Diary of a Designer Bride-to-Be : The Invitations!

This is one of the most difficult posts I've written... not just because I'm quite tired and there's an annoying dog barking down the road, but because I feel incredibly nervous about sharing the wedding invitations I designed for my own wedding.

Nervous Designer, Photograph by Alex Carlile

Nervous Designer, Photograph by Alex Carlile

Without wanting to sound overly dramatic*, I feel like I'm laying myself bare and presenting to the public, what should be my best work as a stationer! Since we got engaged I've been flirting with all sorts of stationery ideas and concepts, battling with over-inspiration (yeah, thanks Pinterest) and in a constant quandry over creating 'wow' stationery whilst trying my best to avoid a premature divorce over the budget.

*ha!

Here goes....!

The full daytime invitation suite, photo by Holly Booth

The full daytime invitation suite, photo by Holly Booth

Designing the invitations followed a similar formula to when I designed the Save the Date cards (read all about that debacle here) ie. many changes of mind, lots of shouting and endless deliberations over cardstock grammage and finishes. {Wayne at Century Studios deserves a knighthood for his patience and endless rounds of proofs.}

Information and RSVP detail. Photo by Holly Booth

Information and RSVP detail. Photo by Holly Booth

Die cut, duplexed invitation card detail. Photo by Holly Booth

Die cut, duplexed invitation card detail. Photo by Holly Booth

Quote detail, hidden under the RSVP card. Photo by Holly Booth

Quote detail, hidden under the RSVP card. Photo by Holly Booth

My overall aim for the invitations: above everything, I wanted the invitations to be more than just something to be opened, looked at and put down. I wanted more of an experience for the recipient, with lots of varied elements combining to make a beautiful 'set'.  I wanted everything to reflect us as a couple, in design AND tone,  alongside combining beautiful design with clever use of finishing and techniques which wouldn't upset the budget spreadsheet police! (Mr. R). I've always been particularly drawn to luxurious packaging so I wanted to incorporate something slightly more three-dimensional than a flat card invitation.

Invitation card. Photo by Holly Booth

Invitation card. Photo by Holly Booth

Invitation suite detail. Photo by Holly Booth

Invitation suite detail. Photo by Holly Booth

Invitation suite and envelope. Photo by Holly Booth

Invitation suite and envelope. Photo by Holly Booth

Save the Date design, photo by Holly Booth

Save the Date design, photo by Holly Booth

The design followed on subtly from the Save the Date cards, (above), I continued the silhouette theme with foliage and birds but using a pared back palette of ivory, peach and soft gold. The main invitation cards actually featured some secret little icons which I'm not sure if many people will have noticed - but having them in there made the design feel really personal to us.

Tiny design details including a bike for Mr. R and a cat for me! Photo by Holly Booth

Tiny design details including a bike for Mr. R and a cat for me! Photo by Holly Booth

A guitar for Mr. R and a shoe for me...Photo by Holly Booth

A guitar for Mr. R and a shoe for me...Photo by Holly Booth

RSVP detail. Photo by Holly Booth.

RSVP detail. Photo by Holly Booth.

The wording was to me, a very important part of the package. Mr R and I aren't really the completely traditional types and whereas I wanted the invitations to have a classic feel, I also wanted to reflect our personalities with the overall tone.  I tried to keep the mood relaxed, casual and humorous (I mean, I am hilarious after all) whilst still conveying the 'hard' factual information. I had fun creating the RSVPs which the guests have to fill in - we've had quite a few back already and are shocked at the humour and downright vulgarity of some of our friends and family!

We have also decided to frame the best replies and hang them proudly in our downstairs toilet. Classy all the way.

RSVP detail. Photo by Holly Booth

RSVP detail. Photo by Holly Booth

The science bit: Invitations were packaged in a 'matchbox' style box which, due to the fact that I couldn't source them in the colour I wanted, Mr R and I painstakingly spray painted in the garden over a couple of days! (Dedication or stupidity, you decide...) Each box was wrapped with an individually cut silhouette wrapband in GF Smith Gmund Treasury stock and hand finished with a gold eyelet and a peach velvet ribbon pull.

Invitation cards were printed on 350gsm Colorplan Vellum White duplexed to 720gsm with Gmund Treasury and die cut to shape. The double accordian fold information card and RSVP cards were printed on 350gsm Colorplan Vellum White. Each RSVP card was slotted into the Information Card and once taken out, revealed a quote by Herman Hesse. I used handmade envelopes in co-ordinating 120gsm Gmund Treasury from GF Smith and each was sealed with a delicate sticker asking the recipient to 'open me carefully, I'm delicate!'

Evening invitations used the same die-cut and duplexed card style, hand tied together with the peach velvet ribbon with an information card and again housed using a handmade GF Smith envelope.

Evening Invitation. Photo by Holly Booth

Evening Invitation. Photo by Holly Booth

So, there we go!

I'd love to hear your thoughts and whether or not the invitations were what you expected.... be kind, I'm exhausted!

On to the stationery for the wedding day. ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!