended up printing far more lilac than blue. The other colours we used were grey and shades of pink. Why deviate from that “dreamy” aesthetic I love so much? Funny how I had tried so hard to force something else and ended up using a quick shot that I took with my phone. There is probably a metaphor in there somewhere.
Since we were going this route, we decided to splash out a bit and have three separate cards: the invitation, the RSVP card, and a reception card with a map on the back. Geoff designed the map in Illustrator, and we had circular stickers printed. We didn’t bother with luxe envelopes or envelope liners, although I did spend hours printing out addresses using fonts that matched the invitations / wrestling with my inkjet printer. We had the printing done by Jukebox, and while there were some hiccups along the way, their offset printing is excellent, and it works well on uncoated paper.
If you’re wondering about cost, it’s hard to say if we spent an excessive amount of money, or a reasonable amount. We didn’t use an Evite (free), and we didn’t order a fully custom, multiple ink, letterpress suite (thousands). What we spent was possibly comparable to the cost of invitation services such as Minted and Wedding Paper Divas (our backup plan).
I spent most of a day tying ribbons (ribbons: so much cheaper than pocketfolds) and feeling grateful that stamps come in sticker form these days. Then they were off, only a couple of weeks late.
(I blurred out some details because I would have felt weird otherwise, and if you’re wondering about my middle name, it’s my mother’s maiden name. Geoff’s middle name is also a family name.)
We plan to use kraft paper for some of the other stationery, such as programs and menus. One of the best parts of creating the design ourselves is that we can carry out the elements this way. It really appeals to that tiny but occasionally quite active perfectionist part of my brain. I stamped the design onto this favour box with a Gocco.
A couple of asides: I hadn’t intended to bother with a ring pillow but I saw this one and got swept up and had to copy it. I got the ribbons at Mokuba, and it was really easy to sew. Our rings are the simplest, smallest hammered bands imaginable, from In God We Trust. We love them and keep trying them on.
I had tried to photograph the invitations on top of this piece of linen and Pony got in on the action.