Hoppily Ever After: Liz and Felix’s Handmade Wedding Invitations
For the past week or so, Liz and I have been ironing out the details for our wedding invitations. Over the weekend (and the days leading up to it), we got into production mode and were in the process of printing things out and putting things together.
With the exception of paper from Paper Source and some stock vectors from iStockPhoto… everything was made by me or Liz.
For the most part, I did the designs while Liz did all the assembly and construction. We had things timed out pretty well, where Liz had enough things to do while I was designing the next thing to be printed.
A7 Tri-Fold Pocket Enclosure (5″ x 7″)
Blank A7 Card
Blank Postcards (note: ours weren’t A6, and more like 4.25″ x 6″)
Blank Business Cards
Blank 8.5×11 Paper
The invitation itself. This took the longest, as we went through several rounds of designs and several different approaches. I’m not really a designer, and so I struggled a lot with making something look pretty.
I spent a lot of time in Illustrator (way more than I ever have before), and got some serious practice in. Ultimately, I ended up going with a more text-based approach. Liz wanted something scripty, and I came across Feel Script… which had a formal feel, but didn’t look like all the other horrible scripty fonts I’d seen around.
I spent a lot of time playing with the ligatures, which was actually incredibly fun. For whatever “design” is here, I basically let the font do most of the work.
The postcard/reply card.
Printing things was actually a bit tricky. A fair amount of trial and error, but not as much as I had feared at the start.
This was one of Liz’s ideas – to construct a ribbon/enclosure that wrapped around the entire invitation. To achieve this effect, we had to create/print two different elements: the band itself, and a circular emblem that would go on the front.
One of the trickier things was getting the color that was printed out to match with the colors of the envelopes and paper. While I’m fairly sure I had the right values for the computer screen, the actual output color of the printer was harder to match. There was a lot of fiddling around with printing test color squares, as what was on the screen didn’t correlate with what was coming out on the page.
Closeup of the emblem – “Hoppily Ever After.”
These guys came in a little under 1.75″. Liz actually used a 1.75″ hand punch to cut these circles out, but I printed them out each at around 1.73″, with a very faint grey stroke to designate where to cut.
Liz, working on a batch of the emblems and testing out cutting out the bands.
Here was my setup for most of the weekend. Kind of a boring photo, as I’m working on the design for the bands (which aren’t all that involved).
Another boring shot, but worth documenting. These are 8.5×11 pieces of paper, with dotted lines running down the full height of the pages. I spaced out about 5 per page, and Liz cut these out with a paper cutter to make the bands.
Prior to cutting out each strip, she scored each page and also marked (in pencil) where to cut the slits for the flaps. Each band would wrap around the back, and basically attach to itself via the slits.
The actual response card. I was delighted to find out that Liz’s Canon iP4300 color printer actually printed on these small 2″ x 3.5″ business cards.
Our original thought was that Liz would end up using her Gocco to print these out. Having the Canon do this work saved us a TON of time.
I’m quite impressed with this little Canon color printer. Not sure if they still make them, but consider this an endorsement!
Note: I got Liz a Gocco last Christmas, but never got around to documenting that machine or the process. More on this soon.
On Saturday evening, Jake swung by to hang out for a bit. We ordered out for some Thai food, had some drinks, and put him to work.
Liz and I relocated into the dining room and set up our own little production line. While she and Jake cut things out and folded and put postage on the postcards… I was futzing around a bit with our wedding website (not quite ready to go live yet).
This was circa Sunday afternoon. The pieces are all together, and the assembly is about to begin.
Liz used this fancy glue stick thingy, that was incredibly adhesive. She bought a TON of the refills, as this approach provided the strongest adhesive without actually warping the paper (like other glues did).
Liz, working with the bands.
More bands. I was actually surprised at how quickly Liz got through this process. I was convinced it would have taken her way more time than it did.
Close to being done – cards all assembled and stuffed into envelopes.
Here are some nicer shots of the invites. This is the actual invitation itself, complete with the band and emblem.
Envelope and invitation.
The back of the envelope. Our addresses were actually printed out using Liz’s Gocco.
Interior of the invitation, opened up. The tri-fold has a nice pocket area, where we put in our postcard/reply card.
Not quite straight, but this is a shot of our actual invitation itself.
Detailed view of the invitation.
This is the front of our postcard/reply card. I bought a set of stock vector images, and enlarged the scooter icon.
The back of the postcard. The small envelope is affixed pretty securely to the postcard itself. The actual RSVP card is held in place by a small gummy dot, something we purchased at Office Max to help hold the card in place.
Our guests simply fill out the RSVP card, tuck it into the envelope, and drop the whole postcard in the mail.
Detail view of the band and emblem.
I’m rushing early in the AM to finish up this post. Time permitting, I may come back and add links to the source/Illustrator files here, and make them available for download.
