~6~Wedding Recap: Invitations

Christmas marked our 6 month anniversary, and it's crazy to think that Jake and I have been married 1/2 a year already.  It feels like we just got married yesterday! As mentioned in my "About" section, I tried to incorporate as many DIY (do it yourself) projects as possible in an effort to a) save money and b) add my own personal touch to our wedding, and perhaps the 1st thing that I knew I wanted to do myself was our invitations.  While I knew that it would be more cost effective to use a boxed invitation kit from Target, JoAnn's, or Michaels, none of the ones I saw really captured the essence of our wedding that I wanted to portray in our invitations.

Through perusing on The Knot boards, I heard about a company called Cards and Pockets (CaP), that sells invitation supplies at a reasonable price.  Before ordering, I took advantage of CaP's ability to order samples for a very minimal cost.  This allowed me to check the color of the paper, and play around with various layouts to see what worked best.  I ended up going with the 5x7 landscape signature pocketfold in "Sparkling Sapphire" and ordered sometime around October or November when CaP runs their annual fall sale, so that I could save 20% on my entire purchase.    I also ordered silver cardstock for my invitation matte and silver envelopes.

As for the actual invitation, after playing around with the different pocketfold layouts, I decided that I best liked the look of a landscape invitation because it allowed me enough room to add an embellishment design to the side of it.  I printed my invitations 2 per page on white cardstock (which I bought at JoAnn's in packets of 50) at Kinkos.  It was actually extremely easy and very cheap.  All I had to do was save my document as a PDF on a flash drive which you can then plug into a copier/printer.  After all of my invitations and inserts (Reception info, accommodation info, and RSVP postcard) were completed, I'd spent a total of $20.  That's right $20-less than the cost of a new ink cartridge.

As for the embellishment next to the wording that I wanted, I used a clear stamp-swirl design, from a set I found at-you guessed it- JoAnn's.  In order to give my stamped image a more finished look, I decided that I wanted to emboss it-which dries it so you don't have to worry about smudging and also gives it a glossy/slightly raised finish.  My first step: Buying an embossing tool.  I also found this at JoAnn's and saved quite a bit on it using a 40% off coupon.  The next step was a bit of trial and error.  I originally tried my embossing skills using clear ink and blue embossing powder.  After doing this, I have no idea how ANYONE is able to use this method.  HUGE mistake.  It's really darn near impossible to get powder on only the ink and not have it stick to other parts of the paper.  Even when you think you have it all off, as soon as you start using the embossing gun, all the little flecks of colored powder rear their ugly face and what you have is a mess of an invitation.  So, I did a little more research and learned that the secret to success is to use colored ink and clear embossing powder.  I chose to use Color Box brand pigment ink in Royal Blue and A la Mode brand clear embossing powder.  *Note, a little bit goes a LONG way.  I ended up buying much more powder than needed.  1 small jar was plenty.

The final touches on my invitations were little silver gems randomly placed on the stamp to add a little bling, and a belly band to seal it all up that had our monogram stamped/embossed on top.  The belly band was made using an 8x11 piece of scrapbook paper that had a swirl design.  I then cut it into 1" strips.  The monogram is placed on top of the seal where the ends of the bellyband meet to hide it.   I bought my stamp from Rubberstamps.net where they allow you to upload your own font/image and they create it on a stamp.  The "H" that I used on our invitations is the same H I used on our aisle runner, bubbles, and cake topper and is from the "Bienville" font.

When all was said and done, it took a good 3 weeks from start to finish to have all 100 invitations ready to go. The final cost, including postage was just over $200.  Yes, I could have spent less time, and less money for something that most people throw away, but I really couldn't have been happier with how they turned out.  My mom who realized just how much of a labor of love these invitations were for me, even framed one as a wedding present to Jake and I, which I now have proudly displayed in our home.

The next few blog posts will be more recaps of my DIY projects from the wedding, so until then-

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