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Tales of an Indecisive Bride: Invitation Inspiration

May 11, 2011

Welp, like Miss Cotton Candy’s, our wedding invitations are late, late, late. Just how late they are depends on what you consider the Must-Send-Them-Out deadline, but I’ve also been getting some Facebook questioning, so I figure I must be tardy. Our wedding is seven weeks from Saturday. They’ll probably go out by then, so it’s not TOO bad, but our RSVP deadline is June 1. Oh, well.

Anywho, while I finish these suckers up, I thought I should start talking about the road that led to them. I have been absolutely obsessed with wedding stationery since before I got engaged, so I can’t even tell you how many inspiration photos I have saved on my computer. It’s a lot.

Before I knew that I was going to tackle the stationery on my own, I wanted these:

Lotus Blooms by Wedding Paper Divas

I loved the colors, and thought digital printing seemed like a great option. I really didn’t care about letterpress and didn’t understand why anyone would pay so much for something that limited your color options.

But when I got the sample, it just seemed cheap. It was much smaller than I had expected, and the paper was so flimsy. I decided to keep ordering samples, and when I got one from Paperwhites Press that I absolutely loved, my feelings started to shift.

Dahlia invitation sample from Paperwhites Press / Pocketfold and fake envelope liner added by me / Photo by me

I was pretty sold on these until I started messing around with Illustrator. Soon, I discovered that I was way too picky to let someone else design my invitations. I am not a designer at all, but I’m a control freak. I figured that I’d rather have complete control over something that might turn out as well. Does that sound crazy? That’s OK. I know.

So, while I thought about designing our stationery, I collected pictures of invitations I liked. I knew I liked flourishy shapes with scripty fonts:

I was a huge fan of Mrs. Pudding’s suite:

Photo via Mrs. Pudding

Another favorite was Claire by Gwyneth Paige:

Image via Gwyneth Paige

And Grace by Wiley Valentine on Minted

Image via Minted

This next suite was a perfect combination of stripes and swirly shapes, and I loved the script font paired with the blockier Ecuyer DAX-eque font (I don’t know if that’s actually what is; that’s just the first of those blocky fonts that I was introduced to).

Invitation suite by JessLehry Designs / Photo via Oh So Beautiful Paper

My first designs looked at lot like that.

This was the initial attempt. I got the damask background for free online, and downloaded the round shape around our initials from I intended to use it as our “monogram,” and repeat it all over our stationery, including on a paper bellyband. Let’s be honest. The whole thing is pretty terrible:

Design 2 was maybe a little bit better, but not much. I eventually purchased the peony background from iStockphoto, but when I made this comp, I was using a saved image from the site that I had color-replaced in Photoshop. It looks awful!

Design 3 was made after I’d purchased the peony background, and that helped a lot. I actually still kind of like this design.

Design 4 was much too busy.

And Design 7 (don’t ask me what happened to designs 5 and 6—they’re not in my folder!) was just MEH.

It was around Design 8 when things started to get out of hand.

To be continued!

Did any of you go through a million crappy drafts while trying to design your invitations? Anyone else go through a Feel-Script-paired-with-Ecuyer-DAX phase?

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