2.8.12

our wedding invitations


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.


91 comments:

  1. holy shit -- these are gorgeous.

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  2. wow, just beautiful, so personal, so dreamy, love the spanish calligraphy! nice to hear about the process, Anabela. congrats to you and Geoff!

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    1. Thank you, dear Sheila! Glad you enjoyed all my rambling.

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  3. this is probably one of my favourite blog posts i've ever read. i'm so glad you went into detail as i'm pretty stationery obsessed but even better is hearing the entire thought process behind it!

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    1. Oh, you're welcome! I'm glad you appreciated that!

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  4. They are so beautiful! I love them! x

    Kate {Modette}
    http://modetteblog.com

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  5. So gorgeous! I love your middle name too, so unique. I hope you'll share more of/after the wedding. It's going to be beautiful.

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    1. Thanks! I spent most of my life hating all my names but I really love my middle name now. And I might, I'll just have to see how it goes!

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  6. Oooooh lovely lovely lovely! Putting your own personal touches on things definitely make things more special. Love it all! xo

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    1. Thanks! That's the best compliment.

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  8. omg this is so beautiful. i'm so happy for you and your dream invites. this is perfect for both of you. eeeek! bliss

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    1. Aw, thanks lady! You're so sweet.

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  9. oh, those are beautiful. as if you took that picture on your phone! the quality of the iphone's camera seriously amazes me sometimes...
    all the best with the rest of your planning + making!
    your wedding is going to be gorgeous, i know it.

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    1. Right? I am still laughing about that. All that wasted film, haha!

      Thank you so much.

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  10. They are absolutely STUNNING, Anabela! So impressed. I would fall over if I received this invite in the mail!
    I'm using a similar violet/cotton candy-inspired cloud image for the artwork for my new Etsy shop, but there's something distinctly bridal about the light in yours... So so pretty.

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    1. Thank you so much! And yeah, clouds, man! They're so great! I love when you post your Austin skies on Instagram. I liked this image because it has a hint of sunlight bursting through, although it's subtle.

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  11. So perfect! glad you are happy with them in the end :) xx
    Loulou xo

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  12. very sweet!

    http://aclosetintellectual.blogspot.com/

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  13. awwww. this is perfect for you guys. lovely, lovely, lovely.

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  14. These are beautiful, and I really love your name. I kind of like that custom of maiden-name middle names.

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    1. Yeah, I like it too! I used to be embarrassed because people always think it's a boy's name, but who cares!? So silly.

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  15. The invites are so so so pretty. You guys did a great job. So dreamy. Pony is all grown up now!x

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    1. Thank you! And yes, Pony just turned 2! She's a teenager now I think.

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  16. omigod anabela, these are perfect. i love that shot (i have a similar one i made into a motivational poster...but i think this idea is a much better use of ethereal clouds!), and the font is just fantastic. plus those rings are just gorgeous - so, so perfect. congratulations again!! :)

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    1. Thank you so much! When we started we really had no idea how it would all come together, so it's really all just a pleasant surprise.

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  17. prettiest invitations i ever did see!

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  18. just gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. your wedding is going to be a total dream. i hope you'll let us see a little bit of it! pony is such a flirt. xx

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    1. I hope it will be nice! We're going to do our best, anyhow... all we can do without being millionaires! Thank you x

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  19. I can't believe how lovely these are - and you took the photo with a phone! good job, they are perfect.

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  20. these are wonderful, and if your wedding is anything like this, it will be wonderful as well. congrats!!

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  21. wow, they're incredible! i love that they don't really look like wedding invitations; they're perfectly you.

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    1. I take that as a huge compliment! Not that there's anything wrong with wedding invitations at all, but it's nice nonetheless. Thank you!

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  22. I too love a good challenge, but oh dear, doing my own wedding invitations seems tough! Hissy fits and tears are definitely understandable in that situation. The invitations reflect your personal aesthetic really well, and I love the pink ribbon detail. Silk and luxurious typefaces go perfectly together x

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    1. Ha! Yeah, it was hard and I felt a lot of pressure, but because I was only answering to myself and to Geoff it actually made it easier in some way! And thank you!

