4-Year Old Wedding Design

Guys, today’s post is about wedding invite design. More specifically, today’s post is about my wedding invite design. A number of friends and followers of Peety Draws have asked how I designed them, where they were printed and how I saved money doing it. Seeing as how it’s my 4-year anniversary today (holy crap!), I thought it was an appropriate time to get a little nostalgic.

My wedding was held at the Elkridge Furnace Inn in Elkridge, MD. It’s a beautiful mansion that was built as a tavern in 1744. The website is a little tough to navigate thru but I promise – it’s an absolutely breathtaking location. The wedding ceremony took place outdoors with natural greenery surrounding the wedding party and those in attendance. As you can tell, the location cost a pretty penny so I wanted to keep all other cost at a minimum, beginning with my wedding invites. Knowing that this beautiful location was my backdrop, I decided on a palette that would pop against the rich greens and be representative of the fall season in Maryland.

The Elkridge Furnace Inn’s beautiful location really helped me decide on the look and feel of my invites. When it comes to design, I’m pretty simplistic and use the minimal amount of graphics, illustration and/or copy. I kept coming back to a sketch of two birds on a branch and realized it was perfect – especially for a wedding with nature as a backdrop. I opted to use the drawing instead of a traditional monogram.

I was really diggin’ petal envelopes at the time. I custom printed the envelope and flooded it in red so it would really stand out in the mail (Paper-Source has these available to order in a variety of colors). In total, three inserts went inside: invite and directions inserts (4″ x 4″) and RSVP postcard (5″ x 3.5″). Everything was printed digitally. The insert paper was purchased from French Paper Company in Madero Beach Speckletone. I was lucky to have a list of reliable vendors to choose from when it came for production (oh, the perks of being a designer). Baltimore Color Plate printed these bad boys for me and they did an awesome job!

The RSVP postcards I designed are worth a shout-out. I wanted to save cost on postage for the RSVP cards because my invites were square. Stamps costs more for square envelopes so I prevented additional postage cost by designing my RSVPs as a postcard. Postcard postage rate is much cheaper than a standard stamp. The postcards were single-sided and included my home address, area for guest to fill in their name and response line to choose whether they would be attending the wedding. What I loved most about the RSVPs was the little note included at the bottom, asking guests to send words of wisdom, doodles or well wishes on the back of the postcard. I felt like I was receiving little gifts with each returned RSVP. I received some really cool drawings and lovely words of congratulations.

The inserts were tied together with red raffia and sealed with an orange circular label I printed at home. The labels were purchased from Paper-Source. I hand-addressed all the envelopes with a metallic gold pen. If I knew a calligrapher, these bad boys would’ve definitely been handed off to that talent without a doubt.

I look at my wedding invite now and see so many things I would change (Gill Sans for the font – really?!) but it’s so representative of where I was as a designer at the time. The invites were wonderfully received by our friends and family. I was told by a number of guests that the minute they received the invite, they immediately recognized my design style. Comments like that that make me stop in my tracks every time I wish I had designed things differently. In the end, they were the perfect balance of elegance and simplicity – totally my design aesthetic.

Elliott Wedding – September 20, 2008

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