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How We Made our Wedding Invitations (and how you can too)

Our wedding invitations all went out this week–which means a week ago Brock and I spent a lot of time putting them together. We’re throwing this wedding on a super tight budget, so every bit of money saved is a good thing. We discussed what we wanted to do a little bit, and spent a lot of time browsing etsy debating whether we should buy a downloadable, printable package or find a local artist to design them for us. We even debated making them completely from scratch ourselves. In the end we compromised a little bit. I was able to score the base of the invitations themselves in a clearance at Michael’s. Finding them was complete serendipity, but I was able to get all the stationary and stickers for the whole shebang in one day for a fraction of what you would pay a printer. Plus, we were able to include some very specific information for our guests regarding the pot-luck dinner and food allergies with no added costs.

The outside of the invitation, which, I think, was meant to be a birthday invitation, is fun and kind of quirky. The bright yellow envelop sets a cheerful mood and the elephant balancing on a ball is the perfect metaphor for putting on a wedding, but in a fun way, because he’s wearing a party hat! Plus, Circus. The inside, however, was completely blank. Stark white invitations are no fun at all, so I gathered my supplies and with a little design help from Brock, we were able to put the invitations together in one afternoon and evening.


A little colored paper, a glue stick, some free fonts, a little time writing, and some funky scissors were all we used.

Here’s the whole experience from start to finish, just imagine the detritus of making them isn’t there.



invitation open


We glued the actual invitation into the card and included three inserts: a note concerning gifts and explaining why the wedding is gluten free, the call to action with the URL for RSVPs, and a label for whatever food dish they choose to bring listing common food allergens outside gluten so there’s no guessing and no accidental sickness.

My favorite part was probably going through the sticker book that matched the stationary. There are some creepy stickers in there.

creepy mustache sticker
What’s that all about?

So here’s what you really want to know, how much did all this cost and can you do it yourself? The cost breakdown is below and you can absolutely do this yourself.

Stationary: $15.00 (for 10 sets of 6)
Stickers: $3.00
Ticket-Edge Scissors: $1.99
Colored Paper: $15.00
Shipping Labels: $2.00 (estimate because I purchased a giant package of printable shipping labels ages ago)
Stamps: $20.70 (About 1/3 of our invitations have been hand delivered)
Fonts: Free (from here)
Design and Labor: Time

Total: $57.69*

All that, and the invitations are exactly how I want them to look. It’s pretty brilliant.

*I did not include the cost of ink in my accounting, because we have a laser printer, and the toner it takes for a job like this is negligible. However, if you are doing a project that involves color, please do not disregard the cost of printer ink.

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Handmade Wedding Update

With just three over three months to go til the wedding, I am not nearly as far along as I would like to be. Part of the trouble has been that Brock is in his final semester at school, and has been completely swamped with course work. He graduates on Saturday, and then he will be a documented Physicist, so that’s pretty cool. Then we can take, I hope, more trips out to the farm to get the major whosits and whatsits and cleanups done over the next couple of months.

For now, we are trying to workout the finer details of the (very spare, very non-traditional) ceremony. And I am attempting to suss out the schedule so I can write the invitations and make all the inserts.

What I do have is this:
This is my wedding box. So far, it has favors, invitations, thank you notes, and table decorations. For all of that I am $200 in. I hit a killer sale at Michael’s one day (while I was shopping for work–shh! don’t tell). I just turned around and there was all this wonderfully terrifying circus themed stuff in the $1-$2 range. Needless to say, I stocked up. You can easily see the table decorations in the box. The base for the invitations are the yellow things with the elephants. My favorite, perhaps are the really silly mask fans.

They are the most terrifying of all.

But I also think they lend themselves to silliness. And I really, really want this shindig to be fun.

Next time, I’ll show you the handmade part of the invitations.