Our DIY Wedding Invitations

in , by Mackenzie Elaine Wasilick, September 30, 2020

Our printed items were easily the wedding task I stressed over most. I put way too much pressure on myself and pretty much every one of my friends told me that literally nobody will care, invitations just end up in the trash. Which although sad, it's very true. I'm a crafty person and bargain hunter - I couldn't justify thousands of dollars being thrown literally into the garbage can. 

We explored the usual online sites, custom local vendors, and everything in-between before getting frustrated with the cost and process. From the beginning, Andrew and I knew that we wanted something simple, timeless, and affordable. We had no idea that the decision to DIY our invitations would be such a God-send amidst the pandemic. We had so much flexibility to change details - incredibly helpful when you have to change your reception venue the month before the big day. This post is a little lengthy, but if you're heading down this road, so is the process. If you are detail-oriented, mildly creative, and budget conscious, this may be a good option for you!

The Materials

Shuler Studio Monogram - Although I love painting in watercolors, I wanted a more traditional/classic look for our wedding day and opted to skip the watercolor crest look which is very popular right now. We purchased the W their Vintage Vine style because it looks like two Ws - perfect for Williams and Wasilick. This was one of my first wedding purchases and we put it on practically everything: matchbooks, stadium cups, cocktail napkins, head table napkins, cake server, my second look earrings, etc. 

Extra Thick Cardstock - This is the main reason why we had to print at UPS instead of at home. Our printers at home (like most) have a limit on the GSM they can handle - we learned a lot about paper terminology. I really wanted a heavier invitation and with printing two per page, I think they were $0.13 per copy.

Euro Flap Envelopes - Most online companies (like Minted, Zola, etc.) use a straight flap and I felt this was a dead giveaway that an invitation was ordered through one of those sites. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just not what I wanted! We chose white because they are easiest to print on and did not include an envelope liner - see "a note on styling" below to see why this is different than what we photographed.  

Response Card Envelopes - I desperately wanted to do an online-only RSVP through our wedding website but was persuaded on many fronts that a formal wedding needs a tangible response card (which yes, I know). In the moment, the thought of creating another printed item was stressing me and ultimately, I'm glad I caved. 

Custom Embosser - Since we went with the euro-flap for the envelopes, we chose to use this embosser of our monogram for the back flap. I love the idea that we can use this throughout our home as well. These embossers work really well on cocktail napkins too (just takes some time, so small parties only)! We chose the 2" round embosser - make sure you order the plate and the device!

Script Font - (free to download) When selecting which font you like best, type out the names you will be using and preview all fonts that way. I really loved some fonts but ultimately didn't like how mine or Andrew's names looked in them.

Block Font - (free to download) I really liked how this option gave a somewhat engraved appearance! There are endless options for these style of fonts so don't get too bogged down. I'd always recommend selecting your script font first then seeing which plainer font pairs well. 

***If you are printing at home and plan to print multiple cards per sheet of paper, you will need a paper mandolin to cut your final product. Our UPS store thankfully had a professional one that was very sharp and cut neatly; my at-home mandolin was not as high quality and not suitable for this kind of project.

Wording it Right

Due to the pandemic, we had to create three separate versions of our invitations. We sent Save the Dates to a little over 200 people at the start of the new year - at the time, the pandemic wasn't even a thought. When the time came for us to send invitations, both our church and reception venues had separate limitations on their guest capacity. The reception venue allowed more than the church, BUT neither of these were anywhere close to our original guest list. So, we had a dilemma. We needed to decided which guests would be coming to both the ceremony and reception, who would be attending the reception only, and then which guests would need to celebrate virtually through our livestream (hence the three options)

Our choice to design and print our own invitations provided us extreme flexibility (much needed). While I know there are many designers and companies willing to work with couples for flexibility during this time, I had so many friends that had ordered their invitations well in advance and in most cases, couldn't use those invitations at all. 

This might be a surprise, but even Emily Post doesn't have a rulebook for pandemic wedding invitations. I referenced all the etiquette books at my disposal and then got creative on what best fit our needs. Here's the wording I came up with for each:
  1. Ceremony & Reception | Mrs. Susan Newsome Patchkofsky and Mr. Wayne Williams joyfully request the honour of your presence at the Nuptial Mass uniting their daughter, Mackenzie Elaine, to Mr. Andrew Michael Wasilick, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael John Wasilick, in the sacrament of holy matrimony. Saturday, the twenty-ninth of August, two thousand twenty at two o'clock in the afternoon. Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Raleigh, North Carolina. 
  2. Reception-Only | Mrs. Susan Newsome Patchkofsky and Mr. Wayne Williams joyfully request the pleasure of your company at the wedding reception for their daughter, Mackenzie Elaine and Mr. Andrew Michael Wasilick. Saturday, the twenty-ninth of August, two thousand twenty at five o'clock in the afternoon. Mia Francesca Restaurant. 4100 Main at North Hills Street. Raleigh, North Carolina. The Nuptial Mass at Sacred Heart Church will be streamed live at two o'clock. Visit www.itwazmeanttobe.com to join virtually. 
  3. Virtual | Due to the ongoing pandemic and mass gathering restrictions, the guest list for the Williams-Wasilick wedding has been reduced to adhere to local guidelines. Together with their families, Mackenzie Elaine Williams and Andrew Michael Wasilick request the pleasure of your company throughout their virtual celebration. The Nuptial Mass at Sacred Heart Church will be streamed live at two o'clock. Saturday, the twenty-ninth of August, two thousand twenty. Please visit www.itwazmeanttobe.com for virtual accommodations.

The ceremony invitations (option #1) were accompanied with this enclosure card (left). Both the ceremony and reception invitations received the response card (right). 

We originally invited the exact number to the ceremony and reception that our restrictions allows. We figured that it would be best to tell people that we ended up having more room than have to rescind invitations after they were extended. As responses came in, we were able to move small numbers of people to both our ceremony and reception. Of course, this process was more complicated than typical, but we felt that our guests understood that we were trying our very best given the circumstances. 

A note on styling:

You can style your invitations however you'd like! The invitations your guests receive do not have to be the version that your photographer captures. I loved this opportunity to get creative - here are some suggestions of what you could utilize:

  • Vintage stamps in your color scheme - type in 'vintage stamps in XYZ color' on Etsy. There's tons of affordable options!
  • Envelope liner - you can get as creative as you'd like here! I chose a black and white dogwood print wallpaper from York Wallcoverings (ordered a sample of the wallpaper online and cut it to fit). I also found a stunning historic painting of the NC capitol building that I tried, but ultimately went the other direction (if you're using artwork, make sure you are following intellectual property and copyright laws). 
  • Silk or chiffon ribbon - there's a ton of options on Etsy, but I found mine here on Amazon.
  • Your bridal jewelry and perfume.
  • Illustration of your wedding venue.
  • Vintage map of the city where you will be married (or a postcard!)
  • Flowers
  • A symbol or motif being used throughout your day - we chose a dogwood and I found this perfect brass dogwood paperweight from Plate & Plaid
If you're thinking this process of capturing the photos of your invitation suite, it does! My photographer, Becca Rizzo, and I chose to capture these details during my bridal portraits so we had a little more time to play with the details. I highly recommend this if these style of photos are important to you!

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