Epic Journey: Invitation Designs

I’ve been an avid Offbeat Bride fan ever since I discovered their website and Ariel’s book Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternative for Independent Brides. I love love love everything they put out there on their Pintrest, Twitter, or Facebook. Which is why I used their advice when designing and ordering our wedding invitations through Vistaprint!

My fiance and I have been designing our own Christmas/Holiday card for almost five years, and I’m an organizational freak-of-nature. We decided to combine our super powers and design our own wedding invitations with the help of online printing company Vistaprint to order and print the invites. We had such good luck while ordering our Save the Date and holiday card last Christmas we figured it would be easier on our pocket books and our sanity.

First and foremost we (and by we I mean my fiance) sat down and started sketching out some small images for the invitations. He came up with several adorable drawing and I methodically tagged each one to use for every part of our stationary suite (Invite, RSVP, Info Card, Thank You cards, etc.). After a brief period of procrastination and nagging my fiance then fine tuned the images to be used for the stationary. I then scoured the internet for invitations that I loved and could use as inspiration for our own design (i.e. possibly use….without paying hundreds of dollars!). We formatted some of the stationary we ordered when checking out wedding invite samples and customized them with our own images and language. Trying to balance invite wording and design was really exhausting and took a few days of editing, fine tuning, and agreeing on what it should look like and say. My fiance had the template to work with, but when it was my turn to review I had quite a few notes on what I wanted to change [insert grumble here]. Luckily, thanks to Offbeat Bride’s extensive advice section we were able to come to terms with how we were going to deal with questions some of our guests might have about our wedding and our limitations with the venue. All of the concerns are being listed on our wedding website FAQ’s because we didn’t want to ruffle any feathers with the invite itself (i.e. Dress code, Registry info, No kids).

It then took us another 2-3 days of scouring Vistaprint’s website to find the right items, and pricing, for each piece of the stationary suite to ensure we got the best possible deal. In the end we spent around $120 total for the entire suite of 100 invites and miscellaneous items, including shipping. Hot damn!! It was worth it. Every item we selected had the option to upload our own designs, front and back, with the images we created ourselves. I’m not a fan of selecting stuff designed by someone else because I love working with my fiance on the design aspect of the invites and holiday cards we’ve done. It’s always a little stressful because I’m working with my fiance…and I can be a bit bitchy and pushy. 🙂 I’m always thinking of new ways to tweak small things and it can be time-consuming to make those small changes when you have a deadline to meet.

I have a lot of experience designing forms, invites, and other items for fundraisers and special events, but it’s a lot of pressure to get your own design on paper. The hardest moment for me was pushing the order button for our invites. I had a lot of doubt they would be printed properly and still look beautiful once we received them. After a restless night of sleep (we placed the order just before midnight!) I woke up feeling a little nauseous and still riddled in doubt. My friends and fiance reassured me they looked amazing because of all the work and love we put in to creating them ourselves, and no matter what else happens at least we didn’t spend all of our savings paying for a fancy party invite.

February, was by far the most stressful and productive month we’ve had during our wedding planning process. Not only did we both get sick we also celebrated my birthday and caught up with friends, designed and ordered our invitations, and interviewed/selected a photographer (another post about that experience next week!). The month of March is beginning and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our invitations. I wish I could show them to all of you, but alas I’m afraid it will have to be confidential for the moment because I’m afraid of it being leaked to (undesired) parties. Not you guys, of course. You’re all awesome. 😉

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