The Save The Dates Are Out!

So after MONTHS of hard work and help from one of my bridesmaids, I was able to create a really cute video for our Save-The-Dates! I’m so excited to share it with you all! Take a look!

Click Me

If you are wondering how it was done, it required me learning a whole new program, Adobe After Effects, which I am fortunate enough to already have on my computer.

After Effects

One of my bridesmaids is a media guru and she was willing to teach me how to make the video. We worked every Monday for about two and a half months to get this finished in time! The music attached is an original score made up and played by my hubby-to-be and recorded right on our home computer! It was so much fun learning the new program, I hope this isn’t the last time I get to try it out!

What were your Save-the-Dates like? The only problem I saw with this is that a Save-The-Date is supposed to be an ahead-of-time constant reminder, and a video may not be in their face the whole time like a refrigerator magnet would be. What do you think?

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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!

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!

Stop Motion Save The Dates

First of all, I want to highlight that I am writing this blog for the first time on my new iPad! It was a Christmas gift and I’m super excited about it (even if the hubs did go over his Christmas budget…he spoils me).

So in order to offset the cost of Christmas, and still pay for the wedding, I am not sending out any paper Save The Dates. Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in everything we do and why not use it to our advantage? I could have just designed a Save The Date email, but I wanted to sort of jazz it up a bit.

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Stop motion videos are something I’ve played with in the past and I thought it would be a lot of fun to try it with our Save The Dates. This is something everyone can do but it does require some equipment first.

To start off, you need a digital camera, preferably not in your phone or mobile device. You also should probably have some sort of tripod to keep the camera steady. You also need some sort of video equipment software. I’m not sure about PCs but I know Macs come preloaded with iMovie, which will work just fine.

Once you have a working knowledge of all your software and equipment the actual making of the movie, while time consuming, is really simple.

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For instance, I am going to, step by step, open this puzzle box, spell out “We’re engaged” and “Save The Date” as well as a few other things. For your stop motion film, just look at every action as a step by step process and capture every slight movement with a single picture on your digital camera.

Once you have captured the action in its entirety and have all your photos, import them into your video editing software and put them together in sequential order, add some music, and voila! You have your video!

Once you have your video and export it, you can create a You-Tube account to post it online. When your video has its own link, your Save-The-Dates are Ready to send! Not everyone on the guest list may be tech-savy, but most everyone has e-mail. As long as you make it clear to click on the link you provide, everyone should get your video without issue.

Check out a stop motion video I made here.

Are any of you sending out electronic Save-The-Dates? It is certainly going to save lots of good money on printing costs and postage costs!

Lots Of Photoshop Work To Do

So I haven’t been “wedding” busy in months. Sometimes life just gets in the way. We have to worry about bills and food and making sure we have enough money to make it through and sometimes that makes it too hard to buy DIY supplies, or to even have the energy to be happy about the upcoming wedding. Sometimes all we see are dollar signs. Of course this is all depressing and I don’t want to be too obnoxious about this stuff because that’s not what this blog is entirely about.

The problem I see is that if websites aren’t just telling brides about the pretty side of weddings, than they are just giving us hard facts about wedding budgets and money tips. Take it from someone who is going through it all. Saving money for a wedding is hard. I can understand why brides are so stressed, and how they go into debt. It’s a difficult road when you are on a timeline.

Alright. Enough of all that. There is some “wedding work” that doesn’t cost me anything but my creative juices, and that is Photoshop work. To save some money I decided to all my own stationery. If that sounds like an undertaking…it is. I recommend it to only those who are sure to get everything done on time. I’m not even sure I can take it all on.

Here are some of the things that are necessary when you are your own stationary maker:

Save-the-date cards. These are especially important if you have most of your guests coming from far away. These can be anything you want them to be. Your invitations are more formal, but your save the dates can be fun and quirky. The good thing is, they don’t really require much work, depending on what you want to do.

