Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's Hip to be Square

I've been in invitation design purgatory for the last month or so, and having sent the print files to our vendor (Auburn Printers), I was happy to be free of them for a while, but Friday, when we will get all the pieces back, the Goodlaffs will need to begin the invitation assembly process.

That's right, friends.  We designed our own invitations.  Anything worth doing is worth doing well, or, in my case, anything worth doing is worth doing the hard way.  And I'm only mostly kidding. 

I guess I always assumed that we'd be making our own invitations.  I looked at letterpress, and I looked at invitation suites, and Auburn Printers even let us borrow their invitation sample book to look through.  But my crafty self kept saying, "let's make them! It will be totally fun!!!"  Online searching had yielded a few inspiration invites, but one DIY option was leaps and bounds above the rest:

We've already established that I shamelessly rip off  borrow other peoples' ideas for my crafting pleasure, right?  Therefore, I felt no shame in following in the footsteps of Mrs. Eggplant from Weddingbee, and trying to work this invitation format into our design.  Pocket-fold invitations are insanely expensive, but a piece of ribbon to hold it all together?  So. Smart. And chic.  And simple.  And awesome. (I could go on, but I'll spare you.)

Still, it was a little off. 

Enter Merrill from Auburn Printers and her lovely book of wedding invitations. When I went to pick up our Save the Dates, she let me borrow the book to look over the designs.  It became abundantly clear when Mr. Goodlaff and I were flipping through the pages that a.) we didn't have the same taste in wedding invitations, and b.) the chances of us choosing one of those designs was close to zero. There was, however, a bright spot in all of the stationery perusal: one of the designs we both didn't completely hate was square. 

Amongst all the other rectangle invites, this one square sample stood out like a Manhattan socialite at a NASCAR race, and we were both extremely intrigued by the distinct shape and the thought of it appearing in mailboxes of our guests everywhere. The square invitation just felt like the right way to go.

Knowing the pitfalls experienced by other invitation DIY-ers before me, I knew the most important first step was to find the envelopes, then make everything fit in there afterwards.  Easier said than done.  I looked everywhere and beyond for the perfect card stock and the perfect envelope.  I trolled paper websites; I googled until I could Google no more.  Then I stopped.  I wasn't getting anywhere. 

One evening, while reading my daily dose of  Weddingbee,  eureka! One of the bees had gotten paper and/or envelopes from, and what's more: it was sparkly paper!  If you know me, you know my love of all things shiny, and well, I just couldn't help myself. They had pre-scored paper cards and envelopes in the right size (and did I mention the sparkly?).  I ordered samples that very night.

The samples came with a short-hand-written "thank you" on the invoice (totally classy), the colors were perfect, and after a decision on numbers, we placed an order for the cards and the pockets (envelopes). 

Cards decided on, it was time to get down to business: I had an invitation to design...

Did you decide to DIY your invitations? Did you opt for a non-traditional invitation design?

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