Journey to the Center of the Invites

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Now that all (well, mostly all) the RSVP have been returned, I can talk about our wedding invitations!

When I started planning this wedding a million years ago, I had no idea how much I would care about paper. Until I started researching my options, that is. Very early on, I had fallen down the rabbit hole of wedding paper design. Browsing the interwebs for our save the date design was one of my favorite parts of planning and I did so much initial research that I thought I had our wedding invitation design all figured out. I was in love – IN LOVE – with the Adios Script Pro, as featured on this gorgeous Minted letterpress invitation.

Just My Type Letterpress Invite from Minted

Just my Type Letterpress Invite from Minted

Gorgeous, right? This is totally my style. I am obsessed with glamorous script fonts, and the slanted type made it just a little bit fun. And I could get our names in red, so bonus! The only drawback? The price. These beauties (especially in letterpress) were way out of our budget. For the number of invitation suites (invite, directions card, hotel room card, RSVP card) we needed, these bad boys would have run us about $1300 for letterpress, and $800 for non-letterpress. And that’s before the pocket fold that I wanted to add.

Right about now you’re thinking, “Moxie, what the hell is a pocket fold?” Well, I’ll tell ya!

You know when you get a wedding invitation in the mail and you open the envelope and there’s a second envelope inside the mailing envelope? Or worse, when there is no inner envelope and all the enclosure cards fall to the ground when you remove the invitation? Yeah. My OCD can’t handle it. I can’t handle the extra envelope, and I can’t handle little cards that are most likely on their way to being lost. Solution: Pocket folds and the lovely peeps at Cards & Pockets. They have SO many different kinds of pocket folds!

All images from Cards & Pockets

All images from Cards & Pockets

all images by Cards and Pockets

all images by Cards & Pockets

So many choices, and that’s not even all of them! The Cards & Pockets website is like Christmas for a paper-lovin’ bride.  I did some quick math and realized that if I added the pocket folds to the Minted design, Bob the Builder and I would be eating ramen noodles for a while. Also, the dimensions were all off. The Minted design is a 5 x 7 card, and the Signature pocket fold only fits a 4.5 x 6.5 invite card, so each one would have to be hand trimmed. Which sounds exhausting. So, no. Something had to go.

For a hot minute, I thought maybe I could design the invites myself, as Cards & Pockets has free templates on their site. But, here’s the honest truth. I kind of hate DIY projects, because…well…unless you are a professional designer, they always look…um… amateur. I know this is an unpopular sentiment in wedding-blog land. I expect to be raked over the coals. I know I’m supposed to applaud the efforts of the DIY bride and tell her it all looks amazing, even when, sometimes, it looks like it was made by my six year old cousin in arts & crafts class. I know myself, and I also know my limits. I fooled around with the template for a while and then realized I couldn’t live up to my own high standards. How’s that for honesty?

Next stop: Etsy. I have no idea how anyone planned a wedding before the existence of Etsy. Seriously. When this shindig is over, I’m going to write a post about all the things I bought from Etsy, and how they were (almost always) awesome.  I searched for a wedding invite design that was similar enough to the above design from Minted, but that could be customized to fit into a Cards & Pockets pocket fold.

And I found this little beauty:

Custom Printable Invite from Kismetjess on Etsy

Custom Printable Invite from Kismetjess on Etsy

I wasn’t crazy about the color, but the font and style were perfect! This began my love affair with the font, Carolyna Pro Black.  I quickly sent a message to the designer,  Jessica Corliss, asking for some changes and if she could design to the Cards & Pockets template.  Jessica said she could, and in short order, I had myself a design partner! Jessica was great about taking what I wanted and adding her designer touch to it. Some of my favorite details of our wedding suite are little touches Jessica added in herself. God is in the details, peeps. At least, that’s what I think.

I decided to use Cards & Pockets for everything – all the paper stock, all the printing, and also, some of the assembly. They mounted my invite mats and invite to the pocket fold. It was an extra cost, but well worth it for me. Everything came out perfectly!

So, here’s our invite, please forgive the white-outs!

personal iPhone photo

personal iPhone photo

Cards and Pockets Signature Pocket fold and A7 envelope in Red, with an Antique Gold belly band. Heat embossed with our logo by MOH Crafty Pants.

personal photo

personal photo

All paper stock and printing from Cards & Pockets print shop. Paper stock is Heavy Cream and print style is full bleed. Mat underneath invite is Antique Gold.

personal photo

personal photo

Close up of the enclosure cards.

personal photo

personal photo

Our RSVP POSTCARD.

I want to talk about our RSVP postcard for a minute. I chose a postcard RSVP for a few reasons.

1. I wanted to cut down on paper and postage. That might sound ridiculous since our invitation suite was pretty paper-heavy, but hey – every little bit of savings adds up!

2. Adding an envelope (however small) to the right side of our invite looked bizarre. The standard RSVP envelope size is wider than the pocket on our invite, so there was nowhere to discreetly tuck it. It would have had to be jammed into the middle of the pocket fold, and when the pocket fold was opened, it would have fallen to the floor. Just, no.

3. The RSVP card contained absolutely no personal information of our guests. Just their name, and their favorite songs, if they cared to play along with our little query. They didn’t have to choose an entrée, because our venue does table-side dinner orders, like a restaurant. They didn’t even have to put their return address, because if ours is the only address on the postcard, guess where it will be sent? Our house.

I say all this because the postcard has been the most confusing thing to our guests, which surprised me greatly. Pretty much as soon as our guests received them, the questions began. “What am I supposed to do with this card?” ,”What’s your address, I need to send this back to you!”, “I must have lost the envelope, what’s your address?”, “Did you send this without an envelope?”, “I’m emailing you because I don’t see how to send back this card…”

um…

Turn the freaking card OVER. 

IT HAS A STAMP ON IT.

LET ME REPEAT: THERE IS A STAMP ON IT!!!!!!!!!

AND OUR ADDRESS. 

IT’S A POSTCARD!!!

Sorry. Rant Over.

So here are some things to consider when using an RSVP postcard: Maybe 30% of your guests won’t know what the hell to do with it. Maybe you should, somewhere on the front of the card, put a tiny arrow and “over” to indicate they should turn the card over. Or maybe you should use a cool vintage postcard stamp detail, like this:

PostCard back rubber stamp from http://www.artisticartifacts.com

PostCard back rubber stamp from http://www.artisticartifacts.com

Also, if you’re going the postcard route, make sure the dimensions of your postcard are accurate, or you will be royally f&*$ed. The USPS doesn’t mess around. Here’s a link to the minimum sizes allowed for postcards. And do yourself a favor and mail one to yourself, way before you send them to guests. Actually, drive yourself far away from your house and mail it from there. Then you can see how they will hold up in the mail system.

One of our guests, who obviously doesn’t know me and my OCD very well, returned their postcard in an envelope with a note saying, “This is too small to mail without an envelope.” Which, of course, it wasn’t. Of course, I checked. And double checked. And sent one to myself just to make sure. :-)

All these cards made it safely without an envelope. And Beth likes to lick them.

All these cards made it safely without an envelope. Beth likes to lick them.

All of this is to say that if you do something different from the norm – even something as slight as a postcard – expect there to be some confusion. It’s OK. It’s not the end of the world. Everyone will survive.

And no matter what, you will still be chasing down RSVP’s two weeks after the due date. Such is the stuff of weddings. It can’t be helped. It’s part human nature, part modern lack of etiquette. It is what it is.

Oh, and as far as our budget – these invites came in at about 1/2 the price of the Minted letterpress invites. So, although they weren’t necessarily cheap, I still feel like we got a great value for what we paid – and they are totally custom invites.

A good number of our guests have complimented us on the invites, which warms my little bridal heart! I didn’t think anyone would really care about the invites as much as I did, but it’s nice to hear compliments. So, yay for wedding invitations!

What’s up with your invites, brideys? Anyone else use Cards & Pockets? Or a custom design from Etsy?

2ndtrySIG

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