Invitations Are Sent & My Adventures In North Carolina

CRAZINESS this week. I spent Monday and Tuesday in our new state, North Carolina. Monday I spent getting acquainted with my new job, which looks like it’ll be a lot of fun! Tuesday was spent running around all day trying desperately to find a place to live.

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Like my ride? The hubby-to-be was so jealous of my rental car!

This endeavor was only moderately successful because applications take time to process. My little efficient self was very well planned, so I saw a lot of places in a short amount of time.

Biggest disappointment was, I found the perfect place…and they don’t allow pets. It was especially annoying because they put that pets were allowed on the listing.

I think a lot of my stress will disappear when we have a place to live. It’s no good moving when you don’t have a place to go!

The good news is, the invitations were sent before I left! It’s really exciting to get those out there!

My wonderful hubby-to-be, in addition to packing, and looking for jobs for himself, sent them out. Here is the sweetest part:
I thought he was pretty much letting me plan without much interest and then he shows me the stamps he used to send the invitations:

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He remembered butterflies were in our theme! I guess I underestimated him!

Here is what I learned about sending invitations as far as cost:
If it’s larger than a 6in it’s going to cost more, around a dollar an invite. Fortunately I only sent around 30 invitations.

If you have a large wedding don’t do large or bulky invites so you can keep your cost down!

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Addressing Envelopes

I have just passed the three-month mark! Everything is moving along really well but there have been a few things I have been neglecting and one of those things was addressing the envelopes that have to go out next month…

I finally ordered the envelopes and was all set to address them, and then they sat, and sat, and sat. I had previously made the decision to fake calligraphy to make the addresses fancy. Ah, the best laid plans. When I finally began to do the addresses, I grossly underestimated my artistic ability. Or at least I feel like I did.

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Even if it wasn’t that bad, I immediately felt that calligraphy doesn’t go with our casual invitations. So I decided to copy a font we used in the invitations, which is significantly easier to copy and matches everything.

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In addition, I made the egregious mistake of leaving our names off the invitation. So I found a way to rectify that as well.

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I’m about halfway through the invitations, and I’m really happy about the way it’s all turning out!

Spring Is Here! Why Not Some Bridal Shower Inspiration?

When spring comes to Maine it brings with it a ridiculous amount of excitement. We have (arguably) 5 months of winter so when it warms up just a little everyone is out!

However, now that we are into spring it is just another reminder that we are about to enter crunch time. I have just passed the 5 month mark, so panic and urgency are starting to set in. Eek! And when things start to get crazy I do what anyone would do, I avoid it.

So I’ve decided to focus on the now and live in the moment. Around this time would be a good time to plan a bridal shower. I’ve decided not to have one, just because my hubby-to-be and I have been living together for about two years and we have too MUCH stuff. But a girl can dream right? So I used my favorite spring color as inspiration for a perfect bridal shower!

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Every party needs the perfect invitation! I found these adorable invites from Wedding Paper Divas. I love these invites so much I thought I’d use them for my inspiration! Like the hanger in invite? Try making one for real! Check out the tutorial here! Wedding Paper Divas have so many different bridal shower invitations it was hard to pick a favorite!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring! If you love Macarons, you can make your own! See how here!

What kind of bridal shower do you want? Or have you decided against one?

Invitation Progress & A Same-Sex Couple Wins Big!

At work I have a lot of down time, so I decided to bring all my invitation stuff with me to work to finish them up.

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I am very excited to send them out! Even with the little faults that I see, I still think everyone will love them.

So because of my inability to segue between topics, I’ll just jump right in! Real Maine Weddings, a great magazine and website dedicated to just the amazing-ness of Maine weddings, hosts a contest every year to give away a free wedding to a wonderful couple. This past weekend they announced the winner!

This winner is a milestone and a first for the contest. A same-sex couple, Jenna and Caroline, were chosen to receive a wedding costing up to $100,000! Each couple submits a video telling a little about themselves and why they deserve to win their dream wedding. This past year the people of Maine approved same-sex marriage so the contest was opened to all couples.


They will have their wedding this October in Kennebunkport. I am so excited for the couple, and so happy that the people of Maine made this possible with their votes! Hopefully now the Supreme Court will follow the states and approve equality for all!

Calligraphy and Faking It DIY

So up until recently I always thought I would just write out our invitation envelopes in the nicest possible handwriting I could, because, well, I suck at printing. Somewhere between third grade and now my printing has become more like chicken scratch.

Were you aware that on the list of what to do month to month before your wedding, one of the items is “hire a calligrapher?” I would really like to know who has the extra cash to pay for printed invitations AND enough left over for someone to write out your envelopes? Believe it or not there is a solution! Whilst browsing the wonderful world of Pinterest, I saw a tutorial for faking calligraphy.

