Thursday, September 19, 2013

What I did this Summer: Wedding Invitations

 It's been awhile since I updated here, mostly because my summer was so busy with weddings!

A couple of years ago, one of my closest friends got married. My sister Elizabeth and I were trying to think of something unique we could do as a gift, and thought, why not ask if she wants us to do her wedding invitations? She and her now husband accepted and we got to work.
I started with a couple sketches, she picked the one she like best and then I made a prototype for her to see. We wanted to make it special, so my sister came up with the idea of making envelopes for it. I don't have many pictures but here is the finished product:
We cut out each envelope and added the ribbon pockets at the bottom
They came out beautifully but took us way longer than expected! Lesson learned? Never make envelopes again. While they added a nice touch, they were a pain and were the main reason it took us so much time.

Fast forward to last spring when another close friend got engaged! She hired me to make her invitations, and I was really excited. However, she was going to be living in Australia for the year before her wedding, so I had to have the design finalized before she left. It was super easy to work with her and her husband, so coming up with an idea was quick and simple. In fact, I had too many ideas for her to choose from!
For these, I did not make an envelope, but I still hand cut and hand glittered them all. I thought it would be easier, since we weren't making the envelopes this time, but she wanted close to 200 invitations! I wish I had kept better track of the hours I spent on these invitations because it was a lot.
The glittering table
All 540 pieces of the invites
all packed and ready to go!
the finished invitation
A closer look. We ended up going with two different cards for mailing and the online RSVP, but this at least gives the idea of what they looked like.
They came out beautiful though, and I think they captured my friend's personality wonderfully. She and her family loved them which was the best part of the whole experience. I also made the design into a template for their wedding website and their programs. All in all, it was a great experience except for being so time consuming. I was sure I had given myself carpal tunnel after cutting over 700 pieces for the invites! Lesson learned: find a place to get them printed and cut in the future.

At almost the same time, my sister Emily was getting married. (She got married two weeks after my friend Steph!).  I had offered to do her wedding invitations as a wedding gift so for months I was working on invitations. She was slightly harder to work with because it was harder to gauge what she and her husband wanted, but in the end I think the invitations were beautiful and they loved them. I had found a website for envelopes when I did Angela's , and discovered all sorts of good pocket folds like the kind we had handmade for Angela. I got them printed at a local business and cut and they were gorgeous. Plus I didn't get carpal tunnel.

back from the printers! the Washington postcard rsvp layout was better, but for the purposes of the blog post, I had to remove personal information
the glittering and assembly station
getting ready to mail
a slightly closer look
the finished piece... you can't really see it, but the tulips on the actual invite have a white glitter on them that was subtle (for glitter) and added a touch of elegance that was beautiful.
with a nifty little pocket for all the pieces
For all the brides and grooms I asked that they come up with their own wording, and gave them websites where they could do the research.

The photos here are slightly blurry unfortunately as I had to rely on a not great camera for them, but I think they will give you an idea of the projects.

I want to start  a business designing wedding invitations because it is quite fun and I think it could help get my illustration business off the ground. (It is a lot of hard yet rewarding work too).  I hope to get these that I have done as examples and a custom order form set up on Etsy soon. First, I am going to try to finish my 2014 calendar and have it on Etsy (previews coming soon!)
I already have the next set I'm going to be working on. My brother Richard just got engaged to his now fiance Brianna and I'm doing their wedding invitations! I'll be starting to think about those in the next couple weeks.

if you or someone you know is looking for unique, one of a kind wedding invitations, Send me an email: and send them the link to this post.