After making my own wedding invitations there were a few things that I wish I would have known first, so I thought I would share them and hopefully spare others from wasting time and money like I did.
1. Order more paper than you think you will need. Don't forget - programs, thank you's, gifts, welcome bags, anything you want to use the same paper for to carry on the theme. I made the mistake and didn't order enough and had to pay shipping twice....enough said there.
2. Find a glue you like. I started with a scrapbooking glue that I purchased when I ordered all my paper. When I started making my invites (I glued a finer linen paper to a thicker recycled paper) I found that I didn't have the right glue - the linen paper I was using was wrinkling no matter how thin I put the glue on. So I went to my local scrapbooking store and they steered me to two glues - both guaranteed not to wrinkle paper. One was on a roller and the other was in a tube. I used them both and they worked great - each had their own pluses and minuses but neither wrinkled the delicate paper. Yay!
3. Take a mock copy to the post office to check for shipping rates first. This might be the most important one (and something I didn't think of until I had all my RSVP cards made). I knew I would be okay with size of my actual invites because they fit into a standard letter envelope - which I planned. I thought I was making my life easy and printing my RSVP cards on a standard 8.5 by 11 paper, cutting them in half, folding them into a little postcard, and sealing them with a little piece of that sticky plastic (you know it holds your new credit cards in the mail, or those discount cards from Kohls). I made all the RSVP cards (complete with embossing both return address labels) before taking it to the post office and find out that they were going to take two stamps because their size made it so they could not be machine sorted and thus hand sorted. I was so frustrated (complete with arguing with the gentleman behind the counter, possibly stating that this might be the reason the post office is going broke, and shelling out double for postage than I planned). Also, even though I was told the size was okay - I still had a few guests whose post office wouldn't even send them and they had to put it in an envelope of their own (embarrassing, and also another reason the post office may be going broke - shouldn't their size requirements be standard?!).
4. Number your RSVP cards. There are always people who forget to put their names or only write their first names on their RSVP card (yes we did have a mystery card until another came with the same names plus the last name!). Correlate these numbers to your invite list (I used an Excel spread sheet so this would be easy) then instead of looking for names on a list to see who didn't (get off their butt and) send their RSVP back, you can simply highlight them off by number - MUCH easier and faster.
5. Work on them little by little. I know people who put off making their invitations and then had a weekend where they put them all together, this will make something so special feel like a chore. I started mine 6 months before I planned to send them out and worked on them little by little while watching TV at night (my end table and a little stool turned into a desk so I could still get my daily Food Network/Discovery Channel fix while assembling), and doing it this way never made it feel like a chore! I also had one day where a good friend came over and helped me for a few hours, and that was wonderful! The bonus of doing them this way was I got the invites out early so I got a better count of guests early for budgeting.
6. Take into account the cost of printer ink. This can add up. We ended up going through 4 cartridges making all the invitations (95), informational inserts (75), thank you gifts (155), welcome bags (20), and programs (75). Luckily, the brand we use is at Sam's Club so we can get it cheaper. Or you could even try refilling your cartridges for a drastic discount (but check your printer manual - my printer doesn't suggest it).
7. Get your hubby-to-be to help. You might laugh but there are definitely things that he can and might want to do! Mine kept asking me what he could do to help and I finally put him to work, he cut all the rope for the thank you gifts, sealed envelopes, cut paper, and even riveted some of the invites
8. Stay organized. This may seem very simple, but it is so important. Which every method you choose - making an invite one step at a time or one complete invite at a time - make sure you are organized. We had different information inserts/RSVP cards for invites depending on who was invited to just the wedding, the wedding and the rehearsal dinner, etc. Having all this together on one RSVP was great for planning, but staying organized was key to make sure everyone got the correct invite!
Anything you have learned from making your own invitations?
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