One of the most exciting parts of wedding planning for me so far (probably only short of buying the dress!) has been making the invitations. Suddenly now the physical invites are in existence, the day feels so much more real.
Our invites were our first major wedding project. Spending an entire day tediously cutting invitations out with a Stanley knife is a test for any relationship, and I’m pleased to say we survived unscathed!
We’d always had an idea we’d make our own invitations. A few months ago I had a bit of a wobble about going down the hand-made route, and suddenly the whole thing didn’t seem like such a good idea. While I love the idea of a DIY wedding, I lost faith in my fairly basic craft skills. I didn’t want the whole thing to look like a badly executed Blue Peter project (something that I worry about our whole wedding in more anxious moments). I started looking into designers, but I didn’t fall in love with any of the designs available. I quite fancied getting a set of letter press invitations designed and made, but I couldn’t quite convince Andy that the (fairly substantial!) extra cost involved was really worth it.
So, we came full circle, and back to making our own.
As long as what I wanted to do was in budget, Andy left the design of the invites mostly up to me. I really wanted to have an invitation pack. You can place the blame fully with Pinterest for this, with all those pictures of gorgeous invites bundled up; I loved the idea of lots of little bits tied up with twine. Midway through making it all I did rather wish we’d gone for a wedding website instead, and saved ourselves the work, but in the end I think it was worth it.
The design for the main invite came from a printable template on Etsy. I then used the graphics to create the additional parts. Fair warning for any brides-to-be wanting to do this, it was a fiddly, time-consuming job. I wanted to throw the computer across the room several times when the darn graphics just wouldn’t go where I wanted them to go, or the computer deleted whole pages I’d taken hours to complete. But eventually we had all the pages in our pack- the main invitation, a details page, an RSVP, an invite to brunch the next day, and an announcement about the Great Wedding Bake Off.
What would probably have been the sensible move at this point would have been to send the whole lot off to a printer, and have everything professionally printed and cut for us. Of course, that’s not the route we went down! Instead we spent a whole day with the printer, trying to figure out a way to get the printer to print on the lovely textured paper I’d fought to have delivered to Hong Kong, without smudging everything on the way. We cut out the finished invitations, and tied them together with lovely gold and white baker’s twine, and hand written nametags.
The final task was addressing the envelopes. Another task we didn’t make easy for ourselves!
A few months ago I went to a modern calligraphy class at Kalo Make Art. I surprised myself with how much I really enjoyed it. There’s something incredibly therapeutic about swirling ink around on a page. Writing the envelopes themselves, however, was not quite as simple. The rustic brown paper envelopes we got were not the right paper for ink. Here’s another warning to crafty brides – any sort of recycled or textured paper just won’t work for calligraphy! Choose your envelopes with care!
Cue The Great Hong Kong Envelope Hunt of 2016!
I now know the location of possibly every good paper, craft and art shop on Hong Kong Island. Sadly none of which stock any heavy weight envelopes. Luckily, eventually the problem was solved with a thicker white ink. I’m actually quite glad the original black ink didn’t work, I love the look of the white ink against the brown. It must have been fate!
Despite the dramas with paper and envelopes, I’m really glad we went down the homemade route in the end. I actually really enjoyed making our invites, spending time with Andy working together on a project. I’m so happy with the way they turned out, and I’m pretty proud of us for making them all ourselves.
Now the RSVPs have started coming back in, which is incredibly exciting! The RSVPs are going back to my Mum in England so I haven’t seen them yet. I get an excited whatsapp every couple of days with a list of names of people who have confirmed they’re coming. We’ve put a song request box on the RSPV slip and I can’t wait to see what’s been requeste – no excuses for an empty dance floor!
Now just the menus, orders of service, seating plans, place cards, signs, and tables numbers to make. That shouldn’t take too long, should it?!