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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.

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Building My Handmade Weddding; Step One: Admitting it’s Happening

A pretty picture of some wool because I don’t have anything else to share at the moment.

Last Tuesday, I woke up with a plan. I was going to whip the apartment into shape, make a schedule for the Christmas knitting, take photos of the hand knit goods I have for sale but not up on etsy yet, and finally finish my blog plans and business mapping that I always seems to be half-finished with. I was actually making good headway into getting there too. I sketched out a knitting schedule over my lunch break (that I have since misplaced and have not followed in the slightest), and my mind was working overtime on developing new projects and new promotions. I was going to take over the world with yarn.

Then I unexpectedly had to work Tuesday evening. By the time I left the Museum Tuesday night, I was sick. I had a raging headache, clogged sinuses, and that really horrible fuzzyhead that makes you stupid when you have a cold. It came out of nowhere and I was down. I could focus on nothing more strenuous than silly novels. (I am not complaining. The best part about being sick is that it is a perfect excuse to read as many silly novels as you can.) My plans for world-domination-with-yarn were washed away just as quickly as they had flooded in.

Sort of. I still have plans, and I have a lot I want to do, but I feel like I have been playing catch up for an entire week. I try to put an equal amount of time into Tiny Dino Studios as I do into my day job and last week that just didn’t happen. I am recovering my energy and mental clarity, and I have SO MUCH I want to talk to you guys about, but I’m about a week behind, so please bear with me if I bombard the blog a little bit over the next couple of days. For now, I will lay the ground work for something I have been dying to unburden.

If you were paying attention a couple of posts ago, you probably noticed that I dropped a little announcement in at the bottom of a picture post. Now that it’s had a few days to simmer, I feel like addressing it more substantially.

I am getting married in August 2013. I am giddy about it. I can’t wait. I want to throw a big party for everybody and dance to Roxy Music (and maybe that song that Luke and Lorelai dance together to for the first time at the end of season 4–because I am a huge sap) and tell the world how much I love this man. Now, keeping all of this in mind, I have to confess that most aspects to weddings make me want to vomit in a Mr. Creosote from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life sort of way.

Anything that says “Mr. and Mrs.” or has cartoon birds kissing or anything that otherwise boils two complicated people who are also part of a nuanced relationship down to little more than the symbols on the door of public restrooms I generally abhor. I can’t eat cake, so there’s no fun in looking at them and Bridal magazines make me want to withdraw from society when they proclaim “Dream Wedding on a Budget: Under $10,000”

I think I choked when I read that. $10,000?! You have got to be effing joking! I was thinking closer to $1000, not including rings. If I can make that include the rings, I will be happy. I am cheap and not ashamed of it.

Now, I am not putting down anyone who has spent $10,000 on their nuptials, nor anyone who had one of those Save the Date cards that had a Mr. and Mrs. banner. You did the wedding you wanted, your way (I hope). I just know that these things aren’t representative of who I am, or who Brock (I have the impulse to start calling him The Professor on the blog, just for the hell of it. That might start now) and I are as a couple.

We are simple, build it yourself kind of people with big dreams. Both a little shy sometimes, but we make each other laugh. And we dance together all jerky and uncoordinated like because it’s fun. He makes Mr. Darcy jokes, because he is the perfect man. We are not above being sappy and romantic.

So, here I am, thinking about how to plan this wedding, not being inspired by just about anything I see on websites or Etsy or at the craft store. I did start a board on Pinterest which basically just reinforces that I like yellow and flowers–something that we all already knew. But nothing has struck a chord in me just yet.

By now, if you are still reading, I am sure you are wondering where I am going with this little rant of mine. I’ll tell you.

I want a simple, pretty, handmade wedding.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:
The wedding will be at Brock’s The Professor’s family farm.
The wedding will take place in August, in Kansas, in the country. That means there should be *fingers crossed* no shortage of sunflowers.
I will make decorations and favors myself, as well as whatever necessary gifts will be given.
The affair will be fairly informal.

Now, here’s the fun part: I am taking you along with me on the journey of figuring out all the niggling little details of this great big party. And I need ideas. I will be searching out and sharing what I find over the next 8ish months on the way to making this thing a reality, because I have no idea where to begin. And if you have any tips or tricks, I would love to hear them.