Photo From: The Wedding Chicks

Invitations (obviously super important), but it’s not just a card with your date, time and place on it. You need to also include, an R.S.V.P. card and an envelope, a map and directions card, and any other information that you need to include for your guests.

Photo From: Etsy

Programs are another necessity of your stationary. It is nice for your guests to know what is going to happen in your ceremony, not to mention letting your programs serve dual purpose as a fan!

If this wasn’t a tall enough order, I am considering two more things that will make the reception fun for everyone:

Photos From: Etsy & The Wedding Chicks

I, like I’m sure most brides, don’t want to anyone to be bored during the wedding day, so I thought it might be nice to include some games at the tables. That IS if I can get my act together and get to them!

There is a ton of work involved to make stationary for your wedding, but the up side is it will be all your own style with no one else’s hand in it. You can do or make whatever you want! I encourage those of you who have the means to make your own stationary, you should try it!

Table Games!

All of the branding for the wedding is being done by yours truly. I’ve already shown you a sneak peek at my invitations but there is so much more I need to do! One of my ideas, of course I found while pinning, is to create a crossword puzzle game to get to know the bride and groom.

My fiancé is excited about this one. I will definitely need his help coming up with clues, this kind of thing is more his forte than mine. We can also create a cute write-up about both of us, where guests can look up the answers.

The most exciting part of this is that we can make it a competition, the first one to correctly complete the crossword wins…something. I’m sure I’ll figure that part out later.

Another fun thing I would like to create I found while looking around at all the wedding blogs: Guest Libs!

They are such a cute alternative to a Guest Book (or an addition to it if you still want a traditional guest book). And I’m sure you and your hubby will get a good laugh reading them later! Here are a few more games you can create yourself, that might further your wedding brand, and allow your guests to get to know each other and have fun too!

For this game, the guests find their name flag and peg the year when they met you!

There is a lot of down time in weddings, and instead of worrying if anyone is bored, why not create things that people can do together, or on their own, that way, everyone is having fun and celebrating your happy day!

Invitation Inspiration

I am by no means a Photoshop expert. I went to school with people who could run circles around me in any Adobe program. But I decided to take on the daunting task of creating all my own wedding stationary, that means: invitations, programs, place cards, signage, so on and so forth.

Immediately I jumped on the literary/words theme we are trying to keep to, and wanted to make the invitations a book (this was also when dark blue was incorporated in my colors). So I found this image of an old brown book cover and messed with the hue to turn it blue.

I know, I know…gross. For some reason I correlated “vintage” with “old and nasty.” I am ashamed to admit how long I clung to this idea. Too long. Finally I was able to step back and say “This is horrible.” And started a whole new invitation idea. It started with playing with lighter colors (now you see why I got rid of the dark blue). And then I found this pattern, which I talked about before.

That is when I came up with the idea for my invitation. I don’t want to reveal too much (there has to be some element of surprise) but here is the cover concept…this, of course, may change.

The problem was, I was being too literal with our literary/words concept. It really is about OUR story, which, because we are far less interesting than most, has not really been written in an actual book, so why should our invite look like one?

Also there seems to be this trend with what is called the “info graphic.” It gives information in a fun way, with different fonts, font sizes and pictures to get the point across. I think I would like my invitation information to be displayed info graphic style and really tell our story.

Here are some info graphic invites:

Invitations aren’t what they were in the 80s. They are spunky and creative and have interesting layouts. There is no reason why yours can’t be the same, and it’s even more personal if you are the creator! Not to mention you save a lot of money!

The invitations are just the first step! I also have to create a wedding brand. That means I still have so much left to do in Photoshop! Don’t worry, I will be sharing all of my “branding” here as well as some great ideas from other brides! Here are some invitations I find so pretty and unique!

I would love to do this! But there isn’t any way I could afford that postage!

The nerd in me LOVES this! How can you not? How creative!

I am all about being creative and this is off the charts creative…but it does cost a pretty penny.

This is so cute for a Travel themed wedding and it’s DIY!

You can find more inspiration on my Pinterest!