I explained a little of my inspiration and design elements in previous posts. Now I’ll take you through the invitation design and execution split between two more posts. After I created my heart pattern I knew I had my design for the invitations. It’s fun, whimsical and modern. Pretty much exactly what I wanted to theme the party as. The pattern was scanned into a high-resolution JPG so I could use it digitally after I isolated the pattern and cleaned it up a little. (Let me know if you are interested in me explaining how I did this.) I combined the orange, red pattern with two typefaces for the stationary. I used BlackJack for the statement text like our names. The rest of the wording was St. Marie Thin. I decided to design three enclosures: the invitation, a response card with matching envelope and detail card.
The invitation and all the other cards were designed in Adobe Illustrator. After importing the hearts pattern, I spend a lot of time playing with fonts and copy to get it just so. For the wording, I ended up using “together with their families” as our opener. Traditionally, this is where you signify who is hosting the event. In our case, we are paying for most of the party with my parents providing the location and many others helping out with preparations, trade or combination of. So I felt “with our families” made the most sense for us. Next, you list the bride and groom. The bride’s name is always listed first. I debated just listing our first names, but in the end decided to give my maiden name one last shout out (yep… surprise I’m changing my last name). The rest of the invitation lists all the details. Again, I sided with tradition and spelled out the dates and times. What can I say, I think it’s cool looking. We ended the invite with a simple “dinner & dancing to follow.” This let’s guests know the reception is at the same location and will start immediately.
I really think the response cards are the most difficult to design. There is a fine line between too much info and not enough. The most important piece of info is the respond-by date at the top. It gets top bill since you hope (fingers crossed) your guest comply. This date is usually picked based on when the catering company needs a final head count. We also are making a lot of specific items for the wedding so I wanted to give myself as much time as possible to finished those up. Next, I requested the names of the guests (Since this is written in, it’s important to give them enough space to do so with two lines) and the guest’s actual response. We requested a “can’t wait to celebrate” or a “will be there in spirit.” I liked the idea that both responses are positive ones and not judgemental for those who can’t attend. Then we asked two final questions of our guests. The first was their meal selection. Many of our friends have dietary restrictions so we just gave a basic omnivore (eat meat & veggies), vegetarian (no meat) or vegan (no meat, eggs or dairy) selections. Second, we asked whether they would prefer a pint glass or stemless wine glass. We are doing something special with our glasses, so we thought guests should pick what they prefer. In hindsight, this also give us a hint what people are going to drink so we can prep accordingly. Sweet.
The final piece of the stationery was the detail card. We gave our wedding website URL to guest to check for all that additional info for the wedding like the gift registry and travel accommodations. We also listed a clue about what people should wear. We said “guests are encouraged to dress festively for a backyard wedding with dancing under the stars.” This hints that heels may be hard to wear for the ladies and guy shouldn’t come in a wool suit.
Once I got all the wording completed, it was simply a matter of fine tuning the design in Illustrator. It’s important that all the font sizes are consistent and centered correctly between cards so I like to spend a lot of time double and triple checking everything. I also print out draft copies and have a fresh set of eyes check my work. When I was satisfied with the copy check, I began the printing process. I used some beautiful 110lb letterpress paper with my Canon printer. I created a print sheet for each card on a 13×25″ size and once it printed, would cut it down to size. ***** I think this is a good place to stop before I get into more details. Next, I will show the envelope design and how it was put all together. (Go here for Part 2.)