As previously mentioned, I am planning my girlfriend’s bridal shower. The time is quickly approaching. We are now only a few weeks out and the invites have been sent!
Whew. Seriously. These invites were pain stakingly designed and constructed by yours truly. I tweaked and fretted over them until I was sure they were perfect.
Cute, right? I’m pretty proud of the overall set. Now remember, my bride’s theme for her wedding is Vintage French. Instead of going full on Eiffel Tower/Beret/Smelly Cheese FRENCH, I went for a subtle southern Provence feel. Wildflowers. Wafts of lavender perfume. Whispered romantic poems in warm evenings. Sigh.
That’s how I imagined it atleast.
The process ended up being a huge task in and of itself. Again, I was more than willing to do it and due to a newly discovered bought of ADD, I wanted to do it right, damnit.
And so the process went as follows. The end result was totally worth it. And the great thing is you look at the set and think, “Mmm. Fancy.” but not, “Whoa, bitch. Overkill on the smelly frenchy shit.”
1. Select envelopes. Most of the time I design 5×7″ invitations because I believe it’s easier on elderly family members (and me. my eyes are going.) to save them from squinting at little type on little invitations. In this case, I planned on designing address labels and needed the outside of the envelops to be relatively unfussy. SO! White 5×7″ envelopes it was! Easy. And not too bad on the finances.
2. Envelope Liners. I referenced envelope liners in Jilly’s Father’s Day Blog. This is by far the easiest way I have found to add a little flair to the inside of your envelopes without slitting your own wrists. Simply outline the size of your envelope on the scrapbook paper you have selected. Add about half an inch to the height and take off about 1/8 of an inch off the width of your liner. Slide into your envelope and tape the bottom of your liner just inside the envelope out of sight. Lick your envelope flap glue and press into your liner. Trim around the envelope flap. I did 50 of these in no time. *Just a note about liners, I have done this now in bulk with two different kinds of paper, standard thin scrapbooking paper and vellum paper. Surprisingly, I preferred the scrapbook paper. I don’t know why vellum is such a pain in the ass…but it is.*
3. Design or purchase your invitations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been designing an invitation for a bridesmaid who has forgotten all sorts of key information. So don’t forget: The Bride’s information, date, TIME(!!!), address, rsvp information, special directions and registry information. My bride made a comment after the fact that she prefers “Regrets Only” instead of “RSVP to”. Unfortunately for her they were already done and not being changed any more. I loved my invites as they were.
4. Recipe Cards. My bride had never heard of this tradition and so was super excited when I suggested it. This ofcourse added a couple more elements for my invite planning but because she was so excited I decided it was necessary. Design or purchase recipe cards no larger than 4×6″. I designed coordinating cards for my set. If you do not want to design or purchase a set that includes recipe cards, I have seen cute sets at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and even Target. Just look around and you would be amazed where these old school gems are hiding.
5. Recipe Card envelopes. I know what you’re thinking. Why the hell do my recipe cards need envelopes? Well, technically they don’t if your bride is a local girl and has no family anywhere else. My bride though has family all over the world and many of them will not be making it to the shower. Because of this, I purchased 4×6″ envelopes in an accent color and addressed them to myself. This is the absolute easiest way to encourage people to return the recipe card even if they can’t make the shower.
6. Recipe Card envelope belly bands. What…? Yes. Belly bands for envelopes. What has the world come to? I designed these because I figured they were the easiest way to keep the recipe card and envelopes together while including instructions that didn’t add another random piece of paper to the growing pile. To make these I simply designed 9″x1″ rectangles with instructions and decoration arranged in the absolute center. I then printed them on standard letter paper and cut. I wrapped them around my recipe card envelopes and taped the ends with clear tape at the back. No big deal.
7. Return Address Labels. I essentially used the same process of creating the belly bands for creating the return address labels. I placed my return address at the far right of an 8″x.75″ strip. The left of the label I filled with a witty saying and cute lavender bushels. I had them printed on full sheet white labels and cut. These are literally the last items to be applied when constructing your invitation suite. When you are absolutely sure you have everything placed in your envelopes the way you want, place your return address in the upper left hand corner of your envelope. Carefully wrap the rest of the label around the edge of the envelope and over the back flap. These do a great job at sealing your envelope flaps.
8. Address Labels. The hardest part of creating my address labels was getting all the addresses from my bride. The only reason I created them at all is because my handwriting has gone to shit since I was promoted at work. I have no idea why. I simply took one of my favorite frames and placed 8 to a page. I filled each with the guests’ information and printed on clear full page labels. Done.
9. Washi tape. Now because of your crazy awesome envelope liner, you will need a new way to seal your envelope for delivery. The perfect way to utilize the newest trends is to pick out a super cute washi tape from your local scrapbooking/craft store. I found mine for less than $2 at Michael’s. Rip off a bit and tape that flap shut. Don’t worry about creating the perfect cut ends to your tape. The effortless coolness of Washi tape is in the ripped ends.
Yes, I realize that was 9 steps. I also realize that is probably far more effort than you would like to put into an invitation BUT if you’re only job is the invitations then stop bitching and get to work. Slacker.
The set looks great in the end and hopefully with a little Yoda-like guidance from me, you will speed on through.
If you are interested in purchasing this Invitation suite, click here to be directed to my Etsy page. It should be noted, this particular set is different than the one on my site because it was designed custom for my friend.