Monday, 7 June 2010

Wedding Invitations, First Impressions and DIY

What is a wedding invitation? Is it a formal note of invitation indicating the style/theme/tone of the wedding or is it just an invitation – to tell your beloved guests where to go, on what day and at what time?

I’m writing this in ‘response’ if you like, to an invitation that we received recently. It me as soon as I saw the envelope. There was a monogrammed stamp on it! How amazing! The colour of the writing matched the colour of said monogram – cute right? The whole package filled me with joy, I read everything, word for word and actually couldn’t put it down – it was that fun and fabulous to read! We simply cannot wait for the wedding now!

Its funny how a few pieces of paper, got me so excited! The invitation (to me at least) obviously means so much! This all got me thinking about invitations and stationary and just how many hours Mr O and I put into making ours as a snapshot of the wedding and to give (realistic) first impressions to our beloved guests - we wanted to say, chic, personal and sweet I guess....they weren't 100% perfect - but then neither are we. We loved them though and I still feel really proud when I even think about them!

We made all our own wedding stationary actually – including save the date, invitation, order of service, table plan and table names. It was a real mission, it was hard work, but it was totally worth it. We’re so happy that we spent the time (and in some cases, the extra £££) to make them as chic as we could, whilst still retaining that ‘handmade with love’ touch. We got lots of positive feedback from our guests which again, made it worth the effort.

Our table plan.

Up close and personal with our table plan.

Here are my top tips for DIYing your own stationary

  1. Start early
This project will take longer than you expect! We started about 6 months in advance and still ended up doing the table plan on wedding week!

  1. Do consider lots of different designs.
Once we decided on the components – i.e. damask card and pearls, Mr O and I had a competition, to see whose designs would win. Mr O won most of the time! The old saying ‘practice makes perfect’ is VERY fitting here.

  1. Keep it simple.
The project will always become more complicated than you think. Keeping it simple leaves less room for costly errors.

  1. Do consider a monogram
It’s easy to do on Powerpoint and really effective in bringing everything together – coordination is key!

  1. Many hands make light work!
In this case it is so true. Mr O and I managed the save the dates and invitations by ourselves, but when it came to producing 250 order of services, we had positively run out of steam! We enlisted the help of two cousins and two of our bridesmaids and got it done in a number of days. You have an invitation making party! Obviously, there should be a designated drinks and food area – nobody wants oil marks on their invitation!

  1. Be a smart shopper.
The most expensive components don’t necessarily mean the best finish. At the same time, try to see which items offer value for money – cheaper is not always better. For example, if using embellishments – buy the ones with sticky stuff on the underside, it is far easier and quicker than the slightly cheaper alternative.

  1. Attention to detail is so important.
I’d recommend using dressmaker scissors to cut ribbon, appropriate glue for the purpose, and double-sided sticky tape rolls!

  1. If you’re doing this on a budget – invest in a guillotine, a card folding board and good quality paper/card.
These items will make the finished product look much more professional. You can always sell bits and bobs after the wedding – there’s always another DIY bride looking for a bargain. Remember when DIYing its about ‘aww this is so lovely, they made it themselves’ and not ‘ewww, obviously they made it themselves on a budget’ – even its true, everyone doesn’t need to know!

  1. Do double check all text.
This includes the invitation wording, insert card, gift registry number, postcodes etc! Check check and check again!

It was only after we printed the inner sleeve of our invitation that my Mum announced that the woman marries the man and not the other way around! Neither myself nor Mr O knew this and we had to re-print all the inserts! A costly mistake when you’ve selected premium pearlised paper! Grrr.

  1. Do have fun!
It’s a little project and one where you get to see the fruits of your labour straight away! How cool is that!?! You will miss not having invites to make after the wedding is over - or is that just me! 

Mrs O 

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