Now even though this tutorial eliminates the calligraphy pen and need for ink wells or cartridges, it still requires some skill…so naturally I was worried to try it. It certainly will require a lot of practice.

For this you only need two things! Well three…three things…I feel like the Spanish Inquisition Monty Python sketch…

You will need a computer, a very fine tip marker and some paper. Practice first! Don’t start on your actual envelopes!

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First look on your computer for a nice calligraphy font. It shouldn’t be too complex because you will need to sort of copy it. Unless your envelopes are see-through (and they do exist) than tracing isn’t an option, so you need to get fairly good at copying the cursive in your font.

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That is really the tricky part. Now, if you like the font I used, you can find it here, with the original tutorial.

Next, once you have copied down the letters, you need to make some lines darker than others, it’s what gives it its calligraphic quality. The best way to figure out which lines to darken is to remember whenever you made a down stroke. You can use the font you picked as a guide, but your written letters may be different from the font.

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Once you go over all your letters and thicken your down stokes you will have the finished product. Here is what I did after about fifteen minutes practice.

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Clearly I need more practice, but it is easier than I thought. When writing your envelopes you will have to be very precise because those letters will be rather small. You may just want to do the first letter in fake calligraphy and the rest in nice script.

I really enjoyed learning this, hats off to the woman who created the tutorial! She is definitely a better artist than I am! Again the original tutorial is here as well as the font I used. Good luck!

Finances and Invitations

All right, all printed! I have never been so nervous to print something in my life. I think it’s because if it’s wrong, I can’t take it back. What’s done is done and that’s really scary.

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I think they came out really well! I’m really excited to put them together.

Maybe it was my nervousness in the way of printing, but I was about to go and print 50 invitations, for my 50 guests right? Wrong. I missed probably the most obvious thing ever. Duh, not everyone invited gets an invitation. Since my mom and dad live in the same house, it might be kind of dumb to send them each an invitation. I know…I know…dumb. Thankfully I had a moment of clarity before they printed 50 invitations. I ran home, conferred with my hubby-to-be and figured out we only needed 35. Needless to say much cheaper! Saved me at least $100! That would have been a huge mistake!

So when getting your invites DON’T over-buy! Also, get extras. It will help account for mistakes made in folding/addressing/assembling. Not to mention, you want to keep one for yourself!

Speaking of huge mistakes…it looks like I had a right to be nervous, because I did make a mistake. I ask that you reserve judgement on my intelligence, and remember that I am planning a whole wedding so details may get lost. While looking over my newly printed stack of 35 invitations that cost lots of money, I noticed one crucial detail I left out…our names. Now everyone will have the date, time and place of a wedding with unknown people. Go me. Thankfully I have a fix. I’m going to “doodle” our names on the front in a cute little heart. I just hope I’m not absent-minded about anything else!

Even after the almost mistake and the actual mistake, I still like the invitations, and I’m happy to send them out, now I just have to assemble them!

Tips For Trimming The Guest List

I have decided that today or Tuesday is the day when I will print all of my invitations. This is a scary thought. While I believe I have fixed all the problems with the prototype, I am still nervous about making such a big purchase. I want these invites to be perfect and with me DIY-ing a lot of them, maybe they won’t be.

The other (seemingly insurmountable) problem we have to solve is the guest list. Months and months ago we sat down to make a tentative guest-list and have not re-visited it since. As far as I can tell, we were doing alright on numbers, but we have yet to consult with each set of parents to figure out who we should invite. My top number is 50 and I’m super firm on that, especially since that’s pretty much the capacity of the barn where everyone will eat dinner. The number of people you invite also determines your budget. The smaller your guest-list the less you will have to buy and/or spend on vendors. You can find classy venues on the cheap, and you can make your details more elaborate because there will be less people. I think if I had to hold a 200 guest wedding, I would be in even more hot water, monetarily speaking, than I already am!

How do you whittle down that guest list?

First, each of you make a list separately of the friends and family of yours you want to invite. Than get a large piece of paper/white board and a pencil/dry erase marker (I just really like the concept of a white-board for this). Make two columns, The Must Haves and The Maybe Haves. Make your must haves family and very close friends only. And by family I mean more immediate family, leave your second cousins for the maybe haves list. In the next column, write down everyone else. Then, go through each person on the maybe haves list and start to cut. Ask yourself, “How close are we?” “When did I last speak to them?” “If they weren’t there, would that be a real detriment?” Don’t invite someone because you feel obligated to!

Another thing to keep in mind: “Will this single person bring a date?” If the answer is yes, you must either account for that person, or do not leave a space for date-bringing. If they really want to bring another person, they should ask, at least that’s how I feel about it. No place on the R.S.V.P. for a date? Then you can’t have one!

