I’ve never been much of a math whiz, but I muddled through. I managed to get through high school math (algebra 1 and 2, geometry and statistics) and haven’t even thought about taking a math class since. Well, maybe I should! I was just trying to price out whether it would be cheaper to buy the invitation kits from Cards and Pockets or to buy the pieces separately. Surprisingly, it looks like it may be cheaper to buy everything individually. But what tripped me up was the enclosures. For some reason, I could not wrap my head around how everything would be printed and subsequently cut out. I had to actually pull out a ruler to figure it all out.

What the DIY kits seem to offer is avoiding all the math that screwed me up. They ask how many enclosures do you want and then tell you how much to buy for that. The kit offers the pocketfold invitation, the mat behind the actual invitation, the paper for the invite itself and enclosures, plus the envelope and RSVP envelope. When you factor in the color and type of papers I want, each invitation would end up costing $2.04. For 150 invites, which is how many I’m estimating I’ll need, that’ll end up costing us $306.

Now, $306 for an entire invitation suite isn’t too bad. Before discovering the Project Wedding website and finding Cards and Pockets, I was looking at ordering through one of the online sellers. At one site, for example, I would have to select a motif they’d already designed, a custom design would cost more. To get 150 of the invitations ($148.50), plus 150 RSVP cards ($142.50), plus two enclosures each, for accommodations or directions ($321) would put me back a whopping $723. Now, I think that includes envelopes, but I’m not sure. Admittedly, getting this would include all the printing and cutting, but I’m so restricted in the visual presentation of the invitations. I’m not sure how much printing will ultimately cost us. I haven’t priced that out yet, but I’m confident it won’t be an extra $400+!

Even so, if I buy the parts of the invitations separately (if my math is correct), I can cut my per invite cost down to $1.78 per invite, with extra paper to print enclosures in case of any problems.  So, all the supplies would end up costing $266.50. Sure, I’m only saving $40, but why not save $40? Either way, I’d still have to print my invitations and put them together myself.

One of the things that jacks up invitation prices so much is the style of printing. If you want embossed or letter-pressed text, it’ll cost you extra. With the fancy printing methods, you’re usually restricted to one, maybe two colors, in addition to black. But by having our invitations printed with a digital color printer, we can really print as many colors as we want, because we’re not trying to do anything fancy.

Especially since I can do fancy on my own. A bride on Wedding Wire was showing off her DIY invitation. She had put her pocketfold flap through a Cuttlebug, which embossed a really pretty pattern on it. Through conversations with her and a little research, I found out just how easy embossing is.

All I really need to add some creative embossing to my invites is an embossing heat tool, embossing powder, ink and a rubber stamp. I found this great blog, which breaks down how embossing works. All I really need is a rubber stamp in the shape I want and I can really personalize each and every invite. Now that’s DIY! Is it going to take a long time? Yeah, probably, but I have a long time. As of today, my wedding is 400 days away. I think I can get it done sometime in the next 400 days!

The ideas behind the DIY invites have really changed since we first started thinking about it. Originally, I had purchased the leaf punchers that I was going to glue onto to invites. I think those may have gone out the window, at least for the invitations. What I am thinking about doing is putting an Alchemy request on Etsy for an image of a tree. I kind of want a tree bordering one side of the invitation, probably in two or three colors, with maybe a leaf or two falling off. The problem with the punchers I bought is that the proportions are completely off.

The other thing I’m still trying to figure out is the fonts. I did a mock up to show Paul, my dad and my sister, Julie, and all three said that they liked the idea, but really hated the font. I’ve done some searches, but haven’t really found any I like. On DaFont, you can put in words and see it written in multiple fonts. It’s pretty fun and helpful to see how the words and ampersand would look. I think it’s especially exciting to learn that there are, in fact, fonts that have the heart above the I built in.


Using Paper Lanterns

May 17, 2010

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but we are considering using paper lanterns to decorate our venue. I kind of hate the carpets, so hopefully, we can do everything we can to make people look up, instead of down! So, we were thinking of using paper lanterns, which is something we actually use in our own home. I’ve seen plenty of wedding pictures around the Internet with paper lanterns that are used as decoration, but aren’t actually lit up, which I think is a waste of a good paper lantern! I love the light that you get from paper lanterns, it’s so much softer light, but at the same time, it still lights the room, so you can hopefully avoid too much flash.

Over the weekend, I checked in at Project Wedding and one of the articles that came out of their 2010 DIY challenge was on how to light paper lanterns! What’s great about this is that it provides a lot of different options, some of which allow you to hang lanterns at multiple different levels, as opposed to all along the same line.

Again, gotta talk up Project wedding for all their DIY projects. My wedding invite plans came from the project wedding site, though it keeps getting more complicated because I want to go big! That’s for a different post though.

When I first thought about getting married, prior to actually getting engaged, I thought about the venue, I thought about the dress and I think that’s about it. I already had the guy, so that was a big piece of the puzzle figured out! But I don’t know that anyone ever tells you just how many decisions need to be made.

And yeah, when you really think about it there’s a lot more that goes into it. You need to pick out the menu and invitations and flowers. But even that is small beans.

I’m talking about the nitty-gritty, itty-bitty details like, will I have an aisle runner? What should go into my centerpieces and how can they coexist with any decoration from the ceiling we may have? How should I do my hair? How should my bridesmaids do their hair? Do I need a makeup artist? Do my bridesmaids need a makeup artist? Will I wear my glasses to the ceremony? Should there be a leaf theme throughout or is that too over the top?

I have 18 months to plan my wedding, and I have to be honest, I’m finding some of the details a bit overwhelming. I do, in fact, stay up at night thinking about random wedding details!

I think a big part of the problem is that even though most of these decisions will be decided with my fiance, he’s not going to remember that we need to register for everyday glasses and wine glasses and juice glasses. Paul’s a big picture kind of guy. He sees the whole wedding. I see the pieces of the puzzle.

And I suppose that’s probably the healthiest kind of relationship there is. We complement each other. But when I’m trying to decide whether our colors should be red and brown or red and orange or red, yellow and orange,  or can you do four colors? Having him say, “Shana, we’ll figure it out.” really isn’t helping as much as it should.

So, now that the venue is booked, there are details that I don’t have to worry about for at least six months, probably closer to a year from now. The best part about getting married in the Hudson Valley is that when your caterer says “Trust me.” you almost always do. That’s because our caterer and almost every other caterer in the area is trained at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park. So when they tell you to trust them, it’s because they know what they’re doing. I’m looking forward to choosing a menu. Okay, if I’m being honest, I’m looking forward to eating a TON of really yummy food in hopes of narrowing dow a menu. The cake is part of our package and I believe is done by a bakery in Cold Spring, so we’ll get to go taste those too. And cake flavors shouldn’t be too hard. Cake decoration will though. Another detail to consider, do we need a cake topper??

Ultimately, the thing I need to keep reminding myself is to take it one step at a time. Stop freaking out about the little things, because I will figure them out. The next step is to find a dress and luckily, I have a pretty good idea of what I’m looking for there. I doubt it’ll be easy to find the right dress, but hopefully it will be fun.