Happy Wedding Wednesday!
You’ll be happy to know that one of my goals for February is to blog three times a week. Wish me luck, because I’m definitely not very good at that, as I’m sure you have seen from the past few weeks!
A lot of people have asked me how I did our wedding stationery, who designed it and where I printed it. SO, with that in mind, I figured we would do a Wedding Wednesday post to go over all of it! First of all, let me say – I’m posting these for tips and how-tos, but please don’t copy them directly. I designed all of these from scratch, and will go through my inspiration and how I did it. Your wedding will be awesome if you really make it your own. Stealing is bad. :)
There are SO many things that go into planning a wedding. I was recently part of a bridal panel at a bridal show, and one thing that I kept trying to impress upon engaged couples – choose your priorities! Once you know your priorities for your wedding, you will know where your money is going to go. Is it super important that you get married on the lake because that’s a special spot for the two of you? You’re probably going to pay more to make it happen. Is photography really at the top? (Yay! It’s the only thing you take away from that day… I hope it’s fairly high!) If so, you’re going to pay more for an awesome photographer rather than trusting those one-time-shot photos to cousin John. Do you grow up with a gorgeous garden in the back, and he proposed to you surrounded by beautiful flowers because he knows that’s what you love? You’re probably going to pay a pretty penny to get all of those gorgeous flowers incorporated into your big day. Yes, there are ways to save money on your wedding. But choose those savings wisely!
One of the ways that we saved was with our stationery. I think total, for all stationery, including thank you notes, everything was about $500. That’s save the dates, invitations, everything inside the invitation, all of the table menus and information, escort cards, programs, and thank you notes. I digitally designed everything and printed it, all on the same paper for consistency. You’ll see an ongoing theme not only with the music/concert theme, but the design as we look at photos. One thing to note, I had all of these printed by Marathon Press, on their pearl paper. I went to a lot of different printers looking for the right sizes and paper, and in the end, they won! Lots of printers won’t print 8.5×11 because they typically deal with photos, and photos aren’t usually printed at that size. Marathon did, and they did an amazing job, I was SO happy! Plus, their paper was thicker as well, perfect for postcards!
I think the one thing that I don’t have any extras of, at least not handy, are the save the dates. Bummer! So because I couldn’t take actual photos of the cards, I will show you a photo of the digital design instead. Save the Dates are the first things that you send. I know that a lot of couples want to save money by not doing Save the Dates, and that’s totally okay! We had a lot of out of town guests, and so Save the Dates were necessary for us. However, we didn’t do anything super expensive. These are 5×7 cards that aren’t foldable. So it’s just a card. They came with envelopes from the printer, so all that needed to happen was stuffing, addressing, licking the envelopes shut, and mailing! We knew we wanted photos of all three of us on the card, and we wanted to start the ball rolling with our theme of fun! So yes, they’re a little goofy, but I really love how they turned out. Several people told me after the fact that they thought it was an advertisement because we looked like models LoL! I don’t know about that, but we had fun. And we had to make a trip to Five Guys for the burger photo. All in the name of wedding stuff, right? ;)
Here is the digital design for our Save the Dates, front and back.
Cute, right? A few things to note when doing your Save the Dates. I feel that it’s important to let people know than an actual invitation will be coming. That way they know that they can hang the card on the fridge and not have to worry about getting the details, because they’re coming! It’s also important to have the date, and the city. We didn’t actually get married in Denver, technically speaking. But that was the nearest airport, so people could start looking at flights if they needed to. Our save the dates were sent in March, the wedding was in September. I don’t know what the norm is for these types of timelines, it’s not a strength of mine, but six months gave people enough time to start looking at accommodations and flights, and anything else necessary to come. Think about what you would have to do to go to a wedding out of state. Babysitters, flights, hotel, family, saving money, maybe some side excursions… particularly for people with children, there is a lot involved! So give people time to sort everything out. You’ll notice that the design really starts that kind of goofy, fun theme. Tom was worried about putting a beer on our Save the Dates, but in the end, people loved it! It was US. Kaden was eating, Tom was relaxing, and I was getting love from my guys. VERY us.
The next thing we had to think about was invitations. No pressure, right?
First, a few of the things that inspired me when looking at stationery for our wedding. We weren’t having a normal, everyday event. I see so many really gorgeous invitations, but they didn’t really fit our day. Our “theme” was music, or a concert tour. An invitation with super swirly writing and fancy stuff just wouldn’t really fit that theme very well, nor did it fit our ongoing vision of high energy and fun. So I began looking for inspiration in old school concert posters.
