For me a DIY wedding really means DIO – Do It Ourselves. It’s hard to plan a wedding entirely by yourself, maybe impossible, and I was certain I did not want to try. The tricky question was always what parts do I want to do myself and what parts do I leave to the professionals? In the early stages of wedding planning Matt and I discussed what we wanted our invitations to look like and I quickly realized they were one of the items I wanted to do myself - ourselves!
Matt and I planned a three day wedding. Friday ceremony and reception for everyone and then a few days in the mountains at SkiEsta to be with our friends. We took this into consideration as we started the design process and decided to use the same size invitation for everything so they could all be mailed in the same envelope. I set about designing the invitations and response cards first before moving on to the SkiEsta invitations and the programs.
We wanted an invitation that was a unique size so we chose card stock that would fit in to a #10 envelope for the invitations and then smaller 4bar cards for the response. I headed over to the Paper Source for the paper and envelopes. Our wedding colors were shades of pinks and champagnes, a nod to my past – my parents wedding had the same colors, so I choose Strawberry colored #10 envelopes and Blossom colored 4bar envelopes.
It was at this point that I turned to my designer friends for some help. I had seen a similar circles and line pattern you see at the bottom of the invitation in a magazine so I used that as my starting point. I opened up Adobe Illustrator and starting designing. Now, I can work in Photoshop no problem but Illustrator was a different scenario. So I got myself about 75% of the way there and sent my files off to Erica so she could tweak and finalize them.
Once the design was complete it was time to find a printer. We both wanted letterpress and I had been thrilled with my business cards so I went right back to Dunstan Press for my invitations. The first time I went to Dunstan Press the owner Mark spoke with me about craftsmanship and his love of letterpress. Mark has been working in the same little shop in Scarborough for over thirty years and I was happy to work with a local vendor. When my invitation design was complete I sent him over my final files and some of the envelopes I had so he could match the colors and he went to work.
While this was going on I tried to figure out how to get all of these addressed. I do not have good handwriting – there are days I can not read my own notes to myself! As a bit of a joke , I posted on Facebook that I was looking for someone to address all of my invitations and then magic happened. My very first best friend from elementary school Lisa emailed me and said she would be honored to do it. Seriously! Lisa had amazing handwriting when we were kids and I was overwhelmed by her offer and immediately said yes!
Not only did this give me beautifully addressed invitations and response cards but having someone from my past contribute became one of the things that made our wedding so perfect and personal! It warmed my heart to know that when people received the invitation for the wedding it would be the past and present.
When it was all done this is what the they looked like.
I found the programs easy! I knew right away what I wanted for content – cool iconography, a listing of our VIP’s, a complete program including our pre-prelude songs and a no photos please announcement. As with the invitations I took a first try at the design and then Erica did the tweaking. In the case of the programs she did a lot of tweaking and they came out fab!
I decided in college that when I got married the songs from Disney princess movies would play a part. My college friend Melanie was a music (opera) major and used to indulge me by singing these songs to me when I was stressed or needed a pick me up. When we decided on Disney for a honeymoon it seemed like it was meant to be included.
This might have been my favorite part of the program – the no photos please! As a photographer I see a lot of brides walking down the aisle while their loved ones are busy snapping away and missing that very-special-once-in-a-lifetime-walk-down-the-aisle moment. I did not want our family and friends to miss that, I wanted them to be present with us as our ceremony started and throughout. With the wonderful team at emilieinc photographing our wedding I knew the moments would not be missed so we politely asked that everyone refrain from taking pictures during the wedding, that they be present with us and of course we promised them lots of gorgeous images -which there were!
Our weekend at SkiEsta had a whole different feel to it. I headed out to istockphoto in search of the perfect little log cabin for the top of the invitations and found the cute one you see here! Choosing a standard size for all the invitations made creating the SkiEsta pieces easier. I created a time line for the weekend, a list of things to bring and sent it along to Erica for revisions – seriously what would I have done with out her!
When all was said and done our SkiEsta pieces looked like this!
The invitations fit nicely into the blossom and strawberry #10 envelopes from Paper Source and we used additional envelopes for SkiEsta thank you’s and room assignments. It all came out so wonderfully in the end but reinforces to me that no man is an island – or no woman plans a wedding alone:)