Right from the word go I knew I wanted to make my own invitations. For years I’d been making my own occasion cards and my job as a graphic designer made me feel like I was up to the job.
Let me tell you, it wasn’t plain sailing. I struggled with my own standards and felt like our guests would be expecting something wondrous. I put a lot of pressure on myself to create an invitation that wowed people.
With the number of brides undertaking the task of making their own invitations on the increase, I thought I’d share a few tips and words of wisdom I’ve picked up along the long road of DIY.
- You can never start early enough.
Seriously, I started my invitations over 18 months ago. Sure I haven’t worked on them continuously but giving myself enough time to work on them has meant they haven’t been rushed and I’m happy with the way they have gone out.
I created around 5 different versions of our invitation. I designed, changed my mind, started again, tweeked and tweeked some more until I was happy. I thought I was happy with the first design I came up with. Looked at it again a week later and didn’t like it. This goes hand in hand with my first point. Start early and make sure you are 100% happy with your design before you place an order for 100 sheets of A4.
Sure you can picture it in your head but until you see it in the flesh, sitting in front of you you’ll never know how it will really look. It will also give you the opportunity to see how easy your idea is to make. Doing a mock up will show you the best way to create the vision you have in your head. Before you place a bulk order buy a few test pieces first. You’ll be able to see the quality of the product you’re ordering too.
If you’re lucky like me before you even open your mouth to ask for help you’re bridesmaids, Mom, aunts, friends and various other members of family will have offered their sticking/cutting/folding services. My advice to you… take it! I had the idea of sticking flat-backed pearls on to our invitations. Thinking I had already taken up too much of my bridesmaids time, I decided to tackle the pearls myself. No word of a lie it took me 20 minutes to finish 3 invitations. It was at that point that I decided to stop being so silly and take them up on their offer of help and within an hour or so all of the invitations were sitting pretty adorned with beautiful pearls.
- Spell check…. now do it again.
Before printing anything off, run a spell check. Once you’ve printed a copy, read through it again. Now ask someone else to check it for you. I can’t tell you how many times I have studied our invitations for errors but there, 4 days before we were due to send out our invitations, staring at me in the face was a spelling mistake.
- Always make more than you need
When you order your supplies make sure you order over what you will need, it takes away some of the pressure of messing up – which is inevitable! If you do make a mistake that can’t be rectified at least you have more card/ribbon/embellishments to start over. It’s also nice to be able to keep one for yourself too. My other reason for making more invitations than I need is in case somebody from our day guest list declines. That way we can look at our lists again and see who we can invite to the day to keep the numbers up.
This was actually Suzie’s idea. We didn’t write the names of our guests on our RSVP cards but have left a space for them to name of the people attending. It’s bound to happen, so if anyone forgets to write on their name we have marked the back with a number which relates to the guest on a separate list allowing us to avoid any who-is-this-from-panics.
I have really, really enjoyed creating our invitations and I’m very proud of them. Yes it’s been a lot of hard work and I’ve had quite a few strops and why-did-I-ever-start-this moments but I wouldn’t change a thing. The feed back from our guests has been amazing! So far everyone seems to really appreciate the time and effort we’ve put into them – so it really does make it all worth while.
My last tip for you would be to enjoy it. If you do decide to make your own invitations you will be taking on a big task but as long as you give yourself enough time, have plenty of help and keep it simple you’ll have a blast and your guests really will appreciative this little bit of artwork you’ve put your heart in to.