My DIY Wedding Invitations

Posted by . September 23rd, 2011 at 8:24 pm. Leave a comment.

I’ll admit, I’m pretty proud of my wedding invitations. It took a lot of work and collaboration, but it was well worth it. My colors are black, white and gray, and I wanted a modern look. Matt’s cousin is a graphic designer, and she was kind enough to design our logo (the compass), and the first two pages of the invite. Both Matt and I make maps for a living, so we wanted to include that somehow. Here are a few of the inspiration photos I used to explain to my cousin in law what I was looking for:

Inspiration for cover

Inspiration for second page

In addition to the map element, I have been obsessing over typography and these centerpieces, so I wanted the invite to be bold and “poster” like. My cousin hit the nail on the head with the invite. So without further ado………drum roll please….. here’s what I’ve been slaving over for SEVERAL weeks:


return address


Kindly Deliver To:, aren’t the current love stamps so cute?!






our logo as a “tag”, chain closure


second page, actual “invite” portion, names hidden to protect the innocent ;)


“love is real, real is love” – John Lennon, and my real name!


third page, thanks to Steph Anne. Map courtesy of the man.


RSVP card, again thanks to Steph Anne.


one of my favorite parts- all the little text around the “yes” and “no” are funny quotes. For yes, there is “We’re so mappin’ excited!”, “cool beans” and some in spanish, “Muy bien!” and “Fantastico!”. For the no side, “que lastima!” “aww bummer!” and “darn it!”

And last but not least, the reason why the man is not currently talking to me. I hinted earlier that I kind of stuck something in without him knowing. Well, he found out today. Sent them out yesterday, and someone commented on it to him today, and he kind of lost it. He was very unhappy that I added this behind his back. I hope everyone thinks it was worth it!


my baby, Rocki

Yup, that’s my dog on the envelope liner! This picture was taken in our engagement session, and I just love it. I printed it on vellum, made a stencil from a sacrificial envelope that I took a part, and cut out each one. Then, I used double sided tape on the flap and across the opening to secure it. To me, it makes the invitations. It makes it personal to us; no one has a dog as amazing as mine! ;) Plus, she will be at the wedding, and instead of favors, we will be making a donation to the humane society and putting a little picture of Rocki explaining this on each place setting.

The man thinks that it has nothing to do with anything, makes the invite look cheesy. Well, too late! So far I have only heard good things. So, hopefully it will be worth my time in the dog house, pun intended!

Here are some of the details of where I got everything and how I did it:

  • The envelopes came from here, and are a steel gray metallic.  The large ones are size A9, color “wealth”.  This site was really the only place I could find attractive large envelopes that had this kind of flap.  The RSVP envelopes are also wealth, size 4 bar.  The big envelope size was perfect because it exactly fit a 8.5×11.5 piece of cardstock cut in half. I paid about $70 for both the RSVP and invite envelope. They came in packs of 50, so I have some extras.
  • I purchased the paper at Kelly Paper, a local paper supply company.  It’s hard to tell in the photos, but the invite paper is a metallic gray/silvery color.  The compass tag and RSVP are in a similar metallic, but white.  I only needed about 30 pages of the white, and paid 25 cents for each sheet.  I highly recommend finding an outlet like this when purchasing paper- you really need to be able to feel it’s weight and see it’s color in person.  For a ream of this paper, I paid $33, which had 250 sheets.  I only used 1.5 pages per invite, and only had 80 invites.  So I have half of it left and will be using it for programs most likely.
  • I found the metal rings at JoAnn’s in the jewelry making aisle.  I bought a bag of black and a bag of the gray color, and each was about $3 and had 150 pieces each, plenty for what I needed.  I simply (but time consumingly) clamped three together, leaving the two end rings open, and then strung on the compass and the invite.  I then clamped shut the two open rings.  I feel this gave it an industrial look, which is perfect for my venue.
  • To create the “tags”, I first had an amazing cousin in law to make the logo. ;)  Then I printed each one to be 1.5 inches, and bought this circle cutter. I got mine at Joann’s on sale for about $8, found in the scrapbooking section.  I also purchased this whole punch that is a little smaller than a normal office one to punch the wholes in the invite and the tag.
  • The vellum came from OfficeMax, $10 for 50 sheets.
  • I was extremely lucky to be able to print everything at work.  Since it was black and white, the printing wouldn’t have been too horrible, but this really was a huge saver.
  • To print the envelopes, I created a Publisher document to create the angle.  It was a PAIN IN THE ASS to type in each address, but I only had 80 so it wasn’t horrible.  Printing envelopes is never fun.
  • I got the address font online for free.  It is called The Dreamer and I really love it.  Unfortunately it doesn’t include numbers, so I used Blackladder for the numbers.  I don’t think you can tell really.
  • The postage was killer-  because of the metal links, it didn’t lay flat, so it required extra postage.  Each required 84 cents of postage, but the 84 cent stamps were fugly, so I did two 44 cent stamps instead.  Plus, the stamp on the RSVP envelope, so all together, each invite cost me $1.32.

