I have to break up with you. Well, more importantly, my bank account has told me we have to break up. That being said, I will continue to spend hours upon hours gazing at your beautiful items as inspiration for my life, but we can no longer continue to have a relationship.
The broke ass bride with big dreams.
For those of you who have spent time on Etsy or Pinterest, I understand, as I am an addict too. I don't know what people planning weddings did before these websites existed... gasp... did they read magazines? I am thankful for them, but often find things are priced at the "trust fund baby" level. Now don't get me wrong, I agree the artists creating them deserve to be compensated, as this is how many of them make their living-- I just can't be the one to do it.
This long prose gives you the background to my wedding invitations. You see, the brilliant thing about a very small wedding of only 65 invited guests, is that I can go all out on some items, and am not forced to mass produce anything. I literally spent 13 hours digging through close to 1600 wedding invitation designs on Etsy, Pinterest, and every wedding invitation manufacturer imaginable's site, to only come up empty handed. That's when I decided to take matters into my own hands in order to achieve what I kept seeing in my head.
I chose a rather simple black and white scrolling cursive for our actual invitation:
Then had this printed on white card stock from Invitations by Davids Bridal. Simple, and to the point. But, missing everything I actually wanted for my invitations in terms of a true wedding suite. And, let the record show, there are many beautiful wedding suites on Etsy.. all of which around $12 per invitation. So, $600 on invitations. Seriously. Guess this girls making her own.
In my love of all things Etsy, I found an amazingly affordable map that an artist was able to custom design using a few elements from my wedding: my colors of Navy Blue and Peach, and the theme of vintage lace and skeleton keys. Her name is Anna Malie, Anna Malie Design, and her pricing was great. I LOVE the way this map turned out, and it gave all of my out of town guests (about 90% are out of town guests), a sense of direction in booking hotel rooms, where the reception and ceremony are, and where our house is.
Once I had all of the elements printed, I sat and assembled a few prototypes, then shipped them to my best friend in California. **Note to brides: this is a GREAT idea**. She took photos of the invitations, and the condition in which they arrived, which enabled me to make a few tweaks to the design before mailing.
aka: how I became the glue dot queen...
I started by wrapping the invitation, response cards, map, and registry information- with a thick 2 inch section of cream colored lace, and affixed it to itself in the back of the invitation suite with a glue dot. Next, I took a strand of navy blue satin ribbon and affixed it in the back with a glue dot. Lastly, I affixed a small white ribbon with a rhinestone onto the front using, you guessed it! A glue dot :) Note: I purchased a ribbon of tiny bow with rhinestones, rather than purchasing them in a pack. This saved me close to $10, and all I had to do was cut the ribbons I needed off.
Once the wedding invitation suite was wrapped, I used red wax seals to affix the inner envelope.
Red wax seals:
I have read several comments on my Pinterest board about fellow brides having this turn out tragic, so I figured I would walk DIY step by step here. I purchased the red wax cubes as seen above, and my best friend found the metal stamp with "M" on it. The only other tool you need is a tea light or lighter, and wax paper, and some patience.
** you will need to make these one at a time, so give yourself some time, and perhaps some soothing music.. as this will get tedious.**
1. Lay out a few sheets of wax paper to work on. This enables the wax to dry and peel off for you to use.
2. Using a lighter, hold the flame near the end of the wax bar and allow a small puddle of hot wax to drip onto the wax paper in about the size of the seal you want. Keep in mind that the size will grow slightly once you place your stamp onto the hot wax.
3. Stamp the metal directly into the hot wax and allow it to cool for a moment. When you peel off the stamp, no wax should stick with it, and your impression should be solid and visible. If you notice you are not getting a full impression, press harder-- or, the wax may be too cool by the time your stamp hits it. Timing is everything- so play Goldilocks and experiment with time until you get it just right.
4. Allow the wax to fully cool after you pull your stamp away.
5. Once cool, carefully peel off your stamp and affix onto your envelope using a glue dot.
* If the wax becomes too hot, it will burn and let out tiny bits of black-- avoid this by keeping the wax far enough away from the flame so that it heats up but does not burn.
* Some people try to perform this process directly onto the envelope, I have heard this causes the wax to crack and crumble during transit. When the wax dries onto wax paper it picks up a tad of the wax from the paper and enables it to remain flexible. This, along with the glue dot, will prevent it from cracking in transit.
*Ensure you are enclosing this in the INNER envelope only.
So, after all of this... my assembly time was about 15 minutes per invitation.. about 11 hours of invitation assembly total. However, I think it was WORTH IT: