DIY Invitations Revealed

After spending a year oohing and ahhing over all of the gorgeous invitation suites I saw on Pinterest, we reached a point where we finally had to come up with our own. And as with everything else, to my fiancé's dismay, I needed it to be DIY. Let me briefly digress by saying that every line on my exhaustive (and exhausting) budget is a chance for a little competition. Hence the overkill on DIY projects.

Oh, hello budget. You think my invitations are going to cost $800? Well, think again!

Anyways, after several trips to Paper Source and FedEx Kinko's, and after a couple of crying fits in front of Photoshop, we finally finished our eco-friendly DIY invitations. Et voilà!

And here is the whole thing constructed and deconstructed...


"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple." - Jack Kerouac

Remember the Kerouac quote on the envelope? It's one of our favorites, so we tied it into the invitation wording :)

And Kyle even drew custom maps for us!


I have to admit that even though I never wanted to look at another invitation in my entire life by the time we got these in the mail, I was quite eager to hear what people thought. I mean, I watercolored 199 pieces of paper and Kyle typed 106 custom RSVP cards and envelopes after all!

Here is what we did in summary: I designed the invitations on Photoshop using some cool free fonts, Kyle drew the maps by hand and we scanned them in, we bought all of the paper products from Paper Source (all at least 30% recycled!) including the vintage San Francisco postcards, bought eco-friendly hemp string and antique sailboat charms from etsy, found some great 1950s sports car stamps for the postcards on ebay, bought the rest of the stamps from the regular old Post Office, had everything printed and cut at FedEx Kinko's, glued the envelope liners into the envelopes, watercolored a bunch of things, tied figure 8 knots on all of the strings to attach the sailboat charms, typed the RSVP cards and envelopes on our 1920 Underwood typewriter, drank a bunch of wine, and finally put all 53 invites together. Phew!

ALL of this, all of the postage, paper, supplies, sticky tape, paint brushes, printing, etc cost $360. Well under my $800 budget. Take that budget!!

So, what do you think? I'm dying to hear!

::invitation wording:: & a sneak preview

The most difficult task in planning a wedding was finding a venue. The second most difficult task (for me) was researching proper wedding invitation verbiage. Why was this so difficult you may ask? Well, who knew there were so many different ways to skin a cat! If you come from a divorced family (which 50% of us do these days) it changes the traditional format. Of course, there are no strict rules to this. If you're having a casual wedding you can write whatever you'd like. However, if you're having a more formal affair (which I am), then I think it's safe to safe people have expectations that the wording will reflect that. Here's one tid-bit I learned from my research: I learned that if your parents are divorced, their names should each go on their own line (mother's name first). If both sets of parents are contributing to the wedding you'd say "together with." I was surprised by how many questions came up for me while planning out my invites. Here are just a few:

  1. When do invitations go out to guests?
  2. When should the RSVP be due?
  3. If everyone is contributing to the wedding, how do we phrase that on the invitation?
  4. How much detailed info should be on the invite? Do we need an insert or should we just direct them to the website?
  5. Should we include an insert RSVP for the rehearsal dinner?
  6. How do we make the wording formal and important without sounding too stuffy?
  7. We haven't had our food tasting yet, but we need to get the invites out.... should we include meal (type) options? i.e. meat or fish?

Here are some sites I found useful for answering all of my questions and helped with guidelines in creating the ideal wedding invitation wording for us:

And now for a sneak peek at our wedding invites created by LIZELLY at LizzyBLoves, an invitation and stationary design studio.

We have not gone to print yet, so these are just PDF designs.... but you'll get the idea for what we're going for. And you'll get to see the wedding wording we came up with that made all of the moms happy ;-)

Looking forward to sharing the final product with you soon! Lizelly has been amazing in creating a custom wedding invitation that fits the vibe and theme of what we're going for. I can't wait to get them soon!!!

How was your invitation experience? Did you go the custom route? What challenges did you have (if any)? Please share!

Stamp of Approval

My current wedding project is invitations. After the amount of research, work and stress that has gone into them, I will NEVER look at a wedding invitation the same way again! I promise to reveal more about the invites in a future post, but thought I would share one thing I did to keep the costs of our invitations down. Our invitation vendor offers envelope printing for both guest addresses and return addresses, but they can only do the return address in letterpress and it’s not cheap! So to keep the cost down a bit, I ordered a stamp with our name and address and plan to hand stamp all of our envelopes with our return address. For about $30 (much cheaper than the cost of letterpressing the return address), I was able to get two different size stamps from And the best part is that I will be able to use them even after our wedding (I only used our first names, so when I change my last name, I can still use it!).

If you would rather not make your own stamp (maybe rely on the talents of those a little more creative!), Etsy is your friend! There are so many great stamp options to choose from. Here are a few I had my eye on.

Did you hand stamp your invites? What did you do to keep the cost of your invitations down?

Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Invitation Time

We are just about six months out from our wedding – time flies when you are having fun! And with each passing month, we are slowly but surely checking things off our to-do list. Next item to tackle is invitations. My wedding planner wisely suggested picking out and ordering our invitation suite early. Unfortunately, our save-the-dates didn’t go that smoothly – it ended up taking three batches to get them right (if you have any suggestions of what to do with 320 extra save-the-dates, I am all ears!). So needless to say, I am following her recommendation so we have plenty of time to fix any unexpected mishaps.

Without really planning it, the city of San Francisco has become the theme of our wedding. I guess when you are planning a wedding in downtown SF and the majority of your guests are out-of-towners, it’s hard not to highlight this amazing place (pretty sure I’ve mentioned how much I love this city!). So it is not surprising that a lot of the invitation suites that have caught my eye are those that showcase the city/place where the wedding is being held.

Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

What do you think?

And in addition to your thoughts on the above, please post in the comments any and all ideas on what to do with these extra postcard save-the-dates! Maybe a guestbook? Art work? I am open to suggestions!

{Christina's Wedding} Invitation Sneak Peak

I can't wait any is a sneak peak at our invites! We're still waiting to receive a few RSVPs and after that I will be able to show you the real deal. Let me tell you, I am in LOVE with them. These are just copies of the digital proofs so please ignore the black lines around them. Also, I "censored" the dates because my dear fiance is worried about revealing too much info online...I think the movie Wedding Crashers made him nervous ;)  Anyways, I'll be sharing more about the inspiration for our invites, the design process and how it was to work with our amazing stationary specialist soon.

( the invitation suite set up)

(the front of our rsvp card)

(the back of our rsvp card)

 PS:  You might not be hearing from me next week as we'll be in the process of moving back to the US and getting settled in to our new home in Arizona.  Wish us luck! :)