And I think that’s finally it!  For materials, I think each invite cost me about $1.75.  Obviously I will be able to use the tools again for other stuff, and half of that ream of paper for the programs too.  Plus postage, I am around $3 an invite.  Since I only had 80, I think I did pretty good.  I compared invites online, and this was pretty much the bare minimum for most full suite designs, and obviously none would have been as personal as this.  And now that that’s done, on to EVERYTHING ELSE!!!!

P.S. Thanks again to my girl Steph Anne for all your help with this; not only your amazingly fast photoshop capabilities, but also for constantly letting me bounce my ideas off of you and making them into reality! We became cube mates at exactly the right time! Everyone needs to check out her design site too- her blog designs are pretty rad.  She also sells pre-made blog themes on her etsy shop.


5 facts for friday

Posted by . September 16th, 2011 at 10:41 am. Leave a comment.

1. I’ve lost 7 pounds in in my first week on the hCG diet.  And I actually feel great.  The good food is kicking in, I have more energy, and I am not starving all the time like everyone said I would be.  Oh and I finally got up the guts to give myself the injection in the morning.  The first 5 I made the future hubby do.

2. The man and I are going to the Phoenix Symphony tomorrow.  I’m lucky to have a guy that plays hockey 3 times a week, tailgates like nobody’s business, and begs me to get tickets to Beethoven’s 9th. I’m excited to get all dressed up and feel like grownups. Now what does one wear to the symphony….

3.Finally sending out my wedding invites this weekend. I’ll post pictures of them soon. Glad to have them done, but also starting to officially freak out with how little time I have and how much I have to do.

4. I would never paint my nails if it weren’t for this stuff. Buy it, use it, love it. It really is dry in 30 seconds, no more bed sheet marks on my toes, or fingerprints on my nails.

5. I have a big fear, and as in big, I mean alwaysonmymindeverywakingmoment, that even after all the weight I’ve lost (hopefully around 60 by wedding time), and how much better I am feeling about myself, I’m not going to feel good in my dress. And it’s not the dresses fault. Just by nature a wedding dress is my biggest no-no; I have always had great legs, even when I was heavy, and always had sausage arms, even when I was thin. So wearing a strapless dress that covers my legs is not my friend. If it were up to me, I would wear a long sleeve mini-skirt dress. But the man’s traditional and that won’t fly. So here’s to super confidence! (hopefully!) Here’s my dress- I’ll be funking it up with some black.


5 facts for friday

Posted by . September 8th, 2011 at 6:57 pm. Leave a comment.

1. I’m starting the hCG diet tomorrow (I’m sure I’ll talk more about this later). I am terrified/super excited. I have been struggling with the last 20 pounds I’ve been wanting to loose before the wedding, and I’m hoping this will help. Also, I want to be healthier. Since I lost the first 40 pounds, I have felt sooooo much better; not just the obvious physical things, like more energy, no need to use my inhaler, and sleeping better, but the emotional affects have been astounding. I use to have bouts of depression, anxiety, or just plain moodiness, but since I have been taking care of myself, all of that has changed. Not only am I getting back to my old weight, I’m getting back to how happy I was then.

40 pounds ago, at my heaviest.  Look how GINORMOUS I was!!! Although this was right after my proposal, it makes me sad looking at myself there, because  I wasn’t happy in that body. (from left to right: dad, mom, mom-in-law, dad-in-law, sister, sister, Matt, me)

2. This one’s for Steph Anne…..I’m going to Bora Bora bitches!  Yeah that’s right.  I’m so lucky and undeserving of my amazing parents, but they are making our wedding and honeymoon possible, and I am sooooo excited.  I think I am more excited for the honeymoon than the wedding…

This is where we’re staying!!!!AHHHHHHHH

3. I hate when chicks in my office wear heels that they can’t cope with all day long, and then proceed to walk around the office barefoot.  Annoying, rude, obnoxious, pretentious… do I need to go on?  I know I probably will offend many cool girls with this, but either suck it up and wear your heels all day, or get some flats.  I pride myself in the fact that I can wear my heels all day, and go grocery shopping in them if need be.  I mean I’m not wearing them to the mall, but come on.

