They’ve been stamped, sealed, and delivered. The time has come to share the story behind our not-so-traditional invites (and why we LOVE them so much 🙂 ).
A few weeks ago I shared my thoughts on wedding invitations in THIS post (check out the comments – lots of great invitation advice there!). What it came down to was that the invitations were not something Derek and I did not want to blow our budget on and we liked the idea of personalizing them to represent us and not exactly what people are used to seeing. I really liked the look of poster style invitations because they were fun and out of the ordinary.
To get the look I wanted, I ended up working with graphic designer Katie Lobkovich, who was PHENOMENAL to work with if you’re ever in the market for an awesome graphic designer (http://www.katielobkovich.com/). Over the course of several gchats, emails, and edits, she was able to bring my vision to life.
Before Katie and I connected it never even occurred to me to start from scratch with the invitations (instead of going the traditional route or ordering something online), but I’m so glad I did. If you have a vision in mind for something – but can’t find it anywhere else – don’t be afraid to reach out and make it happen. Just because it’s not out there now, doesn’t mean you should give up on it.
Here’s the final product.
(please note the ceremony time and Derek’s middle name have been removed for privacy reasons)
I LOVED it! It was exactly what I had envisioned for our “rustic snowflake” theme. It was charming, romantic, and gave off that casual we’re-getting-married-in-a-barn vibe we were after.
And I almost squealed when I saw the matching RSVPs. They were PERFECT!
Since our wedding date is the first Saturday after the New Year (and technically still considered part of the “holiday season”) we’re asking for RSVPs a little on the early side so our guests don’t have to worry about sending them back in the month of December, plus that gives us plenty of time to follow up on RSVPs that never made it back before our final numbers are due to the caterer two weeks prior.
To save a little dough, Katie used the VistaPrint sizing templates to design the invites and RSVPs. Once the designs were done, we used the 50% off coupon from RetailMeNot.com to order the invites. I took your advice and splurged on the higher quality paper option and had our return address printed on the envelope.
Unfortunately, when the invites arrived, they weren’t exactly what I had in mind.
It’s hard to tell in the photo above, but the white paper made the invitations look very cheap. I loved the design, but wasn’t digging the overall look. I had a long talk with Derek about it and he told me if I didn’t like it – and if I was going to continue to beat myself up about it – then I should do something about it.
So I started researching local printers and found one that was willing to re-print the invites on an off-white paper for about 1/2 the price of what I paid on VistaPrint (what the heck? Lesson learned – next time I need ANYTHING printed, I’m researching locally first!). So I had the invites reprinted and could not have been happier with the results.
The final invitation (which is more off-white in real life, not sure why it photographed so white)
The RSVPs were actually post cards. Our address and a place for a stamp could be found on the back. I pre-stamped them before we sent them out, so all our guests had to do was fill out the other side and pop them in the mailbox. However, funny story, we had one guest put their RSVP in an envelope and mail it to my parents’ house. Since they mailed it to my parents – and not to our address – I’m assuming they never saw the back of the RSVP? Maybe we should have included a note with instructions?
We took your advice and pre-numbered all of the RSVPs. We realized the way that the RSVPs were set up, that some guests might not include their names (especially the “No’s”), so we took out the guessing game with the numbers. I have a spreadsheet with corresponding numbers, so all I have to do is look up the number to find the name and mark them accordingly. 🙂
We also had a small business card printed with our original VistaPrint order with our wedding website on it for guests who still needed to book a hotel or directions to the ceremony site.
The final look.
And everything that went in the envelope.
If I’m being honest, I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of the white envelopes, but we already had them and it was the one thing I could live with. Most people are going to toss the envelope as soon as they open it anyway, right?
I ordered all of our stamps through USPS.com just to keep it easy and hand addressed all of the envelopes since I thought it added a nice personal touch. I’m the first to admit how terrible my handwriting is, but I like to think the hand addressed envelopes let our guests know we’re thinking about them and further gives off the casual vibe we’re promoting for our wedding.
Re: international invites… Derek and I came up with the plan to send the stack of the Cayman Island invites to his Uncle down there and he’ll take care of making sure they make it to the right relatives with a note attached to the RSVP with our email and phone number for yes or no replies. We also plan to follow up with them in a couple of weeks just in case there’s a problem. The other international invites are being mailed with a similar note with similar plans to follow up to make sure they receive them. Fingers are crossed it all works out!
So that’s it. Those are our invitations in a nutshell. So far we’ve received great feedback on them and every time I receive an email, text, or FB message from a friend or family member who has received on, I can’t help but smile. 🙂
A BIG thank you to Katie for the beautiful design. If you are looking to do a creative one-of-a-kind invitation, I can’t recommend her enough!