Labor of Love

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! 

Nov 21, 2011 mind was working slower than my logic in the above comment, I meant to say where did you order the smoke envelopes from?

Mar 28, 2012

What is the name of the font that your names are written in?

Mar 28, 2012

I design wedding invitations and I'm a little jealous I didn't make these! Amazing!! Everything looks perfect.

Mar 28, 2012

Hrm, I tried and I wasn't allowed so I'll try again because I love your invitations that much! Just wanted to say LOVE them! Very well done!

Apr 08, 2012

Your invitations are amazing. My fiance' is in the Peace Corp and we have traveled back and forth to South America many times in the last two years to be with each other. We are hoping to incorporate travel and maps into the theme of our wedding. Everytime I google this theme I am stunned by your beautiful invitations. I'm thinking of using the map (but an old world colored one) as the mat. I love the two fonts you used. I know the one is feel script do you remember what the other one is? I can't seem to find anything quite the same, and they look so good together. I know mine will never come up to yours but you have been such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing all the wonderful ideas and helpful hints.

Apr 08, 2012

Hi I absolutely love your invitations. My fiance is in the Peace Corp and we've traveled over seas for two years to be together. We definately want to tie in travel and maps in our wedding. I hope to use an old world map in as the mat and love your fonts. One is feel script do you remember what the other is? They look so good together. Thanks for the inspiration and sharing you ideas!

Debbie Nacke
Aug 23, 2012

What fonts did you use for your invitations?

Nov 27, 2012

i too am in the process of ordering through cards and pockets. I was wondering what color paper you used for the invites and rsvp cards. I am trying to get an idea of what we want to go with in the white to off white family and was curious what you used. We're considering quartz.

Jan 03, 2013

Love your invitations! What type of pen did you use to address the envelopes?? I am using kraft paper envelopes.. I've been looking for a white pen that would work well on them :)

Feb 18, 2013

I know you were DIY'ers (like me for the invitations). I love the maps inside the envelope. How did you get them to stick and what did you use to cut? Also did you use Illustrator for the layout of the invite? I'm doing mine printed on wood...and the future hubby loves nautical very similar. :) Any advice or help!? :) Thanks!


May 09, 2013

Love these! Do you mind sharing the font names?

Jun 09, 2013

Your invitations are beautiful! May I ask though, how did you cut the maps and invites so perfectly? I am STRUGGLING!!

May 18, 2016

Glad I've finally found sotinhemg I agree with!

May 19, 2016

This has made my day. I wish all potinsgs were this good.

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