Wedding Wednesday: Preliminary thoughts on paper

It's still a bit too early to be ordering invitations or Save the Date cards (Knot forum members call them STDs, which causes some confusion for new members), but I've started to do a little thinking about them. Most of my married friends picked their wedding paper suite pretty easily. My sister-in-law went to one stationary store, flipped through a book, and placed and order. A colleague went to The Lime Tree Stationary during lunch and had all of her stationary ordered within an hour or so. The efficiency with which both ladies dealt with their invitations is impressive, but there's no way this decision would be so simple for me. Picking stationary is going to be like committing to a single color in all of the Benjamin Moore paint fan decks. This is going to take some time.

I decided to do some online browsing and quickly found great designers on Etsy. The options were vast! I started showing Marc what I was finding and a style started to emerge when I looked at our favorites. I decided to think of a few words to describe what we liked and I came up with non-traditional (vintage okay, engraving on ivory paper not okay), simple (but different), bold (in color), and quirky (not in a silly way).

Marc really liked this modern, simple invitation. I think I'd tweak the font and colors, but I liked the simplicity of it.

While I didn't love the format of this invitation and the colors needed a tweak, I thought the wording on the reply card was hilarious...there's my quirky. It says:
"Guests must love great food and be ready to laugh, eat cake and listen to a few embarrassing toasts. Dancing shoes required."

I liked the bold, but whimsical flowers on this invitations, but neither of us felt it was a front runner while we were saving items to our favorites list. The color was lovely and I thought the font worked well for the style, though. A nice bonus: the designer was from where I grew up (Bergen County, New Jersey).

The last Etsy item we found was this very bold, but pretty Save the Date card. I'm sure the designer would be able to adapt it to an invitation. It hit a lot of marks for us.

When I found the invitation suite below, I started to think that a DIY invitation might be fun. This designer sells their design and a buyer decides how to print the invitation. I'm sure some send the job out, but others probably opt to do it at home. It seemed like an interesting idea. I also loved the idea of a fully coordinated suite.

After seeing that last listing, I changed my search terms a bit and started finding graphic artists who sold designs, not stationary. There are tons of them out there. When I saw the suites designed by Chelsey from Fourth and Folded (the same Chelsey I mentioned in my Hermes post last week), I got pretty excited.

The suites she designs are lovely...complete with wrap around address labels and personalized envelope liners. The color palette is extensive and the graphic, bold patters seem so different from the traditional, white card stock used in most invitations. Bonus: Chelsey's from Boston. I don't know why I get a kick out of the possibility of using vendors from places where I've lived. Maybe I'm trying to convince myself that I'm "shopping local" in a way.

I'm starting to get really excited about the DIY options out there. Has anyone else DIYed invitations? How did it turn out? Did you wind up spending just as much of your budget on materials?

If you were invited to a wedding, what would you think of a DIYed invitation?


  1. we made our own save the dates and wedding invites. for the invites i did the design and had everything printed at a local print shop, and then put everything together. i was really happy with how they turned out! i think we saved $$ doing them ourselves, but i also bought really nice envelopes and paper, so that did start to add up... i'm glad that i made them though, i think it set the tone for the rest of the wedding (we ended up making a lot of things ourselves - the favors, table numbers, etc).

  2. First off, I would never be opposed to a DIY invitation if I were invited to a wedding. It's your party, not theirs! :)

    I definitely dig the fold-around address labels.

  3. I DIY'd my save the dates, menus, programs, rehearsal dinner invitations, cake boxes and table numbers. I thought they turned out great, here are some photos:

    For the programs I ended up going with a navy blue ribbon that was much nicer, but the mock up is in this album:

    I probably still have templates for some of it if you're interested. Our invitations I ordered through a store in NJ, but they are William Arthur.

    Have you checked out Wiley Valentine? I found this company long after I got married, but I'm in love with their work:

  4. p.s. yes in some cases, i.e. our save the dates and placecards, it was more expensive (and time consuming) to make things ourselves. For things like the programs, table numbers and rehearsal invites, it was worth it to DIY.

  5. You are so funny about feeling like you're shopping local. That sounds like something I would tell myself.

    I like DIY! Although if I were to go that route it probably wouldn't be to save money (I've learned the hard way too many times that DIY is not always cheaper and sometimes is a huge PITA) but it would be to get exactly what I wanted.

  6. I DIY'd mine! I had an idea of what I was looking for, so I searched through some free designs online and found the piece I needed and then designed the rest of the invites/cards/etc. myself. There's are lots of printing options. You can have them printed online, at a local shop or office supply store (some have papers you can choose from to print on), or if you have a good printer at home, you can buy the paper and print them yourself. If you are printing multiples on a sheet of paper, ask the print shop or local newspaper if they would cut them down for you. They are likely to have a large cutter that can cut an entire stack at once.

  7. I'm DIYing the invitations for my May destination wedding. I ordered a ready made kit from Cards and Pockets. However, you can order stand along card stock, pocket folds, etc. They even have custom cutting and printing options. I ordered what used to be Caribbean Blue and Bronze (which is actually a metallic brown with gold tones)

    It's certainly more expensive than just using Vistaprints but while I'm still working on them, I can see that they'll be just as good as customized ones from an actual vendor.

    I'm using Microsoft Publisher but some people have used Word or Powerpoint with success. You can also find a ton of templates online and just tweak them.

  8. The indian lattice invitation is my're on the right track (and it's never too early to think about these things). How fun!

  9. I love Marit Hanson too. My friend Katie actually sent a photo of one of Marit's designs to me as inspiration when I was designing Katie & Tony's wedding invitations. Fast forward a year and I bumped into Marit on Twitter...or rather, Clyde bumped into her Boston Terrier Pete! Hahaha. Small world.

  10. Hi Jeannine! I am late in posting here, but have you looked at Rock Paper Scissors for inspiration? They work with some fantastic companies, and design a lot of custom pieces in house. Then you'd be shopping Cville-local! :)


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