Invitation Revealed!

I've talked a lot about invitations here on E&I. I'm a girl who LOVES paper goods, graphic design and pretty stationary, so the invitation process was really fun for me. That means that I'm particularly excited about this week's post--I finally get to reveal our final invitation to you all! I decided a while back that I wanted to design my own invitations. It was a bit daunting but I knew that's how I was going to get the perfect invitation. And I was excited for the challenge.

I set off to find some inspiration. Here's a reminder of some of my favorite ideas.

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4

And then I began designing. I wanted something personal, that let our guests know what kind of wedding this is going to be as well as the kind of people that Dan and I are. After lots of iterations and ideas (and stress), I developed a design that I love and that I'm really proud of.

Again, I really wanted this to be personal. So the hat on the chair is actually a trace of one of Dan's hats. The the left chair style is the same chair that Dan used in the proposal at the Palace of Fine Arts. The font was a font that I searched high and low for, one that looks a bit like my handwriting (on a good day). My dress even provided some inspiration (though I can't say more than that!).

Designed by me, Photos by me (sorry about the blurred text!)

What is even more special about these invitations for us is that we designed them from scratch, and also printed them! Remember this from a few weeks back? We also had help from our wonderful friends and family (yes, cutting out each piece of envelope lining!)

So, what do you think? I hope you love them as much as I do! A quick shameless self promotion: If you like what you see here, message me! I'm starting my own graphic design venture and would LOVE to help you with your custom wedding invitation.

DIY Letterpressing

Most of you out there have probably at one point or another during your wedding planning process (or life?) drooled over some beautiful letterpress. The printing technique is quite luxurious, with that hand-pressed feel, intricate designs and often hefty price tag. It takes some large machinery and a skilled printer to execute this gorgeous printing technique.

Source: 1, 2, 3

Once I had decided to design my own invitations, I started looking around for how to print them. I started where I often do--Yelp--and was so lucky to find Reb Peters Press, located not far from us in Oakland. In addition to creating her own beautiful art and letterpress printing, she offers letterpress workshops. That's right--DIY letterpress! In her workshops, she guides you through the entire letterpress printing process, you do most of the work yourself, and you leave with a stack of hand-printed wedding invitations! It only took reading through a few Yelp reviews and I was sold.

Reb Peters Press

I sent her my design a few weeks ago, she made a few suggestions and it was off to be turned in to a printing plate. We arrived Friday morning and were off to the presses!

The cutting machine and printing press in her studio (personal photos)

First, we trimmed down the paper to size. She has a GIANT 100 year old paper cutter. Dan loved throwing the lever that brought down the large blade. Very manly. :)

Dan cutting paper (personal photo)

Then we prepped the press. This involves mixing the ink to the perfect shade, inking the press, setting up the plate on the press and doing a few test runs.

Mixing Ink, The printing plate, Inking the press (personal photo)

It didn't take too long until we were printing! We were feeding the press by hand, and pulling the lever to print. It was definitely a little nerve-racking, but it wasn't long before we were in the rhythm.

300+ pieces of paper fed in to the printer later (we did both RSVP cards and invitations, and you have to run the invitations through twice for two different colors) and we had a stack of invitations designed, cut and printed by us. We learned a ton and had a lot of fun. One thing checked off our to-dos plus it was a very fun date!

Stacks of printed paper! (personal photo)

I highly recommend  this for printing your invitations, saves the dates, thank you cards or anything else! If you don't have the design chops to make your own, Rebecca can help you out (or, I'd LOVE to help you design your invitation--add a comment and I'll reach out to you personally). It was a super economical and fun way to get some really gorgeous and personal wedding invitations.

Photos of the final invites to be posted once they are sent out!

How did you print your invitations?