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Invitation Weekend (And A Sneak Peek)

If you had asked me at the beginning of wedding planning if invitations would top my list as something I cared about, I would have told you no. I also would have been wrong. For us, simplifying our wedding has meant eliminating huge numbers of projects that we didn’t care much about (favors, ceremony decorations, welcome baskets, etc. etc. etc.) Instead we’ve taken on a few projects that we care very much about, and put our whole heart into them. Surprisingly, invitations have been one of these projects.

This weekend was a weekend of invitation construction. Originally my sister was going to letterpress our invitations (book arts is one of her many hobbies) but she got a bit caught up in making the dress so I had to line up some affordable letter press, stat. As part of our goal to put our wedding money to work supporting artists and businesses that we want to see thrive (particularly in this deadly economy) I had the brainstorm to hire Jordan of Oh Happy Day to letterpress our invitations. That way the money stayed in the blogging community, and our invitations would still have the same handmade feel. So, on Saturday we stopped by Jordan’s studio to pick up extra paper. She was teaching a letterpress class, so I got to see the letterpress in action, which made me tremendously happy. Then David and were off to Arch – San Francisco’s art and architecture supply store, which I can only describe as Paper Source’s much cooler older sister. Arch let us use their paper-cutter for free, so after purchasing a bit more paper, David and I got down to work. We cut and cut and cut and cut… and then looked around at all the scraps of paper, and started figuring out what we could use them for. Then we cut some more – paper scraps for place cards, paper scraps for table numbers. No wasting!

At home that night I started printing some of our inserts on our trusty Epson. I’d figured that our home printed inserts would be the least hands-on part of our invitations, but alas. Our printer did not take kindly to the thick 100% cotton paper I was feeding it, so I spent part of the evening hand feeding sheets of paper in, one at a time.Then, Sunday! I swore to myself that I would not be one of those indie brides who got into Gocco (mostly because I don’t want to be a living stereotype), but alas. Emily of Emily Style offered to let me use her Gocco machine and help me with the whole process, and I had to try it. Sunday morning, a whole passel of girlfriends descended on chez practical, and Gocco commenced.
It turned out to be both easy and beautiful. We screen printed more than 100 RSVP cards, and look how great they look! Hooray!

All of these cards were designed for us, off of our crazy design ideas, by Cevd of Pretty Pretty Paper. I’m not sure I have enough wonderful words to say about Cevd. She took on our project in trade, which is a fancy way of saying that she did it for free, because we’re friends. I already knew that she was a gifted designer, but I could now say that she’s a brilliant designer, and possibly one of the nicest most dedicated people you will ever meet.

I’d like to end this post by telling you why it is that we’ve chosen to DIY bits of our wedding, but I’m still thinking that through. I will say that I don’t really DIY, I DIT. I like working on projects with people I care about, and collaborating with my community (many of whom are fellow bloggers, these days) to create small works of art. I got to get to know Cevd even better through the design process, David and I had a thoroughly good time hanging out with each other and paper-cutting, and I got to spend time with a gaggle of girlfriends, making something beautiful. In the end, we’re ending up with something more then just wedding invitations. We’re ending up with memories and tangible evidence of love.

(Please note that in the DIT post from a year ago I said I had no interest in hand screenprinting any part of our wedding invitations. I believe that is what is known as Tempting Fate.)

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