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  23. so simple and beautiful!!

    Aimée xx
    http://wehaveobsessions.blogspot.co.uk/

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  24. So pretty! Love hearing little details about the design process too.

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    1. Thank you! I was talking to Claudine at a mutual friend's shower and she told me you were doing her invites! So cool!

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  25. you rose to the challenge, they are absolutely gorgeous, what lucky guests. and i love your middle names too.

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  26. They turned out so spectacular! So lovely lady <3

    xoxo Sarah
    theantiquepearl.blogspot.com

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  27. every recipient better save their invitation FOREVER! they're way too beautiful to throw away!

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    1. Ha! That would be nice but I am somehow doubtful that will happen! Thank you!

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  28. Those are absolutely beautiful - I'm in a bit of a rut in my design course at the moment but these invitations are really inspiring. And thank you for identifying the fonts you used! So helpful. Your wedding sounds like it's going to be a dream.

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    1. Thank you so much, that is so lovely to hear.

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  29. so beautiful, unique, and whimsical. congrats!

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  30. These look beautiful - you could open another business.

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    1. Ha! It would be fun to work with weddings, but I think it would be terrifying as well! Thank you.

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  31. I love your rings Anabela, because I can imagine getting such simple rings for myself. Whenever I look at those huge diamond engagement rings, I always wonder how the women who wear them don't find them uncomfortable ... maybe it's a taste thing, but I'm not much of a ring person in general.

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    1. I'm so glad you like them! I'm not much of a ring person myself and I don't need to make a big splashy statement! It's just not my personality. I've gotten a few snarky comments on my tiny engagement ring but it never bothers me. Whooooooooo cares.

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  32. these are so beautiful - the font and the colours are perfect.

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  33. Viivi3.8.12

    Your invitations are amazingly beautiful. And your wedding bands, too. And your names! You seem like such a perfect couple and I wish all the best for you!

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  34. Gongrats, Anabela (and Geoff)!
    Such wonderful details....and the rings are gorgeous. :*

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    1. Thank you, lady! I hope to see you soon!

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  35. Anabela, these are beautiful - and SO you!! xx

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    1. Thank you! It's nice to hear that.

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  36. Beautiful Anabela & Geoff! Thanks for sharing - you did such a lovely job, and it's so you.

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    1. Thank you! I had to blur out our parents' names because those don't have to be shared on the internet, ha!

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  37. Everything looks perfect and very you! It is beautiful, congrats.

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  38. the invitations are just beautiful! thank you for sharing the design process. you have certainly inspired me to take the design-it-yourself route.

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    1. Ooh, good luck! Why not! It was tough but fun and I learned a lot!

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  39. These are the most original invites I've seen in a loonnng time, Anabela. Really beautiful and dreamy, as you said. Well done! Your wedding is going to be AMAZING.

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    1. Wow, thanks so much! I hope it will be amazing! Fingers crossed... I'm really hoping for a big fun party!

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  40. danijela7.8.12

    These are so beautiful Anabela! And so you guys! I'm still sad I'll be missing the prettiest wedding ever :(

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  41. OMG girl those are STUNNING!

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  42. So. Much. Awesome. Also, your middle name is so great and fancy sounding! I wish my future kids could have my last name as their middle name, but uh yeah, we both know that wouldn't work.

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    1. Thanks, girl! Haha, whatever, I think that could work! I hated my middle name for forever but I love it now.

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  43. probably - or quite surely - the most pretty invites i´ve ever seen! congratulations! and your cat is sooo cute - i recently got adopted by three stray kittens and now i can´t get enough of them...

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    1. Wow, thanks so much! Aw, strays, little heartbreakers!

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  44. you both did a beautiful job
    congrats on your upcoming nuptials!

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