Cutting people is harsh, and feelings may get hurt, but if you can’t afford it, than you can’t afford it. People need to be understanding of the fact that a wedding is a huge financial burden, and sometimes that means cutting people from attending.

If you are STILL having trouble, try this (click on the Image to see a larger version):

While browsing through the never-ending Pinterest void, I came across this very helpful Infographic flow-chart on how to whittle down your guest list. I think it’s a great outline for the right questions to ask! Good luck! Now I have to grab my hubby-to-be so we can get this daunting task done!

Importance of The Prototype

First, I lead with this:

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I think I laughed for fifteen minutes. 🙂

I went to Kinkos to print out a prototype of the super complicated invitations. They were really great to work with and listened to what I wanted. I am really glad I printed it all out, I actually needed to correct some mistakes.

Here is the print out (disassembled):

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It was actually quite simple to assemble, I just had to glue everything to a long piece of paper

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The biggest problem is that the glue stick I’m using is inferior. I really need to find a glue (in stick form so there are no globs) that won’t fall apart immediately. Does anyone have any suggestions?

So after I pieced it all together, which probably took about five minutes, here is the end result!

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Other than the glue situation I love the way they came out! Now I don’t want to mislead you, but it seems that printing my own invitations is not nearly as cheap as I thought it was going to be. Take into account, though, that I made my invitations ridiculously complicated. I sort of dug my own hole. If you make really simple invitations the printing cost should be fairly low, and they would still be your own design.

So, points to everyone who releases the kraken on their wedding day, and if anyone has the solution to my glue-stick debacle, it would be so helpful!

Invitations Are Ready To Print! Now How Much…

I NEED your help and advice!!!

But first, before I get into that…our wedding rings came in!! Mine is going to take a little longer to be finished. I passed my engagement ring off to the jewelers so that when I get them all back, it’ll be a whole set all soldered together. I’m so excited! It’s weird to not have my engagement ring on, I’m constantly touching my ring finger looking for it.

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He went with a black ring and I like it, really sophisticated! He picked it out but I did have one stipulation, no jewels in the ring…reminds me too much of the mob. I grew up in New Jersey, what can I say? 🙂

In other news, the invitations are all done! Here’s a little look at what I did:

Invitation Layout

Click on it to see it better!

I think they came out really well! I like that I was able to make it all look hand-drawn and cute! But it does look a little confusing laid out like that, so I actually made a guide for the printing people. Here’s what I came up with:

Invite Guide

Make sense? Haha! So that long upside down piece (in the first picture), once it is folded, will make up the second page in #2, then you fold it out to reveal all the writing, which is the second long page in the first picture. Whew! I know that’s so confusing and if you can follow me, brownie points for you! It’s why I made the map 🙂 I know I sort of shot myself in the foot as far as being inexpensive with such a complicated layout, but I really wanted to make these invitations special, especially since I love working in Photoshop!

The problem is, that because of the size and shape, I have to print out every one of those pages individually. The three pages on the right in the first picture are just the inserts, so I figure I can print them on regular paper to save money. But the other five each have to be printed out individually, and on good, quality paper. I don’t need super awesome, splendiforous paper though, so I hope to save money there. But still, that’s a lot of paper, some need to be printed on 11×17 paper too, which is probably all that much more expensive…

The worry I have is, how much is this all going to cost me? It has to be done by a professional printing place, and, since the layout is so wonky, I don’t trust online places to get it right. So here’s where I NEED your help! My only thoughts on places to print are Kinkos and Staples, but I am totally open to suggestions! If anyone has advice on printing up these invites cheaply, coupons, places to go, paper that is cheaper (hopefully, since it’ll be printed on white paper, that’ll save me money), I welcome it!

Doodle Invitations

One of the things to be prepared for when planning a wedding: your ideas will change. A few months ago I had an idea for how I wanted the invitations to look, but that has since changed…8 times.

This time, I think I have the final look I want down. Sometimes I get these bursts of creative energy, and I have to go with it, otherwise it won’t get done. It’s kind of irritating, but at least when the creativity does come, I get TONS of stuff done!

I’ve decided to go with an invitation that looks like it was doodled on a piece of notebook paper. Did I mention the wedding was casual? I got the doodle idea from what I wanted to do for our save-the-dates. I decided to make it all streamline, and bring the doodle idea over to the invites.

Here’s a little peek:

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I’m really excited with how they are turning out! I also found a great way to include our nerdy side too!

I do have to say that I am a little apprehensive about sending out something so informal, but this is so us that I couldn’t resist. It turns out we’re not alone, other couples also opted for informality! Here are some other cute informal invite ideas! (Note the alliteration…sometimes I can’t help myself)