Jun 21, 2012

Wedding Week: Get It Down on Paper

I feel a little under-qualified to write too much of this one because we created so much on the computer ( saving us a lot). And I am not the computer genius of the family but since Stella was busy...haha, see what I did there - joke! Okay, so maybe Stella and I would both be lost with technology without Rob. He is indeed the go-to computer guy. He's basically a superhero. He can take those crazy ideas in my head and create them into reality.

We decided to go ahead and do a save-the-date for a couple reasons. One being we were getting married in June, which so happens to be a busy month in regards to weddings and vacations, so we wanted to get on the calendar early with everyone. And also because we were going to have the wedding in Missouri and all of Rob's family lives in Iowa, so we wanted to give them a heads up so they could start planning. But I didn't want to spend a lot of money on the save-the-dates, so having them printed was out of the question. That is when I turned to my ever-handy husband about helping me create something. Just because we were doing them ourselves didn't mean we had to lose out on quality.

I started going through stationary sites looking for ideas, and after looking at more stationary than I ever cared to look at I find an idea I liked I could take to Rob.


Of course I didn't want poppies on my save-the-dates. They weren't my flower, so I requested we switch out the poppies for gerbera daises that were our wedding flower and make sure it was in the royal blue or turquoise family which were our colors. I wanted simple, but I still wanted it to look nice. I also liked the outlined look of the flowers. So basically I wanted a lot but not a lot at the same time. Which meant that I sat next to him while he worked on it and was the backseat save-the-date designer. He did all the work and I told him what to do. It took us a week or two to really get it exactly how I saw it in my head but he was indeed successful creating the save-the-dates I wanted.

Since I had something so specific in my mind, including the size, we struggled to find the right size and color envelopes. We searched everywhere before realizing we would need to turn to the internet. We found a site where we could order envelopes, including samples because you can never really trust the colors on the computer screen. We narrowed down our choices and ordered our samples. While we waited for our samples, we started working on a tentative guest list so we could get the save-the-dates sent out to as many as we could, realizing we may end up adding a few names by the time we worked on the invitations. We decided on the envelopes we wanted and got them ordered, deciding on a royal blue since the save-the-dates were turquoise. We prepared the save-the-dates and mailing envelopes so all we had to do was stuff envelopes once they arrived. Since we printed them ourselves, we used cardstock and cut them ourselves. Yes, it got tedious but it was a major money saver. And truthfully they turned out really well. Rob did a great job - no surprise there.

Invitations can get pricey. If you have someone else do it for you then they can get really expensive. Plus you have to add on the price of stamps and depending on the size and weight you can be paying extra for stamps too. So once we figured a major price saver would be to do it ourselves. Only we weren't expecting me to lose my sanity in the process. I did love my invitations. I liked the color and simplicity of them, but I spent months putting them together, and we invited a good number of people. As it turns out we have a good number of family members between the two of us. I don't even want to guess how many I put together because that may make me crazy if I think about the number now. Let's just say a lot. I put together a lot!

When it was time to think about invitations I did much the same thing I did with the save-the-dates I started looked online for find some ideas. I knew I wanted to go with simple (always simple) but otherwise I was open. I was a little hesitate to do them entirely ourselves because I wanted them to look nice and not necessarily look like they were done on the computer. But at the same time I wanted them cheaper so I wanted us to do them.

Now I can't remember why we were at Hobby Lobby that day. Maybe we were just browsing like I like to do, but regardless of the reason it was the day I found my invitations. There they were - just sitting on the shelf in their turquoise box. Some assembly would be required but they had a simple template and we could print from home. (Plus as I found out later, we didn't have to pay anything additional for stamps.) So I overlooked the assembly. Even though it makes me cross-eyed to think too much about it now, I was happy with the end result.

We had to print it two different times - once for the 'E' and another for the reminder of the invitation. Then after I had them all printed I started putting the ribbon on using double-sided tape. It took a little bit to get the rhythm down but after awhile it became second-nature. Rob tried to help a few times and did about ten total. By the time he was helping, I had found my groove so it was a lot harder for him to put them together. Plus I'm quite certain he did not want to spend his precious little free time putting together invitations and I couldn't blame him for that. This was my crazy idea, so I get to deal with the pain and suffering have all the fun.

I truly was happy with the invitations. And yes, I might have sent them out a bit early but I wanted everyone else to enjoy them just as much as I did.

I debated having programs or not. You can tell where I ultimately came down on that debate seeing as I had programs. Why did I want them? Just did. That's about the best reason I can give - it's the only reason I have. This was definitely something. I was going to do myself. No Rob, no pre-created box of programs. These were my babies. Okay so I may have used programs from a box. I did find a template on the Microsoft publisher template website, but I tore those apart and made it my own. It was fairly simple to do. Just add in a picture of us, a couple gerbs, all of our information, print on some nice paper and fold. It was really that easy.

This was one of the last projects I did because we had to figure out everything else first. We had to figure out the music. We had to figure out if we were doing anything extra in there. We had to figure out the order of the ceremony. I had to figure out font. I had to figure out color. I had to figure out paper type. I had to figure out the picture for the front cover. And all I had to do was wait because the farther we got along in the planning, all those were figured out - all except for the font, that I had to figure out for myself. This was the easiest paper project - actually this was the easiest project in general of this entire wedding. And they turned out just like I liked them. Easy and what I wanted, so it's pretty much the perfect project.

Name Cards
These took me all ten months of our engagement pretty much to complete. They were time-consuming. They were a pain in the butt. They took me forever. They drove me crazy. But they were one of my favorite things. Definitely my favorite paper product.

We had 165 guests RSVP yes to our wedding. That's a good amount of people. I decided that I wanted a seating chart because we had a lot of people and that solves that whole problem of putting your stuff down at a table then realizing you are sitting at a table of a bunch of people you don't know. Or feeling like you are competing for the "good" table. Maybe I'm the only one that actually feels that way, but I decided that I wanted a seating chart so there was a seating chart.

Along with that seating chart, I decided to do name cards that the guests could pick up before going inside  to find their own seat (we did have those awesome table numbers on each table to make that progress easier). But instead of doing the traditional name cards, I decided to individualize them. So each card, all 165 of them, had a different picture and a different quote on the back. Do you realize how much time that takes to make 165 individualized cards?

About ten months. That's how long. Some of the pictures were funny. Some were more serious. Some we were just smiling. But they were all different. The quotes were also all different. No two quotes alike. They were from movies and songs. Some were a little funny. Some were serious. Some were romantic. Some were from "our" songs. Each card was different, but they were all part of us. There was something personalized and special from us to each guest.

Trust me, you want to come back to tomorrow. We have a very special guest writer. You're tired of hearing from me anyway!

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