May I give you a piece of advice? I think you'll find it fairly useful. If you are considering becoming engaged, I would suggest that you become engaged to a designer. Sure, a stockbroker might make you rich and a doctor might make you healthy---or at least treat you to a little free liposuction now and then---but a designer? Well, a designer will, when the time comes, make you some really kickass wedding invitations.
For example, here is what I said to Sean about our own wedding invitations: "I like turquoise. And maps. And this font." And here is what Sean, with these three relatively unhelpful pieces of guidance, managed to create.
As far as the construction of these bad boys goes, they were pretty much as DIY as DIY gets. We bought square aqua pocketfolds from Paper And More and mounted the invitation on a dark gray square of card, which then sat inside the pocketfold on the left hand side.
On the right hand side, we had an information sheet and the RSVP card, both of which we printed on cream cardstock from Cards and Pockets, which is pretty much where we bought all the paper other than the pocketfolds. (Thank you, lovely reader Life of Primate, for the 20% discount code!)
The RSVP envelope was dark gray (or "smoke") and matched the main envelope. One week in May, I killed a few evenings in front of Say Yes To The Dress and stuck a tiny doily inside each one of these RSVP envelopes. I cannot tell you why I did this; there was absolutely no need for it at all. But, what do you know, I was compelled to do it anyway.
Since we had gone so far with the map/world/globe theme already, we eschewed the traditional "Accepts with pleasure / Declines with regret" and instead gave people the option of ticking off "Wouldn't miss it for the world" (get it? the world?) or "Will have to celebrate from afar." We also added a line for people to suggest a song they might like to dance to; thanks to the very generous loan of a PA system from our good friends Leah and Simon, you see, we're skipping the DJ and putting together our own iTunes playlist. (Did you know that there's even a name for this, by the way? It's called "having an iTunes reception." No kidding.)
Speaking of going so far with the whole map/world/globe theme, we spent a long Sunday afternoon lining each of the main envelopes with vintage maps I bought on ebay. Again, I cannot tell you why I wanted to do this, just that I really, really wanted to do it. I swear, once this wedding is over, I'm going to take up scrapbooking or something. Maybe I'll turn a three-foot space in our 700-foot square apartment into a "craft corner," just like Tori Spelling's mom*, and spend all my spare time at Michael's. Oh wait, that seems to be my life already.
(*Actually, Tori Spelling's mom had a gift-wrapping room, not a craft room, but eh, same diff, right? Maybe I'll make my hall closet into a gift-wrapping room too and just store the winter coats on the bed year-round.)
Anyway, to seal the back of each of the envelopes, we ordered some gorgeous---and very reasonable---stickers made from vintage maps of Asia, Europe, and California from Etsy seller Bella Mercato.
As you can tell, it was a whole bundle of laughs, sticking them onto 75 invitations. Look at me! I'm having a wild Friday night! Party at my house! You bring the prune juice and unsalted saltines, I'll provide the boring and repetitive activity!
Finally, I handwrote the names and addresses on the front of each envelope (yep, we sent one to Barack and Michelle; I just know they're totally going to show):
....and mixed and matched a bunch of vintage stamps I'd bought on ebay with some of the United States Postal Service's more attractive modern numbers. By the way, I'm also going to take up stamp-collecting when the wedding's over, and I'm not even kidding. I've now become entirely and unashamedly fascinated with old stamps. Look! They don't make 'em like they used to!
So all in all, our invitations ended up looking a bit like this:
And also this:
And I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with the way they turned out. They were also super affordable, the most expensive part of each one being the aqua pocketfold, which clocked in at $1.30 each (plus a 20% discount.) The rest was just gravy, really---well, gravy and sweat equity. (Ew, gravy and sweat equity, doesn't that sound gross? Would you like a side of gravy with that sweat equity? The sweat equity is fresh today---want to add a little gravy for 59 cents? Gravy or sweat equity, sir? Oh, you're a vegetarian? Not to worry, this sweat equity is made of soy.)
Anyway, for those of you who've asked to see our invitations, there they are in all their glory. More pictures are here, if you're interested. And for the other 90% of you who just want the wedding to be OVER ALREADY SO I CAN TALK ABOUT SOMETHING DIFFERENT, I can assure you that I know exactly how you feel. Why, when this wedding is done, I'm going to have hours and hours and hours to fill, hours I didn't even know I had. I shall have to take up hobbies in order to fill them! Scrapbooking and stamp-collecting will go part of the way to keep me busy, of course, but I may also need to look into fencing to kill some of this time I'll suddenly have at my disposal. Or model railway building. Or maybe Bunco.
UPDATED TO ADD: Thank you so much for all the interest in our wedding invitations! We've been blown away by how kind people have been about them; I'm pretty sure we have Pinterest to thank for that. Unfortunately, we aren't professionals at this—we're just people day who got a kick out of making our own invitations for our own wedding, which was almost three years ago now—so we don't sell the template or take custom orders. But we ARE crazy flattered that you like them. Thank you!