4. I regret not being closer to my step-mom.  I should have made more of an effort.  She had such a rocky relationship with my sister, that I feel I should have made up for it.  However, I know that she knew my feelings were genuine, that I never had alterior motives or held a grudge.  She made my dad happier than I had ever seen him, and that’s all that matters.  One time when we were in Mexico, for my sister’s engagement party, we had a conversation where I was able to tell her how much I supported her and my dad’s relationship.  How I was happy that he was happy.  How much I loved her for that, and how much I accepted her.  That even my mom loved who she was to me, and that my sister was crazy to not let go, and love her as I did.  She begged me to tell her how to fix the relationship with my sister, but there was no answer to that.  I could only hope that I could make up for it.  So I hope she knew that my love for her was pure.  But I wish I didn’t have to hope.  I will be forever indebted to her for showing me a new man in my dad, and allowing our relationship to grow more than I ever imagined.

my step-mom and me in Mexico

5.  Conversely, I hate my step-dad.  Technically he was never my step-dad, but he had more influence on me than I like to admit.  Time has only confirmed this; usually, when you get older you realize that your parents aren’t that bad, that you didn’t mean it when you screamed “I hate you!” as a teenager.  But as I have gotten older, I have realized even more what a pathetic man he was.  And this makes me angry with my mom for allowing him in my life.  Most of all, I hate that I wasted my time and emotion on him.  More on this another time.

Sorry this got so heavy…. not sure how that happened. But that’s why I have embraced this blog so much- it’s such great therapy!


Wedding Wednesday: Number Two

Posted by . September 6th, 2011 at 9:51 pm. Leave a comment.

This one is hard. I seem to have many moments when it was confirmed that Matt was the one. And all for different reasons. I guess I’ll start with the first.

Within 3 months of dating, we were living, working, and going to school together. At first I was worried that this was a bad idea. Guys don’t like “clingers”, and I couldn’t avoid being one when we woke up together at 4AM, drove to work together, worked together from 5AM-2PM, where I tried my hardest to now be lovey dovey in front of others, then drove straight from work to school, took many of the same classes together all afternoon, got done with class around 8 or 9, just to drive home together and work on homework. For most new couples, this would have been a recipe for disaster. But we knew when to sit in silence, when to encourage each other, and when to break the rules and be affectionate at work. Not to say that we didn’t want to kill each other every once and awhile, but it was remarkable how well we got a long for non stop periods of time.

Just love this photo, at a friends wedding

The next moment that really made me know that he wasn’t going anywhere was our time apart. I went to Spain to study abroad for a semester, and we kind of left things open. I didn’t know when I would be coming back, what we both would be doing in 3 months, a year. But after a week, I knew that I couldn’t be without him. Our conversations, on a very expensive mobile phone (thanks dad!), cemented our relationship. I would call him on my way home from school, a long walk through the beautiful Spanish city, and would talk to him while he was at work at 6AM his time, driving forklifts that I could hear beeping in the background. He would tell me the stupid antics he was up to at work, and I would cry to him at first, homesick, and eventually began to tell him of the amazing things I was seeing. I knew he needed to be out there with me to move into this big world with me.

At the end of the semester he came to visit me, and we back packed through Europe together. Through every city we saw our world view changed, together. My mom always says that if he hadn’t met me out there, we wouldn’t be together today. And in some ways I believe that, because that experience so changed who we are in such a short amount of time.

In Costa Rica, sharing our love for travel

At this point we were committed, but still wanted to accomplish so much as individuals that marriage wasn’t right yet. After 5 years of being together, I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. This is when I knew it was game over- we would be together forever. He reacted with such strength, simply had the attitude of “what do we do now?” No worry about himself or the negative effects, just worried about what he could do to make me happy again. He became my nurse; learned how to give me the injections I had to take, let me wallow in my misery when I needed to, waited on my diligently, cooked me whatever sounded good to me and my limited appetite, anything to keep me comfortable and cared for. He knew that it needed to be my time then, and he took a graceful back seat. It was like a glimpse into the future; most couples don’t have to deal with this until age has kicked in and your body starts to fail, but I was only 24, and he hadn’t yet signed up for this. I knew we could get through anything together.

I always give Matt a hard time that he always seems to stumble into amazing opportunities that he hardly worked for or deserved, but I think I take the cake on stumbling into him.  :)