// UPDATE: Here are the Illustrator CS files I used to create all the invitation pieces. Feel free to download these and peek through them, if you want to see how we went about printing/making everything.
Right-click and Save as, or grab the .zip for all the files at once.
Address – Back of Envelope
Enclosure – Emblem
Enclosure – Strips/Bands
Postcard/Reply – Front
Postcard/Reply – Back
Download all files (3.6 MB)
Holy crap, you two. Korie and I did 40 pre-made Target thingies and it felt like a ton of work. Kudos to you, they look great.stu (July 6, 2009 at 9:51 am)
OMFG you guys! INCREDIBLE work! They look magnificent. Felix, you are no longer able to claim that you are “not a designer.” Can’t wait for the party!chris (July 6, 2009 at 10:08 am)
Hands down the most beautiful wedding invitations I’ve ever seen. Smashing job, I must say.Justin (July 6, 2009 at 10:14 am)
First, those are badass, really well done!Second, as badass as those are, I would caution you to do a dry run with your reply card. The post office’s mail sorting machines might end up ripping that envelope off.Dustin (July 6, 2009 at 10:28 am)
OMG, it’s bloody brilliant! You guys did an amazing job!!! Elegant yet some whimsy with the scooter and bunny, very beautiful and original!Layla (July 6, 2009 at 10:44 am)
Lovely! I love your typographic choices especially!Emme Stone (July 6, 2009 at 12:54 pm)
I love, love, love your invitations! I love that you incorporated the scooter and Baxter!! Nice work, guys! I’m so impressed that you guys did all of that yourself! I started sketching out ideas for our invites over the weekend, and the thought of making all those invitations seemed daunting. Knowing you did a whole suite by yourselves is an inspiration! I think I’m going to link to this post on my blog. Inspire all the other brides out there!Marty J. (July 6, 2009 at 3:07 pm)
Super cool!I just used Avenir today!Matching colors is really tricky. As I learned from one of our printers recently, “Color is an event.” Change any one of the major players in the color event — basically, the output medium (paper), the thing making the color itself (ink), and the visualization medium (the screen or your eyes) — and the color will be different. But you did a great job managing all your color events!juliet (July 6, 2009 at 6:02 pm)
Thanks for all the kind words, guys! This was a particularly big milestone for us, and the past weekend was the culmination of a lot of planning. They’re officially off in the mail, and out in the world as of now.Dustin – we talked about the envelopes ripping off the postcards, and decided to risk it. We were getting a little late in sending these guys out, and basically needed to get them in the mail asap.Liz used some super heavy-duty glue on those guys, so we’re crossing our fingers.avoision (July 7, 2009 at 7:45 am)
Well I hope it works out for you then, because they look outstanding. Best of luck with them.Dustin (July 7, 2009 at 12:20 pm)
I love everything about these! :) You’re both so creative, but I think I’m particularly crushing on Liz–she is fantastic and talented and I must admit to some jealousy. Plus, I’m totally stealing her homemade vanilla idea for my holiday presents this year.Mellzah (July 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm)
Wow! I love seeing what you two come up with in the creativity dept. which is just about everything. Mazal tov again. Your friend in Jerusalem. RFWRachel (July 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm)
Hello! I ran across your blog as I was searching for a text font to use with feel script for our wedding invitations. Can you please tell me what font you used for all other text? i’m totally waffling between chaparral and futura, but I really love your all caps font. so clean and elegant. thank you! dawn in sf.Dawn (July 20, 2009 at 1:17 am)
Hi Dawn – the other font I used was Avenir. Good luck with your wedding designs!avoision (July 20, 2009 at 6:24 am)
Hey guys…I just an fyi, I finally featured your invites on my blog. It took me a while to get my act together…Marty J. (July 21, 2009 at 9:43 pm)
Hi, this is the first time I accidentally found this part detailing your wedding invite process. What a fabulous creation! As a senior, I admire your youthful energy; as an aunt to Felix (and hopefully Liz would also consider me as one), I am totally astonished and so proud of your ingenuity & industry. You two are fantastically talented!Stella Shi-Fong Liu (August 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm)
First time seeing this Felix. Totally impressed with the work and creativity you both put into your wedding invitations.Sprocket (September 9, 2009 at 11:25 am)
WOW!!!! I love what you’ve done here! I am in total AWE!! EXCELLENT JOB!And CONGRATS to you guys! Happy Wedding!!!LisanneLisanne (September 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm)
Very Creative, beautiful inviations. I was just wondering where you got those black stands that held up all the reply cards upright and what are they called.Thank youJoanna Mann (November 7, 2009 at 8:36 pm)
Glad you like the invitations, Joanna. The black stands are actually a single piece of plastic, slotted multiple times. It came with the Gocco when we bought it.avoision (November 7, 2009 at 10:58 pm)
These invitations are gorgeous! I’m going to show these to my fiance, and try to get something similar going. Thank you for all the info on how-to!Lynn (December 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm)
