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.
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.
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.
Download all files (3.6 MB)