Monday, December 12, 2011

DIY Giraffe Invitations

Hive, have you seen the new Randomizer series? I have, and it's awesome! It seriously put me into "wanting to do recaps" mode just so I could participate. I feel like before I can start recapping, I should share one of my favorite things with you: our invitations!

Our invitation suite was a DIY affair. . . and it ended up taking longer than I thought (which is how it always happens, right?!). I'll break the whole process down for you, but it'll probably be easy to do in pictures :-D.

The first step was to create the invitation suite. As much as I loved all those modern invitations I kept talking about so many months ago, I really wanted something that looked fresh, but ultimately traditional. I spend all day, every day designing hip, modern things . . . for my wedding, I decided to follow my little designer-heart and create something that I loved, even if it wasn't exactly "cool" and seemed traditional. That was my inspiration. . . .

That and I really wanted an invitation suite with multiple pieces. I don't know why, but I wanted my invitation to have a whole bunch of pieces for people to read and look at. This is also why I didn't want pocket fold, I wanted just pieces everywhere. Weird, I know. I made the pieces a few different sizes so they'd "stack up" nicely.

And lastly, I wanted something that could dictate the look of other printed materials for our big day (table numbers, programs, escort cards, etc). Having one look I could essentially "re-use" over and over made things easy, and look cohesive. But more on that later!

I designed the whole set in Adobe Illustrator, using the fonts Burgues Script and Mrs. Eaves (for the small caps).

We didn't have a 'theme', but since I used hearts on our Save the Dates, I carried hearts over into the invitations.

The Invitation (5x7"), RSVP card (3.5x5"), and Reception card (3.5x5"). (Click for a larger view.)

Our Map (4x6") and Accommodations card (4x6"). (Click for a larger view.)

Next, I cut out bellybands while Mr. G embossed the flap of our envelopes with my Cuttlebug.
I believe Mr. G said at this point, "Now, you can't say that I haven't done anything for this wedding ever again." Haha.

Well. . . after I got all our invitations printed (through, Mr. G took off for his Bachelor week of skiing/camping with our Best Man. Luckily, the Giraffe Parents picked up the slack!

The photo above shows how I used our not-theme of "hearts". You can click the photo to make it larger and see more clearly, but there were hearts everywhere! The address labels were heart shaped, as were the return address labels, and every bellyband had a heart tage around it that listed our guests' names.

The labels on the front of our envelopes were printed on my parents' HP printer, and the cut out with my Cricut (the same goes for the labels on the back). Our labels on our RSVP envelopes were smaller versions of the ones you see here (but with our address, of course!).

The back with our return address labels and Cuttlebug embossing. Gotta love those metallic envelopes!

I made the envelope liners using the heart-gyle, I had designed for our website. I bought a ream of 11x17" blue paper from OfficeMax, and was able to print 3 liners per page. . . Of course, I also bought a ream of blue paper from Staples so I could compare the "blueness" of each. Needless to say, 6 months after the wedding, I still have a ton of blue paper.
I stacked all the pieces of the invitation from big to small (with a small wallet sized e-photo of us on the top), wrapped a belly band around it, wrapped baker's twine around that, and attached a heart tag with the twine.
Okay, okay, Daddy G did the stacking and tying, but I put them in the envelopes!

There were so many! The DIYing went on forever!
So there they are! They whole kit and caboodle (. . . until recently, I thought it was 'kitten caboodle'). I'm pretty happy with the final product and I head a lot of nice things from our guests, and that's what counts :).

If I did it all over again, I probably still design my own invitations, but I don't know if I'd go through all the work of doing the extra pieces! I spent a looooooong time trying to set up my Cricut to cut the hearts correctly and I got super frustrated at times. I loved how it looked, but I don't think I needed all that stress at the time.

Did you take on the daunting tasking on DIYing invites? Would you do it again?