Hey, I said old school, right? I meant OLD. My mother would kill me for that old in caps by the way. How many of you have ever seen Judy Garland in concert? Yeah, old. Today’s concert posters are different, and we wanted that older look with the fun lines and photos. I looked at these, and LOTS of others. I was designing this stuff before Pinterest was available, so I had a folder on my desktop, all sorted pretty in my own little OCD manner. I looked at things and drew some sketches, and we finally decided on a design.
When our guests received the invitations, this is what they saw. Simple and pretty, not too crazy. We had two colors of envelopes. Why two, you ask? Let me give you a little hint here. You will have guests that will be invited to the rehearsal dinner, and guests that won’t – based on familial relationships, travel distance, etc. We had one color of envelopes for the guests that would be getting the rehearsal invitation as well, and one for the non-rehearsal guests. It made it MUCH easier to address everything, and we could put everything together without having to send separate invitations!
The actual invitation, I LOVE how it turned out! One family member noted that it should be framed, I love it! Please forgive the blurs, the names have been removed to protect the innocent. Or not so innocent, ha! I could have just removed that part but I wanted you to see where the rest of the names went, in case you’re thinking about a design like this. We had our first, middle and last names on the invitations, but the first names were in a different font and much larger.
We kept the date huge, and our “tour” information in the middle. One thing that’s a little hard to see in this photo is the music that was at the bottom. We went to an Earth, Wind and Fire concert last year and we LOVE their music. And because we got married in September, and they have a song called September… see where this is going? That became our wedding song. Not our first dance song, not something during the ceremony, but the party song! The first few bars of music are on the invitation. Since our ceremony and reception were in the same place, the information is just listed once. We didn’t add directions because pretty much everyone has GPS or a phone with GPS. Plus, the hotel had a shuttle, which we will get to in just a moment! The concert posters really came out in our invitation. It took forever to come up with this design, I spent months going over different ideas, but when we saw this we loved it. The photo in the bottom right corner really personalizes it. And yes, Tom wanted that particular photo, even though it doesn’t show his face. For any new followers, Tom proposed while we were having our picture taken so I would have pictures of the moment. This is one of those photos, right before the proposal.
Next in the envelope, the RSVP card. You want to know who is coming, right? Trust me when I tell you, about half of your guests won’t use the card. Yes, you will pay for postage, and they won’t use it. Just accept it now and get over it, because there’s nothing you can do about it. I’ve also heard of some couples that have opted to not do RSVP cards, and ask guests to RSVP via email. That works too! We just wanted to have more fun with the cards. A little sidenote – make sure to put postcard postage on these cards. I didn’t. And I had my bridesmaids over to help do all of the invitations, they were all sealed and pretty. And I realized I had forgotten postage – so I had to open ALL of them VERY carefully, without ripping them, and redo them ALL. So add that to your mental list now, or you will be pouring yourself a huge glass of wine because you’re HIGHLY irritated that you forgot.
Also in the envelope was a business card type card, that had information front and back. The front gave information about our wedding website. We tried to keep a TON of information there, to minimize phone calls as the day drew closer. Yes, I would love phone calls from friends and family – but as you’re getting close to the wedding, everyone is pulling at you, and if they have a place for information, it will save you time and stress! On the back, we had hotel information. This went to ALL of our guests, not just out of towners. Our wedding was about 30 minutes away from where most of our family lived, and we didn’t want anyone to drink and drive. A hotel block was already set up, and that included transportation to and from the wedding, so we wanted to make sure that everyone knew about it. In the end, quite a few locals stayed with us at the hotel too, which made for a fun brunch the day after the wedding!
Next in the envelope for some guests, was the rehearsal dinner invitation. You’ll notice again, the theme continued with a pre-show celebration.
All of the smaller cards went into the invitation, which was folded in half, with a ribbon tying it closed, and put into the envelope!
So that is all of the PRE-wedding stationery, the things that were mailed out to our guests. Usually when people think of stationery, that’s all they think of. But there is so much more! However, I have two client meetings today that I need to prep for, so I will have to end this here. :)
Next week we will go into the stationery AT the actual wedding – escort cards or placecards, programs, menus, and things like that! In the meantime, please comment below and let me know if you have any questions on how I did things. I’m more than happy to share, I know how overwhelming this all seems!