Wow, Wow, Wow…1000 times wowAnonymous (January 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm)
LOVE the invites! I am curious to know how the RSVP envelopes faired… Did you get them back in one piece without issue from the USPS? And, if so, what kind of “super heavy duty glue” did you use? Thanks for sharing your creativity for those of us who aren’t quite as creative!Allison (July 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm)
Besides some people keeping them and purposely not sending them back (heh) we didn’t loose any. The only ‘damage’ they incurred was some being slightly dirty. But other than that they were fine.I used the xyron sticky dispenser thingymagigg. It’s really quick to use, and isn’t messy like traditional glues. The only other ‘traditional’ glue I’d suggest is pva. I use pva for my bookbinding, which is ph neutral. It basically creats a plastic bond between the two pieces of paper. But you have to brush that on with a sponge brush or regular paint brush. And since all liquid glues will initially cause the paper to curl or buckle, I felt the xyron was the best way to go. It’s more expensive, but completly worth it when working with large quantities.Here’s an Amazon link: Xyron Adhesive Permanent RunnerI bought mine at joann craft store, and I bought at least 8 refill cartridges for all of the response cards. You may be able to buy them cheaper if you buy bulk though.Special Note: There are other brands that look similar, don’t be fooled. They don’t have near the same hold as the xyron.Good Luck! :) And link back with your project. I’d love to see it.Liz H. (July 28, 2010 at 9:47 am)
Simply fantastic and creative! Thank you for sharing your process : )AJB (August 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm)
Here’s what I think…FAB-U LUS!!!!!. I would love to know the kind of paper u used for your creation.All the best with your marriage.Olivia White (January 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm)
Hi Oliva,I picked up the paper at a small chain called Paper Source: http://www.paper-source.com/They have online sales as well as locations in many major cities.Thanks for the kudos and married life is going well. :)Liz (January 19, 2011 at 9:31 am)
FYI, the specific papers and sizes we used are listed at the top of the post (with links to boot).avoision (January 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm)
Beautiful invitations. Absolutely spectacular!Natasha (February 10, 2011 at 11:00 am)
Hi! I LOVE your wedding invitation and want to use some ideas from it! :) When completely finished, was the invitation will under one ounce? I don’t want to have to pay postage above and beyond one $.45 stamp. :)Julie Peter (April 6, 2012 at 10:46 am)
Thanks in advance for your help!
Hi Julie – Thanks for the kind words. I believe we ended up having to use two stamps per invitation.avoision (April 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm)
Hi, im frm mexico, and id like to use your formats of your wedding for mine. if you dont mind. Would you share any of your files?Fernando (April 20, 2012 at 8:50 am)
The source files I used for the invitations are actually linked, at the end of the blog post. If you’re asking for the stock art and fonts… those are not mine to give away. The stock art should be relatively inexpensive, but the fonts do cost money. I paid for a personal license, and cannot distribute them.
Besides – font designers gotta eat too. I do link to sites where you can purchase the fonts directly… but you can also look around to see if you can find a comparable, less expensive font that meets your needs. Good luck!avoision (April 20, 2012 at 9:36 am)
These invites are fantastic! How did you print the guest addresses in white ink?Audrey DeMarte (April 27, 2012 at 10:23 am)
Ha! The guest addresses on the front were printed in light ink via our printer, and then hand-traced over by Liz, using a pen. Every single one of ’em.avoision (April 27, 2012 at 11:12 am)
Did your reply- post cards require additional postage? Or did postcard postage suffice? Love the invitation suite!!Macaela (February 4, 2013 at 9:25 am)
A regular stamp was all that we needed – just like a regular postcard. In one of the photos above, you can see the stamp in the shot. And we had good luck with the adhesives, as all our replies came back in one piece!avoision (February 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm)
Hi! Was the avery paper that you went with thick? I want a thicker paper and I like the texture that your paper seemed to have from the pictures.kristen (June 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm)
Hi Kristen – The paper was fairly thick, yes. But I should note that we didn’t use Avery labels or paper – we got most of our supplies from The Paper Source.
The links at the top of the post still look to be working, and should have some detail as to the thickness and weight of each item. If you need more info, I’d suggest giving them a ring to see if they might have suggestions for the kind of thickness/texture you’re after.avoision (June 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm)
Hii.. i from Indonesia.. I realy love this invitation.. I want to make my wedding invitation by my self.. can you tell me what kind of paper do you use (the red paper)is it art paper? and for the envelope..?
Thx Before.. :)Eric (May 25, 2014 at 12:21 pm)
Hi Eric – the links to all the different papers we used are featured at the top of the post!avoision (May 26, 2014 at 7:03 am)